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Citric Acid to Treat Fatigue

Discussion in 'General Treatment' started by Mya Symons, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

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    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2243251/
    http://www.emc.maricopa.edu/faculty/farabee/biobk/biobookglyc.html

    I've been reading a bit about citric acid and it's roll in burning fat and carbs for energy. If I am understanding it correctly, the human body will turn pyruvate into lactic acid and, if there is enough oxygen leftover, citric acid. However, if there is a lack of oxygen, only lactic acid will be produced. Too much lactic acid causes muscle pain and fatigue.

    So, I am wondering if anyone here has tried citric acid as a supplement? If so, did it work to alleviate some of your pain and fatigue? And, which form of citric acid is the best to take? Is one supplement better then another?
     
  2. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hi Mya, citric acid is fraught with peril for PWMEs. It can be great but is not really much different from eating sugar in many respects, only potentially worse. It is indeed the next most basic energy currency after ATP in the body, but it is not a simple subject to investigate.

    For one thing citric acid is a natural chelator. It binds to minerals with two positive ions. The chelator EDTA iirc correctly is just two citrate molecules joined together. These minerals include both calcium and magnesium. As a result it can disturb neurological and cellular function. As a sugar byproduct it can be used by gut bacteria, but this might be compensated by being absorbed faster into the body - I don't know about that. It also exerts influence on various metabolic pathways.

    One way to get more citrate is to eat more fruit. Fruit is naturally high in citrate, and it should be no surprise that citrus fruits are particularly high. That is what the tang is. A high fruit diet can help many of us, but it also makes many of us worse. Citric acid might get around that by supplying citrate without the sugar that comes in fruit, so it might have a place. I would be interested in reading what others have to say about it.

    Be careful with citrate, but on the other hand you wont know if you will benefit if you don't try it.

    Lipoic acid is a supplement that might assist turning regular carbs into citrate for the citric acid cycle. That is another way to go, and adds to the list of things lipoic acid can do for us.

    Be warned that I suspect citric acid can trigger severe breathing problems in PWME. I am not certain of this, only suspicious. If you are going to try it start at a low dose and go slow.

    Citric acid is available at most supermarkets as a cooking ingredient - its really cheap.

    Bye
    Alex
     
  3. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, Mya.

    According to my hypothesis (and this is supported by quite a few urine organic acids test results that PWMEs have sent me) there is a partial block of aconitase in ME/CFS, which normally acts on citric acid to convert it to cis-aconitase and isocitric acid. This partial block occurs due to low reduced glutathione and elevated oxidized glutathione.

    The result of having this partial block is that much of the citric acid is shunted out of the mitochondria and goes toward the synthesis of fat, which is stored. This shunting is the reason that many PWMEs experience weight gain if they continue to consume significant amounts of carbohydrates, because the carbs are converted to citric acid.

    A better way to feed the Krebs cycle while this partial block is in place is to consume protein, and make sure there is enough B2 and B6 present to operate the transamination reactions. These are able to feed amino acid skeletons into the Krebs cycle beyond the partial block.

    In the longer term, restoring the glutathione levels by lifting the partial methylation cycle block (using a methylation treatment) should correct this situation.

    Best regards,

    Rich
     
  4. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Hi Rich, I agree and disagree. Mya, this comment is technical and has little to do with general treatment advice.

    It is correct to say that aconitase has problems, it is incorrect to infer that it causes elevated citrate. Here is why:

    In 1999 I released a paper, presented at a poster at the 1999 Sydney CFS conference, called Hypercitricemia in CFS. My position from 98 to 2002 was similar to your current position for similar reasons.

    Nitric oxide inhibits aconitase. Peroxynitrite destroys aconitase. Reduced glutathione is needed to fold aconitase, after which it is imported into the mitochondria.

    No study has ever found depleted aconitase. I think this is because there is plenty of aconitase in the cell, its just not working. Much of this will be outside the mitochondria, denatured (not folded) due to glutathione deficiency.

    However, the elevated citrate data as commonly understood is flawed. Yes, most patients have elevated citrate, including urinary citrate. This is not post prandial however, which means that the increased glycolysis after food is not driving it. We know from a comparison of overnight and daily citrate levels that the citrate spike occurs during sleep. Constant elevated citrate has been disproved, particularly during fasting.

    My current hypothesis is that the citrate release is deliberate, and not due to aconitase deficiency. The mitochondria is under massive oxidative stress. One cause for that is metal toxicity, including iron. Citrate is a metal chelator. I think the mitochondria flushes citrate to try to remove iron. It doesn't know the cause of the oxidative stress, this is a stimulus response effect and not very specific. I call this the "Citrate Flush Hypothesis".

    There is a depletion of aconitase in my view to the extent that maximum citric acid cycle activity has an upper limit that is much lower than normal. This is probably not enough to cause either energy depletion nor elevated cytosolic citrate however.

    The energy block appears to be from depletion/damage of mitochondrial transfer proteins. Now these can be attacked by oxidative stress. They can also be depleted due to low glutathione because many require correct folding. We don't know yet, but aconitase is not the issue. If these proteins natively require modification to work that is dependent on methylation, then your other hypothesis comes in to play as well.

    Its probably not about aconitase for anything other than a low ceiling of maximum energy production capacity - but this might come into play during exercise and so may have an impact on post-exercise abnormalities.

    On another issue, Rich you might like to know I hope to get my MTHFR genetic snp assays back today.

    Bye
    Alex
     
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  5. *GG*

    *GG* Senior Member

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    Concord, NH
    How is citric acid different than Vitamin C (ascorbic acid?)?

    GG
     
  6. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    From the wikipedia:


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citric_acid

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ascorbic_acid

    Both are weak organic acids of similar size. The formula for citrate is C6H8O7, while vitamin C is C6H8O6. Superficially they are similar, but citrate is an energy providing molecule and chelator while vitamin C is an antioxidant and co-factor in many biochemical processes. I haven't researched this but it is possible that ascorbic acid can be made from citrate by many plants and animals - mostly it would just require modification of a double bond to make a four carbon ring with oxygen. However the wikipedia cites glucose as the source material - so both citrate and ascorbic acid can be made from glucose. Humans have lost the capacity to make ascorbic acid, most animals and plants make their own vitamin C - and we eat them.

    Bye
    Alex
     
  7. sinas

    sinas

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    Dear All,

    I noticed that Citric Acid helps me. I take it daily. It helps with back pain and fasciculations / paresthesias, boosts my energy too. I notice the impact after a few days already. I take 5 grams per day, orally. Nothing major but it definitely helps beyond the placebo effect.

    background : I dont know if if have CFS / ME. I started developing all kinds of weird symptoms (paresthesias, back pain, fasciculations, PEM, etc.) during my cancer treatment that are not easily attributable to the treatment itself.

    My scans are clear, lyme test is negative so there is a chance i have a mild form of CFS / ME since or a paraneoplastic disease.

    Is there anybody else who have tried or who is willing to try this? it should be pretty safe ... I would love to learn about other people's experience about this....
     

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