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Educational Series: Maintaining acid base homeostasis is our first line of defense to prevent disease

Written by Lauren Hayden. Posted in All, Educational Series

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Series 1: What is acid base homeostasis?

An extensive international scientific evidence based literature review, performed Spring 2013 shows that maintaining acid base homeostasis is our first line of defense against diseases of the muscle, spine, bones, kidney’s, heart, diabetes, cardiovascular and pulmonary systems. These diseases present with what appears to be a progressive, cumulative breakdown of the acid base/mineral system.

Acid Base Homeostasis

The body is composed of approximately 85 percent water and dissolved substances including electrolytes, which function with hydrogen and oxygen to maintain fluid acid base homeostasis in the body as measured by the pH of the body fluids. The fluid compartments include the intracellular fluid (inside the cell), which constitutes about 62 percent of the total fluid composition, and extra cellular (outside the cell), which contains about 37 percent of the total fluid composition. The extra cellular compartment includes the blood plasma about 8 percent, lymphatic, interstitial fluids and Tran cellular fluids of the cerebrospinal nervous system, the vitreous and aqueous humor of the eyes and the synovial fluids of the joints. (Shier, 2010).

Electrolytes are highly charged mineral particles or ions that dissolve in body fluids and regulate the acid base balance by their chemical attraction to hydrogen (H+) and oxygen. (O) gases. Acid-base and electrolyte balance are equivalent terms (Terzano, C. 2012). In addition to their role in maintaining acid base balance, electrolytes function as cofactors for enzymes, action potential for nerve and muscle cells, secretion and action of hormones and neurotransmitters, muscle contraction, secondary active transport, and osmosis.

The electrolytes, (minerals) which play a primary role in acid base homeostasis include positively charged cat ions sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), calcium (Ca+2), and magnesium (Mg+2) as well as the major negative anions; chloride (Cl-), bicarbonate (HCO3-), phosphates ( PO4-3/ H2PO4-), sulfate ions (SO4-2), plus proteins and organic acids. It is important to understand we acquire electrolytes from our water, diet, and through supplementation and they must be in the proper proportion of the various fluid compartments for the healthy function of the system. Electrolyte balance results when the quantity of electrolytes gained is equal to the amount lost. Thus, consider we gain electrolytes from ingesting alkaline forming foods and nutraceuticals and lose them through metabolic perspiration, respiration and by elimination of the urine and feces.

Resources:

Hayden, L., Acid Base Imbalance: a contributing risk factor to disease. American College of Healthcare Science. (May, 2013). Live Well, Fairfax, VA

Shier, D. & Butler, J. & Lewis, R. (2010), Water, Electrolyte, and Acid-Base Balance. Hole’s Human Anatomy & Physiology. pp. 811-824 New York, NY: McGraw-Hill

Terzano, C., Di Stefano, F., Conti, V., Di Nicola, M., Paone, G., Petroianni, A., Ricci, A. Mixed Acid-Base Disorders, Hydroelectrolyte Imbalance and Lactate Production in Hypercapnic Respiratory Failure: The Role of Noninvasive Ventilation. PLoS One. 2012; 7(4): e35245. Published online 2012 April 23. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035245 PMCID: PMC3335154

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