The Acid-Alkaline Myth: Part 1

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Many of you have probably heard of the "alkaline diet." There are a few different versions of the acid-alkaline theory circulating the internet, but the basic claim is that the foods we eat leave behind an "ash" after they are metabolized, and this ash can be acid or alkaline (alkaline meaning more basic on the pH scale).

acid alkaline, alkaline myth
Smoothies containing vegetables are alkali forming. Derkien/iStock/Thinkstock

According to the theory, it is in our best interest to make sure we eat more alkaline foods than acid foods, so that we end up with an overall alkaline load on our body. This will supposedly protect us from the diseases of modern civilization, whereas eating a diet with a net acid load will make us vulnerable to everything from cancer to osteoporosis. To make sure we stay alkaline, they recommend keeping track of urine or saliva pH using pH test strips.

In this two-part series, I will address the main claims made by proponents of the alkaline diet, and will hopefully clear up some confusion about what it all means for your health.d

Will eating an alkaline diet make you and your bones healthier? #alkalinediet #bonehealth

Foods Can Influence Our Urine pH

Before I start dismantling this theory, I want to acknowledge a couple things they get right. First, foods do leave behind acid or alkaline ash. The type of “ash” is determined by the relative content of acid-forming components such as phosphate and sulfur, and alkalis such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. (1, 2) In general, animal products and grains are acid forming, while fruits and vegetables are alkali forming. Pure fats, sugars, and starches are neutral, because they don’t contain protein, sulfur, or minerals.

It’s also true that the foods we eat change the pH of our urine. (3, 4) If you have a green smoothie for breakfast, for example, your pee a few hours later will likely be more alkaline than that of someone who had bacon and eggs. As a side note, it’s also very easy to measure your urine pH, and I think this is one of the big draws of the alkaline diet. Everyone can probably agree that it’s satisfying to see concrete improvements in health markers depending on your diet, and pH testing gives people that instant gratification they desire. However, as you’ll see below, urine pH is not a good indicator of the overall pH of the body, nor is it a good indicator of general health.

Foods Don’t Influence Our Blood pH

Proponents of the alkaline diet have put forth a few different theories about how an acidic diet harms our health. The more ridiculous claim is that we can change the pH of our blood by changing the foods we eat, and that acidic blood causes disease while alkaline blood prevents it. This is not true. The body tightly regulates the pH of our blood and extracellular fluid, and we cannot influence our blood pH by changing our diet. (5, 6) High doses of sodium bicarbonate can temporarily increase blood pH, but not without causing uncomfortable GI symptoms. (7, 8) And there are certainly circumstances in which the blood is more acidic than it should be, and this does have serious health consequences. However, this state of acidosis is caused by pathological conditions such as chronic renal insufficiency, not by whether you choose to eat a salad or a burger. In other words, regardless of what you eat or what your urine pH is, you can be pretty confident that your blood pH is hovering around a comfortable 7.4.

A more nuanced claim has been proposed specifically regarding bone health, and this hypothesis is addressed somewhat extensively in the scientific literature. It supposes that in order to keep blood pH constant, the body pulls minerals from our bones to neutralize any excess acid that is produced from our diet. Thus, net acid-forming diets (such as the typical Western diet) can cause bone demineralization and osteoporosis. This hypothesis, often referred to as the “acid-ash hypothesis of osteoporosis,” is what I will discuss for the rest of this article. I’ll address some of the other health claims in part two.

The Kidneys—Not Bone—Regulate Blood pH

While more reasonable than the first claim, the acid-ash hypothesis seems to completely disregard the vital role the kidneys play in regulating body pH. The kidneys are well equipped to deal with “acid ash.” When we digest things like protein, the acids produced are quickly buffered by bicarbonate ions in the blood. (7) This reaction produces carbon dioxide, which is exhaled through the lungs, and salts, which are excreted by the kidneys. During the process of excretion, the kidneys produce “new” bicarbonate ions, which are returned to the blood to replace the bicarbonate that was initially used to buffer the acid. This creates a sustainable cycle in which the body is able to maintain the pH of the blood, with no involvement from the bones whatsoever.

Thus, our understanding of acid-base physiology does not support the theory that net acid-forming diets cause loss of bone minerals and osteoporosis. But just for argument’s sake, let’s say that our renal system cannot handle the acid load of the modern diet. If bones were used to buffer this excess acid, we would expect to see evidence of this taking place in clinical trials. Alas, that is not the case.

Clinical Trials Do Not Support the Acid-Ash Hypothesis of Osteoporosis

At first glance, some of the studies may look convincing, because higher acid diets often increase the excretion of calcium in the urine. Some researchers assumed that this extra calcium was coming from bone. (8) However, when calcium balance (intake minus excretion) was measured, researchers found that acid-forming diets do not have a negative effect on calcium metabolism. (9) Some studies found that supplementing with potassium salts (intended to neutralize excess acid) had beneficial effects on markers for bone health, which would tend to support the acid-ash hypothesis. However, these results were only observed in the first few weeks of supplementation, and long-term trials did not find any benefit to bone health from these alkalizing salts. (10)

Finally, even though the hypothesis holds that higher intakes of protein and phosphate are acidifying and therefore detrimental to bone health, multiple studies have shown that increasing protein or phosphate intake has positive effects on calcium metabolism and on markers for bone health. (11, 12) Summarizing the clinical evidence, two different meta-analyses and a review paper all concluded that randomized controlled trials do not support the hypothesis that acidifying diets cause loss of bone mineral and osteoporosis. (13, 14, 15)

So, it appears that neither physiology nor clinical trials support the acid-ash hypothesis of osteoporosis. But again, just for argument’s sake, let’s suppose that these trials are imperfect (which they are, of course; no science is perfect!), and thus we can’t depend on their conclusions. If the acid-ash hypothesis of osteoporosis were true, we would expect to see an association between net acid-producing diets and osteoporosis in observational studies. Yet again, this is not the case.

Observational Studies Do Not Support the Acid-Ash Hypothesis of Osteoporosis

Observational studies have not found a correlation between dietary acid load and bone mineral density (BMD) or fracture risk, nor have they found a correlation between urine pH and BMD or fracture risk. (16, 17, 18) Additionally, higher protein intakes are correlated with better bone health in multiple studies, even though high-protein diets are generally net acid forming. (19) In fact, animal protein in particular (the most acid-forming food of all) has been associated with better bone health. (20, 21) Imagine that! One study included in a recent meta-analysis did find an association between higher protein intake and greater risk for fracture (22), but compared to the numerous more recent studies showing the opposite, this evidence isn’t very strong. Overall, the acid-ash hypothesis of osteoporosis is not supported by physiology, clinical trials, or observational data.

Hopefully I’ve given you a decent understanding of how our bodies handle pH balance, and have reassured you that you don’t need to worry about the acidity of your urine with regards to bone health. Click here for part two, where I tackle some of the other claims of the alkaline diet!

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  1. Wow. Perfect timing. I was just wondering about this and thinking I would have to read that book!! What about the PH of saliva? What influences that? My dentist told me that I have acidic saliva and that it is affecting my teeth in less than savory way.

    • Acidic saliva will leach calcium from your teeth, while a more alkaline saliva encourages tooth remineralization. You can directly alkalize your mouth by brushing with baking soda toothpaste and rinsing with baking soda after meals (1 tsp/1 cup water). Test the pH of your toothpaste and mouth rinses and choose those that are alkaline. Almost all mouth rinses and non baking soda toothpastes are on the acidic side. You can also test your morning saliva with pH strips to see if your diet plays a role. Personally, the more potassium I eat, the more alkaline my saliva. Even if this doesn’t reflect my body’s pH, it shows that my mouth is more alkaline, encouraging tooth remineralization.

      • Thank you. I do make my own “toothpaste” of baking soda, coconut oil and an essential oil of peppermint and / or wintergreen. I just never thought of rinsing with baking soda after meals.

    • Jac
      Bacteria in your mouth is directly related to bacteria in your gut. Fixing your gut will fix your mouth bacteria. bacteria in the mouth, being lil’ oxidizing powerhouses will always affect the ph of your saliva. Other factors we have see in testing is that something as simple as thinking about your fave dessert will change the ph of the mouth saliva.

      We now recommend saliva testing for pH even less than urine testing, and as stated previously, rely on ketone meter to evaluate our success or failure to convert from an acidic inner environment to a normal paleo one.

