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Acid - Alkaline - pH Balance

During digestion, hydrochloric acid is produced in the stomach and the gastric contents range from pH 1 to pH 3. Since almost all chlorides are soluble, that is, they remain ionized, the hydrochloric acid is a most effective way of ionizing the food. Nevertheless, food usually contains products that produce ions other than chlorides, such as the phosphates from meat and soft drinks, the citrates from fruits, and the lactates from milk, to name but a few. When some of these anions are present in large numbers they present a problem as they can bond together with other ions to create insoluble precipitates, which therefore are not able to be ionized at the strength of the acid present in the stomach. If however, other anions, such as lactates from milk or malates from apples, are present in sufficient quantities, the calcium would form significant amounts of calcium lactate and calcium malate, which are both extremely soluble and remain ionized.

The average person is "Spoiled Rotten" - rotting from the inside out, with a dysfunctional intestinal tract that is a breeding ground for disease. Did you know that the intestine is the first organ developed in the fetus? Each of us are at war and we don't even know it! The private war we wage each day is the daily assault on our body by bacteria, virus, fungus, yeasts, and molds. This is an onslaught of “terrorist” killer bugs which become stronger and stronger day by day! Our immune systems are becoming weaker and over-taxed in this war…even the medical profession's first line of defense (the antibiotic) is becoming less and less effective against the resistant new strains being created daily as bacteria mutates. Although Louis Pasteur discovered the germ theory of disease that states “…germs are the cause of disease,” note Dr. Pasteur's dying words: "The germ is nothing, the inner terrain is everything."

That “inner terrain” referred to by Dr. Pasteur's statement is our biological terrain comprising our body's digestive tract, lymph system, blood, urinary tract, intestines and intestinal fluids.
Our bodies are alkaline by design and acid by function. Maintaining proper alkalinity is essential for life, health, and vitality. Simply put - an imbalance of alkalinity creates a condition favorable to the growth of bacteria, yeast and other unwanted organisms. All leading biochemists and medical physiologists have recognized pH—or the acid-alkaline balance—as the most important aspect of a balanced and healthy body. They have long known that the maintenance of an alkaline pH in our tissues and cells is critical to cellular health. We live and die at the cellular level.

The body is not without a barometer which quickly indicates its condition.  As long as oxidation is carried on to the extent necessary to maintain the tearing down and rebuilding processes of all parts of the cellular structure, the chemical constituency of blood and tissue is predominantly alkaline;  as soon as oxidation is lacking they become increasingly acid and the percentage of acid gauges very accurately the state of vitality of the individual.

Acid-Base Balance (acidosis – alkalosis; an equilibrium between acid and base concentrations in the body fluids) is cause for concern and attention to the foundation of illness and disease. Acidosis is, blood acidity above normal, indicating excess acid. Alkalosis is blood alkalinity above normal. The acid-base balance of the blood is one of the most accurately controlled conditions in the body. If it changes too much, either the dangerous acidic condition called acidosis or the opposite basic condition, alkalosis, can cause coma or death. The hazards of these conditions are a result of their effect on proteins. When a proteins’ buffering capacity is exceeded – for example, when proteins have taken on board or released all the acid hydrogens they can – additional acid or base deranges protein structures by pulling them out of shape; that is, it denatures the proteins – rendering them useless. Knowing how indispensable the structures of proteins are to their functions and how vital protein functions are to life, you can imagine how many body processes would be halted by such a disturbance.

All the cells (billions of them) that make up the human body are slightly alkaline, and must maintain alkalinity in order to function and remain healthy and alive. However their cellular activity creates acid and this acid is what gives the cell energy and function. As each alkaline cell performs its task of respiration, it secretes metabolic wastes, and these end products of cellular metabolism are acid in nature. Although these wastes are used for energy and function, they must not be allowed to build up. One example of this is the often painful lactic acid, which is created through exercise. The body will go to great lengths to neutralize and detoxify these acids before they act as poisons in and around the cell, ultimately changing the environment of the cell. We must look at the importance of pH balance as the first and major line of defense against sickness and disease and for health and vitality.



All metabolic reactions produce H+-ions that are being excreted through the kidneys or have to be absorbed by buffer substances (such as alkalizing minerals). The amount of free bases in the body is 20 times higher than the amount of free acids. That is an indication that life mainly takes place in an alkaline range. For every acid molecule, there are 20 alkaline molecules in our body to act as a buffer against damage. This huge buffer capacity protects us from an acute acidosis, an acute over-acidity. This happens quite rarely, fortunately, and is a medical emergency. Much more common is a hidden, latent acidosis.

