How the Body Defends Itself Against Acidification

Monday, October 19, 2009  |  2 Comments

by Christopher Vasey

Christopher Vasey, N.D

Whenever there is an imbalance between acid and alkaline substances, whether in the body's entire system or a particular organ, the body is forced to react in self-defense. It has two means at its disposal to take action: to reduce the amount of the excessive acidic substance by eliminating it from the body; and to partially neutralize the substance by forming neutral salts with the help of elements whose properties are the opposite of those causing the problem. The task of getting rid of excess acid in the body falls to the organs responsible for elimination: the lungs and kidneys as well as the skin.

The most rapid means for getting rid of a sudden intake of acids is via the respiratory system. By oxidizing acids the lungs release them with each breath in the form of carbon dioxide and breathe moisture. This is a fairly easy solution, as it simply requires increasing the volume and rate of the breath to intensify the pace of elimination and adapt it to the body's immediate physical needs.

Unfortunately, this method is capable of dealing only with weak acids. Strong acids, which are nonvolatile and cannot be exhaled as a gas by the lungs, can be eliminated through the kidneys only in a solid form. Uric, sulfuric, and similar acids must therefore be filtered out of the bloodstream by the kidneys and sent out of the body diluted in the urine. The kidneys, unlike the lungs, cannot adapt their elimination potential in accord with the needs of the body. Even working at maximum capacity, the kidneys cannot eliminate more than a certain daily fixed amount.

The accumulation of excess acid in the body's internal environment would be irremediable if there was not another exit available: the skin, specifically the sweat glands. Often the skin is overlooked as a means of elimination, but it is very useful for the disposal of acids.

Distributed over the entire surface of the skin, the sweat glands - of which there are more than 2 million - can expel strong acids because they work similarly to the kidneys and eliminate the same kind of wastes. Strong acids can be flushed from the body diluted in sweat, although in lesser quantities than in urine, as the body loses less than a quart of sweat a day compared to about one and a half quarts of urine. Furthermore, sweat carries a much smaller amount of toxins than does urine.


The Acid-Alkaline Diet for Optimum Health
Christopher Vasey

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