The harmfulness and importance of acids

The presence of acids in the body is normal within certain limits, since our body, due to its operating modes, necessarily receives and produces acids. However, these are small quantities that the body neutralizes and eliminates easily. The presence of acids becomes pathological when normal rates are exceeded, and this can happen for several reasons. The supply of acids through food and drinks can exceed the body's utilization and neutralization capacity. 

The defective elimination of acids by the kidneys and skin can also be the cause of their accumulation in the tissues. The acids thus formed are transported throughout the body by the blood, lymph and cellular serum. The nutrient liquids, in which our cells are bathed, inevitably become more and more acidic, and the cells are ultimately forced to undergo the harmful influence of this environment. 

The aggressive action of the acids has already been experienced by each of us every time, for example, a lemon wedge in our mouth. The contact with the acidic juice by the mucous membranes triggers a defensive reaction: the mouth and face contract to stop the penetration of the acidic substances, and increase salivation to dilute the irritating principles. But this passing experience, which we live in contact with lemon acid, the cells, which live in an acidic soil, must endure it permanently.

Proofs of Power of acids

The power of the action of the acids is such that it is enough a few years for the teeth of an acidified person to become decayed, while thousands of years have not been enough to dissolve the teeth of prehistoric men exhumed in our day. The hardness of marble is also affected by the action of acids. It is sufficient to apply a lemon wedge on the marble to find after a while how smooth its surface has become wrinkled and `sick 'following the corrosive action of the lemon. On the other hand, it is because of this corrosive action that vinegar is used to remove limestone deposits from the bottom of the pots and from the bottom of the bathtubs. And if, unfortunately, you forget the vinegar poured in the bathtub and leave it to act for too long,

Another proof of the power of acids is provided by the well-known experiment of dissolving pieces of meat immersed in an environment made strongly acidic, for example, with Coca-Cola. 
The intensity of the action of the acids varies according to the quantity absorbed, but also, and above all, according to the strength of the acid itself. There are stronger acids than the others.

How to measure acid strength?

A measuring system has been established which allows to characterize the strength of the acids by means of a number. This force is determined by the greater or lesser capacity of the body to release hydrogen ions (H). This is why we speak of the pH of a substance, that is, of its power (p) in releasing hydrogen ions (H). The measuring scale goes from 0 to 14.11 number 7 indicates an equilibrium ratio between acids and alkalis, that is, a neutral pH. Alkalis or alkaline bodies, called basic bodies  are the substances which have characteristics opposite to those of acids. The higher the acidity, the weaker the pH: from 7 to O.

The higher the alkalinity, the less acidic a body is, and the pH is higher: from 7 to 14. Fourteen represents the weakest concentration of H ions. 

The pH, or the degree of acidity or alkalinity of all substances, those that we eat and those that we form in our body, can therefore be measured and numbered. The numbers used are the expression of a convention, of a measuring system created to facilitate the determination of the pH. The system is based on logarithms; the passage from one unit to another of the measurement scale, for example from 7 to 6, indicates that the concentration in acids increases 10 times and not once as in the arithmetic system.

All substances that have a pH of 7 to 14 are alkaline. This is the case, for example of saliva (pH 7.1), of pancreatic juices whose pH varies between 7.5 and 8.8 and of intestinal juices whose pH is 8. Acid substances instead have a pH that varies between 7 and 0. That of the outer layers of the skin is 5.2; for this reason it is important not to use alkaline detergents (soap). That of gastric juices varies between 1.6 and 3.2. 

As you have seen from what has been said in enzymatic precedence, the pH varies from one part of our body to the other, and this depends on the fact that vital phenomena occur in a defined pH environment, and which corresponds at the pH necessary for the activity of the enzymes. 

And it is precisely for this reason that the pH has such a great importance for the good health of the human organism. The enzymes, which are, to some extent, the workers who carry out all the work necessary for the organism (inside and outside the cells), can no longer act 'when their vital environment changes, that is, it changes its pH .

The slowdown or interruption of enzyme activity can be the cause of a great variety of organic disorders. This blocking phenomenon is very well known in agriculture. Certain crops thrive not because the nutrients necessary for their development are lacking in the soil, on the contrary these substances are present in abundance, but because the acidity of the soil is too strong and blocks the activity of the enzymes responsible for assimilation of substances by plants.

How the body defends itself from acids 

To cope with the massive and unexpected presence of acids, the body has a defense system called `` buffer power '', which allows the shock caused by the abrupt arrival of these substances to be collected without losing balance. . The defense system works in a very simple way consists in neutralizing each acid by linking it to a base, that is to a body that has inverse properties to those of the acids. A neutral salt is thus obtained, and the harmfulness is buffered. Chlorine, for example, is a very dangerous acid mineral for our organism, but in the presence of the sodium base, its negative characteristic disappears. The resulting neutral salt, i.e. sodium chloride, is a very useful substance, because it is, as is known, cooking salt. 

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