Balance Your Body's pH06.09.2012
by Life Enthusiast Staff
Step 4 Towards Healing & Maintaining Your Health
The most important factor for a healthy internal environment and immune system is a balanced pH in the bloodstream. The term pH means Potential Hydrogen: the concentration of hydrogen ions in a substance or solution. Measured logarithmically (i.e. 3 being 10 times greater than 2) on a scale from 0 to 14 (human blood pH is ideally 7.35), higher numbers indicate alkalinity, lower numbers indicate acidity. When blood's pH is normal, microbes (or other items suspended in it) live in harmony with the body. When the blood's pH shifts out of its narrow normal range, the tiny microorganism must change form to survive. They can become aggressive pathogenic causes of disease, that overcomes the body's immune system.
Our diet and (stressful) activity directly affects the pH levels of all body fluids, determining the efficiency of our immune system, nutrient absorption and toxin elimination. The proficient functioning of the digestive system is key for our well being. Hippocrates said, "Let food be your medicine. Let medicine be your food." Once upon a time, it was that simple.
Disease producing organisms thrive in off-balance pH conditions. This explains why some people exposed to certain bacteria or viruses get sick and even die, while others don't.
What happens when your body is too acidic?
- Free radical (oxidation) damage, impaired function of antioxidants.
- Vitamins and minerals from foods or supplements are not absorbed well.
- Friendly bacteria in the small intestines die and the immune system is impaired.
- Connective tissue becomes weakened causing skin and hair to lose their tone.
- Sleep patterns are disturbed.
- Colds, infections, headaches and flu become more common.
- Physical and mental energy is depleted, affecting stamina and moods.
Balanced pH Is A Critical Factor for a Healthy Internal Environment and Immune System
Healing or remission of chronic illness takes place only when your body fluids are restored to a normal pH.
A recent seven-year study conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, on 9,000 women showed that those who have chronic acidosis are at greater risk for bone loss than those who have normal pH levels. The scientists who carried out this experiment believe that many of the hip fractures prevalent among middle-aged women are connected to high acidity caused by a diet rich in animal foods and low in vegetables. This is because the body borrows calcium from the bones in order to balance pH.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Could You Be Suffering from pH Imbalance?
If you have a health problem, most likely you are acidic. Scientists have discovered that the body fluids of healthy people are alkaline (high pH), whereas the body fluids of sick people are acidic (low pH).
Unless your body's pH level is slightly alkaline, your body cannot heal itself. No matter what method you use to heal, it won't be effective until your blood pH level is normalized.
Balancing your pH is a major step toward well-being and greater health.
Diseases Linked to pH Acidity
All diseases exists in an acidic body, and most people are acidic from poor diet and lifestyle choices. The magnitude of this factor is of incredible importance to someone who is fighting a disease, overcoming an illness, or just wanting to be healthy.
An extended time in an acidic pH state can result in many discomforts and diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, lupus, tuberculosis, osteoporosis, high blood pressure & cholesterol, heart disease, most cancers, eczema & acne, kidney & gall stones, gout, hiatal hernia, indigestion, anxiety, diarrhea, dilated pupils, extroverted behavior, fatigue in early morning, headaches, hyperactivity, insomnia, nervousness, rapid heartbeat, muscle cramps, restless legs, shortness of breath, strong appetite, and many more.
Your body's pH levels affect every process within. If your pH is acidic, you cannot effectively absorb nutrition (vitamins, minerals or supplements). Research has already proven that disease cannot survive in an alkaline cellular environment, and thrives in an acidic environment.
Our overly acidic lifestyles produce very high rates of disease.
Your body pH affects every aspect of your health, therefore it should be one the first issues to address when experiencing symptoms of ill health. Proper nutrition and activity can help return & maintain your body's pH levels near normal, promoting health and vitality.
Some Dangers of an Acidic pH
- decrease your body's ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients,
- decrease energy production in your cells,
- decrease your ability to repair damaged cells, and your ability to detoxify heavy metals,
- make tumor cells thrive,
- and make you more susceptible to fatigue and illness.
pH Balance Is Crucial For Your Health
Healthy body fluids have a narrow pH range: outside this range is an environment in which disease thrives. Normalizing your body's pH will adjust the cellular environment to promote health and natural healing.
Louis Pasteur said before he died, "The germ is nothing. The terrain is everything."
Diseases are not cured (although this has happened), instead you remove the environment in which they exist. These dynamic reactions are generally not understood by conventional medicine.
Your body is an amazing, naturally self-correcting system: if you work with it, it is capable of tremendous self healing.
We must consume both alkaline and acid ash-forming foods daily for optimal health.
To effectively buffer (neutralize) acid ash-forming foods, you need an alkaline reserve.
Consuming 75% alkaline ash-forming foods will achieve an alkaline reserve.
The acids from proteins, grains and dairy products are easily buffered by the organic minerals found primarily in enzyme-rich raw foods (vegetables, fruits, sea vegetables and herbs).
To maintain pH balance, consume 75% by weight alkalizing and 25% acid forming foods. The typical western diet has reversed these numbers.
Eat raw food: fruits & vegetables(or juice them), seeds, salads, nuts, sea vegetables, fermented vegetables or herbal garnishes.
Drink lots of pure Energized Water every day.
Supplement with Superfoods - raw unheated spirulina, chlorella, alfalfa, barley and wheat grasses, beet juice powder, soy lecithin, dairy-free probiotic cultures and herbs, to reduce your acidity and bring you the balance and sense of well-being that comes with being alkaline.
Your mental state is also an important factor in health, and can have an impact on your pH levels. Sleep, meditation, Tai Chi, reflexology, massage, shiatsu, calming music, yoga, etc. promote an alkaline body.
pH Controls Your Body's Major Systems and Organs
The lymph's pH level is crucial for many bodily functions, therefore it should be one of the first issues to address when experiencing symptoms of ill health.
At one stage of development in blood, microbes have many useful functions, such as forming platelets for the clotting mechanism. When pH is out of normal range, disorder and diseases appear:
Enzymes that were constructive (catalysts for almost every natural reaction in the body) can become destructive.
Mineral assimilation is affected by pH levels. The body uses minerals in its buffering system, to keep pH in balance (see "Four Major Minerals, Controlling the Nervous System" below).
Oxygen delivery to cells suffers: cancer thrives in an oxygen deficient environment, caused by acidic pH.
Insulin is inefficient, causing irregular glucose supplies for fuel to the brain and body. This is crucial for the brain, which cannot store glucose.
Fatty acids begin to stick to the walls of arteries, responsible for our society's high rate of heart disease.
Proper nutrition and activity can return and keep the body's pH levels near normal, for health and vitality. The body is a well designed naturally balanced machine: if you work with it, instead of against it, it is capable of tremendous self healing. Total healing takes place only when, and if, the blood is restored to a normal, slightly alkaline pH. Understanding this concept is essential to understanding diseases such as cancer, and their cures.
How Minerals are Responsible for pH Balance
One byproduct of the body is CO2, carbon dioxide, eliminated in part by breathing. But the lungs cannot remove all of it. Other systems come into play, but often there's too much acid for the body to eliminate all acidity.
When the acids are not excreted, they accumulate, and get pushed right into the cells, decreasing the cellular pH. The blood compensates and becomes alkaline (the blood pH increases), necessary for later removal of acid out of the body. This shows the relationship between the pH of tissues and blood. When the blood is overly alkaline, it becomes saturated with oxygen and holds it, unable to release it, thus depriving the cells. This cellular oxygen deficiency is the perfect environment for cancer to thrive.
To compensate for the cellular acidic environment, the body begins to displace magnesium, potassium, and sodium, three critical minerals in the body. When mineral reserves become low, calcium (the most alkaline mineral) is drawn out of the bones and put into the blood. This drawing of calcium to buffer acidity in the lymphatic system causes osteoporosis, arthritis, etc., and other problems caused by excess free calcium. For this reason, calcium supplements should be taken with care, as too much causes other imbalances (see below).
