Not many people know about the importance of ph levels in our organisms. To have a balanced life, the ph level has to be around 7.4 (on the alkaline side).
Because of the intense industrialization, the ocean has suffered a change in the ph, from 8.2 to 8.1. Specialists explained that this phenomenon happened because of the increase of CO2.
They are also worried that this might hurt the coral reefs. The ph of the soil in which we are growing the plants is equally important. To get as many nutrients as possible is good for the ground to have a ph between 6 and 7. The plants grown in acidic soils can have a deficiency in calcium and magnesium. The plants which are grown in soils above ph seven usually lack in copper, manganese and zinc. If you add manure and dolomite to the ground can raise the ph above 6, reducing the acidity.
Reasons behind the Alkaline Diet
Because of the changes in human diet during industrialization era, specialists observed that the amount of potassium decreased and the chloride increased. The human diet now is deficient in potassium and magnesium, and fibers.
The industrialization brought foods rich in sugar, saturated fats, sodium, and chloride. All these are responsible for the increased level of acidity in the human body, and they create all sorts of metabolic unbalances. In time, when they age, people deal with decreased urinary magnesium levels, a lower standard of ph and a decreased urinary citrate and, urinary calcium.
The phosphate is the one which is increased. This is the explanation for why so many people develop kidney stones.
Which is the role of ph in the human body?
It is interesting that not all our body areas share the same ph level. The highest acidity is in the stomach, being necessary for digesting the food and for protecting the flora against bacteria.
Doctors discovered that many patients with duodenal ulcers have low levels of bicarbonates in the body which leads to a decrease in the alkaline/acid secretion. The skin is also acidic (4 to 6.5) because it has to act as a natural barrier against bacteria and germs. The vagina has a ph of 4.7 because of the same reason, protecting the flora against microbial elements.
It is interesting to know that the urine has a ph that can change from alkaline to acid. This thing is strictly related to the need of the body for balancing the internal process.
The foods can be divided into two categories depending on how acidic or alkaline are. Vegetables, fruits, fruit juices, mineral soda waters, and potatoes are less acidic, while meats, fish, grains, dairy products and beverages such as cocoa and pale beers have higher levels of acidity.
How chronic acidosis affects the bones?
An important element in our body is the calcium. This calcium occurs in the form of carbonates and phosphates in the human body.
Specialist warned about the quantity of calcium that people eliminate in the urine. They say that we eliminate more than half of the skeletal mass of calcium in less than 20 years. This type of calcium losses was not linked to osteoporosis. Older adults can alkalinize their bodies if they consume more bicarbonate.
In Nordic areas, people deal with a deficiency in vitamin D. This thing leads to chronic renal failure. This disease can be avoided if people choose to correct the metabolic acidosis with bicarbonate. Recent studies showed that phosphate is responsible for balancing the quantity of calcium in the body. Even if many doctors are promoting the alkaline diet to maintain the bone health, recent researches showed that there is no proof that this diet can prevent osteoporosis.
Another thing we are dealing with in modern times is the excess of sodium in our food. The high level of sodium in our foods can generate a hyperchloremic metabolic acidosis. Because so many proteins are wasted when the body processes the sodium, is getting dangerous for older people to have a diet high in sodium.
Women can develop osteoporosis and hypertension when they consume sodium in excess. Potassium is the one who would balance the effects that sodium has on our bodies. It is recommended to take supplements or to consume foods that alkalinize the body when we consume proteins in excess.
This excess can lead to renal acid load and a decrease in the density of the bones. Do not avoid proteins altogether; they are equally important to prevent osteoporosis and sarcopenia. Make sure your diet is rich in fruits and vegetables.
What happens to the muscles during an alkaline diet?
Older people deal with all kinds of fractures and falls because they lost muscle mass. Doctors concluded that a diet rich in potassium (fruits and vegetables) prevents the loss of muscle mass in both older men and women. Chronic renal failure (associated with chronic metabolic acidosis) occurs in many cases because of the loss of muscle mass.
