Blood PH

by JASON | 9:07 AM in |

Balanced body chemistry is of utmost importance for the maintenance of health and correction of disease. Acidosis, or over-acidity in the body tissues, is one of the basic causes of many diseases, especially the arthritic and rheumatic diseases.

All foods are "burned" in the body--more commonly called "digested"-- leaving an ash as the result of the "burning", or the digestion. This food ash can be neutral, acid or alkaline, depending largely on the mineral composition of the foods. Some foods leave an acid residue or ash, some alkaline. The acid ash (acidosis) results when there is a depletion of the alkali reserve or the diminution in the reserve supply of fixed bases in the blood and the tissues of the body.

It is, therefore, vitally important that there is a proper ratio between acid and alkaline foods in the diet. The natural ratio in a normal healthy body is approximately 4 to 1 -- four parts alkaline to one part acid, or 80% to 20%. When such an ideal ratio is maintained, the body has a strong resistance against disease. In the healing of disease, when the patient usually has acidosis, the higher the ratio of alkaline elements in the diet, the faster will be the recovery. Alkalis neutralize the acids. Therefore in the treatment of most diseases it is important that the patient's diet includes plenty of alkaline-ash foods to offset the effects of acid-forming foods and leave a safe margin of alkalinity.

A healthy body usually keeps large alkaline reserves which are used to meet the emergency demands if too many acid-producing foods are consumed. But these normal reserves can be depleted. When the alkaline-acid ratio drops to 3 to 1, health can be seriously menaced. Your body can function normally and sustain health only in the presence of adequate alkaline reserves and the proper acid-alkaline ratio in all the body tissues and the blood.

The chart below categorizes a food as either acidic or alkaline based on the effect consumption of the food has on urine pH. For example, if a food tends to increase the acidity of urine after it is ingested, it is classified as an acid forming food. Conversely, if a food increases the alkalinity of urine after it has been ingested, it was classified it as an alkaline forming food. The effect foods have on urine pH may be quite different than the pH of the foods themselves. For example, orange juice is a highly acidic food due to its high citrus acid content, but after being metabolized it will cause urine to become alkaline.

Most of the information below is based on information from my collection of nutrition books, including a chart I have from a Mayo Clinic diet manual, and also some from personal observations. The books I have all vary significantly in how they categorize the pH of different foods, so it is hard to tell which ones are correct. With this in mind, take the chart below as a general guide that most likely will contain some errors.

It is interesting to note that nutrient status can be impacted by the acid-base balance in the body. Researchers in Germany found that "acid-base status affects renal magnesium losses, irrespectively of magnesium intake." This means that besides not eating enough foods high in magnesium, an acid load in the body could be another factor that contributes to a magnesium deficiency condition.

Very Acidic Foods and Supplements Include

* Eggs
* Liver and other organ meats
* Gravy
* Broth made from bones or other animal parts
* Wine
* Yogurt with active cultures
* Buttermilk, including buttermilk pancakes and biscuits
* Sour cream
* Most fermented foods and aged cheeses
* Some B vitamin supplements (or foods supplemented with B vitamins) can make your stomach more acid
* Hydrochloric acid supplements
* Digestive enzymes

Please note that fermented foods like yogurt, buttermilk and sour cream seem to become more acidic in the body if they contain some types of active cultures of helpful bacteria.
Non Food Substances That Can Make Urine Acidic

* Probiotics - These are supplements that contain "helpful bacteria". At least some types of beneficial bacteria help to create an acidic environment in the digestive tract. Probiotics are often used after taking antibiotics and may help some cases of bladder infections, irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea. My friends and family have noticed that if we take excess amounts of probiotics it may cause heart burn and/or high blood pressure. (See my related section on IBS Treatment.)

* Soft water - Soft water is water that is low in minerals. This type of water tends to be more acidic.

Alkaline Foods

* Most fruits, except as noted above
* Most vegetables, except as noted above

Very Alkaline Foods Include

* Bananas
* Chocolate
* Figs
* Mineral water
* Orange juice
* Potatoes
* Spinach
* Watermelon
* Dandelion Greens

Please note that some foods, such as citrus fruits, have an acid pH before they are consumed and but they usually leave an alkaline residue in the body after they have been metabolized. Sorry to spell this out twice, but I get a lot of emails on this topic.
Non Food Substances That Can Make Urine Alkaline

* Antibiotics - antibiotics destroy both the bad and the helpful bacteria in the intestinal tract. Some of the helpful bacteria work to create an acidic environment in the human body. When these bacteria are eliminated by antibiotics, urine may become more alkaline. I think this is one reason why women will frequently get bladder infections after taking antibiotics.

I have some old nutrition text books, and in the era before wide spread antibiotic use, health care professionals often advised people suffering from urinary tract infections to eat a lot of meat and other acid forming foods. Many allopathic doctors of today think acid-base balance is a lot of malarkey, but thirty years ago you could actually find this type of knowledge in some college nutrition text books.

