Health Blog Post:

Oxalates and their interference with the absorption of nutrients
8/14/2016

Post Below
8/14/2016 - Oxalates and their interference with the absorption of nutrients (Health)

    Hide/Show:


   ▲ Top  ▼ Bottom  △ TOC
Oxalates and their interference with the absorption of nutrients
Sunday, August 14th, 2016
01:39:27 GMT

Health

(Here's my site's disclaimer again, since this blog post is about health-related topics, and I'm not a health care professional, just a layperson who sometimes takes an interest in health and nutrition.)


Since earlier this year or late last year, and also on occasion even as far back as 2006, I've sometimes had jaw aches, mostly on the right side. Fortunately, that has been scarcely bothersome at all compared to my headaches.

However, earlier this year, sometimes I mistook that jaw pain for possible toothaches in my top and bottom backmost right teeth - except usually the ache felt more spread out rather than localized to my teeth. (I was similarly confused by some sore spots on my gums which were quite probably from gum disease - but I think that's probably a problem separate from my jaw pain, since my gum issues mostly went away months ago thanks to Vitamin C.)

When I saw the dentist in February, I found out the only cavities I had were on the opposite side of my mouth, and they were all so small I didn't even need to be numbed to get them filled.

I almost couldn't believe there was nothing wrong with my right backmost top and bottom teeth. But, the pain wasn't consistent, and it seemed like drinking enough liquids and taking magnesium helped. (Taking magnesium, Vitamin C, and drinking more liquids were all ideas I found and tried on my own - none of those were suggested to me by the dentist.)


However, my jaw aches have been more of a problem lately, especially the past few weeks. Usually the effects of magnesium on me had been far more noticeable - in addition to seeming to probably reduce my jaw pain and rid me of some annoying twitches near my right eye, it made me feel calmer and better able to sleep, and it sometimes made me feel very tired if I took it anytime I wasn't well-rested.

But lately, I've been feeling like magnesium hasn't been working as well for me.

So, that made me wonder if somehow some new factor in my nutrition (or life) was making me extra deficient in magnesium.


A while back, when reading about chicory (one of the main ingredients in Teeccino, an excellent "herbal coffee"), I ran across this page which said chicory is high in oxalates and not recommended for people with arthritis or who are prone to kidney stones.

So, I started reading about oxalates, and found this page which quoted some unknown other source which said:

“oxalates strongly bind to minerals and vice versa (e.g., calcium, magnesium, zinc and potassium), and reduces the absorption of your minerals as they both come out via your urine.”

And the Antinutrient page on Wikipedia also mentions oxalates.


I also somehow ran across stuff related to Vitamin C and oxalates, such as this page, which says "vitamin C can be metabolized to oxalate".

That interested me because I had started taking two 500 mg Vitamin C's per day back in April, since it seems to tremendously help with my possible gum disease.

But, I think it wasn't until the past few weeks that magnesium started to seem significantly less effective for me.

Maybe some of my ailments are side effects of quitting caffeine. It's hard to judge since I didn't carefully log exactly what things happened when.


But, my current top theory is that maybe all the extra oxalates I've likely been getting lately from Teeccino and (to a lesser extent) from Vitamin C have maybe been interfering with my magnesium absorption.

Though I've also read that even just being extra stressed out can contribute to magnesium deficiency, and that could definitely also be a factor for me.

(Addition, Aug. 15, 2016, 5:08 AM EDT. This blog post I found describes a slow recovery from caffeine withdrawal which took up to 5 months! So, I now think it's very possible that caffeine withdrawal is a bigger factor in my ailments than I realized before.

Here's a blog post by me where I've been adding updates on my efforts to quit caffeine, or at least reduce how much I consume.)


Anyway, since Teeccino lacks caffeine and thus isn't addictive, it will be easy for me to experiment at some point with temporarily abstaining from Teeccino.

