“The single measurement most important to your health is the pH of your blood and tissues – how acidic or alkaline it is.”
pH measures the degree of acidity-alkalinity of the blood and tissues (measured by the pH scale from 0 to 14), this is an important indicator of your health.
Oxygen is critical to health, and lack of it has been linked to numerous diseases. Hemoglobin is the substance in the blood that transports your vital oxygen.
As blood becomes more alkaline, hemoglobin is able to allow more oxygen molecules to attach to it.
As a result, even slightly more alkaline blood is able to carry much more oxygen to the cells of the body.
pH Balancing and Alkalizing
Maintaining Blood pH
The human body attempts to maintain itself in a state of balance (called homeostasis). The body has built-in mechanisms for maintaining the acid-alkaline balance of the blood. Many foods that we eat turn our bodies highly acidic as they produce acids (e.g., phosphoric, sulfuric, and lactic acids) which after being handled in different ways are dumped into the bloodstream.
The blood is able to neutralize these acids with substances, called buffers, that react with the acids to produce far less acid substances, called salts. The body can then safely eliminate these salts via the urine and kidneys, and the skin. The lungs are also able to expel weaker acids provided that they have been oxidized by the body.
Sometimes the blood is unable to maintain its own pH within very narrow limits (approximately 7.35 – 7.45) due to a lack of these buffers, so the body will then take more drastic steps to regulate the blood’s pH.
This results in alkalizing, “bone-building” buffering materials being removed from the bones and tissues.
Calcium and magnesium are some of these materials often “robbed” from the bones to rebalance the blood pH. While good in the short run for neutralizing more acids in the blood, this robbery from the bones, as well as from other areas of the body, often leads in the long run to other problems, such as weakened bones. The result is often osteopenia (bone loss) and osteoporosis (severe bone loss), leading to fractures.
pH and Disease
In Balance Your pH by James LeBeau, we find this information about blood:
“The human blood pH stays in a very narrow range between 7.35 and 7.45. Below or above this range means symptoms and disease.
Death is associated with [blood] pH imbalances of 7.80 and above or 7.0 and below.”
He goes on to explain that pH correlates with serious disease as well as with smaller imbalances in the body, although it is not the primary cause of the imbalances.
While a blood sample is needed to measure blood pH, other fluids (e.g., saliva and urine) in the body can give an indication as to how acidic or alkaline the body is.
It is relatively easy to measure the pH of urine and saliva during the day (they fluctuate throughout the day) using “pH paper.”
pH measuring strips indicates the pH levels of the urine and saliva, a color chart is usually provided so the color can be correlated with pH, and acidic/alkaline levels.
James LeBeau, defines the ideal range for saliva pH as between 6.4 and 7.4 (on higher side when eating).
He indicates that the ideal range of urine pH is between 5.5 and 7.0, and should average about 6.4.
Healthy vegetarians may have higher urine pH ranges than these, perhaps from 6.8 to 8.5.
Individuals with serious diseases, such a cancer, may have pH values near the limits of or even outside normal ranges.
Blood pH, however, is kept within much more narrow limits.
pH Levels and Diet
One of the reasons the body is forced to steal bone-building materials from the bones in order to give them to the blood is because the body’s tissues are often far too acidic on the Standard American Diet (ironically called SAD).
The SAD is very deficient in alkaline minerals, and tends to be a very acidifying diet,
Dairy products, meat, fish, fats, fried foods, most processed grains and sugar are acid-forming.
Vegetables, and some fruits, as well as most seeds and nuts, are alkaline-forming.
The SAD does not indicate the quality of the food, and food that has been refined or grown in poor soil or under bad conditions is often deficient in many nutrients including the vital alkalizing minerals needed for alkalinity.
Most individuals in the U.S. on the Standard American Diet (SAD), as well as many other people throughout much of the industrialized world, have an ongoing problem of acidosis – tissues that are overly acidic. Within these individuals, in an attempt to make the blood less acidic and more alkaline, calcium. magnesium, and other materials are continually stolen from bones and tissues.
Often this is a losing battle, as a continually over-acidic body will fail to replace the “borrowed” bone and tissue materials.
Other Factors Affecting Alkalinity
As well as diet there are many other factors that affect pH, including some that are often unknown or neglected. Since the tendency of modern diet and lifestyle is to make our bodies too acidic, the challenge is to make the body more alkaline. Here a few things that will make us more alkaline (even though good health does require various acid-forming activities and foods):
- Chewing food well, especially carbohydrates, since their digestion, aided by saliva, begins in the mouth
- Eating food raw
- Not cooking food too much
- Calmness (anger makes us acidic)
- Minimizing adrenaline
- Drinking water with a negative polarity (ionized water)
- Drinking water containing alkaline-forming minerals
- Eating most fruits and vegetables, especially those low in sugar
- Eating less sugar, bread, cakes, confectionery, white rice and white flour (which are acid-producing)
- Eating less animal fats (which are acid-producing)
- Eating less animal protein (which is acid-producing)
- Getting enough Essential Fatty Acids
- Avoiding most legal and illegal drugs (which are mostly acid-producing)
- Avoiding stress and anger (these are extremely acid-producing)
- Body manipulation, such as acupressure, acupuncture or massage
- (these can be temporarily acidifying when acids are released)
- Limiting very strenuous exercise (which can produce large amounts of lactic acid)