Demystifying the pH Balance Debate

I want to help demystify something for you...the debate rages on as to your health being dependent upon an "alkaline" state in your body.  Too many sources are trying to convince you that you must eat more vegetables and stop eating meat to have an alkaline body/long life/freedom from disease.  This is simply not fact ...read on.

pH, Body Fluids and Reality

Here's popular belief...have a green smoothie, or a salad, take a pH strip with you to the bathroom and watch your urine become alkaline right before your eyes.  Maybe, maybe not!  And what if not...what has actually transpired in this process?  The pH of your blood is not affected by what you just did, only the urine has changed.  Blood pH is under a strict regulation of kidney function and the ratio of carbonic acid to bicarbonates for balance of intracellular and extracellular fluids.  This is a very tightly controlled system which also involves respiration in the lungs and the balance of carbon dioxide in the body.  The amount of this exchange which occurred in order to excrete your body's waste has almost nothing to do with whether this food was healthy for you or not.

You Are a Unique Biochemical Machine

What is of greatest concern to you and your health is how your major organs function as you process food multiple times daily.  At True Nature, I help you to understand that you are a unique biochemical machine.  What specific nutrient requirements you have are uniquely yours; your epigenetic stressors are processed in your way, unlike many others; if you and your best friend both eat eat salad and fruit for lunch, one of you may feel awesome while the other feels hungry and horrible.  If this is reality, what's up with the assumption that eating to be "alkaline" is right for everyone?

While pH shifts are actually very, very minor in anyone's body (due to the wisdom of the strict regulation described previously), they are important because the pH of the body should be in balance.  Large shifts of the pH balance are only present in very serious, morbid conditions.  Small shifts which help you to maintain balance are made by efficient system function, aided by digestion, assimilation, and detoxification.  How do we achieve this balance?...with the proper ratios of nutrient types for YOUR body, by proper detoxification, and by efficient running of your metabolic engines.

What is Homeostasis?

pH balance is one of several fundamental homeostatic control mechanisms (FHC's) in the body.  Consider carefully what this means...In any FHC, there are three interdependent components for each variable being regulated.  There is a receptor which receives information, a control center which sets the range at which a variable is maintained, and an effector which mobilizes change to correct deviation.  This is done by "depressing" through negative feedback.  So, if the body is excreting "alkaline", there have been actions in this tightly regulated FHC to correct deviation.  This is a very different understanding of the body than those being espoused, suggesting that fruits and vegetables create immediate "healthy" alkalinity in ALL bodies, everywhere.

The Science of Metabolic Typing® and Food "Ash"

You have likely read/heard that foods produce different types of ash upon their decomposition in the body.  This is true.  The majority of diet dogma in the media claims that we need all alkaline ash, but at True Nature, I will teach you otherwise.  For simplicity's sake , let's say that the majority of animal products and grains produce acid ash, and the majority of fruits and vegetables produce alkaline ash.  In the science of Metabolic Typing®, it has been discovered and detailed that we each have a dominant operating system in our body which regulates how our food is processed and how that results in the production of ATP (energy).  Your dominance is either in your Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), or in your oxidative system.  If your ANS is your regulating system, proteins and grains will, in fact, have an acidifying effect on your blood plasma.  If, however, your oxidizing system is the regulator, proteins and grains will have an alkalinizing effect.  Remember, I am referencing tiny fluctuations in your pH, and I am also speaking about repetitive and cumulative effects of foods upon metabolic function.  Only in the case of morbid illness can the body not correct minor imbalances in order to maintain homeostasis.

What to Eat?

I will help you determine what your dominant regulating system is and how to eat for your Metabolic Type®.  There are multiple types within each regulating system, and each one has unique approaches for achieving the most efficient energy production at the end of the meal.  The acid or alkaline released in the urine after the meal has only to do with what cannot be used by the body following digestion/assimilation, and what happened in the receptor/control center/effector chain to maintain homeostasis. What is important is that your food has created the greatest possible support for all of your body systems - when you eat for your type, you are feeding not only your gut, but your liver, your adrenal glands, your immune system, and every other organ and gland in your body for optimal function. This creates homeostasis and balance.

pH, Digestion and Your Greatest Health

In order to create our own unique biochemical body that runs like a high performance machine, the food we consume must be proper for our own biochemical individuality.  This IS the science of Metabolic Typing®!  Whether we consume too much protein and fat , OR too much plant material for what our dominance is, the stomach, pancreas, liver, and intestines will struggle to nourish and detoxify your body properly.  Consideration must also be given to the balance of hydrochloric acid for healthy digestion...too much or too little, and the whole process becomes compromised.  Acid-type imbalances can lead to anxiety, agitation, feeling tired but wired, and acid reflux.  Alkaline-type imbalances can lead to recurrent infections, leaky gut symptoms, bloating, and gas.  None of these produce health, and all of them are preventable!  Hopefully you no longer question "whether" to be alkaline!  It is irrelevant.  The infinite wisdom of the body is to achieve balance.  Take your first step today to discover what YOUR body needs!

Julie Sands Donaldson, CMTA, LMT, True Nature Health Consulting

Sources

“An Analytical System of Clinical Nutrition”, Guy Schenker, 1989

“The Question of Acid and Alkali Forming Foods”, James Tobey, Dr. P.H., http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1562900/?page=2

“The Metabolic Typing Diet”, William Wolcott