And also, now that I've sampled the majority of Teeccino flavors, I'll be less likely to drink more than one mugful per day. A lot of why I drank so much was simply to try all the new (to me) flavors as soon as possible.

But, I quite like Teeccino, so for now, I'd like to keep drinking it daily, and find a good way to adjust my diet to compensate for the possibly higher amounts of oxalates I've been consuming.


This aforementioned page says near the top that "High doses of vitamin B6 may decrease oxalate production".

So, perhaps having more Vitamin B6 might help me. For years, off and on, I have been taking Nature Made Stress B (which also contains Vitamin C and zinc). But I often have neglected to take it, since it tends to upset my stomach unless I eat something soon before (or soon after) taking it. I usually don't eat a large breakfast, so I can't just take Stress B first thing in my "morning" (or whatever equates to morning for me, due to my severe sleep issues).

I'll just have to do a better job of remembering to take Stress B after I eat enough food.


I already tried taking extra magnesium. A few weeks ago I started taking Nature Made magnesium citrate (except, unlike that page, my bottle just says "Softgels" instead of "Liquid Softgels").

I got magnesium citrate because I read in various places that some forms of magnesium are better-absorbed than others.

But I was surprised at how little effect magnesium citrate seemed to have on me compared to magnesium oxide. It's reputed to be better-absorbed than magnesium oxide, and (until lately), even just 1 Nature Made magnesium oxide seemed to have very noticeable effects on me, sometimes making me feel very tired about 2 hours after taking it (unless I'm well-rested enough that it just makes me feel more relaxed and calm).

However, I started taking magnesium citrate around the same time I started drinking Teeccino, so, maybe that's why the magnesium citrate seemingly doesn't have very noticeable effects on me.


I also tried extra Nature Made magnesium oxide. At times, it seemed to do surprisingly little for me - at one point, I tried taking 3 at once, and didn't feel much difference. Though at another point, I tried taking 2 at once, and a few hours later, it seemed to make me feel crappy (literally).

So, I think maybe I'd rather get extra magnesium from my diet instead of supplements, or at least just avoid taking more than 1 magnesium oxide at a time.

I've continued to take 1 serving of Nature Made magnesium citrate daily (in my "morning", usually). But, judging by my jaw aches, I suspect I need even more magnesium than that.


Perhaps another good approach might be to consume additional amounts of other nutrients that oxalates are reputed to interfere with the absorption of.

This page suggests consuming more calcium.


And this page says:

"When you're taking magnesium, you need to consider calcium, vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 as well, since these all work synergistically with one another. "

Unfortunately, judging by this other page, Vitamin K2 sounds like it might be a nutrient which might be hard to get directly in a purely vegetarian diet. (Reminds me of the difficulties with getting some forms of Omega 3 in purely vegetarian ways.)

However, this page points out various things suggesting that it might be possible for the body to convert Vitamin K1 into Vitamin K2.

I hope that's possible, since I'm pretty fond of kale (which has a lot of Vitamin K), and I could (and probably should) eat kale more frequently.

(Additions, Aug. 14/15, 9:41 PM/12:46 AM EDT. There seems to be conflicting info on the web about whether kale is high in oxalates or not. Here's a page that says it's low in oxalates. I tried to find the Harvard data that page referred to, and found something, though I don't know whether or not that's what that page was talking about. But the file "Oxalate Content of Foods.xls" says kale is low oxalate, with 2 mg of oxalates.)

I also am fond of gouda cheese, but it's kind of expensive, and I still feel guilty about not being 100% vegetarian.


I wish I could have figured out the perfect cure(s) for my various ailments before posting this. But, oh, well.

Magnesium not having such a strong effect on me as it used to was just such an unusual difference for me that it seemed worth investigating and writing about, even though I'm not a health care professional nor anyone else who is officially licensed to come up with theories about any of these topics.

As more details come to light, I might update this post in the future.

   ▲ Top  ▼ Bottom  △ TOC


    Hide/Show: