Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Food and Lungs
Name: Stacey
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A

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?

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.

Click here to return to the Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory