What do we mean by acidification?
Let’s look at how this all works. Like any machine, our body needs fuel in order operate. Unfortunately, the fuel or food that most people use is not what the body needs or desires. In order to operate at peak efficiency, the body needs the proper food. The typical diet is high in food with little to no food value.
The problem goes much deeper than just lower efficiency. Like any machine, the fuel that we burn creates exhaust or by-products, sometimes called ash. In the body, our food is burned as fuel on the cellular level. The blood is the vehicle used to carry the food to the cell, and is also used to carry the waste or exhaust away from the cell to be eliminated.
When raw fruits and vegetables are consumed, the body breaks it down and sends it to the cells for fuel. The cell burns the fuel and the exhaust is an alkaline ash. When food from the typical diet is burned as fuel, the exhaust created is an acid ash. That acid is then carried in the blood.
Since blood pH is so critical to life, the body protects the blood at all costs. The body has to neutralize this acid or risk major problems.
Our goal then is to reduce the amount of food that creates an acidic ash and increase the foods that create an alkaline ash.
What Causes Over-Acidity?
The reason acidosis is more common in our society is mostly due to the typical American diet, which is far too high in acid-producing animal products like meat, eggs and dairy, and far too low in alkaline-producing foods like fresh vegetables. Additionally, we eat acid-producing processed foods like white flour and sugar and drink acid-producing beverages like coffee and soft drinks. We use too many drugs, which are acid-forming; and we use artificial chemical sweetners likeNutraSweet, Equal, or aspartame, which are extremely acid-forming. One of the best things we can do to correct an overly-acid body is to clean up the diet and lifestyle.
Most people who suffer from unbalanced pH are acidic. This condition forces the body to borrow minerals—including calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium—from vital organs and bones to buffer (neutralize) the acid and safely remove it from the body. Because of this strain, the body can suffer severe and prolonged damage due to high acidity—a condition that may go undetected for years.
Mild acidosis can cause such problems as:
- Cardiovascular damage, including the constriction of blood vessels and the reduction of oxygen.
- Weight gain, obesity and diabetes.
- Bladder and kidney conditions, including kidney stones.
- Immune deficiency.
- Acceleration of free radical damage, possibly contributing to cancerous mutations.
- Premature aging.
- Osteoporosis; weak, brittle bones, hip fractures and bone spurs.
- Joint pain, aching muscles and lactic acid buildup.
- Low energy and chronic fatigue.
- 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
Effects on the body of too much acid
Acid in the body acts very much like acid outside the body. It creates waste. It ages the skin, degenerates tissues, and causes major problems. Additionally, most health concerns are created by an over abundance of acid in the system. Reducing acid in the system is critical to long-term health.
Many people love to drink a can of soda. If you look on the label, you will discover that a can of soda primarily contains acid. The pH of a soda is around 2.3. That is highly toxic. The body has to scramble to neutralize that acid in the system. It uses sodium, calcium from the bones or teeth, or anything else it has to in order to neutralize the acid.
Part of this system includes a slight change in some of the foods that we normally would eat. We understand that most people will not eliminate all the bad food from their diet, so instead of eliminating it, we are going to suggest a strategy of reduction.
Keeping the balance right for excellent health
Your body is able to assimilate minerals and nutrients properly only when its pH is balanced. It is therefore possible for you to be taking healthy nutrients and yet be unable to absorb or use them. If you are not getting the results you expected from your nutritional or herbal program, look for an acid alkaline imbalance. Even the right herbal program may not work if your body’s pH is out of balance.
Testing Urine pH
The results of urine testing indicate how well your body is assimilating minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. These are called the “acid buffers” because they are used by the body to control the acid level. If acid levels are too high, the body will not be able to excrete acid. It must either store the acid in body tissues (autotoxication) or buffer it—that is, borrow minerals from organs, bones, etc. in order to neutralize acidity.
Testing Saliva pH
You’ll also want to test the pH of your saliva. The results of saliva testing indicate the activity of digestive enzymes in your body, especially the activity of the liver and stomach. This reveals the flow of enzymes running through your body and shows their effect on all the body systems. Some people will have acidic pH readings from both urine and saliva—this is referred to as “double acid.”
