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Beware of this Day-to-Day Used Acid in Food, Medicine & Cosmetics

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All of us are taking salicylic acid in some or other form. Fruits especially berries and vegetables like radish, mushroom, tomato, spinach, sweet potato contain a significant amount of salicylic acid. Popular over-the-counter acne treating medications, painkillers like aspirin contains salicylic acid as the basic constituent.

The opportunistic bacteria- Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) usually stays in the upper respiratory tract of around one-quarter of the human population. They live as bacterial colonies and do not cause any harm to a healthy host until they are getting nutrients from the iron content of the host’s body.

staphlococcus aureus and respiratory tract infections

Staphylococcus aureus (photo credit: Bigstockphoto)

Salicylic acid in the body forms complexes with iron ions present in the blood. Though iron is present as a trace element in the body but it plays a crucial role in the blood formation of the body. Salicylic acid iron complexes reduce iron content in the body.

According to a recent study, when the formation of salicylic acid iron complexes induces iron deprivation in the body, a defense mechanism in the bacteria is triggered.

staphylococcus aureus biofilm nasal mucosa
Salicylic acid- Iron Complexes Promotes Biofilm Production (photo credit: Tom Grunert/Vetmeduni Vienna)

The bacterial colonies intensify the production of a slimy layer called biofilm. Generally, it is produced by them in moderate amount. During unfavorable living conditions, they accelerate the biofilm production to survive for a longer period of time. This enhanced biofilm production causes nasal mucosa and upper respiratory tract congestion.

The presence of intense biofilm can cause staphylococcal infections that stay for longer period of time and are hard-to-treat. The iron capturing ability of salicylic acid leads to the increase in the formation of bacterial biofilm.

Many salicylic acid-containing oral medications enter the bloodstream directly and form complexes with iron ions. Regular and continuous use of anti-acne preparation and many exfoliate products containing salicylic acid promote the biofilm production.

salicylic acid uses

Every now and then we learn about so many advantages of salicylic acid. It belongs to a class of drug called salicylates. It helps in shedding the dead cells of our skin and reduces pimples. These advantages compel us to increase the intake of salicylic acid every day. This habit promotes nasal mucosa colonization and upper respiratory tract infections.

Salicylic acid consumption should be based on the recommended dosage by doctors and response to treatment.

Use of salicylic acid in large amount for a longer period of time should be avoided. Avoid overuse of salicylic acid-containing creams, lotions, shampoos and other cosmetics. The study is conducted by University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna.

Featured Image Credit:  Bigstockphoto

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