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Acid/Base Balance

pH Test Tape

The term pH represents the negative logarithm of the hydrogen ion (H+) concentration and reflects acidity and alkalinity. The "p" stands for potential and "H" stands for Hydrogen--the potential of the solution to attract Hydrogen ions. pH values are to acid and alkaline what temperature degrees are to heat and cold. Body pH refers to the pH of the fluids inside and outside of the cells. Since most of the body is water-based, the pH level has profound effects on all body chemistry, health and disease. Extended pH imbalances of any kind are not well tolerated by the body. Fundamentally, all regulatory mechanisms (including breathing, circulation, digestion, hormonal production, etc.) serve the purpose of balancing pH by removing caustic metabolized acid residues from the body tissues without damaging living cells.

If the pH deviates too far to the acid side or too far to the alkaline side, cells become poisoned by their own toxic waste and die. Just as acid rain can destroy a forest and alkaline wastes can pollute a lake, an imbalanced pH continuously corrodes all body tissue, slowly eating into the 60,000 miles of our veins and arteries like corrosives eating into marble. If left unchecked, an imbalanced pH will interrupt all cellular activities and functions, from the beating of your heart to the neural firing of your brain. Although it may generally go unnoticed and undetected for years, an imbalanced pH can lead to the progression of most, if not all, degenerative diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes, as well as the never ending frustration of excessive systemic weight gain.

Very few substances are completely neutral; most test out either side of neutral. The pH of most substances falls somewhere from very strong, to very weak acid, or from very weak, to very strong alkali (base). An acid is a proton donor or an electron acceptor, and a base is a proton acceptor or an electron donor. Protons are positively charged ions, e.g., hydrogen (H+). Electrons are negatively charged ions, e.g., hydroxyl (OH-). The strength of an acid or base is determined by how fast and how much of the substance dissociates into ions. An ion is an atom of some particular element, which has lost most of its parts or gained some extra ones. If an atom gains electrons, it develops a negative charge (anion). If an atom gains protons, it develops a positive charge (cation). A positive Hydrogen ion has one proton.

Ionization occurs when ions in solution "distance themselves" from the bond and express their individual charges. By itself, water is very weakly ionized, but, when certain other substances are present, they "pull" at the water to separate the H+ and the OH ions and increase the level of charge. Since we're mostly HOH, the result is a lot of actual and potential H+ and OH ions in the system. The human body's vital functions are electric, functioning through surface charges and ionized energy like the battery in your car. An acid carries an electromagnetic positive charge, while a base carries an electromagnetic negative charge. Devising a method for objectively measuring the relative acidity or alkalinity of a solution came from a Dutch researcher named Sorensen back in 1909. Sorensen devised a mathematical model using logarithms for measuring acidity and alkalinity, similar to the Richter scale for earthquake measurement, where everything is on a base of 10 to a power. The pH scale we use today measures the concentration of hydrogen (H+) ions. More hydrogen ions mean more acidity, less hydrogen ions mean less acidity. Keep in mind that 10-1 compared to 10-2 has 10 times more hydrogen ions, therefore is 10 times more acidic.

The product of OH- and H+ must remain constant. Therefore a rise in one causes a fall in the other. OH- ions are always balanced by a positive counter ion in the solution and H+ ions are always balanced by a negative one. Therefore the solution remains neutral overall. The pH expresses the negative logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration in a solution. Therefore a solution of pH 7 will contain 10 times as many hydrogen ions as a solution of pH 8. Therefore the pH decreases as the hydrogen ion concentration increases.

0.000000001 g/l or 10-9 of hydrogen ions = pH 9

0.0000001 - --g/l or 10-7 -------"-------"---- -- = pH 7

0.00001 ----- --g/l or 10-7 -------"-------"---- -- = pH 5

0.001 -----------g/l or 10-7 -------"-------"---- -- = pH 3

Although a pH scale will range from 0 to 14, in biology we shall mostly be concerned with values within this range of pH 3 - pH 9.

No other single indicator than the body's pH is encountered as often in assessing health and disease. When the pH varies radically, the person is not in the optimum state of health. The pH of your body is something you must not ignore if you wish to maintain perfect health, regain lost immunity, or maintain proper weight. Each solution in your body has its proper pH, and if its pH gets too far out of balance, the secretion or solution loses its effectiveness to assimilate or absorb minerals and vitamins. Enzymes are also affected by the pH of the solution they are contained in. If you are not properly absorbing nutrients from the food you eat, then poor health is going to result. For example, if your body is too alkaline you will have trouble picking up and absorbing Iron. You could take copious amounts of it and it would just go through the body and never be utilized and you could be constantly fatigued. If the pH is too acid, a similar problem applies. Blood has a pH of 7.4 and a variance of just four tenths can cause a coma or death.

An acid is any substance which donates hydrogen ions to its solution, so acidity in a solution is a term to describe the state of hydrogen ion concentration exceeding hydroxyl ion concentration. Similarly an alkali (or base) is a substance which donates hydroxyl ions, and when the hydroxyl ion concentration exceeds hydrogen ion concentration the solution is alkaline. The strength of acidity and alkalinity depends upon the extent to which the contributing molecule tends to dissociate. If little dissociation occurs, the acid or base will be weak, if dissociation is high then, as in the case of HCl, it is a strong acid, and NaOH is a strong alkali. Water hardly dissociates at all therefore it is neutral, neither hydrogen ions or hydroxyl ions are in excess. Most organic acids are weak but their strength does vary, the degree of dissociation depending upon the nature of the molecule they are attached to. Mineral acids such as HCl are much stronger. An acid can be restored to neutrality, or any higher pH number by adding an alkali.

The acidity or alkalinity of our cells and fluids govern what metabolic activities can take place and how effectively they function. If pH is too acid, then our body's chemical reactions and electrical responses are too fast. Consequently, we can wear out or "burn up." The cliché phrases "adrenal burnout" and "stress burnout" are frequently used. On the other hand, if pH is too alkaline, then our chemical and electrical processes are too slow and we have autointoxication or self-poisoning. Thus, we have a "sluggish liver," sluggish bowel," and "congested lymphatics." An acidic system is one that has an excess of hydrogen ions (H+), which combine with oxygen to form water. In doing so, the excess hydrogen ions short circuit the oxidative metabolism cycle because they use up the oxygen. Anoxia results, and less oxygen is available for its primary function of oxidative metabolism--the production of energy for proper cell function.

Proper pH of the blood is critical for life. The body has many buffer systems to ensure that the pH of the blood is maintained in a range of 7.36 - 7.46. The blood pH is so important that the body will sacrifice the calcium in its bones to maintain the necessary blood pH. This situation gives the metabolic cause of the disease osteoporosis which is too much acid in the diet, such as from red meat, sodas, sugar and the extensive use of many drugs like antibiotics and steroids (cortisone). The body has a preference for the pH of the blood, which is generally established at 7.4 on the pH scale, that is, slightly alkaline. When blood plasma habitually becomes more acid, it acts as a chemical irritant which slowly attacks and eats away at the smooth muscle tissue of the inner walls of arteries and veins, as well as the heart itself.

A continually acid pH erodes and eats into cell wall membranes of the heart, arteries and veins, weakening the structural composition of the heart, arterial and venous walls, causing lesions of plaque and microscopic tearing throughout its framework, and creating irregularities of blood pressure. As pH becomes acidic, arteries become dilated but the caliber of blood vessels decreases (venous vasoconstriction). When this happens, peripheral blood is shifted more centrally: the more acidic the patient, the greater the fractional redistribution of of blood to the central vessels. This central redistribution of blood adds to the heart's workload when its contractability is compromised. This may obviously have potentially lethal cardiovascular effects, making it difficult to control high blood pressure/hypertension, various arrhythmias and the advent of a heart attack.

Most diets cause an unhealthy acid pH. In fact, diet appears to be the major influence in maintaining appropriate pH levels throughout the body. When food is metabolized and broken down, it leaves certain chemical and metallic residues, a noncombustible "ash" which, when combined with our body fluids, yields either acid or alkali potentials of pH. Certain foods are "acid-forming" in nature, whereas others are known to be "alkaline-forming."

We are alkaline entities by design, but acid-generating beings by function. A venous blood pH of 7.46 is considered optimal. If the pH deviates even a little bit, this creates great metabolic problems. Slight deviations too far from the body"s normal range result in convulsions and death. However, the body has several fail-safe mechanisms to regulate the blood pH and keep it suitable for life, primarily through buffer salts. Many other tissues that deal with the external environment (colon, living skin, vagina, stomach, lymph node fluid), rely on an acid pH for their proper function.

