What Is Acid Formic

Formic acid is the simplest carboxylic acid. Formate is an intermediate in normal metabolism. It takes part in the metabolism of one-carbon compounds and its carbon may appear in methyl groups undergoing transmethylation. It is eventually oxidized to carbon dioxide. Formate is typically produced as a byproduct in the production of acetate. It is responsible for both metabolic acidosis and disrupting mitochondrial electron transport and energy production by inhibiting cytochrome oxidase activity, the terminal electron acceptor of the electron transport chain. Cell death from cytochrome oxidase inhibition by formate is believed to result partly from depletion of ATP, reducing energy concentrations so that essential cell functions cannot be maintained. Furthermore, inhibition of cytochrome oxidase by formate may also cause cell death by increased production of cytotoxic reactive oxygen species (ROS) secondary to the blockade of the electron transport chain. In nature, formic acid is found in the stings and bites of many insects of the order Hymenoptera, including bees and ants. The principal use of formic acid is as a preservative and antibacterial agent in livestock feed. When sprayed on fresh hay or other silage, it arrests certain decay processes and causes the feed to retain its nutritive value longer.

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