A.     What Is pH Balance?

  • “pH” is short for the “potential of hydrogen,” or the measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of a solution. (2) pH is also a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of our body’s fluids and tissues.
    • It is measured on a pH scale that ranges from 0 to 14.
    • The more acidic a solution is, the lower its pH value.
    • The more alkaline it is, the higher the pH number is.
    • The acidity or alkalinity of different solutions, including human blood but also many others found outside the body (such as the ocean), are indicated on the pH scale.
  • What should the body’s pH levelbe ideally? A pH of 7 is considered neutral and “neutral” means it is equally acidic as alkaline. Blood (serum) pH, as well as the pH in the majority of bodily tissues, should stay around 7.365, while the stomach is at a pH of around 2 in order to break down foods properly. Saliva and urine are typically on the acidic side, between 6.4-6.8 in a healthy individual.
  • Alkaline diets (sometimes also called alkaline ash diets) that help restore proper pH levels have been associated with health improvements including: (34567)
    • Protection from heart disease
    • Prevention of calcium accumulating in urine
    • Prevention of kidney stones, kidney disease and damage
    • Reduced inflammation
    • Lowered diabetes risk
    • Maintaining stronger bones/better bone mineral density
    • Reductions in muscle wasting or spasms
    • Better protection against vitamin D deficiency and related consequences
    • Improvement in lower back pain

B.     What causes pH imbalance?

  • The Merck Manual’s definition of acidosis is “An overproduction of acid in the blood or an excessive loss of bicarbonate from the blood (metabolic acidosis), or a buildup of carbon dioxide in the blood that results from poor lung function or depressed breathing (respiratory acidosis).” (8)
  • What can cause your pH level to shift towards a more acidic state, thereby causing imbalance?
    • In truth, your body almost always does an excellent job at keeping your pH levels balanced. Unfortunately, you hold the key in determining how hard your body must work to achieve this.
    • An increase in acid overwhelms the body’s acid-base control systems, causing the blood to tend toward acidity. Normally, the kidneys maintain proper balance of pH and electrolyte levels, including calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium. But when we are exposed to acidic substances, these electrolytes are used to combat acidity.
  • The kidneys start to excrete more minerals out of the body via the urine. High degrees of acidity from diet or medical conditions force our bodies to rob minerals from our bones, cells, organs and tissues. Cells end up lacking enough minerals to properly dispose of waste or oxygenate the body completely. Vitamin absorption is then compromised by mineral loss. Toxins and pathogens can start to accumulate in the body, and this can suppress the immune system.
  • Basically, you force your body to work in overtime to keep your blood at a neutral pH while destroying the nutrient levels your body innately needs to accomplish the task. These disruptions include ruining the potassium: sodium ratio (until our diets changed so drastically, it used to be 10:1, while it’s now 1:3); reduction in magnesium levels; a dangerously low level of fiber; and an early loss of function in the kidneys, particularly during aging. (7)
  • You may not technically have a pH imbalance, but your body isn’t going to have the stamina you might like to lead you into gracefully (and healthfully) aging if you force it to always stay in overdrive.

C.     Final Thoughts

  • pH is short for “potential of hydrogen,” which is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of our body’s fluids and tissues. pH is measured on a pH scale ranging from 0 to 14.
  • The healthiest pH level for the human body is slightly more alkaline than acidic, with an optimal pH of 7.365 (although this fluctuates slightly throughout the day).
  • Causes of acidosis (too much acidity) include a poor diet, poor gut health, certain medications and drugs, kidney or lung disease, and many other unhealthy lifestyle habits.
  • An alkaline diet is one that includes whole foods that have positive effects on the bodily systems and processes needed to maintain healthy pH. An alkaline diet includes lots of fresh vegetables and whole fruits, some raw foods, green juices, beans, nuts and healthy fats.
  • Foods that are acidic and can contribute to pH imbalance include: high-sodium foods, processed grains, too much meat and animal protein, added sugars, and conventional milk.

(source: https://draxe.com/health/ph-balance/)


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