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May 28, 1932


JAMA. 1932;98(22):1886-1887. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730480036013

One of the contributions made by biochemistry during the present century is the demonstration that the reaction of the foods which we eat, that is, their immediate acid or alkaline character, is by no means a dependable index of their behavior in metabolism. Citrus fruits, for example, are acid when tested by the usual methods employed by chemists for this purpose. They exhibit marked acidity toward litmus or many others of the various indicators in current use. This result is due to the well known presence of organic acids, notably citric acid, in such edible products. These acids are, as a rule, oxidized in the body, leaving a residue of basic ingredients to be disposed of. Hence there exists the seeming paradox that an acid food may be potentially alkaline, so far as its behavior in the organism is concerned. On this account it is readily possible to bring about