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American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- Jan. 7, 2009

according to a study in the December 24, 2008 issue of ACS' biweekly Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

In the report, Gwendoline Baxter, Ph.D. and colleagues discuss how their past research revealed that SA exists in the blood of people who have not recently taken aspirin. Vegetarians had much higher levels, almost matching those in patients taking low doses of aspirin. Based on those findings, the researchers previously concluded that this endogenous SA came from the diet, since SA is a natural substance found in fruits and vegetables.

Now the group reports on studies of changes in SA levels in volunteers who took benzoic acid, a substance also found naturally in fruits and vegetables that the body could potentially use to make SA. Their goal was to determine whether the SA found in humans (and other animals) results solely from consumption of fruits and vegetables, or whether humans produce their own SA as a natural agent to fight inflammation and disease. The results reported in the study suggest that people do manufacture SA.

"It is, we suspect, increasingly likely that SA is a biopharmaceutical with a central, broadly defensive role in animals as well as plants," they state. "This simple organic chemical is, we propose, likely to become increasingly recognized as an animal bioregulator, perhaps in a class of its own." JS

"Salicylic Acid sans Aspirin in Animals and Man: Persistence in Fasting and Biosynthesis from Benzoic Acid"


Gwen Baxter, Ph.D.
R&D, National Health Service (Scotland)
Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary
Dumfries, Scotland
Fax. 01387241825
Email: Gwen

Contact: Michael Woods
American Chemical Society

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