Latent metabolic acidosis is a widespread phenomenon in our times. The causes are manifold:

• Environmental: The exhaust of carbon dioxide by humans is estimated to be 32 billion metric tons per year. Climate experts have calculated that this has led to the highest concentration in CO2 in the last 650,000
years of the Earth’s history. Carbon dioxide is produced in the process of burning fossil fuels, such as oil, coal, or natural gas. CO2 dissolves in water and then falls as "acid rain" onto our soils. This in turn leads to over acidity of the soil and a lack of alkaline minerals in our foods.

Diet: Note the foods that are known to be acid forming in the human body. Acids are produced by metabolizing foods with sulfur containing amino acids (sulfuric acid), phosphates (phosphoric acid), carbohydrates, and fats (ketoic acid, lactic acid). The acid and base tables that can often be found in literature are based on the research of Ragnar Berg in 1912. Unfortunately, Berg did not research acids and bases, but cations and anions, which is quite a different thing. We now know that what matters is the presence of hydrogen ions, but it holds true that a Plant-Based Whole Food vegetarian or VEGAN diet will produce more alkaline metabolites than a "typical" American diet.

For more alkaline/acid food choices click here to see the pH chart.

• Lack of exercise, stress, and dehydration due to low consumption of pure water can also lead to a slow, systemic acidosis.

The creeping acidosis is responsible for many "civilized" illnesses and metabolic disturbances that are so common nowadays. A plausible model of causation is the following: The kidneys are overtaxed and cannot excrete all the excess acid. The kidney tubules get clogged with crystals and the tissues damaged. When the kidneys cannot excrete enough acid, it is excreted through the skin (eczema, atopic eczema, acne, fungal growth) or stored in the tissues as acid slags, where it changes the environment and weakens the organism as a whole. Acidity pulls important mineral salts from the bones, teeth, and cartilage, thus leading to a demineralization. Especially these conditions are associated with a latent acidosis: tumors, rheumatic conditions, allergies, fatigue, lack of concentration, cavities, brittle hair and nails, acid reflux and conjunctivitis.

Sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium are alkaline. Because of the large quantities our body needs of these minerals, they play a major role in balancing out latent acidosis.


10 Reasons to Avoid Acidosis

1. Corrodes Arteries, Veins and Heart Tissues
Like acid eating into marble, acidosis erodes and eats into cell wall membranes of the heart, arteries and veins, weakening cardiovascular structures and inter-connective tissues. All living tissue is sensitive to its chemical environment, and most particularly whether its pH is too acid or alkaline, the muscle cells of the cardiovascular system are no different. The cardiovascular system may be thought of as one large working "system of tubular muscles" designed to carry blood and nutrients to every living tissue in the body and is directly affected by blood plasma pH. The heart, of course, is the muscular pump at the center of everything, which drives blood through the arteries, veins and capillary beds (a series of complex interconnected tubular tunnels of flexible smooth muscle) and is designed to help regulate the pressure and flow of circulation.

Everything in the cardiovascular system works normally when the pH of blood plasma is slightly alkaline, having a pH of 7.35 to 7.41. But when the heart plasma habitually becomes relatively more acid pH<7.35, it acts as a chemical irritant which slowly begins to attach and eat away at the smooth muscle tissues of the inner walls of arteries and veins, as well as the heart itself. Again, like acid slowly eating its way into marble, this erosion process begins to weaken the structural composition of the heart, arterial and venous walls, causing lesions and microscopic tearing throughout its framework. Simultaneously, an acid pH also destabilizes free ionic balances within circulation, increasing the populations of positively charged particles (cations, an ion with a positive charge of electricity: H , Ca ) which directly interferes with the muscle contraction and relaxation of the heart and arteries. Acid pH changes of the circulation which become habitual and the chaotic ionic confusion they cause, are now thought to be those factors which critically precipitate the development of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), an aneurysm (widening and ballooning of artery walls), arrthythmias (abnormal rhythms of the heart including tachycardia), myocardial infarction (heart attacks) and strokes (a cardiovascular accident). Moreover, the structural weakening of the cardiocascularity creates irregularities of blood pressure, which further exacerbates those problems.

2. Accelerates Free-Radical Damage and Premature Aging
Acidosis 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 toward premature aging, accelerating oxidative cascades of cell wall destruction, creating wrinkling, age spots, dysfunctional hormonal systems, interfering with eyesight, memory, and a host of other age-related phenomena.

"Wastes which are not properly eliminated from the body actually poison the cells they are inappropriately stored in..."

3. Causes Weight Gain, Diabetes and Obesity
An acid pH has considerable influence over the majority of weight problems, including Diabetes and Obesity. It seems that a habitually acid pH can directly cause immediate weight gain. Here's what happens when a system is too acid, a condition known as Insulin Sensitivity is produced which forces too much insulin to be produced, and the body is flooded with insulin so that it won't waste any calories, it diligently converts every calorie it can into fat. Could it be that an acid pH, from an imbalanced diet, produces a condition which stimulates the predetermined genetic response to starvation and famine as well, and thereafter requires that the body increasingly hoard every calorie consumed and store it as fat? Yes, indeed, it seems that it does! This makes the body produce more insulin than usual, and in turn, produce more fat and store it. In general, the more insulin is available to the body, the higher the probability that fat will be produced and stored, rather than used and burned as energy.

