The Chemistry of Lactic Acid

Introduction

For the chemistry of … project I choose to research the chemistry of lactic acid. As a runner, lactic acid is something I deal with on a weekly, even daily basis. Lactic acid is a colorless syrupy organic acid produced in the muscle tissues during strenuous exercise. It can also be found in many different foods including milk products, like yogurt, as well as some processed foods such as bread.


Composition of ...

  • Lactic acid is a colorless syrupy organic acid produced in the muscle tissues during strenuous. During power exercises such as running or sprinting, the rate of demand for energy is high, glucose is broken down and oxidized to pyruvate, and lactate is produced from the pyruvate faster than the tissues can remove it, so lactate concentration begins to rise exercise. Lactic acid is a carboxylic acid the chemical formula C3H6O3.

  • Lactic acid is composed of hydroxyl group adjacent to a carboxylic group making it an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA)

  • It is also composed of the chemicals:

    • Carbon

    • Hydrogen

    • Oxygen

Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

  • C3H6O3

  • Carbon-C

  • Hydrogen-H

  • Oxygen-O

  • Lactic acid is a carboxylic acid

Chemistry's Role

  • Glucose- Glucose is made through photosynthesis, Plants intake 6 H2O and 6 CO2 to produce 6 O2 and 1 C6H12O6. Humans then must consume plants and other animals to obtain glucose. Glucose is naturally occurring.

  • Pyruvate- Pyruvate is made when glucose is broken down and oxidized.Pyruvate is also naturally occurring.

  • The final product of glucose breaking down and being oxidized to pyruvate is lactic acid.

Background Research

Lactic acid was first isolated in 1780 by the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele. It is produced when glucose in the found in the body is broken down and oxidized to pyruvate. When this happens lactic acid is produced.

Resources

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

  • Information on the chemical formula, the roles in plays in different processes and where it is produced

  • Formula C3H6O3

  • Lactic acid is a carboxylic acid

  • First isolated in 1780 by the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele

  • Plays role in various biochemical processes

  • Has a hydroxyl group adjacent to the carboxylic group making it an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA)

  • During power exercises such as running or sprinting, the rate of demand for energy is high, glucose is broken down and oxidized to pyruvate, and lactate is produced from the pyruvate faster than the tissues can remove it, so lactate concentration begins to rise

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lactic%20acid

  • Definition of lactic acid

  • Definition- a colorless syrupy organic acid produced in the muscle tissues during strenuous exercise

http://whatallergy.com/2011-03/allergic-to-lactic-acid

  • Basic information on where lactic acid can be found

  • an acid that builds up in the body during intense bouts of physical activity.

  • also found in many different foods including milk products, like yoghurt, as well as some processed foods such as olives, bread and beer

http://shakahara.com/lactic_acid.html

  • More information on the processes in which lactic acid is produced

  • The source of commercial lactic acid used in consumer products is almost always carbohydrate fermentation

  • The carbohydrates used in carbohydrate fermentation are almost always obtained from plant sources

  • same process used to make beer, wine, and bread

  • all the chemicals that end in "lactate" are generally made by reacting lactic acid with another chemical, Ex. ferrous lactate would be made by reacting lactic acid with an iron-containing compound

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/lactic-acid-blood-test

  • Information on lactic acidosis

  • When the oxygen level is low, carbohydrate breaks down for energy and makes lactic acid

  • other conditions such as heart failure, a severe infection (sepsis) or shock lower the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body

  • Lactic acid levels can also get higher when the liver is severely damaged or diseased

  • the liver normally breaks down lactic acid.

  • Very high levels of lactic acid cause a serious, sometimes life-threatening condition called lactic acidosis.

  • Lactic acidosis can also occur in a person who takes metformin (Glucophage) to control diabetes when heart or kidney failure or a severe infection is also present.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/lactic-acid-info.htm

  • Information on the physical properties of lactic acid

  • Lactic Acid, a colorless (or yellowish), odorless, organic chemical compound

About the Author

Devin McDonald is a junior at Billings Senior High School. She has participated in volleyball and lettered in cross country and track. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She also loves going hiking and fishing with her family and german shepherd Jack during the summer time near her cabin in Silver Gate. She hopes to receive a cross country scholarship and attend college to study physical therapy and sports medicine.
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