LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Food Oxalate: An
To the Editor:
A list of 12 sources of food oxalate
values was published in the April
2006 issue of the Journal (1). Each of
these databases contains a relatively
few number of the over 1,200 food
oxalate values available. Sources of
oxalate data may present values as
either mg/100 g food or mg/serving,
while other sources provide generalized high-, moderate-, and low-oxalate categories of foods. Confusion is
further generated by variation among
databases in values for specific foods,
such as strawberries, peanuts, or tea.
Differences in oxalate values for a
single food may be due to biological
variation attributed to cultivar, time
of harvest, and growing conditions, as
well as analytical differences (2). Considering the many sources of biological and analytical variation, accurate
analytical methods may generate
multiple and varied correct values for
different samples of the same food.
We compiled an aggregate database that includes published food oxalate values from the English language research literature since 1980,
values provided by Ross Holmes for
the Ixion Web site, values provided by
Michael Liebman for the Vulvar Pain
Foundation cookbook (3), values done
by Brzezomski and colleagues (4),
which are included in the compilation
published by the University of California, San Diego, and unpublished
values for 110 foods analyzed in the
authors’ research laboratory for use
in human metabolic feeding studies.
This comprehensive database is
available at the Washington State
University Spokane Web site (www.
Foods from diverse countries are included to allow application of the database by international health professionals and scientists. Values in the
aggregate database are referenced to
The database includes 1,203 foods
presented in a Microsoft Excel
spreadsheet. The entire database is
268 Kb, and may be printed or downloaded. Comments; and suggested additions to the database should be addressed to Linda Massey at massey@
This database is a compilation of
published single values and makes no
attempt to average or compare values
from different sources. However, users should be aware that even if the
specific brand or variety of a food is
specified, it is likely that variation in
oxalate content could exist in different samples of that food due to genetic variations in cultivars, cultivation conditions, parts and ages of the
plant, and/or cooking procedures (2).
Because of the many sources of variation, oxalate values for foods used in
feeding studies should be determined
by direct analysis, with attention to
sources of variation inherent in the
different methodologies used to determine oxalate (2). The methodology
used for oxalate extraction and analysis is given in brackets after each
reference in the database.
Food and nutrition professionals
may access patient-friendly food oxalate tables recently updated from
the aggregate database on the Web
site of the Oxalosis and Hyperoxaluria Foundation (www.ohf.org/docs/
Oxalate2004.htm). The American Dietetic Association’s Nutrition Care
Manual also includes a list of low-,
moderate-, and high-oxalate foods (5).
Previously compiled English language databases in print include The
Low Oxalate Cookbook (3) (www.
Oxalate Content of Selected Foods (4).
The University of California, San Diego values are also reprinted as an
appendix in Modern Nutrition in
Health and Disease, 10th ed (6).
The authors thank the Oxalosis
and Hyperoxaluria Foundation for
funding the development of the aggregate database.
© 2007 by the American Dietetic Association
Susan A. Kynast-Gales, PhD, RD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Program in Health Sciences
Washington State University
Linda K. Massey, PhD, RD
Food Science and Human Nutrition
Washington State University
1. Marcason W. Where can I find information on
the oxalate content of foods [Question of the
Month]? J Am Diet Assoc. 2006;106:627-628.
2. Massey LK. Food oxalate: Factors affecting
measurement, biological variation, and bioavailability. J Am Diet Assoc. 2007;107:11911194.
3. Stoltzfus M, Yount J. The Low Oxalate Cookbook: Book Two. Graham, NC: Vulvar Pain
4. Brzezomski E, Durning AM, Grasse B, Fusselman E, Ciaraldi T. Oxalate Content of Selected Foods. La Jolla, CA: University of California, San Diego; 2002.
5. American Dietetic Association. Urolithiasis/
urinary stones. Nutrition Care Manual Web
site [subscribers only]. Available at: http://
www.nutritioncaremanual.org. Accessed April
6. Shils ME. Modern Nutrition in Health and
Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott
Williams & Wilkins; 2006:2014-2021.
Is Dairy Necessary?
To the Editor:
In the February 2007 research article by Fulgoni and colleagues, some
interesting nutrient intake information is extracted from the Continuing
Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals
and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1). Unfortunately, the authors egregiously use
this data to tout dairy as necessary
for the health of African Americans.
It’s important to note that this research was supported by the National
Dairy Council. This explains the misinformation throughout the article,
including claims that dairy product
consumption aids in weight loss and
building strong bones. The article
also advocates that African Americans unnecessarily suffer through the
pain and discomfort of lactose intolerance for the sake of their health.
While African Americans may con-
Journal of the AMERICAN DIETETIC ASSOCIATION