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Acid-Alkaline Balance

Your health is extremely sensitive to even the slightest change in pH of vital body fluids. Unfortunately, many foods that typically make up a modern diet are highly acidic, and can overly acidify the body.

The pH scale (concentration of hydrogen ions) usually ranges from 0-14, with 0 being strongly acidic, 7 being neutral, and 14 being strongly basic or alkaline. Any substance that increases the concentration of hydrogen ions when added to water (reduces the pH) is an acid. A substance that lowers the concentration of hydrogen ions (raises the pH) is a base. The pH scale is logarithmic, meaning a decrease of 1 pH means multiplying the acidity by 10. An increase of 2 pH equals 100X more basic. There also exist substances which are able to resist pH changes when either an acid or base is added. These are called buffers, and are very important for helping the body maintain a relatively constant pH.

The pH of different bodily fluids varies from 1.5 in acidic stomach fluid to quite alkaline pancreatic fluid with a pH of 8.8. The pH of your blood must be tightly controlled between 7.35 and 7.45. When the blood pH chronically sits around the acidic side of this range, it has a slow but steady negative impact on health. Chronic disease, poor diet, stress, antibiotics and aging all lead to an increase in acidity within the body.

Acidic drinks, such as coffee and colas, are neutralized by alkaline blood buffers. An overly acidic diet uses up these buffers, which are then unavailable to neutralize acidic waste products and by-products of digestion, which are continually produced by the body, such as acetic acid, lactic acid, uric acid, carbonic acid and fatty acids. Inorganic, toxic acids such as sulfuric acid and phosphoric acid are also contained in some processed foods in a modern diet. The body uses calcium to convert harmful liquid inorganic acids (such as phosphoric acid found in colas) into more stable solids. Solid phosphates, for example, can form into calcified kidney stones or calcium deposits. For this reason, anyone concerned about kidney stones should avoid colas.

Over acidity, or acidosis, causes the body to excrete some of its mineral supply in order to neutralize the acid. This acidic state also leads to a condition of malabsorption. Though your diet may include the needed nutrition, your body cannot absorb water and minerals properly. Over time, with chronic stress on the body's buffers, minerals may be leached from the bones, leading to decreased bone denisty and osteoporosis. The digestive system is usually the most noticeably affected victim. By middle age, many people suffer from chronic heartburn, chronic indigestion, irritable bowel, constipation, diarrhea, or leaky gut syndrome. Impared nutrition also negatively affects the proper functioning of the immune system.

A typical modern diet is highly acidic. This may create ideal conditions for cancer to form. An important strategy for preventing and treating cancer is to maintain an approximately 80% alkaline-forming diet, and effectively managing stress. Consuming alkalinizing mineral water, or pure alkaline ionized water is an ideal strategy for lowering your toxic burden and maintaining proper acid/alkaline balance.