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Clin Chem. 1986 Mar;32(3):539-41.

Dietary citric acid enhances absorption of aluminum in antacids.


Ten healthy men ingested, twice daily between meals, during each of the seven-day experimental periods: (a) citric acid (as lemon juice), (b) Al(OH)3, or (c) Al(OH)3 + citric acid. Whole blood sampled after each dietary period was analyzed electrothermally after digestion with nitric acid. Moderate, but significant, increases in mean Al concentrations as compared with pretreatment values [5 (SD 3) micrograms of Al per liter] were seen after ingestion of either citric acid or Al(OH)3: 9 (SD 4) and 12 (SD 3) micrograms/L, respectively. Ingestion of both Al(OH)3 and citric acid resulted in a more pronounced, highly significant (p less than 0.001) increase in Al concentrations, to 23 (SD 2) micrograms Al/L, probably owing to formation and absorption of Al-citrate complexes.

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