Food supplement sodium citrate - properties, uses, benefits and harms for the human body

In the third millennium, it is difficult to imagine your life without the use of chemistry as a science in various industries and in everyday life. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, this citrate has become an integral part of medicine, improving the quality of food, as well as the operation of some devices. Sodium citrate can be found in any refrigerator, first-aid kit, bathroom, but do you remember from a school chemistry course what citrates are, supplement E331 and what benefits or harm do they bring?

What is sodium citrate?

Sodium citrate is a trivalent sodium salt of citric acid, known to residents as a food supplement E331. One of the common names for citrate - "acid salt", appeared due to the characteristic taste. Often, the compound can be found in the role of spice, flavoring preservative, antioxidant, anticoagulant. The interaction of trisodium with water according to the instructions is characterized as a normal, familiar oxidation reaction.


Since the above citrate E331 is a salt, it is easily soluble in water, but it is poorly soluble in alcohol. Sodium citrate is of two types: transparent crystals or white powder. The substance is not amenable to burning, does not have toxic properties. There are three types of citrate (sodium citrate):

  • monosubstituted (monosodium citrate);
  • disubstituted (disodium citrate);
  • trisodium (trisodium citrate).

Benefit and harm

Due to its structure, a substance is capable of oxidizing when interacting with water and oxygen. This process makes citrate completely harmless to the body, and since it is used only this way, there is no reason for concern. Pure substance does not carry special benefits for the body. For example, as a component of drugs, citrate only affects solubility, but does not have a positive effect on human health.

The negative properties of citrate are also few: when inhaled, the powder irritates the respiratory tract, like acid salt, interacts poorly with ulcers, wounds and the like, unprotected upper layers of the skin, areas on the body. There is no acceptable (permissible) daily dose of sodium citrate, but the products where it is contained can be harmful if there are a lot of them and often.

The use of sodium citrate

Today, the substance is used in many segments of the industry. Additives E familiar to everyone are used in the food industry, but the role of citrate for medical research, the cosmetic industry, and sports cannot be discounted. The usual basic component of many formulations for beauty and health, citrate is perceived as something ordinary, but causes heated debate, and often even doubt.

Food supplement E331

Due to the positive properties of the substance, the list of products in which it is included is simply immense:

  • Flavoring additive. Used for the manufacture of many power engineers, soda flavors of citrus.
  • Acidity regulator. It is added to gelatin based products.
  • Participates in the sterilization of milk for the manufacture of various dairy products.
  • It is a component of baby food, a large number of desserts.

In medicine

Substance at the beginning of the XX century used by a Belgian doctor Albert Hastin, who used it as an anticoagulant for blood transfusion. The principle of operation is simple: citrate with the help of internal processes does not allow blood to clot, and contributes to long-term storage. The technology is still used by blood banks for freezing, storing animal sperm for the purpose of selection ...

It is used as a drug for cystitis, heartburn, constipation, and also helps to neutralize a hangover, prevent the formation of blood clots. Being a component of drugs, citrate dissolves already in the stomach, and colds contain a substance like a capsule solvent in water. The same effect can be observed with aspirin tablets, which must first be thrown into a glass of water. People call this reaction pop.

In cosmetics

Sodium citrate in cosmetics is far from the last place. For example, sodium dihydrate is a component of many shampoos. The substance can reduce the effect of the alkaline environment on the hair, make it softer, silky, and the acid helps to neutralize the fat on the hair without leaving a soapy coating. These and many other properties could not be missed by manufacturers of organic cosmetics. The substance is a component of conditioners, soaps, shampoos. It also effectively fights against oily skin, therefore it is listed as part of many masks, creams.

In sports

The main problem in the sports industry that sodium citrate solves is muscle acidification. This is a process when an excess of lactic acid is formed in the muscles. People who are not so familiar with this concept will be told a lot by the synonym for acidification - krepatura. The formula of the chemical substance will prevent the formation of excess lactic acid in the muscles, improve the endurance of the athlete.

As a nutritional supplement, E331 is often added to sports nutrition, and in a protein-carbohydrate diet, it occupies a certain position. Before starting the course, it is better to consult a doctor. Abuse or the wrong dose can work as a laxative, and if the product is improperly prepared with E331, it can easily harm the body.

Attention! The information presented in the article is for guidance only. Materials of the article do not call for independent treatment. Only a qualified doctor can make a diagnosis and give recommendations for treatment based on the individual characteristics of a particular patient.

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