Is citric acid bad for you? How does it affect your body?
Is citric acid bad for you? That seems to be one of the internet's burning questions. Citric acid is a common ingredient in many foods and beverages.
It can also be found naturally in various fruits and vegetables, as well as some beverages. Citric acid is also used as a preservative in other foods and beverages to extend their shelf life.
The primary use of citric acid is in the processing of citrus fruit to make juice, frozen desserts, and snack foods. In this article, we will explore how citric acid works in the body and the potential side effects of consuming it.
Is Citric Acid Bad For You? What is Citric Acid?
Citric acid, or “artificial flavor,” is a common preservative used in beverages like lemonade, iced tea, and other soft drinks.
It's also found in some frozen desserts, and ascorbic acid, commonly referred to as vitamin C, is sometimes added to citrus-flavor beverages as a preservative. Citrus fruits contain a compound called hesperidin, which is what gives oranges, limes, and grapefruits their characteristic flavors.
When the fruits are harvested, their level of hesperidin decrease. The goal of citrus fruit processing is to preserve the flavor and increase the levels of hesperidin. As a byproduct of this process, citric acid is created.
Is Citric Acid Bad For You? How Is It Used In The Body?
Citric acid is used to sour beverages, like lemonade and iced tea, as well as foods, like orange-flavored snack bars, gum, and granola bars. That can also be done by the food manufacturer themselves to produce lemonade flavorings.
There are many ways that people consume citric acid in their daily diet. While it's most commonly used to make beverages, it can also be found in foods, like orange-flavored snack bars, which are made with it as a preservative.
An increasing number of supplements also use citric acid as an ingredient. As it has antimicrobial properties, it's often added to mouthwash, body wash, and toothpaste. The amount of citric acid in these products may vary, though.
Possible Citric Acid Side Effects — Is Citric Acid Bad For You?
Citric acid can be used safely in the body. However, like with most things, consuming too much of it can cause negative side effects. Let’s explore the most common side effects of consuming citric acid:
1) Acid Reflux
While it helps to sour certain foods, citric acid is also responsible for causing acid reflux. When acidic stomach contents reach the lower esophageal sphincter, they cause heartburn.
Many people experience nausea after taking high doses of citric acid. That can be temporary or can last for long.
Citric acid can upset the digestive system, resulting in diarrhea. That can be relatively harmless, but it can also be more serious and result in hospitalization.
Crying is one of the rare side effects of consuming citric acid in the body. That can happen after consuming high levels of the ingredient or after discontinuing its use.
Side effects can vary, depending on the amount of citric acid taken and the individual’s health. These side effects are also more common in children, the elderly, and people with underlying conditions.
To surmise, citric acid is not inherently bad for you, not as per the FDA. Citric acid is used to sour beverages, like lemonade and iced tea, as well as foods like orange-flavored snack bars, gum, and granola bars. It can also be used as a preservative to extend the shelf life of other products.
Citric acid can be taken safely when consumed in moderation. However, consuming too much of it can cause side effects, like acid reflux, nausea, diarrhea, and crying.
Consuming too much citric acid can have various side effects. They can vary, depending on the amount consumed and the individual’s health. These side effects are more common in children, elderly, and people with underlying conditions.