Acetates are chemicals that are commonly used in text industry and pharmacy. The acetic acid salts occur in various forms, including as metabolic products in the human body. Together with ester, derivatives of the carboxylic acid, free acetic acid is formed as part of blood and tissue.

What are acetates?

Acetates or ethanoates denote the esters and salts of acetic acid. Other ingredients include such compounds as aryl, arylalkyl, and alkyl, which form organic-chemical residues. These residues from the raw materials yield the acetates with their associated structure in terms of chemical composition.

The intestinal bacterium Bacteroides thetaiomicron, for example, is able to convert fiber into fatty acid acetate. About ten percent of daily calorie consumption comes from such microbial-derived fatty acids. Acetates exist in various forms such as sodium acetate, calcium acetate, lead acetate or ammonium acetate. Although the individual types of acetate show slight differences in their chemical system, they have the same properties and similar compositions. Acetates are found in almost every living matter.

In a biological organism, the acetate acetyl-coenzyme A acts as an intermediate and is involved in a variety of metabolic reactions. Salts and esters of acetic acid are widely distributed in nature, but their abundance is extremely rare in natural minerals. However, some minerals such as calcanite and hoganite are based on acetate.

Function, effect & tasks

Vitamin E acetate (tocopheryl acetate) plays an essential role in maintaining bodily functions. For certain diseases or deficiencies, vitamin E supplements are therefore used in the form of synthetically produced derivatives because they are particularly stable and long-lived.

The liquids produced in very high purity are often used for drug production. Vitamin E acetates also serve as an additive in the cosmetics industry and in feed production. The use of tocopheryl acetate as capsules or dragees should only be done under medical supervision. Stable Vitamin E Acetates are also found in dry skin or sunscreen creams. Sodium acetate is used as food additive and may be added up to the specified maximum amount. For untreated foods, however, this acetate is not approved, as these products may not contain any additives in accordance with legal guidelines. Sodium acetates are components in dairy products, canned vegetables or mayonnaise.

The slightly vinegar-scented and colorless salt also serves as a buffer to give molten salts or engineering materials the right acidity. Sodium acetates are therefore able to neutralize the sour taste in a food. In addition, this acetate can curb the proliferation of some bacterial species. However, mold can not be prevented by using sodium acetate. The salts are often used as additives in combination with various preservatives. In the body, acetates are further digested to acetic acid. Activated acetic acid requires the human organism for energy, so that the cells constantly generate enough energy to withstand environmental influences.

Education, occurrence, properties & optimal values

The citrate cycle is a system of biochemical reactions that plays a central role in numerous metabolism and metabolism processes. Regarding the regulation of metabolism, this means that high concentrations of the original products have an activating effect on the body. This includes acetic acid. The acetate or salts and esters of acetic acid significantly affect the metabolism. More specifically, it is the activated acetic acid acetyl-CoA, wherein the abbreviation CoA stands for coenzyme A.

This factor is involved in a variety of enzyme reactions. When acetic acid has become acetyl-CoA by conversion, carboxylic acid can develop its full biochemical utility. Acetyl-CoA not only acts as an important control center in metabolic processes, but is also a basic element for the connection of sex hormones, adrenocortical hormones and tissue hormones such as histamine and serotonin. Vinegar is often used as a natural remedy to stimulate digestion and metabolism. The digestive process speeds up because vinegar stimulates salivary gland secretion. This promotes nutrient uptake and promotes the excretion of degradation products.

Diseases & Disorders

Like sodium acetate, calcium acetate is also used as a preservative and acid-regulating food additive. The calcium salt of acetic acid also serves as extraction solvent for soil samples and as fuel paste in association with methylated spirits.

In medicine, calcium acetate is used in the treatment of chronic renal insufficiency or elevated phosphate levels. Calcium acetate solutions are also contained in heat packs. As the metal plates deform in the pillows, a crystallization nucleus forms. The complete acetate solution crystallizes within seconds, but can store and release heat for a long time. The duration of the heat release depends on the size and volume of the heat pad and on the ambient temperature. The drug calcium acetate is a mineral preparation that binds phosphates contained in the diet to reduce the phosphate uptake in the body. The medicine is given to patients undergoing dialysis treatment for severe kidney disease.

The medication calcium acetate must not be taken if the calcium concentration in the blood is too high. Hypercalcaemia is common in hyperparathyroidism. Vitamin D overdose, certain types of blood cancers, bone metastases, calcified kidney stones, and various lung diseases increase the calcium concentration, so taking calcium acetate poses a health risk. In the textile industry, dry-spun acetate fibers are used to make raincoats, umbrellas, blouses, shirts, women's underwear or ties. The chemical fibers dry very fast, are extremely elastic and resistant to fungal attack. Unlike polyester, acetate absorbs a lot of moisture and releases it back to the outside air.

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