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Introduction pH
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Introduction pH

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  • In the series entitled "How You Rot & Rust" which is in other areas of this manual, we introduce the concept of pH and its relationship to one's health. In this series we will show you how measuring the pH of body fluids like urine and saliva can help you assess the body's balance.

    To recap, pH is the acronym for potential hydrogen. It is a measure of the degree of saturation of the hydrogen ion in a substance or solution.

    From a mildly technical perspective, let's look at the molecule of water, H2O. H=Hydrogen and O=Oxygen.

    If water and water is combined we get H2O + H2O => H3O + OH-

  • pH
  • H3O (the hydronium ion+) is the acid element and OH- (the hydroxyl ion-) is the base or alkaline element. (You may also note that the +ion is a cation and the -ion is an anion as discussed in the section on Zeta Potential.) In pure water these are balanced and upon measuring with a pH meter the reading would be 7.

    7 is neutral on a pH scale which goes from 0 to 14. This scale corresponds to the hydrogen ion concentration from 100 to 10-14 moles per liter. This is a huge range which sensitive instruments can measure.

    When the H3O and OH- are out of balance a pH meter will detect this and the reading will move above or below 7. Like a teeter-totter, if one goes up the other goes down and vice versa.

    In the human body a pH balancing act is continuously going on to maintain homeostasis. When defining measurement values of certain pH levels of human fluids, there are no absolutes that can be written in stone because the value that "should be here" has to be balanced against other values "that should be there". In essence, in the human body things never happen in a vacuum and you need to be ever mindful of these things as you make your measurements.

    pH – buffer system

    There are three primary pH buffering systems of the body but for now we simply want to say a few words about the word "buffer". What exactly does that mean? A buffer keeps something where it should be. It buffers adverse swings. It shields, cushions and protects.

    If you have ever seen a pH test strip for a swimming pool, you will note a section of the strip that states "pH" which will give a direct pH reading, and a section of the strip that states "total alkalinity". Now you might have a swimming pool reading of 7.2 pH, but if "total alkalinity" is low, the pH of 7.2 can be easily moved too acid or too alkaline. It can be pushed around because the total concentration of (-) ions (the "total alkalinity") is low. Hence, pH can get pushed around and will not stay put.

    This same thing happens with humans. pH values can get pushed around fairly easily if total alkalinity is low. The key is to balance pH and increase total alkalinity levels. Now just so you don't go overboard with the thought that all must be alkaline to the extreme, note that everything has balance and a perfect range. There are compartments in the body that you could say need "total acidity" in order to function. So for our purposes, we will say that the key is "total buffering" which is a good ionic concentration to maintain a solid pH that stays within an ideal range for the thing being measured.

  • pH
  • In general we can raise the body's buffer capacity through consumption of mineral rich food, however, this is not always easy to do with our current agricultural situation of chemical farming on depleted soils. So in a clinical environment, we can assist pH balance in the body by using supplemental minerals. We pay attention to the anionic/cationic ratios, and while minerals like sodium, potassium and magnesium are important, we use various forms of calcium to push pH in specific directions (up, down or neutral) depending on the calcium type and this increases "total buffering" activity to maintain a solid pH that stays within optimum range and does not move easily. Now with that said, it is easy to use the wrong calcium in the wrong pH range and screw things up. But we'll cover this later.

  • Calcium (Calcium citrate)

  • Calcium Gluconate)

  • pH – Range

    For our purposes we will be measuring urine and saliva. In a perfect world with other health parameters in place, the pH of both urine and saliva will be right around the 6.4 level - and this would be at just about any time of day when tested - though the best times to track and test for a baseline reading would be two hours after a meal.

    Understand that pH can move all over the place. This is so because most individuals "total alkalinity" is not very strong. So two hours after a meal for instance, you may find the urine going acid as it is a reflection of the meals acid components pushing the pH. But as "total alkalinity" increases in an individual, this swaying urine pH starts to lock in at the 6.4 level. This takes time to accomplish.

    The question may arise as to why urine and saliva should be steady in the 6.4 area, and the answer lies with the work of many researchers, most specifically in this regard to Dr. Carey Reams. In our own clinical work with the research of Reams, Vincent, Rivici and others, we strongly concur with the 6.4 level for urine and saliva.

    The reason 6.4 seems to be ideal is for specific ionization principles to be carried out in the body. Anytime we talk about the human body and biological terrain, we can relate it to stories of farming and soil terrain for there is common ground in both areas. After all, we do come from the dust of the earth and it is the dust of the earth from which we will return (our bodies at least). pH is but one parameter that quantifies the nature of the terrain.

    When a plant grows, it draws up from the cationic earth and reaches towards the anionic sky. As one force of the plant spirals up, another energetic force spirals down. The plant uptakes the water and minerals from the soil and ionizes, changes and incorporates those substances into the fibers and matrix of the plant. In order for the plant to reach its optimum and most healthy state (and nutritious when talking about edible plants) the soil terrain must be within an ideal range of parameters.

