The Truth about Maintaining Alkaline Blood
Is it true that the foods and drinks we consume cause the blood to become more alkaline or acidic? Contrary to popular belief, the answer is: Not to a significant degree.
The pH of the blood is solidly controlled by a complicated system of shock absorbers that keep the range from 7.35 to 7.45, which is only slightly more alkaline than pure water. If the pH of the blood drops below 7.35, the result is a condition called acidosis, a condition that leads to central nervous system depression. When blood pH falls below 7.00, severe acidosis can lead to coma and even death. If the pH of the blood rises above 7.45, the result is alkalosis.
The severe alkalosis can also lead to death through a different mechanism. Alkalosis causes all nerves in the body to be hypersensitive and highly excitable, often causing muscle spasms, nervousness, and seizures. Severe seizures usually cause death.
The bottom line is that if you are breathing and developing your daily activities, your body is doing the proper job of keeping the pH of the blood somewhere between 7.35 and 7.45, and the foods you are eating do not cause significant changes in the pH of the Blood.
So what about all the hype about the need to alkalize your body? And why is the fact that they say that being too acid can cause osteoporosis, kidney stones and a number of other unwanted health problems?
As usual, the answers to these questions about human health can be found in the understanding of the basic principles of human physiology. So let’s take a look at the basics of pH and how the body regulates the alkaline acid balance of liquids steadily. PH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline a liquid is.
With regard to health, the fluids involved are body fluids, which can be categorized into two main groups:
- Intracellular fluid: It is the liquid that is found in all cells.
Intracellular fluid is called the cytosol and constitutes about two-thirds of the total amount of fluid in the body.
- Extracellular liquid: It is the liquid that is outside the cells.
Extracellular fluids are classified into one of two types:
- Plasma: It is the liquid that makes up the blood.
- Interstitial fluid: It occupies all the spaces that surround the tissues.
The interstitial fluid includes fluids found in the eyes, lymphatic system, joints, nervous system and between the protective membranes that surround the abdominal, cardiovascular and respiratory cavities.
Blood (plasma) is needed to maintain a pH of 7.35 to 7.45 for cells to function properly. The reason why cells require blood to maintain a pH in this range to keep us healthy is beyond the scope of this entry, but the most important reason is that all proteins in the body must maintain a specific geometric shape Function, and three-dimensional forms of proteins in your body are affected by the smaller changes in the pH of your body fluids.
PH scale ranges from 0 to 14! A liquid having a pH of 7 is considered neutral, pure water is generally considered to have a neutral pH. Liquids having a pH below 7, lemon juice and coffee, are considered acids. And liquids that have a pH greater than 7, human blood and milk of magnesia, are considered alkaline. It is important to note that in the pH scale, each number represents a difference ten times in relation to the adjacent number. In other words, a liquid having a pH of 6 is ten times more acid than a liquid having a pH of 7, and a liquid having a pH of 5 is one hundred times more acidic than pure water.
Gaseous drinks (tails) have a pH of about 3, making it about ten thousand times more acidic than pure water. Please remember this the next time you think about drinking a can of cola. When foods and liquids are ingested, the end products of digestion and assimilation of nutrients often result in an acid or alkaline effect. The end products are sometimes called acid ash or alkaline ash. In addition, as cells produce energy continuously, a number of different acids are formed and released into body fluids.
These acids, generated by the various daily metabolic activities, are unavoidable. As the body has to generate energy to survive, it will produce a continuous supply of acids. So there are two main forces working daily that can alter the pH of body fluids. These forces are the acidic or alkaline effects that are formed from the foods and liquids that are ingested and the acids that are generated through the metabolic activities.
Fortunately, the body has three main damping mechanisms working at all times to prevent these forces from altering the pH of the blood and bring it out of the range of 7.35 to 7.45.
These mechanisms are:
- Shock absorber systems
- Carbonic acid-bicarbonate buffer system
- Protein Buffer System
- Phosphate Buffer System
- Carbon dioxide exhalation
- Removal of hydrogen ions through the kidneys
It is beyond the scope of this entry to speak in detail about the mechanisms mentioned. For this article, it is sufficient to point out that these systems are to prevent dietary, metabolic and other factors from leading to blood pH outside the range of 7.35 to 7.45.
When people are motivated to keep alkaline blood, they mean that they should eat a lot of foods that have an alkaline effect on the body. The reason for this suggestion is that the vast majority of highly processed foods – such as white flour and white sugar products – have an acid forming effect on the system.
Thus, spending years eating a deficient diet that is primarily acid-forming causes some of the aforementioned shock systems to work harder, to a point where they can create unwanted changes in health. For example, the phosphate buffer system uses different phosphate ions in the body to neutralize the strong acids and bases.
About 85% of the phosphate ions used in the phosphate buffer system come from calcium phosphate salts, which are structural components of bones and teeth. If body fluids are regularly exposed to large quantities of food and acid-forming fluids, the body will have to resort to calcium phosphate reserves to meet the demands of the phosphate buffer system and neutralize the acid-generating effects of diet. Over time, this can lead to structural weakness in the bones and teeth.
Relying on excess phosphate reserves of calcium may also increase the amount of calcium being removed through the genito-urinary system, so a predominantly acid-forming diet may increase the risk of developing calcium-rich kidney stones. This is just one example of how damping systems can be required to the extent of causing negative health consequences.
Since buffer systems must work all the time in such a way as to neutralize the acids formed by daily metabolic activity, it is vital to follow a diet that facilitates rather than complicates the work of damping systems.
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Formation of the acid and alkaline effects of common foods
Generally speaking, most fruits and vegetables have an alkaline training effect on body fluids. Most cereals, animal foods and highly processed foods have an acidic effect on body fluids. Health is maintained by a good mix of foods rich in nutrients, formers both acidic and alkaline.
Ideally, you should eat more alkaline foods than acid-forming foods in such a way that the alkaline-forming effects of the diet match the slightly alkaline pH of the blood.
The following lists indicate that common foods have an alkaline forming effect on body fluids, and which result in the formation of acid ash when they are digested and assimilated into your system.
Foods that have a moderate alkaline-forming effect
- All kinds of fruits
- Most vegetables
Foods that have a moderate acid forming effect
- Beverages: Alcohol, Soft drinks (colas), snuff, coffee
- White sugar, refined salt and artificial sweeteners
- Antibiotics (and most medications)
- Most cereals, white flour products (including pasta), most types of bread
- Fish and shellfish
- White vinegar
- Most boxed cereals
- Most beans
It should be noted that this list of foods of alkaline and acidic formation is not exhaustive, nor does it have to be. If your diet consists mainly of grains, flour products, foods of animal origin and accompany these foods with coffee, soda and milk, you can almost certainly improve your health by substituting some of your food options and drinks for fruits, fresh vegetables and Homemade juices.
The main purpose of this article is to provide information to explain why I believe it is not necessary to include one or more nutritional supplements or alkaline water for the sole purpose of alkalizing the body. Our body is already designed to keep the pH of body fluids in a slightly alkaline range.
The ideal scenario is to consume fresh vegetables and fruit diet table centers, and eat small amounts of any other nutrient-rich foods that whet your appetite and experience that your body can tolerate it.
I hope these thoughts bring some clarity to this often misunderstood health issue.