* Many mineral supplements - especially calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium. Calcium and magnesium are common ingredients in antacids as they neutralize stomach acid. Some people get upset stomachs (gas, bloating, diarrhea, malabsorption) from these types of mineral supplements, especially if they suffer from hypochloridia (low stomach acid).

* Antacids - Antacids, which often contain magnesium or calcium supplements, may cause an increase in the alkalinity of the urine, which can lead to bladder infections as bacteria tend to thrive in alkaline environments.

* Hard Water - Hard water is just the opposite of soft water. It is water that has a high mineral content, and as a result tends to be more alkaline. Some studies have shown that people have less heart attacks where the water is hard, presumably because the disolved minerals that make the water hard are important for nutrition.

Neutral Foods

The Mayo Clinic Diet Manual, Seventh Edition categorizes the following foods as neutral foods:

* Butter
* Margarine
* Cooking fats
* Oils
* Plain candies
* Sugar
* Syrup
* Honey
* Arrowroot
* Corn
* Tapioca
* Coffee
* Tea

Many other books on pH balance have conflicting information to the neutral foods listed above. Most alternative health books I own state that coffee, tea, sugar (and anything with sugar), and corn make the urine more acid.


Another factor is pH. Acid-forming foods, such as ... [carbohydrates like donuts, beer, candy, ice cream, Pepsi, bread, pastries, etc.], make the blood more acidic. To sustain life, human blood pH must be in the range of 7.3 - 7.45 (Guyton). Outside that range, we're dead. Remember, the lower the number, the more acidity. The more acid the blood is, the less oxygen it contains... There's a major difference in oxygen even within the narrow range of "normal' blood pH: blood that is pH 7.3 actually has 69.4% less oxygen than 7.45 blood, according to Whang's book, Reverse Aging. On a practical level, this means we should do everything to keep the pH on the high side of the range, as close as possible to 7.45, by eating as many alkaline foods as possible. That would be, you guessed it - live, raw foods, especially green foods.

Blood pH

pH (potential of hydrogen) is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. It is measured on a scale of 0 to 14—the lower the pH the more acidic the solution, the higher the pH the more alkaline (or base) the solution.

When a solution is neither acid nor alkaline it has a pH of 7 which is neutral. A healthy pH of 7.4 - 7.5 is desirable. When healthy, the pH of blood is 7.4, the pH of spinal fluid is 7.4, and the pH of saliva is 7.4. The pH of saliva parallels the extra cellular fluid... pH test of saliva represents the most consistent and most definitive physical sign of the ionic calcium deficiency syndrome. It is scientifically documented that up to 150 diseases are related to calcium deficiency.

It is important to understand that we are not talking about stomach acid or the pH of the stomach. We are talking about the pH of the body's fluids and tissues which is an entirely different matter.

Alkaline and Acid Forming Foods

The body needs both types of foods. However alkaline forming food should predominate over acid forming ones. Everyone is different, but for most, the ideal diet is 75 percent alkalizing and 25 percent acidifying foods by volume.

Acid forming foods meat, sugars, eggs and dairy and most grains, white flour and carbonated beverages are acid forming. Drugs are acid forming. Artificial chemical sweetener's like NutraSweet, Equal, or Aspartame, are extremely acid-forming.

Over acidity, which can become a dangerous condition that weakens all body systems, is very common today. It gives rise to an internal environment conducive to disease, as opposed to a pH-balanced environment which allows normal body function necessary for the body to resist disease. A healthy body maintains adequate alkaline reserves (Electrolytes) to meet emergency demands. When excess acids must be neutralized our alkaline reserves are depleted leaving the body in a weakened condition.

This condition forces the body to borrow the (Electrolyte) minerals-including calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium-from vital organs and bones to buffer (neutralize) the acid and safely remove it from the body. Because of this strain, the body can suffer severe and prolonged damage due to high acidity, a condition that may go undetected for years.

Acid forming foods rob your body of critical electrolytes (calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium). These nutrients are critical for neutralizing acids. Only fresh fruits and vegetables are alkaline producing to help your body maintain a healthy pH balance.

Studies have consistently shown that heavy consumers of soft drinks (with or without sugar) lose huge amounts of calcium, magnesium, and other trace minerals into their urine. The more mineral loss, the greater the risk for osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, hypothyroidism, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and a long list of degenerative diseases.

The foods we eat are digested and they break down into either an acid or an alkaline end-product in our tissues. This end-product is called the "ash" and is what remains in the body after the food has been broken down. Foods that produce an alkaline ash are called "alkaline forming food" whereas those producing acid ash are called "acid-forming" foods.

Important. A food's acid or alkaline-forming tendency in the body has nothing to do with the actual pH of the food itself. For example: Though lemons, limes, and grapefruits are chemically acid, tests show that when they are metabolized in the body they actually have an alkalizing effect and are very beneficial. They have very little sugar. And they contain an abundance of oxygen. Lemons are said to be the richest source of minerals and vitamins of any food or foods known to man.

Likewise, meat will test alkaline before digestion but it leaves very acidic residue in the body so, like nearly all animal products, meat is very acid-forming.

