We have priorities for survival as we need to breathe and sustain our heartbeat. Hence, the metabolic function has to maintain the specific pH which most of the time, we always take advantage of the pH level. We never realize that it is the most essential balance systems that our body has to maintain. The term pH means potential hydrogen or the amount of hydrogen ions in every particular solution. When there are more ions, the more the solution becomes acidic, and vice versa.
First and foremost, the most significant pH level that our body must maintain is the blood’s pH level. The implication of the pH in blood is very important because it determines the amount of oxygen present in the blood. In a scale of 0-14, as 7 is the mid-range, below this range is acidic and the upper scale is the most alkaline. The blood pH has to maintain the slightly alkaline range which is 7.4, and the blood in the veins is 7.35. If there is any decrease in pH level, it may result to debilitating the cells. As the result, other organs and fluids will eventually fluctuate leading to numerous types of diseases, or even death.
The Process of Homeostasis
Our body can make constant adjustment and the process is called homeostasis. The normal pH level of all fluids and tissues is slightly alkaline, except for stomach in which it has to have an acidic environment for proper digestion. On the other hand, the good bacteria called flora in the intestine need an alkaline environment in order to process the nutrients digested in the stomach.
Our body has the ability to create a buffering system in which chemical process naturally protects the body against the acids. However, the buffering has to utilize lots of nutrients from our body which includes the electrolyte minerals like organic sodium, potassium, magnesium, and others.
These electrolytes played the major role in metabolic functions and when our body loses the remaining reserves, this is where the imbalance starts. Most people suffer from pH unbalanced as their body is forcing those electrolytes from the bones and vital organs to buffer the acid and safely discharge those from the body through sweating, urinating, and bowel movement.
Consequently, as we grow older, the more we are losing the sufficient reserves we need to refine the acid-forming foods. Therefore, the moment we run out of electrolyte minerals, our body cannot longer maintain the state of equilibrium – the so called homeostasis.
How Does pH Affects the Body System
The belief of doctors, nutritionists, and even herbalists come into one main thought- that numerous illnesses raging in the society boils down in pH level. Over acidity is a dangerous and serious condition that can weaken our body system.
This concept evolves in several decades ago when Dr. William Howard published a book titled A New Health Era. The book revealed how self poisoning or autotoxification due to acid accumulation can debilitate the function of body system.
To add more, in recent published book titled Alkalize or Die of Dr. Theodore Baroody, he intelligently explained that the countless names of several diseases come in the same root cause- excessive tissue acid waste accumulated in the body.
To give you an overview what may happen if the pH levels altered the body system, take for example how the intestines are robbed of those electrolyte minerals. It can leave the intestines and bowels open to microbes, pathogens, or parasites, and therefore, irritable bowel syndrome may occur.
Another thing, the depleted organic sodium can disrupt the production of hydrochloric acid needed in the stomach for proper digestion. The imbalance of digestive tract can result to several types of digestive problems. Likewise, the effect to immune system of electrolytes depletion can lead to disruption of overall function of the body weakening its ability to fight any kind of viral infections. A simple explanation whereas when our body becomes too acidic, infections can easily proliferate.
To be more particular, acidosis can cause cardiovascular damages, weight gain, kidney and bladder conditions, immune deficiency, free radicals damage leading to premature aging, hormone concerns, joint problems, low energy, slow digestion, and fungal overgrowth.
How foods can affect the pH balance?
It is proven already that diet can directly affect the pH balance of the body. Thus, alkaline diet proponents suggest that 80% of our diet should consist of more vegetables and alkaline foods and only the remaining 20% are acidic foods. It is very easy to determine what foods are alkaline in nature, as well as the acidic foods. Processed foods are definitely acid-forming, while most of the green leafy vegetables and fruits are alkaline-forming. Consumption of the following can also affect the acidity level of the body: caffeine and soft drinks, meats, fish, most grains and legumes, dairy products, white sugar, medical drugs, ascorbic acid, etc.
Although a universal diet may not work for some particular person, choosing the high-quality foods and avoiding foods (high fat, toxic food residues, and mucus forming) which are mainly source of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, or cancer have to be the main concern of everyone. Along with proper and balanced diet is regular exercise and worry free lifestyle or if not, reduced the amount of stress, as much as possible.
Monitoring the pH level
You can personally monitor your pH level with the use of testing strips available at your local pharmacy. Either you can test your saliva or urine. Urine testing indicates how well the body can assimilate those electrolytes minerals such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium. The urine is the most perfect way to remove those excess acids in the body that alkaline substances cannot buffer. On the other hand, saliva testing indicates the normal activity of the digestive enzymes in our body. The stomach, pancreas, and liver manufactured those enzymes.
When it comes to urine, the normal pH is around 6.0 and the saliva has to maintain between 6.0 and 7.4 pH levels. For saliva, the testing has to be done 3 hours after the meal. The color chart will inform you the correct indication. While urine is more acidic, the urine pH is best to conduct first thing in the morning.
We can therefore conclude that our body can assimilate minerals and essential nutrients only if we maintain the pH level of our body system. We can see that over acidity is the imbalance commonly seen in our society nowadays that contributes to diseases that kill many lives. Therefore, balanced diet, regular exercise, and healthy lifestyle can dictate how long we can survive and live life to the fullest.