- Tartaric acid is a compound found in plant foods. It has been identified as a biomarker of grape intake, though it has also been identified in other foods. Tartaric acid levels peak at 4–8 hours after intake. Levels in foods vary significantly between types of foods and within individual foods.
- Tartaric acid cannot be processed by humans and is either excreted or utilized by gut bacteria as a carbon source. Some bacteria have genes for tartaric metabolizing enzymes, so levels can be impacted by gut microbiome. The process starts once tartaric acid is released (i.e., grapes are crushed or are invaded by pathogens), making it susceptible to catabolic enzymes from microorganisms, which may reduce it to oxaloacetate, glyceric acid, and pyruvic acid.
Common Dietary Sources:
Wine/grapes, chocolate, food additive/preservative
- Sugimoto N, Forsline P, Beaudry R. Volatile profiles of members of the USDA Geneva Malus Core Collection: utility in evaluation of a hypothesized biosynthetic pathway for esters derived from 2-methylbutanoate and 2-methylbutan-1-ol. J Agric Food Chem. 2015;63(7):2106-2116.
- Hulme AC. The isolation of l-citramalic acid from the peel of the apple fruit. Biochim Biophys acta. 1954;14(1):36-43.
- Liu H, Garrett TJ, Su Z, Khoo C, Gu L. UHPLC-Q-Orbitrap-HRMSbased global metabolomics reveal metabolome modifications in plasma of young women after cranberry juice consumption. J Nutri Biochem. 2017;45:67-76.
- Khorassani R, Hettwer U, Ratzinger A, Steingrobe B, Karlovsky P, Claassen N. Citramalic acid and salicylic acid in sugar beet root exudates solubilize soil phosphorus. BMC Plant Biol. 2011;11:121.
- Marconi O, Floridi S, Montanari L. Organic acids profile in tomato juice by HPLC with UV detection. J Food Qual. 2007;30(2):253-266.
Tartaric acid is a compound found in plant foods. It has been identified as a biomarker of grape intake, though it has also been identified in other foods. Tartaric acid levels peak at 4–8 hours after intake. Levels in foods vary significantly between types of foods and within individual foods.
Low levels identify low intake of these plant components. Evaluate in context of overall polyphenol intake, and polyphenol microbial metabolism.
Though often used by clinicians to gain insight into yeast overgrowth, it should be noted that fruit intake can influence levels. High levels may simply reflect a high dietary fruit intake. A high intake of sugars feeds gastrointestinal yeast, which can promote yeast overgrowth. When these markers are elevated, and dietary influences have been ruled out, a stool test may be warranted to evaluate the presence of yeast in the GI tract.
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