Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Acid & Alkaline Balance In The Body

There is a very tight window of pH where our blood can operate. Blood pH must be kept between 7.34-7.45. A pH of 1-6.9 is considered acidic and a pH of 7.1 to 14 is considered alkaline. 7.0 is considered neutral. So the operating pH of blood is just slightly alkaline.

The body must keep the pH of the blood in this tight window in order for you to stay alive. Breathing out carbon dioxide and other waste products along with the excreting and filtering done by the kidneys allows our bodies to keep the pH of the blood within that window. There are also buffers stored in the body to help as necessary. The pH fluctuates slightly as it travels from the lungs to the tissues and back.

This change in pH facilitates the release of carbon dioxide from the hemoglobin of the red cells and the uptake of oxygen in the lungs. As the blood reaches the cells, the pH change causes the oxygen to now leave the red cell and carbon dioxide to replace it. The whole reason this exchange of gasses can take place is because of this slight pH change.

At one pH the hemoglobin molecule prefers oxygen to carbon dioxide and with a slight variation of pH the hemoglobin prefers carbon dioxide to oxygen. So the body has systems in place to protect this delicate balance.

Since blood pH absolutely can not vary too much, if the body is struggling to maintain the more alkaline pH it thrives at, this will first show up in the urine and next at the cellular level. For this reason, the pH of saliva and urine are the two solutions most often tested to check on a person's pH.

You can do a search on "acid alkaline balance" and research this topic for hours. If you have never done this, I would urge you to do so. (Read more here.)

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