Body pH: Acid Alkaline Balance Review
by James Khan
In 1908 Dr Howard Hay after practicing medicine for 16 years developed high blood pressure, bright’s disease and a dilated heart. There was no treatment available for bright’s disease and dilated heart so Dr Hay decided to find a cure for his own symptoms. He focused on his food intake and the chemical process of digestion and the enzymes that are essential for this process.
To the amazement of his colleagues, he had a complete remission of his symptoms in 3 months of changing his diet.
He also reduced his weight by 20 Kg.
In 1911 Dr Hay introduced his Food Combining guidelines, which are also known as the Hay Diet. This diet is based on the fact that digestive enzymes are very highly pH specific, and so for best digestion it is better to have either an alkaline or acidic environment for them to work in.
His simple message was: eat whatever wholesome, nutritious food you like; just don’t eat complex proteins and carbohydrates/sugars/fruits in the same meal because this will allow the digestive enzymes to work better. He advised on a reduced consumption of acid forming foods.
Although Dr Hay had many critics, he continued to lecture till his death. Today millions of people world wide are following or further extending his basic principles to include other food types and such factors as individual and genetic metabolic differences.
We know that enzymes are essential for digestion and that enzymes only function at specific pH levels. Common sense tells you that you should provide your body with the required nutrients in the right combinations that it needs to digest the food and perform its functions, including the all important maintenance of an alkaline blood pH level of 7.365.
Yet, some scientists, chemists adoctors maintain that this is Quackery.
The body needs no help from a dietary acid-alkaline angle with regards to digestion or to maintain an alkaline blood pH, they argue.
They also argue that all food in the stomach is acidic and becomes alkaline in the duodenum and that the body has an effective buffering system based on bicarbonates and an acid/alkaline diet or alkaline water has no effect on this.
So, you can eat or drink what you like, in whatever combination and the body will have no problems, they argue.
Others like Daniel Reid disagree, and believe that the pH of the liquids consumed has a significant effect on health and well being.
He explains, for example, that the sugary sweet, fizzy ‘soft drink’ is actually an ‘acid bomb’.
Who is right?
Are there any scientific studies to settle this issue?
Lets look at a few.
Probably the first scientific studies on digestion were conducted by Ivan Pavlov who became famous for his experiments on ‘salivating dogs’. Pavlov’s experiments with rats showed that that starches are digested in about two hours, proteins are digested in about four hours but a protein-starch mixture can still be digesting 13 hours later. In other words, a protein-starch mixture takes several times longer to digest, compared to eating then separately.
Pavlov also showed that food taken on top (i.e. before digestion has completed) can lead to fermentation and toxic by-products, putting strain on the system. This happens when you eat fruit after a meal; many people say that it gives them gas.
What could account for this?
This study of “Cola beverage consumption induces bone mineralization reduction in ovariectomized rats” (the rats were fed cola – acid, pH 2.5 – and the effects on bone density measured) suggests that calcium from the bones is used up in maintaining an alkaline blood pH balance.
The researchers concluded:
This study on the effects of alkaline ionized water on milk yield, body weight of offspring and perinatal dam in ratstentatively concludes that:
This study on the Influences of alkaline ionized water on milk electrolyte concentrations in maternal ratsstates:
In 1996 Dr. Lynda Frassetto at the University of California, San Francisco, discovered that as we age, starting around age 45, we lose the alkaline buffer bicarbonates in our blood. By the age of 90, we lose 18% of bicarbonates in our blood. This loss was shown to be diet induced. This is from the published abstract
Sang Whang had been saying the same. This study in part supports his Theory of Aging: we age because we accumulate organic acid wastes.
Insufficient amount of bicarbonates in our blood reduces our capabilities to manage (neutralize and dump) the acid our body produces from metabolism. The bicarbonates get used up after years of continual efforts to maintain an alkaline balance because of the acidifying diet that we now have.
The age of 45 is the average age when we start to show symptoms of diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis and many other adult degenerative diseases.Dr Frassetto suggests that since are now subjected to so much acid wastes, it is as if we have made a evolutionary change: we are now depositing them in pockets of fat away from the major organs where they can do less damage.These wastes show up as cholesterol, fatty acid, uric acid, urate, sulfate, phosphate, kidney stones, etc.
Conclusion of scientific studies
These and other studies suggest that:
So a water rich alkaline diet and alkaline water could help you lose weight and improve your general health.
Remember, often what you don’t eat is more important then what you do eat. You should in particular avoid sugary, acidic soft drinks that give you concentrated acid water to harm your blood pH and blood sugar levels.
