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What Is Citric Acid?

Written by Dr. Group, DC Founder
Citric acid can be found in lemons.

Have you ever read a food or supplement label, saw that it contained citric acid, and wondered what the heck citric acid is? Though the name sounds half-natural half-synthetic, citric acid is a wonderful natural ingredient that can boost detoxification and support healthy digestion, energy levels, and kidney function. Here, we’ll take a look at this intriguing ingredient and explain how the right type of citric acid can benefit your health.

What Is Citric Acid?

Citric acid is an organic acid found most abundantly in fruits (especially citrus fruits) like lemons, limes, grapefruit, pineapples, and oranges. Its chemical formula is C6H8O7. This organic acid was first isolated from a lemon using Aspergillus niger (a fungus) in 1784 by Carl Wilhelm Scheele. Since then, it has been considered safe for consumption and has GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status from the FDA.

However, just because citric acid was originally isolated from a lemon doesn’t mean it comes from lemons anymore. In fact, most of the citric acid that's commercially used by the food processing industry as a preservative is isolated from GMO-corn and cultivated on mold.

How Citric Acid Affects Your Body and Why You Need It

Citric acid also offers certain benefits when it's taken as a supplement. Citric acid encourages normal cellular respiration in human metabolism, which means that it plays a key role in igniting the metabolic process to create energy. Without it, the entire energy-producing mechanism in the body is inefficient, and the body is no longer vital enough to heal and detoxify.

In addition to its internal benefits, citric acid is also good for your skin. Citric acid is highly astringent; when it’s applied topically, it can temporarily shrink your pores, reduce oiliness and breakouts, regenerate skin cells, lighten and brighten skin, and even out skin tone. For these reasons, it’s commonly found in facial packs and masks.

Is Citric Acid Safe for Everyone?

Though it has coveted GRAS status from the FDA, and is safe in small amounts, too much citric acid can cause gastrointestinal distress, skin burning, tooth decay, and other ailments. To avoid these issues, do not consume pure citric acid. Additionally, avoid applying pure citric acid to your face and be careful when adding it to your DIY products as too much can burn and damage the skin.

Since much of the commercially used citric acid is sourced from GMO corn, I also recommend exercising caution if you see it listed as an ingredient in a food or supplement. Reputable companies will only use natural citric acid but it's hard to tell the difference unless you check their website or pick up the phone and ask. If they hedge, get defensive, or have no idea, chances are they’re using the cheap stuff.

Why Is Citric Acid Used in Supplements Like Oxy-Powder®?

At Global Healing, we go to great lengths to ensure that we give you the best quality supplements. While most citric acid is made from GMO corn, the citric acid we use in Oxy-Powder is produced in Austria from 100% non-GMO sources. It’s third-party tested for toxic contaminants like molds, toxic metals, and harmful pathogens, and it offers three distinct benefits.

1. Assists Cellular Energy Production

Citric acid assists the body in making energy so that it can cleanse and detoxify itself with strength and vigor.

2. Enhances the Utilization of Magnesium

Many minerals, including calcium and magnesium, require that the stomach has an acidic pH for effective absorption and assimilation.[1, 2] The addition of citric acid in Oxy-Powder helps you get everything out of the ozonated magnesium oxides. Think of it as an efficiency booster that helps Oxy-Powder work better.

3. Supports Overall Detoxification

Evidence shows that the use of citric acid may have a beneficial effect on protecting the liver and brain, as well as kidney deposits.[3]

Citric Acid: The Recap

Let’s recap the main points you need to know about citric acid.
  • Citric acid is an organic acid found naturally in fruit like lemons, limes, grapefruit, pineapples, and oranges.
  • These days, most of the citric acid found in mainstream processed foods and supplements is sourced from GMO corn.
  • It plays a key role in energy metabolism.
  • Citric acid is useful for boosting detoxification, enhancing magnesium absorption, protecting the liver and brain, and addressing kidney stones.
  • It’s also good for your skin.
References (3)
  1. Ito, Tetsuhide, and Robert T. Jensen. "Association of Long-Term Proton Pump Inhibitor Therapy with Bone Fractures and Effects on Absorption of Calcium, Vitamin B12, Iron, and Magnesium." SpringerLink, Current Science Inc., 30 Sept. 2010.
  2. William, Jeffrey H., and John Danziger. "Proton-Pump Inhibitor-Induced Hypomagnesemia: Current Research and Proposed Mechanisms." World Journal of Nephrology, Baishideng Publishing Group Co., Limited, 6 Mar. 2016.
  3. Abdel-Salam, Omar M.E., et al. "Citric Acid Effects on Brain and Liver Oxidative Stress in Lipopolysaccharide-Treated Mice." Journal of Medicinal Food, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., 1 May 2014.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.


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