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  • Acidic vs Alkaline

    I've been hearing about acidic and alkaline foods a lot lately. I realize that many acidic foods are already avoided while living primarily, but some are not. For example, I love eggs and can't imagine not eating them; they're apparently acidic. Is the acidic/alkaline hype regarding food to be disregarded? Is it just another popular fad right now? What's the deal? Any thoughts?

  • #2
    My chiro has had me researching this. It is thought that maintaining alkalinity in the body prevents disease and slows the aging process.

    Most protein sources are acidic. Vegetables and fruits are generally alkaline. For this reason, I am trying to up my veg and fruit intake. For reference acid / alkaline food lists can be found on the internet. One easy suggestion he gave me was to add lemon juice to my water. (Lemons, believe it or not, promote alkalinity in the body.)

    The acid / alkaline concept fits well within the Paleo framework. I am doing this primarily because my Mom died of ovarian cancer. Any steps I can take to protect myself are worth it. Time will tell if any of this made a difference.
    Primal since 9/24/2010
    "Our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within." Miguel de Cervantes

    Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools
    MFP username: MDAPebbles67

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    • #3
      A friend of mine had this fancy water machine that produces slightly alkaline water (pH 9.5 or so). It was very expensive but she swore by it, so I researched it a little, wanting to understand what the big deal is. The admittedly small amount of research I did said that your stomach and intestines take care of this for you. It doesn't matter if your water/food is slightly alkaline or acidic, your body ends up bringing everything in there to a constant pH (acidic in the stomach, alkaline in the intestines).

      As an aside, that machine produced tasty water, but it sure did leave white residue on everything it touched. Was a pain to keep glasses clean. I never figured out why.
      -Chuck

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      • #4
        Acidic vs Alkaline

        It can't hurt.

        If you want to balance out the acidity of proteins/coffee, you can drink lemon or ACV water. They are both acidic when ingested, but are processed by the body in such a way that they become alkaline in the body. Plus lemons/ACV are both relatively cheap.

        Green juices are also good for alkalinizing your body. Vegans believe it is best drunk first thing in the morn but ... They are vegans. Lol.

        Supposedly 7.4 (slightly alkaline) is an ideal pH. I haven't seen any sort of reputable scientific research on this but I am not going to bash it either.

        (I don't worry about pH, but I do drink lemon water relatively often because it tastes good anyway)
        ------
        HCLF: lean red meat, eggs, low-fat dairy, bone broth/gelatin, fruits, seafood, liver, small amount of starch (oatmeal, white rice, potatoes, carrots), small amount of saturated fat (butter/ghee/coconut/dark chocolate/cheese).

        My Journal: gelatin experiments, vanity pictures, law school rants, recipe links


        Food blog: GELATIN and BONE BROTH recipes

        " The best things in life are free and the 2nd best are expensive!" - Coco Chanel

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        • #5
          I don't buy into that concept. While it's true that if your blood becomes acidic you are sick. It's more likely that your blood is acidic because you are sick. Our bodies have a pretty tight control over PH level and to think that what we put into our mouths could significantly modify our blood or tissue PH levels just doesn't seem very likely. And the flip side is that if you are too alkaline, you will also be sick. Nope, don't believe it.
          Some of you may die, but that is a risk I'm willing to take.

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          • #6
            Agree with Black Timber - in fact, I was going to post much the same answer but no need now!

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            • #7
              Acidic vs Alkaline

              Originally posted by Black Timber View Post
              I don't buy into that concept. While it's true that if your blood becomes acidic you are sick. It's more likely that your blood is acidic because you are sick. Our bodies have a pretty tight control over PH level and to think that what we put into our mouths could significantly modify our blood or tissue PH levels just doesn't seem very likely. And the flip side is that if you are too alkaline, you will also be sick. Nope, don't believe it.
              The point behind pH diet (not that I buy it either) is exactly the buffer theory... Ie. That our bodies will try to maintain homeostasis... Will affect body's performance through affecting the enzymes and transport systems.

