Friday, March 25, 2011

Acid Alkaline Balance

Monday, October 19, 2009  by Christopher Vasey, N.D
Despite the extreme diversity of substances used by the body to build itself and function, it is possible to classify them in two major groups: basic (or alkaline) substances and acid substances. These two different groups of substances have opposing but complementary characteristics. To be healthy, the body needs both. When alkaline elements and acid elements are present in equal quantities the acid-alkaline or pH balance is achieved.

How Acidity is measured
As the difference between an acid and an alkaline is based on their ability to free more or less hydrogen ions, the unit that measures the degree of acidity or alkalinity of a substance is shorthand for the substance’s potential (p) for freeing hydrogen (H) ions, or pH.
The pH measuring scale goes from 0 to 14. The number 7 indicates the ideal balance between acids and alkaline substances and is known as a neutral pH. The greater potential a substance has for freeing hydrogen ions the smaller is its pH number. The acidity range is from 6 to 0, zero indicating a state of absolute acidity. Conversely, a more alkaline pH is indicated by a higher figure, from 8 to 14, the last figure representing a state of total alkalinity (meaning a state in which no hydrogen ions are freed).

Note that on the pH measurement scale the greater the degree of acidity the lower the pH reading.
The pH of different substances can be measured with a special reactive paper known as litmus paper. When put into contact with a dilution of the substance to be tested, the paper changes color to a degree that corresponds to the degree of acidity or alkalinity of that substance.
pH and Health
The body functions at its best when the pH of its internal biochemical environment, measured as a whole, is equal to 7.39, meaning slightly alkaline. The normal range of this optimum pH is very small, from a slightly more acidic reading of 7.36 to a more alkaline reading of 7.42. A reading of anything higher or lower than these figures indicates acidosis (from 7.36 to7) or alkalosis (7.42 to 7.8). If these limits are exceeded, the body cans no longer function, and illness appears.
Illnesses caused by Acidification
A surprising number and variety of physical problems and diseases can be caused by acidity. Indeed a triple action can prompt their appearance: enzymatic disturbances, aggressive activity by acids, and demineralization; three factors capable of striking any organic tissue.
  • Lack of energy: constant fatigue, loss of physical tone and psychical drive
  • Nervousness: agitation without cause, sensitivity, easily stressed
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Inflamed, sensitive gums
  • Cracks at the corners of the lips
  • Dental cavities
  • Attack of diarrhea which expels acids
  • Rectal burning sensation
  • Predisposition to intestinal inflammation (enteritis, colitis)
  • Burning and irritation in the bladder or urethra
  • Runny nose
  • Prone to chills
  • Dry skin
  • Skin tends to be red and irritated in regions where there are heavy concentrations or sweat (knees, underarms, etc)
  • Itches
  • Nails are thin and split and break easily
  • Hair looks dull and falls out in noticeable quantities
  • Leg cramps and spasms
  • Stiff neck
  • Lumbago
  • Mineral and calcium depletion of the skeleton
  • Osteoporosis
  • Rheumatism
  • Arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Tendinitis
  • Migrant joint pains
  • Etc

Acidosis: a Widespread Problem
Today the vast majority of the populace of the Western industrialized nations suffers from problems caused by acidification, because both modern lifestyle and diet promote acidification of the body’s internal environment.
In general, the current standard diet is primarily composed of acidic or acidifying elements (proteins, cereals, sugars). Alkaline food such as vegetables are eaten in much smaller quantities. Their alkaline content is insufficient to neutralize surplus acids. Furthermore, the consumption of stimulants like tobacco, coffee, tea, and alcohol – every one of which has an extremely acidifying effect on the body – has grown to enormous proportions.
Stress, nervous tension, noise, shortage of time, and other pressures are facts of life today and contribute to increasing the body’s acidification through the physiological disturbances they create.
Physical exercise – which can play an important role in maintaining acid-alkaline balance – is more often than not either insufficient or excessive. In both cases, acidification of the body’s internal environment is the result.
Of all the factors causing acidification the most important is unquestionably the food. The majority of acidosis sufferers can be treated simply by significantly reducing their consumption of acidifying and acidic food and increasing their consumption of alkaline foods.

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