OXALATES WHAT ARE THEY ?

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N2TORTS

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Oxalates are natural compounds found in foods - especially plant-based foods - where they serve the useful purpose of protecting the plant from being eaten by bugs because of their bitter taste. Not only are oxalates present in plants and foods, the body manufactures oxalates from other substances - including vitamin C. Oxalates are hard to completely eliminate from the diet; but they can cause problems for people/animals who eat too many of them. The kidneys excrete oxalates into the urine
Eating a diet low in oxalates can reduce the risk of developing kidney stones . Kidney stones sometimes form when oxalates and calcium bind together. Decreasing the amount of oxalates that are present in the urine lowers this risk,
*Low Sources Of Oxalates
Fruits:
Apples, apricots (fresh or canned), avocado, bananas, cherries (sweet), cranberries, grapefruit, red or green grapes, lemon and lime juice, melons, nectarines, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, oranges, strawberries (fresh), tangerines
Vegetables:
Artichokes, asparagus, bamboo shoots, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chayote squash, chicory, corn, cucumbers, endive, kale, lettuce, lima beans, mushrooms, onions, peas, peppers, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, zucchini
*High food Sources Of Oxalates
Fruits.
figs, kiwi, plums,
Vegetables
rhubarb, Beans (wax, dried), beets and beet greens, chives, collard greens, eggplant, escarole, dark greens of all kinds, kale, leeks, okra, parsley, rutabagas, spinach, Swiss chard, tomato paste, watercress
Some Oxalate Triva ***
Oxalate and its acid form oxalic acid are organic acids that are primarily from three sources: the diet, from fungus such as Aspergillus and Penicillium and possibly Candida and also from human metabolism. Oxalic acid is the most acidic organic acid in body fluids and is used commercially to remove rust from car radiators. Antifreeze (ethylene glycol) is toxic primarily because it is converted to oxalate.

JD~:rolleyes:
 

Madkins007

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To add a couple more bits...

In the diet, oxalates block absorption of calcium by bonding with the calcium. How much it blocks is affected by many variables. Heat seems to increase the effect, and vitamin A seems to decrease it. You can experience the basic effect by drinking milk after eating rhubarb. The grittiness you taste is the calcium bonding to the oxalates.

Oxalates can be fatal to humans in high enough doses in plants. Many plants with milky sap or gritty leaves (like rhubarb) are high in oxalates. Many species of tortoises in the wild eat plants so high in oxalates they are considered toxic to humans without visible harm- however, wild torts also seem to frequently have stones.

Oxalate levels in a plant vary- they can be high in stems or leaves and absent in flowers or roots. This is one reason some parts of rhubarb are edible and some are not.
 

telong

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nice share

btw, are jute leaves oxalate loaded?
can't find infos bout these leaves for tortoises.
i've been feeding a lot of these to my torts lately
thanks
 

HtVic

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endive, kale, lettuce,chicory,scarole, dark greens of all kinds, are what tortoise owner usually feed their tortoises
 

Tropical Torts

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HtVic said:
endive, kale, lettuce,chicory,scarole, dark greens of all kinds, are what tortoise owner usually feed their tortoises

This has always puzzled me. I have read about oxalates (Great post btw JD) and the plants listed seem to be what tort keepers feed their animals frequently. It has always bugged me because when I read about their harmful affects it makes me want to stop feeding certain foods however these foods seem to be fed on a regular basis.

What the answer then? Feed collards escarole, dark greens, ect. or no?
If not then whats the alternative?
 

HtVic

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yeah, most important is, even though we feed them certain foods,
out torts seem fine and healthy....
just dont understand
 

Tom

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jrcrist4 said:
HtVic said:
endive, kale, lettuce,chicory,scarole, dark greens of all kinds, are what tortoise owner usually feed their tortoises

This has always puzzled me. I have read about oxalates (Great post btw JD) and the plants listed seem to be what tort keepers feed their animals frequently. It has always bugged me because when I read about their harmful affects it makes me want to stop feeding certain foods however these foods seem to be fed on a regular basis.

