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March 13, 1948

Current Comments

JAMA. 1948;136(11):771-772. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890280039013

THE ROLE OF ACETIC ACID IN METABOLISM  In the oxidation of various food substances in the animal organism, the various metabolites are probably changed to a common substance and each metabolite is oxidized through this substance in a common pathway. Apparently this is the system operative in animal metabolism; the common substance to which foodstuffs are changed appears to be acetic acid or some closely related compound. Ever since the classic studies of Neubauer, Knoop and Dakin some forty years ago, acetate or some closely related compound has been recognized as a principal intermediate in the metabolism of fat. It now appears1 that it may also be an intermediate in the final disposition of carbohydrate. Its accumulation may be demonstrated when pyruvate is incubated with slices of tissue in the presence of fluoroacetate, an inhibitor of further oxidation of acetate. The acetate formed in animal metabolism is