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Article
March 14, 1925

THE FATE OF ORGANIC ACIDS IN THE BODY

JAMA. 1925;84(11):817. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02660370027015
Abstract

Certain dietary articles contain considerable quantities of organic acids or their salts. Oranges, lemons and grapefruit, for example, are rich in citric acid; grapes contain potassium acid tartrate; apples are among the group that includes malic acid; many other fruits contain succinic acid; and benzoic acid also is not unknown in such products. When a person ingests an inorganic acid, such as hydrochloric acid, this compound functions as an acid in the metabolism. It cannot be destroyed there, and at best deleterious acidic reactions can be averted through the neutralization the ingested substances undergo. As a consequence, there is obviously a compensatory readjustment of the acid-base equilibrium in the body. Modern biochemistry has made it clear, on the other hand, that organic acids do not necessarily function in the same manner. Some of them are readily oxidized in the organism whereby they soon lose their identity as acids and may

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