Hydroxy acids are organic compounds containing both hydroxyl and carboxylic acid functional groups. α-Hydroxy acids are a particularly important class of carboxylic acids which have a hydroxyl group on the carbon adjacent to the carboxylic acid group or α-carbon. They may be either naturally occurring or synthetic. Commonly occurring biological α-hydroxy acids include lactic (CH3CHOHCOOH), glyceric (HOCH2CHOHCOOH), glycolic (HOCH2COOH), and malic (HOOCCH2CHOHCOOH) acids. α-Hydroxy acids are important metabolic products of the biological transamination of amino acids. Several α-hydroxy acids and α-hydroxy acid polyols have been identified in the Murchison meteorite. Some interpret the presence of α-hydroxy acids in this body as evidence for the Strecker-cyanohydrin mechanism for the synthesis of the amino acids also found in it.