Life-essential functions, like electrolyte potassium (K+) and sodium (Na+ ) channels, are inactivated by acidosis. This has far reaching effects cardiovascularly since without extended sufficient electrolyte management, the heart's ability to contract and pump efficiently and rhythmically is compromised, increasing the possibility of a heart attack. Inhibition of electrolyte activity also affects the way we feel and behave, and is intimately involved in the energy levels we experience. Each cell has its own sodium-potassium pump which regulates the amounts of sodium and potassium the cell stores, while using up to 25% of daily total caloric input to run. In an acidic environment, less sodium will be present, slowing down the processing and induction of nutrition going into cells. This may cause a bevy of problems not the least of which is the fact that the sodium-potassium pump slows down, burning less fat for energy, with the inability for the body to access its stored energy reserves, leaving us feeling lethargic.

An acid pH allows the binding of cholesterol with heavy metals and other cellular debris that pH status appears to be more directly involved. An acid-induced malfunction of the body's sodium-potassium pump causes an increase in sodium and calcium buildup within the plasma, making it more available to electrostatically bond with LDL-cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol) and line the vascular network at an accelerated rate. Specifically, an acid pH initiates electrostatic potential, damaging arterial walls, causing cholesterol oxidation and the bonding of plaque with heavy metals. While there may be an increase in calcium build-up due to an acid-induced malfunctioning of the sodium-potassium pump, that free calcium, being in an acidic environment, will most likely bond with LDL-cholesterol and therefore be unavailable for use by the body. With free calcium populations and channels disrupted, calcium may become inordinately leached from bone mass and teeth, causing osteoporosis, tooth loss and other degenerative diseases.

A habitually acid pH can directly cause immediate weight gain by triggering a condition known as insulin sensitivity which causes erratic insulin production by the body. When the body is flooded with insulin, it diligently converts every calorie it can into fat. Thus, an acid pH will likely direct more insulin to be produced, and subsequently demand the body store more fat than usual. Acidosis is thus thought to be an important precursor to diabetes mellitus, and before the advent of synthetic insulin, diabetes was treated historically by buffering the system with base or alkaline causing powders. With increased pressure to continually produce insulin, beta cells lose phase with one another and stress within the cells increases, making it difficult for them to perform adequately, and further, survive. In a very real sense, they simply burn out! Although we commonly diet to lose weight, fasting and dieting are known acid-producing conditions that trigger our body's predetermined genetic response to starvation, wherein insulin floods the body so calories can be converted and stored as fat to prepare for the pending "famine." So, unless you balance your pH level, your best attempts at dieting will be thwarted by your body's own metabolic response to the acid produced by a lower caloric intake.

The pH is a dynamic state of ebb and flow like the ocean tide. The pH is not static or linear but is cyclical. The pH wraps around itself rather than staying in a straight line. If the pH becomes too alkaline (too high) such as 9.0, the body switches into an acid-fast condition at 5 for self-preservation. And for self-preservation in an over acid condition such as a consistent pH of 5.0 which depletes the body's alkaline reserves, the body will access bicarbonate and ammonia to buffer the acid and the pH shifts to the alkaline. So extreme pH values often have underlying opposite deviations.

A very acid pH can be the body's effort to control alkalosis. A very alkaline pH can be the body's effort to control acidosis. Concepts such as "alkaline pH is better than acid" or vice-versa, show a limited understanding of pH dynamics. Since it is natural for the pH to shift like the tides, if it dips too acid during the acid cycle, then the compensation is to rise too high during the alkaline cycle. Often, a deviation to one extreme simply causes a deviation to the other extreme like the pendulum on a clock. The more acidic the system becomes, the less the biochemical buffers in the blood are able to maintain the blood's healthy acid/alkaline balance. The pH becomes acidic. One way the body compensates for this is to preserve blood alkalinity by depositing excess acidic substances in the tissues and joints. This might explain why acidity increases arthritis and fibromyalgia. The more acidic a tissue area becomes, the more cell degeneration and death there is, making the body still more acidic. Another mechanism at work at the cellular level is the bioelectric potential that exists between the naturally acidic cell nucleus and the alkaline cytoplasm, which surrounds the cell's nucleus. These two poles create a cell battery that maintains the bioelectric potential needed for life function. The degree of polarity between these two poles reflects the vitality of the cell.

Acidosis decreases the oxygen affinity of hemoglobin in the blood. All biochemical functions are severely compromised if oxygen supplies are decreased to living tissue. An acid pH decreases the amount of oxygen that can be delivered to cells, making normally healthy cells become unhealthy, deteriorate and eventually die. Acidosis also causes partial lipid breakdown and destructive oxidative cascades, accelerating free radical damage of cell walls and intracellular membrane structures, which then unravel, killing cells in the process. Acidosis is thus thought to be the first step towards premature aging, interfering with eyesight and memory, and creating wrinkling, age spots, dysfunctioning hormonal systems, and a host of other age-related phenomena.

When the blood and extra cellular tissues become acidic, cytoplasm also becomes acidic, and there is less electric potential between it and the cell nucleus. A diminishing of this bioelectric potential means reduced cell vitality and function. On a grosser level, acid-producing foods create excess mucus, which congests the system and blocks oxygen from entering our system. The result, again, is tissue and cell anoxia. This occurs with an excess of grains, meat, or dairy, all of which are acid-forming foods. The pH governs the rate and effectiveness of two essential life processes: our enzyme reactions and our rate of burning fuel for life's energy needs. The latter is also known as oxidation rate. Consequently, pH is the medium in which our most fundamental life processes occur. When there is enough oxygen for the process of metabolic oxidation to take place, we get very effective energy production. If the process is limited by a decrease in oxygen, then there is less energy to power cellular function effectively, and cells begin to break down and die. For DNA-RNA synthesis and the body's natural cleansing and healing processes to occur, cell pH cannot be acidic. Also, cancerous cells grow well in acidic mediums, and therefore an acid pH actually accelerates and increases the possibility of cellular mutations (cancer).

The involvement of this in the nutrition of the body is so important that a special means of measuring it was developed and called the pH scale. The pH scale is an easy way of measuring this amount. Scientists have established the pH scale from 0-14. Thus, a solution having a pH of 0 has no ability to attract Hydrogen ions. The scale runs from 0 -14, and 7 is the mid-point. A pH above 7 is alkaline in nature, and a pH below 7 is acid. Distilled water has a pH of 7, or is neutral. Vinegar has a pH of less than 7, and is therefore acid. Baking soda has a pH greater than 7, and is therefore alkaline. Imbalances in pH affect sleep patterns, energy level, appetite, food desires, perspiration and mental state. Overt symptoms such as tingling in the extremities, headaches, cold hands and feet, odor of the urine, aches and pains, all give testimony to errors in pH and the body's attempts to correct or compensate. To deviate from ideal salivary pH for an extended time invites illness. Acidosis, an extended time in the acid pH state, can result in rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, lupus, tuberculosis, osteoporosis and cancers.

Buffering Systems

Normal pH control is maintained via substances called buffers, which, when present in solution minimize the extent of the pH change that occurs when acids or alkalis are added to the solution. To have this effect, buffer substances have to be either weak acids or weak alkalis themselves. A well buffered solution is one which contains a good concentration of an effective buffer. Carbon dioxide is by far the most abundant acid-forming substance the body produces, since carbon dioxide and water are the principal end products from the breakdown of carbohydrate, protein and fat. Carbon dioxide (CO2) forms acid by combining with water in the blood, which results in carbonic acid, a weak acid which ionizes to give H+ and HCO3 (bicarbonate ion).

In the body, carbon dioxide is being produced constantly and being expelled by the lungs. The blood is the means of transportation from the tissues, where it is formed, to the lungs, so the concentration of dissolved carbon dioxide, carbonic acid and bicarbonate represent normal equilibrium levels resulting from the processes of continuous formation and elimination. Controlling these levels is the biggest acid-base regulating job that the body has to do, but we do not normally have to think about it very much simply because the carbon dioxide is volatile and easily eliminated via the lungs. Another important buffer substance is hemoglobin, the respiratory pigment of the red blood cells.

When we look at non-volatile (non-gaseous) acids the body must find other ways of expelling them. Some, like lactic acid or organic acids, may be capable of being metabolized away into carbon dioxide and water, but others like sulphuric acid can only be disposed of by excretion. This means in practice that the kidneys have to become involved by excreting hydrogen ions directly into the renal tubules. The largest intake of sulphur into the body is through the sulphur containing amino acids and oxidation of this sulphur can lead to the formation of sulphuric acid. Phosphoric acid on the other hand can come from the oxidation of phospholipids.

