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Name: Adrienne
Status: Student
Age: 17
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: September 2004

How do salts in plasma regulate the pH of blood?

Bicarbonate ion (HCO3-) and Phosphate ion (H2PO4-) derived from Sodium Bicarbonate and Sodium Phosphate are both excellent buffers around pH 7. The way a buffer works is that it consists of a weak acid and a weak base; when acid is added to the system, the acid (H+) reacts with the weak base to form the corresponding weak acid (which by definition binds up the H+). On the other hand, when base (OH-) is added to the system, it reacts with the weak acid to form the weak base, and thus in either case the change in the concentration of H+ or OH- is minimized.

Regards, Ron Baker, Ph.D.

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