Online College Courses for Credit

2 Tutorials that teach Maintaining Blood pH
Take your pick:
Maintaining Blood pH

Maintaining Blood pH

Author: Amanda Soderlind

Understand how the body maintains homeostasis of blood pH.

See More
Fast, Free College Credit

Developing Effective Teams

Let's Ride
*No strings attached. This college course is 100% free and is worth 1 semester credit.

47 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

299 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 33 of Sophia’s online courses. Many different colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.


Source: Video and Images Created by Amanda Soderlind

Video Transcription

Download PDF

Welcome to this lesson on maintaining blood pH. Today we will be discussing the kidney's role in maintaining the blood pH.

So kidneys are an organ of the body that help maintain the body's acid-base balance. So the acid-base balance is the amount of acids and bases found in extra cellular fluids of the body.

So a normal body pH is between 7.37 to 7.43. Now if you're familiar with the pH scale, you know that a pH of seven is neutral, and a pH of less than seven is acidic, and a pH of more than seven is basic. So if the pH of the body is 7.37 to 7.43, that's slightly more than seven, which means that the normal pH of the body is slightly basic.

So in order for our body to function properly, in order for our cells and enzymes to function optimally, this pH needs to stay within this range. So if it's not maintained, or if it gets really far out of range, severe problems can occur.

So the pH is managed by eliminating excess hydrogen ions, which are acidic and restoring bicarbonate buffers. So bicarbonate is a basic substance.

So our body has these mechanisms in order to help maintain our blood's pH. So for example, if blood is too acidic, meaning that the pH is low, then what the body is going to do is it's going buffer excess hydrogen ions with bicarbonate. So bicarbonate will buffer excess hydrogen ions.

So acids and bases-- when they combine-- help to neutralise one another. So if the blood is too acidic, or there's too many hydrogen ions in the blood, then bicarbonate will help to buffer some of those extra hydrogen ions. So more bicarbonate will be released into the blood in order to buffer those extra hydrogen ions and then bring the pH back to a normal range.

If blood is too basic, meaning that the pH is high or higher than normal, then less bicarbonate is released into the bloodstream. So if the blood is too basic, less carbonate will be released into the bloodstream, therefore less hydrogen will be buffered. And so this will help to, again, bring that pH back to a normal level.

So things that can cause the blood to become too basic would be severe dehydration, or overuse of antacids, or sometimes hormone disorders can cause the blood to become too basic. And then in that case-- as I mentioned-- less bicarbonate would be released into the bloodstream, so that less hydrogen will then be offered to return that pH back to a homeostatic level.

So this lesson has been an overview on how the kidneys help to maintain the body's acid-base balance.

Terms to Know
Acid-Base Balance

The amounts of acids and bases in the extracellular fluids of the body; amounts of acids vs. bases affects the overall pH of extracellular fluids.


Substances that increase the amount of hydrogen ions (H+) in a liquid and lower the pH.


Substances that decrease the amount of hydrogen ions (H+) in a liquid and raise the pH.


A measure of whether a liquid has a lot of hydrogen ions (H+) or relatively few hydrogen ions. The lower the pH, the more hydrogen ions it has, and the more acidic it is. the higher the pH, the fewer hydrogen ions it has, and the more basic it is.