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Citric Acid

Published on , Last Updated on October 21, 2010

Citric acid is an organic acid but not to be confused with Vitamin C, which is ascorbic acid. Despite this minor point of misunderstanding, citric acid is found in many citrus fruits: pineapples, gooseberries, limes, plums, lemons, peaches, oranges, and grapefruit.

Carl Wilhelm Scheele first isolated citric acid from a lemon in 1784 utilizing the fungus Aspergillus niger. Scheele had an odd habit of actually tasting various substances as he “discovered” them and it’s easy to see how this could be detrimental to one’s health, as he went on to independently isolate “. . . barium (1774), chlorine (1774), manganese (1774), molybdenum (1778), and tungsten (1781), as well as several chemical compounds, including citric acid, glycerol, hydrogen cyanide . . . hydrogen fluoride, and hydrogen sulfide.” 1

Citric Acid

Citric acid is helpful for the body because:

  • Helps prevent urinary tract infections
  • Can be used as a natural preservative in lieu of chemicals
  • Facilitates energy production within cells [as explained below]
  • A great natural astringent (instead of alcohol)
  • Helps regulate pH in the digestive tract
  • Promotes efficient digestive function
  • Aids in the removal of toxins from the body
  • Prevents dysentery, diarrhea, and other bowel diseases
  • Helps breakdown fatty foods and increases appetite

Interestingly, citric acid in a slightly modified form (Potassium citrate) can suspend the human heartbeat for greater facility during surgery and is also being applied successfully to leach harmful metals from the soil in landfills. Nearly ¾ of all citric acid produced in the United States is used in consumable products (foods and beverages), while the remaining portion is employed for the manufacturing of household detergents and various industrial applications.

Regarding its health benefits, citric acid is normally referenced as a byproduct of the Citric Acid Cycle (also known as the Krebs cycle) which is one of the three types of cellular respiration in human metabolism. Without the Citric Acid Cycle, we would be literally power-less with no energy for running, studying, playing, working, exercising or whatever you need to do. Read on!

The Citric Acid Cycle Explained:

1. Eating gets it going

Whenever you consume anything (but especially fats, carbs, and sugars), the food must be converted into a basic form of energy within the mitochondria so our bodies can make use of them. Food is metabolized into acetyl groups consisting of 2 atoms of carbon, 1 atom of oxygen, plus 1 atom of hydrogen. Acetyl groups combine with 4-carbon oxaloacetate molecules to produce the 6-carbon citric acid molecules.

2. Breathing adds oxygen to the fire

Citric acid is covalent which means it readily shares its electrons with other molecules. Two of its carbon atoms are used to create carbon dioxide (a waste product of human respiration) while 4 remaining electrons are freed to form ATP (adenosine triphosphate), Creatine phosphate, and Guanosinetriphosphate, all of which are basically energy molecules for the body to power its various chemical processes.

3. The perpetual engine of metabolism

Along the way, ATP combines with oxygen to form water—perhaps the most essential element of all. Amazingly, one of the final results of the Citric Acid Cycle is the production of a new oxaloacetate molecule. In theory, your body can harvest energy from food unceasingly as long as you keep eating and supplying fresh water to keep cells healthy and functional.

4. Interference

Of course, cells can become damaged by any number of environmental factors, poor dietary habits, and lifestyle choices, including:

  • Smoking
  • Consuming alcohol (a poison), junk food, and processed foods
  • Taking drugs of any kind (including medications)
  • Exposing yourself to pollution, smog, or toxic water and soil
  • Too much or too little sunlight
  • Not exercising on a regular basis
  • Not staying hydrated by drinking purified water
  • Radiation from electromagnetic sources (televisions, old CRT computer monitors, microwaves, and especially cellphones)

Many factors of a modern, highly industrialized lifestyle contribute to the incidence of disease, a lessening of overall health quality, and especially to impaired digestive function. Besides the prevalence of chemical toxins in our natural environments, any processed foods you eat likely contain a variety of pesticides, artificial flavoring agents and preservatives, fillers, unnecessary additives, unfiltered minerals, and even intentional modifications (such as fluoride in drinking water). All of these non-natural substances function as just extra toxins for the body to remove.

This is why it’s so important to consume only organic foods such as raw vegetables, fresh fruit, and purified water. Your colon creates mucous as a defensive measure to these harmful foods. Over time, the mucous can build up to such a degree your colon becomes impacted, constricted, or weakened and thus physiologically impaired and then you can no longer absorb enough nutrients from your food to maintain proper health.

Clinical studies have demonstrated the efficacy of using oxygen based colon cleansers over traditional remedies such as laxatives or enemas. Colon cleansing with oxygen not only helps to eliminate impacted waste matter, but this method oxygenates internal organs and the bloodstream as well.

Citric acid helps to facilitate the production and subsequent delivery of oxygen and is thus a valuable component of Oxy-Powder®. In addition, as described above, the inclusion of citric acid leads to increased production of ADP and ATP and we could all certainly benefit from having more energy.

Actually, the Citric Acid Cycle cannot occur without the presence of oxygen because this element is vital for the transport and “sharing” of electrons, which in turn leads to the production of energy for the entire body. It’s easy to see how increasing the level of ambient oxygen is great for streamlining metabolic function and optimizing general health. Therefore, organic citric acid is a perfect choice for complementing the other amazing ingredients of Oxy-Powder®!

1 Wikipedia. “Carl Wilhelm Scheele.” Online. Modified: 8 Mar 2
Posted In: Research
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