Acidosis (in general)

There has been controversy for many years about how far nutrition can influence the acid-base balance. Manifest acidosis (shift of the pH level towards acidity) or alkalosis (shift of the pH level towards an excess of alkali) cannot be created by the consumption of particular foodstuffs. However, the pathobiochemical effects of acidosis or alkalosis in the case of diabetes mellitus, hyperuricaemia, gout or restricted kidney function are undisputed. Because the pH level is kept constant, the determination of the intra- and extra-cellular buffer capacity and of the acid excretion is of decisive importance, when assessing the acid-base balance.

Apart from manifest respiratory or metabolic acidosis (indicated by a fall in the blood pH), which is treated by an infusion of solutions containing bicarbonate, cases of latent acidosis occur particularly frequently. In the case of latent or chronic metabolic acidosis, the blood pH has been shifted slightly towards acidity, within the normal range, but, above all, the blood buffer capacity is clearly reduced. In this case, the buffer capacity can be improved by the supply of alkaline minerals (salts of strong bases with weak acids).