Also keep in mind as the Frassetto study showed, we are now stockpiling acid wastes in our bodies in pockets of fat. The body creates fat to cope with the heavy load of toxic acid wastes that are continuously being produced as a result of metabolism. The fat consists of cholesterol, cellulose and other deposits which actually contain dangerous organic wastes inside them.
The basic problem is that we eat too much of the wrong things. As Dr Young says, “obesity is an acid problem – the fat is saving our lives”
The answer is simple: lots of alkaline water; more alkaline, water rich foods and; don’t eat foods the fight in the same meal.
This page is about a natural detox diet.
The next section addresses some specific alkaline diet and alkaline water questions.
I select food according to its nutritious content, rather then whether it is ‘acid’ or ‘alkaline’ on a food chart. I combine food in a meal according to how it will best be digested.
So, for example, I won’t eat fruit after a meal or eat steak and chips – I’ll eat the fruit first, and swap the chips for a fresh salad! I don’t take the food combining rules too rigidly, as I know that the body is intelligent and can handle quite diverse food combinations. But the food combination in a meal of a Big Mac, Fries and Coke is a definite no!
Super Size showed a young man go from a state of good health to near death in under a month simply from eating processed fast food. Morgan Spurlock put on 25 pounds, got depressed, suffered chronic chest pains and palpitations, his libido was low, sex life non-functional, he stank, experienced mood swings, liver damage; his medical charts went off the scales. He also suffered from addiction, lack of energy and fuzzy logic. These things are now typical of modern life.
From a standard ‘scientific’ or chemistry point of view, his diet contained lots of protein (for muscle), fat and carbohydrate and sugary drinks for energy, so he should have been fine.
So why did he nearly die?
We are now stockpiling acid wastes in our bodies in pockets of fat. The body creates fat to cope with the heavy load of toxic acid wastes that are continuously being produced as a result of metabolism. The fat consists of cholesterol, cellulose and other deposits which actually contain dangerous organic wastes inside them.
Remember: ” Obesity is an acid problem – the fat is saving our lives“]
It has also been shown (I’m afraid I don’t have clinical studies to hand) that the body also creates cholesterol as a water conservation mechanism – it surrounds the cell walls to stop water leaving the cell. This also stops nutrients from entering in and toxins from leaving the cell, but it means that you will live. Eventually, such cells with access toxicity become cancerous]
No, I don’t think you should focus too much on this.
Solod foods are classified as acid or alkaline depending on the pH of the ash (in solution) that is produced on burning them. However, all food is composed of of simple elements like Carbon, Oxygen, hydrogen which burn to produce acid wastes. As over 97% of any food that you eat will create acid wastes; I don’t think that the pH of the ash of the 3% will make much difference!
Alkaline minerals (which make the food acid or alkaline) are only a very small part of the nutrition from solid food. So you shouldn’t focus on this at the expense of other vital nutritional elements that only nature knows about and only nature can provide. It’s silly to avoid any food just because an acid-alkaline chart says that it’s low on certain minerals!
You should, however, drink lots of alkaline water to hydrate, detoxify and mineralize the body. You can always take a balanced colloidal alkaline mineral supplement like Alkalife to supply any minerals not present in diet or water like Potassium, which so many of us are now deficient in.]
No, I don’t think that it will and it wouldn’t necessarily be a good thing if it did.
The simple classification of solid food according to the mineral content of its ash is not particularly relevant to nutrition and health.
The important thing is what the food contains, how easy to it is to digest and how much toxic waste it produces on metabolism. The tiny amount of alkaline minerals in even the ‘top’ alkaline food will make very little difference to your alkaline blood buffers in the short term. Over the long term, as the Frassetto study implied, an alkaline diet could help reduce acidosis and obesity, since an ‘acid’ diet causes it.
Drinking ionized alkaline water, fresh vegetable juices and fruit juices and super greens (spirulina, wheat and barley grass juices) on the other hand will help; not only will you get more alkaline minerals, you’ll get the countless number of other nutrients and enzymes that your body needs. Remember, a half tea spoon of something like Barley Grass or Spirulina powder will give you the equivalent alkaline minerals and nutrients as a basket of green vegetables.
Similarly, don’t drink acid soft drinks as discussed above – the concentrated sugar and high acid pH of these drinks plays havoc on your body, and make you fat.
Q6: If I have indigestion, isn’t it cheaper and more effective to take ant-acids (baking soda) then mild alkaline water?
