World Journal of Urology

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 324–329 | Cite as

Influence of a high-oxalate diet on intestinal oxalate absorption

  • Diana J. Zimmermann
  • Albrecht Hesse
  • Gerd E. von Unruh
Topic Paper


Hyperoxaluria is a major risk factor for renal stones. In most cases, it is sustained by increased dietary loads. In healthy individuals with a normal Western diet, the majority of urinary oxalate is usually derived from endogenous metabolism. However, up to 50% may be derived from the diet. We were interested in the effect of a high-oxalate diet on oxalate absorption, not merely on the frequently studied increased oxalate excretion. In study I, 25 healthy volunteers were tested with the [13C2]oxalate absorption test once while following a low-oxalate (63 mg) and once while following a high-oxalate (600 mg) diet for 2 days each. In study II, four volunteers repeated study I, and afterwards continued with a high-oxalate diet (600 mg oxalate/day) for 6 weeks. In the last week, the [13C2]oxalate absorption test was repeated. After 4 weeks of individual normal diet, the oxalate absorption test with a high-oxalate diet was performed again. The results of study I show that the mean [13C2]oxalate absorption under low-oxalate diet was 7.9±4.0%. In the presence of oxalate-rich food, the percent absorption for the soluble labelled oxalate almost doubled (13.7±6.3%). The results of study II show that the mean [13C2]oxalate absorption of the four volunteers under low-oxalate diet was 7.3±1.4%. The absorption increased to 14.7±5.2% under 600 mg oxalate. After 6 weeks under a high-oxalate diet, the [13C2]oxalate absorption was significantly decreased (8.2±1.7%). After the wash-out phase, the absorption was again high (14.1±2.2%) under the 600 mg oxalate challenge.


High-oxalate diet Low-oxalate diet Oxalate absorption Oxalobacter formigenes 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana J. Zimmermann
    • 1
    • 2
  • Albrecht Hesse
    • 1
  • Gerd E. von Unruh
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Experimental Urology, Department of UrologyUniversity of BonnBonnGermany
  2. 2.Diabetes Research InstituteMunichGermany
  3. 3.Department of Internal Medicine IUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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