The body has seven types of buffers that react with strong acids and bases to transform them into substances that will not drastically change body pH:

1. Bicarbonate Buffer: It works in the blood, lymph, tissue fluids, and kidneys. Bicarbonate ions are generated in the red blood cells from carbon dioxide (CO2) and diffuse into the plasma to act as an alkaline reserve against hydrogen ions. Once these ions do their job they are released through the lungs as CO2. Deep breathing decreases H+ ion concentration by elimination of acidic CO2; shallow breathing increases H+ ion concentration in the blood because of retention of acidic CO2. Bicarbonate is also active in the kidneys, where it is either reabsorbed to lower blood acidity or excreted with bound acids to maintain a balanced pH.

2. Phosphate/Ammonia Buffer: This works primarily with the pH of the blood in the kidneys. Phosphates work weakly in the blood and lymph. Acid blood passing through the kidneys is buffered with phosphate creating phosphoric acid, which is then excreted via the urine. In the process, sodium is exchanged for the hydrogen removed from the extracellular fluid and a bicarbonate ion is formed and released into the extracellular fluid, too. By this method the kidney reduces the degree of acidosis in the body fluids. Similarly, ammonia (NH3) from the fermentation of the amino acids reacts with the hydrogen ions to form ammonium ions, which are excreted into the urine, again increasing the bicarbonate concentration in the extracellular fluid. By removing specific amounts of hydrogen ions (H+) from the blood and secreting them into the filtrate, the kidney can keep the pH of the blood at a constant level of 7.365.

3. Protein Buffers: The most plentiful buffers of the body, glutathione, methionine, cysteine, taurine, just to name a few, are in the cells, lymph fluid and plasma. Most of the action of protein buffers occurs intracellularly to bind or neutralize acids during cellular disorganization.

4. Electrolyte Buffers: The most plentiful, which are referred to as the XCO3's, are sodium, calcium and potassium. These three minerals work in the blood, lymph, extracellular and intracellular fluids to bind acids, which are then removed through the urine. These three elements are recycled by the kidneys back into the blood and lymph by binding them to CO2. Over 70% of the CO2 produced in the body through cellular fermentation in the production of energy is used to carry out this recycling process.

5. Low Density Lipoproteins or Fat Buffers: These work primarily as a binder of acids in the blood, lymph, and extracellular fluids, which are then excreted via the urine. If elimination is compromised, these fat-bound acids are moved away from organs that sustain life into the body cavities, hips, thighs, stomach, etc. This is the cause for obesity. The body uses fat as a protective mechanism against excessive acids produced in response to cellular disturbing impressions and disorganization.

6. Hormone Buffers: These are especially the kidney hormones ADH (antidiruretic hormone), which regulates the rate at which water is lost or retained by the body, and aldosterone, which regulates the level of sodium ions (Na+) and potassium ions (K+) in the blood. These two hormones help the kidneys maintain alkalinity and reduce excess acidity, thus creating balance in the body.

7. Water: The importance of water is more than obvious since we are a gelatinous material in a body of water. As babies we are 90% water; as we age it decreases to 70%; and approaching complete cellular disorganization (death) we are 50% water. Water helps to maintain alkalinity in the blood, lymph, and intracellular and extracellular fluids by diluting excess acidity born out of cellular metabolism, acidic lifestyles, diets and thinking. So, where is all the excess acid coming from? We get it from our inverted lifestyles, diets, drugs, pollution, emotional and physical stress, lack of exercise, lack of spirituality, immorality, "acid" music, "acid" books, our inverted thoughts, deeds and traumas, just to name a few. Abnormal pH conditions, which result from obstruction or involvement of the respiratory system, are referred to as respiratory acidosis. All other pH problems created by metabolism are called metabolic acidosis. Restoring balance in respiratory acidosis is accomplished by increasing deep breathing, while metabolic imbalances require chemical buffering in the blood, lymph, and intra/extracellular fluids by superhydrating with green drinks.

Consequences of Acidification

The acidification of the medium surrounding cells results in hydrogen ions entering the cells and minerals being lost. This occurs when cells take up acid, to "help out" the rest of the body in dealing with over acidification: as a result cell mineral balance is disturbed, as intracellular sodium and potassium is lost, to compensate for the increased H+. Intracellular sodium is preferentially lost first, and then the potassium is lost. The loss of intracellular potassium is an undesirable condition for our health, which will only get worse if the conditions of over acidity remain for long. It is often too easy for the body to replace some of the lost potassium with extra sodium when recovering from excess acid, which will not help matters. This potassium loss and sodium gain is often also linked with an increased intake of H+ ions into the cell. So basically, sodium attracts acid.

For every 3 K+ that leave the cell, 2 Na+ go in, and in order to make up the additional positive charge a H+ goes in too. Persons with high sodium will usually have acidic systems. Demineralization of the bones and teeth occurs under conditions of excess acidity. Hence those with excess acid systems can readily succumb to softening of the bones and teeth, and this includes those with high sodium levels. The sodium/potassium balance needs to be realigned by adopting a diet with fewer acid forming foods and more raw fruits and vegetables.

A permanently acidic condition of the body tissues develops whenever the body's ability to expel acid is impaired, or when the intake of acid forming items is too great. It is the acidity of the interior of the cells that we have to be concerned about. Cell acidity disrupts mineral balance, which is the predominant and ultimate determining factor in chronic disease. Cells with poor mineral balance cannot expel toxins or acids easily, and a cell with high toxins cannot achieve a healthy mineral balance, resulting in a vicious circle. The body produces both acid and alkaline fluids. The stomach secretions are very strongly acidic, the bile and the pancreatic juice are alkaline: these together neutralize the very acid stomach contents as they come through to the intestine, giving a mildly acidic character to the contents of the first part of the small intestine, the duodenum. The ability to produce these fluids with their special pH values is a very essential part of normal alimentary functions.

Urinary pH

The purpose of checking urine pH is to find out if your body has a healthy store of the minerals that keep its internal environment slightly alkaline. Alkalizing minerals neutralize, or counteract, strong acid. Another term for the neutralizing process is buffering. Alkalizing minerals make strong acid weaker, or not acid at all. This store of alkalizing minerals is your alkaline reserve. The minerals that contribute to your alkaline reserve are sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron. Your alkaline reserve is scattered throughout your body in various organs. Urine pH values are your clue to whether or not your alkaline arsenal has been, or is being, used up or overwhelmed. The pH values indicate whether or not your body is overburdened (toxic) from too much acid from too much acid-causing food. Urine pH shows what is occurring in the building (anabolic) and tearing down (catabolic) cycles. The pH of urine indicates the efforts of the body via the kidneys, adrenals, lungs and gonads to regulate pH through the buffer salts and hormones. It indicates balance or imbalance of both acid and alkaline stomach enzymes and the intestines. Urine provides a fairly accurate picture of body chemistry, because the kidneys filter out the buffer salts of pH regulation and provide values based on what the body is eliminating. Urine pH can vary from around 4.5 to 9.0 for its extremes, but the ideal range is 5.8 to 6.8 with slight variances for climate. The warmer the climate, the lower the pH median. For example, in the warm southern United States, a urine pH of 6.4 promotes activity and offsets lethargy. In colder climates, optimal pH will climb to 6.45 or 6.5.

Salivary pH

Saliva pH values, on the other hand, are your guide to whether or not your body is overburdened with emotional stress. Urine pH and saliva results are valid only if checked under controlled conditions. Random checks of the pH of either of these fluids may be interesting, but they're basically meaningless. While more acidic than blood, salivary pH mirrors what is occurring in the blood and is also a fairly good indicator of health, because it tells us what the body retains. It also is a fair indicator of the health of the extra cellular fluids, which is indicative of the alkaline mineral reserves. It also indicates the condition of the liver, lymphatic system and the pancreatic enzymes. If salivary pH is not in optimal ranges, the diet should focus on fruit and vegetables as well as remove strong acidifiers such as sodas and red meat. Alkalosis, an extended time in the alkaline state, results in most other symptoms, such as constipation, flu, heart trouble, indigestion, and bacterial and viral infections.

Organic Sodium

Sodium deficiency is the number one mineral deficiency; even most people eat so much salt. Sodium chloride (table salt), cannot be used by the body because the sodium and the chloride are held tightly together by ionic bonds. This form of salt is toxic, can increase blood pressure, and cannot be used in the buffer system. The body can only efficiently use sodium that has been chelated to a protein molecule, which can only occur as the salt passes through the plant kingdom. This form of salt has covalent bonds, meaning the bonds are easily broken down and utilized. When sodium chloride is given to people, often their blood pressure rises, but when organic sodium is given, their blood pressure moves toward normal. Sodium chloride induces the body to lose calcium, whereas organic sodium induces a decrease in calcium loss. The reason is that when organic sodium is unavailable to be used to buffer acids, calcium may be used in its place. Sodium chloride actually causes an increase in acidity, which can further deplete calcium. However, when organic sodium is provided to the body, it can be used as a buffer against acids, and losses of calcium will decrease. When sodium chloride is taken, the body does its best to eliminate it, however, when organic sodium is taken, the body will retain it.

