Acid Alkaline Balance

In the same way that our body needs a certain temperature to function well, the cells and our blood need a specific pH range to function properly.

The chemical processes in the body must have a certain pH to function well. Therefore, it is important that the H+ concentration is kept within this small limit.

Among many other things, pH influences the activity of enzymes. Enzymes have many important tasks, including the body´s breakdown of nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins and fat. Our cells need a proper pH in order to utilize the nutrition from the blood and to perform their cellular processes, while the body proteins need a certain pH to retain its shape and to function well. If the pH is too high or too low the proteins (enzymes) will no longer function properly.

The body ensures that fluids inside and outside the cells are kept within their proper pH limits, even when we eat acidic foods. Buffers help to ensure the stable pH level. Buffers are weak acids or bases that take up H+ ions when the hydrogen concentration is rising – and give off hydrogen’s atoms when the concentration drops. One of the most well known buffer systems is the bicarbonate system. The breath is also regulated in relation to the body´s pH. When the acid level in the body rises, the breath will automatically become faster and emit carbon dioxide. The kidneys also help with the regulation by “separating” out the H+ when the body becomes acidic. But, unlike the way the buffers and lungs are rapidly responding, the kidneys need several hours to restore a normal pH.

All the processes above occur automatically in the body, but we can help our body best perform these vital functions through our diet. The food we eat affects our blood pH. By eating lots of vegetables, your body will be able to maintain its natural pH balance, while when eating too many acidic foods, the body must use buffer systems to restore the balance. Over time this stress can cause disease. As well, since calcium can also

be used to maintain blood pH, this prevents leaching minerals like calcium from our bones.


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