Your acid alkaline balance is a critical factor for both disease prevention and how well you age. This means understanding your body’s pH and its effect on your health is a critical component for a successful anti aging strategy. Some would even consider your body’s pH the single most important item to pay attention to for both optimal health and disease prevention. Because of the scope of this issue, I have divided the acid alkaline debate into two parts. To set the stage for Part 1 we need to discuss the following topic.
In the early 1900s the life expectancy in the United States was under 50 years of age. Over the last 100 years our life expectancy has increased to approximately 80 years of age, a 60% increase. Most experts in this area would attribute this increase to lower infant mortality, better diet, and improved hygiene. However, an interesting trend is occurring. With all the medicine and prescription drugs available to us today, especially here in the United States, we are continuing to move down on the life expectancy charts when compared to other countries. We are currently 48th in life expectancy.
With a 60% increase in life expectancy, why do we rank 48th in the world? Maybe it has more to do with what we eat and drink then what kind of medical attention we receive. To highlight this thought we only need to look at how the health risks from obesity have overtaken the health risks from cigarette smoking. We are literally eating and drinking our way to an earlier death. Plus, we are creating an acid alkaline balance within our body that is leading to an increased risk of disease.
Want to Live Cancer Free?
Why can certain cultures live relatively cancer free and we can’t? It’s an important question. The Hunza people frequently live to between 120 to 140 years of age and, for the most part, remain healthy. In 1904, only 1 out of every 24 Americans developed cancer in their lifetime. Currently, the cancer rate in America is 50% for men and 60% for women. For the year 2006, it is expected that nearly 1.4 million Americans will have been diagnosed with cancer and more than 550,000 will have died from it. Granted most of the people back in 1904 didn’t live past 50 but is there a common cause for cancer and many other diseases that are impacting our society today? How much does this acid alkaline balance impact your health?
The following quotes may help you rethink how you take care of yourself:
“It is natural for physicians to focus on treatment. A far better focus is prevention.”
Giulio J. D’Angio, M.D., former Chairman of the Department of Radiation Therapy, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
“Each time a patient comes in and needs cancer therapy, you could say it was a failure of prevention.”
Dr. Samuel Broder, former Director of the National Cancer Institute
Knowledge is the Precursor to Prevention!
Notice the common theme from each of these prominent doctors. The theme is prevention. Prevention is taking the steps before hand to prevent something from occurring. If we want to prevent cancer, or certainly reduce our risk for cancer, then we need to educate ourselves and then take the necessary steps to apply that information. Most people want the federal government, the managed health care industry, the pharmaceutical companies, the food manufacturers, and the fast food chains to come up with the solution. Prevention starts with you and ends with you! As Dr. C. Everett Koop, former Surgeon General of the United States, said, “The best prescription is knowledge.” I want to help give you knowledge about the important of your acid alkaline balance.
The Great Debate!
Your acid alkaline balance is one of the central issues in this increased health risk for cancer. As you gain knowledge in this area, you will also see how it affects obesity, diabetes, heart disease and a whole host of other health issues.
To understand your acid alkaline balance we need to understand “pH” and a little Chemistry 101. I’m going to try to make this easy to understand. The pH scale measures the degree of acidity or alkalinity of a substance and ranges from 0 to 14:
The lower on the scale below 7 the more acidic something is and the higher on the scale above 7 the more alkaline something is.
Now this is what gets most people confused about the acid alkaline balance. The pH scale is not arithmetical but logarithmic. Logarithmic means that the values separating each unit are not of equal value along the scale but increases in proportion to their distance from a pH of 7. For example, a pH reading of 6 is 10 times more acidic than 7, but a pH of 5 is not 20 times more acidic but 100 times more acidic. If you’re catching on, then a pH reading of 4 is 1000 times more acidic than a pH of 7. Given this fact, what would seem like a small change in the acid alkaline balance and be no big deal is, in reality, a big deal to your body.
Although some organs and organ fluids (like the gastric region) have a higher or lower pH than what is normal for the body, your body functions best when the pH of the internal biochemical environment (your blood, lymph and intracellular fluids) is between 7.365 and 7.390. If you understand the pH scale from above, then you can see that the body likes to keep itself slightly alkaline and in a very narrow range. Anything outside this acid alkaline range causes stress on the body. The farther outside this range, then the stress on the body goes up exponentially.
Although a person may occasionally become alkalosis (a reading higher than 7.390), most people lean toward becoming acidosis because of the food they eat. This acidification of the internal terrain of the body has been directly and indirectly linked to the following ailments:
Although this isn’t a complete list it does give you a picture of how acidity can affect your body. In fact, if you Google search “death by disease” you will find a strong correlation between the two lists. Some people will go so far as to say that:
In reviewing the literature for this article I cannot completely endorse those statements. But it is quite clear that an acidic environment creates a much more favorable environment for diseases of all types to flourish.
The pH value for Coca-Cola is 2!
The importance of this issue of pH and your health can best be shown by example. In this case the example is Coca-Cola which has a pH value of 2. That would make it 100,000 times more acidic than a pH of 7. If your diet is lacking in alkalizing foods, then your body has a problem. It wants to maintain a slightly alkaline environment. To offset the acidic environment created by the Coca-Cola, your body is going to pull calcium and other minerals from its system. Usually the calcium is taken from your bone structure especially if your diet is poor in alkaline foods and lacking in mineral and trace mineral intake. This is a recipe for osteoporosis.
So, how do you know if you’re a walking flask of acid and are creating the potential environment for disease? I’ll cover that in "The Acid Alkaline Balance Part 2!" I’ll also provide you with 6 steps to go from acidic to alkaline. These steps will help you make a significant improvement in your overall health and reduce your risk for disease.
Until next time, may we both age youthfully!
P.S. As a convenience, I’ve also included links to the following cancer articles:
The information contained in this website and posted articles are for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information contained in this website and posted articles has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.