.:Chemical Aspects of Physiology:.

Describe buffers, their importance, and the buffering system ( bicarbonate/ carbonic acid) used in the blood to regulate the narrow range of pH in the blood.

is a substance made up of ions and molecules, that stabilize the pH of the blood/ body fluids. This happens by the substance preventing the changes is hydrogen (H+) concentration.These buffers in our blood help to keep the pH in our bodies at a normal level. The normal pH of a human is 7.35-7.45. The reaction of the buffers are mostly driven by reversible reactions of bicarbonate ion (HCO3-) and carbonic acids ( H2CO3) in the blood. The reaction of the buffer picks up the H+ or releases H+.This has an impact how acidic or basic the pH is in the blood. The combination of bicarbonate and carbonic acid can act in a pair (buffer pair) to avoid the incline and decline of pH. This action keeps the pH in such a narrow range.
For example:


What is the difference between acidosis and alkalosis?

This happens when the pH of the blood in a person falls below 7.35
More information about acidosis

This happens when the pH of the blood in a person increases above 7.45. This can be due to a decrease in carbon-dioxide or a increase in bicarbonate.
Some of the symptoms of alkalosis are:

  • Confusion
  • Hand tremors
  • Light headed
  • Muscle twitching
  • Nausea
  • Numbness in face or extremities
  • Prolonged muscle spasms
More information about alkalosis

What are enzymes?
Enzymes are proteins that are increase the rate that certain chemical reactions occur. Think of them as little workers that keep life going.

What role do enzymes they play in human physiology?
There is 3 major classes of enzymes:
  • Metabolic Enzymes- They are the runners of our bodies to keep homeostasis
  • Food Enzymes-These are our digestive enzymes that break down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
  • Digestive Enzymes- These come from raw food to help start digestion in our bodies.

Fun Fact:The liquid inside young coconuts can be used as a substitute for blood plasma.

Thanks to the following:
Human physiology 11th edition -McGraw-Hill
Anatomy and Physiology 4th edition-Mcgraw-Hill

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