    • Saliva is alkaline, not acidic. Although studies have shown that the thought of certain foods can change salivary pH the pH still remains alkaline. The alkalinity helps to neutralize the acids formed by bacteria in the mouth. Excessive levels of these acid forming bacteria or dry mouth can lead to increased acidity in the mouth.

  2. Ian Blair Hamilton above, discusses cancer as a metabolic disease – Dr. Tom Seyfried can also be heard on video presenting at a symposium of the Ancestral Health Society :
    http://www.ancestryfoundation.org
    (No doubt many on this site are aware of these talks, but I think it is worth mentioning).
    The society has 95 informative and thought provokong videos viewable on both Vimeo and You Tube.

  3. Hi Chris, Yes, I agree the body “tightly regulates the pH of our blood” and yes, blood pH will consistently remain close to 7.4 unless a person is critically ill. But this does not mean that people don’t develop chronic low-grade metabolic acidosis and that this condition contributes to poor health. In fact, this catabolic condition is much more common than most realize. I also agree with you that there is no correlation between urine pH, metabolic acidosis, bone mineral density or fracture risk. I don’t think that there are many people out there who disagree with this..at least those who understand the pathophysiology of osteoporosis. But this does not mean that testing urine pH is bogus or that it has no place in the clinical setting. Testing urine pH can be extremely helpful especially for promoting patient compliance to a healthy high fruit and vegetable diet.

    All patients are metabolically different and the causes of bone loss are complex—acid-base balance is only one aspect of osteoporosis. I describe osteoporosis as a collision between immunological dysfunction and the body’s energy regulatory mechanisms. This collision is then influenced by hormonal, mechanical, neuronal, and transcriptional regulatory arms of bone remodeling—and all of this is embedded in a pH and temperature sensitive environment.

    If you notice, I mention body pH as only one part of the equation. For strong bones, an individual’s immune system must be in balance, their hormones effective, and their nerve flow optimal for osteoclasts and osteoblasts in bone remodeling to remain coupled. Immerse all of these factors in a suboptimal pH (or a system that struggles to maintain this pH) and it just may not function as well. Does this mean that an acidic pH will give a person osteoporosis? No. Does it mean that a diet high in acidic foods will cause bone loss….well, no, not directly. But it does mean that it may have a detrimental effect on the function of the “whole-body” and if a person’s immune system or hormone system or digestive tract is in any way compromised then in all probability pH and his or her dietary choices will create a greater impact on bone health.

    I don’t think anyone would disagree that chronic systemic low-grade metabolic acidosis is destructive to bone and to health in general. The problem arises when advocates of the acid-ash hypothesis begin to oversimplify things by suggesting that we choose foods based on acidity or alkalinity and that this will determine the density of our bones. This creates a skewed view of what is healthy to eat and what is not. There are many “acidic” foods that are healthy. In fact certain amino acids from protein with their additional carboxyl groups are helpful for eliminating acids from the body. Adequate protein intake is important not only for building strong muscles but also for building bone matrix and for important blood buffering properties.

    Testing first morning urine pH is not meant to determine if a person is alkaline or acidic. It is simply a tool to help monitor a person’s acid/alkaline contribution of food and how their body metabolizes it. If they eat a lot of greens with alkaline salts then urine alkalinity will increase. If they eat lots of meat, cheese, and ice cream, their urine will become more acidic. It isn’t that his or her blood pH is changing but rather by seeing this measurement in living color (pH strips) they are encouraged to eat the things that will provide them with the substrate (minerals, etc.) that their body will need to regulate pH.

    I don’t believe that the acid-ash hypothesis is meant to refute the importance of buffering bicarbonate ions and the roll the kidneys and lungs play in regulating body pH. It only states that acid-ash intake is fundamentally important to health and the development of disease. Unfortunately, kidney dysfunction, even when mild, can reduce the body’s ability to eliminate acid. Any decrease in kidney function or any increase in metabolic acidosis for what ever reason (inflammation, stress, etc.) can have far reaching detrimental effects: elevated blood pressure, insulin resistance, and osteoporosis, to mention just a few. Encouraging a diet high in alkalinizing potassium salts, magnesium and sodium (not sodium chloride) from fruits and vegetables (and when necessary adding supplemental potassium salts) will ensure an effective potassium and sodium-rich bone membrane (another important buffering strategy developed by the body for maintaining normal body pH) as well as other numerous beneficial health effects. I explain this in more depth in my book The Whole-Body Approach to Osteoporosis but I hope this adds a bit to the discussion.

    • Dr. McCormick, I really appreciate your comments as my interest in body pH came from reading your excellent book. Your comments help bridge the gap between what I learned about metabolic acidosis and inflammation in The Whole-Body Approach to Osteoporosis, and what Chris is saying about the acid-alkaline myth.

    • I think what needs to be pointed out is the fact that we are not talking about blood pH, which is tightly controlled by the body regardless of diet. It is the flesh of the body that we’re talking about, and the buildup of acidic wastes in the fatty tissues. In other words: body pH. They are two separate entities.

      • The pH of the tissues is also tightly regulated normally by the blood, which exchanges with the tissues all the time if everything is working properly. So acids almost never build up in the tissues. The only two examples of acid build up in tissues I can think of is gout and pseudogout.

        If people really stop and think about it if tissues were really building up with acids then why do some of these tissues develop calcifications? Examples include plaque build up in the arteries, bone spurs, calcifications of brain neurons associated with Alzheimer’s, gallstones and calcium based kidney stones. Calcium is made soluble by acids and precipitates out of solution by alkalinity. Using the same common sense then how is it that this alkaline calcium is contributing to these diseases when the alkalizing supporters keep claiming that acids are the basis of all diseases? Again, people need to start getting their health information from credible sites and start using some COMMON SENSE!!!

        • The key phase in your post is “if everything is working properly”. You are talking a theoretically normal person with no physical problems eating a good diet… not the people that flood sites like this one with various symptoms they are not getting any help with from their doctors. Their doctors received virtually no nutritional training in med school and couldn’t spot a nutritional deficiency if it bit them in the ass. Many of us don’t agree with your generalizations when you use this theoretical ‘normal’ person as the basis to your theories. That ‘normal’ person you base everything on is getting rarer and rarer to come by.

          Magnesium deficiency causes calcification of soft tissues. Magnesium deficiency first causes low potassium and eventually low blood calcium as calcium become more of a toxic substance in the body and gets inappropriately stored in the soft tissues in this acidic milieu the body finds itself in during common magnesium deficiency. Question is are 50% of us magnesium deficient as it is estimated?

          My calcium deposits showed in chest x-rays that startled my doctors… who of course could give me no reason for my prematurely calcified sternum or the spots. Magnesium IVs and oral supplements slowly dissolved almost all the calcium deposits and reversed my acidic system.

          • Yes, if everything is working properly. There will be times things will go wrong such when someone suffers a trauma or is born with a genetic disorder.

            What you are overlooking though is that disorders in which acids can build up in the body are EXTREMELY rare.

            “Many of us don’t agree with your generalizations ”

            Sorry people on your planet feel that way. But people here on Earth can check the facts in things we call “medical journals” or “anatomy and physiology” texts among other more credible sources of health information.

            “That ‘normal’ person you base everything on is getting rarer and rarer to come by.”

            Depends on how much you wish to stretch your claim. What I was originally addressing was your claim about acids building up in tissues, which again is EXTREMELY rare here on Earth. Again, the only examples I can think of are gout and pseudogout. The blood can become acidic as well in very rare instances such as diabetic ketoacidosis or if you decide to drink some antifreeze. So I don’t see how you can seriously claim that this is a common thing when it rarely ever occurs.

            There is a lot more to the deposition of calcium in parts of the body. Even though magnesium is an antagonist to calcium, regardless of potassium, this does not mean that low magnesium is the cause of calcification. Take for example bone spurs. These have NOTHING to do with magnesium levels. Bone spurs occur from overly tight tendons pulling on bone at the tendon connections. This stimulates the piezoelectric effect of bone causing the electrodeposition of calcium at those connection points.

            As for your question there would be no way to prove one way or the other if 50% of the population is magnesium deficient. Being though how much magnesium people get from different sources such as supplements, greens, chocolate, etc. I would seriously doubt that claim.

            The biggest problem to your last claim is that once again, acidity of the blood and especially acid build up in the tissues are extremely rare. And I doubt if you were diagnosed as having “premature” calcification of the sternum being that some calcification of the costal cartilage is common by the age of 20. in addition as I pointed out previously calcium deposits in an ALKALINE environment and is made soluble by an acid environment. Therefore, if your tissues were really acidic as you claim then you would not have had precipitation of calcium in the tissues to begin with.

