Dirty Little Secrets of pH – Part 5 FINAL
© Copyright 2009
Yes, understanding and applying pH and pH balancing is absolutely essential with regards to dirt. Now don’t forget, we have an affinity for dirt because, basically that is what we are made from.
To arrive at a balanced pH, it is generally accepted that ‘neutral’ is between 6.8 and 7.2 on the pH scale. Anything that rises above 7.2 may be too alkaline for our skin and cause dry skin, skin irritation or possibly even burn the skin. It follows the same rule if it becomes too acidic and falls below 6.8 on the pH scale.
Remember when this series started with vacuuming and our fictitious Mrs. Jones? Remember telling Mrs. Jones during the vacuum cleaner demonstration that it is one thing to walk on dirt (on the carpet), and another to sit on dirt (on the furniture), but it is an entirely different matter in lying in the dirt (lying on a mattress)? It becomes extremely important in removing dirt, soil, and oil, to understand and apply pH and pH balancing. Well it’s one thing to talk about pH with regards to the exterior or outside of our bodies, but what about inside of our bodies?
What’s the relationship of dirt to pH inside of us?
Have you ever had an upset stomach? Have you ever had acid indigestion? Do you suffer from acid reflux? To alleviate the symptoms we often turn to what? Antacids! What is going on?
Within our bodies, how many organs would you guess are acidic? There is just one, the stomach. The stomach produces acid to break down our food so that it can be absorbed by our bloodstream and carry the nutrients to all parts of the body. There are two acids which the stomach produces:
- Hydrochloric Acid has a pH of 1 and is about 1,000,000 times stronger than pure water with a pH of 7.
- Gastric Acid has a pH of 2 and is about 100,000 times stronger than pure water with a pH of seven.
If the stomach is mostly acidic, then the rest of our body should be mostly alkaline. When our pH is not in balance, we are open to a whole lot of problems, the least of which would be an occasional upset tummy.
Why do we get an upset stomach? Could it be our diet? The following things are common to many of us and they are highly acidic or acid producers:
1. Caffeine (coffee and some teas). pH=5 acidic
2. Soda Pop. The sugar in a can of pop will cause your body to become acidic. Sugar is an acidifier. And if you’re drinking sugar free pop, you’re not much better off as the aspartame in it turns into formaldehyde and acid in your body.
3. Anything containing carbon dioxide, phosphoric acid, aspartameTM. If you drink charged water, you are drinking a waste product. Our bodies give off CO2 as a waste product. Why would anyone want to drink a waste product (if they thought about it long enough)? Aspartame® turns into formaldehyde and acid in your body. When you are acidic, your metabolism gets clogged down. The drink might say “Diet” but you won’t lose weight with this stuff in your body.
4. Meat, poultry, and fish. All of these “cooked” proteins cause our bodies to become acidic. Eating them raw would be a better option but ONLY if the methods we raised them and processed them were healthier.
5. Sugar, especially white sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Anything with sugar added will increase its acidifying properties immensely. One teaspoon of sugar will lower your resistance by 50% for up to 24 hours. (Mountain Dew has 8 tablespoons of sugar in one can.) And don’t think about substituting sugar with Aspartame®, it’s even more acidifying.
When pH is chronically out of balance, it usually does not happen immediately. It is a slow process that may take some time, even years to show telling signs. Once it appears, there is an increase in problems. You may feel less healthy without knowing why. Each acid-forming food produces different forms of acid like:
Uric acid, Phosphoric Acid, Sulphuric Acid, Carbonic Acid and others.
Each of these acids affect our health differently and can cause different health problems.
Our bodies will always try to correct pH balance, especially in the blood. Blood pH is between 7.35 and 7.45. The slightest deviation can result in acute health problem, coma and even death. Our body will therefore sacrifice massive amounts of vitamins and minerals to bind and eliminate the excess acid in the blood, even if this meant that what it takes resulting in a deficit of nutrients (like calcium), could leave the body open to Osteoporosis and the malfunctioning of other organs! This it will do, rather than endanger the pH-value of the blood!
Excessive acid in our bodies can lead to the condition known as acidosis.
If you are out of balance, your body will try to repair this imbalance by binding excess acid to minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc in order to excrete the acid through the kidneys. If there are insufficient minerals available from the food we eat (we have seen through this series there is a great chance of that), our bodies will use vitamins and minerals from our bones, muscle tissue and organs to bring the balance back. This will eventually drain us of reserves and lead to a vitamin and mineral deficiency. In the end, our bodies may become unable to maintain a healthy pH balance.
“ACIDOSIS is the basic foundation of all disease. We need to understand the simple process of alkalizing our body and the important role a properly alkalized body plays in restoring and maintaining our overall health. Our glands and organs function properly in exact proportion to the amount of alkaline and acid levels in our system.”
from “Alkalize or Die”, by Dr. T.A. Baroody, Jr
Smoking can affect the body’s pH balance as do many drugs, prescribed or otherwise. Stress can cause the body to become more acidic. I am sure you have heard the term ‘We are what we eat.’ It would be more accurate to say that we are what we ingest or absorb and we are what we think plays a tremendous role in pH balancing or the lack thereof.
Often in situations it becomes necessary, for saline solutions. A pure sodium chloride solution is neutral (pH 7). Sometimes mild acid or alkali chemicals are added to the solution to change its pH. These are usually buffered as found some place on the pack or the data sheets. This means that a small amount of a weak acid and weak acid salts have been added to maintain a constant pH. This is important because, the saline (assuming it is for intravenous use), will be going directly into the bloodstream. Any significant changes in pH could cause major circulatory problems. Sea water just has a slightly higher pH (8), than our bodies. For around nine months, we are perfectly surrounded in our mother’s womb with a perfectly pH balanced ‘bag of waters.’ Often pH is used to produce an optimum situation for conception and sometimes it is believed that a slightly altered pH (more acidic or more alkaline), could determine the sex of the child.
This understanding and application of pH is important to dirt, cleaning, swimming pools; spas, plants, animals, humans and to all of life!
This ‘Dirty Little Secret‘ is to:
Find your Body’s pH
There are a variety of ways to determine your body’s pH, the most accurate of which is to find the pH value of your blood using a pH meter. However, that can be impractical since it would require drawing blood and purchasing a special meter. A more practical and inexpensive method is to find the pH level of your urine or your saliva using litmus paper. But, since your urine and saliva pH varies with what you eat, you should measure your pH after fasting for at least 12 hours, or when you get up in the morning, before you exercise, eat or drink anything. Dip the pH strips into your urine or saliva and compare the color against the chart from the package the strips came with. Normal healthy body pH should be around 7.4. I know what I said earlier that pH balance is generally accepted neutral from 6.8-7.2. But our bodies are, or should be, a little more alkaline to be in proper pH balance.
WOW, this stuff is really getting dirty! We are not done. There is much more to come and more ‘Dirty Little Secrets‘ to share next time.