All About Oxalates with Susan Costen Owens

by Joanne

in Problem Foods

If you’ve been following mainstream nutritional advice on what vegetables are healthy, or if you’ve been consuming a vegetarian diet for years, you might be getting a high dose of oxalates in your diet. Spinach, chard, mesculin greens, beets, wheat, buckwheat, millet, almonds, sesame seeds, chocolate, carob, tea, and soy milk are all high-oxalate foods.

Conditions that could cause oxalates to build up in your body include leaky gut, poor fat digestion, chronic diarrhea or constipation, and use of antibiotics causing destruction of gut bacteria. A buildup of oxalates in the body interferes with many metabolic processes and contributes to problems such as autism, ADD, COPD, asthma, cystic fibrosis, vulvodynia, autoimmune diseases such as fibromyalgia and hypothyroidism, low energy, chronic pain, and delayed healing of injuries. Oxalates also interfere with the absorption and regulation of calcium.

Oxalate is an antinutrient that is present at higher levels in some plant foods like spinach, nuts, and chocolate, but it is also a mitochondrial toxin and neurotoxin, and impairs calcium and iron regulation, all biotin-dependent enzymes, and many other enzymes. — Susan Costen Owens

In this interview we discuss oxalates in detail and how they affect cell biology. Learn how reducing oxalates in your diet may help you improve your health and energy levels, heal chronic injuries, reduce symptoms of autism, eliminate kidney stones, which simple mineral you can add to your meals to bind oxalates and prevent their absorption, which vitamin and herb in high doses can increase oxalates in your body, and the role of gut bacteria in metabolizing oxalates.

The good news is that many have found that once they reduced their bodily burden of oxalates, foods they were previously sensitive or allergic to no longer caused problems and could be eaten again.

Total time: 67 minutes.


Click to listen to part 1 of this interview or right-click to download MP3 file.

Click to listen to part 2 of this interview or right-click to download MP3 file


Susan Costen Owens has lectured widely, both nationally and internationally. This graduate of Vanderbilt University with a masters degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Texas in Dallas has fifteen years of experience in autism research. She realized six years ago that the gut inflammation and leaky gut in autism and other developmental disorders would lead to increased absorption of oxalate from the diet with unknown consequences. Through her project at the Autism Research Institute, this diet has led to the loss of the autism diagnosis in some children and improvements in pain, cognition, growth, motor skills, gastrointestinal function, and social interaction in countless others. Her internet group, Trying Low Oxalates, has grown to more than 3000 people, including those with celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, myotonic dystrophy, Rett syndrome, MHE, bariatric surgery, short bowel syndrome, chronic pain syndromes like fibromyalgia, vulvodynia and bone pain, chronic fatigue, autoimmune conditions, and many other conditions, taking the study of oxalate’s relationship to disease far beyond the familiar turf of kidney stone disease.

Links in Interview

The Low Oxalate Cookbook: Book two
Low Oxalate Diet Website
The Vulvar Pain Foundation
How to Dissolve Kidney Stones YouTube video

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