His research indicates that increased acidity—or low pH—in the brain is associated with panic disorders, anxiety, and depression. However, his research suggests that fluctuations in acidity are also crucial for regular brain function. For example, higher-than-normal levels of acidity are associated with memory problems while lower-than-normal levels of acidity are related to depression and anxiety.
The brain is very sensitive to changes in pH because it uses hydrogen ions for various functions like communication between neurons, building materials for cells, etc. A slight change in pH can cause large changes in how these neurons communicate with each other. Too much or too little acidity can impact brain function in damaging ways.
When there is a lack of oxygen to the brain, the normal acid balance may be disrupted due to chemical reactions that occur during this process. More hydrogen ions than electrons are available in these circumstances, which can lead to an increase in acidity. This is called "acidosis". Acidosis can happen when the body is deprived of oxygen for a long time (such as at high altitudes where there is less oxygen) or after taking aspirin or other drugs that contain acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin comes in tablets and ointments for topical use). Too much acid in the brain can have serious consequences such as loss of consciousness, coma, or death.
A reduction of 0.1 pH units in human blood pH can have serious health repercussions, such as seizures, cardiac arrhythmia, or even coma (a process called acidosis). In addition, chronic exposure to low-grade acidosis is associated with bone loss, muscle weakness, and dementia. The body's ability to control acidity is through the buffering system, which consists mainly of alkaline substances like bicarbonate ions (HCO3−) that neutralize acids. When these buffers are used up, other substances are needed to maintain a healthy level of acidity in the blood.
When carbon dioxide levels are high but the buffer systems are intact, this gas accumulates in the blood and causes the pH to fall. This occurs normally during sleep when the body produces more carbon dioxide; however, if the body is exposed to extreme temperatures, too much protein, or excessive amounts of alcohol, it may not be able to keep up with this extra production and the pH may begin to drop.
Low blood pH has many implications for athletic performance. One study showed that athletes who suffered from acidosis performed worse on cognitive tests than those who had normal blood pH. Other studies have shown that people with acidosis experience greater fatigue during exercise and have difficulties regulating their body temperature.
Changes in pH have been known for more than a century to be a predictor of tone. Gaskell (34) shown that acid solutions relax vascular smooth muscle, and more recent research has proven that lowering blood pH enhances blood flow (35). Increased blood flow is needed in areas of the body with high energy demands, such as the brain and heart.
Acidosis is defined as a state of low serum bicarbonate concentration and high serum lactate concentration due to excessive loss or poor production of these anions. It can be caused by many diseases or other causes including trauma, infection, inflammation, etc. Acidosis impairs tissue perfusion and activates defensive mechanisms that protect against further damage - this is called "acid-base homeostasis". These mechanisms include increased breathing, which increases ventilation/perfusion ratio and thus oxygenation of blood, and decreased renal clearance of hydrogen ions (which increase urine pH). However, these same mechanisms that protect against further injury may also limit blood flow by increasing blood pressure through increased respiratory rate and vasoconstriction via activation of peripheral chemoreceptors and central nervous system (CNS) centers. Thus, acidosis can cause or contribute to reduced blood flow.
The relationship between acid-base status and blood flow was first described over 100 years ago by Gaskell.
Seizures, comas, and even death can result with a decrease in blood pH of 0.2–0.3. Similarly, even little changes in seawater pH can have a negative influence on marine life, affecting chemical communication, reproduction, and growth. The construction of skeletons in marine organisms is especially susceptible to acidity. For example, the shells of some mollusks are made up of calcium carbonate that has a neutral or slightly alkaline pH (8.1-8.4). However, if the water in which these creatures live becomes too acidic, the shells will be degraded by erosion.
Marine animals can adapt to varying degrees of pH change. Some species are able to regulate their body temperature when exposed to low pH waters, while others migrate to more alkaline regions of the ocean. Very few studies have examined how various marine organisms respond to changes in pH, but evidence suggests that many species would be likely affected by a widespread increase in ocean acidity. Changes in pH could cause problems for certain marine animals by interfering with their ability to communicate using chemical signals (i.e., odors), reproduce successfully, or grow to maturity.
Ocean acidification is caused by the absorption of atmospheric carbon dioxide into the world's oceans. Because carbon dioxide molecules are less dense than water molecules, this process causes water to become more acidic. Scientists predict that if current trends continue, the average depth of the ocean will decline by about 200 meters (660 feet) by 2100.
In our daily lives, pH is quite essential. 1. In our digestive system: The hydrochloric acid generated in our stomach aids in food digestion while causing no harm to the stomach. However, when the amount of acid in the stomach exceeds a particular threshold owing to indigestion, discomfort and irritation occur. This can be avoided by maintaining an optimal pH level in the body. 2. In bones: Acidic foods such as fruits and vegetables aid in bone growth by promoting calcium absorption. Therefore, a low-acid diet may lead to reduced calcium intake and decreased bone mass. 3. In teeth: Acidic foods help prevent tooth decay because acidic substances inhibit the formation of dental plaque. 4. In muscles: Proteins contained in meat are broken down into their individual amino acids during digestion. 5. In skin: Skin that is exposed to the sun contains more vitamin D if it is acidic. As we age, our skin becomes less acidic which reduces its ability to make vitamin D.
6. In cells: All living things contain hydrogen ions (H+), which act as a signal for cells to divide or not divide. 7. In agriculture: An alkaline soil produces more nutritious crops than an acidic one. 8. In medicine: Doctors often have to determine the pH of a patient's urine to diagnose metabolic disorders or kidney problems. 9. In science: Scientists use pH tests to understand the chemistry of life by measuring the concentration of hydrogen ions within cells and organisms.