Do you ever feel like you’re doing everything “right,” but you’re still not feeling your best? Maybe you’ve given up grains, but your symptoms still persist? Or maybe you’ve started experiencing new symptoms?

If your answer is “yes,” then I suggest learning more about oxalates. Because for some, a gluten-free or grain-free diet isn’t enough.

Oxalates are natural compounds found in both plants and humans.

Plants use vitamin C to make oxalic acid, which can bind with calcium to form calcium oxalate crystals. Scientists believe these crystals help protect plants from calcium excess, insects, and infections as well as provide structure.

As humans, we get oxalates from eating plants that make them. Our bodies produce them under certain circumstances as metabolic by-products. And yeast and fungal infections can also contribute to the production oxalates.

However, in humans, oxalic acid and oxalate crystals are not beneficial. For perspective, oxalic acid is capable of removing rust from metal and is used commercially for this purpose. Anti-freeze (a.k.a. ethylene glycol) gets converted to oxalate in humans, which is why it’s toxic if consumed.

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