      • Why are you thanking Ted? All he is doing is posting whatever studies he thinks supports his view without specifying what parts of the study he believes supports his view. For example, he posted some studies earlier trying to support his belief that cancer cells have an acidic pH that helps them to survive and thrive. He posted studies discussing the external matrix, which IS NOT the cancer cells.

        And let’s look at the study he posted a link to here
        “Examining the relationship between diet-induced acidosis and cancer”. So what does the study say?:

        “Extracellular acidity is mostly generated by tumor cells due to upregulated proton [H+ and lactic acid production ”

        So first of all they are saying external acidity, which again IS NOT the pH of the cancer cell. Studies have shown again and again that the internal pH of cancer cells is not only more alkaline than healthy cells but also that excess alkalinity morphs healthy cells in to cancer cells.

        Furthermore, it has been known for decades that cancer cells DO NOT produce lactic acid. They generate NON-ACIDIC lactate, which can be re-used by the cancer cells as fuel.

        So he can post old, outdated studies that he does not understand all day long but this does not mean the studies he presents prove his point nor yours.

  4. I’m glad you tackled this topic Chris. This is one area that I’ve been particularly interested in and I’m very glad a real expert is taking a close look and providing us with a clear understanding of what seems to be the truth with regard to acid/alkaline balance.

    While the food we eat may not impact our pH, the important thing that I’ve learned from self experimentation, is that (at least for me) a good balance of “alkaline” foods like vegetables and fruits are very important for me to feel and function my best. At one time I was eating a very high protein, moderate fat and almost no carbohydrate diet and I began to experience some unpleasant symptoms from aching bones to digestive problems. Once I added the veggies and fruit back into the mix, I felt an almost immediate improvement in all areas.

    Dr. Ben Kim wrote an article (http://drbenkim.com/ph-body-blood-foods-acid-alkaline.htm) about this topic that I found interesting and to me it makes sense – basically our body can handle a highly acidic diet but too much acid forming foods can require our “buffering systems” to work extra hard which could possible throw some things out of whack. That’s an over-simplified explanation of his article of course but to me it makes sense – there has to be a balance for everything to work optimally and finding the optimal balance for our own body is the key.

    I’ve read quite a bit about how stress can affect your pH as well and I’m curious what you think about the effects that stress has (or does not have) on our pH or the systems that manage our pH levels.

    • Tim, may I suggest (respectively) that from the data you supplied, fat needs more attention. Fat is the source of ketones, your natural energy source.

    • Stress is not going to affect pH for the same reason diet does not. The body regulates its pH tightly. Any acids formed by stress would be immediately offset by respiration. Think about it, when we are under stress our respiration increases, which removes carbon dioxide and hydrogen ions thereby reducing acidity.

      • Wow! WRONG AGAIN!!!!
        Stress grossly affects the adrenals, pH, and everything in your body!
        Where is your research!?!

        • Yes, stress affects the adrenals. That does not mean it affects pH.

          So where is your peer reviewed research proving stress causes the blood to go acidic. You keep asking me to provide research, which I have been doing, but you have yet to provide any research to back your claims such as stress causes acidity. Instead you are telling me to provide the research to prove your claims false. Things don’t work that way. You need to provide the peer reviewed studies to back your claims since you are the initial claimant.

          • I think your are completely wrong. I was severely stressed last year and now i have much digestive issues. My stomach acid is too high our too low, i dont know but it startend after i was stressed.

            • We were discussing the myth that stress makes the blood acidic. You are referring to stomach acidity, which is not the same thing.

  5. So what about folks who claim to have cured their cancer by taking sodium bicarbonate or to lower their blood pressure by taking potassium bicarbonate? My wife has been taking the latter and her blood pressure has come down but she is doing other things as well.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6LiHYLXBV4

    • Sodium bicarbonate ingestion will not cure cancer.

      Potassium bicarbonate ingestion can help with SOME cases of high blood pressure as the reaction with stomach acid forms the salt potassium chloride. Potassium displaces sodium lowering blood pressure in cases of sodium retention associated hypertension.

      On the other hand the long term use of bicarbonates can lead to a whole host of health issues due to decreased nutrient absorption. Lack of stomach acid also leads to decreased methylation that leads to problems such as heart disease, decreased tissue healing, depression, immune suppression, further decreases in stomach acid, etc. A lack of stomach acid also increases the risk of illness due to the ingestion of pathogens that will not be killed as they would normally when sufficient stomach acid is present. If potassium is helping she would be much better off simply taking a potassium supplement such as potassium gluconate or potassium rich foods like papaya, kiwis, mangoes, watermelon, citrus and ripe bananas.

  6. I think there is a synthesis here. Your article makes some very general assumptions about alkaline minerals and bone loss but does not look at the effect adequate alkaline buffers have in the body. Of course eating alkaline food won’t change the pH of the blood! But conversely, eating excess acidifying food will cause the body to bring into effect the many processes of rebalancing an acid imbalance. There’s a really simple analogy here, and I have seen many doctors ignore it. Take a bucket of water. Add acid. Keep adding acid. Now the bucket is very acidic. This is our body: it does not have infinite pH balancing capability and all pH readjustment of the body obeys the strict laws of physics and chemistry, albeit sometimes in mysterious ways. So to suggest that a human ‘bucket of water’ can somehow infinitely adjust its pH with no outside help seems specious at best. The body isn’t beyond the laws of nature and the laws of nature say that the only way to return the bucket of acidic water to a neutral “healthy” state is to add alkalis.

    Regarding the Osteo-pH theory I have some sympathy for Chris’ statement that there is no link between intake of alkalis and bone health – or more clearly, the excess of acidity and bone decay. Having been on an alkaline diet for the last 13 years I was dismayed to find (as a result of a broken leg from a relatively minor accident) that I had serious osteoporosis. Layman level web research revealed the missing link. Gut health, and particularly Vitamin K2 support the laying down of new bone, and calcium supps can have no effect without the support of this vitamin. I am slowly rebuilding my bones with daily K2, D and A. Significantly, the best source of K2 is grassfed beef – a paleo favourite.

    I’d like to add that one comment made the point that the minimal amount of red meat and the large amount of greens that are the basis of paleo can definitely be seen as an alkaline diet. However I’d like to stretch the envelope a bit here.I just finished reading Dr Thomas Seyfried’s paper ‘Cancer as a Metabolic Disease’ and was hugely impressed by his synthesis of Warburg’s cell respiration and glycolysis theories of cancer creation and the later genomic causes. In it he points out that there may well be a cycle of accelerating cancer as poor cell respiration and high glucose levels support formation of cancerous cells, but that once cancer begins, it may take advantage of the genetic dispositions of the host to accelerate growth. The factors he isolated; cellular respiration (AKA energy feed and transfer to and from the cell ) and the great advantage cancer takes of a higher than usual supply of available glucose showed me – to my layman’s brain – that by reducing sugar in any form we can begin to cancer-proof ourselves, but by adopting a paleo diet and activating the ketonic system we can support proper and natural cellular respiration. Fats and ketone bodies replace glucose as the nutrition of the cell, thus depriving cancer of its advantage. Further, fats & ketones support healthy cells, but not cancer cells. In this sense cancer cells have specialised themselves into a corner; rob them of their specialised food – sugar, ensure the precancer cell has the right food in the form of ketones and fats, Another way of looking at this diet is calorie restriction, which has a known beneficial effect on inflammation, one of the causes of poor cellular respiration.

    Which brings me back to the alkaline part of what I like to call the alkaline paleo diet. It’s my belief that greens are an essential part of the paleo diet to balance (yes, pH balance) the fats and meats we consume. Greens are great because their major health payoff is antioxidant capability. ROS are inevitably linked with inflammation, inflammation is, from Dr Seyfrieds, article supportive of reduced cell health. But my question is exactly HOW do greens become antioxidants.The actual form of an antioxidant is a hydrogen ion that has the ability to unite with reactive oxygen species, or more specifically, unite with them to create H2O. So the alkalis in greens react in the body and as they break down hydrogen ions are released.

