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Please help me understand pH in the body....

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'm wondering if someone could explain, or point me in the direction of a good explanation of pH in the body.  I'm currently reading Wheat Belly, and in there he talks about how an excess of grains can cause our bodies to become too acidic.  I've read other places that we should be slightly alkalilne.  But, then I've read how things like apple cider vinegar and pure, unsweetened cranberry juice (both very acidic) are good for us.  Especially for ridding ourselves of yeast, etc.  So, I'm confused and don't really know where to start.  Thoughts?  TIA!

post #2 of 4

I spent a few months several years ago researching pH in the body and diet, and concluded that a healthy pH will be accomplished by eating a balanced natural diet without charts and dietary adjustments for pH. For my opinion, monitoring pH of foods seems speculative. For example, citrus fruits are acidic but are supposed to be "alkalizing" to the body - yet too much acidity in the diet can irritate the stomach. I would say that it's more accurate to point out that certain acidic foods aid digestion by providing natural acidity and requiring less acid production by the body's glands; that seems like a different argument than saying that a particular food is "alkalizing" because the pH of the normal human body varies from 4.0 (stomach) - 8.5 (duodenum) and everywhere in between; there is no overall pH condition of the body. No amount of lemon slices will or should "alkalize" the stomach, for example.


My grasp of the topic is that certain foods, such as refined sugars and starches, coffee, and processed chocolate, stimulate acid production in the stomach beyond what is normal for ordinary digestion. Maybe that is what is meant by the author.


I think it's difficult to have too much alkalinity in the diet since most foods are acidic. The most common alkaline substances that are consumed are baking soda or edible clay in water. It's probably a good idea to drink plenty of pH neutral water daily and some alkalized water each week (by adding clay or baking soda, I don't know anything about the commercial alkalized water and don't have anything like that in my area). These remedies are commonly used for heartburn and acidic stomach.

post #3 of 4

I've measured my salivary pH when I was on a low-carb diet and it was always alkaline, which makes me think that the body is a lot more complex than what the alkaline diet-pushers would lead you to believe.

I think if you just eat a balanced diet you'll be fine. If you're worried about acidity in coffee, put crushed eggshells with the grounds in the filter. If they bother you on an empty stomach, try eating oranges after a meal.


Keep tinkering until you get it to work, if you like citrus or coffee or whatever enough that you don't want to eliminate them from your diet.


It just takes common sense.


I also used to be on the anti-wheat bandwagon, but now I'm eating it again. I thought after years of avoiding it I would break out in hives or have severe constipation but nope, I'm perfectly fine. 


I'll have to remember to measure my pH after eating a sandwich! ;-)

post #4 of 4
Your digestive system should be ...

Mouth alkaline
Stomach acidic
small intestines alkaline
large intestines acidic
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