              Data points of body pH between 6.8-7.6 or so is common. (You can test this on yourself... Eat nothing but greens for a week vs eat nothing but meat for a week). One might think that is a "narrow" range unless one realizes that the pH scale is a *logarithmic* scale... Where the difference between 6 and 7 is by a factor of 10 (10 particles of [H+] vs 100 particles).

              HOW does your body remain in that range? Through biochem buffer systems. Proteins (ie. Enzymes, transporters, etc) have to lose or gain a H+ ion. This in turn affects the overall conformation (3D shape of the protein) as well as net charge of the protein (since H+ has a positive charge), which in turn affects the function of the protein.

              Hence it is the act of buffering (keeping body in a narrow pH range) that affects how efficiently your body's enzymes are.
              Last edited by turquoisepassion; 01-14-2014, 12:39 PM.
              ------
              HCLF: lean red meat, eggs, low-fat dairy, bone broth/gelatin, fruits, seafood, liver, small amount of starch (oatmeal, white rice, potatoes, carrots), small amount of saturated fat (butter/ghee/coconut/dark chocolate/cheese).

              My Journal: gelatin experiments, vanity pictures, law school rants, recipe links


              Food blog: GELATIN and BONE BROTH recipes

              " The best things in life are free and the 2nd best are expensive!" - Coco Chanel

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              • #8
                It's crap and has no basis in science. No mechanism of action has been put forward for how something can change your "body's pH". Your blood will (and has to be) in a tight range or you will die. You have multiple fail safe processes against it going too far out of alignment. If it's a property of the food being an acid or base, then your stomach acid will be making everything acidic, except for really strong bases (which kill you). However, there appears to some some reason why foods that are a base or an acid somehow become the opposite. Foods that are acidic (lemon, for example) somehow become a base in the body, while others (milk) stay an acid.

                M.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MEversbergII View Post
                  It's crap and has no basis in science. No mechanism of action has been put forward for how something can change your "body's pH". Your blood will (and has to be) in a tight range or you will die. You have multiple fail safe processes against it going too far out of alignment. If it's a property of the food being an acid or base, then your stomach acid will be making everything acidic, except for really strong bases (which kill you). However, there appears to some some reason why foods that are a base or an acid somehow become the opposite. Foods that are acidic (lemon, for example) somehow become a base in the body, while others (milk) stay an acid.

                  M.
                  You have to ask HOW the body keeps such a tight PH range. It's not by magic.

                  An acidic diet, high in meat and grains is a sure fire way to get diseases of inflammation and demineralization.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MarkChopper View Post
                    You have to ask HOW the body keeps such a tight PH range. It's not by magic.

                    An acidic diet, high in meat and grains is a sure fire way to get diseases of inflammation and demineralization.
                    Yeah Mark, I was just about the say the same thing, piggy-backing off of turquoise...of course the body has to stay within a certain pH, but what about the stress on the mechanisms that keep it that way? I mean, the US has the highest consumption of dairy in the world, an acidic food, but also the highest rates of osteoperosis. It is thought that the high acid diet causes the kidneys to immediately call on the most availabe antacid in the system, which is calcium from the bones, which would explain this. Is that the real answer? I have no idea, maybe it's just bc Americans aren't active.

                    I don't know the answer, but I can't stand when people just dismiss it as pseudo-science just because the blood ph stays within a certain range...well duh! I mean my cortisol stays within a certain range too so I don't die, but do you know how stressed my adrenals have been to keep it that way? Come on.

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                    • #11
                      Oh dear, you've all been had.

                      Via Chris Kresser, some food for thought:

                      The pH Myth: Part 1
                      The Acid-Alkaline Myth: Part 2
                      "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

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                      • #12
                        Not really, I mean it completely discredits what I had heard about osteoperosis, but just like I said, I had no idea if that was the answer, that was just what I heard....it doesn't really address the stress caused in the body by buffering either an alkaline or acidic environment in relation to the SAD, which is going to be much more strenuous than any hunter gather diet, alkaline or acidic. Maybe I poorly worded mine but not pointing out that I'm not advocating either acid or alkaline...but if it's too far one way (presumably acidic), the only thing I got from the Kresser article is that the body is (predictably) very efficient at balancing that out - but at what cost considering the extremes of the SAD over a LOOOONG time?