    When we eat the plant, the process is reversed and the plant substance is broken down through the pressure and resistance of digestion and the soil of the liver transforms, stores and dispenses components of the life processes which are further acted on by the soil of the cells and glands throughout the body. It is the circle of life; highly charged, electric, and magnetic, some might say electromagnetic or electrostatic.

    I am reminded of a story of this circle of life spoken of by Buckminster Fuller who was truly a great thinker (you may recall the geodesic dome and Bucky balls). He was once asked the question, what is fire? In a nutshell, he said that if you were to watch a log burning in the fireplace, the fire you are seeing is the sun's radiation unwinding. The sun's flame winds through the sky and through photosynthesis is absorbed by the tree. The tree grows and for every year of its life a growth ring forms showing a years worth of absorbing the sun's flame. When the tree gets chopped down to a log and burned in the fireplace, you are witness to the sun's flame coming back out. It's the circle of life.

    The food you consume stores the flame of the sun. The more perfect your body's biological terrain, the more capacity you will have to extract every ounce of the flame to give you vibrant health and dynamic energy. The food you consume is met with the resistance of digestion, and it is this resistance which causes a friction and a release of energy in the form of amino acids and mineral ions, colloids, heat and electricity.

    Visualize a hydraulic press. That press sits between your saliva pH of 6.4 and your urine pH of 6.4. At that pH level the press has maximum force and effect to extract all the energy food has to give. But if the saliva pH that is above the press or the urine pH that is below the press shifts outside of the 6.4/6.4 range, the efficiency of the press begins to fall. Hence, metabolic efficiency begins to go askew, imbalance sets in, and over time problems can develop.

  • pH
  • The testing that follows are a series of tests to illustrate where your pH lies and will give you insights to the degree of balance (or not) within your body.

    We will follow this up with a few guidelines and simple mineral and calcium rules that can help an individual re-balance the pH.

  • Calcium (Calcium citrate)

  • Calcium Gluconate)

  • Daily Cycle Test

    This is an on-going test over several days to even a couple of weeks to determine how your pH swings during the day under different circumstances and food consumption habits.

    Take a sheet of paper and make 5 columns headed "time", "consumption", "saliva pH", "urine pH", "feel".

    You will record your urine and saliva pH every time you go to the bathroom. When you wake up in the morning record the time and your pH values and how you feel. When you eat breakfast, record the time. Next time you go to the bathroom record the time, your pH values and how you feel. Next time you eat, record the time and what you ate. Next time you go to the bathroom record the time, pH values and how you feel. Do this throughout the whole day and over many days.

    Here you will start to track what you eat, how that makes your pH sway, and how you feel during the process. It can be an invaluable tool to begin to make associations like; every time I eat x food, my pH a few hours later goes to y value, and I feel like…. You may start to notice patterns that are either for your benefit or perhaps not. Do it for a long enough period and you will start to see cause and effect. You are on the road to taking real charge of your health.

    Wake-up-Test

    First thing in the morning, your eyes open up, you roll over and test your saliva pH. In a best situation, your pH reads 6.4. Individuals with either chronic degenerative diseases or those setting themselves up for such will see their wake up saliva from 5.5 or lower with concurrent urine pH as low as 4.5. These values represent a long term acid stress on the body. Generally this means that an individuals alkaline reserves are very low to depleted. In general you do not want to see a wake up saliva pH below 6.1.

    Salivating Test

    You sit down to eat, you get the aroma of your favorite mealtime dish, you are ready to chow down and something begins to happen in your mouth. You begin to salivate. This is a reflection of the enzyme amylase kicking in for the starch digestion process. This enzyme needs a range of pH ideally around 7.2 pH. So if you have adequate alkaline reserves in your body, testing your saliva pH as you salivate before a meal should give you a pH reading of around 7.2. If your pH is not getting up to at least 7.0, you can assume there is stress in your alkaline reserves and the further below 7 it goes, the more depleted are those reserves. You could also suspect digestion all around is not doing so well. This typically indicates a longer term problem and more serious effort needs to be applied to help restore overall health.

  • pH
  • Acid Meal Test

    Here you are going to eat an acid forming food evening meal. Meat, pasta, beans, bread, nuts, fish, no vegetables. Next morning, check your first urine pH. The meal the previous evening was too acid, but the body needs to be getting rid of this acid, so the urine should reflect this. Best situation would be wake up urine from 4.5 up to 5.8 or so. This would be a reflection of your body having enough alkaline reserves that it was buffering the acid and the adrenals and kidneys had appropriate energy to get rid of it. It is a healthy response.

    Wake up urine after the acid evening meal between 5.8 and 6.8 is a reflection that the body is barely compensating, and the higher the pH the worse the situation.

    Wake up urine after the acid evening meal of 6.8 or higher is not good. It is a possible indication that the body is dumping bicarbonate ions and may be in the ammonia cycle of the liver to help deal with the acid. This situation probably means depleted alkaline reserves and possible exhausted adrenal glands as well as probable digestive problems.

    If the above situation or an alkaline morning urine is accompanied by an acid saliva less then 5.8, the situation is getting worse, and the further apart the numbers, the worse it is. Definite remedial action for alkaline reserve build up is critical.

