Question About Acid/Base Balance

Hey gang I’ve been reading about foods resulting in either acid or alkaline loads on the body, and read how salt (NaCl) results in an acidic load due to the chloride ion. I know that HCl is a strong acid, so it Cl- wouldn’t be a good buffer, but can anyone tell me how NaCl (or Cl-) causes a drop in pH? is it a simple chemical answer, or a physiological process? thanks.

I don’t know the answer, but isn’t NaCL used to form some acids?

For example if you add salt to sulferic acid, you get Hydrochloric acid.

2NaCL + H2SO4 → NaHSO4 + 2HCl

HCl is a stronger acid then H2SO4, if I recall correctly.
I have no idea if this can happen in your body though.

Yea, I’ve read all that malarky too. Vegetarian propaganda. Eat for balance and you shouldn’t have to worry about going into acidosis or alkalosis. Oh, BTW, little known fact to those who propose this crap. Your body has a fairly constant pH, and everyone’s is pretty much the same. Any deviation is life threatening. Movements, even as much as .3 either way throws everything out of whack, and lands you in the hospital.

You keep your blood pH constant through respiration (eliminating CO2, and O2 intake)and blood mineral buffering, which comes form your bones, and through diet. So, just eat whole foods, including mineral rich veges, drink high mineral water and stop worrying about the minutia. Or you can take a quality vitamin mineral sup.


Thanks for the replies gentlemen. I found an article from 2007 which sited 2 ancient articles (1949 and 1977) that said (quote):

Plasma chloride and bicarbonate levels have an inverse relationship due to reciprocal renal tubular reabsorption.10 Sodium and its attendant anions are reabsorbed in the proximal tubule. It is possibly that tubular reabsorption is relatively equal for the anions presenting in the lumen, that is, whether chloride or bicarbonate. Thus, a diminished absorption of bicarbonate might be compensated by an increased absorption of chloride as a partner to sodium.11 Therefore, as the plasma chloride level increases, the plasma bicarbonate concentration would be expected to decrease leading to hyperchloremic metabolic acidosis.

So it seems that consuming chloride generally increases anion excretion, including bicarb ions, leading to increased acidity??

Heres the ref:
Factors associated with metabolic acidosis in patients receiving parenteral nutrition
NEPHROLOGY 2007; 12, 3�??7

Im with ya that shifts are negligible thanks to the lungs and kidneys, but i need to know why. hopefuly this is the answer.

The acidity/base issue is not what the level of blood pH is - the body keeps that constant as djreef wrote. Rather the issue is if you eat a diet high in acidifying nutrients, then your body will breakdown muscle and bone to provide the glutamine and calcium to buffer the acidity. This leads to less muscle and bone growth due to increased resorption (a process that occurs anyway).

Diets high in animal protein, vegetable, and fruit intake are the most anabolic on bone due to quality protein intake and balanced acid-base levels. Diets which do not have the base containing foods are more likely to lead to bone health issues regardless of protein intake.

The whole acid-base balance is also indicative of micronutrient intake ratios, and a more basic profile is associated with higher potassium, magnesium, and calcium intakes. Something many fall short on… due to low fruit and vegetable intake.

how do fruits compare to veggies in their buffering abilities?

i eat a ton more fruit than veggies

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
how do fruits compare to veggies in their buffering abilities?

i eat a ton more fruit than veggies[/quote]

Other than the super leafy greens (spinach, kale, and swiss chard) most fruits and veggies are around the same -3mEq range. spinach is -12 to -14, kale around -8, and chard around -7. Fish is around 8, meat 8-10, and grains are similar to meat (quinoa and buckwheat flour are neutral) but with more range. These values are for 100g portions, so obviously that would make veggies the most basic per calorie and certain cheeses the most acidic per calorie.