Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Demonstrating Human Buffering

Name: Grinsun
Status: student
Grade: 12+
Location: Outside U.S.
Country: Costa Rica
Date: Fall 2013

How can you prove that our body is a natural buffer solution?

Hi Grinsun,

Thanks for the question. It is not ethical to conduct certain types of experiments on humans. By "certain types of experiments", I mean experiments which do not have outcomes that would have the possibility to significantly improve the human condition. The experiment that would be required by your question is in this class.

The blood and lymph in a human are indeed buffer solutions. The definition of a buffer solution is a solution which has a weak acid and its conjugate base. There are several weak acids and their conjugate bases in bodily fluids. Here are some examples: carbonic acid, phosphoric acid (2nd proton to dissociate), acetic acid, fatty acids, and bone. Yes, bone contributes to the buffer capacity of the blood. This fact is only taught in medical school.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have more questions. Thanks Jeff

Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 223
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: November 2011
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory