In clinical discussions on the composition of the urine, one rarely finds any mention of hippuric acid. Presumably this is due to the fact that even marked variations in the content of this compound are not provocative of pathologic manifestations, as are excretory products like uric acid phosphates or oxalates. Furthermore, no abnormalities of nutrition have been associated directly with exceptional appearances of hippuric acid. Nevertheless, this substance represents the result of a highly important protective reaction on the part of the organism, namely, the conjugation of ingested benzoic acid with glycocoll supplied by the organism to detoxicate an otherwise harmful substance. Even with an ordinary mixed diet that includes fruits and vegetables, as much as 1 gm. of hippuric acid a day may be eliminated in the urine.
It is surely not without interest, therefore, to know the details of the origin of an excretory substance like this, which