Citric acid, also called citric acid or citric salt, is a tri-carboxylic acid that plays an important role in the metabolism of all organisms that metabolize in the presence of oxygen, mainly by participating in the so-called Krebs cycle, which is also known as the citric acid cycle, It is the final step in the process of converting all nutrients that give energy, such as amino acids, fatty acids, and sugars, into energy that the cells of the body use to carry out their daily tasks, as 95% of the human body’s energy is made during the presence of oxygen in the cells through the citric acid cycle, This acid is used as a preservative, as a flavoring, as an emulsifier, or as a neutralizing agent for acids or bases, and therefore it is widely used in many sectors, including the food industry, especially the beverage industry, and the cosmetic and pharmaceutical sectors, and citric acid is available in many food sources. Citrus fruits, such as lemons, oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, pomegranate fruits, and their juices are among the best natural sources of citric acid, and there is also an It is also used in some other fruits such as strawberries, pineapples, and berries, and it is also used in the manufacture of many foods, including ice cream, caramel, baked goods, and manufactured sweets, in addition to some vegetable and fruit products, as it is used as a preservative in these foods to give it a period Longer shelf life.
Citric acid benefits
Benefits of citric acid according to the strength of scientific evidence
Benefits possess strong scientific evidence
Reducing the risk of developing kidney stones and reducing their size: Kidney stones are one of the diseases prevalent in various parts of the world, and the risk of infection increases in people who have low levels of citrate in the urine, and a review of 7 studies showed and was published in the Cochrane database of systematic reviews In 2015, that taking citrate salts, such as potassium citrate, or sodium and potassium citrate, or magnesium and potassium citrate, may contribute to an increase in the levels of citrate in the urine, which helps reduce the risk of new stones forming in the kidneys, as well as inhibits the growth of existing stones, and reduces Of its size, but it should be noted that more studies are still needed to confirm the effectiveness of citric acid or citrate salts in reducing the risk of developing kidney stones and reducing their size.
Reducing physical fatigue: In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition in 2007, and included 18 volunteers, it was found that taking citric acid reduces fatigue and physical fatigue.
Benefits have less strong scientific evidence
* Enhancing the absorption of nutrients: A study published in the Journal of Mineral and Electrolyte Metabolism showed that consuming citric acid contributes to an increase in the absorption of calcium and phosphorous elements in the intestine, in addition to that it promotes the deposition of these elements in the bones, which may contribute to an increase in bone mineral density.
Maintaining the health of the brain and liver: A study conducted on mice, published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2014, showed that consuming citric acid may contribute to reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain and liver, as well as it may help reduce the breakdown and breakdown of DNA.
Maintaining heart health in people with ischemic heart disease: One study conducted on mice, published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2013, showed that consuming citric acid and malic acid may contribute to reducing the risk of reperfusion damage. This may affect patients with ischemic heart disease, and this benefit may be attributed to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of citric and malic acids.
Uses of citric acid
Citric acid is widely used in many food industries, as it is used as an antioxidant in the manufacture of animal oils and fats, as an emulsifier, and as an acidic agent in dairy products, as it is used as a stabilizer in vegetable and fruit juices, and as a factor to degrade enzymes during the production of frozen fruits, as it adjusts the degree of Acidity during the manufacture of gelatin sweets, jelly, and jam, as an addition to flavor in soft drinks and ice cream, and as a preservative in some canned foods, and citric acid is used in some cosmetic industries. It is included in personal care products, hair sprays, deodorants, soaps, detergents, and lipstick, and it may be used medicinally due to its anti-bacterial properties, and it is also used in cleaning products, and to get rid of coffee and tea stains, but it should be noted that products that contain acid Citric is dependent on water and may corrode some metals, so it is recommended to dry the metal well after cleaning it to protect it from rust.
Damage to citric acid
Degree of safety
The Food and Drug Administration classifies synthetic citric acid as generally safe, but there are still no scientific studies looking into the safety of using synthetic citric acid when consumed in large amounts and for long periods.
The use of citric acid may cause some problems and side effects, including the following:
* Skin irritation: The use of citric acid may cause stinging, swelling, or skin irritation when in contact with it for long periods.
* Eye pain: The entry of citric acid in the eye causes severe burning, and it is advised to wash the eyes well with water for several minutes, and contact lenses must be removed if wearing them.
* Dental problems: Drinking drinks and sweets that contain citric acid may remove a layer of tooth enamel, which makes the teeth more sensitive and turns their color yellow in addition to increasing the risk of tooth decay.
* Stomach disorders: Taking some medications containing citric acid may cause some side effects such as nausea and vomiting, and sometimes the effects can be more severe and include dizziness, depression, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, and fatigue. The sensation of tingling or numbness in the hand or foot, and it is worth noting the need to contact a doctor if any of these symptoms are felt.