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Dr. Weed's A Better Way Newsletter

To learn more about this important topic, click to listen online to: "pH Balancing Simplified" Click here to listen!

The Cause of Disease

Have you ever wondered if many of the diseases raging through our society have a common cause? Many doctors, herbalists and nutritionists believe that the explanation may come down to three words:

Acid Alkaline Imbalance

Over acidity, which can become a dangerous condition that weakens all body systems, is very common today. It gives rise to an internal environment conducive to disease, as opposed to a pH-balanced environment which allows normal body function necessary for the body to resist disease. A healthy body maintains adequate alkaline reserves to meet emergency demands. When access acids must be neutralized our alkaline reserves are depleted leaving the body in a weakened condition.

The concept of acid alkaline imbalance as the cause of disease is not new. In 1933 a New York doctor named William Howard Hay published a ground-breaking book, A New Health Era in which he maintains that all disease is cause by autotoxication (or "self-poisoning") due to acid accumulation in the body:

Now we depart from health in just the proportion to which we have allowed our alkalies to be dissipated by introduction of acid-forming food in too great amount... It may seem strange to say that all disease is the same thing, no matter what its myriad modes of expression, but it is verily so.
      William Howard Hay, M.D.

More recently, in his remarkable book Alkalize or Die (see recommended reading), Dr. Theodore A. Baroody says essentially the same thing:

The countless names of illnesses do not really matter. What does matter is that they all come from the same root cause...too much tissue acid waste in the body!
      Theodore A. Baroody, N.D., D.C., Ph.D.

Understanding pH

pH (potential of hydrogen) is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. It is measured on a scale of 0 to 14 -- the lower the pH the more acidic the solution, the higher the pH the more alkaline (or base) the solution. When a solution is neither acid nor alkaline it has a pH of 7 which is neutral.

Water is the most abundant compound in the human body, comprising 70% of the body. The body has an acid-alkaline (or acid-base) ratio called the pH which is a balance between positively charges ions (acid-forming) and negatively charged ions (alkaline-forming.) The body continually strives to balance pH. When this balance is compromised many problems can occur.

It is important to understand that we are not talking about stomach acid or the pH of the stomach. We are talking about the pH of the body's fluids and tissues which is an entirely different matter.

Test Your Body's Acidity or Alkalinity with pH Strips:

It is recommended that you test your pH levels to determine if your body's pH needs immediate attention. By using pH test strips, you can determine your pH factor quickly and easily in the privacy of your own home. If your urinary pH fluctuates between 6.0 to 6.5 in the morning and between 6.5 and 7.0 in the evening, your body is functioning within a healthy range. If you saliva stays between 6.5 and 7.5 all day, your body is functioning within a healthy range. The best time to test your pH is about one hour before a meal and two hours after a meal. Test your pH two days a week.

(Members and Distributors should order these and other products mentioned on
this page direct from NSP to receive your member discount: http://www.naturessunshine.com.)

Most people who suffer from unbalanced pH are acidic. This condition forces the body to borrow minerals -- including calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium -- from vital organs and bones to buffer (neutralize) the acid and safely remove it from the body. Because of this strain, the body can suffer severe and prolonged damage due to high acidity -- a condition that may go undetected for years.

Mild acidosis can cause such problems as:

  • Cardiovascular damage, including the constriction of blood vessels and the reduction of oxygen.
  • Weight gain, obesity and diabetes.
  • Bladder and kidney conditions, including kidney stones.
  • Immune deficiency.
  • Acceleration of free radical damage, possibly contributing to cancerous mutations.
  • Premature aging.
  • Weak, brittle bones, hip fractures and bone spurs.
  • Joint pain, aching muscles and lactic acid buildup.
  • Low energy and chronic fatigue.

 
 
pH and Bone Loss:
  A recent seven-year study conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, on 9,000 women showed that those who have chronic acidosis are at greater risk for bone loss than those who have normal pH levels. The scientists who carried out this experiment believe that many of the hip fractures prevalent among middle-aged women are connected to high acidity caused by a diet rich in animal foods and low in vegetables. This is because the body borrows calcium from the bones in order to balance pH. --American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Urine pH

The results of urine testing indicate how well your body is assimilating minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. These are called the "acid buffers" because they are used by the body to control the acid level. If acid levels are too high, the body will not be able to excrete acid. It must either store the acid in body tissues (autotoxication) or buffer it -- that is, borrow minerals from organs, bones, etc. in order to neutralize acidity.

