Posted by: miriamjang | February 14, 2008

Oxalates in Breast Milk

This is surprising and can have an important effect on Autistic infants. Here is a message from the expert in low oxalate diets, Susan Owens. Please do look up the effect of oxalates and how important it is to avoid for some Autistic kids. Read on:

Yes, oxalates are in breast milk and there can be a wide range of how much is there. How ironic is it that the company that studied this did so to defend the amount of oxalate in their infant formula, but who was this? It was Nestle….maker of all that marvelous high oxalate chocolate that maybe those moms with the higher oxalate might have been eating!

Of course, I’ve been thinking about this very hard since I realized that I might have been supersaturated with oxalate in my bones because of years of being a spinach addict and being treated with an antibiotic that kills oxalobacter and many months later led to extremely serious problems in my bone marrow, creating the very pathology that is known to happen when oxalates get in bone marrow! I have a LONG listing of the involvement of oxalate in bone and at times causing bone marrow problems, but I do think this serious involvement of bone may be restricted to a certain population, just as kidney stones are.

At any rate, I wonder if this could explain why my daughter lost motor skills within a week of birth and it was downhill from there….that I had a release of oxalate that a week postpartum may account for how weak and lethargic I got and how Grace was suddenly the same. Of course, now I’m realizing that she might have had fibromyalgic pain even as an infant. Are there protections in utero from oxalate that aren’t relevant to breastmilk?

Just a reminder from the “old days” when all I talked about was sulfate….There is a HUGE upregulation of transplacental sulfate to the fetus in the third trimester….something that premies may miss. In the breastfed baby, the sulfate levels are low, but not in the formula fed baby. There may be something we need to think about here in what might help premies avoid developmental delays. It also may be that the higher sulfate in the context of higher oxalate might not be so great for those premies, but sulfate enhanced breast milk might have some positive role in imitating that last trimester.

I would just about give my eye teeth to have a laboratory able to do research in this area.


Oxalate, Citrate, and Sulfate Concentration in Human Milk Compared with Formula Preparations: Influence on Urinary Anion Excretion.

Original Articles
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition. 27(4):383-386, October 1998.
Hoppe, Bernd; Roth, Bernd *; Bauerfed, Christian *; Langman, Craig B.

Background: Nephrocalcinosis is not uncommon in preterm infants, and elevated urinary oxalate excretion is know to be one of the main risk factors. When oxalate excretion was found to be higher in formula-fed than in human milk-fed infants, the formulas’ oxalate content was thought to be responsible.

Methods: the oxalate concentration in human milk (21 samples obtained during lactogenesis; 17 samples obtained during established lactation) and of 16 formula preparation was examined. Citrate and sulfate concentrations were also measured, because both anions influence urinary saturation.

Results: The mean (+/- SE) oxalate content of human milk increased approximately 27% from early lactogenesis (70.4 +/- 6.4 [micro]mol/l) to established lactation (96.4 +/- 9.5 [micro]mol/l; p < 0.05). The latter was not different from the mean oxalate concentration of formula (98.2 +/- 11.4 [micro]mol/l), however a fourfold range of measurements was recorded in both groups. The mean citrate content of human milk increased only slightly after early lactogenesis (2.66 +/- 0.22 mmol/l), but remained significantly lower than in formula (3.34 +/- 0.23 mmol/l; p<0.05). The mean sulfate concentration did not increase and was 13 times lower in human milk (52.1
+/- 9.5 [micro]mol/l) than in formula (688.7 +/- 95.4 [micro]mol/l; p <

Conclusions: The higher oxalate excretion in formula-fed infants is not
because of the milk’s oxalate concentration. Urinary citrate and sulfate
excretion may be influenced by their higher concentrations in formula
preparations, which may be of clinical importance in the population that is
at risk for development of nephrocalcinosis.

(C) 1998 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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Phone: +41 21 320 33 51 | Fax: +41 21 320 33 92 |

This is a medical disclaimer: Please remember that this not meant as medical advice but as a desire to share information. Please always implement treatments under medical supervision. We are cannot be held liable for any of this information.


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