Acid-Base Homeostasis: Latent Acidosis as a Cause of Chronic Diseases

Jürgen Vormann, Thomas Goedecke

Rev Vormann 255-266 _o_cy

In the healthy human being, the blood has a pH value of 7.4. Even slight deviations from this value may lead to severe disturbances in metabolism which may even be life-threatening. It is for this reason that the body`s extensive buffer systems ensure that the blood pH is maintained between the very narrow limits of 7.37 and 7.43. These buffer systems bind and neutralize the additional protons (H+ ions) or hydroxide ions (OH– ions) respectively associated with excessive acidity or alkalinity and thereby prevent them from immediate and marked influences on metabolism. In order to maintain the optimal metabolic functioning and there f o re the buffering capacity on a long-term basis, the organism is also dependent on the constant regeneration of the buffer systems.

… In the past, pH regulation was taken for granted in persons not being severely ill and the required buffering capacity of the organism was accepted as being virtually inexhaustible. But today latent acidosis resulting from a gradual reduction of the buffer reserves is increasingly the focus of interest for the development and progression of chronic dis- eases such as osteoporosis and rheumatoid disorders.

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