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                        • #13
                          Interesting articles but it does not prove that acid/alkaline diet have nothing to do with osteoporosis or other defenerative diseases. An acid diet is usually also extremely inflammatory with high amounts of aminos and unsaturated fat. This can cause a whole host of other issues including hormonal problems. The stress hormone cascade could very well be the main cause of almost all diseases and it originates with the diet.

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                          • #14
                            Your body always has a tax for staying in homeostasis...you take exogenous testosterone? Your endogenous production reduces/shusts off. You have too much dopamine running through your brain? Your brain reduces receptor sites to make you less sensitive to dopamine. It is like this all through the body's systems. I don't know for sure, but until proven otherwise, it would be foolish to assume that a similar issue doesn't take place under these circumstances.

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                            • #15
                              The Body pH is not the same as Blood pH. Blood pH is controlled tightly and we cannot change it. The body steals minerals & nutrients from the body to keep the blood pH constant.

                              We measure BODY pH by measuring urine or saliva with pH test strips. If our urine is between 6.5 and 7.2 then we are in a healthy range. 1 point too low means we are 10 times too acidic, and 2 points too low means we are 100 times too acidic, unfortunately, many people are 100 times or more too acidic, and that is the breeding grounds for disease & cancer.

                              It is easy to keep our pH into a healthy range:
                              Top 12 Ways to Make your Body More Alkaline:
                              Top 12 Ways to Make your Body More Alkaline | Icon Performance Online v3

                              It is easy to boost the pH of water, coffee and other liquids. Just add a pinch of baking soda or a pinch of Potassium Bicarbonate.
                              You can easily measure the pH of liquids with the pH test strips.

                              There are many reasons to be concerned about your BODY pH. Research here:
                              Dr. Brownstein Says:
                              When the pH of the body becomes either too acidic or too alkaline, normal physiologic functions decline. The organs of the body (kidneys, liver, brain, etc) do not function efficiently unless the pH of the body is neutral (7.2); the brain does not function well when the body is either acid or alkaline. Enzymes, the catalysts for the body, are very sensitive to pH changes and will lose most of their function when the pH is altered. Enzymes can become deactivated with either an acidic or an alkaline pH. Immune system cells are unable to protect us when the pH is imbalanced. In fact, no part of the body will work efficiently if the pH is not properly balanced. An acidic pH is associated with many chronic illnesses including cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis and candida, as well as hormonal imbalances. Majid Ali, one of holistic medicine’s foremost practitioners, has stated, ‘An acidic pH is a marker of the absence of health in the body’. 8 In a diseased state an acidic pH is more common than an alkaline one and, generally, the more ill one is, the more acidic one’s body.
                              Food affects pH
                              The food one eats can have a dramatic effect on pH. In nearly every case refined foods, devitalized of all the healthy vitamins, minerals and enzymes, acidify the body. Minerals are one of the most alkalinizing agents for the body but, due to poor diets full of refined foods, many people today are mineral deficient, which is often associated with a lowered pH (<7.0). Refined salt contains no minerals, while unrefined salt is loaded with them. It does not take much to realize that unrefined salt will thus promote a healthy pH whereas refined salt will act against it by increasing acidity. In fact, all refined foods (including refined sugar, flour, oils,etc) lack minerals, vitamins and enzymes. When we eat these devitalized foods, our body has to use its own store of vitamins, minerals and enzymes to break down food. Over time this leads to nutrient deficiencies and chronic illness. Furthermore,eating devitalized food leads to acidity in the body. Thus, due to the prevalence of refined food, it is no wonder that most people run on the acidic side. My experience has shown that it is impossible to overcome chronic illness when there is an acidic condition present. Cancer and chronic illness are two of the consequences of an acidic pH. Cancer cells will proliferate in an acidic environment. In fact, most chronic illnesses will occur in an acidic environment.
                              More here:
                              http://tinyurl.com/Iodine-PH-Levels

                              Grizz

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