The idea that “being too acid” contributes to disease susceptibility, especially cancer, has been around for a long time in the alternative medicine world.
In a recent editorial, Joseph Pizzorno, ND, one of the world’s leading authorities on science-based natural medicine, states that in the past 10 years, a growing body of research has documented not only that “acidosis” is a real phenomenon, but that it is now known to contribute to a wide range of diseases, such as metabolic syndrome, cancer, osteoporosis, kidney stones, muscle wasting, impaired glutathione synthesis and others.
Our body, according to Pizzorno, is subjected to excess acid pressure primarily in 3 ways: diet/beverages, drugs, and disrupted metabolism. The primary sources of acidity in the diet are sulfur-containing amino acids, salt and phosphoric acid in soft drinks. Common drugs that induce acidity in the body are NSAIDs, β-blockers, ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonists, K+-sparing diuretics (such as amiloride and triamterene), antibacterials (such as trimethoprim), biguanides (such as metformin), antiretrovirals, statins, and many others. Excessive acidity may also result from disrupted metabolism brought upon by certain diseases such as renal disease, diabetes, diarrhea, pancreatic drainage, biliary fistula, Sjogren’s syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, urinary tract obstruction, fever, aldosterone deficiency, and androgen deficiency (or is it the other way around or a vicious cycle).
Here Is What You Need To Know About pH Balance…
pH stands for “potential of hydrogen.” The concentration of hydrogen atoms in a solution determines its pH value. It is measured on a scale of 0 to 14, with lower numbers indicating higher acidity. Water, which is considered neutral (neither acidic nor alkaline), has a pH of 7.
Your kidneys play a central role in maintaining your body’s pH. When the body’s fluids become too acidic, the kidneys coordinate efforts to buffer that acidity. Bones release calcium and magnesium to reestablish alkalinity, and muscles are broken down to produce ammonia, which is strongly alkaline. In the long term, this slow breakdown of bone and muscle leads to thinner bones and lower muscle mass.
Acidic Bodies Are Unhealthy Bodies
In addition to contributing to a slow breakdown of bone and muscle mass, acidosis may overload the lymphatic system, lead to inflammation, impede enzymatic reactions in cells and impair the body’s natural detoxification pathways. Consider the following health problems believed to be caused by mild acidosis:
- Low energy and chronic fatigue
- Inflamed sensitive gums, cavities
- Yeast fungal overgrowth
- Immune deficiency
- Bladder and kidney infections
- Heart problems, arrhythmias, increased heart rate
- Osteoporosis, weak, brittle bones, hip fractures, bone spurs
- Cardiovascular damage
- Weight gain, obesity, and diabetes
- Premature aging
- Respiratory problems, shortness of breath, coughing
- Headaches, confusion, sleepiness
- Joint pain, aching muscles, and lactic acid buildup
- Sciatica, lumbago, stiff neck
- Allergies, Acne
4 Practical Tips for Keeping Your Body Balanced
A 2012 review published in the Journal of Environmental Health, found that balancing your body’s pH through an alkaline diet can be helpful in reducing morbidity and mortality from numerous chronic diseases. There is no question about it, what you eat has a direct impact on your overall health. Though attempting to change the overall pH levels of your body is not something that can be achieved directly, supporting your body through nutritious whole foods that lean towards a more alkaline state can help you feel more energetic and vibrant. Following are 4 rules of thumb for doing just that:
- Improve your hydration. Drink one-half of your body weight (pounds) in ounces of water daily. Minimize intake of other beverages.
- Limit your salt intake and eliminate salt-rich foods from your diet. Processed foods, fast foods, sugary foods and sweets, sodas, pastries, and breakfast cereals have high salt content. Healthy people require only up to 1,300 mg of sodium daily. When grocery shopping, read food labels carefully. Good rule of thumb: opt for fresh foods over anything that comes in a package.
- Eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. Fresh vegetables and fruits are major dietary sources of calcium, magnesium and especially potassium. This means that they shift the body toward a neutral or alkaline pH.
- Go easy on acid-forming foods. This include beef, breads, cereals, milk, pork, rice, pasta, potatoes, alcohol, artificial sweeteners (aspartame, saccharine), cheese, chicken, coffee and black tea, eggs, fish, nuts (especially peanuts and walnuts), soft cheeses and sausage.