Buffer solutions are solutions in water that mark the combination of acids and bases. They help in neutralization reaction to a certain extent. Acidic buffer solutions are those that have strong acids and weak bases as their components. They are used for neutralizing alkaline solutions. Alkaline or basic buffer solutions are those that have strong alkalis and weak acids in the mixture. They are used for neutralizing acidic aqueous solutions.
Blood as a Buffer Solution
Blood itself tends to be a buffer solution by keeping its pH value constant. Buffer solutions help in the adjustment of the nature of blood. They play a major role in the anatomy of every human being. If the alkaline nature of blood increases, buffer solutions tend to bring down the pH value of blood. The reverse happens if blood becomes acidic. Acidic nature increases the pH value of blood.
Role of Buffers in Human Body
Reactions inside the human body take place in the blood plasma. These reactions might fail to happen if the pH changes. For complete reaction to take place, the pH of the blood should remain constant. Biochemical reactions are quite sensitive to the nature of blood. The reaction inverts by changes in the pH of blood. However, these buffers generally prevent such mishap. These changes also affect the biological activity of a human being.
Importance of Buffer Solutions to Human Body
If the pH value of blood remains in either alkaline or acidic form then it could prove harmful to a human being. It may even lead to death. This may prevent the working of some organs also. This serves to be the best example as to why buffer solutions are important for the body. Buffer solutions prevent the body from permanent damage.
Action of Buffers in Blood Plasma
When carbon dioxide dissolves in blood, it decreases the pH value, thereby increasing the acidic content of blood. In this case, alkaline buffers come into play. They tend to mix with the plasma of blood and then neutralize its value. The same happens in the plasma when the alkaline value of blood increases. In this case, acidic buffers in the blood plasma play their role. If the alkalinity or the acidity of blood pertains for a longer period, the body gets into a hazardous state, which if left unaddressed, can prove fatal.
Changes in Body due to Buffer Solutions
Without buffer solutions, our body may undergo a lot of changes. The enzyme action is regulated by blood. Therefore, the change of pH value also affects the enzymes indirectly. Enzyme actions require low energy involvement. Changes in the temperature of body can effect enzyme action to a wider range. This serves to be the primary reason as to why buffer solutions play a major role in the human body.