Ant-acids are a billion dollar business, but a total waste of money and actually harmful as they reduce our ability to digest protein foods.
Eat food in correct combinations, don’t eat so much, and drink plenty of ionized alkaline water.
Next time you want to snack between meals, snack on a glass of alkaline water!
No. You can never de-acidify the stomach simply because the body produces acids on demand. Without the required stomach acids you won’t be able to digest your food so you shouldn’t try to de-acidify it. The body generates acids depending upon the food you eat – it can produce around 3 liters hydrochloric acid/day. If you reduce the amount of proteins you eat, eat less and in better combinations, it will produce less acid.
Alkaline water is much too mild to have any effect on stomach pH. The stomach is thousands of times more acid, 16 drops of lemon juice would neutralize the alkalinity of alkaline water of pH 10.0.
Remember, the alkalinity (colloidal minerals + excess oxygen) of the water is only one of the benefits from ionized water. Other benefits are from the water being reduced (antioxidant), and its smaller cluster sizes (better hydration) ]
Partially, yes, particularly if the stomach is digesting food, but the purified water will still be hydrating, provide alkaline minerals and all the other benefits, and zero toxins – you just won’t get the slight alkaline boost for your blood pH that’s all. This is a minor benefit in any case, but you should drink water first thing in the morning and in-between meals, not during or after meals to get the most benefits. When the stomach is empty, the water or freshly squeezed juices will flow straight through, and not be significantly effected by the acid stomach pH.
Studies, however, show that in colloidal form the calcium ion is surrounded by water molecules; it could well be that nature has a sheltering mechanism for transporting alkaline minerals to where they are required in the body.
The actual pH (i.e. the measurable pH, 8-10 usually) is not the major benefit of this ionized water. Akaline is just a label used to describe the water, one of many labels. You could call it natural water, water pure of contaminants, or pure natural water or pure mineral water.
If you analyze natural spring water from the Alps or better still Glacier water, you will find that it has all these properties: alkaline pH, high colloidal alkaline mineral content, low acid mineral content, low ORP (i.e. reduced), low NMR (small clusters).
In health circles ionized alkaline water is also called microwater, light water, micro-clustered water, reduced water, electrolyzed reduced water (ERW), Ionic mineral water and even miracle water in the Japanese 13 part TV documentary.
Appendix A lists abstracts from 100 published papers that give an indication of the diverse uses of ionized water and terminology used. What is important is what is contained in the water (i.e. alkaline minerals, active hydrogen, excess oxygen in the OH- form, micro-clusters, and zero poisons).
When nutritionists and naturopaths talk about an ‘alkaline diet‘ they are not talking about neutralizing the acidity of the stomach acids that are needed to digest our food with chemicals!
Alkaline foods like super greens and carrot juice are not particularly alkaline if you measure the pH with a meter, but they will have an overall slight alkalizing effect when you change your diet to eat more of them. An important point to note is that if you are eating live, alkaline foods like fruits, freshly squeezed juices you should do so on an empty stomach to help the digestion process and get the most benefits (i.e. nutrients, enzymes and energy) from the food.
This is less of an issue with alkaline water, since there is nothing to digest in water.
When you drink alkaline water, two things are possible, both will be helpful to the alkaline buffers:
1. If your stomach is full, the water could get trapped in the acid stomach environment. The alkalinity would be neutralized by the stomach acid, and the stomach may produce slightly more acid. A pathologist friend of Sang Whang, Dr. Stephen Weiss explains that in the process of producing more stomach acid (hydrochloric acid) as a result of drinking alkaline water or alkaline foods, the body creates sodium bicarbonate (an alkaline buffer) and adds it to the bloodstream.
So the net result is an increase in alkaline buffer. This does not happen if you ingest bicarbonates (baking soda) because the body converts these to water, carbon dioxide and sodium salt. The bicarbonates will not reach the bloodstream no matter how much baking soda you consume.
2. If the stomach is empty, it is likely that the water would go straight through the stomach to the intestine, and go to the blood stream to give it an alkaline pH boost, and any excess will replenish the alkaline buffers. As Sang Whang explains
Q10: The body has an efficient buffering system which is continually generated as glucose is metabolized; what use is alkaline water or an alkaline diet for buffering?
The body needs minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium and zinc as fuel to sustain the buffering system, not only glucose! The bodies bicarbonates are sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium bicarbonates; it also makes effective use of hydroxides, primarily calcium hydroxide to maintain alkaline balance. We need to obtain these minerals from dietary sources; alkaline water , vegetable juices and super green juices are good nutritious sources for the many nutrients the body needs, including alkaline minerals.
