Episode 55: Oxalates and Bone Health with Julie Olson

Stronger Bones Lifestyle Podcast: Take Control of Your Bone Health

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[2:42] What are oxalates.
[4:33] Seed oil
[6:17] Balance
[8:15] Oxalate studies
[9:57] The gut
[12:15] Leaky gut
[13:34] Vitamin C
[15:00] Demonization of food
[16:07] Collagen
[16:41 Intestinal bacteria/gut microbes
[18:53] Spinach
[21:41] We just don’t know enough about oxalates.
[22:47] Detoxifying nutrients
[24:51] Dietary factors
[26:13] Invalid studies
[27:44] Vegans and vegetarians
[29:00] It is all related
[30:43] What are oxalates made of
[31:46] OAT test
[34:27] Benefits of the high oxalate foods
[38:48] Rhubarb
[39:41] Various studies about oxalate consumption
[45:17] Eating seasonally
[47:35] Cooking for yourself

Julie Olson on Oxalates and How They Can Affect Your Bone and Body Health

In Episode 55 of the Stronger Bones Lifestyle Podcast, host Debi Robinson welcomes back triple-certified nutritionist and functional medicine expert Julie Olson to discuss Oxalates and how they can affect your bone and body health.

Julie ‘s mission is to help women worldwide restore their health, hope and hair naturally to look and feel their absolute best by linking health, lab results and lifestyle to avoid long-term medications, procedures and products. Listen today as she and Debi chat about demonizing bone healthy foods,  the many factors of oxalate intake, the information overload that can happen when you consult “Dr. Google,” and why a healthy gut should be a priority.

Here’s what’s in store this week:

  • How oxalates actually work and why people are scared of them
  • Why oxalates are sometimes called “anti-nutrients”
  • The trick to get your body to remove oxalates, naturally
  • Who is actually affected by high oxalates according to scientific studies (HINT: It’s NOT women with osteoporosis!)
  • How to reduce the impact of oxalates on your body

We hope you join us for this deep dive into Oxalates, including a look at the various studies about Oxalate consumption and a discussion on the importance of finding balance.

"If your gut's not healthy you’re not going only have a problem with absorbing more oxalates than normal you’re going to have a lot of other problems too including bone loss." [11:54]

“It’s not that you shouldn’t eat spinach, its that you need to heal your leaky gut.” [12:45]

“A healthy gut will manage most of this.” [30:14]

“You can’t exclude these foods forever thinking that’s going to be the solution because it’s not. They’re healthy foods. You need to get your gut healthy.” [31:29]

Listen to more episodes on Bone Health and Osteoporosis

Oxalates - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Oxalates, also known as oxalic acid, are naturally occurring compounds found in many plants, vegetables, and fruits. They are part of a plant’s defense mechanism against predators and can be found in high concentrations in foods like spinach, rhubarb, beets, nuts, chocolate, tea, and certain beans.

Regarding bone health, oxalates can bind to minerals such as calcium in the gut, forming calcium oxalate. This compound is not easily absorbed by the body, meaning the calcium that could have been utilized for bone strengthening is instead excreted. This process can potentially lead to lower calcium availability for bone health, which can be particularly concerning for individuals at risk of osteoporosis or other bone-related issues.

However, for most women, dietary oxalates do not pose a significant threat to bone health, especially if their diet is balanced with enough calcium and they do not have a history of kidney stones.

Your gut is crucial for stronger bones for several reasons:

  1. Nutrient Absorption: The gut is where most nutrient absorption occurs. For bones to be healthy and strong, they need a variety of nutrients, particularly calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin D. A healthy gut efficiently absorbs these essential nutrients from your diet and facilitates their transportation to the bones.
  2. Gut Microbiome and Bone Health: Research has shown that the gut microbiome (the community of bacteria living in your intestines) can influence bone density. Certain gut bacteria help in producing short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) like butyrate, which have been shown to promote bone health. SCFAs can enhance the absorption of minerals necessary for bone strength and play a role in reducing inflammation, which can negatively affect bone health.
  3. Hormone Regulation: The gut helps regulate hormones that are involved in bone metabolism, including insulin, thyroid hormones, and sex hormones like estrogen. For example, estrogen is vital for bone density, and gut health can influence estrogen levels through the enterohepatic circulation, where estrogens are processed in the liver and intestines.
  4. Reducing Inflammation: Chronic inflammation, which can stem from poor gut health, is linked to many conditions that compromise bone strength, such as osteoporosis. A healthy gut helps to reduce systemic inflammation, protecting bones from inflammatory damage.
  5. Immune System Modulation: The majority of the immune system is located in the gut. An imbalance in the immune system can lead to autoimmune conditions, some of which affect the bones. Maintaining gut health helps to ensure the immune system works correctly, protecting against autoimmune reactions that could impact bone health.

In essence, maintaining a healthy gut contributes significantly to stronger bones by ensuring the effective absorption of vital nutrients, regulating hormones, reducing inflammation, and supporting a healthy immune system. Therefore, a diet rich in bone-healthy nutrients, prebiotics, and probiotics, along with lifestyle factors that promote gut health, is key to maintaining strong bones.

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