You sit down to eat, you get the aroma of your favorite mealtime dish, you are ready to chow down and something begins to happen in your mouth. You begin to salivate. This is a reflection of the enzyme amylase kicking in for the starch digestion process. This enzyme needs a range of pH ideally around 7.2 pH. So if you have adequate alkaline reserves in your body, testing your saliva pH as you salivate before a meal should give you a pH reading of around 7.2. If your pH is not getting up to at least 7.0, you can assume there is stress in your alkaline reserves and the further below 7 it goes, the more depleted are those reserves. You could also suspect digestion all around is not doing so well. This typically indicates a longer term problem and more serious effort needs to be applied to help restore overall health.
Acid Meal Testing
Here you are going to eat an acid forming food evening meal. Meat, pasta, beans, bread, nuts, fish, no vegetables. Next morning, check your first urine pH. The meal the previous evening was too acid, but the body needs to be getting rid of this acid, so the urine should reflect this. Best situation would be wake up urine from 4.5 up to 5.8 or so. This would be a reflection of your body having enough alkaline reserves that it was buffering the acid and the adrenals and kidneys had appropriate energy to get rid of it. It is a healthy response.
Wake up urine after the acid evening meal between 5.8 and 6.8 is a reflection that the body is barely compensating, and the higher the pH the worse the situation.
Wake up urine after the acid evening meal of 6.8 or higher is not good. It is a possible indication that the body is dumping bicarbonate ions and may be in the ammonia cycle of the liver to help deal with the acid. This situation probably means depleted alkaline reserves and possible exhausted adrenal glands as well as probable digestive problems.
If the above situation or an alkaline morning urine is accompanied by an acid saliva less then 5.8, the situation is getting worse, and the further apart the numbers, the worse it is. Definite remedial action for alkaline reserve build up is critical.
As a point of reference, have you ever been to a nursing home and smelled an ammonia odor? Did you think that was because the nursing home was doing a good job of house cleaning? Well that is not the case. What is happening is you are smelling the urine of very sick people in their last days. Their bodies are in a give up state, they are likely dumping any alkaline buffers they have and the body is in last ditch mode trying to maintain sufficient blood pH for life to hang on by converting the acid in their systems to ammonia. The single biggest thing those individuals need is more water for hydration and a lot of alkalizing minerals. I would venture to guess that if this were to occur in nursing homes around the country a lot of their patients would be getting better and going home.
Alkaline Meal Testing
Here you are going to eat an alkalizing evening meal. Basically all vegetables. Green leafy veggies, broccoli, lima beans, carrots, etc. Next morning check your first urine pH. If the pH range is 4.5 to 5.5 you can consider it a too acid response. It means your body has a lot of excess acidity stored and you need to keep up those alkaline evening meals until the numbers come up. If you have a pH range from 5.5 to 6.8 it could be considered that you have a better level of alkaline reserves, but key to that assumption would be how you feel. If you feel healthy this range is ok. If you have symptoms of problems, you may need to dig more into the situation.
If the pH range is 6.8 to 8.5 again it could mean all is very well IF you are perfectly healthy. However, if you were experiencing serious symptoms of ill health, this alkaline response could be an indication that your cells are too toxic to use the alkaline reserves and instead are being dumped.
It should be mentioned here that there can be times when someone consumes many vegetables and alkaline minerals and their pH readings average far above 6.4. They believe this to be healthy but it actually is reflecting an underlying imbalance. Instead of using the minerals they are being dumped. Further testing will many times show an anabolic/catabolic imbalance – some clinicians also refer to this as an anaerobic/dysaerobic imbalance. This is related to the mix of fatty acids and sterols on cell membrane walls. If these fatty acids and sterols go askew it will affect cell membrane permeability so what goes in does not necessarily get assimilated the way it should.
To get a quick “average” pH, you can measure yourself two hours after breakfast and two hours after lunch. Do this over a period of days and get your average numbers. Then use this formula:
(Avg Urine pH ____ + Avg Saliva pH X 2 ___ ) / Divided by 3 = ___