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GSE Acid/Alkaline Balance in Body

The Body's Acid / Alkaline Balance

Introduction

"We are facing the largest health crisis in recorded history"

–   Dr. Theodore Baroody, author of "Alkalize or Die"

This health crisis is OVER-ACIDITY (Acidosis) - which is linked to all kinds of illness and disease. Acidosis in the body is the result of the typical Western diet and lifestyle.(Alkalosis is usually only seen in someone with kidney disease, or one taking too many alkalizing supplements or drugs intended to have an alkalizing effect). Chronic acidosis is dealt with by employing the body's alkalizing mechanisms, which will eventually deplete the body's stores of alkaline minerals (e.g. sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium), paving the way for chronic and degenerative disease.

Acidosis

pH

pH is a measure of acidity or alkalinity in a fluid - Water (H2O) ionizes into hydrogen (H+) and hydroxyl (OH-) ions, which when in equal proportion have a neutral pH value of 7

If there are more H+ ions than OH- ions then the water is said to be acid.

If OH- ions outnumber the H+ ions then the water is alkaline.

The pH value represents a fluid's acidity or alkalinity level by indicating its concentration of hydrogen ions (H+) -The most acid pH value is 1, and the most alkaline pH is 14.

For more detail:

What does pH Mean?

For health, we need an appropriate balance between acids and alkalis (a.k.a. bases) in blood plasma and body tissues

Chronically imbalanced pH levels in your body will lead to any of the now commonly observed degenerative diseases - Any slight decrease in pH will result in lower oxygen levels in the blood and, therefore, in the cells.A healthy Acid-Alkaline Balance is decisive to the structure and function of proteins, the permeability of membranes, the distribution of electrolytes (charged particles) and the functioning of connective tissue.

–   Examples of physiological processes affected by pH:

✔ Cleansing and healing processes

✔ Beating of heart

✔ Firing of nerves

✔ Ability to absorb nutrients

✔ Ability of muscles to contract decreases as body becomes more acidic, while hormones like adrenaline increase.

✔ Metabolic enzyme activity and chemical reactions

✔ Oxidation rate in ATP cellular energy production

✔ Transport proteins that move substances across cell membranes

✔ Signaling systems that transmit messages between cells or intracellular compartments

✔ DNA-RNA synthesis

Body processes tend to produce a slightly acid pH - due to acidic end-products, i.e. CO2 and metabolic acids (e.g. sulfuric acids from protein consumption):

✔ Digestion/Cellular respiration process - which creates energy for a cell to perform its specific task, creates acid end products (waste), which must not be allowed to build up. E.g. lactic acid is created through exercise and can cause pain.

✔ Breathing;

✔ Circulation;

✔ Hormone production

The pH level of the blood plasma and of the external and internal cellular fluids must be kept within a small range of fluctuation under all circumstances - the body is ~70% water-based, and the pH level of the various body fluids inside and outside of cells must be kept within narrow limits in order for many different body processes to be carried out in a controlled way.(E.g. to sustain life, blood plasma pH must be 7.35 –7.45).

Some pH levels of the Body Fluids

- There are 3 main compartments of body fluids, each separated by selectively permeable cell membranes:

Internal Cellular Fluid 2/3 of body fluid is INSIDE cells

(1) Intracellular fluid

Plasma membranes of individual body cells separate intracellular fluid from interstitial fluid

Extracellular Cellular Fluid (ECF)

1/3 of body fluids is OUTSIDE cells

(2) Interstitial fluid

(also called intercellular fluid)

Bathes outside of cells;

~ 80% of ECF;

EEndothelial cells separate interstitial fluid from plasma

(3) Plasma (yellow-colored liquid component of blood, in which blood cells are suspended)

~~ 20% of ECF

Other ECF fluids

Include lymph, CSF, synovial fluid, humors of the eye, endolymph, perilymph, serous fluids, and glomerular filtrate

Body Area

pH

Comment

Tissues that deal with the external environment

Acidic

Colon, skin, vagina, stomach, lymph node fluid need an acid pH for proper function

Extracellular fluid(Blood plasma and interstitial fluid)

Alkaline

Venous blood;

Interstitial pH is ~7.35 (H+ = 40 nmol/l)

Intracellular fluid

Slightly alkaline

~7.0 (H+ = 100 nmol/l);

Urine

Acidic

Ideal morning urine pH should be 6.4 - 6.8

Saliva

~Neutral

First morning saliva pH should be 6.8 - 7.2

All other organs and fluids will fluctuate in their range in order to keep the blood at a strict pH between 7.35 and 7.45 ((slightly alkaline) - This process is called homeostasis. The body makes constant adjustments in tissue and fluid pH to maintain this very narrow pH range in the blood. A normal pH of all tissues and fluids of the body (except the stomach) is slightly alkaline. The stomach pH is much more acid than the intestinal pH because the stomach needs an acid environment (hydrochloric acid) to break down food for digestion. Whereas, the flora (good bacteria) of the intestine need a more alkaline environment to assimilate and process the nutrients from the foods digested by the stomach.

Measuring Body pH

Using pH paper - We can get a pretty good idea of the pH of our body tissues and internal fluids by using pH paper in saliva and urine.

Saliva pH reflects your success in creating an alkaline condition within your body – it should be 6.5-7.5 all day for someone in a healthy state. pH readings should be taken one hour before or two hours after a meal. A pH below 6.0 indicates that you should pay immediate attention to alkalizing your diet.

Urine pH reflects the pH corrections by the kidney buffer systems - E.g. An alkaline urine simply shows that some alkaline minerals are being discarded by the body.

People in North America tend to consume too much calcium and sodium andinsufficient magnesium and potassium - This is often reflected in urine tests which show calcium and sodium being excreted while magnesium and potassium are being retained.

Buffering Systems

(regulatory systems which compensate for the excess acid or base)

These are the main systems that buffer acids and bases by functioning in equilibrium with each other:

–   Chemical buffer systems – act within seconds

–   Respiratory compensation -respiratory center in the brain stem acts within 1-3 minutes; This system is in play when you become “out of breath “after exercise - your muscles produce lactic acid, which is breathed out in the form of CO2 with a stepped up breathing rate.

–   Renal mechanisms –require hours to days to effect pH changes

The body's pH-regulating organs, LUNGS, LIVER and KIDNEYS, remove acidic end products - which would otherwise “corrode”tissues and disrupt cellular activities and functions. For more technical information on how the body buffers excess acid so prevalent today:

Body's buffering systems

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