GAINESVILLE, FL; January 20, 2017 – Captozyme Inc., a biotechnology company based in Gainesville, FL, recently raised $3.4 million. Captozyme plans to invest this money into the manufacturing and launch of Nephure, an oxalate-degrading enzyme to facilitate a low-oxalate diet.
“We are humbled by the confidence put in us to continue our research and develop products and aid us in getting these products to the marketplace,” says Aaron Cowley, CEO of Captozyme. “Our team has spent significant time and effort in making our products live up to the expectations of our most important stakeholders, the people who are currently struggling on a low-oxalate diet.”
A low-oxalate diet and normal consumption of calcium is useful in normalizing relatively high urinary oxalate. Sticking to the diet can be hard, especially when there can be a wide range of discrepancies online about what food is generally considered oxalate rich. Nephure’s goal is to make being healthier, easier; it takes away this uncertainty by breaking down the oxalate compound in food.
A low-oxalate diet should limit oxalate intake to 40 to 50 mg each day, though in the USA oxalate intake is estimated to average 150-200 mg each day. Captozyme’s pre-clinical data of Nephure features:
- 40-60% reduction in urinary oxalate when administered to dogs with high urinary oxalate
- Successful creation of oxalate-free craft beer and ready to drink tea and juices
Captozyme is a biotechnology company that is dedicated to helping people better manage their diets and overall health. Through Nephure they have created a product that allows people to enjoy the food they love without the consequences of adding oxalate to their body. Learn more about Captozyme at Captozyme.com and stay up to date on Nephure for when it launches in the summer.
When physicians suggest diets for patients struggling with calcium-oxalate kidney stones, a low oxalate diet is often recommended. However, for vegetarians, this can pose a problem for their lifestyle, as some of the items with the highest levels of oxalate are vegetables or grains, and therefore make such a diet difficult to balance while still staying healthy with other nutrients. Hope is not lost for vegetarians though, and the following is a collection of some tips for a low oxalate diet that doesn’t require you to bite into the forbidden meats.
First, the oxalate content of plants can change depending on the way they’re planted and grown, and can also have their oxalate reduced by boiling or steaming the vegetables, especially the leaves of leafy greens, and then discarding the water. So it’s recommended that if you are going to eat greens with lots of oxalate, to prepare them in this fashion to decrease the amount of oxalate you’re consuming. With that in mind, the list below will describe what to avoid for certain kinds of foods, and what to eat instead to keep a low oxalate diet.
All-bran cereals, and most cereal advertising wheat or grains. Frosted mini-wheats, and most fruit cereals.
Eggs, Coconut flour muffins or pancakes, yogurt with mixed fruit (no granola).
Beans, beets, raw carrots, okra, rhubarb, parsnip, spinach (raw or cooked), tomato sauce, turnips, or yams.
Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, corn, cucumber, lettuce, mushroom, onions, pickles, radish, scallions, green pepper, or zucchini.
In small amounts, eating asparagus, cooked carrots, brussel sprouts, celery, and string beans are acceptable.
Almost all nuts and seeds except for flax seed, peanut butter, desserts such as brownies, cake, chocolate syrup and fudge, and avoid all potato chips.
Fig bars, graham crackers, saltines, Triscuits, wheat thins with reduced fat, apple butter, and Ritz crackers. For dessert, jello, Popsicles, sherbet, and vanilla pudding are good alternatives.
Hot chocolate, lemonade, brewed black tea, or V8 juices.
Other fruit juices such as apple juice, orange juice, or pineapple juice. In reasonable servings, these are fine. Though slightly controversial, it has been recently argued that coffee has a relatively low oxalate content, and is safe to drink. The most important thing in a low oxalate diet however is to drink lots of water.
Kiwis, dates, raspberries, star fruit, canned and dried pineapple, and dried figs.
Apples, grapes, lemons, peaches, plums, watermelons, fresh pineapple, strawberries, bananas, pears, or cherries.
Tofu, veggie burgers, lasagna, spaghetti, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and pasta.
White rice, macaroni & cheese, popcorn, salads, any of the low oxalate vegetable mentioned, Santa Fe bean salad with black-eyed peas instead of black beans, rice and peas, and eggs in meals are all just a few options.
While it seems like a difficult hurdle to pass, a low oxalate vegetarian diet certainly is not impossible, and there are people willing to help. While most of the items listed were common foods, there are still more foods that have both high and low oxalate contents. So be sure to do some research and ask your doctor for a list of high oxalate foods, and take some time to look into more possible meals yourself.
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Nutrition Department Retrieved from the URL: https://regepi.bwh.harvard.edu/health/Oxalate/files
Norris, Jack, Oxalate, December 2013. Retrieved from the URL: http://veganhealth.org/articles/oxalate
Heidi, Low Oxalate Meal Plans for the Low Oxalate Diet, Low Oxalate Info, October 12, 2012. Retrieved from the URL: http://lowoxalateinfo.com/low-oxalate-meal-plans-for-the-low-oxalate-diet/
While Captozyme is currently working on developing ways to decrease the prevalence and inconvenience of calcium oxalate kidney stones, there are simple strategies or habits that anyone can do to decrease the risk of forming a kidney stone. Although many do not even think about the dangers of developing kidney stones, they can be an extremely painful experience, and are worth trying to avoid. There is also an increased risk for those with a family history of kidney stones, which can be decreased through simple changes in one’s lifestyle.
So what can you do to help prevent kidney stones in general? One extremely simple step is to increase liquid consumption. The type of liquid matters, as the oxalate in beverages such as sweet tea lead to an increase in risk, while beverages such as coffee decrease the risk of stones. It is recommended to drink anywhere from two and half to three liters of liquid per day, mostly consisting of water. Also, maintaining a normal intake of calcium in one’s diet helps, along with the decrease of salt, animal-protein, and foods filled with oxalate. The recommended amount of oxalate in foods that should be consumed in order to reduce oxalate kidney stones is forty to fifty milligrams of oxalate a day. Some vegetables that are low in oxalate are as follows; peas, mushrooms, cucumbers, radishes, and cabbage.
In summary, it is recommended to exercise and keep a healthy diet that contains the suggested daily intake of calcium and liquids, while being low in oxalate, salt and animal-protein. There are also medical supplements being developed by companies such as Captozyme that are working to ensure that you no longer have to fear the pain of a kidney stone.