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How does citric acid affect the body?

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Quick Answer

Citric acid occurs naturally: it is found primarily in citrus fruits and some berries, and provides critical immune system support and essential nutrients. Citric acid, also called ascorbic acid, is found in lemons, grapefruit, and oranges along with some berries like blueberries and strawberries. It is a relatively weak acid; nevertheless, it plays an important role in maintaining human health according to the Mayo Clinic.

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How does citric acid affect the body?
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Full Answer

Citric acid has many antioxidant properties, which makes it valuable for fighting off colds, viruses and other illnesses. It supports the body’s immune function by boosting the production of disease-fighting cells, and is commonly added to supplements, such as vitamin C pills, and cold and flu medications to reduce the symptoms associated with those illnesses. Citric acid is consumable in its natural state by eating citrus fruits and berries. It is also added to many foods and beverages by retailers to give their products sharp and distinctive tastes. Citric acid is an important dietary nutrient, but is not readily produced by the body, and must be consumed through acidic foods. Finally, citric acid can help prevent the growth of fungus and bacteria. It is added to topical antifungal creams and some prescribed antibiotics as a result.

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