    The difficulty I see in many people on the Paleo diet is that they just can’t eat enough greens, and so a paper on findings of the effects of hydrogen water was very interesting. If we eat greens primarily to get a supply of antioxidants, and the antioxidants are actually hydrogen ions, then it would appear that we can shortcut or support the antioxidant process simply by drinking hydrogen water. And again, in my layman mind, I see antioxidants (oxidants being acids) as definitely fitting in with Seyfrieds’s sequence of events that the body is capable of in preventing the formation of cancerous cells.

    So I agree with some particulars in this report. I agree that a urine test is not an accurate predictor of a body under acid threat. We now use a ketone meter because it gives us a clear and measurable indication that the body is now out of the sugar cycle and producing ketones – a much more relevant indicator not necessarily of pH levels in the body, but of what we are seeking to achieve as a result of measuring our pH levels. I have seen many, many people go onto alkaline water, for instance, and watched their disappointment as their urine pH tests did not significantly change

    I also agree that the blood remains relatively stable, but disagree that this is the relevant measure of pH health. I think the constant adjustment and balancing of the body to support the blood’s pH limits to be a form of stress and ongoing in most modern acidic lifestyles, thus causing its own circular response of inflammation, further balancing and further acidification metabilcally and as a natural result of inflammation.

    Finally, the headings, the kidneys, not bone, manage pH is misleading because no-one (and I acknowledge there is some very unscientific statements from the alkaline diet people) ever said bones regulate pH. Bones are the victims of pH regulation and we have to see this in the context of constant and systemic acidification of a level never before experienced in history. A constantly excessively acid-loaded body must run out of alkaline buffer minerals and the body,a s we all know has a whole range of obscure, but effective strategies for using parts of itself to save those parts it deems more needed for survival. Dr Amy Lou Lanou’s book Building better Bones, describing a metastudy of over 1200 calcium supplementation studies, concludes that excess protein is a definite and constant acidifier because the body simply converts excess protein to acids. She describes in detail the process of bone stripping the body resorts to in cases where no other option is available.

    I look forward to your next edition. Alkaline diet is something that seems so simple that it has become popular. I agree that the science to support the more popular claims we hear is not there. It is an internet born and raised diet. To see how significant it really is just go to Google trends and compare paleo diet with alkaline diet. But let’s see what it is showing us about where we find ourselves in these extraordinary times. We DO ingest more acidic food than we ever have. We DO have chronic inflammation as a nation, not to mention diabetes and we DO generally die of cancer. Let’s look beyond the populist theories and do the work to find what is really happening at a cellular level. seyfried’s article helped me connect the dots, and once connected, they led me to a new appreciation of moderate protein, alkaline greens and hydrogen water in my personal diet.

  7. Thank you for the interesting research Chris.
    After many years as a (supposedly very healthy) vegetarian and vegan my spontaneously fracturing skeleton is proof of the fallacy of this pH myth ! And I’m not alone – I have friends and associates now with severe low bone density, some of them fracturing also.
    We believed that our meat-free, alkaline diet, very high in fresh fruit and vegetables, would protect our bones. We can’t be the only ones. Others must be similarly affected, but not yet aware of a looming problem !
    Many studies on veg(etari)ans have been conducted over a short time frame. I’ve not seen any long term (25 years +) studies. The problem is worse with vegans than vegetarians. Unfortunately, many of the latter are ‘Soyatarians’, who shun dairy, and are therefore virtually vegan.
    The problem is not too many fruits and vegetables, but rather too little ‘first class protein’. Ample vegetable protein didn’t suffice.
    Transitioning to a vegetarian/vegan diet can often bring health benefits, especially when moving off the SAD diet.
    BUT – the effect of deficiencies (of protein, Vit K2, Calcium, B12 and B6, Retinol, Omega 3 fatty acids, etc.) on bone takes many years to become evident.
    I have heard that Seventh Day Adventist vegetarians who consume consume liberal amounts of dairy are not so affected. Can anyone verify this information ?
    It would be interesting also to learn how the vegan community ‘The Farm’, Tennessee established by Steven Gaskin over 30 years ago, has fared. Does anybody know ?

    • There is much more to bone health than is being stated. For example, you mention protein. Plants can have more protein with a better amino acid profile than animal sources. So it is not just protein required. The role of protein in bone is the formation of the collagen matrix, which requires proline, lysine and glycine along with other nutrients such as zinc, copper and vitamin C.

      The real key to strong bones though is silica, which not only helps in the formation of the collagen matrix, but also aids with calcium absorption and is responsible for the actual mineralization of bones. Without sufficient silica you can take all the protein you want and take minerals all day long and your bones would still be falling apart.

      As far as dairy goes, dairy does not build bone it breaks down bone. Protein in dairy blocks calcium absorption, but not the absorption of the phosphorus. The increased levels of phosphorus lead to pseudohyperparathyroidism, which results in the breakdown of bone as the parathyroid glands release extra parathyroid hormone. This is why the U.S. and Finland are the largest consumers of dairy in the world and have the highest rates of bone loss.

    • Edith – It’s not alkalinity that has failed you, it is the lack of proteins, fats, B12, etc that has caused your bone deterioration. A vegetarian diet is very hard on the body. Humans need a healthy balance of animal and plant foods. There is no benefit from excluding one from the other, and soybeans are not fit for human or animal consumption. Read The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith. Also check out ancestralhealth.org (Nora Gedgaudas), livingfuel.com, and mtcapra.com.

  8. High protein diets increase calcium absorption and calcium secretion and to lower parathyroid hormone which suggests that protein primarily increases calcium absorption rather than primarily increasing calcium secretion

    For people who want to associate acidosis with cancer, etc. Look for proper causes of acidosis like hypoxia, poor kidney function and lactic acidosis (think T2D).

    • Protein does not increase calcium absorption, it blocks calcium absorption. This is why milk is such a bad source of available calcium and where the milk causes mucus myth comes from. Because protein blocks calcium uptake the calcium in milk has to go somewhere so it ends up calcifying the normal, thin, existing mucus that always exists in our throats. This makes the mucus thicker and stickier so it is more noticeable.

      The primary reason for calcium loss from bones is from hyperparathyroidism and pseudohyperparathyroidism. The former is most often from benign parathyroid tumors that are believed to result from a lack of active vitamin D3. In the later the process is triggered by an excess intake of phosphorus from sources such as dairy, red meats and colas.

        • Again I have no idea what your point is by these studies. The first study is discussing kidney stones, which has nothing to do with my reply. Most oxalate stones are the result of excess oxalate being formed in the blood, not from diet as dietary oxalates bind with minerals in the diet and thus tend to not get absorbed. Instead they are excreted still bound in the feces.

          By the way, did you read this part of the first study?:

          “There are certain shortcomings in the study.”

          One of the shortcomings of the study is the fact that the body has to excrete excess calcium and magnesium to prevent problems in the body. For example, hypercalcemia can cause mental fogginess, high blood pressure, constipation, muscle cramps/spasms, etc. Excess magnesium can cause low blood pressure and diarrhea that could lead to electrolyte imbalances.

          I am not going to bother reading the other studies since I have no idea what the point is you are trying to make with them since you are not stating your point.

          But I am going to add that yes, bicarbonate can prevent bone breakdown by inhibiting the acid formed by the osteoclasts produced to break down the bone tissue for remodeling. Inhibition of bone remodeling may maintain bone density, but it also makes bones weak and increases the risk of fractures. Same principle by which osteoporosis drugs known as bisphosphonates make the bones harder, but they also significantly increase the risk of bone fractures in large part from creating very poor quality bone from inhibiting normal bone break down.

          • The last study Ted Hutchinson lists above in Sep 2 2013, flies in the face of the main article that says excess acid food intake can be dealt with to 100% through increased CO2 and urinary acid excretion. The study showed more than 10% reduction urinary calcium through bicarbonate ingestion. It also showed that participants with the lowest urinary acid excretion also had the lowest Calcium loss, which was reduced by addition of bicarbonate. Hence it looks like I need to check William Davis references as he could be right that it is the high (modern) grain content causing osteoporosis after all.

            But what puzzles me also is why bone-building works in younger years but not so well in older, on same grain rich diets! So Chris probably have a few points too!
            That metabolic acidosis is coupled with pulmonary alkalosis is well known, but usually the last leg for many with faster and faster breathing. Not a way for a healthy person to balance acidity.

      • According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, *raw* unpasteurized milk contains enzymes such as phosphatase and fat soluble vitamins A, D3, K2 that allow for the absorption of calcium and magnesium. Heat pasteurization denatures these enzymes and deactivates vitamins, and thus pasteurized milk is a poor source of calcium.

