February 8, 2023

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Sally Norton – How Oxalates Can Ruin Your Health

In this interview, Sally Norton, author of “Toxic Superfoods: How Oxalate Overload Is Making You Sick – and How to Get Better,” explains how and why even foods we were once thought healthy can wreak havoc on your health. As the title of the book suggests, the prime culprit in question is oxalate, or oxalic acid, which is found in many plants, beans, grains, seeds and nuts, fruits, berries, and herbs.1

So what are oxalates, why are they so bad, and how are they hidden in these superfoods that so many people consume? In short, it is a naturally occurring toxic, corrosive acid. In this state it is called oxalic acid. When the oxalic acid is associated with minerals, it is called oxalate.

Chemically, it’s a salt, and like other salts, it forms crystals, which your body is naturally limited in its ability to process. For example, calcium oxalate, oxalic acid with attached calcium, forms painful kidney stones.

And unlike some other foodborne toxins, oxalate cannot be removed by cooking, soaking, or fermenting the food. Nor can you simply take a mineral supplement to address the root causes of oxalate breakdown.

Oxalic acid is a dicarboxylic acid, meaning it has two carbons and one oxygen molecule attached to each carbon. “This particular carbolic acid has all sorts of harmful toxic powers when it’s near a membrane,” says Norton. She explains: