Definitions for lactic acid
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a clear odorless hygroscopic syrupy carboxylic acid found in sour milk and in many fruits
2-hydroxy-propanoic acid (CH.CHOH.COH), a syrupy liquid, soluble in water; found in milk, wine and many fruits; used as a food additive and in many industrial applications.
Lactic acid, also known as milk acid, is a chemical compound that plays a role in various biochemical processes and was first isolated in 1780 by the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele. Lactic acid is a carboxylic acid with the chemical formula C3H6O3. It has a hydroxyl group adjacent to the carboxyl group, making it an alpha hydroxy acid. In solution, it can lose a proton from the acidic group, producing the lactate ion CH3CHCOO−. Compared to acetic acid, its pKa is 1 unit smaller, meaning lactic acid deprotonates ten times as easily as acetic acid does. This higher acidity is the consequence of the intramolecular hydrogen bridge between the α-hydroxyl and the carboxylate group, making the latter less capable of strongly attracting its proton. Lactic acid is miscible with water or ethanol, and is hygroscopic. Lactic acid is chiral and has two optical isomers. One is known as L--lactic acid or-lactic acid and the other, its mirror image, is D--lactic acid or-lactic acid. In animals, L-lactate is constantly produced from pyruvate via the enzyme lactate dehydrogenase in a process of fermentation during normal metabolism and exercise. It does not increase in concentration until the rate of lactate production exceeds the rate of lactate removal, which is governed by a number of factors, including monocarboxylate transporters, concentration and isoform of LDH, and oxidative capacity of tissues. The concentration of blood lactate is usually 1–2 mmol/L at rest, but can rise to over 20 mmol/L during intense exertion.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
A normal intermediate in the fermentation (oxidation, metabolism) of sugar. The concentrated form is used internally to prevent gastrointestinal fermentation. (From Stedman, 26th ed)
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