Treating the acidosis condition allows the muscle mass to regenerate even in the event of health problems such as sepsis, trauma, obstructive lung disease and diabetic ketosis. What people can do when they are dealing with acute acidosis, is to take supplements with sodium bicarbonate to improve the health conditions.
Connection between alkaline supplementation and growth hormone
Short stature in children and severe tubular acidosis is associated with the low level of growth hormone. These children can improve their growth if they take bicarbonate or potassium citrate.
Postmenopausal women increase the level of growth hormone in their bodies (and osteocalcin) by introducing potassium bicarbonate in their diet. Increasing the levels of growth hormone can improve the overall health, the body composition, reduce cardiovascular risk, and improve memory. The increased level of growth hormone in the body reduces the quantity of the calcium eliminated by urine with 5% in 3 years.
How alkaline diet improves back pain?
Some studies showed that severe low back pain is improved when the person takes supplements with alkaline minerals. These supplements help the body by increasing the level of intracellular magnesium. This magnesium allows the enzymes to function properly and to activate the vitamin D – the one that eliminated back pain.
Chemotherapy and Alkalinity?
For the chemotherapy to be efficient, it is necessary for the body to have a balanced ph. Agents such as adriamycin and epirubicin are more useful when the ph of the body is balanced. There are some agents such as thiotepa, mitomycin C, and cisplatin which become cytotoxic in an acid environment.
Some doctors believe that creating a metabolic alkalosis in the body may help chemotherapy when using carbicab, sodium bicarbonate, and furosemide. No studies showed so far the benefits of an alkaline diet in preventing or treating cancer.
Maintaining a balanced ph in the blood, the human body regulates the respiratory and renal functions. As we said before, the stomach has a more acid environment to digest the food properly and to protect the flora against unwanted bacteria. Many specialists suggested that an alkaline diet prevents different diseases. Alkaline diet improves the health of the bones by increasing the level of growth hormone.
Another important thing is that we need to reduce the amount of salt we are using in our diet to keep our body healthy. The government launched campaigns sustaining the idea of reducing the quantity of salt we are using in our food. Consuming too many proteins can harm the delicate balance of the ph of the body, affecting bone health.
A low quantity of proteins is necessary though for maintaining the health of our bones. Back pain improves when we choose an alkaline diet. Even some chemotherapy agents are more efficient in an alkaline environment.
Health Benefits of the Alkaline Diet
- Add more fruits and vegetables to transform your diet in an alkaline one; this way you improve the K/Na ratio and promote the bone health, reduce the loss of muscle mass, as well as prevent other chronic diseases such as strokes and hypertension.
- Choosing an alkaline diet increases the levels of the growth hormone; this hormone may prevent many health conditions such as memory and cognition and cardiovascular health.
- The enzymes need a high level of intracellular magnesium; make sure you provide it for your body by adopting an alkaline diet. Magnesium activates vitamin D, which is so necessary for the general health of the organism.
- Some chemotherapeutic agents need a higher ph, and an alkaline diet helps with that.
- By adopting an alkaline diet, many chronic diseases can be improved, and mortality avoided. It is essential to know in which type of soil the fruits and vegetables you are consuming were grown. The kind of the soil can give you hints about the level of minerals contained in these fruits and vegetables.
Benefits of having a balanced body ph
- Younger skin
- More physical energy
- A restful and deep sleep
- Improved digestion
- Prevents Candida
- Preventing flu, headaches, and colds
- Less joint pain
- Increased cognition and mental focus
It is an interesting fact that fish can swim and survive only if the water has the right ph. Plants live only in soils with a balanced ph. It seems like balance is the key that sustains life. It is necessary for your body to have a balanced ph for you to feel full of energy and healthy.
