Used for centuries to preserve meat and fish, citric acid has innumerable health benefits. It increases the acidity of the bacterial environment, making it difficult for the microbes to survive and, more importantly, to reproduce.

Being an acid, citric acid is an alkalizing agent that helps decrease acidity levels in body fluids. It also binds the excess calcium and allows it to leave the body.

Citric Acid: Naturally Healthy
Citric acid can be obtained both naturally (in plants) and artificially (in human tissues and body fluids).

It’s present in large quantities in juicy fruits such as limes, oranges, grapefruits, kiwis, strawberries, apples, pears, cherries and raspberries and vegetables such as mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, peas and asparagus.

Citric acid is often used for proper mineral supplementation of food, as an acidity regulator, and as a flavoring ingredient. Though not an antioxidant itself, citric acid enhances the activity of many beneficial antioxidants. All these properties offer a wide range of health benefits.

  •  Boosting Renal Health: Citric acid ensures proper functioning of the kidneys and prevents the formation of kidney stones. Its alkalizing properties and the ability to bind to calcium are useful in treating other kidney ailments, too. (Related Article: 5 Natural Ways To Prevent Kidney Stones)
  • Fighting Free Radicals: As an antioxidant, citric acid can neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals, which are unstable compounds that trigger the growth of cancerous tumors.
  • Improving Mineral Absorption: Experts say that citric acid mixes with minerals and metals easily, facilitating their absorption in the body.
  • Revitalizing The Skin: Citric acid is a common ingredient in face packs and skin products. It helps in the regeneration of skin tissue, slowing down the aging process. Creams rich in citric acid can have a depigmenting effect and can lighten freckles.
  • Soothing A Sore throat: Citric acid can reduce the inflammation caused by tonsillitis. Gargling with a combination of citric acid and water clears throat infection by killing the infection-causing germs. (Related Article: 6 Natural Sore Throat Remedies)
  • Curbing Nausea: Citric acid can alleviate nausea by reducing gastric acidity.(Related Article: 5 Natural Home Remedies For Nausea)

Who Should Avoid It
Despite its many health benefits, citric acid supplementation can cause a variety of side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and abdominal pain, which is why you must consult a doctor before you start taking supplements.

  • Stomach Upset: Excessive citric acid can cause vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite and abdominal pain. Here are five foods that can eliminate your tummy troubles naturally.
  • Bloody Or Black, Tarry Stools:  Excessive consumption of citric acid can result in discolored stools or bloody and cloudy urine. It extreme cases, it may trigger a fever, headache, frequent urge to urinate or decrease in the amount of urine.
  • Dizziness Or Loss Of Blood Pressure: Citric acid can cause a loss of fructose absorption, leading to a sudden drop in blood pressure, dizziness, decreased attention and fainting. (Related Article: 7 Natural Remedies To Keep Your Blood Pressure In Check)
  • Affects Infant Health: Citric acid supplements are not recommended for babies or children, as it can affect the absorption of heavy metals such as cadmium and lead into the blood.
  • Weak Hair: Citric acid may also lead to hair degradation, discoloration or breakage. The acid tends to open the hair cuticle and removes minerals from the hair. Here’s your personal guide to gorgeous hair.
  • Drug Interactions: Citric acid may interact with certain drugs that contain aluminum salts, tetracyclines such as doxycycline, amphetamines and anorexiant drugs like phentermine. (Related Article: 6 Food-Drug Combos To Avoid & Why)

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page. Read more about Natural Remedies here.

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A lifestyle writer & editor for 8 years, Avantika Kukreti is a multi-platform media professional and has worked with some of the biggest media brands of India. She is fascinated by the dynamics of the social media and feels it’s the most-reliable news source in today’s times, if used wisely. Her recent three year stint in Shanghai has made her more health savvy after she watched the Chinese go lengths to maintain their fitness. When not working, she spends time watching Tom and Jerry, & Pocoyo re-runs with her daughter.