There are three primary pH buffering systems of the body but for now we simply want to say a few words about the word "buffer". What exactly does that mean? A buffer keeps something where it should be. It buffers adverse swings. It shields, cushions and protects.

If you have ever seen a pH test strip for a swimming pool, you will note a section of the strip that states "pH" which will give a direct pH reading, and a section of the strip that states "total alkalinity". Now you might have a swimming pool reading of 7.2 pH, but if "total alkalinity" is low, the pH of 7.2 can be easily moved too acid or too alkaline. It can be pushed around because the total concentration of (-) ions (the "total alkalinity") is low. Hence, pH can get pushed around and will not stay put.

This same thing happens with humans. pH values can get pushed around fairly easily if total alkalinity is low. Some refer to this as mineral reserve. The key is to balance pH and increase total alkalinity levels. Now just so you don't go overboard with the thought that all must be alkaline to the extreme, note that everything has balance and a perfect range. There are compartments in the body that you could say need "total acidity" in order to function. So for our purposes, we will say that the key is "total buffering" which is a good ionic concentration to maintain a solid pH that stays within an ideal range for the thing being measured.

In general we can raise the body's buffer capacity through consumption of mineral rich food, however, this is not always easy to do with our current agricultural situation of chemical farming on depleted soils. So in a clinical environment, we can assist pH balance in the body by using supplemental minerals. We pay attention to the anionic/cationic ratios, and while minerals like sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium are important, paying attention to various forms of these minerals is important as what they are bound to can push pH in different directions (up, down or neutral) depending on the type and this can increase "total buffering" activity appropriately to maintain a solid pH that stays within optimum range and does not move easily. Now with that said, it is easy to use the wrong mineral bound to the “other” wrong mineral providing a wrong move in pH range depending on one’s chemistry and then that can upset body balance. But we'll cover a bit on this later.

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