Oxalic acid (chemical formula HOOC-COOH) is a strong organic acid which is widely distributed in nature in both plants and animals. However, plants contain more than animals. .
Oxalic acid has the ability to form a strong bond with various minerals, such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. When this occurs, the compounds formed are usually referred to as oxalate salts. Thus, “oxalate” usually refers to a salt of oxalic acid, one of which is calcium oxalate.
Although both sodium and potassium oxalate salts are water soluble, calcium oxalate is practically insoluble, which is why calcium oxalate, when present in high enough levels, has the propensity to precipitate (or solidify) in the kidneys or in the urinary tract to form calcium oxalate crystals.
Calcium oxalate crystals, in turn, contribute to the formation of kidney stones. Approximately 75% of all kidney stones are composed predominantly of calcium oxalate. For reasons not yet fully understood, women have a much lower incidence of kidney stones than men.
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