Factors affecting body acidbase balance

* Body acid production creates a hydrogen ion load, mainly from oxidation of proteins, carbohydrates and other organic molecules. This amounts to 50-100 mmol of hydrogen ions per day in the adult, and includes volatile acids (such as carbonic acid) and fixed acids (such as phosphoric and sulphuric acids). The body is a net producer of acid. Acids produced by the body consist of carbonic acid (respiratory acid), and various metabolic acids, including sulphuric acid, phosphoric acid, lactic acid, citric acid, ammonium ions and ketone bodies (acetoacetic acid and beta-hydroxybutyric acid).

* Buffering of the hydrogen ion load by extracellular and intracellular buffer systems.

* Excretion of the hydrogen ion load due to loss of bicarbonate. Respiratory regulation of volatile acid excretion by variations in alveolar ventilation affecting the excretion of carbon dioxide. Respiratory compensation is achieved by control of alveolar ventilation through the intervention of: Peripheral chemoreceptors in the carotid and aortic bodies; Central chemoreceptors in the ventro-lateral medulla.

Acid production by the body

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