The healthy body has several good storehouses of organic sodium including the liver, joints, bile, and the stomach mucosa. If the normal sodium reserves are deficient, the body will extract what it needs from these various sources. Organic sodium is used for many things in the body such as keeping calcium from hardening, conducting electrical currents, and it is one of the main electrolytes used in the buffer system. The sodium buffer can bring acid fluids up to 6.1 pH. Then other buffers bring the fluids up to 7.4. The body knows exactly what to do. When we keep consuming acid-forming foods, we use up our stores of sodium and other precious buffering. When the body becomes low in its supply of an electrolyte such as sodium, it will go to other parts of the body and take it from wherever it can extract it, to maintain critical pH factors. The easiest, safest, and often the first source for the body to extract sodium is from the bile.

When sodium is removed from the bile, a chain reaction occurs that affects the entire body. As sodium is removed from bile, its pH is lowered. In a healthy person, bile pH should be as high as 8.6, but in an unhealthy person, the bile may be as low as 4.5. The healthy person has a high supply of minerals and especially sodium, and the bile pH will be near 8.6, but the unhealthy person may have a bile pH between 4.5 and 8.0. The pH of the bile is controlled by organic sodium. The less sodium and potassium in the bile, the more acid it becomes. The more acid it becomes, the more likelihood there will be gallstones forming. If a person has a low bile pH and consumes large amounts of sodium chloride, their bile pH will drop further. If that same person consumes large amounts of organic sodium (from fruits and vegetables) their bile pH will move toward normal. The same shift is reflected in the urine and saliva pH readings.

When due to a deficiency, organic sodium may be removed from the stomach, and hydrochloric acid (HCl) production will be reduced or stopped entirely. Sodium is needed in the stomach to serve as a buffer against the acids it creates through the parietal cells. Even though the stomach secretions are as low as 2.0, the epithelial cells in the stomach lining have a pH near 7.0, which protects the lining against gastric ulcers. Therefore, a lack of sodium in the stomach usually means a shutdown of acid production, which means that pepsinogen cannot be activated. Effective digestion is greatly inhibited by lack of hydrochloric acid and pepsin enzymes. This condition causes fermentation of carbohydrates and putrification of proteins and rancidity of fats and oils. This lack of the normal acid in the stomach, which acts to sterilize the foods we eat, allows bacteria, parasites, and yeast, mold and fungus to enter the gastrointestinal tract. This sets the stage for food poisoning and the whole body is then exposed to these microforms and their toxic excretions.

In a healthy person, the alkaline fluids from the Brunner's glands, bile and alkaline pancreatic juices flood the duodenum shortly after food passes through from the stomach into the duodenum. These highly alkaline fluids dilute the acids from the stomach and raise the pH up to alkaline levels, allowing the perfect environment for this stage of digestion. Pancreatic enzymes can only function optimally in a pH above 7.0. As long as the body is able to do this, then good digestion will continue throughout the life of that body. However, after the bile turns from alkaline to acid, and the body is unable to correct it, duodenal ulcers occur. When acid foods pass into the duodenum and when the bile has turned acid, bicarbonate and enzymes from the pancreas cannot function properly, the food is unable to be fully alkalized, and digestion is greatly inhibited.

When organic sodium is removed from the joints, which is common, then arthritis, osteoporosis, and other bone problems can occur. When sodium is removed form the muscles, the muscles become weak and flabby. When organic sodium is removed from the liver, it becomes weak and inefficient. Serious difficulties can develop such as skin problems, headaches, pains, poor eyesight, depression, mental problems, sugar problems, allergies, blood sugar problems, tiredness, cancer, weak digestion, poor memory, etc. When the body becomes deficient in organic sodium its partner, potassium, can become deficient. A lack of sodium automatically depletes potassium. Potassium is abundant in most foods, especially fruits and vegetables. When the body is deficient in potassium, heart disease, muscle aches and pains, mood swings, depression, weakness, fears, cynicism, organ prolapse, edema, etc. may develop. When organic sodium and organic potassium deficiencies occur, organic calcium and magnesium are used to replace sodium and potassium as buffers. This then can develop into calcium and magnesium deficiencies.

When the diet and lifestyle are consistently acid-forming, then minerals continue to be depleted, and the bowel may be unable to correct the bowel pH with its other mechanisms--the entire bowel may be affected. As this becomes more and more out of control, a chain reaction of pathogenic conditions continues. As these conditions advance, constipation and/or diarrhea often develop. The bowel then become extremely toxic and may allow toxic overloads. Too much toxicity and acids from the bowel will eventually weaken the liver, and gut lining. Leaky gut syndrome develops and then the liver, kidneys, spleen, and other organs are even more challenged.

Testing pH

Monitoring your internal pH helps you evaluate how your whole body is doing not parts. It's a health index evaluation process, not a disease identifying process. PH tests don't diagnose. Knowing the pH value of your internal environment won't cure disease anymore than knowing your blood pressure will cure hypertension. It can give you a clue that your body is "fighting stress" rather than "fighting disease." The disease is an effect of the stress your body copes with in a "tough neighborhood." Testing of the pH of the internal fluids of the body utilizes thin strips of specially treated litmus paper, designed specifically to indicate pH values, ideally in two-tenths increments, from moderately strong acid of pH 5.5 to mildly alkaline pH 8.0. pH test paper tape is available at medical supply. This pH paper changes color when it comes in contact with moist or wet acid or alkaline substances. A color guide comes with the pH paper. This guide shows the colors the paper can register. Each color represents a particular pH value.

Body fluids comprise 70% of our body weight: fluid in the cells constitutes 55% of our body weight, fluid in our blood is 5%, and fluid in the tissues surrounding the cells is 10% of body weight. We are a more sophisticated version of the single cell organisms being nurtured by the ocean waters; only the "ocean" is inside of us. Like the oceans and fresh bodies of water, which are dying because of pollution, if our bodily fluids become polluted, an acidic acid/base imbalance develops, which kills us too. The most accurate fluid to measure is venous blood, but this process involves phlebotomy (inserting needle) and a centrifuge. Even though your blood is the most important fluid in your body, it isn't feasible for people to open a blood vessel to check the internal pH. The most accessible fluids are urine and saliva. You prepare to check the urine pH by eating particular types of foods for two days immediately before the test. To prepare to check for saliva pH, don't eat, drink, chew gum, suck on cough drops, or put anything else in your mouth except water for at least two hours. Monitoring pH gives an indication of how well or how hard your body is working to survive your lifestyle. When your body is at its ideal pH, it functions smoothly and easily. When your body is at less than ideal pH, it works overtime to survive, and you become exhausted. The results of your pH tests are indicators of how your body is responding to the foods you eat and to other stresses. The actual acid or alkaline level of your internal environment affects how your body functions. The pH values you get when you test your urine or saliva are indications of how your body is functioning.

Normal pH

Optimal pH for saliva is 6.4 to 6.8. This reading is taken upon arising before anything is put into the mouth. A reading lower than 6.4 is indicative of insufficient alkaline reserves. After eating, the saliva pH should rise to 7.8 or higher. If not, there's an alkaline mineral deficiency and you can't assimilate food well. The normal pH of the blood is 7.4. When a food has a larger amount of hydrogen it is known as an acid; if it has a lesser amount of hydrogen, it is called an alkali. If it gets even slightly acidic, the body can malfunction. A neutral pH is 7.0; when the blood reaches a pH of 6.95, we experience coma and death, because at this pH the heart relaxes and cannot beat. If pH becomes too alkaline, in the range of 7.7, we become irritable, spasmodic, and can develop tetany and convulsions. The most common symptoms of acidosis are lassitude, malaise, nausea, sometimes vomiting, headaches, sleeplessness, weakness, and loss of appetite. The muscles ache, the mouth becomes acid causing injury to the teeth, the stomach is stagnant and sour, and the urine is strongly acid as is also the sweat, which can destroy silk fabrics or discolor jewelry. On a grosser level, acid-producing foods seem to create excess mucus, which congests the system and blocks oxygen from entering our system. The result, again, is tissue and cell anoxia. This occurs with an excess of grains, meat, or dairy, all of which are acid-forming foods. Foods that are high in phosphorous and sulphur produce acid in the system by metabolizing the sulphur and phosphorus into sulphuric and phosphoric acid. In order for the body to excrete these poisonous acids without hurting the kidneys and the bowels, the body neutralizes them with alkaline-forming mineral salts, primarily sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron and calcium.

