T Nation

Do Humans Digest ~All Organic Acids?

I know we digest fatty acids (at least four carbons in length), citric, lactic acid and some more. But do we also digest acetic, oxalic and branched chain organic acids?

I was wondering if acids in fruits, and phytic and oxalic acids (especially oxalic) can be digested,since oxalic and phytic acids are known to bind up metals in the blood/digestive tract. I also read we have phytases in the digestive tract…

Thanks, Vlad

Any links which explain acid metabolism are welcome


Well, it would take as long for me to search for webpages on that subject as it would for you, so that part I didn’t want to answer on first seeing your post.

Also, phytic acid is not any of the same general categories you’ve asked about and I have no idea if it is absorbed.

As for acetic and oxalic, yes. “Branched chain” is too broad, perhaps there might be some that are not.

On the title question, the phrase “all organic acids” is vastly too broad. There are millions of them. The answer would be no, not all of them are absorbed.

The main thing that dissuaded me is, why? I guessed that most likely the question draws from a concern, created by some, that somehow the body has a terrible time maintaining correct pH and thus what acids one consumes is very important. This is all wrong, but it is a futile battle to try to discuss. (Some things work out to just banging one’s head against the wall and no amount of effort will ever make a dent.)

If that is the concern, then if you wanted you could use Google and search:

site:http://tnation.tmuscle.com “Bill Roberts” alkaline

If that is not your concern, then there is no other practical concern regarding acids in fruits.

Thank you. Okay, I meant organic acids found in fruits and cereals. And oxalic and acetic were a problem since I read a billion times that “chocolate has oxalic acid which binds calcium” (and this on mainstream sites)
Thank you very much

I have read that the Phytic acid from nuts, seeds and grains is broken down when you soak and/or ferment said objects in water overnight or whatever time period.

This is supposed to trigger a sprouting response in the substance which causes it to release its nutrients much more readily than usual. The idea being that when you eat them normally they are broken down a bit and the body absorbs the nutrients much more easily AND not blocking any of the metals/nutrients from the Phytic Acid which is normally there.

Some people when they stop grains/select best types and soak notice the quality of digestion much better, and skin etc improves. This may be the reason why when some people go on a keto type diet (bar the nuts and maybe seeds) they feel better, skin improves etc. I’m on a keto diet at the moment and will start soaking nuts I have and see if it makes a difference, my stomach doesn’t agree with them and the toilet doesn’t lie.

The thing is, in all big name Nutrition Authors/Articles etc., I’ve never seen mention of this, so I’m not sure if it is actually accurate or makes a difference.

Food for thought…

I buy canned beans and then rinse them VERY WELL. If I don’t rinse them, the toilet explodes. So there’s definitely something to “soaking” beans that makes them easier to digest.