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Low grade metabolic acidosis contributes to chronic disease such as osteoporosis, dental decay, bacterial and yeast overgrowth, kidney stones, eczema, and inflammation.

The Standard American diet has an acidifying effect on the body. If you don’t have adequate amounts of alkaline foods in your diet, your body will start breaking down bones for calcium or muscles to obtain glutamine to neutralize the acid.

Significant evidence from a 2010 study suggests that reducing meat consumption and eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains might prevent cancer.

pH of Body Fluids

The pH of the body must be tightly regulated for proper functioning of the body, typically pH of the arterial blood is 7.35 to 7.45.  

Since the body has many protective mechanism to neutralize acids, you will not see much variation in the pH of your blood unless you have a major health event.

Different organs function at their optimal level of pH. For example, the enzyme pepsin requires low pH to act and break down food, while the enzymes in intestine require high pH or alkaline environment to function. 

How the body eliminates acid

The primary organs that work to eliminate acid buildup in the body are the kidneys and the lungs, followed by the skin.   

Lungs

Carbon dioxide makes your body more acidic, your lungs regulate your pH by exhaling excess carbon dioxide. The lungs can change your pH in the matter of minutes.

Kidneys

The kidneys help secrete excess hydrogen ions through the urine. Your kidneys needs alkaline minerals obtained from your diet to excrete acid. It takes a few days to see the impact on your pH from your kidneys.

According to a 2017 study, the typical diet of people in the United States is very acidic. This can challenge the kidneys. For people with kidney disease, a lower-acid diet may improve symptoms or even slow the course of the disease.

Skin

The skin is the final organ responsible for eliminate acids through perspiration. However, the amount of acids the skin can eliminate is only one quart of sweat, compared to 1.25 quarts of urine every 24 hours, which is not significant. 

Measure your pH: Measure your pH first thing in the morning after 6 hours of sleep.

If your urine pH is under 6.5 then you are acidic. If your urine pH is 6.5-7.5 then you are neutral. If your urine pH is above 7.5, then you are alkaline.

Alkaline Diet 

The most important step you can take is to make smart food choices and eat more alkaline foods. The Alkaline Diet categorizes foods into one of three groups:

  • Acidifying foods: Meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs and alcohol
  • Neutral foods: Natural fats, starches and sugars
  • Alkalizing foods: Fruits, nuts, legumes and vegetables

If your urine is acidic (under 6.5), then eat 80% alkaline foods. If your urine is more neutral (6.5-7.5), then eat 60% alkaline foods. 

Alkaline Diet Tips:

  • Juice 1/2 a lemon or lemon in 8 oz of water in the morning
  • Eat at least one cup of green vegetables each day
  • Eat lentils, yams, taro, beets and sweet potatoes instead of breads, pasta and flour
  • Eat more alkaline grains such as quinoa and oats
  • You can still incorporate protein (50-63g) into an alkaline diet.
Categories: Food as Medicine