Foods, such as most vegetables and fruits, which are high in sodium, potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium, are alkaline-forming. When these elements are diminished, the system becomes acidic. To maintain the alkaline-forming minerals in the body, and therefore to foster a slightly alkaline condition in the body, we need to eat enough foods with alkaline-forming elements. Our bodies are both alkaline and acidic at the same time, with either acid or alkaline predominating. The correct percentage of alkaline or acid-forming food intake can help to adjust this dynamic equilibrium. The general consensus of Western nutritionists is that the healthiest acid/alkaline balance in the body is maintained by an optimum ratio of 80% alkaline-forming foods to 20% acid-forming foods. When this ratio is maintained, there is strong resistance against disease. People recovering from an illness are more acidotic, and so an even more alkaline diet will hasten the return to health. The correct acid/alkaline balance in our food intake is very important.

When the body becomes too acidic, it becomes fertile ground for acute and chronic disease, particularly arthritis and cancer. The more acidic a particular tissue area becomes, the more cell degeneration and death there is. Dead and dying cells make the system still more acidic. When the enzymes become less efficient, the nutritional process in your body is becoming more inefficient. The farther away from perfect the balance the two pH's travel, more serious health problems may develop and it's more difficult to maintain proper weight. This all happens because of improper assimilation of important minerals. In a healthy person, the saliva pH may be very slow to change, and when it does change, it is equally as difficult to bring it back to normal. It can indicate the pH of the blood, liver, bile, pancreatic fluids and the intestinal tract. For example, if your saliva pH is very alkaline, it may mean that the lower tract digestive enzymes are too alkaline. This could cause a problem keeping weight under control. It may also cause lower bowel gas. A large spread between the pH readings (5.4/7.4) may mean a great internal energy loss due to a very inefficient metabolism. The larger the spread between the pH's, the more gas, energy loss and stress there may be. If your urine pH is acid, along with an acid saliva pH, it may mean fast digestive action. There may be a tendency toward gastric or duodenal ulcers, colitis, and a problem with loose stools.

There is a correlation between degenerative disease and an acid saliva pH. An acid body pH means that the food may be passed through the digestive tract very quickly to keep from irritating the walls of the intestines. The time normally allotted for absorption of minerals and vitamins may be greatly decreased, and, as a result, you may not get the proper energy out of the food you eat. This may cause you to eat more, resulting in weight problems. The more alkaline your pH travels, the weaker the digestive juices may become. You may not get the proper energy from the foods eaten because the digestive enzymes are too inefficient to break down the food for easy assimilation. This is the beginning of nutritional problems.

People with a high pH may experience increased respiration, stiff joints, muscle cramps, calcium precipitating and moving into tissues, discomfort after eating due to a lack of acidity in the stomach, a sudden rush of sugars into the bloodstream, causing insulin stress, and lowered resistance to disease, since yeast, viruses, bacteria, fungus, parasites and other micro-organisms thrive in an alkaline medium. High pH's may allow upper body problems such as asthma, allergies and sinus problems. Colon problems like constipation and/or congestion may be present. A specialized diet and nutritional supplements can bring your pH's back into the proper 6.4 balance. Once that is done, the gastric secretions, the saliva, the liver bile and the pancreatic enzymes may balance each other and the efficiency of the digestive system may increase at a fantastic rate. Enzymes need a healthy acid/alkaline balance or else they cannot digest food properly and you are denied valuable vitamins, minerals, amino acids and trace elements that have not been extracted during the digestive process.

Both the urine and saliva should have a pH of 6.4 if you are to get the maximum energy out of the food eaten. Any deviation from that reading, either higher or lower, may create a sharp loss of energy. If the pH remains off from this norm of 6.4 for a time, sickness and weight problems may result. You have taken a huge step toward health when you achieve a pH of 6.4. The greater the range of deviation from 6.4 during a 24-hour period, the more deficient the immune system can be expected to be. The spread between them in a very healthy person should be 0. If recovering from illness, the pH's should be brought within .5 of each other. The urine pH should always be more acid than the saliva. When the pH's have a slight spread, it means the body is detoxing. If the spread is too far apart the person is not digesting or assimilating nutrients correctly. Sometimes the pH's will even cross over. This of course is very undesirable, e.g., a saliva pH of 6.1 and a urine pH of 6.8.

You want to open those up and spread them apart as soon as possible. When the pH's read urine 5.9, saliva 6.4, and you're having a difficult time relaxing or even hyper, you need to throw the pH's more alkaline and keep the spread, if you're recovering. When the pH's read urine 6.4 and saliva 6.9, and you feel sluggish, you can swing the pH's more acid and keep the spread if you're recovering. It is a good idea to maintain a high alkaline mineral salt reserve in order to be able to neutralize emergency situations in which the body becomes acidic. Another reason for eating alkaline-forming foods is that an acidic diet is low in sodium and calcium, which consequently reduces the levels of potassium and magnesium in the nerve cells, resulting in improper functioning. If we become too acidic, our cells' functioning diminishes and we lose mental clarity. The mind slows, and eventually coma occurs below the pH of 6.95. An example of this is the diabetic coma that is seen in people who develop severe diabetic acidosis. A slow mind and decreased mental clarity are typical of many whose diet is too acidic.

Food

Some types of foods you eat can pollute your internal biological terrain. They leave an acid residue that the body must neutralize and eliminate. The foods are essentially high-protein foods--meats, poultry, fish, and grains. They are acid ash-producing foods. Most people eat a lot of acid ash foods. It's our custom, tradition, and a large part of our economy. But acid ash foods leave the internal equivalent of blowing trash, beer cans, abandoned cars and graffiti that pollutes the internal turf of our bodies. Acid ash-producing food isn't the only source of acid in your body. Two other prominent sources contribute to your internal acid level: 1) cellular activity, and 2) naturally acid foods. Your cells produce acid as they function. As long as cells are alive, they work and produce acid. As cells die off, other cells replace them. The new cells also produce acid. So, as long as you are alive, new cells are being produced, and cells are producing acid. When you exercise, cells produce more acid than when you're resting. Acid production is a standard procedure for your body. Your body is alkaline by design and acid by function. There's a big difference between the acid your cells produce and the acid that you get in high-protein acid ash producing foods. The acid from cells--physiologic acid--is a lot weaker than acid from high-protein acid ash foods. Self-produced acid doesn't need to be neutralized by vital minerals before it is sent out of the body. Self-produced acid is easily eliminated through your lungs when you breathe and when you talk. There are also naturally acid foods that are acid when they go into the body. Lemons, oranges, and grapefruit are examples.

In general, fruits and vegetables are naturally acid foods. In their natural state, acid foods have more built-in acid than do high-protein acid ash-producing foods--meat, poultry, fish, and grains. Fruit acid, especially, may be fairly strong going into your body. However, your body can get rid of fruit and vegetable acid very easily. You just blow it off in the lungs. The acid from acid ash-producing foods is different. This is the kind of acid that needs to be neutralized before it is eliminated from your body. You can't just blow it off. It must be weakened and escorted, by neutralizing minerals, out of the body through kidneys or bowel. The acid of fruits and vegetables is no problem. The acid from ash of meats, poultry, fish, and grains can be a problem. The ash left by most fruits and vegetables is alkaline. It contains minerals that help alkalize your body. Fruits are easily digested. The acid that comes in them is easily eliminated through the lungs. And the ash they leave contributes needed minerals for your body to use. They help clean up the neighborhood. In addition, there is a small group of neutral ash foods that have an acidifying effect on the body. These neutral ash foods include refined sugar, corn syrup, corn oil, and olive oil. Some foods are more acidifying or alkalizing. The residue from acid ash foods, in the form of an acid residue that's left after high protein food has been digested, is the physiological equivalent of toxic waste. During digestion, the usable parts of food are absorbed to help nourish the body. But a residue that can't be used is left. This residue is acid. The body doesn't need it. The residue itself will eventually make its way through the liver, kidneys or bowel and out of the body. However, before it is eliminated, it must be denatured or neutralized--weakened, buffered. If it isn't neutralized, it can burn delicate kidney tissue. That's not good.

