View Full Version : Vegans and kidney stones

Jan 20th, 2013, 01:25 PM
I was just looking at the wikipedia page on oxalic acid (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxalic_acid), which lists the oxalic acid content of a wide range of processed foods. In particular, I note that members of the spinach family (which I think includes quinoa, fat hen and amaranth) have high content of this substance, which is responsible for causing kidney stones. A quick google search (for 'vegans and kidney stones'), however, has turned up some anecdotal claims from vegans who suffer from chronic kidney stones, but also some suggestions that veg*ism is actually beneficial for this condition and that chronic sufferers should consider adopting a veg*an diet. The wikipedia page on kidney stones (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kidney_stone#Dietary_measures) states that physicians recommend sufferers limit their consumption of both animal protein and oxalate-rich foods, as well as vitamin C.

Any ideas, anyone?

Jan 20th, 2013, 01:46 PM

I can only pass here the anecdotal evidence that I (2 years ago) visited a general practitioner because of pains in my toes, and was shocked to hear that he said it was a light form of gout.

Shocked, because gout (which comes from too much uric acid crystallizing in your joints) is commonly associated with consuming way too much meat (little chance of that for me in the last 25 years), but he informed me that oxalate is also common in a number of processed vegan foods, e.g. mock meat products. (It went away soon with a one-time dose of medication and has not come up ever since).

So yes, I would not underestimate the risk, but if you consume many fresh vegetables instead of mock products and stay away from foods high in oxalic acid, I guess you should be safe. But of course, I am not a doctor nor a nutritionist. Just somebody who has a (potentially related) story to share.

Best regards,

tickled onion
Jan 20th, 2013, 02:00 PM
my son (omnivore) has just been in hospital twice with kidney stones. There are four types of kidney stone, we don't know which his are yet because they have been too tiny to catch and test (only painful in the kidney, not when passed) and we are still waiting for other test results to determine which they are likely to be, but 80% of kidney stones are calcium stones, which can be caused by high oxelate foods. Uric acid stones, 10% of sufferers, are likely caused by high amounts of animal protein, higher levels of alcohol intake and low urine output, my son just having finished 3 years of uni and working long hours in a bar eating crap i'll be surprised if his are due to too much spinach, but if his are calcium stones then there must be a lot more to it than just high oxelate foods.