Alkaline water helps the buffering system as it provides the minerals that the body needs. See the studies above You can make water alkaline by adding alkalife drops, which are potassium and calcium hydroxides in colloidal form in ionized water. The benefits from increasing the potassium hydroxide in the diet was shown by the Frassetto studies. However, this is only one of the many benefits from alkaline ionized water. Other benefits stem from the ionized water being reduced; it has an ORP around -300, and micro-clustered (low NMR) and it’s good tasting water so you’ll be able to drink more and avoid dehydration, which effects some 75% of the population.
Sang Whang, who introduced water ionizers to the west in the late 80’s adds a couple of drops of alkalife to his ionized water.
Body pH doesn’t become a meaningless concept just because different parts of the body and cell have different pH values.
Look at the literature. Read Dr Theodore Baroody’s Alkaize or Die. Read books and articles from countless other doctors, authors and naturopaths worldwide that state from personal clinical experience that body pH (i.e. blood and tissue pH) is a vital indicator of health, and the key part it plays in nutrition.
The same is the case for almost all bodily functions. Acid/alkaline balance concepts are based on years of observations of the types of food and the acidifying or alkalizing effect they have on blood pH. It has been confirmed by countless ND’s throughout the world who advise a predominantly alkaline diet of greens, fruits and vegetable juices for health. This is a good summary that explains why restoring proper pH balance is vital for all bodily functions, including Heart, Lungs, Liver and Kidneys
Body pH is the key to virtually all bodily functions, which is why the body takes immediate emergency actions to maintain an alkaline blood pH, even at the cost obesity, loss of calcium and minerals from the bones and organs and other ailments over the long run.
This is confirmed by blood pH measurements, clinical studies.
Our observation of nature shows how nature uses a delicate pH balance to regulate life on earth, including the decomposition of ‘dead’ life forms.
You would be dead long before this happens! Blood pH is very tightly regulated.
Q13: Our 75 trillion cells are slightly acidic within and are surrounded by slightly alkaline interstitial fluid around them. Just like fish in the sea. What would happen if the interstitial fluid becomes acidic?
The polarity essential for chemical and energy interchange of the cells would be lost which would effect the very functioning of the cell. This could be another reason acidic people lack energy. Energetically, we are like acid-alkaline batteries; minerals and correct acid-alkaline pH balance for the various body fluids is essential for most cellular functions.
The ions are able to hold charge, conduct electricity without which there would be no life.
Yes! Modern medicine is barely 100 years old, I seriously wonder if there is a lot of truth in it – time will tell!
Nature uses acid and alkaline ions in water to provide nutrients, hydration and to control growth, death, decay and house cleaning.
Q15b: Why would nature go through the trouble of separating alkaline water for drinking, and acid water for skin cleansing as for example in hot mineral baths?
Nature is nature, we learn a little more about it each day. Alkaline water is energized, for drinking. Acid waters are for skin cleansing
The acid skin repels bacteria, it maintains a polarity with the alkaline of the pH on the inner skin. This yin and yang are seen throughout the body.
We came from the sea.
Our blood composition is the same pH as the sea in ideal conditions.
Maybe mother nature is giving us some clues!
There is no nutrition (oxygen and minerals) in distilled water, the fish would die of starvation.
Q16b: Are our cells not like ‘fish’, and would die in slightly acidic or nutrient deficient ‘water’
Our cells are very much like fish swimming in an alkaline sea, and would start to die when the ‘sea’ becomes acidic, just as fish do.
Q17: If the fish pond is polluted and the fish is dying, would you inject the fish with chemicals or change the water?
Change the water; the same applies to the blood and other fluids in your body.
This is why a genuine detox, fasting and cleansing program is vital for health.
[A: Bacteria is needed for fermentation, and bacteria does not grow in alkaline environments – it needs a slight acid environment to grow in. Slight alkaline or too acidic and it would die.]
Q18b: Why do wine or beer makers also need to keep the oxygen low?
You must have acidity and low oxygen to ferment (grow) bacteria.
Q19: What is the connection between oxygen deficiency, acidity and the growth of bacterial, viral and fungal infections?
Bacterial, viral and fungal infections can only get a foot hold if the environment is acidic.
You can’t grow roses on concrete as Dr Robert Young puts it.
Q19b: Why are virtually all pathogenic bacteria anaerobic, and why do they like a slightly acidic environments?
They are all anaerobic, they live in an absence of oxygen, and acidic environments only.