Conversely, a healthy, slightly alkaline pH, will more likely yield normal fat burning metabolic activity, making no demands on the body to overly produce insulin and make fat, allowing fat-weight to be burned and naturally lost. And too, with a healthy pH, there's less likely to be any yo-yo effect, or rebounding from a diet with additional weight gain. As long as nutritional stores are maintained, a healthy, slightly alkalizing pH allows fat to burned normally for energy, rather than hoarded and stored under the mistaken biochemical belief of an impending famine.

4. Causes Cholesterol Plaque to Form
LDL-Cholesterol is laid down at an accelerated rate within an acid chemical environment of the cardiovascular system, inappropriately lining the vascular network, and clogging up the works! Specifically, an acid pH initiates electrostatic potential, damaging arterial walls, which in turn initiates a PDGF-dependent immune response, causing cholesterol oxidation and the formation of plaque with heavy metals. As research has shown, simply reducing the amount of cholesterol in the diet cannot negate this problem. The amount of cholesterol in the diet has not been found to be a major factor in cholesterol plaque formation. Rather, pH status appears to be the factor more directly involved, binding cholesterol with heavy metals and other cellular debris.

5. Disrupts Blood Pressure
With acidosis, (pH<7.20) arteries become dilated. Yet, severe lowering of blood pH also causes a disease in the caliber of blood vessels. When this happens, peripheral blood is shifted more centrally: the more acidic the patient, the greater the fractional redistribution of blood to the central vessels. This central redistribution of blood adds to the heart's workload when its contractability is compromised. Interestingly, increased venous pressure occurs in congestive heart failure.

6. Disrupts Critical Lipid and Fatty Acid Metabolism
Acidosis disrupts general lipid and fatty acid metabolism within the body. Fatty acids are intimately involved in nerve and brain function. When fatty acid metabolism is disturbed, neurological problems may arise including MS, MD and others, as well as problems with hormonal balance within the endocrine system.

7. Inhibits Metabolism of Stored Energy Reserves
An acid pH inhibits efficient cellular and body metabolism. Acidosis causes chemical ionic disturbances, interfering with cellular communications and functions. Acidosis reduces plus Ca binding of plasma proteins, reducing the effectiveness of this intracellular signal. Acidosis also leads to a disease of calcium cations (positive Ca) entry through positive Ca channels, resulting in reduction of the heart to pump efficiently and rhythmically.

There are some 10 times the amount of positive Na in extracellular fluids than in cells. The Sodium-Potassium pump regulates the amount of sodium and potassium each cell in the body stores, and uses up as much as 25% of our caloric input per day to run. Positive Ca exchanges the plus Na, being forced out of cells, but naturally, the electrochemical gradient for positive Ca favors both positive H and positive Ca entry into cells, as there is less calcium and positive H in cells than in the extracellular fluids.

Therefore, in acid solutions, less plus Na will be present, slowing down the processing and induction of nutritional items going into cells. Thus, increasing positive H and positive Ca buildup within the plasma, while making it more available to electrostatically bind with LDL-Cholesterol. With free positive Ca populations and channels disrupted, (calcium may become inordinately leached from bone mass, causing osteoporosis.) An acid pH drains us of energy and disallows stored energy reserves to be used.

8. Inhibits Cellular Regeneration & DNA-RNA Synthesis
For DNA-RNA synthesis and healthy cell proliferation to occur, cell pH must not be acidic. However, cancerous cells grow well in acidic mediums, therefore an acid pH actually accelerates and increases the possibility of cellular mutations such as Cancerous conditions.


9. Inhibits Oxygen Getting to the Tissue
Acidosis decreases the oxygen affinity of hemoglobin in the blood. All biochemical functions are severely comprised if oxygen supplies are decreased to living tissue. Less oxygen to the heart and brain cells means eventual death. An acid pH decreases the amount of oxygen that can be delivered to cells, making normally healthy cells unhealthy and eventually die.

10. Inhibits Life Giving Electrolyte Activity
Life-essential functions, like electrolyte Potassium (K plus) and Sodium (Na plus) channels, are inactivated by acidosis. This has far reaching effects cardiovascular conditions, since without extended sufficient electrolyte management, heart attacks are likely to occur. Without appropriate electrolyte management, our heart literally stops beating. Inhibition of electrolyte activity also effects the way we feel and behave, and is intimately involved in the energy levels we experience, because of the nature of the Na-K Pump and cellular metabolism.







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