With increasing tissue acidosis, more than any other minerals the body needs to replace lost magnesium, potassium, and sodium, and possibly zinc, to aid the proper acid breakdown process.
Four Major Minerals that Control Your Nervous Systems
Calcium and Magnesium
balance each other (see-saw effect)
control the sympathetic nervous system (SNS)
referred to as "fight or flight"
calcium activates, magnesium calms
imbalance causes SNS dominance
Potassium and Sodium
balance each other (see-saw effect)
control the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS)
referred to as "rest & digest"
nerve signals, both required
imbalance causes PSNS dominance (rare)
When Your Body is Acidic...
Excessive free calcium (explained above), without sufficient magnesium to balance, causes SNS dominance.
Potassium is depleted, with excess sodium (due to loss of potassium & magnesium) for further unbalancing, causes inhibition of PSNS, leaving the SNS remaining stimulated.
An acidic person, with an over stimulated SNS, possibly hyperactive, quick to anger and burning out. SNS dominance can push a person to exhaustion, deceivingly appearing PSNS dominant. Compensatory mechanisms and today's acidic diet makes true PSNS dominance quite rare.
Alkalize or Die by Theodore A. Baroody
By following the guidelines in this book you can evaluate your alkaline/acid situation, determine a course of correction, and achieve a high level of vitality and strength.
This powerful title carries an important message that can benefit everyone. It may revolutionize health care of the future with one simple principle: Alkalize Yourself!
Dr. Baroody's comprehensive research and clinical findings indicate that illness and disease are directly linked to over-acidity in the system. The polluted air we breathe, the nutrient poor food and water we ingest are just part of the problem. Stress on all levels - physical, emotional, mental, and even spiritual cause the body to overproduce acid wastes, upsetting our delicate alkaline/acid balance.
How Your Body's pH Balance Easily Becomes Too Acidic
Eating processed & cooked foods, smoking, consuming alcohol, lack of sleep, stress, toxin overload, lack of exercise, and any process that deprives your cells of oxygen or minerals will turn your pH level towards acidic. This adversely affects your absorption of nutrients, elimination of toxins, and the proficient functioning of your immune system. All of these are crucial for your health and well being.
The Standard American Diet (abbreviated SAD) is extremely acid-forming: far too high in acid producing animal products (cooked meat, eggs, dairy, and refined white flour, sugar & salt), and far too low in alkaline producing foods (fresh fruits & vegetables).
If you drink acid producing beverages like coffee and soft drinks, especially with artificial sweeteners (NutraSweet, Spoonful, Sweet 'N Low, Equal, Aspartame) that are extremely acid forming, on top of being poisonous, you are constantly adding to your acid load. Food consumption surveys show that Americans now consume more soft drinks than any other beverage, including water. This is very, very SAD.
The foods we eat are grown in fields that are deficient in alkalizing minerals. Eating commercially produced foods is an acidic disaster in the making.
An example of the resulting widespread acidosis is the effect on bone health. It's known that high protein diets increase risk for osteoporosis. Now it appears that a high intake of acid-forming foods (primarily meat, poultry & eggs) over a lifetime, can accelerate the loss of alkaline minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium) from your bones. In other words, your body may deplete one system (the skeleton) in order to maintain balance in another more sensitive system (the blood).
Your body will compensate for acidity by using alkaline minerals. If your diet does not contain enough minerals to compensate, a build up of acids in your cells will follow.
Simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can correct an acid imbalance. To maintain health, your diet should consist of 60% alkaline forming foods and 40% acid forming foods. To restore health, your diet should consist of 80% alkaline forming foods and 20% acid forming foods.
This issue is complicated by Metabolic Type: some people NEED to eat a diet much higher in proteins and fats to stay in balance, while others need to eat carbohydrate dominant meals. Please refer to our information on Metabolic Typing for better understanding.