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Thread: Can topically applied oxalic acid interfere with nutrients?

  1. #1 Can topically applied oxalic acid interfere with nutrients? 
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    Oxalic acid binds nutrients such as calcium, non-heme iron, and zinc. Of course combining sources of these with foods high in oxalic acid results in unavailability, but what happens when the culprit is put on the skin instead of consumed? For instance, if you put on lotion that has oxalic acid and shortly after drink a cup of milk, will the acid prevent the absorption of the calcium in the milk because it is in your bloodsteam?


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  3. #2  
    exchemist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theresa View Post
    Oxalic acid binds nutrients such as calcium, non-heme iron, and zinc. Of course combining sources of these with foods high in oxalic acid results in unavailability, but what happens when the culprit is put on the skin instead of consumed? For instance, if you put on lotion that has oxalic acid and shortly after drink a cup of milk, will the acid prevent the absorption of the calcium in the milk because it is in your bloodsteam?
    You don't want oxalic acid in your bloodstream, or on your skin, in any significant quantity. It's strong enough to burn the skin and is pretty toxic:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxalic_acid. You can get kidney stones from precipitation of calcium oxalate, if you have too much oxalic acid in your diet.

    I did not see any skin preparations containing it on a quick web search. Where did you come across this?


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    Thank you, but I knew all of those things. I wasn't talking about pure oxalic acid. I meant ingredients that contained oxalic acid within themselves, like many types of oils and extracts of fruit. I wanted to know if you needed to consume such ingredients for nutritional binding to occur or if it could also happen by those being applied to your skin.
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  5. #4  
    exchemist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theresa View Post
    Thank you, but I knew all of those things. I wasn't talking about pure oxalic acid. I meant ingredients that contained oxalic acid within themselves, like many types of oils and extracts of fruit. I wanted to know if you needed to consume such ingredients for nutritional binding to occur or if it could also happen by those being applied to your skin.
    OK, sorry, I misunderstood. If you are simply thinking of edible oils and extracts of fruit, I can't imagine there would be a problem, since the amount you'd absorb through the skin would be far less than the exposure by ingestion. Or are you thinking of inedible natural derivatives? If so, what sort of things?
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  6. #5  
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    I mean either. In the case of the inedible ingredients, those like petrolatum and dimethicone. Are you saying that topical oxalic acid can bind nutrients in the case of the inedible ones?
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theresa View Post
    I mean either. In the case of the inedible ingredients, those like petrolatum and dimethicone. Are you saying that topical oxalic acid can bind nutrients in the case of the inedible ones?
    No, I'm saying that edible ones seem very unlikely to have enough oxalic acid in them to cause a problem. Re inedible ones I have nothing to go on regarding the concentration of oxalic acid present, unless you can give more guidance.
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    Many edible ingredients are high in oxalic acid, as are synthetic ones. However, maybe it doesn't matter much for the reason that you have suggested. Although synthetic ingredients in cosmetics penetrate the skin more quickly than natural ones do, it's possible that it is still controlled enough to keep nutritional binding insignificant. Thank you for trying to help.
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  9. #8  
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    The amount of the oxalate in your cosmetic product is likely, as exchemist indicated, way too little to cause any problems. Also, I'm not sure about oxalic acid itself, but naturally-occuring oxalates are very common, such as the metabolite oxaloacetate, which occurs as an intermediate in the citric acid cycle (metabolism of sugars and such), which can also function as a carbon source for different microbes.

    I'm assuming it is a relatively safe product, otherwise they would not sell it to you so easily (FAMOUS LAST WORDS!). But as long as you don't eat it or cover every inch of your body in it 4 times a day, I'm sure you will be fine (although I'm not a doctor, so DON'T take this advice as law)
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