Death by Juicing?

By Ted

It is true when people say too much of anything can kill you.

Turns out even juicing can kill a person, and has indeed, killed at least 3 people including the a person who was the focus of a recent case report and review published in the American Journal of Medicine.

But, I thought juicing was supposed to be ultra-healthy from getting mega-doses of vitamins and minerals?

Well, juicing can certainly be a good way to get vitamins and minerals, but juicing the wrong way can be deadly.

death-by-juicing

The patient in question died from renal failure due to ingesting too much oxalate from her juicing practices.

Basically her kidneys filled with calcium oxalate and could no longer function.

I am all too familiar with calcium oxalate!

That is one of the most common kidney stone forming substances and I have had 3 painful birthings in my lifetime.

I was told by my doctor to watch my consumption of oxalate forming foods and liquids as well as to drink more water.

It’s unclear from the abstract just how much this patient was juicing… (i.e. a complete juice diet, or just as a supplement to his/her diet), but to be ingesting that many oxalates, juicing was probably a pretty dominate part of the patient’s diet.

Juicing as a Supplement

Juicing should serve as a supplement to the diet, not the whole diet or the most dominate feature of a diet.

I think smoothies are better than juicing because more nutrients are derived from the fruits and vegetables as well as all the fiber is maintained.

However, juicing can be a healthy way to supplement a healthy diet with more antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Just be smart about the way you do it.

Some juicing tips…

  • Don’t juice the same fruits and vegetables all of the time. Think outside the box and try new recipes.
  • Avoid only making juices with high sugar fruits like apples, grapes, and oranges.
  • Use a professional style juicer that can extract the most nutrients from the produce.
  • 1 juice a day is generally a good target.
  • Avoid a high concentration of high oxalate fruits and vegetables, especially if you are a kidney stone former.

What are high oxalate fruits and vegetables?

Most fruits and vegetables commonly used for juicing contain some oxalates, but a few are pretty high.

high-oxalate-foods

source: http://www.ohf.org/docs/OxalateContent092003.pdf

Limiting the fruits and vegetables above can help reduce the overall oxalate levels of your juice.

In any event, juicing in moderation will unlikely cause any problems and likely benefit health. However, people who drink nothing but juice as part of some extreme diet should be aware of how much oxalate they are consuming daily.

Do you juice? Do you have a recipe to share?

3 Comments

  1. Linda K. Lester

    For every new diet craze, there’s people who overdo it. An overweight friend of mine jumped on the juicing bandwagon and I have a hard time discouraging him, because the juices are good for you. I would have much preferred that he ate the actual fruits and vegetables, but compared to the diet he normally eats, this is leaps and bounds toward the right direction. I gently try to tell him about fiber and a balanced diet. Personally, I don’t juice because I hate wasting food, and with juicing you throw away a lot of nutritious sustenance.

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  2. Spectra

    This is why I prefer smoothies over juicing–the fiber in the smoothie prevents you from absorbing all the nutrients at once. I think juices are great IN MODERATION, but I know people who drink two or three large glasses of fresh juice per day and it’s almost too much.

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  3. O.

    Well that’s too bad that people died. You really need to eat solid food unless you have your jaw wired shut or something.

    Reply