A homeostatic mechanism (see homeostasis) involving changes in ventilation that help to maintain the acid-base balance in body fluids. Ventilatory buffering is particularly important during exercise when products of respiration (especially carbon dioxide and lactic acid) decrease the pH (increased acidity) of body fluids. Ventilation of the lungs increases, helping to remove carbon dioxide from the lungs. This reduces the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the blood and body fluids, resulting in an increase in pH (decrease in acidity).
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.