None whatsoever. Pathogenic bacteria are generally not found in healthy living tissue.
Pathogenic bacteria are not the cause of the disease, just a symptom of an underlying condition.
No, he did not.
Pasteur’s experiments just proved that it was possible to poison someone by injecting them with the poisoned blood of another
The french genius Professor Antoine Bechamp showed that an elementary life form, which he called microzymas, existed in all living things.
It is the origin of bacteria and also DNA, he argued.
What microzymas grows into depends on the environment according to Bechamp.
Cancer cells are anaerobic and live in acidic conditions.
This is the fundamental difference between cancer cells and normal cells; it was shown by Dr Walburg in the 1920’s, see his book ‘The Metabolism of Tumours‘]
The body rots because of acidity. When breathing stops, the body becomes acidic. In this environment bacteria multiply rapidly, causing the body to rot.
Death leads to acidity in body tissue, that leads to the growth of scavengers, special bacteria that grow in this environment, whose job it is to gobble up the edible remains of the dead body.
They are scavengers, not our killers.
On death breathing stops. Without oxygen the body can no longer maintain an alkaline balance and starts to acidify. The acidic condition of the cells causes a proliferation of anaerobic bacteria to breed and multiply. The bacteria are scavengers, they eat up the body tissues, decomposing and converting everything to simple forms.
‘Ashes to ashes, dust to dust‘ as the bible says.
Q25: Whenever you see a house on fire, you always see firemen around it; does that mean that the firemen caused the fire?
This is the simple mistake the scientists make, mistaking presence at the scene with being the cause of the scene.
Q25b: How would a campaign to kill firemen because they are always connected to fires, reduce house fires?
It won’t, it will make the fires worse!
Modern medicine since Pasteur is based on a silly concept that our health is dependant on being able kill the smallest forms of life. It therefore has embarked on an ever escalating campaign, using more and more complex biological/chemicals weapons to kill simple life forms.
This ‘chemical warfare‘ is conducted on the human body and has contributed to the huge cost and failure of modern medicine to effectively treat even simple diseases.
You can now answer the following questions:
Q27: Suppose we succeed and eradicate simple life forms, will that mean that we will all be free of disease and live forever?
Q28: You always see flies and maggots around rubbish; does this mean that the flies caused the rubbish?
“The Microbe is nothing. The terrain is everything.”?
Response to Dr Andrew Weil
I would suggest that Dr Weil has not looked at all the evidence; the four clinical studies mentioned above show quite clearly that diet plays a significant role in the bodies ability to maintain an alkaline pH balance and bone mineralization.
If you dissolve calcium (or chalk) in a glass and drink it, that doesn’t mean that your body will assimilate the calcium. For the body to absorb minerals, they must be in ionic or colloidal form. If you ionize water with calcium dissolved in it, the calcium ionizes, and evidence indicates that this is better absorbed by the body. Look at people that drink water that naturally has minerals in colloidal form from glaciers like at Hunza.
The Hunza have the longest life span in the world and this has been traced as related to the water that they drink and their natural diet. Hunza has people who routinely live to 120-140 years, in good health with virtually no cancer, degenerative disease, dental caries or bone decay. Hunza people remain robust and strong and are also able to bear children even in old age. Research has proven conclusively that the major common denominator of these healthy long-living people is their local water.
Dr. Henri Coanda, the Romanian father of fluid dynamics and a Nobel Prize winner at 78, spent six decades studying the Hunza water trying to determine what it was in this water that caused such beneficial effects for the body. He discovered that it had a different viscosity and surface tension. Dr. Patrick Flanagan and others continued the research. They found Hunza water had a high alkaline pH and an extraordinary amount of active hydrogen (hydrogen with an extra electron), with a negative redox potential and a high colloidal mineral content. Look also at some clinical studies.
I have followed the acid-alkaline based food combining (or as someone called it ‘food not combining’) since the mid 80’s when I read about it in Tony Robbins book Unlimited Power.
I’ve been drinking around 3+ liters alkaline water a day for the last 7+ years. I feel better for it.
This is a telling comment someone made on a Tony Robbins forum. It does not imply any disrespect for Dr Weil due to his weight, just making a point:
Many experts like Dr Young maintain that blood pH is the most important measurement. Dr Young has spent a lifetime measuring the slight pH changes of the blood following consumption of acid and alkaline forming foods. Dr Young says
The important thing is that blood pH is maintained at 7.365 – you don’t need chemical warfare and dodgy dossiers!
Read this excerpt from the best selling book The pH Miracle Living by Dr Robert O Young.