PH at a Glance

by THOMAS on Feb 21, 2012 • 2:31 am

In laymen’s terms, the pH refers to the acid or alkaline nature of a particular substance. For our purposes in this discussion, we are referring to the pH of the body. The pH scale is a logarithmic scale that goes from zero to fourteen (0-14). Seven (7) is considered neutral, like water. The acidic scale starts at zero and ends at seven. The alkaline scale starts at seven and ends with fourteen. Each value on the scale represents a ten fold (10X) increase or decrease to the one above and below. Acidic foods taste sour while alkaline foods taste bitter. To give you an idea of how important pH is, consider the pH of the blood. Ideally, the pH of the blood is 7.36. If that pH were to drop to say 7 you would likely lapse into a coma and die. The pH within your cells is slightly acidic while the pH of the surrounding interstitial fluid is slightly alkaline. This allows for rapid exchange of fluids across cell membranes that enhances the absorption of minerals and other nutrients. The pH of the stomach environment is ideally 1.5 to 3.0, very acidic while the pH of the small intestine is 7 and that of the colon is 8. Due to the acidic nature of the stomach environment, it is critical that the contents of the stomach be neutralized before entering the small intestine. This is accomplished by the secretion of bicarbonate of soda by both the gall bladder and the pancreas. So you can see just how important pH is.


So what about the overall pH of the body? Your body’s pH is ideally somewhere around 7.1 to 7.3. Unfortunately few people have what is considered an ideal pH. Most folks tend to run more in the acidic range and that is where many if not all of our health problems stem from. Excess acidity weakens all of our body systems. Excess acidity forces the system to borrow minerals including calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus etc., from the tissue and bones in order to maintain proper alkalinity in the blood. This in turn results in the gradual process of degeneration of all tissues and organs systems over time. This can go undetected for years, making us more susceptible to diseases, organ system dysfunction and ultimate failure.


The factors affecting pH include the food we eat, lifestyle issues, the environment, and exposure to chemicals in our air and food, and the worst and most significant of all is stress. Stress causes the adrenal glands to secrete adrenalin, which in turn lowers the pH into the acidic range. This causes the body to rob minerals from the organs, bones and teeth to adjust the necessary pH.


Proper alkaline pH provides an environment that is hostile to most pathogens and helps maintain the homeostasis necessary to keep our bodies free from disease and overgrowth of yeasts, fungi, viruses, molds and opportunistic bacteria. Proper pH allows for maximum absorption of minerals and nutrients from not only our food but from the supplements that people spend millions of dollars on annually. Due to the continuous depletion of minerals from our agricultural lands by intensive corporate farming, our bodies are in more dire need of minerals than ever before. Every mineral has its own signature pH level that permits proper assimilation by the body. The supply and absorption of adequate minerals determines the electrical conductivity in our bodies, which is the basis of an effective nervous system. The nervous system is in constant communication with the various systems of the body and monitors any changes that affect our health.


Proper pH is a very important factor in determining the effectiveness of any detoxification program. pH plays an important role in ridding the body of toxins and heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead, and arsenic. The more acidic the environment the more the body tends to hold on to heavy metals. Heavy metals in turn create a high oxidative stress that acidifies the body. Therefore, a proper alkaline pH should be a major consideration prior to embarking on any detox program. Health practitioners have seen consistently better results when the pH factor is incorporated in their detoxification programs.


So how to go about getting that “proper” pH in your body? A good place to start would be to test your body’s pH. You can determine your pH by testing your saliva using litmus paper or pH test strips. It is also a good idea to test any liquids you are consuming as well as your tap water using pH test liquid. You would be surprised to find out how many liquids are very acidic, including many of the bottled waters. pH test materials are available at the clinic or you can purchase them on line, at some pharmacies and chemical supply outlets, or at your local pool supply.


There are several ways in which a person can address the pH problem. With respect to diet, one can try to concentrate on eating only those foods that are alkaline or mostly alkaline and many folks have tried and some have succeeded in this. However this can be very restrictive and many folks have found this type of diet to be lacking in variety and not particularly appetizing. Another method is to use greens in the form of tablets and powders. Again, not particularly appetizing and not the most convenient. Alkaline waters are another method that has been gaining in popularity in recent years. There are a variety of technologies available that utilize electrolysis and ionization to produce alkaline water. Alkaline water is a more convenient way of obtaining proper pH without the drawbacks of the other methods listed above. I encourage you to explore all of these options and find out which one works best for you.


Many folks have discovered that immediate detoxification occurs when they embark on an alkaline water regime. They may also experience classic temporary symptoms of detoxification including headaches, body aches, itching, temperature fluctuations, and flu like symptoms as the acidic toxins are flushed from the body. However they also experience an increase in energy and a sense of increased well-being and relaxation as the body adjusts to its new healthy home.


The best way I know of to find out the effectiveness of a particular product is to ask someone you know who has had experience with that product. More specifically, ask about specific changes they have experienced such as improvements in health, a decrease in any symptoms or resolution of a particular health problem. It is not enough to hear that a person feels better and has more energy. There are many products that can make a person “feel better” and have “more energy”. Remember the old adage, ‘the proof is in the pudding’.