Protein Helps With Maintaining a Healthy pH
The mysterious acid-conducting protein known as SLC4A11 has been under investigation for years now, but it’s only recently that researchers have established the protein’s usefulness in regulating the pH level of cells.
SLC4A11 – A Unique Protein
Researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo have been analysing the membrane transport protein as it pertains to the rare disorder Congenital Hereditary Endothelial Dystrophy (CHED), in which a mutation of the protein results in vision loss affecting cells in the cornea.
In a study published in the American Journal of Physiology, the unique protein was said to utilise a conductance pathway to support corneal physiology and health.
The discovery is interesting, as the protein is part of the SLC4 family of proteins, which have been linked to a range of disorders, from epilepsy and hypertension to cancer and blindness.
Mark Parker, assistant professor of physiology at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, led the research and believes the news will inform advances in eye and ear health. “In order to develop a therapy to restore vision and hearing in individuals with SLC4A11 mutations, we need to understand how SLC4A11 normally promotes eye and ear health,” said Parker. “Our research found that the SLC4A11 protein transports the equivalent of pure acid.”
Maintaining a Healthy pH...is Hard!
In fact, SLC4A11 is only the second acid-transporting protein to be identified in mammals. “Blood plasma needs to stay at a pH of 7.4 and most cells maintain an internal pH close to 7.2,” Parker states. “Those are the magic numbers, and even slight deviations can result in devastating physiological effects. “We find the SLC4A11 to be a very flexible protein that can either move acid into or out of a cell depending on prevailing conditions… it acts as a sort of overseeing manager, able to rapidly redress any pH imbalance, ensuring that the cells are functioning properly.”
Maintaining a healthy pH is widely believed to be critical to optimum health. This is borne out by many studies, among them one published just last year, which showed that tiny changes in the level of acidity in blood has a detrimental impact on the health of patients with kidney disease.
The Perils of an Acid/Alkaline Imbalance
In essence, an acid/alkaline imbalance permits unhealthy organisms to flourish, damaging tissues and organs and weakening the immune system.
What’s more, maintaining a healthy pH is difficult given the sheer number of factors causing acidity in the body: alcohol use, chronic stress, low levels of fibre, excess hormones from food and beauty products, food colouring, pollution and pesticides.
Our general environment is a veritable wellspring of acidity and toxicity, though it’s fair to say the main contributor to an imbalanced pH is diet. Left unchecked, acidity in the body can presage fatigue, joint pain, ulcers, inflammation and allergies.
Restore Optimal pH
With so many triggers for acidity out there, you could be forgiven for thinking all hope is lost – but you’d be wrong.
There are a number of easy-to-use pH-balancing supplements available, among them Alkamax, a high-quality alkalising supplement containing a blend of carefully selected bicarbonates to promote improved alkaline balance.
An Array of Alkalising Options
Drinking alkaline water is another way of keeping your pH level in the healthy range and thereby boosting vitality.
An array of products, from antioxidant teabags to water bottles and water filters, let you transform plain old tap water into hydrogen-rich alkaline water.
Eating a diet rich in alkaline-promoting foods is another method – although it can be difficult to entirely avoid acid-forming food sources, of which there are many.
Whether using Alkamax to make matters easier, or installing an alkalising water filter, the advantages of maintaining a healthy pH are obvious. What are you waiting for?