Most of the foods we eat, whatever their total pH value, deliver an acid or an alkaline base into the blood. This happens after food has been metabolized after digestion. So the big question is: Are acid-producing foods detrimental to our general health?
There are many theories out there; some that support the several varieties of alkaline diets. But the basic principle we should all keep in mind while learning about pH balance, is that a normal healthy body will do all in its power to keep a slightly alkaline pH balance in the blood no matter what we eat.
What this article will do is explain the basics of what the acid/alkaline balance in your body is, and how helping the body function normally at keeping this balance without much effort can have positive health-enhancing effects.
pH means power of hydrogen. A low pH indicates a high concentration of hydronium ions, while a high pH indicates a low concentration.
In pure water, there is an equal number of hydroxide and hydronium ions, so it has a neutral pH of 7. A pH value less than 7 indicates an acidic solution, and a pH value more than 7 indicates a basic solution.
The pH of different cellular compartments, body fluids, and organs is usually tightly regulated in a process called acid-base homeostasis.
The pH of blood is usually slightly basic with a value of pH 7.365. This value is often referred to as physiological pH in biology and medicine.
Plaque can create a local acidic environment that can result in tooth decay by demineralisation. Enzymes and other proteins have an optimum pH range and can become inactivated or denatured outside this range.
The most common disorder in acid-base homeostasis is acidosis, which means an acid overload in the body, generally defined by pH falling below 7.35.
Our bodies have an intricate system of checks and balances to keep its pH in a normal and healthy range: 7.35 to 7.45. The body's acid-base balance is rigidly coordinated. Several buffering agents that reversibly bind hydrogen ions and impede any change in pH exist. Extracellular buffers include bicarbonate and ammonia, whereas proteins and phosphate act as intracellular buffers. The bicarbonate buffering system is especially key.
- The main reason we become acid is from failed digestion of protein, due to bad food combining and subsequent toxicity. When protein breaks down in our bodies, it breaks down into strong acids. In their passage through the kidneys these strong acids must be neutralized by a basic mineral into a neutral salt so as not to burn our kidneys. This process robs the body of essential minerals typical diets don't provide.
- We can limit the loss of base minerals, caused by the excess protein acids we consume, by either cutting down on protein consumption or by replacing the minerals. These lost base minerals can be replaced by eating raw fruits and vegetables, or by right mineral supplementation.
- Hyperacidic tendencies and symptoms include cold sores, herpes, arthritis, rheumatic conditions, parasites, cancer, candida, insomnia, headaches and migraines, water retention, bladder infections, constipation or diarrhea, teeth sensitivity, burning sensations, ulcers (also bacteria related), hypotension, stress, cravings for certain foods, allergies, asthma, skin disorders of all types and gastric problems.
- Weak acids like the acetic acid in vinegar, and the acids in most fruits and especially lemons, contain lots of minerals which are basic, along with their weak acid part. The weak acid part combines with water and is converted into carbonic acid which then breaks apart into carbon dioxide and water. You breathe out the carbon dioxide and pass the water out through your kidneys. The minerals remain behind to replenish deficient minerals so in fact these weak acids in the end, alkalize your body by supplying more minerals to it.
Other articles in this series:
- Food world
- Organic foods
- The Alkaline Food Chart; Acid/Alkaline Diet.
- How We Become Acid; Dennis Myers, M.D., Robert Miller, D.C.
- Physiological Realities of Acid/Alkaline Diets; Jake Psenka, ND.
- Alkaline Diets and Cancer: Fact or Fiction?; Stephanie Vangsness, R.D., L.D.N.
- Medical Physiology: A Cellular And Molecular Approach; Boron, Walter, Elsevier/Saunders.
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