Saliva pH

You'll also want to test the pH of your saliva. The results of saliva testing indicate the activity of digestive enzymes in your body, especially the activity of the liver and stomach. This reveals the flow of enzymes running through your body and shows their effect on all the body systems. Some people will have acidic pH readings from both urine and saliva -- this is referred to as "double acid."

Keeping the Balance Right for Excellent Health

Your body is able to assimilate minerals and nutrients properly only when its pH is balanced. It is therefore possible for you to be taking healthy nutrients and yet be unable to absorb or use them. If you are not getting the results you expected from your nutritional or herbal program, look for an acid alkaline imbalance. Even the right herbal program may not work if your body's pH is out of balance.

What if I'm Acidic?

By far the most common imbalance seen in our society is over acidity. If your urine and/or saliva test below 6.5 pH start with steps 1, 2 and 3 below and continue adding steps until desired results are achieved. Be sure to monitor your progress with easy-to-use pH test strips:

  1. Enzymes are essential: Take 1-2 capsules of Food Enzymes or Proactazyme with every meal. If you have both over-acid urine and saliva, also take 1-2 capsules of Protease Plus between meals on an empty stomach.
  2. Correct calcium is needed: Take 4-6 Skeletal Strength tablets daily. This contains a very absorbable calcium and magnesium. Children should use Chewable Calcium for Kids or liquid calcium.
  3. Alkaline minerals are essential: Take 1 ounce of either Colloidal Minerals or Mineral Chi Tonic once daily, or take 1 teaspoon of Liquid Chlorophyll in water up to eight times daily.
  4. Anything green is alkaline: Take Ultimate GreenZone or Herbal Potassium Combination according to label directions. Eat more fruits and vegetables and less animal products.
  5. Vitamin A & D hold calcium in the body. Taking NSP's Vitamin A & D will help the body buffer acid.
  6. What if my pH is still too acidic? As a temporary measure take 2 Stomach Comfort tablets twice daily between meals. (Not for long-term use.) Monitor your pH daily.
  7. Cleanse as needed: Take a psyllium hulls supplement such as Psyllium Hulls Combination at bedtime to maintain regular bowel movements. Use NSP's Chinese Tiao He Cleanse or CleanStart twice a year for liver, bowel and kidney detoxification.

    Get the book! Get a copy of the book Alkalize or Die by Dr. Baroody (see recommended reading below) and carefully follow his dietary recommendations choosing more foods that are alkaline-forming and less that are acid-forming. The food chart below briefly summarizes this information for some of the more common foods. A healthy diet should consist of 80% alkaline-forming foods and 20% acid-forming foods.

What Causes Me to be Acidic?

The reason acidosis is more common in our society is mostly due to the typical American diet, which is far too high in acid-producing animal products like meat, eggs and dairy, and far too low in alkaline-producing foods like fresh vegetables. Additionally, we eat acid-producing processed foods like white flour and sugar and drink acid-producing beverages like coffee and soft drinks. We use too many drugs, which are acid-forming; and we use artificial chemical sweetners like NutraSweet, Equal, or aspartame, which are extremely acid-forming. One of the best things we can do to correct an overly-acid body is to clean up the diet and lifestyle. Refer to the recommended reading for specific help with diet and lifestyle.

What if I'm Overly-Alkaline?

Alkalinity is relatively rare, but if your urine and/or saliva consistently test above 7.0 pH, start with steps 1, 2 and 3 below and continue adding steps until the desired results are achieved. Be sure to monitor your progress with easy-to-use pH test strips. You will notice that some of these steps are the same as those recommended above for an overly acidic condition. This is because such steps are balancing, tending to bring the pH back toward normal no matter which direction it has gone:

  1. Enzymes are essential: Use 1-2 capsules of Proactazyme with each meal. For stronger enzymatic action in difficult cases add 1-2 capsules of Protease Plus between meals on an empty stomach.
  2. Correct calcium is needed: Take 4-6 Skeletal Strength tablets daily.
  3. Vitamin C: Use Timed-Release or Vitamin C Ascorbates. Use 3,000 mg or more, to maximum bowel tolerance. (If diarrhea occurs, reduce intake.)
  4. Flax Seed Oil: Use 1 capsules of Flax Seed Oil 3 times a day or 2 tablespoons of oil daily.
  5. Ultimate GreenZone: Follow label directions.
  6. Cleanse as needed: Take a psyllium hulls supplement such as Psyllium Hulls Combination at bedtime to maintain regular bowel movements. Use NSP's Chinese Tiao He Cleanse or CleanStart twice a year for liver, bowel and kidney detoxification.
Most Alkaline Alkaline Lowest Alkaline FOOD CATEGORY Lowest Acid Acid Most Acid
Stevia Maple Syrup, Rice Syrup Raw Honey, Raw Sugar SWEETENERS Processed Honey, Molasses White Sugar, Brown Sugar NutraSweet, Equal, Aspartame, Sweet 'N Low
Lemons, Watermelon, Limes, Grapefruit, Mangoes, Papayas Dates, Figs, Melons, Grapes, Papaya, Kiwi, Berries, Apples, Pears, Raisins Oranges, Bananas, Cherries, Pineapple, Peaches, Avocados FRUITS Plums, Processed Fruit Juices Sour Cherries, Rhubarb Blueberries, Cranberries, Prunes
Asparagus, Onions, Vegetable Juices, Parsley, Raw Spinach, Broccoli, Garlic Okra, Squash, Green Beans, Beets, Celery, Lettuce, Zucchini, Sweet Potato Carrots, Tomatoes, Fresh Corn, Mushrooms, Cabbage, Peas, Potato Skins, Olives BEANS VEGETABLES LEGUMES Spinach, Kidney Beans, String Beans Potatoes, Pinto Beans, Navy Beans, Lima Beans Soybean, Carob
    Almonds Chestnuts NUTS SEEDS Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds Pecans, Cashews Peanuts, Walnuts
Olive Oil Flax Seed Oil Canola Oil OILS Corn Oil        
        Amaranth, Millet, Wild Rice, Quinoa GRAINS CEREALS Sprouted Wheat Bread, Spelt, Brown Rice White Rice, Corn, Buckwheat, Oats, Rye Wheat, White Flour, Pastries, Pasta
            MEATS Venison, Cold Water Fish Turkey, Chicken, Lamb Beef, Pork, Shellfish
    Breast Milk Goat Milk, Goat Cheese, Whey EGGS DAIRY Eggs, Butter, Yogurt, Buttermilk, Cottage Cheese Soy Cheese, Raw Milk, Soy Milk Cheese, Homogenized Milk, Ice Cream
Herb Teas, Lemon Water Green Tea Ginger Tea BEVERAGES Tea Coffee Beer, Soft Drinks

Note that a food's acid or alkaline-forming tendency in the body has nothing to do with the actual pH of the food itself. For example, lemons are very acidic, however the end-products they produce after digestion and assimilation are very alkaline so lemons are alkaline-forming in the body. Likewise, meat will test alkaline before digestion but it leaves very acidic residue in the body so, like nearly all animal products, meat is very acid-forming.


To Learn More About this Topic:

  1. Click to listen: "pH Balancing Simplified" Click here to listen!             Click here for RealPlayer download

  2. Alkalize or Die by Dr. Theodore A. Baroody, Copyright 1991, Holographic Health Press (ISBN: 0-9619595-3-3). Available at Amazon.com for $14.95 as of this writing. Also available at many health food stores. Click on the book to order from Amazon.com: Alkalize or Die

  3. Diet for a New America : How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness and the Future of Life on Earth by John Robbins. Although it doesn't deal specifically with acid-alkaline imbalance, the vegan diet and lifestyle advocated in this book is very balancing. This is in my opinion the most important book ever published on diet and nutrition. Click on the the book to order from Amazon.com:


For a complete nutritional program begin by taking our Lifestyle Analysis Questionnaire by clicking on the box on the left below. Lifestyle Analysis Questionnaire            

pH testing is not a diagnostic test, but a useful tool in evaluating overall health. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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