        • Funny that you say you don’t see what Ted’s point is for posting studies, yet, you yourself have Failed to even post one.
          Do you have any published studies on this topic? Have you done research in a controlled laboratory? Do you really think that Johns Hopkins with all their research would release an article backing up the truth that acidity is where cancer thrives and it is our food that affects our body’s pH?

          Please enlighten us instead of arguing everyone else’s point as if you are the all wise one. Believe me, I hated giving up my sugary all carb diet, but it was killing me! You have no idea what havoc a highly acidic body can reap on a person unless you have experienced it yourself! It is horrible! I am all the empirical data that I need to know that I am right because I have actually LIVED it!

          It’s fine if you don’t want to believe the same, but don’t stand on your soap box telling others they are wrong when there are people out there with serious pain and no doctor has been able to find the source. All because of their highly acidic and overgrowth of fungus in their body. And additionally, their leaky gut caused by genetically modified wheat! They need to know that there is hope and that it does begin in their diet.

          • Hi Mindy,

            OK, you want references? References proving that the internal pH of cancer cells are highly alkaline to allow the cancer cells to survive and thrive:

            Vacuolar H(+)-ATPase in Cancer Cells: Structure and Function. Atlas of Genetics and Cytogenetics in Oncology and Haematology Sept. 2011

            Vacuolar H_-ATPase in human breast cancer cells with distinct metastatic potential: distribution and functional activity. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 286: C1443–C1452, 2004

            References showing that excess alkalinity promotes the conversion of healthy cells in to malignant (cancerous) cells:

            Na+/H+ exchanger-dependent intracellular alkalinization is an early event in malignant transformation and plays an essential role in the development of subsequent transformation-associated phenotypes. FASEBJ 2000 Nov;14(14):2185-97

            Tumorigenic 3T3 cells maintain an alkaline intracellular pH under physiological conditions. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1990 October; 87(19): 7414–7418

            31P NMR analysis of intracellular pH of Swiss Mouse 3T3 cells: effects of extracellular Na+ and K+ and mitogenic stimulation. J Membr Biol 1986;94(1):55-64

            Extracellular Na+ and initiation of DNA synthesis: role of intracellular pH and K+. J Cell Biol 1984 Mar;98(3):1082-9

            Alkalinity also drives glycolysis by cancer cells:

            Role of the Intracellular pH in the Metabolic Switch between Oxidative Phosphorylation and Aerobic Glycolysis-Relevance to Cancer. Cancer 2011;2(3):WMC001716

            The research exists if you bother to take the time to look.

        • In my opinion the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) is a joke. They are just paid spokespeople for the beef and dairy industries who fund them. And I have written a number of things exposing their fraudulent claims.

          For example, raw milk does not contain vitamin A unless added after milking the cow. Milk contains beta-carotene, which can be converted in to vitamin A.

          Raw milk only contains traces of vitamin D and not as vitamin D3. Instead, the trace of vitamin D in milk is in the form of inactive D2 provided by the plants the cows consume.

          Milk is fortified with vitamin D to help counteract some of the calcium absorption blocking effects of the protein in milk.

          Studies have shown that there is no difference in calcium absorption between raw and unpasteurized milk for a very simple reason. Even though pasteurization denatures the enzymes in milk so does the acidity of the stomach:

          Unpasteurized milk. The hazards of a health fetish. JAMA, 1984. 252(15): p. 2048-52.

          It has been shown though that the denaturing of proteins by pasteurization does make the milk proteins as easy if not easier to digest compared to raw milk:

          Raw milk and health in humans. Can Med Assoc J, 1982. 26(11): p. 1260-2.

          Ultra High Temperature Treatment, but Not Pasteurization, Affects the Postprandial Kinetics of Milk Proteins in Humans. J. Nutr. December 2008 vol. 138 no. 12 2342-2347

          • A lot of what you say makes sense, but some of it is blatant jumps in logic. Like saying that western price backs the dairy industry, when in fact they only back a marginalized part of it and make battle with big dairy institutions no doubt that funded the research you refer to in relation to dairy products. Your approach to everything tends to be very black and white. I have news for you things are not as simplistic as you sometimes make out. The world is in colour. You have given me much to think about. I have known for a long time that some trace minerals and nutrients have a role to play in blood ph and as far as they support the bodies systems to regulate ph at least they have influence on ph. Also stimulation of HCl acid has influence on ph as improperly digested food can influence gut flora. Inadequate HCl (& other digestive juices) also can promote Candida overgrowth. If not enough bicarb is released from the pancreas it could also mess up ph of gut environment. So saying that food doesn’t have a role in ph is false. Leafy green vegetables stimulate HCl which helps to mean that we get the benefit from proteins and minerals, the stimulation of bile is also related which enables to get benefit from fat. When we have poor nutrition or stress and our thyroid/adrenals get under the weather, stimulation can stop working from that end as well. Your statement that stress does not effect PH in the blood is false as stress effects breathing, it effects digestion and it effects hormones, it effects glands, all of which can effect the ph of the blood or the ability of the body to regulate the ph of the blood. While the standard hypothesis on ph has lots of holes. In practice a large people get benefit without properly understanding it and some of it being counter productive.

            While it is true that phytates provide a vital function, too much can be a problem and can lead to deficiencies in minerals. My family lived on soy for most of my life and ended up nutritionally depleted despite having a very healthy diet otherwise. The western price diet only reduces Phytates a a small amount it does not remove them altogether. So on the western price diet I probably have a higher intake of phytates then most people, because a lot of nutrient dense foods contain phytates. Your premise regarding phytates assumes that people produce adequate amounts of bile, on the low fat diet most live on this is unlikely (incidentally a diet of heavy fluctuating fat & oil levels in diet is a good way to get gall stones). It also premises a high level of waste removal through the bile. If there is insufficient to make up for the amount of phytates then they will attach to or stay attached to beneficial minerals. A diet with adequate levels of the right fibres and enough phytates along with regular bile stimulation should be enough for removal of toxic minerals. Transport of toxic mineral from around the body to the gallbladder is still of course needed.

            In summary easy with the logic jumps and over simplification. Thanks for your insight and giving me some things to think about James. Also if John reads this thanks too for the article very interesting.

              • “Like saying that western price backs the dairy industry, when in fact they only back a marginalized part of it”

                Do I really have to be that specific for you? That would be like if you claimed the FDA was corrupt I would have to come back and point out to you that only some FDA officials are corrupt. Point is that people use generalizations all the time and the vast majority of people realize that and factor that in.

                “I have known for a long time that some trace minerals and nutrients have a role to play in blood ph and as far as they support the bodies systems to regulate ph at least they have influence on ph. ”

                Again, the main pH regulation is through respiration, not minerals. In fact, most of the body’s pH regulation is not influenced by minerals. So I guess you were using one of those generalizations we were just discussing. I guess the world is not as black and white as you are making it out to be.

                “Also stimulation of HCl acid has influence on ph as improperly digested food can influence gut flora.”

                Improperly digested food does not affect the flora. The flora feed in fibers, which are not digested by the human body. In the process the flora generate acids that keep Candida in check.

                “Inadequate HCl (& other digestive juices) also can promote Candida overgrowth.”

                Misleading. As I just pointed out Candida is kept in check by the acids generated by the flora. The ONLY role that stomach acid plays in controlling Candida is keeping Candida out of the stomach. Nowhere else in the body. And “other digestive juices” have nothing to do with this. Pancreatic enzymes and bile are not going to affect Candida.

                “If not enough bicarb is released from the pancreas it could also mess up ph of gut environment.”

                Again, misleading. If not enough bicarbonate is being released then you would have severe acid induced ulcerations of the intestines. How often is this seen if ever?

                “So saying that food doesn’t have a role in ph is false.”

                First of all I said virtually no influence on pH. And everyone here, except you apparently, realize that we are talking about blood pH, not intestinal pH.

                Food plays little direct effect on blood pH. Most pH control is done through respiration followed by dumping of protons through the kidneys.

                “Leafy green vegetables stimulate HCl which helps to mean that we get the benefit from proteins and minerals, the stimulation of bile is also related which enables to get benefit from fat. ”

                Again misleading. The release of stomach acid can occur with any food, water or even anticipation of eating. So to imply that you need leafy green vegetables to stimulate HCl secretions is way off base.

                As for bile, the release of bile is stimulated by the presence of fats, which can be found in various foods including junk foods. Again, you do not need green leafy vegetables for this.

