Acid/base balance influences human exercise performance, urinary stone production and calcium absorption and use in the body. Diet can alter our acid-base balance. Acid production in the urine can be predicted by measuring the dietary intake of all foods. The authors have created an algorithm (formula) to predict the amount of acid produced from a known amount of food consumed. The renal net acid excretion (NAE) is the amount of acid produced in the urine.
The protein we eat alters the kidney’s NAE. Protein improves the NAE levels by stimulation of urine ammonium production (ammoniogenesis.) Ammonia is a major urine hydrogen ion receptor and aids the release of hydrogen ions into the urine, relieving acidity. An increase of protein intake will be followed by an increase in ammonia and acid in the urine.
The absorption of sulfur amino acids for the production of acid or alkali is regulated by the intestine. Actually, the intestine does not produce acid or alkali, but, it controls the absorption of bicarbonate, minerals and sulfur amino acids from the intestine into the blood, thereby altering blood pH. Bicarbonate buffers the body’s acidity. (The bicarbonate that is reabsorbed by the intestine is from pancreatic secretions.) The intake of sulfur amino acids plays a part in the acid/base balance of the body when acid and alkali chemicals are derived from them.
The lungs buffer the balance between bicarbonate and carbonic acid in the blood through respiration. In this way, the blood pH is kept within a very narrow range.
CONCLUSION: Our diets alter the urinary excretion of acid. The authors have developed an algorithm to predict a person’s NAE from eating a certain amount of food. The blood, liver, lungs, kidneys and intestines all play roles in our acid/base balance.
NOTE: Sulfur amino acids include methionine and cysteine. The pH of the urine can be tested using pH paper.
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