Symptoms that show your body is too acidic
- You feel exhausted
- You feel depressed and sad
- You feel agitated and nervous
Mouth and teeth conditions
- You develop throat infections
- You start to have cracked teeth
- You have increased sensitivity to cold, hot, or acidic foods
- You have sensitive gums
- You develop mouth ulcers
- You feel constant tooth nerve pain
Nails, hair, and skin conditions
- You have dry skin
- You start to feel your lips cracked at the corners of the lips
- Your skin is getting pale
- Your hair starts to fall and has split ends
- You have nails that break very easy
- You develop acid reflux
- Your saliva becomes acidic
- You suffer from gastritis
- You have excess stomach acid
- You develop ulcers
- You start having headaches
- You feel cold all the time
- Your eyes are red, the eyelids are inflamed
- You start to get infections easily
- You have frequent leg spasms and cramps
Important information about balancing the acidic and alkaline factors in the body
- The University of California, San Francisco, conducted a study for seven years. The 9,000 women who participated in this study made it clear for the specialists that chronic acidosis increases the risk of bone loss. Only by maintaining a balanced ph, a person can avoid this disease. It seems like middle-aged women who had a diet based on animal foods and fewer fruits and vegetables were more likely to experience hip fractures.
- Specialists say that counting how many diseases the high acidity in the body provokes is not what they are interested in. What matters for them is to find the root of the problem. They identified that the tissue acid waste is the real concern.
- Being too acid or too alkaline affects the immune cells. They stop producing antibodies. The cytokines or antibodies are important chemical agents responsible for regulating other immune cells. The phagocytosis is also impaired. This means that the immune cells lose the ability to destroy harmful bacteria. In the end, the affected person might get sick because of the fungal, viral, bacterial and other microbes. That person is likely to develop even cancer.
The idea that an acid/alkaline imbalance is causing disease it is not new. Dr. William Howard Hay from New York published a book in 1993 in which he says that most of the diseases are a type of “self-poisoning”. This “self-poisoning” refers to the acid accumulation in the organism.
Having an acidic ph it is dangerous because the immune system weakens. It is recommended to keep a diet that allows our ph to be on the alkaline side. For the blood to be healthy, it needs a 7.4 ph. If the level of the ph shifts even with 0.2, the person can die. What the body does in this case, it starts taking minerals (potassium, calcium, and magnesium) from the bones and essential organs to eliminate the acidity. Sometimes, a person who deals with high acidity doesn’t have any specific symptoms. Because of this reason, a high acidity can go undetected for a long time, causing severe damages in the body.
Ways to balance our Ph
Most people have a diet based on acidic foods such as cereals, sugar, and proteins. The same individuals are avoiding or eating slight quantities of alkaline foods such as vegetables and fruits. The nutrients people take from these small amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables are not enough to neutralize the acidity.
Doctors say that the human body is 80% alkaline and 20% acidic. To keep the ph balanced it is necessary for us to consume 80% alkaline foods and 20% acidic foods.
As we said before, when we talk about acid in the acid/alkaline balance, we do not refer to stomach acid. It is vital that a healthy stomach ph is acidic, this way it digests the food properly. We refer to the pH of the body’s cells, tissues, and fluids.
Alkalinity occurs mostly after digestion. It is hard to believe, but lemons and oranges which we all know that are acidic, after digestion they offer alkaline minerals to the human organism. If you have a tendency to eat more acidic foods than alkaline ones, you should start considering drinking alkaline water.2
To maintain a balanced diet is recommended to avoid eating fast food products such as burgers and other processed foods. Choose simpler and healthier options like fresh fruits, beans, grains. It is recommended as well to buy organic fruits and vegetables because the pesticides used for non-organic products increase the acidity of the body.
Here are a few natural foods which can help you keep the ph balanced:
- Almonds Cabbage
- Brussels sprouts
1. [Footnote 1]http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3195546/
2. [Footnote 2]http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-benefits-of-a-properly-alkalized-body.html
3. [Footnote 3]http://greenopedia.com/alkaline-diet-benefits/