The Basic Approach to Good Health
Acid/Akaline Balance in the Body
Health fads and multi-level marketing hype drive me nuts! As a holistic physician, I receive countless sales pitches for anything vaguely related to health. Super Blue Green Algae (or “pond scum” as it is familiarly known) -- I’ve tried it. Aloe products, noni juice, chelated minerals, Nikken magnets, Mannatech, countless supplements, and a lot of weird stuff (like desiccated insects) – I’ve tried them all. All except konbucha – that was just too disgusting. The blood-type diet, raw foods, anti-parasite diets, anti-candida diets, high fiber diets, the Zone (high protein) diet – I’ve tried those also. Coffee enemas, colonics, liver cleanses and colon detoxification have also been part of my health education. What all these things have in common is that they each have legions of rabid followers (with no lives) who know beyond a doubt that they possess the key to salvation. Quite often, studies and data of questionable scientific value are used to support the proponents’ claims
Sometimes these products and health approaches do seem to help. It is difficult to discern how much of the help their proponents receive is due to what they are doing or supplement they are taking or due to placebo effect. However, there does appear to be some integrity here and there in the health marketplace and innovative products and health approaches that work are out there.
One of the health approaches that has recently been generating renewed interest is the concept of body pH – whether a person’s biochemistry is acidic or basic. There are a number of new books, products and even infomercials that address this issue.
pH is the abbreviation for potential for hydrogen. It is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. pH 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. Higher pH indicates greater oxygen richness. Lower pH indicates oxygen deprivation. When a solution is neither acid nor alkaline it has a pH of 7 which is neutral.
Human blood stays in a very narrow pH range around (7.35 - 7.45). Deviation from this range can cause severe systemic consequences, like coma. The ideal pH balance for a healthy body is slightly more alkaline than acid, or around 7.2 to 7.4 on the pH scale.
The body continually strives to balance its internal pH. Most people have a diet and lifestyle that produces an overly acidic condition in the body. Over the long term, the accumulation of acidic wastes that are not naturally flushed from the body become deposited in various places, especially the joints, mucus membranes, connective tissue and internal organs. Conditions directly associated with these acidic deposits include water retention, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches, alternating constipation and diarrhea, colds, flu, difficulty swallowing, burning in the mouth, bumps on the tongue, stomach ulcers and acid reflux.