Beet those stones

Published: Tuesday 31 March 1998

Scientists at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and doctors of KEM hospital, Mumbai, India, have successfully demonstrated a process to deplete stone-forming chemicals from the foodstuffs using oxalate oxidase, an enzyme obtained from beet stem and banana peels. Even a small dietary oxalate load in enteric hyperoxaluria patients can lead to a more pronounced excretion of oxalate and consequent stone formation. According to the scientists, the enzymes oxalate oxidase and oxalate decarboxylase could soon be combined as a package for deoxilation purposes. A purified preparation of oxalate oxidase obtained from banana fruit peel or beet stem when added to 100 ml of a 10 per cent homogenous plant material effectively eliminated 70 to 80 per cent oxalate content.

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