Acids and bases: in the balance of ions

Actually, the acid-base balance of the human body is balanced. But with the wrong way of life, the interaction can get quite out of balance. Discomfort,  depression or even physical illnesses can be the result.

acid, base and pH

Acids and bases exist in the human body. Acid always contains free, positive hydrogen ions (H+). In a base, on the other hand, the negatively charged particles, consisting of a hydrogen and an oxygen atom (OH -), predominate. The acid or base content is indicated with the pH value. The concentration of the hydrogen ions is measured. The scale ranges from 0 to 7 in the acidic range, from 7 to 14 in the basic range. At a pH of 7, positively and negatively charged particles are in equilibrium.

There are different pH values ​​in the body depending on the organ. It is very acidic in the stomach – hydrochloric acid is produced here. Basic values ​​also prevail in the saliva and duodenum. Only in the blood is the pH constant at 7.4. The acid-base balance of the blood is regulated by a sophisticated system because even minor deviations can lead to serious organ damage.

Acids are always formed in the body when protein is digested. With every energy process in the body cells, carbonic acid is released. Too little movement ensures that the acids formed cannot be transported away and are deposited in the connective tissue, among other things. However, there are also genetic or disease-related disorders of the acid-base balance, for example a restricted functioning of the base-regulating organs such as the pancreas, gallbladder or liver. Stomach and kidney diseases can also lead to  hyperacidity  .

Take a deep breath!

The body uses three control mechanisms to keep the acid-base balance stable. Excess acid is excreted through the kidneys. So-called pH buffers in the blood ensure that the body remains intact in the event of sudden acid fluctuations.

Finally, exhaling carbon dioxide ensures that pH is regulated. The respiratory center in the brain and the lungs can control the pH of the blood minute by minute by equalizing the depth and speed of breathing. With increased breathing, the carbon dioxide content of the blood drops and it becomes alkaline. If breathing becomes shallow, the carbon dioxide content of the blood increases and it becomes acidic.

gout and co.

Some diseases that can be traced back to disturbances in the acid-base balance have been known for a long time. One of the best known is certainly  gout . Gout is caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints, which then become inflamed and painful.

Gout is considered a disease of affluence because the excess uric acid comes from the protein metabolism. Uric acid is formed when meat is broken down. Alcohol also contributes. In vegetarians, on the other hand, gout is almost unknown, although legumes such as  peas  and lentils are unfavorable for uric acid production. It is conceivable that vegetable proteins do not put as much strain on the body as animal proteins.

Gout tends to be attributed to diseases of the connective tissue and joints, even if there are specific nutritional recommendations for gout sufferers. In medicine, the idea that chronic hyperacidity is possible and harmful with the wrong lifestyle is only slowly gaining acceptance.

Always mad?

Even without gout or the predisposition to it, constant subliminal hyperacidity contributes to making you feel unwell or getting sick. Too many acids can accumulate in the connective tissue and significantly impair blood circulation there, for example. If the storage space in the connective tissue is exhausted, the acids are deposited in the joints. Muscle tension, back and  neck pain  are among the most obvious symptoms. Frequent  heartburn , inflammation of the gastric mucosa, constant exhaustion or  sleep disorders  can be a sign of hyperacidity.

The only remedy in the long term is a consistent change in diet. The aim is to create a balance between acidic and alkaline-forming foods. It is important to get an overview of the different properties of the different foods.

There are basically four groups of foods

So-called base suppliers such as:

  • potatoes
  • vegetables
  • fruit
  • Raw  milk  and cheese
  • Brown sugar
  • still mineral waters
  • most herbs

Neutral foods keep the balance between acids and bases. This includes:

  • Butter
  • pressed oils
  • walnuts
  • tap water

Acid producers include foods that do not contain acids themselves, but which produce acids during  metabolism  .

  • sugar and sugar confectionery
  • Bread and rolls made from white flour
  • pasta,  rice
  • Coffee
  • black  tea if steeped for less than a minute
  • Alcohol

The last group is formed by the acid suppliers, who supply an excess of acidic minerals:

  • meat
  • Fisch
  • poultry
  • Wild
  • Quark
  • Meatsoup

Well chewed is half digested

As a rule, we eat too acidic. This unhealthy diet is compounded by the fact that many foods and foods are eaten too hastily and not chewed properly. Because digestion actually begins with chewing in the mouth. The saliva is alkaline and when the food is thoroughly crushed, a corresponding amount of saliva is formed. Acids can be better metabolized and excreted.

In addition, the mixture of semi-digested and undigested food leads to heartburn and hyperacidity in the stomach. In some cases, so-called fermentation gases are also produced in the intestines because food has to be digested here. So if you want to prevent the so-called stiff acidity in the body, you should eat mostly basic foods and chew them well.

Base builders keep you young

In the meantime, the acid-base balance has also found its way into anti-aging therapy. If you want to stay young longer, doctors recommend a change in diet with acid-base control. A lot of exercise, which supports the removal of toxins from the body, is just as important as not having a late dinner to avoid the formation of fermentation gases. After “acidification”, “dinner canceling” is the new buzzword in anti-aging therapy. Enjoy your meal!

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