In our digestive tract, pH is extremely significant. Hydrochloric acid is secreted in the stomach as food enters. It elevates the stomach pH between 1 and 3. This pH is required for the enzyme pepsin to be activated, which aids in the digestion of protein in diet. If the pH is too low or high, it can lead to problems such as esophageal cancer, gastritis, and gastroenteritis.
In the soil, pH determines what grows where. The pH of soil affects how nutrients are absorbed by plants. For example, nitrogen-containing chemicals are most available to plants at a pH of about 5.5 or higher; lower than that and they become less available. When plants absorb these nutrients through their roots, they usually expel some of the minerals with the unused portions of the plant material. The remaining minerals are then available for other plants or animals to consume.
Soil pH also plays a role in preventing diseases caused by bacteria and fungi. Bacteria and fungi cannot live outside a range of pH levels, so keeping soil pH within this range prevents them from growing and causing illness.
In addition to the above, pH influences many other processes in your body that you might not think of. For example, the pH of blood is normally around 7.4. Any change in this value may indicate an underlying medical problem.
The pH of our stomach is important for nutrition digestion and serves as the first line of defense against dangerous germs and viruses. The stomach contains more acid and has a lower pH than any other portion of our digestive system. The pH of your stomach's gastric juice ranges from 1 to 3, depending on how much you eat and how long you let it sit in your stomach before swallowing. As you digest food, enzymes in your saliva and stomach acids break down the proteins, carbohydrates, and fat into nutrients that can be absorbed by your small intestine cells.
When the pH of your digestive system is too high, this can lead to inflammation or erosion of healthy stomach tissue. High levels of acidity also may destroy essential bacteria that protect us from harmful organisms such as streptococcus mutans which causes tooth decay. So maintaining an optimal level of acidity is vital for health.
If the pH of your digestive system is too low, this can lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, abdominal pain, and indigestion. A low digestive system pH may also make it easier for bacteria to grow and cause infection. Problems with acidity can be caused by taking medications that alter stomach acid production or by having autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease or Crohn's disease where the body's immune system attacks itself.
PH is significant because many chemicals, such as our stomach acids, require a specific pH to function effectively. PH is also significant since living creatures require it to be at a specific level in order to thrive. Maintaining this balance is therefore essential for life.
In the human body, pH levels are carefully regulated by various organs and tissues that detect changes in acidity or alkalinity within the blood and immediately respond by either producing more of what is needed or removing what is not needed. If the body's pH falls too low or rises too high, these corrective measures may not be sufficient to restore the balance back to normal. This can lead to problems with bone structure, muscle control, nerve function, and even death.
The most common way that people try to keep their bodies at an optimal pH is by using soap or detergent when cleaning themselves or their homes. The anionic molecules in these products make up negative ions that help neutralize any acid that may be present on your skin. This approach is useful for keeping your body's acid levels stable; however, it should not be used as the only method for doing so because it may have the opposite effect if you are already experiencing large fluctuations in pH.