    As a point of reference, have you ever been to a nursing home and smelled an ammonia odor? Did you think that was because the nursing home was doing a good job of house cleaning? Well that is not the case. What is happening is you are smelling the urine of very sick people in their last days. Their bodies are in a give up state, they are likely dumping any alkaline buffers they have and the body is in last ditch mode trying to maintain sufficient blood pH for life to hang on by converting the acid in their systems to ammonia. The single biggest thing those individuals need is more water for hydration and a lot of alkalizing minerals. I would venture to guess that if this were to occur in nursing homes around the country a lot of their patients would be getting better and going home.

    Alkaline Meal Test

    Here you are going to eat an alkalizing evening meal. Basically all vegetables. Green leafy veggies, broccoli, lima beans, carrots, etc. Next morning check your first urine pH.

    If the pH range is 4.5 to 5.5 you can consider it a too acid response. It means your body has a lot of excess acidity stored and you need to keep up those alkaline evening meals until the numbers come up.

    If you have a pH range from 5.5 to 6.8 it could be considered that you have a better level of alkaline reserves, but key to that assumption would be how you feel. If you feel healthy this range is ok. If you have symptoms of problems, you may need to dig more into the situation.

    If the pH range is 6.8 to 8.5 again it could mean all is very well IF you are perfectly healthy. However, if you were experiencing serious symptoms of ill health, this alkaline response could be an indication that your cells are too toxic to use the alkaline reserves and instead are being dumped.

    It should be mentioned here that there can be times when someone consumes many vegetables and alkaline minerals and their pH readings average far above 6.4. They believe this to be healthy but it actually is reflecting an underlying imbalance. Instead of using the minerals they are being dumped. Further testing will many times show an anabolic/catabolic imbalance - some clinicians also refer to this as an anaerobic/dysaerobic imbalance. This is related to the mix of fatty acids and sterols on cell membrane walls. If these fatty acids and sterols go askew it will affect cell membrane permeability so what goes in does not necessarily get assimilated the way it should.

    Moving pH

    To get a quick "average" pH, you can measure yourself two hours after breakfast and two hours after lunch. Do this over a period of days and get your average numbers. Then use this formula:

    (Avg Urine pH ____ + Avg Saliva pH X 2 ___) / Divided by 3 = ___

    Average pH Between 6 and 7

  • Calcium (Calcium citrate)

  • Calcium Gluconate)

  • pH
  • If your average pH is between 6 and 7 just use the neutral calcium of gluconate and orotate to build up your total alkalinity along with other minerals and trace minerals.

    Average pH Above 7

    If your pH is above 7, add calcium lactate and vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Clinicians have found about 1000mg twice a day of C is good, and the higher above pH 7 you go, the more vitamin C you can take. Stop the calcium lactate when you come into range between 6 and 7 and pull back on the vitamin C.

    Do not take vitamin D.

    Average pH Below 6

    If your pH is below 6, add calcium citrate or calcium carbonate (something like coral calcium is the carbonate form). With pH 5.6 to 6 clinicians have found that adding 1000 IU of vitamin D once or twice a day is beneficial and pH from 5.2 to 5.6 up to 5000 IU of vitamin D is good, while pH below 5.0 up to 50000 IU of vitamin D once or twice a day would be ok as little vitamin D is being absorbed in the acid terrain. You can use the vitamin D to help push the pH up. Stop the calcium citrate and carbonate when you come into pH range 6 to 7. Pull back on vitamin D and go to cod liver oil for vitamin D requirements.

    Do not take vitamin C.

    Testing Gear

    Here is standard pH test paper. It ranges from pH of 5.5 to 8.0 in .2 steps. This .2 step is important to try and get accuracy. About a 2 inch strip of paper is torn off and it is dipped into your urine or saliva and read immediately. The color of the paper that matches the test colors is the pH.

    Here is a digital pH meter. One drop of urine or saliva is placed on the tip and the pH is given in the digital readout up to .1 accuracy

    pH meters come in many flavors but for long term use and low maintenance the best meters use pH probes with ISFET technology. This is basically an electronic solid state chip that can use as little as one drop of fluid for testing. Biomedx uses the mini Lab shown here which has two point calibration for accuracy. We chose this over other units that only have single point calibration. This means you calibrate the probe at 4.5 and 7.0 pH levels and then your saliva and urine test will be very accurate.

    Some meters use glass bulbs but those wear out fast and they should always be stored wet to maintain good function. You can sometimes find these at low cost but they often require large sample size and their accuracy fluctuates depending on how well they have been maintained.

    This pocket pH meter includes a pH training guide which is an educational program on pH that includes the tests reviewed on this site along with a couple of others, appropriate pH tracking charts and an extended calcium chart for choosing the appropriate calcium supplementation to move pH as required.

    pH is an important parameter to gauge one's health and the small investment in a portable and high quality pH probe like the mini Lab shown here can pay dividends now and well into the future for your health. This is one of the tools all health minded individuals should own.

  • Calcium (Calcium citrate)

  • Calcium Gluconate)

  • pH
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