The addition of bovine serum albumin (BSA) to a solution of lactate and alanine resulted in the disappearance of the 1H-NMR resonances from lactate but not alanine. As temperature is increased lactate becomes increasingly NMR visible and after heating above 65°C and cooling to 25°C lactate binding is reduced. With a concentration of 0.2 mM BSA, there was a linear relationship between NMR visible lactate versus total lactate over a range of lactate concentrations of 0.2-35 mM (slope 0.384±0.003) indicating that approx. 60% of the added lactate is not visible in the 1H-NMR spectrum. With a 0.1 mM BSA solution, however, the slope was markedly higher indicating that under these conditions only 25-30% of the lactate was NMR invisible. The results from this study indicate that decreased NMR visibility of lactate in proteinaceous solutions is due to non-specific binding which is dependent on the tertiary structure of the protein. This has important implications not only for the interpretation of in vivo 1H-NMR experiments but also for 13C, and 14C studies of metabolism. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.