Acid-Base Balance and How Nutrition Plays an Important Role

Kidneys are the third line of defense against wide changes in the body fluid pH. Renal Mechanisms are stronger for regulating acid-base balance.

When food enters the digestive tract and goes through the process of digestion, each food components are recognized by the kidneys as either and acid-forming compound or base-forming compound. When the sum total of micro and macronutrients is tabulated, we are left with a calculated acid-base load. If the diet has more basic components, it will manifest net-base load in the body. If the diet has more acidic components, it will manifest net-acid load in the body.

Every cell of the body functions optimally within a certain pH range that has to be tightly regulated. One common problem with our modern world is that our diet produces a low-grade chronic metabolic acidosis. In other words, the PRAL (Potential Renal Acid Load) of our diets is high and that were in a state of high acidity. (Berardi, 2003).

Rice  31.2
Soda  1.6
Chicken steak  21.8
Lean pork  17.6
Watermelon  (-) 11
Water  (-) 5.9
Overall PRAL for the day 57.3
After calculating my diet for the entire day, my PRAL score was 57.3

With todays PRAL results, my body could be in a state of low-grade chronic metabolic acidosis.
This diet would eventually result in poor bone density or osteoporosis as a consequence of low-intake of food rich in minerals. This can also further damage kidney functions due to possible high pH urine excretion. Other possible results to this type of diet may also result in heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Some restorative interventions like more intake of food rich in minerals like seafood, crops and dairy products that help in the bone formation. Avoid excessive intake of food protein products like meat. Increase intake of water as an alternate to sodas to decrease urine pH. (Ignatavicius, 2006, p.278)
The direct relationship of acid-base balance and nutrition which affects bone and kidney state reminded me of the fact that we are ought to eat food rich in minerals that directly comes from the sea and increase water or fruit juices intake. It also lets me realize the importance having a balanced diet so as not to suffer from other illnesses.


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