The Effect of a High Intake of Tartaric Acid on Urinary and Plasma Oxalate
The metabolism of tartaric acid in man has not yet been fully elucidated. Finkle1 concluded from his studies that parenteral tartrate appears unchanged in the urine. Studies by Chadwick et al2 clearly demonstrated partial metabolism of sodium tartrate to C02 over 8 h after intravenous administration of 14C-labelled DL-tartrate. Intestinal bacteria, they found, metabolized both D-and L-tartrate. After oral ingestion, as much as 46% of tartrate was converted to C02 and only 12% excreted unchanged in the urine. Other metabolites of tartrate in man have not yet been identified. Whether or not oxalic acid may be an end-product of tartrate catabolism was investigated by Chadwick et al2. They concluded that no significant formation of oxalate occurred. However, oxalate excretion in only one subject was studied. Kun and Hernandez3 reported that the mitochondria of several animal tissues contain an enzyme system capable of oxidizing meso or D-tartrate. They proposed formation of glyoxylate from tartrate as follows: D (−) or Meso Tartrate + NAD+→Dihydroxyfumarate →Mg 2+ Glyoxylate Glyoxylate is readily converted to oxalate in vivo. Tartaric acid L(+), is present in many fruits and is widely used as a constituent of effervescent drinks. The Redoxon tablet preparation of ascorbic acid contains 800 mg of L(+) tartaric acid/g of ascorbic acid. A knowledge of the end-products of tartrate metabolism is therefore of considerable interest and in the present study its possible metabolism to oxalate was investigated.
KeywordsAscorbic Acid Oxalic Acid Tartaric Acid Urinary Oxalate Oxalate Excretion
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