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L’Accademia del Fitness

HEALTH, DISEASE

AND ACID-BASE BALANCE OF EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX PART 1 Acid-base balance has been an increasingly debated issue for some time, but the people who speak or write about it do not always do it in clear terms. We must first of all clear this concept: the only acid-base balance which can be heard of in Outpatient Medicine - but this is not the case for Hospital Medicine - is the one concerning the extracellular matrix. The blood’s acid-base balance is in fact an issue for specialists belonging to the field of anaesthetists-resuscitators, clinical doctors, lung specialists, nephrologists who work in hospitals where seriously ill patients, often in danger of death, normally end up. Keeping in mind that the range of pH in blood is between 7.35 and 7.45, at 6.90 the patient risks a heart attack or a coma. A pH value of 6.80 is incompatible with life: expressions we come across in health magazine such as “if the blood becomes acid one falls into anxiety or many other problems could occur” or “a protein diet acidifies the blood” do not make any sense, as they are groundless from the clinical point of view which would consider even a slight acidity in the blood as a serious danger for one’s life.

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What we may speak about, outside the professional field of hospitals, is the acid-base balance of the extracellular matrix. By this definition we refer to all those areas surrounding the cell, spaces made up by water, cells, vessels, neurovegetative nervous terminations with which all the cells of the body are in constant exchange. The concept of extracellular matrix was defined at the end of the 70’s by Pishinger from the University of Vienna, who introduced the concept of a basic System of adjustment, a System which worked like a network, a communicative network with the function of exchanging information between the cells and their surrounding environment. This represents an important progress compared with the concept - still considered valid in the text books of General Pathology - which identifies the extracellular matrix in the anist or amorphous fundamental substance: an histological definition which is static and therefore unfit to describe the dynamicity of the matrix, the real “organ” of connection between all the biological systems of the body. The cells receive micronutrients, vitamins, minerals, oxygen from the extracellular matrix and to

N. 10 - July 2013  

Wellness & Antiaging magazine