Date: September 2004
How do salts in plasma regulate the pH of blood?
Bicarbonate ion (HCO3-) and Phosphate ion (H2PO4-) derived from Sodium Bicarbonate
and Sodium Phosphate are both excellent buffers around pH 7. The way a buffer works
is that it consists of a weak acid and a weak base; when acid is added to the system,
the acid (H+) reacts with the weak base to form the corresponding weak acid (which by
definition binds up the H+). On the other hand, when base (OH-) is added to the system,
it reacts with the weak acid to form the weak base, and thus in either case the change
in the concentration of H+ or OH- is minimized.
Regards, Ron Baker, Ph.D.
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Update: June 2012