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Lack of effect of ascorbic acid, hippuric acid, and methenamine (urinary formaldehyde) on the copper-reduction glucose test in geriatric patients

Nahata MC, McLeod DC
J Am Geriatr Soc 28(5):230-3

Ascorbic acid and hippuric acid (from cranberry juice) are commonly used to acidify the urine for the purpose of enhancing the degradation of therapeutic methenamine mandelate to urinary formaldehyde. A study was made of 27 nondiabetic geriatric patients with indwelling Foley catheters and chronic bacteriuria who were treated with methenamine mandelate (4 gm), ascorbic acid (4 gm), and cranberry cocktail (1 liter) daily. All of 972 urine samples showed formaldehyde in mean concentrations between 14 and 25 microgram/ml. No glucose was found when the urine was tested by the copper-reduction method. In vitro false positive reactions reported in the literature do not appear to be duplicated as an in vivo problem.