The Dynamic pH Balance of the Body
And How It Will Change Through Fasting and Detox
Understanding the acid/alkaline balance of the body allows us to see more clearly what is happening to certain elements within the system that are used to moderate it. How effectively they are being utilized gives us some indication as to whether they require replenishment.
Let us look a little deeper into the science and biology of this subject
The best way to understand the basis of the pH scale is with water. When water is complete, it contains an Oxygen atom and two Hydrogen atoms. In this state it is stable and balanced. However, the bonds that link this trio together are relatively weak, and can easily be broken to give us new, interesting and powerful properties - especially where biology is concerned.
Once split, the newly formed compounds are very different. One contains an Oxygen and a Hydrogen atom (OH-), and the other contains a simple Hydrogen atom (H+). However there is a new component here - they both have an electromagnetic charge (- or +), and therefore they are suddenly called 'ions'.
In everyday water some of the molecules are being torn apart to form ionic pairs all the time, and then recombining as the pull of their charges dictates - but because they do not leave the water, its overall charge remains neutral (pH7 is indicative of a neutral solution).
When there is a difference between these ionic pairs in a given solution, we get either an overall positive charge (Acidity), or a negative one (Alkalinity). This is counted on a scale to make the concept easier to communicate.
The way that the 'pH scale' is written will start to make more sense now. It is a per Hydrogen scale.
If the solution being tested has a positive charge (excess hydrogen ions (H+)), then it must be below the neutral pH 7 making it an 'acid', whereas an excess of hydroxide ions, (OH-) means an overall negative charge, thus it is above pH 7 and therefore an 'alkali'
The pH scale goes from 1 (as acidic as a car battery), to 15 (as alkaline as Lye), either of which would scold your skin or eat through metal. The scale is not linear; For example, the acidity of a sample with a pH of 5 is ten times greater than a sample with a pH of 6. A difference of 2 units, from 6 to 4, would mean that the acidity is one hundred times greater, and so on.
Because of the corrosive qualities of the acids and alkalis,
it is essential for the body to maintain a balance between them.
Different tissues and systems within the body have different thresholds
and numerous chemicals and elements are used to satisfy them.
Essential pH window of human organs and systems
||No systems or tissues could survive an environment this Alkaline
|| 7.8 - 8.3
||4.5 - 9.0
||4.4 - 9.0
||7.35 - 7.45
||6.8 - 7.4
||No systems or tissues could survive an environment this Acidic
Reasons for the Tight pH Windows
In the graph above, notice how the blood pH is held to
within very fine boundaries just on the alkaline side of neutral.
Too great a change on the pH scale within the blood, and it would
either not be able to give off nutrients to the tissues it feeds,
or would leach minerals out of them. If the blood becomes more
acidic than neutral (pH7) then you would die. Therefore, the body
spends many valuable resources maintaining a high level of alkaline
materials in the blood to keep you alive.
There are certain chemicals and elements in the body that are very effective in mopping-up
acidic materials, and they will be used to keep the system within
the limits above. however, only so much can be done with elements
such as Calcium, Iodine, Sulphur, Silicon and Potassium, as the
body has a limited supply. It is no mistake for the system to leach
Calcium from the bones in order to neutralize these poisonous acids
- Osteoporosis may be degenerative, but Acidosis is fatal !
The muscle structures can withstand much higher levels
of acidity, and so if necessary the blood can use them as a acid
dump when it is unable to alkalize itself by other means. This
build up of acids in the muscles (primarily Lactic Acid from insufficient
oxygenation during exercise, and Uric Acid from a high-protein
diet) eventually leads them to form into crystals that irritate
the muscle linings, leading to symptoms such as body odor, stiffness,
and finally gout.
- SKIN & LUNGS:
Huge amounts of acids can be gassed-off through
the lungs and skin (greatly aided by the presence of sunlight
and lack of clothes)- the results are of course bad breath and
pungent body odor - and the increased risk of infection from bacteria
that prefer these acidic conditions. However, when it comes to
maintaining an Alkaline state, your body will endure these minor
risks, to keep you alive.
If the alkalizing compounds used in the process of digesting proteins (Calcium & Potassium) are
not replaced from our food, then we have another
net loss of these vital minerals. The ready supply of these compounds
comes from our assimilation processes which are powered by the
bacteria in the bowel. If they die because their environment becomes
too acidic, then other bacteria present (but held in check by the
alkaline conditions) would explode into dominance and auto intoxicate
the system with their unchecked metabolic wastes.
