Modern biochemistry has reversed the older conception as to the behavior of many organic acids in the body. Unlike the mineral acids, such as hydrochloric or sulphuric acid, not all the organic acids function as acids in intermediary metabolism. Some of them are "potential alkalis" in their mode of action; they may protect the body from loss of base. In earlier days the behavior of benzoic acid in the organism served as a sort of "model" for the action of the organic acids as a group. Benzoic acid, C6H5. COOH, though entirely "organic" in its make-up, is not burned up in the body. It tends to conjugate with glycine and is excreted as hippuric acid. When benzoic acid is consumed in undue amounts, some of it may even be excreted as such by the kidneys. Oxalic acid, HOOC.COOH, is another organic acid that seems to resist the
THE FATE OF TARTARIC ACID IN MAN. JAMA. 1933;100(23):1866–1867. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740230044013
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