                Speaking of bile, the release of cholecystokinin, which stimulates bile release inhibits stomach acid production. So once again things are not nearly as black and white as you are trying to make them out to be.

                “Your statement that stress does not effect PH in the blood is false as stress effects breathing, it effects digestion and it effects hormones, it effects glands, all of which can effect the ph of the blood or the ability of the body to regulate the ph of the blood.”

                I see you only read the one sentence and ignored the rest of what I said so you could make your point. What I pointed out AFTER that sentence is that the body will simply readjust its pH back to the normal. I was discussing long term pH abnormalities, which stress is not going to cause. If it did we would be dead since both acidosis and alkalosis can cause death. But how many times have I explained the very temporary pH alterations from hyperventilation, which can occur from stress? Hyperventilation will make someone highly alkaline for a extremely short period of time because this causes us to pass out from lack of blood flow to the brain When we pass out respiration slows or stops temporarily allowing carbonic acid to build back up to restore normal pH. Again, there is no long term pH imbalance, which was pointed out in the rest of my comment and you chose to ignore. Again, the world is not as black and white as you keep trying to make it out to be. To see the color you need to pay attention to all the facts being presented and not just portions so you think you can form a valid argument.

                “While it is true that phytates provide a vital function, too much can be a problem and can lead to deficiencies in minerals. ”

                This is a very common myth I addressed previously here:

                http://medcapsules.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=2791

                Do you think there is only one cause of nutritional deficiencies? Sorry, but things are not that over simplistic.

                By the way, I was raised on soy since I was an infant and have eaten it throughout my life. I have never had any nutrient deficiencies. Again, there are various reasons for nutritional deficiencies, but phytic acid in grains and other seeds are not one. That is just internet propaganda.

                “Your premise regarding phytates assumes that people produce adequate amounts of bile”

                You assume too much. Again, the phytic acid in grains and other seeds are ALREADY bound to minerals the plants pick up from the soil. The only way the phytates can pick up minerals from the body is to release the minerals they are already bound to. All that takes to understand such a simple concept is a little common sense. And again, phytates have a higher affinity for toxic free iron and heavy metals than they do beneficial minerals. So phytates do not “rob” the body of minerals, nor are they harmful. They actually provide beneficial effects to the body.

                “on the low fat diet most live on this is unlikely (incidentally a diet of heavy fluctuating fat & oil levels in diet is a good way to get gall stones)”

                Once again, things are not black and white. Fluctuating oil/fat levels does not cause gallstones. Most gallstones are cholesterol based and the cholesterol most often supersaturates the bile to form stones due to excess cholesterol secretion in to the bile and bile stagnation. The most common reasons for these are high levels of estrogen and progesterone or a lack of dietary fats. Not fluctuations in dietary fats. Other factors that can contribute include a lack of lecithin, lack of dietary fiber sources that include phytate containing grains or sudden, extreme weight loss.

                “It also premises a high level of waste removal through the bile. If there is insufficient to make up for the amount of phytates then they will attach to or stay attached to beneficial minerals.”

                Insufficient what? And again, the phytates have a higher affinity for toxic free iron and heavy metals than they do for beneficial minerals.

                “Transport of toxic mineral from around the body to the gallbladder is still of course needed.”

                Once again you are looking at this in black and white instead of color. Many toxic minerals can be eliminated through various means having NOTHING to do with bile. For example, how many toxic and “non-toxic” minerals are eliminated through the kidneys? Bile is not excreted through the kidneys.

                “In summary easy with the logic jumps and over simplification.”

                Listen closely to your own advice. You really don’t understand how the body functions or the beneficial role of compounds such as phytates.

                • You deliberately misinterpreted what I said. You attack everyone on here. I said some positive things about your ideas. I cannot be bothered with someone as negative as you. I can’t see getting anywhere. There is no point talking with someone who is dishonest. I am pretty sure that I understand this stuff far better then you. How can I not when you are so blinkered. You don’t even figure the point that nutrition and stress e.t.c have on breathing. An example of your failure to be an honest person is that you jumped from me saying that bitter herbs stimulate HCl to that they are the only thing that does. Also that it is the only thing that stimulates Bile when I actually indicated Fat was the main thing. Never did I say that fat wasn’t in bad food etc. So that assertion was just completely made up by you. You are interested in winning debates not in truth, or in caring about other people. I really hope that your attitude changes in the future, so that your mind could be put to more productive use then jumping to conclusions.

                • Robin that is exactly it. He wants to win a debate and the truth goes out the window. He is shamelessly lying and not even attempting to verify anything you have to say. If I were you I would just ignore him like I do. He is a classic internet troll.

                  BTW… Paleo Huntress says “James is the expert, not me. And I mean that, he is that ACTUAL, in-the-lab, pH expert. Your comments here are meaningless next to his.”

                  Does anyone else find that strange that she is going down to the mat for this guy despite his obviously ramblings and troll behavior on here?

                • finndian,

                  Are you familiar with Tolkien’s works? You are the Wormtongue of this forum. If you have nothing to add to the discussion but to cast suspicion and provide conjecture, your time would be better spent elsewhere.

                  “Keep your forked tongue behind your teeth.”

                  http://youtu.be/b3w6c7RUbUs?t=1m20s

  9. Thank you for the timely article. I was recently diagnosed with HASHIMOTO’S but am following a paleo AIP diet. I have lost 111 lbs 18 months. But the theory you just dispelled eases my irrational fears of a toxic death.

  10. When we do research for information, we should look at the issue from all angles that will help us find the focus of the issue after having had its holistic view. Otherwise, we are just like the three blind men try to figure out what an elephant looks like.
    I am sure that I will not buy into the idea of installing alkalizing water device at my home. But, I do believe foods do affect our pH in an insidious way, unless we eat certain foods in a large amount during a short period of the time.
    To help all of us storm our brain a bit, I want to share with you the idea of using lemon juice for resolving gouty arthritis, which is a result of crystallization of uric acid. And, uric acid is crystallized when the blood pH is “slightly” shifted into acidic and/or the temperature went down significantly. To question that foods do not affect blood pH, we should question why lemon juice would work well in helping ease gouty arthritis and reduce the serum uric acid level. Similarly, digesting sodium bicarbonate, tart cherry juice, apple cider vinegar, as well as Vitamin C also are reportedly helpful.
    Yes, both the lungs and the kidney, with the buffer system, help us regulate the pH of the blood and are trying to maintain the latter close to 7.4 as possible, However, before we find our urine is acidic, what has happen to the pH of the blood, was it at 7.4 all the time? Was it slightly acidic that triggers the buffer system and drive the excess acid out and/or stimulates the lungs to breathe harder for driving out more carbon dioxide?

  11. Hi Chris
    Thank you for your explanation of pH. Soil pH and our gut pH function the same. I have an agricultural background and when the gut of cattle change in pH there is a completely different microflora, species etc, this basically comes about from the eating a grain based diet. If they eat too much grain and the microflora can’t change quick enough the animal can die of acidosis, too much ammonia going into blood stream. So diet and pH can have serious consequences.

    Also relating to agriculture, if there is no healthy soil microbiology (which is predominately the situation across most os our agricultural soils) then plant root system act like straws sucking up water soluble nutrients/fertilisers, and the predominate fertilisers we use in agriculture are phosphorus and nitrogen both acidic elements. So majority of plants we are eating are in fact high in phosphorus and nitrates. This is something our bodies never had to deal with before about 50 years ago.

    Also relating to agriculture when soil pH is too low or too high there is less mineral uptake by plants even though there is plenty of the required minerals in the soil, the plant will be deficient in that mineral.

    I am in a situation where we see countless people who have cured their body of cancer mainly by increasing the pH of there body. I know of one man who 2 months ago was told he had lung cancer and he had 6 months to live, there was nothing they could do, a friend told him to alkalise his body, which he is doing, his tumour, in 2 months has gone from 7cm to 1 cm.

    I think the increase in consumption of grain and sugar in our diets has really effected pH negatively.I had a very acid body, my joints were stiff in the morning,pain in different parts of my body allergies etc. I spent 6 months getting the acid out of my body and now fell great. I eat a diet with moderate grass fed animal protein and heaps of vegetables.

    I know you think it is a myth and there is no evidence, but there is something definitely positive going on when people eating to increase their pH, I see hundreds of positive cases and usually within a month they feel dramatic results.

    • Ammonia does not cause acidosis. Ammonia is highly alkaline and thus too much ammonia would cause alkalosis.

