Balancing acid-base balance: why is it important?
Fatigue, lack of energy and even many illnesses and old age complaints are in most cases not the result of age or certain hereditary factors, but of overacidification of the organism. If your acid-base balance is balanced, this contributes to general well-being and can prevent various complaints.
Acid-base balance explained
Acid-base balance is the general term for various physiological control mechanisms based on the principle of homeostasis. They keep the necessary metabolic processes running at a pH value of 7.4 (±0.05) in the blood. The buffering properties of the blood and tissues as well as the gas exchange of the lungs and the excretory function of the kidneys contribute to the regulation of the acid-base balance in the organism. Disturbances in the body's acid-base balance can lead to acidosis (overacidification: pH < 7.35) oder Alkalose (Untersäuerung: pH > 7.45) and have life-threatening effects.
The task of the buffer systems in the blood is to keep the pH constant. The buffering capacity of a system describes the amount of acid or base that can be added without significantly changing the pH. The greater the buffering capacity, the more stable the system is to changes in pH. A healthy person has about 20 times as many free base molecules in the body as free acid molecules and therefore has a large, natural buffer that protects them from overacidification (acidosis).
But what does hyperacidity really mean? It's about too much free acid molecules that can accumulate locally and/or systemically. There are areas in our organism that - for normal function - are acidic (pH < 7) sind, wie Magen, Morgenurin, Vagina, Dickdarm, Haut und es gibt Bereiche, die basisch (pH > 7) must be, such as blood, saliva, small intestine, semen, connective tissue fluid. In order to balance this acid-base balance, there are various endogenous regulatory mechanisms. These include respiration, digestion, circulation, cell membrane potentials and hormone production. All serve to locally maintain the necessary pH value in the body.
Causes of acidosis
With a healthy diet, acidification of the organism is not possible. However, nowadays we eat and do things that damage our organism and make it acidic. The over-acidification of the body is largely caused as a result of acid-forming foods and an unhealthy lifestyle. The main reasons for hyperacidity are: Animal proteins, dairy products, soy products, pasta and baked goods, desserts, carbonated mineral water, soft drinks, coffee, alcohol, nicotine, synthetic food additives, sweeteners, excessive exercise, but also through stress, fear, worries, anger and negative thoughts.
During the digestion and metabolism of today's common food, large amounts of acid and metabolic end products are produced, the disposal of which overwhelms the body's regulatory mechanisms (homeostasis). At the same time, we do little to support our body in excreting the resulting metabolic end products. We move too little, are short of breath and hardly pay attention to an adequate supply of basic minerals.
Hyperacidity - the cause of most health problems
Our unhealthy lifestyle is usually the main reason for hyperacidity, which is not immediately noticeable. The human organism often tries to compensate for over-acidification over many years. Our body is often able to balance the acid-base balance successfully, but this puts a strain on the entire organism and the first symptoms appear, such as lack of energy, tiredness or lack of drive. Over time, other complaints and symptoms may appear. Since many drugs can increase acidity, there is a risk of a vicious circle.
Possible signs of insufficient elimination of metabolic end products can be: muscle pain and cramps, general malaise, persistent tiredness, susceptibility to infections, headaches or heartburn. Brittle nails, increased dandruff, hair loss, bad breath, impure skin and cellulite can also be caused by hyperacidity. The skin can become wrinkled, joints hurt and bone density decreases. In addition, tissue hyperacidity can worsen any existing disease. Too little physical activity leads to a lack of oxygen due to insufficient blood circulation in the muscles, which also leads to the formation of lactic acid. The acids that occur during daily metabolism and their metabolic end products, which our body is no longer able to excrete, are then temporarily stored in the connective tissue and/or fat cells. Fat deposits, wrinkles or cellulite can be the result. They are also stored in the joints, where they can lead to arthritis and osteoarthritis. Metabolic end products also accumulate in the kidneys, bile or bladder and can grow there to form kidney, gall or bladder stones. Deposits also take place in the blood vessels, which can lead to narrowing and, as a result, to high blood pressure and ultimately to heart attacks and strokes.
Proper nutrition balances the acid-base balance
In order to stay healthy, our body needs various base-forming minerals and trace elements that fulfill vital tasks in our body. The acid-forming minerals are sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine. This results in the metabolism of acids such. B. sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid and phosphoric acid. The base-forming minerals are sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron. Our bodies need all of these minerals to stay healthy. Each individual fulfills vital tasks in our body. Our body contains more than twice as much calcium as phosphorus. So our food should also contain these two minerals in the exact ratio. Unfortunately, the opposite is the case: today's diet based on grain, milk and meat products provides significantly more phosphorus than calcium - although this imbalance is not only present with these two minerals, but with many others as well.
Sodium is involved in many processes in the body. It contributes to the acid-base balance, regulates water balance and blood pressure and is involved in the composition of blood fluid.
Potassium – about 130 grams are contained in the human body. It is the most important mineral inside cells because potassium carries information from cell to cell. This is the only way our organs, the heart, the nervous system, the muscles, the intestinal muscles and our skin can be controlled and fulfill their function1. Potassium is the antagonist to sodium in our body. A balanced sodium-potassium ratio is important for a balanced acid-base balance.
Magnesium is a basic mineral that is involved in more than 300 enzyme reactions in the body and contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system, muscles and heart activity. Magnesium and calcium neutralize our organism from acids that are produced during the metabolism of food.
Calcium is one of the most important basic minerals in our body. A persistent acid load can promote the release of minerals such as calcium from the bones. Even a slight acidosis can lead to significantly increased bone loss. Calcium is needed for the maintenance of bones.
1) "Potassium in the blood - laboratory values lexicon A-Z". jameda.de. Retrieved on 06/24/2016 from http://www.jameda.de/laborwerte/kalium-im-blut/