Candida is a ready test of bowel acidity, as it can only proliferate
in an acid environment. If it is sufficiently overgrown to be causing
noticeable symptoms outside of the bowel (IE; Thrush, skin irritations,
etc) then we have cause to address a systemic acidity problem.
Diseases as diverse as schizophrenia, and ME have been cited as
symptoms of Candida Albicans proliferating in the
Brain and Central Nervous System due to their over-acidification.
Because the first solution to come into contact with potentially acidic foods is saliva, it has a huge pH window. However, the greater the acidity here, the more damage is done to teeth by virtue of calcium leaching, and bacterial overgrowth.
Because of this however, it can be used as a good indicator of alkalizing mineral supply. A series of periodic Litmus tests on the saliva after eating a known acid (IE; a lemon has a pH of 2) will show us the time taken to neutralize these acids, thus indicating a ready supply, or not.
For our purposes, the Urine is the best analysis group
to work with, as it is not generally changed by external factors.
As Uric Acid crystals are melted during the usual process of Catabolism
(detox), they will drain away through the Kidneys into
the bladder. This we can easily test during the retreat, and will
be seen to fluctuate as the process goes through its various cycles.
Over acidity of the system, called 'Acidosis' is very common condition, with a wide range of symptoms pointing to it, such as Osteoporosis, Gout, Headaches, Rheumatism, Body Odor and even Candida. But it is a fairly rare cause of death, because of the body's fabulous defences against it. But these defences - like any other - come with a price-tag, and if overused, the body looses the option and suddenly the individual is faced with far worse than an acrid smell.
There are noticeably less records of anyone dying of alkalosis - it is not a generic problem today, not a life threatening one until the very last minutes.
Thus, we are better off focusing on choices that decrease our acid-content and increase our alkalinity.
In this simplified table, we have placed the most effective means of alkalizing the system at the top, and listed the rest in decreasing order of effectiveness. The activities listed below the neutral zone increase in acidifying qualities as the list goes on.
The idea here is to exemplify what can be done to decrease the acids in the system through the daily lifestyle choices that we make. If all of our efforts are to either minimize internal production and storage, or maximize the elimination of acids from the system, then we are on the right track.
pH effect of activities
|Most Effective Alkalizers
|Generally Eating Less
||Allows daily rest and detox
|Fruit & Vegetable Diet
||Leaves alkaline residue in Bowel
|High Water Content Foods
||Adds water to expel acids
|Deep Breathing & Relaxation
||Lungs gas-off acids
|Exercise with Sufficient Oxygen
||Increased blood & oxygen to muscles
|Sunlight & Skin Exposure
||Skin expels more Uric Acid
|Positivist & Confidence
aids blood flow
|Acceptance & Love
aids blood flow
(fresh air, forests, coasts)
|Least effective alkalizing methods
||Decreases blood flow
||Decreases lung capacity
|Positive Ions (Indoors, cities, pollution)
||Increase body's positive
|Negativity & Worries
|| Generates tension
|Anger & Fear
||Create toxic chemistry
||Inhibits immune efficiency
||Increases acid accumulation
||Encourages uric acid build-up
|Over-eating heavy foods
||Builds up layers of acid saturation
|Most Effective Acidifiers
Effective means of affecting pH balance
pH effect of foods
||Fresh, raw leaves
||Fresh, raw fruit
||Fresh, raw roots
||Raw Nuts & Seeds
||Meat, Fish, Poultry
||Milk, Eggs , Cheese
- It is generally agreed that a diet of 80% Alkalizing foods maintains the best moderate balance - this allows 20% for foods you like that don't like you.
- Never eat more than 80% of your hunger -if you cannot climb a hill after eating, you ate too much too quickly - slow down and eat less !
- Eat more than 25 different varieties of food each week - Chinese medicine says 55.
- Exercise according to your breathing capacity -if you cannot speak afterward, then it was too vigorous for you today.
- A relaxation regime should match the exercise taken - aching limbs are a sign of Lactic Acid saturation caused by insufficient oxygen in available blood flow.
- Sleep in complete darkness to ensure deep relaxation of the nervous system, and take every opportunity to bathe closed eyes in sunlight to stimulate hypothalamus vitality.
- Immerse as much of your body as possible in soft sunlight as often as possible (esp. in UK).