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Zagam (Sparfloxacin)

The pH is a measure of acidity or alkalinity. A pH of 7.0 is exact neutrality. A pH below 7 indicates acid; the lower the number, the greater the acidity. A pH above 7 indicates alkalinity; the higher the number, the greater the alkalinity.
Body fluids are maintained at a pH ranging between 7.3-5 and 7.45, which is slightly alkaline. A pH of 7.0 to 7.2 is abnormally low; it is called acidosis in relation to the normal level. It is seen in uncontrolled diabetic patients who are excreting large quantities of ketones. It also occurs in severe starvation, and in renal failure.
A pH above 7.5 is labeled as alkalosis. It results when there is prolonged, severe vomiting so that there is much loss of stomach acid. Alkalosis also occurs with excessive ingestion of soluble antacids such as sodium bicarbonate because such compounds are rapidly absorbed form the gastrointestinal tract.
Reaction of foods
Some foods are potentially alkali-producing because they contain important amounts of calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Other foods are acid-producing because they contain greater amounts of sulfur, chlorine, and phosphorus than they do of the alkali-producing elements. Still other foods are low in mineral elements and are considered to be neutral.
Acid-producing: meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, legumes, cereal foods, com, almonds, chestnuts, coconut, prunes, plums, cranberries
Alkali-producing: fruits, vegetables, milk, peanuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts
Neutral: butter, margarine, oils, cooking fats, sugar, syrup, starch, tapioca
Certain fruits such as lemons, grapefruit, oranges, and peaches contain organic acids that give a sour (acid) taste. These acids are weak and they do not increase the acidity of the stomach. The hydrochloric acid in the stomach is a strong acid that is useful for the digestion of proteins. The organic acids in fruits are oxidized, just as are the carbohydrates, to yield energy, carbon dioxide, and water.
Plums, cranberries, and prunes contain an organic acid that is not metabolized by the body. The excretion of this acid increases the acidity of the urine; therefore, these fruits are sometimes recommended with other acid-producing foods to help counteract the formation of certain types of renal calculi.
Regulation of acid-base balance
A number of acids are normally produced in the metabolism of foodstuffs. The body has several efficient mechanisms for taking care of these acids so that the normal acid-base balance is not disturbed.
A principal acid produced in metabolism is carbonic acid. This is released through the lungs by exhalation of carbon dioxide. When the carbon dioxide content of the blood increases, the individual breathes more rapidly and more deeply to get rid of more carbon dioxide.
Minerals function in buffer-salts. A buffer is a substance that can react with an acid or an alkali without much change occurring in the pH. The sodium phosphate and carbonate buffer systems are important. Proteins are also good buffers.
The kidneys are the final regulators of acid-base balance. When excess acid is being produced, the kidneys secrete highly acid urine, so that little change takes place in the pH of the blood. The kidneys also synthesize the ammonium (NH4+) ion which can combine with acid so that the body loses less of its sodium.
The healthy individual maintains acid-base balance regardless of the composition of his diet. Moreover, there is no evidence that shows the merits of an acid-producing or alkali-producing diet. In certain pathologic conditions such as renal failure or renal calculi these characteristics of the diet may be adjusted.

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