Oxalates and Ozone – An Introduction
Around three months ago, I was so sick I thought I would kick the bucket. Check out. Go belly up.
Things were baaaad. I couldn’t think, walk, or drive. I was lying in bed all day. I couldn’t function. Within 2 months I had lost 26 pounds. Something was destroying my body and mind and I didn’t know what it was and neither did the doctors.
In the end, it was ozone which played a huge part in my recovery.
This life-changing situation made me stumble upon an issue which I believe plays a big role for many chronically sick patients.
This problem can likely explain why many people respond to ozone the way they do. What many take as an ozone induced die-off or Herxheimer reaction could be actually something completely different.
Most people have never heard of it. Yet it is probably the cause of many degenerative diseases, chronic illnesses, and even ageing.
What I’m talking about are oxalates.
Oxalates are sharp, crystal-like structures which we all take in through plant food. They can settle anywhere in our bodies: brain, heart, lungs, blood vessels, joints, you name it. Causing a plethora of symptoms.
From diagnosis, to causes, and treatment — this is an extensive subject which I intend to cover more in depth in future articles.
This post is a first introduction into the topic. In upcoming posts, I will also describe my personal ozone protocol which helped me get from death’s door to being active every day again.
So stay tuned.
What are oxalates?
Oxalates are crystal-like structures that are contained in all plant based foods. All fruits and vegetables contain them. Some to a lesser, others to a larger degree. They’re a type of protection mechanism which plants employ against bugs. Unlike animals, vegetables can’t run away from their predators, so they use oxalates as a type of chemical weapon.
Just as toxic as oxalates can be to worms and insects, they can also do damage to humans.
Calcium oxalate crystals in a urine sample. The sharp edges can damage tissue inside organs and cause chronic inflammation.
What do medical doctors say about oxalates?
According to conventional medicine, oxalates mostly affect kidneys. Around 80% of kidney stones are made of calcium oxalate. Patients with kidney disease are prone to develop oxalate deposits in bones, joints, heart, eyes and skin.
Oxalates have been also found in blood vessels and thyroid tissue in patients with no known history of kidney impairment.
One study has found up to 3-fold oxalate levels in urine samples of autistic kids without any sign of kidney damage.
Acute oxalate poisoning happens after ingestion of anti-freeze (ethylene glycol) which converts to oxalates. The resulting kidney and brain damage can be lethal.
Some people also have a genetic predisposition which results in the internal production of oxalates. It is called primary hyperoxaluria and is also characterized by kidney damage and deposits in bones and blood vessels.
Once in the blood stream, oxalates bind to minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium or phosphorus, leaving deposits in various organs and other tissue.
Too many oxalate crystals in the blood can lead to both calcification or brittle bones. Both are observed in people with genetic hyperoxaluria. Bones become weak because of the mineral loss. At the same time calcification in other parts of the body can take place due to the deposited calcium oxalates.
Once oxalates are stored in the human brain, a whole variety of psychological, cognitive, emotional symptoms emerge. Fine motor skills can become impaired as well.
In this and the following article I will be mainly focusing on secondary hyperoxaluria, which means the occurrence of increased oxalate levels through food intake.
Who develops oxalate issues?
Susan Owens, an independent researcher who has been looking into oxalates for nearly two decades, says there is no such thing as an “oxalate sensitivity”. According to her, we all absorb oxalates through food and deposit them in various organs. The best term to describe this phenomenon is “oxalosis” and it happens to every human being. Some people deposit oxalates to a very small degree which does not lead to any immediate problems. Others absorb the crystals to a much larger degree. The resulting build-up can lead to a whole range of neurological and physical symptoms.
Nuts are among those foods which contain a lot of oxalates. People on a vegan or a paleo diet who consume a lot of nuts are at risk to develop a high oxalate burden. The Facebook group “Trying Low Oxalates” has a good list with high and low oxalate foods.
