Citric acid inhibits development of cataracts, proteinuria and ketosis in streptozotocin (type 1) diabetic rats.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 Feb 26 ;393(1):118-22. Epub 2010 Feb 1. PMID: 20117096
Although many fruits such as lemon and orange contain citric acid, little is known about beneficial effects of citric acid on health. Here we measured the effect of citric acid on the pathogenesis of diabetic complications in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Although oral administration of citric acid to diabetic rats did not affect blood glucose concentration, it delayed the development of cataracts, inhibited accumulation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) such as N(epsilon)-(carboxyethyl)lysine (CEL) and N(epsilon)-(carboxymethyl)lysine (CML) in lens proteins, and protected against albuminuria and ketosis. We also show that incubation of protein with acetol, a metabolite formed from acetone by acetone monooxygenase, generate CEL, suggesting that inhibition of ketosis by citric acid may lead to the decrease in CEL in lens proteins. These results demonstrate that the oral administration of citric acid ameliorates ketosis and protects against the development of diabetic complications in an animal model of type 1 diabetes.