Your body is smarter than you will ever be. Your own smart body has all sorts of ways to protect itself. The primary protection against strong acid is alkalizing minerals. These vital minerals can neutralize, or tone down, the acid from quite strong to slightly strong, but at a cost. Unfortunately, in the process of neutralizing the acid, the minerals are eliminated right along with the residue. These vital neutralizing minerals tag along with the acid all the way out of your body. Gone forever. The good news is that these lost minerals are easily replaced. Replacements come from the live plants such as fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Your body was designed to survive. If minerals that were lost aren't replaced, other minerals jump in to do the job--survival. But these substitute minerals weren't just sitting on the bench waiting to be called into the game. They have important full-time jobs, too. When they're used to handle the emergency, they're taken from their primary jobs. For example, calcium is a substitute-neutralizing mineral. Our biggest calcium supply is from bones. If you don't replace neutralizing minerals by eating fruits and vegetables, calcium is taken from the bones. When you lose calcium from your bones you get osteoporosis. Your bones become weak.

Your diet can be so high in acid ash residue that your neutralizing, or buffering, systems are overwhelmed. There is just too much acid for them to handle--acid saturation. When acid-laden materials arrive at the kidneys, the kidneys must act to neutralize the acid quickly. It's another backup system--ammonia. The kidneys generate ammonia, which has a pH of about 9.25. A little ammonia mixed with strong acid raises the pH value. When your body is too acid for too long, it plays the game of life with a lineup of backup systems. These backups are either substitute minerals, or ammonia. When your body is too acid, the systems and organs of your body work overtime just to stay even. The organs and systems aren't designed to function flat-out in red-alert mode all the time. Enzymes, the functional part of metabolism, can only function appropriately, in a narrow window of pH value. When the pH shifts outside that enzymes' window, you loose metabolic function in the cells. If this red-alert mode of operation continues on for months or years, systems and organs become exhausted. An exhausted body can't compete with disease.

An alkaline forming food is one that creates an alkaline condition in the body. These are foods that contain high concentrations of sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron. Foods that are high in sulphur, phosphorus, chlorine, and iodine are acid-forming foods. They are metabolized in the body to form acids. Acid-forming foods are not the same as foods such as lemons, which contain high concentrations of organic acids and taste acidic. These mild organic acids act as cleansing agents in the system. They're oxidized into CO2 and H2O and therefore do not create an acid condition in our system. Because they bring high concentrations of the alkaline-forming minerals to the body, acid fruits increase the alkaline reserve of the body and therefore are alkaline-forming. Foods which decrease the alkaline mineral reserve are considered acid-forming foods. It is important to understand that all natural foods contain both alkaline and acid-forming minerals. If the acid-forming minerals are greater, then the food is acid-forming. If the alkaline-forming minerals are greater, then the food is alkaline-forming. The degree of alkaline or acid-forming elements in the food can be measured.

Acid-forming foods are flesh foods, grains, dairy products, a majority of nuts and seeds, beans and peas, simple sugars, fats, and proteins. Oils are close to neutral. Alkaline-forming foods are vegetables and fruits. Exceptions include asparagus, cranberries, plums, and prunes, which are all slightly acidic. In general, the metabolic process of animal organisms is to convert alkaline to acid, and of plants, to convert acid to alkaline. By receiving our needed alkaline minerals from our plant friends we continue the balancing and harmonious cycle between humans and the plant kingdom. Cheeses are acidic. Butter is slightly acidic, and because it has so much fat, it is probably more acidic than actually rated chemically. Soybeans are considered alkaline, and tofu is slightly alkaline. Kidney and adzuki beans, almonds, Brazil nuts, green corn and millet are alkaline-forming. While fruits such as lemons, oranges, grapefruits, tomatoes and pineapples, are acid when you eat them, but, by the process of enzymatic digestion; they are turned into alkaline substances. Excessive amounts of protein in any form--animal or vegetable protein--are debilitating to the body, affect the pH and ultimately lead to chronic diseases like arthritis, diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis. Protein is essential to health, but not an excess of it. Proteins as a class are the most acid-forming because of their high concentrations of sulphur and phosphorus. Their metabolic breakdown also produces uric acid, which further acidifies the system, and urea, which increases excretion through the kidneys in a way that carries out the much-needed alkaline-forming minerals. Excess protein also clogs the basement membranes, causing cell anoxia, which further increases the acidity.

Fats as a general class are acid-forming because their metabolism produces acetic acid. Simple carbohydrates like white sugar are acid-forming because they enter the system too quickly and burn too fast. In this unbalanced process, they produce acids such as lactic, butyric, and acetic acid, which acidify the system. Complex carbohydrates metabolize more slowly and evenly and therefore don't form organic acids. Animal research shows that foods with high natural vitamin B content help maintain the correct acid/alkaline balance when there is too much protein consumption. Food containing natural vitamin A helps to rebalance the acidity from overeating fat. Foods high in vitamin C help compensate for acidity from too much sugar and other simple carbohydrates. This research also showed that an excess of synthetic vitamins tends to make the system acidic. Refined foods, medical drugs, psychedelic drugs, soft drinks, and synthetic drugs are acid-forming because they either never contained alkaline-forming minerals or the minerals are leached out during chemical processing and refining. Their intake requires alkalinizing minerals to neutralize their acid end products. This depletes the body stores of alkaline-forming minerals and creates an acid shift in the body.

Foods To Change And Balance pH

TO ACIDIFY BOTH pH's:

Corn silk tea, Watermelon seed tea, Yellow dock, Apple cider vinegar, Ascorbic acid, Cranberry juice.

TO ALKALIZE BOTH pH's:

Chaparral, Lemon juice and water, Prune juice, Apricots, Cauliflower and Corn.

TO ACIDIFY URINE ONLY:

Arrowroot, Cornstarch, Popcorn, Walnuts, Corn syrup, Corn bread.

TO ACIDIFY SALIVA ONLY:

Sauerkraut, Asparagus, Goat's Milk, Onion Powder, Potassium.

TO ALKALIZE URINE ONLY:

Black cherry juice, Apple juice, Bananas, Acerola powder or Vit. C ascorbate.

TO ALKALIZE SALIVA ONLY:

Green peas, Strawberry/guava juice, Essential fatty acids.

TO ACIDIFY URINE / ALKALIZE SALIVA:

Red or green cabbage, Hominy, Whole wheat bread toasted, Baked beans, Cornmeal, Cottage cheese.

TO ALKALIZE URINE / ACIDIFY SALIVA:

Bleu cheese, Fresh carrot juice, Tomato juice, Orange juice.

Enzymes that digest our foods can only function within a certain range of pH. For example, the enzyme pepsin in our stomach is not active in a pH environment higher than 5.0. Consequently, pepsin only works in a strong acid medium. If our stomachs or foods are too alkaline, then pepsin cannot work. Therefore, we miss the food values we would have received if pepsin were able to function properly. For example, protein requires pepsin to digest properly. After initiating partial digestion, pepsin will later activate the pancreas' protease enzymes to complete the protein's digestion. If milk, which has an alkaline pH of 7.2, is ingested, it neutralizes pepsin and ruins the entire digestion of the protein. Avoid milk if protein is eaten. Furthermore, without pepsin's ability to digest proteins, the food passes undigested into the intestinal tract where it putrifies and releases toxic chemicals into the bloodstream before it is discharged.

The body's ability to assimilate nutrients can't occur when the pH is out of proper range. Vitamins and minerals can only be assimilated within certain pH values that collectively range from 5.3 to 7.4. This means that people with pH imbalances can eat and not take in nutrition. Through the cycles of pH, the body orchestrates the complex biochemical activities of life according to natural and optimal rhythms. Every enzyme required for an activity is held in check until the appropriate time at which the pH adjusts for the enzyme's activation and maximum effectiveness.

If the proper pH is inhibited, as can happen by improper diet, stress and lack of exercise, then the body enters a condition that is less than optimal. If normal pH swings are inhibited for an extended period of time, disease results as consequence. Another reason why pH is so important to health is that it governs the rate at which our cells burn glucose for energy. Every cell in our bodies has a miniature fireplace, called the mitochondrion where glucose and oxygen mix and burn to keep us warm, active and alive. If the fuel mix is correct, it contains a mixture of mostly glucose, some amino acids and fat, and the right amount of oxygen for proper combustion. When this mixture is present, then the cellular life fires burn properly, providing stable health and energy. Thus, in our analogy of the fireplace, we have a good blaze with the right type of wood (not too hard, not too soft), with minimal ashes, the right updraft through the chimney and oxygen to keep the fire burning brightly. Everything is fine when these elements are maintained.

The pH governs all aspects of cellular combustion. It governs the fuel supply, which is derived from glucose from our dietary carbohydrates, proteins and fats. The pH also governs the oxygen supply used to control the rate at which the fire burns. If the fire burns too hot and dangerously, the house catches on fire and burns down. Or a problem can occur if the ashes build up and smother the fire with the result that the house gets cold. Consequently, in our bodies with their billions of tiny cellular fires, pH is a governing factor, controlling how well the fire burns or conducts its physiological oxidation. Glucose production is controlled by a complex system of checks and balances that include the pancreas, adrenal glands and liver. The primary regulator is the hormone insulin, produced by the pancreas. Insulin controls how much glucose enters the cells and thus regulates the fuel supply. Like other hormones and enzymes, insulin functions best within a certain range of pH, which is 7.79 to 8.02. Consequently, the extra cellular fluid (lymph), which bathes every cell, should be in a pH range of 7.8 to 8.0 to have optimal effectiveness of the hormone insulin. The blood delivers insulin, glucose and oxygen to clusters of cells.

Each individual cell is in contact with extra cellular fluid that is the medium in which the cell lives. The blood is best oxygenated at a pH of 7.4-7.46 because at this pH, blood is able to transport the most oxygen and to carry off most of the metabolic wastes. Nutrition helps to stabilize an inherent irregularity and bring an element of stability to the pH. This is one of the reasons why vitamin, mineral and herbal consumption can improve how well people feel. The right ingredients help to stabilize the pH factor. On the other hand, a diet that plays into a pH weakness makes health worse. The body goes to great lengths to regulate the homeostasis, or equilibrium of its preferred blood pH. Yet, as seen by the general health of most people, the body's environment needs some assistance. An imbalance in the blood chemistry means that many of the natural functions will be inhibited at the atomic level by the presence of too many acid hydrogen (H) or alkaline hydroxyl (OH) ions. Most people are not particularly interested in understanding, or monitoring, their pH. But for the persons who understand how the pH functions, it can be a turning point in their health. People who are environmentally sensitive, or are affected by chronic fatigue, may find that metabolic balancing of the pH provides a degree of energy and stability that is critical to their daily function.

pH Cycles

The acid/alkaline swing (the pH cycle) is a natural body cycle that occurs two times a day. This cycle is a major force of nature, or body dynamics, that we can cooperate with, ignore or oppose. Of course, when we cooperate with this natural cycle, we experience conservation of energy and an enhanced degree of health.

Much of what the body does occurs within 24-hour cycles, with larger cycles of 7 days and 28 days. The 24-hour food processing cycle contains three 8-hour cycles that fall approximately as follows:

7 a.m. - 3 p.m.: Process nutrients (eat, digest)

3 p.m. - 11 p.m.: Use nutrients (build, exercise)

11 p.m. - 7 a.m.: Cleanse cellular wastes (rest)

There are two major cycles at work in our bodies: The meridian clock and the pH (acid/alkaline balance). The meridian/organ clock provides us with bioenergetic insights; the pH cycles are the basis of our biochemical life processes. If we work in accord with these natural cycles, Nature rewards us with better health and longevity. If, in contrast, we fight or live in conflict with our natural cycles, then dispassionate nature allows only the survival of the fittest. When you eat a certain food is often of greater importance than what the food is. Poor foods, eaten at the "right" time, do less damage than good foods, eaten at the "wrong" time. Basically, there is a time to eat, a time to live, and a time to sleep. All eating causes the body to work and adapt. This activity occurs best at certain times of the circadian rhythms.

Time Meridian Commentary

5-7a.m. Large Intestine Drinking water triggers bowel evacuation making room for the new day's nutritional intake. Removes toxins from cleansing during the night.

7-9a.m. Stomach Stomach energies are the highest so eat the most important meal of the day here to optimize digestion/assimilation.

9-11a.m. Spleen (pancreas) The stomach passes its contents on. Enzymes from the pancreas continue the digestive process. Carbohydrate energy made available.

11a.m.-1p.m. Heart Food materials enter the blood stream. The heart pumps nutrients throughout the system and takes its lipid requirements.

1-3p.m. Small Intestine Foods requiring longer digestion times complete their digestion/assimilation.

3-5p.m. Bladder Metabolic wastes from morning's nutritional intake clear, making room for the kidney's filtration to come.

5-7p.m. Kidney Filters blood (decides what to keep, what to throw away), maintains proper chemical

balance of blood based on nutritional intake of day. Blood to deliver useable nutrients to all tissues.

7-9p.m. Circulation Nutrients are carried to groups of cells (capillaries) and to each cell (lymphatics).

9-11p.m. Triple Warmer The endocrine system adjusts the homeostasis of the body based on electrolyte and

enzyme replenishment.

11p.m.-1a.m. Gall Bladder Initial cleansing of all tissues, processes cholesterol, enhances brain function.

1-3a.m. Liver Cleansing of blood. Processing of wastes.

3-5a.m. Lung Respiration, Oxygenation, Expulsion of waste gasses.

The Chinese Acupuncture "meridian clock" is an example of a 24-hour cycle that portrays the body's complete functions as well as its relationship with diet. There are 12 meridians, each taking the lead for two hours during the 24-hour period. Each of the 12 meridians has a dual flow, a coming and a going, or a yin and yang rhythm, marking 24 cycles per day. The clock delineates which meridian system is activated and dominant at a given time. The Chinese have known of these cycles for several thousand years. In the last twenty years, Western science has proven the validity of these cycles using piezo-electrical equipment called "electro-acupuncture." The ancient meridian clock shows the rhythm and order of the bioenergetic system. Since these cycles happen automatically, we do not have to be preoccupied with them. However, if we know of these cycles, then we can make better decisions when it is generally best to eat, exercise and sleep.

A meal eaten between 6:00 and 8:00 a.m. can buffer the acid drop that dips to its lowest point shortly thereafter. The digested amino acids are available for metabolic activity eight hours later and stabilize the alkaline swing's peak around 3:30 to 4:00 p.m. When this occurs, it is easy for the body to maintain a more optimal pH without the stress of excessive swings. But proteins eaten late in the day at 7 p.m. can interfere with the restful and regenerative alkaline sleep cycle, which peaks around 3 a.m., eight hours later. They can also interfere with the liver's cleanse cycle. In effect, proteins eaten later in the day, after 2 or 3 p.m., cause many problems. They are not properly digested or completely metabolized during sleep and thus contribute to a toxic overload of the lymph and blood.

The lymphatic system sleeps when you sleep and is dependent upon exercise to circulate. The lymphatic system has a protein pool transports amino acids and acts as a waste disposal system. Proteins eaten late in the day can sit in the sleeping lymphatic system and cause congestion, since they are not properly metabolized. This situation holds true especially for people who eat meat at night as well as for people who consume heavy or complex vegetable protein (soy beans, nuts, etc,) at night. Both the meat eater and the vegetarian can end up with congested lymphatics, if proteins are eaten late in the day. In contrast, proteins eaten for breakfast can signal the protein pool to release amino acids and nutrients for immediate use by the body, because the body knows that more amino acids are on the way. The amino acids released from the protein pool can then be used for energy and to build the tissue integrity. The newly digested amino acids replenish the pool, since the body (and therefore the lymphatic system) is still active eight hours later in the day, when the protein has been digested and processed by the liver.

As the body transits into its building cycle in the afternoon, the proteins from breakfast are digested enough to provide a good preliminary report to the brain as to what amino acids will become available. Then the body can safely begin to use its proteins. Since most people are active during the day, the lymphatic system is also working. As a result, proteins can be delivered to the cells to renew the life processes during the building cycle, which lasts until around midnight. However, if proteins are eaten late in the day, the time for their metabolism arrives when the body is sleeping and going into a cleansing mode. The proteins interfere with sleep, aren't available to build tissue and become toxic wastes. This is a major problem for people trying to follow the hygienically based "fruit for breakfast, protein for supper" plan as prescribed in "Fit for Life" diets, and explains why such diets lead to weak tissues.

One of the highly-promoted "fruit for breakfast" diets advises people to cleanse on fruit until noon and eat protein for supper. But this is completely backwards. The protein eaten late in the day becomes toxic and actually creates the need to cleanse on fruit in the morning to extend the detoxification time. This type of diet puts people into a pattern of creating toxins and having to spend a lot of time cleansing them. Such a diet is a toxify-detoxify pattern with no time to BUILD the body. Most fruits do not build tissue, instead they cleanse. However, eaten in the afternoon fruits can renew tissues. When proteins are eaten early in the day, the body provides its best digestive powers, such as hydrochloric acid, protease enzymes and chymotrypsin. The factors required to construct these enzymes have been recharged or renewed during the fasting/sleep period. If carbohydrate foods are eaten consistently for breakfast, components of the protein enzymes are not made available and are used for other enzymatic duties, thus weakening the body's ability to handle proteins eaten later in the day.