Reasons for oxalate build-up
Increased absorption of oxalates can happen because of:
Most oxalates which we ingest through food are bound to dietary calcium and are excreted through stool. They leave without creating further problems. Unless there is fat malabsorption. In this case the fat binds to the calcium instead of to the oxalates. There is no remaining calcium to take care of the oxalates and the crystals can end up in the blood stream from where they are transported to various organs.
Inflammation in the digestive tract can thin the colon lining and destroy the protective mucus. This allows oxalate crystals to pass through the gut wall into the blood stream. Inflammation can stem from food sensitivities, infections, or a lack of stomach acid.
In some cases, when there is a lack of Vitamin B6, B1 or zinc, the body can produce oxalates in the liver. One of the ways to study oxalate problems in lab rats is to induce Vitamin B6 deficient. Apparently, this condition can be reversed relatively easily by the appropriate supplementation.
In a healthy human with an intact biome, there are a number of good bacteria which degrade most of the oxalates — so they don’t pose an immediate problem. The majority of oxalates in a person with healthy levels of colon bacteria are excreted through the stool.
In a person with a compromised microbiome oxalates absorption can be as high as 50%.
Why does a microbiome become impaired?
There are several likely culprits:
Anyone who has ever taken antibiotics is at a risk of having impaired gut bacteria. The most important oxalate-degrading bacteria, oxalobacter formigenes, is very susceptible to a variety of common antibiotics. This type of good bacteria isn’t available as a supplement: You can’t buy oxalobacter formigenes as a probiotic. So once it’s gone, it’s gone for good — unless it is re-introduced into your biome through specific procedures like a fecal matter transplant from a healthy donor.
Other oxalate degrading bacteria include bifidobacteria and lactobacillus which can probably make up for a lack of o. formigenes, at least to some degree. Unfortunately, if you have already a high oxalate burden, this can prevent lactobacillus bacteria to settle in, since too many oxalates can also kill lactobacillus bacteria. This can turn into a vicious cycle.
The link between an impaired bacterial population in the colon and oxalate buildup is evident in the fact that the use of antibiotics increases the risk of kidney stones.
• Antibiotics in meat
There’s reason to believe that the antibiotics from meat we eat can negatively impact the bacterial composition of our colon. This article explains the connection between too many antibiotics being absorbed from the consumption of meat from livestock which has been treated with antibiotics and an imbalance among your gut microbiota. Another reason to use organic meats only.
Anyone who ever had amalgam fillings is at risk of having a disturbed gut biome. Mercury — like every other toxic metal — is very good at killing all sorts of bacteria, including gut bacteria. Even after the amalgam fillings have been removed, the mercury is still there. And not only has it killed off the good bugs, but the mercury remaining in the system can make it difficult for the colon to be repopulated again. Mercury can also cause leaky gut, a thinning of the intestinal walls, a problem which may also exacerbate oxalate issues.
• Food poisoning
Incidents of food poisoning can decimate a healthy gut biome, lead to a whole range of food sensitivities, and allow oxalates to be absorbed into the blood stream.
Up to two liters of ozonated water — this has been my breakfast nearly every day of the past three months and counting.
Ozone and oxalates – an uncharted territory
How does ozone get into the picture? Does it help the body get rid of them?
Three months ago when I was so sick that I couldn’t work on my computer, drive, or even walk, ozone was what turned me around.
So yes, I have reason to believe that ozone can play a huge role in clearing oxalates.
How it does that, is as of yet pure speculation. As far as I know, there is no research about oxalates and ozone therapy. A google search doesn’t turn up any information.
The biggest group when it comes to dealing with oxalates is the Trying Low Oxalates group on Facebook. It has nearly 15,000 members and has been founded by the above mentioned oxalate expert Susan Owens. But even there one can not find a single entry on the topic, apart from mine. It appears that I am the only one so far who has connected those two areas.
So everything I write about how ozone could possibly help clear out oxalates is pure speculation.
Inspite of a lack of research, there is no doubt in my mind that ozone helps with oxalates.
Why I think that and which ozone induced symptoms are a probable sign of oxalates leaving, this will be the topic of another article.
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