      Excess ammonia in the blood does not result from eating grains or to much meat. Excess ammonia generally indicates liver failure, but can have other causes including medications and metabolic disorders.

      As far as phosphorus and nitrogen go neither contain hydrogen and thus do not have a pH. Phosphorus can form acidic or alkaline compounds just like nitrogen.

      Regarding cancer you cannot alter your pH with diet. The body will simply adjust its pH back to normal range regardless of what you eat. Eating a healthier diet though can boost the immune system and eliminates hormones from meat that can promote cancer. Nothing to do with pH.

  12. When we do research for information, we should look at the issue from all angles that will help us find the focus of the issue after having had its holistic view. Otherwise, we are just like the three blind men try to figure our what an elephant looks like.
    I am sure that I will not buy into the idea of installing alkalizing water device at my home. But, I do believe foods do affect our pH in an insidious way, unless we eat certain foods in a large amount during a short period of the time.
    To help all of us storm our brain a bit, I want to share with you the idea of using lemon juice for resolving gouty arthritis, which is a result of crystallization of uric acid. And, uric acid is crystallized when the blood pH is “slightly” shifted into acidic and/or the temperature went down significantly. To question that foods do not affect blood pH, we should question why lemon juice would work well in helping ease gouty arthritis and reduce the serum uric acid level. Similarly, digesting sodium bicarbonate, tart cherry juice, apple cider vinegar, as well as Vitamin C also are reportedly helpful.
    Yes, both the lungs and the kidney, with the buffer system, help us regulate the pH of the blood and are trying to maintain the latter close to 7.4 as possible, However, before we find our urine is acidic, what has happen to the pH of the blood, was it at 7.4 all the time? Was it slightly acidic that triggers the buffer system and drive the excess acid out and/or stimulates the lungs to breathe harder for driving out more carbon dioxide?

    • The answer to why lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and tart cherry juice all help with gout is simple. They all contain malic acid, which dissolves uric acid. It has nothing to do with changing the pH. Tart cherries also contain procyanidins that help reduce the inflammation.

      • Uric acid is acidic. Does it really matter if the malic acid dissolves the uric acid? The end result is still less acidity. It does have to do with changing the ph. If malic acid dissolves the uric acid, the end result is less acidity. Please do not attempt your circular reasoning.

        • How did you come to your incorrect conclusion of less acidity?

          Clearly you missed the important fact that the body maintains a tight regulation on its pH. So reducing one acid does not necessarily mean there will be less acid overall.

          Even the neutralization of acid by sodium bicarbonate, produced in the body, results in acid production. And the reaction of carbonic acid on alkaline ammonia both produced in the body results in the formation of another acid.

          So please show all of us the exact chemistry that allows acid levels to decrease as malic acid dissolves uric acid. Good luck!!!

  13. Thanks for this summary, Chris, very, very interesting.

    A few years ago, an elderly (87 yr) friend had me install a kitchen-counter-top device that was plumbed into the tap water under the sink, and produced a reservoir of alkaline drinking water. Drinking x number of glasses of this stuff a day was supposed to alleviate all sorts of symptoms and diseases. I didn’t want to install it, and was ready to give him my perspective on this device. But after he told me that it cost him several thousand dollars, with no return guarantee, I kept my mouth shut, bit my tongue so that my head would not explode from frustration, and installed it. Later I did a bit of research on the internet, and ended up feeling that there was little if any supportive science behind it, and that the company was ripping off gullible oldsters that had more money and health worries than science sense. But I didn’t delve deeply into the studies at the time.

    Have any of you seen these things for sale?

    • Bill, the device does assist through supplying infused hydrogen but there is no need to pay thousands. You can get the same effect from a non-electric device like the one I invented here alkaway.us.

  14. I am the author of the book “The Doctor Who Cures Cancer.”

    The author is correct in that being too alkaline can make a person sick as well as being too acidic.

    There are actually three distinct patterns when talking about urine pH. While blood pH stays within tight parameters of 7.35 to 7.45, the urine pH should fluctuate daily. The urine pH balance point is 6.2, but daily readings should be both above and below 6.2 pH. Any other pattern indicates one of two distinct metabolic imbalances which can cause various illnesses, including cancer.

    It is probably due to the various different patterns that each distinct pattern has been missed.

    Dr. Emanuel Revici made this discovery of dualism. In the hospital he founded, as many as 150,000 urine pH tests were conducted a year for well over a decade. He was the only person with the actual data regarding pH patterns and the evidence that showed how the imbalanced anabolic or catabolic patterns related to the patient’s pathology.

  15. As well, the theory is based on basic chemistry of conjugate acids and bases [correct me if I’m wrong] and this is not the same thing as acid base balance in the body

  16. Thanks for this. Having worked in a hospital for 12+ years I’ve seen first hand what real changes in blood pH do but you’ll only see it if you work in an ICU….true alkalosis and acidosis is a life threatening condition, and no, putting lemon in your water in the morning ain’t gonna do it

    • Perhaps not, but as any endurance runner knows… a teaspoon of simple baking soda has a dramatic effect on blood PH.

      • Again that is an old myth. It was once thought that during heavy exercise the body generated lactic acid. The fact is that no human cell produces lactic acid, not even cancer cells. They generate non-acidic lactate, which can actually be used to generate energy for the cells.

        A spoon full of baking soda will merely neutralize the stomach acid, with the release of carbon dioxide that ironically mixes with water in the stomach forming carbonic acid. The reaction will form sodium chloride salt providing an electrolyte for the body, but there would not be enough baking soda surviving the stomach acid to make any significant difference in the blood pH.

        • I am assuming that the point Finndian was making is based on the importance of Electrolytes. Especially while running long distances and consuming lots of water.
          Just google “death of marathon running right before finish line”. Zero electrolytes means no K+, Cl, Cal – all which are needed for our cells to communicate.

          When I did a half marathon last year there were salt stations for us to replenish our electrolytes.

        • Re: James to Finndian;
          Again that is an old myth. It was once thought that during heavy exercise the body generated lactic acid. The fact is that no human cell produces lactic acid, not even cancer cells. They generate non-acidic lactate, which can actually be used to generate energy for the cells.

          James are you referring to the Lactate produced by “anaerobic glycolosis” I would disagree, because if I eat too much carbs, I start hurting. I have to eat smaller portions more frequently.

          Also why are Fibromyalgic’s “exercise resistant” and flare up after exercise, catching up on chores etc.?

          • “James are you referring to the Lactate produced by “anaerobic glycolosis” I would disagree, because if I eat too much carbs, I start hurting. I have to eat smaller portions more frequently.”

            A fact that a lot of people are not aware of is that anaerobic glycolysis occurs in the body 24/7 as part of the body’s energy production. Cells utilize anaerobic glycolysis followed by oxidative phosphorylation for ATP formation.

            “Also why are Fibromyalgic’s “exercise resistant” and flare up after exercise, catching up on chores etc.?”

            Fibromyalgia has a lot to do with a lack of muscular ATP. In fact we similar symptoms as a side effect of cholesterol lowering statin drugs, which reduce muscular ATP leading to rhabdomyolosis and heart failure.

            So the answer could be as simple as during exercise the muscles cannot keep up with the higher demand for ATP production since the muscles were deficient in ATP to begin with.

  17. Thanks, Chris, for the great article. It cleared up a lot for me, and I’m looking forward to the next part. My mom, who is vegan, is always telling me I’m making my body too acidic by eating generous amounts of meat. Obviously, we disagree on that subject. 🙂

    Keep up the great work. You are appreciated!