Acid forming foods such as (meats, eggs, diary, white sugar and white flour, carbonated beverages and artificial chemical sweetener's like NutraSweet, Equal, or Aspartame) should be limited. Of course, you would do better with the least amount of meat and no milk products as they are very productive of mucus and hinder digestion and absorption of nutrients.

The internal balance of your pH is very important, unfortunately few medical practitioners in western medicine are aware of the major role it plays in causing diseases.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are alkaline forming in the body and contain many electrolyte minerals that help to maintain a healthy pH balance of 7.4 and a reserve of critical electrolytes.

Alkalizing the body fluids (raising pH) is one of the single most important health regeneration benefits available as disease causing microforms (fungi, bacteria, virus etc.) cannot survive in an alkaline oxygenated environment.

Foods are generally categorized as acid or alkaline based on the residue they leave in the human body after they have been metabolized. Often there are fad diets that recommend people eat either all acid or all alkaline foods to solve one disease or another. In reality, it is probably healthier to strive for a balanced middle ground of alkaline and acidic foods. A variety of health problems can occur when the body is either too alkaline or acidic. When the body fluids become too acidic, a condition called acidosis develops. Conversely, when the body fluids become too alkaline, alkalosis results.

Foods are determined to have either an alkaline or acid forming potential based on their pH values. (The word pH comes from the chemistry formula for calculating the concentration of hydrogen ions present in a substance. pH refers to the "power of Hydrogen.") A pH of 7 is neutral. Foods with an alkaline ash have pH values above 7. Foods with an acid ash have pH values below 7. Pure water has a neutral pH of 7.

In general most grains, dairy products, meats, seeds, legumes and nuts tend to have an acid ash. Most fruits and vegetables tend to have an alkaline ash. Cooked foods tend to be more alkaline than raw foods. Many holistic practitioners believe that modern Western diets generally are too acidic for good health due to a lack of fruits and vegetables. They often stress the importance of modifying one's diet to achieve a better acid-base balance.

However, it is generally not a good idea to assume your diet is too acidic just because that is a common problem in the general population. There are many factors that can influence the human body's pH levels. People who drink a lot of mineral water, take mineral supplements or eat highly a lot of alkaline foods such as dandelion greens or potatoes, may have an alkaline levels that are too high. Many holistic health practitioners recommended that people buy a special type of pH paper that can be used to test pH levels based on urine or saliva samples.

Foods such as orange juice and lemon juice are acidic in their natural state but turn alkaline after they have been metabolized in the body. As such, for dietetic purposes they are usually considered to be alkaline forming foods despite being acidic prior to consumption. Most fruits are alkaline except a few that include cranberries, plums and prunes. These fruits are classified as acidic because they contain acids the body can't metabolize.

Human blood pH should be slightly alkaline ( 7.35 - 7.45 ). Below or above this range means symptoms and disease. A pH of 7.0 is neutral. A pH below 7.0 is acidic. A pH above 7.0 is alkaline.

An acidic pH can occur from, an acid forming diet, emotional stress, toxic overload, and/or immune reactions or any process that deprives the cells of oxygen and other nutrients. The body will try to compensate for acidic pH by using alkaline minerals. If the diet does not contain enough minerals to compensate, a build up of acids in the cells will occur.

An acidic balance will: decrease the body's ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients, decrease the energy production in the cells, decrease it's ability to repair damaged cells, decrease it's ability to detoxify heavy metals, make tumor cells thrive, and make it more susceptible to fatigue and illness. A blood pH of 6.9, which is only slightly acidic, can induce coma and death.

The reason acidosis is more common in our society is mostly due to the typical American diet, which is far too high in acid producing animal products like meat, eggs and dairy, and far too low in alkaline producing foods like fresh vegetables. Additionally, we eat acid producing processed foods like white flour and sugar and drink acid producing beverages like coffee and soft drinks. We use too many drugs, which are acid forming; and we use artificial chemical sweetners like NutraSweet, Spoonful, Sweet 'N Low, Equal, or Aspartame, which are poison and extremely acid forming. One of the best things we can do to correct an overly acid body is to clean up the diet and lifestyle.

To maintain health, the diet should consist of 60% alkaline forming foods and 40% acid forming foods. To restore health, the diet should consist of 80% alkaline forming foods and 20% acid forming foods.

Generally, alkaline forming foods include: most fruits, green vegetables, peas, beans, lentils, spices, herbs and seasonings, and seeds and nuts.

Generally, acid forming foods include: meat, fish, poultry, eggs, grains, and legumes.

Shifting Your pH Toward Alkaline...

This chart is for those trying to "adjust" their body pH. The pH scale is from 0 to 14, with numbers below 7 acidic ( low on oxygen ) and numbers above 7 alkaline. An acidic body is a sickness magnet. What you eat and drink will impact where your body's pH level falls. Balance is Key !!!

Acidosis is excessive acid in the body fluids.

Alkalosis is a condition in which the body fluids have excess base (alkali). This is the opposite of excess acid (acidosis).