Tomato is considered an oxalic acid and vitamin C-rich fruit and has long been marketed as a food item. Its slightly tangy and sweet taste appeals to all. It is considered an essential component of many cuisines, especially for Indian dishes. Tomato also contains antioxidants, vitamins, and other important nutrients. Tomatoes also contain antioxidants and vitamins.
Now, tomato is a natural source of which acid is often a question and the answer to it is oxalic acid. Their vitamin C content decreases as tomatoes mature, while their oxalic acid content increases. This dietary anti-nutrient is known as oxalic acid. Tomato fruits accumulate considerable amounts of oxalate, as do many cereals, vegetables, and legumes. Vitamin C content in tomatoes decreases with ripening, while oxalic acid content increases.
What exactly is oxalic acid?
Oxalates, also called oxalic acid, are a natural compound that occurs naturally in plants. Our bodies produce oxalates as waste and consume plant-based oxalates through our diet. Oxalate is a chemical compound occurring in almost all plants, including fruit, vegetables, and grains. When plants shed their leaves or bark, oxalate binds with calcium and is disposed of. Almost all plants produce oxalic acid in some form, including fruits, vegetables, and grain plants. More than ten different acids are found in tomatoes, including citric acid, ascorbic acid, malic acid, and oxalic acid. According to “The Kidney Stones Handbook,” oxalate does not serve any beneficial purpose in the human body, and urine and stool are almost entirely excreted as waste.
Role of oxalic acid?
Oxalic acid being the answer to the question “Tomato is a natural source of which acid?” also carries the acidic nature and chelating properties making it an effective nutrient stressor in almost all food crops. An anti-nutrient commonly found in human diets is oxalic acid. Excessive intake of fruits, leafy vegetables, cereals, and legumes is the major oxalate source in animals, including humans. Humans can suffer from primary and secondary hyperoxaluria resulting from consuming oxalate-rich food crops in large quantities. This leads to a decrease in kidney function, a disruption in Gly metabolism, and a reduction in blood coagulability. As a result, oxalate ingestion leads to a variety of kidney-related problems. In the presence of calcium oxalate, oxalic acid precipitates in the kidney, causing kidney stones and hypocalcemia.
What can be done to reduce the effects of oxalic acid on tomatoes?
Many researchers have explained that fruit-specific transgenic expression of OXDC allows oxalate to be decarboxylated and oxalic acid to be removed from tomato fruits. Using genetic engineering to modify the OXDC in tomatoes, we show that increasing bioavailable minerals and micronutrients can be achieved through the management of oxalate. The FvOXDC gene was cloned under the control of a fruit-specific promoter to reduce the oxalic acid content specific to fruits of transgenic tomato plants. In addition to potentially reducing oxalate toxicity, reducing the levels of oxalic acid in food crops would also increase the level of minerals and micronutrients in the body.
What is the risk of kidney stones from eating tomatoes containing oxalic acid?
Tomato seeds are widely believed to cause kidney stones. Do tomato seeds really cause kidney stones? No, it’s nothing but a myth. Tomatoes don’t cause kidney stones. If tomatoes are to blame for kidney stones, it would be alarming to see the number of people who suffer from them globally.
Then where did this myth come from?
Oxalates are responsible for kidney stones, which tomatoes can cause. People do not realize that if one eats 100 grams of tomatoes, they would only have 5mg of oxalates. In addition, kidney stone sufferers are advised to limit their consumption of tomatoes and not completely abstain from them. If you suffer from kidney stones, it’s best to reduce your intake of tomatoes because the regular consumption of tomatoes can lead to kidney stones, which further harm the kidneys and decrease their function. Lycopene, however, is the most important antioxidant present in tomatoes. Lycopene helps reduce free radicals in the body. Various factors can cause oxidative stress. Inflammation of the kidneys is associated with diabetes, hypertension, pollution, and obesity. No matter what disease the kidney is suffering from, oxidative stress is not oxalic acid.
Can a change in diet prevent kidney stones?
Image Source: kidney.org
Each kidney stone is made up of a different type of crystal. Struvite or cystine stones are usually caused by calcium oxalate crystals, uric acid, or calcium oxalate crystals. The most common kidney stones are made up of oxalate crystals. Eliminating tomatoes from your diet will also not help. Some foods like meat will not make you more susceptible to kidney stones. If uric acid excess is present in the body, medication will be prescribed. Several foods are restricted because they contain high levels of purine. Diet, in this case, plays a less important role, and because of this, reducing these foods may not improve the condition unless medications are taken. Also, if you have oxalosis, an inborn metabolic error that prevents your kidneys from removing calcium oxalate crystals from the body, which then cause stones to form in the body, changing your diet will be ineffective. Patients will be prescribed a diet low in oxalates to treat this condition, but medication is the mainstay of treatment. Thus, in other words, as long as you don’t have a family history of kidney stones, or if your physician has recommended, you can limit oxalates in your diet because of a health condition. Tobaccos do contain moderate amounts of oxalate, but they are also an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, biotin, and carotenoids, including lycopene, which may protect against cancers of the skin, lungs, breasts, colons, and prostates, and possibly lower the risk of heart disease and cataracts. As well as containing folic acid, dietary fiber, and vitamin B6, tomatoes contain a lot of dietary vitamin C. Although tomato oxalate content increases with ripeness, so do nutrient contents.