What the answer then? Feed collards escarole, dark greens, ect. or no?
If not then whats the alternative?

Alternatives (suitability varies by species and size): Spineless opuntia cactus pads and fruits, various grasses, dry grass hay, a huge variety of weeds (although some of these have relatively high levels of oxalates too), mulberry leaves, grape leaves, hibiscus and rose leaves and flowers, most of the lettuces are low in oxalates, Mazuri tortoise chow, ZooMed grassland or Forrest tortoise foods, Marion red sticks, self grown pasture mixes, clover, alfalfa, pumpkins, squash family leaves flowers and occasionally the squash too, mushrooms, peppers, etc....
 

N2TORTS

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Some key facts need to be remembered with oxalates. Tortoises usually get rid of 98 to 99% of the stuff in their stool and urine provided their gut is not leaky! The biggest issue with oxlates is that if one has a leaky gut you can absorb over 50% of them from the small bowel via the paracellular transport pathway. This is where most large proteins and molecules get absorbed. Oxalate is present in a lot of plants and fruit that tortoises’ eat. The oxalates act much like phyates and bind mineral metals at alarmingly high rates. One beneficial fruit that most tortoises enjoy and work well for a “ Kidney Cleanse” and “Oxalate flush” is watermelon. Watermelon makes a great kidney cleanser because of its high concentration of water. Another key factor for supplements’ , especially Calcium. Calcium helps neutralize oxalates in the diet by binding with oxalate and then passed through the system……

JD~:)
 

Madkins007

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My rule of thumb... I don't worry about oxalates in most foods, I just try to rotate things enough so a high-oxalate food this time is offset by a low one the next couple times. Even high oxalate foods often have enough other benefits that they are OK once in a while.

I find it really interesting that the Reptile Medicine and Surgery book does not make a big deal about oxalates.
 

paludarium

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Hi all,

I think most tortoise keepers come down with oxalate-hysteria. :D I will never apply the study results of the mammals or the human beings on the tortoise. The kidneys of the turtles/tortoises are quite different from those of the mammals.

Accroding to the book "Medicine and Surgery of Tortoises and Turtles":
No clinical cases of oxalate urolithiasis have been documented in reptiles.

I am not sure if the above mentioned statement is true for all reptiles, but so far as I research many of the tortoise studies, I do not find any single report on oxalate urolithiasis of the tortoise. In addition, many tortoises consume plants with high level oxalate in the wild, for example, Oxalis spp. appeares to be an important food item for Homopus signatus signatus in the wild.

I concur that oxalates block absorption of calcium by bonding with the calcium. However, oxalic acid not only combines with calcium, but also with many heavy metals(Cu, Fe...) and mercury(Hg), which may cause poisoning if absorbed through the guts. Maybe that would be one of the benefits the tortoises eat high food Sources Of Oxalates, let along many other precious nutrients or/and contents in those plants. Who knows?:rolleyes:

Regards,
Erich
 

GBtortoises

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Madkins007 said:
My rule of thumb... I don't worry about oxalates in most foods, I just try to rotate things enough so a high-oxalate food this time is offset by a low one the next couple times. Even high oxalate foods often have enough other benefits that they are OK once in a while.

I find it really interesting that the Reptile Medicine and Surgery book does not make a big deal about oxalates.

Ditto!
 

Laura Currado

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Found this wonderful chart that actually lists the oxalic content as well as the Calcium to Phosphorous ratio, plus the protein, fiber, water, and sugar percentages of a ton of greens, fruits, vegetables, etc. We were researching our Uromastyx diet, but found it helpful for our other reptiles.

http://www.moonvalleyreptiles.com/uromastyx/uromastyx-diet/plant-nutrition

Sorry if I've made it more confusing...
 
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