Hypochlorous acid, the active ingredient in chlorine bleach is the main ingredient in a toxic cocktail produced by the human immune system to destroy bacteria, according to a new study (Eurekalert.org, March 6).
When bacteria enter the bloodstream, a group of immune system cells – neutrophil granulocytes, which are the most common white blood cells – are the first line of defense against infections. These defend the body by wrapping themselves around bacteria, and effectively ‘eating’ them, notes the journal. During this process, called phagocytosis, the cell also drenches the bacteria with a deadly cocktail of chemicals, including hypochlorous acid and the antiseptic, hydrogen peroxide. This mixture chemically burns, and then kills, the invaders