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Name: Stacey
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Question:
How does the kinds of food you eat effect the composition of gasses in the lung? That is, how would different foods alter the partial pressures of O2, N2, and CO2?



Replies:
The only gas that will change much is CO2, because that is the gas the body uses to regulate its acid-base balance (pH). If you eat a lot of acidic food (pickles, lemonade, soda pop), your body will compensate by giving off more CO2 in your breath. Not many foods are alkaline, but if for some reason the body needs to compensate for too much alkali, you will just give off less CO2 in your breath (the CO2 that would have been exhaled will be traspped as bicarbonate, HCO3-).

Richard E. Barrans Jr., Ph.D.



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