Sunday, April 10, 2011

pH For A Healthier You

The “p” stands for potential and the “H” stands for Hydrogen which refers to an organism’s ability to attract hydrogen ions or more commonly knows as the acid/alkaline balance. The level of pH is measured on a scale of 0 to 14 with 0 representing the highest concentration of acid and 14 representative of the most alkaline. Seven is the magic figure for pH because it means that there is a balance of acid and alkaline in the solution and is often referred to as pH neutral. If it's capable of absorbing a lot of hydrogen (H+) ions, this means that it's alkaline.

It has been said that we must eat alkaline food, drink alkaline water, make our body more alkaline so that we are less prone to disease. The assumption is also that our body is pH balanced. But in many cases, many are NOT in good shape and only then they start to make their body alkaline. They too start to consume alkaline water and take fruits and vegetables. However, the process of making the body more alkaline is so simplified that we believed by just eating alkaline stuffs, our body would be more alkaline. This is more easier said than done. To make the body more alkaline, we must do more than just eating and drinking alkaline foods. I have been on vegetarian diet for 18+ months now and my body is still acidic, maybe a slight improvement. Howcome?

How Chemicals Are Exchanged in the Body

All cells in the body continually exchange chemicals (e.g.,nutrients, waste products, and ions) with the external fluid surrounding them. This external fluid, in turn, exchanges chemicals with the blood being pumped throughout the body. A dominant mode of exchange between these fluids (cellular fluid, external fluid, and blood) is diffusion through membrane channels, due to a concentration gradient associated with the contents of the fluids. Hence, the chemical composition of the blood (and therefore of the external fluid) is extremely important for the cell. If, for instance, the pH of the blood and external fluid is too low (too many H+ ions), then an excess of H+ ions will enter the cell. As mentioned above, maintaining the proper pH is critical for the chemical reactions that occur in the body. In order to maintain the proper chemical composition inside the cells, the chemical composition of the fluids outside the cells must be kept relatively constant. This constancy is known in biology as homeostasis.

The body has a wide array of mechanisms to maintain homeostasis in the blood and extracellular fluid. The most important way that the pH of the blood is kept relatively constant is by buffers dissolved in the blood. Other organs help enhance the homeostatic function of the buffers. The kidneys help remove excess chemicals from the blood. It is the kidneys that ultimately remove (from the body) H+ ions and other components of the pH buffers that build up in excess. Acidosis that results from failure of the kidneys to perform this excretory function is known as metabolic acidosis. However, excretion by the kidneys is a relatively slow process, and may take too long to prevent acute acidosis resulting from a sudden decrease in pH (e.g., during exercise). The lungs provide a faster way to help control the pH of the blood. The increased-breathing response to exercise helps to counteract the pH-lowering effects of exercise by removing CO2, a component of the principal pH buffer in the blood. Acidosis that results from failure of the lungs to eliminate CO2 as fast as it is produced is known as respiratory acidosis.

So don't be literally taken by word of mouth that the more alkaline food you take, the more alkaline your body is. It's not that simple. Having said that, it does not mean there are no ways to improve the pH in the body. pH is a very simple but a good indicator of your health. Do something before it's too late. There is more you can do.

To correct the pH, for normal people, please see my April 2 post here. For cancer patients, please see my March 29 post here.

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