Acid-Alkaline Balance and What it Really Means
Acid-alkaline balance is a popular subject these days and one I am asked about frequently. The theory is that if we can maintain a good balance between these two states, with a slight leaning towards the alkaline side, we will be in optimal health.
While I firmly believe the theory of a proper balance is correct, I disagree with the concept that testing your Ph on litmus paper via saliva or urine can easily monitor one’s alkaline state.
A Ph test of saliva or urine is simply that — a reflection of the parts hydrogen (Ph), of your saliva or urine at that point in time. I do not believe this approach accurately reflects the intricacies of Ph balance within all parts of the body.
This concept is not new and was actually being addressed as long ago as 1935 by Dr. Weston A. Price. I have included an article by Dr. Price addressing this very issue from the perspective I believe is most important; one’s mineral balance. The topic is discussed around the framework of primitive societies and their dental health, which Dr. Price spent many years studying. Before jumping into his timely article I do feel it is important to explain the variability of acid and alkaline states within our body. This is easy to describe by following the path of a food particle from your mouth to the inside of a cell. I will use a molecule of carbohydrate. Upon putting such a molecule into your mouth, it enters an environment of between 5 and 8 Ph with 7 being neutral.
An interesting point here is that you can increase the Ph of your mouth making it more alkaline by eating something acidic, such as a lemon or lime. The digestion of this carbohydrate molecule begins in your mouth. When you swallow this carbohydrate molecule it falls into your stomach and into a Ph environment of about 1.5. This is extremely acidic. Here, carbohydrate digestion stops for between one half and 2 hours. When your mouthful of food passes into your small intestine, it leaves a Ph of about 1.5 and enters a Ph of over 7. In this alkaline state, the digestion of the carbohydrate is completed over a period of hours where simple sugar molecules are created by the breakdown of the carbohydrate. These sugars are absorbed into the blood stream with a closely monitored Ph of 7.35 to 7.45. As these sugars pass into interstitial tissue, they again enter into a slightly acidic state of between 6 and 7 Ph. When they are absorbed into the cell they are entering into an alkaline state again as the Ph environment of a healthy cell is alkaline. As you can see, there are several different states of acidity and alkalinity within our bodies. The ultimate controlling factor in an optimal Ph level in each of these different areas of the body is a proper mineral balance.
Please read Acid-Base Balance of Diets Which Produce Immunity for an excellent synopsis of this theory.
Rick Wagner, C.N., M.S