Hydrogen ions are vital for life, expressed as pH. They circulate in the body in two forms:
- Volatile hydrogen of carbonic acid
- Nonvolatile hydrogen and organic acids.
- Acids are produced as end products of metabolism and contain hydrogen ions. They give up hydrogen ions to neutralize or decrease the strength of an acid or to form a weaker base.
- The number of hydrogen ions in body fluid determines its acidity, alkalinity, or neutrality.
- The strength of an acid is determined by the number of hydrogen ions in contains.
- The kidneys excrete 50 mEq of nonvolatile acids per day.
- The lungs excrete 13,000-30,000 mEq of volatile hydrogen per day in the form of carbonic acid as CO2.
- Bases contain no hydrogen ions.
- Bases are hydrogen ion acceptor means they accept hydrogen ions from acids to neutralize or decrease the strength of a base or to form a weaker acid.