bicarbonate

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bicarbonate A salt of carbonic acid, or the dissociated ion HCO-3. The extracellular fluids of the body (blood plasma and tissue fluid) contain 20–25 mmol/litre of bicarbonate (about a quarter of the concentration of chloride). Regulation of its concentration (by the kidneys) relative to that of carbon dioxide (altered by changes in breathing) is crucial to the function of maintaining acid–base homeostasis. Ingestion of bicarbonate is a common remedy for ‘indigestion’, because it neutralizes stomach acid.

Stuart Judge


See acid–base homeostasis; body fluids.
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bi·car·bo·nate / bīˈkärbəˌnāt; -nit/ • n. Chem. a salt containing the anion HCO3. ∎  (also bicarbonate of soda) sodium bicarbonate.

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bicarbonate (by-kar-bŏ-nit) n. a salt containing the ion HCO3−. b. of soda see sodium bicarbonate.

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bicarbonate See hydrogencarbonate.