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Does the acidity of blood control the breathing rate?

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This is fairly true.

In our bodies we have receptors constantly monitoring the level of the CO2 in our blood. When the level of CO2 rises, these receptors (called chemo-receptors) will register this, and signal the breathing center to increase rate of breathing.

What does this have to do with acidity you ask?

In our blood we have buffer systems, which are designed to minimize the change in pH done our blood by different waste products of metabolism. The main buffersystem is called the bicarbonate buffersystem:

CO2 + H2O <----> H2CO3 (carbonic acid) <---> H+ + CO3- (unbalanced)
The reaction is catalyzed by the enzyme carbonic anhydrase.

From the above equation you can deduct two things:

a) If you ADD CO2 to the equation, more H+ will eventually be produced and this will diminish the pH of the blood (pH = -log([H+])).

b) If you REMOVE CO2 from the equation, the reverse happens and less H+ is produced. This will raise the pH of the blood.

This is why the chemoreceptors register blood CO2 levels. Actually, what they are measuring is the pH of the blood. If they register too low a pH, they can signal the ventilation center in the brain to increase breathing, and thereby remove more CO2 from the body, and raise the pH.


The body uses this to combat conditions in which the pH of the body is too low. An example of this could be the state of diabetic ketoacidosis. This condition, not uncommon amongst diabetics, is characterized by increased acid production and thereby a lower blood pH.

The body responds to this threat by increasing ventilation (increased breathing) thereby removing CO2 from the blood and raising the pH. By these means the condition is compensated.

Normal blood pH ranges are: 7,35 - 7,45.
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How do you control your breathing rate?

  For the most part, you don't. Breathing is controlled by a part of the nervous system that is independently controlled by a number of "feedback mechanixms". When your bo

How does the brain controls breathing rate?

  there's a part of this brain called the respiratory system and if i am not mistaken it is located in a part of the brain called pons and the medulla oblongata. the brain