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Understanding Your Body's Acid/Alkaline Balance

By John M. Burgstiner
Founder/President of Logos Nutritionals, LLC

The human body is in a constant state of flux, always seeking to maintain a metabolic state of balance known as homeostasis.  Perhaps the most critical self-regulating function the body has to perform is the removal of metabolic wastes and maintaining an internal environment that is slightly alkaline.  This is God s way of making our bodies unfriendly territory to destructive viruses, bacteria and fungi and virtually impregnable to disease.

 

However, this task is becoming increasingly more difficult as our planet and our bodies become more and more polluted.  Our soil has been stripped of its alkaline trace minerals and denatured with chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.  Our food is therefore deprived of the nutrients, enzymes and beneficial microorganisms that our Father intended for us to ingest on a regular basis in order to thrive. 


The air we breathe is laced with acid chemical particulates.  Add to that the standard American diet (high in protein, sugar, fats, chemicals, and stress) and you have a recipe for disaster!

Living in a Compromised World

The world we are living in today aggressively promotes an acidic environment in the body.  Our skyrocketing rates of cancer and degenerative disease are the inevitable and direct result.  As we will see, our lust for convenience, profit and the momentary satisfaction of our sensory desires have come at a high price. 

Christians are called to be in this world but not of it.  We are not to follow blindly along with the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). 

Sadly, when it comes to maintaining our temples, the enemy appears to be having his way with too many of us, thereby stealing our health, our joy and souring our witness.  Our coming inheritance does not excuse us from the consequences of our ignorance and apathy here and now.  So, let us take a look at the causes and perils of (and remedies to) acidosis, the real silent killer.

 

What is pH ?

The body is a water based medium that can have either acid or alkaline properties which are measured by a graduated scale (0-14)called pH (for potential hydrogen).  The lower the pH value, the greater the acidity.  Numbers greater than 7.0 (neutral pH) are considered increasingly more alkaline.  pH levels have a profound effect on our health at the cellular level.  Just as acid rain destroys forests and alkaline wastes can pollute a lake, an imbalanced pH slowly corrodes all body tissues.

 

What causes pH imbalance?

Diet is the most important factor (within your control).  When food is metabolized it leaves behind chemical and metallic residues, a noncombustible ash which combines with body fluids to yield either acid or alkaline potentials of pH. 


Certain foods are considered acid-forming (generally high protein foods such as meat, fish, poultry and eggs, nearly all carbohydrates and fats) while others are known to be alkali-forming (most fruits, nuts and seeds, and vegetables).  Although citrus fruits contain organic acids, they are not acid forming when metabolized, and leave no acidic residues.

 

Measuring pH

Although blood pH remains fairly constant around 7.4, there are no normal values per se for urine and saliva.  Their levels are a constantly changing dynamic depending on what you ate last night (in the case of urine) and what you ate in recent months (in the case of saliva). Body pH levels fluctuate with the time of day and may be greatly affected by stress level.  Test strips are used to measure the pH of urine or saliva, usually in a series of 5 tests within a 24 hour period. 


Wisdom of Nature

The pH of the urine most accurately reflects the pH of body tissues.  It reaches its lowest point (maximum acidity) around 2:00am and its highest alkalinity around 2:00pm, a couple of hours after the mid-day meal.  This natural rhythm or fluctuation is known as Base Flood and Base Tide.


From the estrus cycle in women to the life breathing flow of the seas into inland estuaries, to the inevitable changing of the seasons, the wisdom of our creator is evident in the cycles of renewal that surround us.

 

Why is meat acid forming?


When a high protein meal is ingested, hydrochloric acid, pepsin and other strong proteolytic enzymes are produced in the stomach in order to begin breaking down the proteins into their constituent amino acids.  In response, sodium bicarbonate levels increase in the blood (Base Flood), urine becomes alkaline, and sulfuric and phosphoric acids are excreted by the kidneys as urinary or bile salts (further depleting minerals).  As minerals are progressively depleted from the body, acids accumulate in collagen fibers and in the extracellular fluid.

 

Acidosis generally occurs from two major causes:

  1. Dietary - Demineralization (not enough fruits and vegetables) coupled with too much protein, refined sugar and flour or alcohol in the diet (see Strong Bones article).
  2. Endogenous (from within) sources - Intestinal fermentation produces vinegar and alcohol, dysbiosis, exercise (lactic acid), and other metabolic acids.

 

Symptoms of Acidosis

Poor digestion and assimilation, joint and muscle pain, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, allergies, fatigue, fluid retention, and poor function of glands and organs.

 

Treatment and Prevention 

Eat more fruits and veggies, and less protein.  Eliminate junk and fast foods.  Drink lots of pure, clean water (no chlorine or fluoride), and avoid soft drinks like the plague! 

  • Restore digestive function (probiotics, enzymes, EFA s). 
Restore mineral deficits and electrolytes with sodium and potassium bicarbonate, magnesium (MagnifiCal), calcium, sea salt and potassium chloride.
  • Detoxify (MagnifiCleanse), far infrared sauna, deep breathing, lymphatic stimulation via massage and rebounding.
  • Oxygenate - Exercise, CoQ10(Ubinol)
  • Destress - Quiet time, prayer and meditation, plenty of rest and exercise, time off.

 

To get an accurate assessment of your pH, do the following:

  1. Saliva test immediately upon waking " before brushing teeth, drinking, smoking or even thinking about eating.  This test shows overall state of health, strength of liver and alkaline reserves.  Should stay fairly constant.
  2. Test second morning urine (first urine still has residual acid load from yesterday).  This test shows how well you digested what you ate yesterday and may fluctuate based on what you ate last night.
  3. Eat breakfast, wait five minutes and test saliva again (gives you an idea of your mineral reserves - this number should increase after you eat).  The ideal saliva pH pattern is 6.8 upon wakening, 7.0 before eating and 8.5 following breakfast.

4.  Check urine pH between meals (a couple of hours after lunch and dinner).  These numbers should be in the slight alkaline range (7.0-8.5).

 

Simple pH Indicator Solution - Turmeric is a yellow powder but in a basic solution it turns a ruby red color.  It turns color right at a pH of 6.8 the pH that urine and saliva should be most of the time.  Add one teaspoon of turmeric to a pint of rubbing alcohol.  To small quantities of the solution in a test tube or small glass, add a couple of drops of urine or saliva if it turns red, you are alkaline!