pH is a measurement of hydronium ions in a substance. Low pH equals less Hydronium ions, equals an ‘Acid’ state (<6.2 on the pH scale).
High pH equals high Hydronium ions, equals a ‘Base’ state (>6.8). Normal blood pH is 7.4, slightly alkaline. It’s the Kidney’s job to maintain that blood pH by taking what it needs during the filtration process. Body chemistry is such a hard thing because there are so many components. Our body pH is one of those components. Mineral absorption, enzyme catalysts, vitamin availability, and cellular metabolism are all affected by changes in pH (Mercola) and vice versa.
Remember how important Iodine is to Thyroid function? This chart shows the pH range of elements' most effective assimilation in the body. Notice Iodine has the narrowest margin. Recall that the Thyroid hormones T3 and T4 both are made up of Iodine molecules. So wouldn’t it be wise to at least see what balancing pH does before hormone replacement therapies? Many in the 'Natural Health community' have used this chart to monitor and adjust their urine and saliva pH through dietary changes for decades and they say the health benefits are clear. Many in the ‘scientific’ world argue that a link between disease and pH has not been PROVEN. Ironically, both sides can use the same research studies to argue their opposite conclusions!
On more than one level pH balance and the debate surrounding it indicates the state of our culture’s health and it’s understanding of health. Diseases common now (diabetes, obesity, endocrine disorders, depression, auto-immune disease etc.) were not so 50 to 100 years ago. Have our genetics changed so much in 3 generations? Can we blame everything on that? Disease does not just happen for no reason. There are causes in health, just like there are cause/effect relationships in the rest of reality. Our lifestyle is changing our health.
It seems as though no matter what you say, someone will be ready and more than willing to argue with you. The more personal (and powerful) the issue, the harder the fight. Christmas Nativities, politics, healthcare…better get on guard!
Those of us advocating personal responsibility for health by considering lifestyle changes in a locally produced, non-GMO, organic diet, productive exercise, toxin reduction, and natural health alternatives are a likely target.
We are not professional researchers or academicians. We just love seeing people’s lives improve. Our hope is that people will make their own choices instead of relying on what someone else read, thought, printed. We like to live by a ‘risk management’ approach—if the ‘risk’ of trying something (with no chance of harming us) is outweighed by the POTENTIAL benefits…that’s a risk worth taking. Why let someone else tell you what is or isn’t possible? Try it yourself!
Because body pH and it’s effect on health has been written about so much, with the attendant diets and products designed to address it, many sharply criticize it’s validity. They say “more research is needed”, and the research that has been done is “largely observational”.
What is generally accepted is that the typical American lifestyle (diets poor in nutrition and enzymes, and lack of exercise) tends toward an Acid state. It’s also known that many diseases, including cancer, thrive in acid environments (PubMed.gov). So why not try to balance pH?
- Hydrate--drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces per day of the highest quality water you can get. i.e. 200 lbs = 100 oz of water (around 3 quarts) per day.
- Exercise--your lymphatic system is your drainage system to get rid of acidic toxins. Muscle movement ensures lymph movement.
- Get your Colon healthy--the gut is not only where nutrition is absorbed into the blood stream, it's how most of the toxins drained by the lymphatics get eliminated.
- Try a tonic of Apple Cider Vinegar--try it for a month…what do you have to lose? See below for how to make it yourself.
- Try Young Living’s AlkaLime for a month…again why wait for somebody to do a study…do your own study. "AlkaLime® is a precisely-balanced alkaline mineral complex formulated to neutralize acidity and maintain desirable pH levels in the body. Infused with lemon and lime essential oils and organic whole lemon powder, AlkaLime also features enhanced effervescence and biochemical cell salts for increased effectiveness. A balanced pH is thought to play an important role in maintaining overall health and vigor."
- Improve your diet--increase your fresh leafy
greens and bright veggies. Decrease your processed and low-quality foods.
Apple Cider Vinegar is cheap and easy to make. A google search will give you a dozen differentmethods, from buying juice and a Bragg’s Vinegar with ‘mother’, to starting from scratch. What we do is soak apple leftovers (cores, peels, over the hill ones lost in the bottom fridge drawer, etc) in 2 quart mason jars. Fill the jar up ½ way with apples, add 1 cup raw sugar or honey, and fill to ¾ full with pure water. Plastic yogurt or similar containers can be cut out to fit the jar diameter. These push down the floating apples below the water level. Weight them down with small jars filled with water and cover with a coffee filter on the top. These are left for 10 days, then strained—don’t worry about getting all the tiny apple pieces, you can skim the top if needed. ACV will give ‘mothers’ similarly to Kombucha. If there is one available, we add it now, cover and let stand for 2 to 4 months depending on fermentation speed. For a daily tonic we take a Tbs of ACV and a Tbs of our own raw honey in 8oz of pure water.
One of my favorite productive exercises on sunny winter afternoons is double digging my raised garden beds. It won’t make you an Olympic athlete, but it sure does burn calories and you get the added mineral bonus of playing in the dirt! Double digging is best done when the soil is warm for the microbes to get full benefit, but I invariably don’t get to all my beds during the busy fall period. Basically, you turn over the topsoil, adding humus and compost as you go. I like to take care of weed roots and let the chickens have the beetle larvae along the way. If you don’t have a garden, double digging in the winter is a good way to start a small victory garden space. Mulch deeply when you’re done to prevent runoff leeching away your good stuff. A great way to learn about gardening if you’re not willing or able to in your own space is to find a local Community Supported Agriculture garden to volunteer some muscle. It’s a great way to build up the soil and your soul at the same time.
Next time we'll look at the tiny Parathyroid glands. Like the other endocrine glands they have a hugely important role in the body. Calcium regulation is the Parathyroid's wheelhouse.