Enzymes are constructed, reconstructed and "on demand" where needed most. The protein-digesting enzymes are available in the morning, unless the dietary pattern teaches the body to be prepared for morning carbohydrates. In contrast, the protease enzymes are not as readily available in the evening, if their components have already been used for other body processes. If proteins are eaten late in the day, the enzymes have to be built, depriving other enzymatic functions. Because enzymes are a major factor in longevity, eating protein early in the day conserves and supports the enzymatic functions. The proteins eaten early can then build new enzymes via their amino acids and support all aspects of the body's metabolic processes. Protein is one of the most difficult foods to digest. Unless the proper enzymes are provided, the eaten protein will not be made available to the body and will contribute instead to the body's toxic load through indigestion and putrefaction. As any colon hygienist knows, one cannot have good health with toxic fermentation or putrefaction in the bowel. Unless proteins are eaten properly, a person is better off not eating protein at all. It is probably better to be a little protein-deficient than to be protein-toxic. Both conditions cause ill health. But toxic protein causes degeneration quicker, because the body has the ability to temporarily make up an amino acid deduction by borrowing missing ones from tissue. Protein toxicity must be cleansed through the bowel, lymphatics, liver and kidneys, causing a lot of stress throughout the body. Protein toxicity is a direct cause of cancer.

The point here is that it is probably better to have low energy and low tissue integrity but still have the ability to replenish proteins than it is to fight cancer. However, eating foods at the proper time and combining them properly can solve both protein toxicity and deficiencies. It is crucial to note that after the hydrochloric acid in the stomach takes the lead role in digesting protein, the remaining digestion is left up to enzymes. It is important to remember at this point that enzymes are made up of amino acids. Consequently, if a person is low in protein, the ability to digest and assimilate proteins is reduced. Fortunately, digestion can be assisted with herbs and digestive enzyme supplements to strengthen the weak organs and glands (pancreas, liver, duodenum, stomach, intestine, gall bladder and hypothalamus). From a pH perspective, proteins generate an acid field in the body. If proteins are eaten late in the day, the body pH becomes acid during sleep, causing poor sleep. But the best sleep and dream state occurs when the body is in a mildly alkaline pH. When in an acid state, the oxygen content is reduced and sleep is fitful, as the body wakes, tosses and turns to get oxygen to the brain. Carbohydrates tranquilize the brain through the release of endorphins. Poor sleepers usually require adrenal gland nutritional support earlier in the day to help the body hold on to its alkaline minerals and electrolytes. Sleeping pills, tranquilizers and sedatives do nothing about the acid pH or the lack of oxygen to the brain. Consequently, these drugs only force the body to sleep in an oxygen-deficient state.

The Urine pH Challenge

The purpose of checking the pH of your urine is to evaluate how your alkaline reserve is holding up and if your ammonia backup system must take the role of key acid neutralizer. The first step of the pH challenge is to eat only acid ash-producing foods for two days. That means lots of meat, eggs, pasta, rice, chicken, bread, peanut butter, and anything else listed on the Acid Ash Foods list. But no fruit, no fruit juice, no salad, no potato chips, no banana splits, and no strawberry jam--nothing listed on the Alkaline Ash Foods list.

The pH challenge taken after eating a controlled diet is different from conventional pH urine tests that focus on gathering other information. Your alkaline reserve is made up of neutralizing minerals that keep strong acid left by high-protein foods from burning your inner tissues. After the acid has been neutralized, it and the minerals leave our body in your urine. Your urine holds clues to whether or not, or how seriously, your supply of alkalizing minerals has been drained. If your alkaline reserve is in good shape, even though you have eaten great quantities of high-protein foods, your urine should show evidence that alkaline minerals have been the principle acid neutralizer. The condition of your alkaline reserve depends on how much high-protein food your body has had to contend with over time.

Those who are seriously ill already have too much acid in their systems--their bodies are quite toxic. Putting more acid ash-producing foods in a body that's already toxic from too much acid could have disastrous results. DON'T DO IT! If you are in the seriously ill category, don't worry about your pH at this point. You know it is acid already. Just start with an alkalizing diet and go from there. After two full days of gluttonous gorging on steak, hamburgers, pasta, bread, rolls, eggs, cheese, sausage biscuits, oatmeal, chicken, seafood and any other high-protein foods you can fit in , you are ready to check your urine pH. This is done on the morning of the third day at the first voiding, preferably after you have slept for at least five non-stop hours of time. Do your pH challenge when you get up to start the day. The reason is that the first voiding shows what remnants of the previous day's food and physiologic activity has been eliminated during the basic housecleaning process during the night.

As soon as you get up and go to the bathroom, separate a strip of pH paper. You will see that there is a color guide in the package. This is the chart you'll use to get your urine pH number. Now, using your two-to-three-inch strip of pH paper, direct one end of the paper into the urine stream very briefly--for about one second. All you need to do is get the paper wet. The paper will respond. Then match the color of the wet pH paper with a color on the chart. Note the number designated above the matching color. Dispose of the used pH paper, and write down the pH number and the current date. If you don't write down your pH score, you'll forget the number before your next urine pH check, and you want to compare the two. Now comes the important part, interpreting the results. These interpretations may not agree with your medical doctor's interpretation and understanding of urine pH. Medical urinalysis may be directed toward different evaluations. The urine pH numbers you are interpreting are intended to help you monitor your health, not to tell you how sick you are or what disease you have.

Urine pH 5.5-5.8

If your urine scored pH 5.5 or pH 5.8, your alkaline reserve is adequate. It's holding its own. You still have enough alkalizing minerals in our body to handle a concentrated load of dietary acid. That's good. It shows that you have enough alkaline minerals to protect your kidneys from being burned by strong acid from excess protein. Although your urine pH indicates that your body can handle great gobs of protein, don't start eating copious amounts of it. If you make a habit of overloading with high-protein foods, your supply of neutralizing minerals will dwindle slowly. Make sure you eat enough alkaline ash foods to keep it well stocked. Now that you know your body can handle excess dietary protein, go back to your regular diet. After a couple of days, check your first voiding urine pH again. If it registers pH 6.2 or below, you are eating too much acid ash food. You need to reduce the amount of meat, poultry, fish, cheese, and grains and increase the amount of alkaline ash vegetables and fruits. Your body can handle moderate amounts of dietary acid as long as you bolster your alkaline reserve with generous amounts of replacement minerals from fresh vegetables and fruit. If your regular diet follow-up pH test checks in at above pH 6.2, keep doing what you're doing. You are on the right road. You probably already eat generous amounts of vegetables, fruit, and grains, and minimal amounts of meat. If you reduce the amount of grains and meat in your diet, your pH numbers will rise even higher. That's even better.

Urine pH 6.0-6.6

Urine pH challenge test results of 6.0 to 6.6 tell a different story. It's not "good," but it's not "horrible." This is the "warning" stage. Although it would appear that your neutralizing reserves are better equipped at pH six-something rather than pH five-something, actually, the reverse is true. Your alkaline reserve is running low. However, you still have some alkalizing minerals available. The workhorse mineral of the alkaline reserve--sodium--can weaken strong acid enough to protect your delicate internal tissue. Your alkaline reserve can neutralize moderate amounts of acid forming protein. It can't handle tremendous amounts of acid from protein, like you created with two days of high-protein eating. Your alkaline reserve supply either isn't adequate to do the job by itself, or it's just overwhelmed by the volume of acid that needs to be neutralized. So backup systems begin to contribute to the neutralizing (buffering) to get the job done. You are speeding up the aging process by eating too much protein. Your alkaline reserves are so low that your body has called on backup systems to help neutralize too much strong dietary acid. It's beginning to get tired no matter how old you are. You should reduce the amount of high-protein acid producing foods and increase the amount of vegetables in your daily diet. You should introduce them to your body gradually. As your body becomes accustomed to handling more plant food, you'll be able to eat more raw vegetables and fruits without "dietary distress."

Urine pH 6.8-8.0

A high urine pH seems to indicate a vast store of alkalizing minerals at work. However, that's not the case when you've been challenging your body with two days of protein overload. A urine pH score of 6.8-8.0 when the body is saturated with dietary acid is very significant. It indicates that your supply of available alkaline reserve is virtually depleted. You may be sick frequently or chronically ill. You may be tired most of the time, have stiff joints, sore muscles, and burning on urination. This is the natural progression after the pH 6.0-6.6 stage if your regular diet consists mostly of acid ash foods. When the body is overwhelmed with acid and protein, the kidneys have a lot of acid to handle. They must generate greater quantities of ammonia to handle the greater quantities of acid and protein. But the kidneys are nearly the end point of your digestion-elimination process. By the time fluids get to the kidneys, they should have already been neutralized by your metabolic alkaline reserve. A high urine pH f
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