    Kay

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<div class='gf_browser_unknown gform_wrapper qc_box_container_wrapper gform_legacy_markup_wrapper' id='gform_wrapper_9' ><form method='post' enctype='multipart/form-data' id='gform_9' class='qc_box_container gform_legacy_markup' action='/the-ph-myth-part-1/comment-page-2/' novalidate> <div class='gform_body gform-body'><ul id='gform_fields_9' class='gform_fields top_label form_sublabel_below description_below'><li id="field_9_1" class="gfield field gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_9_1"><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_1' >Email<span class="gfield_required"><span class="gfield_required gfield_required_asterisk">*</span></span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_email'> <input name='input_1' id='input_9_1' type='email' value='' class='large' placeholder='Your Email' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" /> </div></li><li id="field_9_2" class="gfield health-concern field field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_9_2"><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_2' >I want to improve my...</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_select'><select name='input_2' id='input_9_2' class='large gfield_select' aria-invalid="false" ><option value='' selected='selected' class='gf_placeholder'>I want to improve my...</option><option value='Weight' >Weight</option><option value='Energy' >Energy</option><option value='Digestion' >Digestion</option><option value='Brain' >Brain</option><option value='Overall Health' >Overall Health</option><option value='All of the Above' >All of the Above</option></select></div></li><li id="field_9_4" class="gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_9_4"><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_4' id='input_9_4' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='5493' /></div></li><li id="field_9_5" class="gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_9_5"><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_5' id='input_9_5' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='Gut Health' /></div></li></ul></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type='submit' id='gform_submit_button_9' class='gform_button button' value='Download eBook' onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} jQuery("#gform_9").trigger("submit",[true]); }' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='is_submit_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_submit' value='9' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_unique_id' value='' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='state_9' value='WyJbXSIsIjVkYTAyNjYxOTg4ZDNhZGQwOTU0Yzc4NDcyNDk5YmM4Il0=' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_target_page_number_9' id='gform_target_page_number_9' value='0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_source_page_number_9' id='gform_source_page_number_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_field_values' value='popup_name=Gut+Health' /> </div> <p style="display: none !important;"><label>&#916;<textarea name="ak_hp_textarea" cols="45" rows="8" maxlength="100"></textarea></label><input type="hidden" id="ak_js_6" name="ak_js" value="95"/><script>document.getElementById( "ak_js_6" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() );</script></p></form> </div>
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<div class='gf_browser_unknown gform_wrapper qc_box_container_wrapper gform_legacy_markup_wrapper' id='gform_wrapper_9' ><form method='post' enctype='multipart/form-data' id='gform_9' class='qc_box_container gform_legacy_markup' action='/the-ph-myth-part-1/comment-page-2/' novalidate> <div class='gform_body gform-body'><ul id='gform_fields_9' class='gform_fields top_label form_sublabel_below description_below'><li id="field_9_1" class="gfield field gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_9_1"><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_1' >Email<span class="gfield_required"><span class="gfield_required gfield_required_asterisk">*</span></span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_email'> <input name='input_1' id='input_9_1' type='email' value='' class='large' placeholder='Your Email' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" /> </div></li><li id="field_9_2" class="gfield health-concern field field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_9_2"><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_2' >I want to improve my...</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_select'><select name='input_2' id='input_9_2' class='large gfield_select' aria-invalid="false" ><option value='' selected='selected' class='gf_placeholder'>I want to improve my...</option><option value='Weight' >Weight</option><option value='Energy' >Energy</option><option value='Digestion' >Digestion</option><option value='Brain' >Brain</option><option value='Overall Health' >Overall Health</option><option value='All of the Above' >All of the Above</option></select></div></li><li id="field_9_4" class="gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_9_4"><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_4' id='input_9_4' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='5493' /></div></li><li id="field_9_5" class="gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_9_5"><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_5' id='input_9_5' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='Food Additives' /></div></li></ul></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type='submit' id='gform_submit_button_9' class='gform_button button' value='Download eBook' onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} jQuery("#gform_9").trigger("submit",[true]); }' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='is_submit_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_submit' value='9' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_unique_id' value='' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='state_9' value='WyJbXSIsIjVkYTAyNjYxOTg4ZDNhZGQwOTU0Yzc4NDcyNDk5YmM4Il0=' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_target_page_number_9' id='gform_target_page_number_9' value='0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_source_page_number_9' id='gform_source_page_number_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_field_values' value='popup_name=Food+Additives' /> </div> <p style="display: none !important;"><label>&#916;<textarea name="ak_hp_textarea" cols="45" rows="8" maxlength="100"></textarea></label><input type="hidden" id="ak_js_7" name="ak_js" value="194"/><script>document.getElementById( "ak_js_7" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() );</script></p></form> </div>
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<div class='gf_browser_unknown gform_wrapper qc_box_container_wrapper gform_legacy_markup_wrapper' id='gform_wrapper_9' ><form method='post' enctype='multipart/form-data' id='gform_9' class='qc_box_container gform_legacy_markup' action='/the-ph-myth-part-1/comment-page-2/' novalidate> <div class='gform_body gform-body'><ul id='gform_fields_9' class='gform_fields top_label form_sublabel_below description_below'><li id="field_9_1" class="gfield field gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_9_1"><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_1' >Email<span class="gfield_required"><span class="gfield_required gfield_required_asterisk">*</span></span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_email'> <input name='input_1' id='input_9_1' type='email' value='' class='large' placeholder='Your Email' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" /> </div></li><li id="field_9_2" class="gfield health-concern field field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_9_2"><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_2' >I want to improve my...</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_select'><select name='input_2' id='input_9_2' class='large gfield_select' aria-invalid="false" ><option value='' selected='selected' class='gf_placeholder'>I want to improve my...</option><option value='Weight' >Weight</option><option value='Energy' >Energy</option><option value='Digestion' >Digestion</option><option value='Brain' >Brain</option><option value='Overall Health' >Overall Health</option><option value='All of the Above' >All of the Above</option></select></div></li><li id="field_9_4" class="gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_9_4"><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_4' id='input_9_4' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='5493' /></div></li><li id="field_9_5" class="gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_9_5"><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_5' id='input_9_5' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='Diet-Heart Myth' /></div></li></ul></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type='submit' id='gform_submit_button_9' class='gform_button button' value='Download eBook' onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} jQuery("#gform_9").trigger("submit",[true]); }' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='is_submit_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_submit' value='9' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_unique_id' value='' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='state_9' value='WyJbXSIsIjVkYTAyNjYxOTg4ZDNhZGQwOTU0Yzc4NDcyNDk5YmM4Il0=' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_target_page_number_9' id='gform_target_page_number_9' value='0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_source_page_number_9' id='gform_source_page_number_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_field_values' value='popup_name=Diet-Heart+Myth' /> </div> <p style="display: none !important;"><label>&#916;<textarea name="ak_hp_textarea" cols="45" rows="8" maxlength="100"></textarea></label><input type="hidden" id="ak_js_8" name="ak_js" value="43"/><script>document.getElementById( "ak_js_8" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() );</script></p></form> </div>
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<div class='gf_browser_unknown gform_wrapper qc_box_container_wrapper gform_legacy_markup_wrapper' id='gform_wrapper_9' ><form method='post' enctype='multipart/form-data' id='gform_9' class='qc_box_container gform_legacy_markup' action='/the-ph-myth-part-1/comment-page-2/' novalidate> <div class='gform_body gform-body'><ul id='gform_fields_9' class='gform_fields top_label form_sublabel_below description_below'><li id="field_9_1" class="gfield field gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_9_1"><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_1' >Email<span class="gfield_required"><span class="gfield_required gfield_required_asterisk">*</span></span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_email'> <input name='input_1' id='input_9_1' type='email' value='' class='large' placeholder='Your Email' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" /> </div></li><li id="field_9_2" class="gfield health-concern field field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_9_2"><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_2' >I want to improve my...</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_select'><select name='input_2' id='input_9_2' class='large gfield_select' aria-invalid="false" ><option value='' selected='selected' class='gf_placeholder'>I want to improve my...</option><option value='Weight' >Weight</option><option value='Energy' >Energy</option><option value='Digestion' >Digestion</option><option value='Brain' >Brain</option><option value='Overall Health' >Overall Health</option><option value='All of the Above' >All of the Above</option></select></div></li><li id="field_9_4" class="gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_9_4"><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_4' id='input_9_4' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='5493' /></div></li><li id="field_9_5" class="gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" data-js-reload="field_9_5"><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_5' id='input_9_5' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='B12' /></div></li></ul></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type='submit' id='gform_submit_button_9' class='gform_button button' value='Download eBook' onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} jQuery("#gform_9").trigger("submit",[true]); }' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='is_submit_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_submit' value='9' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_unique_id' value='' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='state_9' value='WyJbXSIsIjVkYTAyNjYxOTg4ZDNhZGQwOTU0Yzc4NDcyNDk5YmM4Il0=' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_target_page_number_9' id='gform_target_page_number_9' value='0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_source_page_number_9' id='gform_source_page_number_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_field_values' value='popup_name=B12' /> </div> <p style="display: none !important;"><label>&#916;<textarea name="ak_hp_textarea" cols="45" rows="8" maxlength="100"></textarea></label><input type="hidden" id="ak_js_9" name="ak_js" value="20"/><script>document.getElementById( "ak_js_9" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() );</script></p></form> </div>