The Production of 2-Hydroxypropanic (Lactic) Acid

Explain the possible relationship between the production of 2-hydroxypropanic (lactic) acid during anaerobic respiration and the impairment of muscle contractions by changes in cellular pH

  • In an anaerobic environment, the pyruvate produced during glycolysis is reduced to lactic acid
  • 2-hydroxypropanic (lactic) acid produced during heavy exercise lowers cellular pH. Lowering the pH can cause the denaturing of enzymes. This can impair muscle contractions, causing the possibility of cramps.
  • When oxygen levels in the body increase again following intense exercise, muscle cells will go back to aerobic respiration.