But, what exactly is an acidic body condition?
First of all, an acidic body condition is distinct from the high concentration of hydrochloric acid in your stomach which you need to release vitamin B12 and magnesium from the food you eat.
Even where stomach acid is essential, it poses a threat. For instance, once stomach acid has freed vitamin B12 and magnesium from food your body has to provide R-binders to protect the B12 from being denatured by your stomach acid.
Besides secreting hydrochloric acid your stomach’s parietal cells secrete a glycoprotein called intrinsic factor. In the high acidity of your stomach, intrinsic factor has a strong affinity for the R-binders containing B12. As your digesting food moves into your duodenum, the first part of your small intestine, the R-binders become partly digested by your pancreatic proteases, thus releasing their vitamin B12.
The freed B12 is relatively safe in the more neutral, less acidic pH of your duodenum where it is picked up by your intrinsic factor and together they proceed to the lower end of your small intestine, where you are able to absorb the vitamin B12. B12 Malabsorption. Read more.
Your digestion process illustrates that in its place high acidity is good and that to be healthy your entire body does not have to have a low acidic pH. In fact, the pH level of your saliva, stomach, blood, and urine, to name just a few parts of your body, are likely to be verydifferent but equally healthy.
It is your overall body pH, most often measured using test pH strips and your urine, that indicates whether you are more or less prone to health.
Acidic foods are alkalizing
Many foods which are not as obviously acidic as citrus fruits also have an alkalizing effect in your body; for example: avocados, broccoli and olive oil.
Cancer, as well as many diseases not as fearfully regarded as cancer, are linked to low pH, for instance, diabetes.
Dr. Atkins’ books on weight loss encouraged acidosis
The connection between acidosis, the condition of low pH in the body, and diabetes was first brought to my attention in Dr. Atkins’ books on weight loss.
Dr. Atkins explained that by eating primarily protein you can put your body into a state of acidosis, and, in a state of acidosis your body will rapidly burn fat, causing bad breath, which he felt was a minor side affect.
I tried the Atkins diet and indeed rapidly lost weight, but steaks, bacon, pork chops and cheese became less and less appetizing.
At the time, as evening front desk clerk at a small Best Western here in Santa Fe, I had an opportunity to talk to a lot of people, many of whom flourished on the Atkins diet and never found steaks unappetizing.
Dr. D’Adamo’s blood type perspective
Since then I’ve read Dr. D’Adamo on the relationship of different foods to different blood types. The varying relationships would explain why some people thrived on the Atkins diet, suggesting that they were the ones with type O blood.
I have type A or AB, I forget which. What I remember is that my blood type is the type which benefits from drinking coffee and eating celery. I know I don’t have type O or type B and I know that Dr. D’Adamo says people with type O benefit from eating meat.
Symptoms of low pH:
- Aging appears more rapidly
- Bladder conditions
- Body temperature lower than normal
- Cardiovascular damage occurs
- Complexion becomes pale
- Digestion slows
- Eyelids inflame
- Fatigue and low energy
- Fingernails thin and split easily
- Free radical damage accelerates
- Gums inflamed and sensitive
- Hair is dull, ends are split, falls out easily
- Hormonal problems
- Immune deficiency
- Infections become more common
- Joints become painful
- Kidney stones
- Legs cramp and spasm
- Lips crack at their corners
- Muscles ache
- Skin dry, flakes and is easily irritated
- Stomach acid becomes a problem
- Stress felt more easily and more often
- Teeth loose and painful
- Ulcers of mouth and stomach
- Weight gain
- Yeast/fungal problems
Low pH and low B12 affect your blood
Many symptoms of low pH are also symptoms of low vitamin B12.
Both low pH and low vitamin B12 levels affect your blood, which in turn affects the amount of oxygen your tissues receive. When you have low vitamin B12 levels your blood cells are unable to properly divide. As a result they become too large to pass easily into your small vessels. With low pH your blood cells clump together and the clumps can’t pass easily into your small vessels. In both cases the lack of oxygen to your cells makes you feel tired.
Healthy blood cells are kept separate from each other by their negatively charged outside and positively charged inside. In an over acidic body the acid strips blood cells of their negative charge, without which they no longer have the repelling force they need and clump together.
Healthy blood cells are separate from each other and move freely.
Stripped of their negative charge, blood cells clump together and can’t get into small vessels.
Chart: Most to Least Acidifying Foods
Chart: Most to Least Alkalizing Foods
Vinegar and Beau’s Lines ~
A coworker once told me she could get rid of my bad cough, but I wouldn’t like it. She said to mix equal parts of tea, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, add honey and drink it. It wasn’t quite as vile as it sounded, and she was right: it got rid of my cough. It also made me sleep, which I had been having trouble doing. I used the “cure” every night for weeks until I noticed that my thumbnails had horizontal grooves forming in them. When I stopped using the vinegar drink, the grooves smoothed out to normal. Other health warnings in fingernails. Read more.
Some years later when I was living in hydrogen sulfide from the outdoor toilet pit under my condo I had the horizontal grooves appear once again.
At that time I couldn’t eat sauerkraut, mustard, pickles, or anything containing vinegar without my ankles and feet swelling. Only when I moved out of my condo, and after some time passed, could I once again eat mustard, which I love.
Now that I know about pH, I better understand how the vinegar was overwhelming my system.
Potassium helps keep pH high and osteoporosis low
Potassium-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables, are rich in precursors to bicarbonate ions, which buffer acids in the body. The modern Western diet tends to be low in sources of alkalai (fruits and vegetables) and high in sources of acid (fish, meats, and cheeses). When the quantity of bicarbonate ions is too low to maintain normal pH, the body can mobilize alkaline calcium salts from bone in order to neutralize acids consumed in the diet and generated by metabolism. Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables reduces the net acid content of the diet and may preserve calcium in bones, which might otherwise be mobilized to maintain normal pH.
Morris RC, Frassetto LA, Schmidlin O, Forman A, Sebastian A. Expression of osteoporosis as determined by diet-disordered electrolyte and acid-base metabolism. In: Burkhardt P, Dawson-Hughes B, Heaney R, eds. Nutritional Aspects of Osteoporosis. San Diego: Academic Press; 2001:357-378.
Olive oil’s high pH may balance out low pH foods
To my way of thinking, it seems highly likely that the reason olive oil with its high pH is so healthy for us is that it balances out the low pH of foods cooked in it, so that they no longer have as damaging and effect.