So what exactly is pH?
pH is the negative log of hydrogen ion concentration in a water-based solution. The term "pH" was first described by Danish biochemist Søren Peter Lauritz Sørensen in 1909. pH is an abbreviation for "power of hydrogen" where "p" is short for the German word for power, potenzand H is the element symbol for hydrogen. ~ source
The POWER of Hydrogen - if ever there was a name that said it all!
This is an alternate description:
pH is a measure of how acidic or basic (alkaline) a solution is. In any given solution, some atoms of water dissociate to form hydrogen ions (H+) and hydroxyl ions (OH-). The pH scale is a means of showing which ion has the greater concentration. At a pH of 7.0, the concentrations of hydrogen ions and hydroxyl ions are equal, and the water is said to be neutral. Pure water has a pH of 7.0. When the pH is less than 7.0, there are more hydrogen ions than hydroxyl ions, and the water is said to be acidic. When the pH is greater than 7.0, there are more hydroxyl ions than hydrogen ions, and the water is said to be basic or alkaline. ~ source
Your pH level measures the concentration of hydrogen ions in your body. While pH can range from 1 = the most acidic = highest concentration of hydrogen ions, to 14 = the most alkaline = lowest concentration of hydrogen ions, many systems of the human body operate best within a very narrow band around a neutral pH of 7. Other areas, like the inside of the stomach, actually needs an acidic environment.
The standard American diet, rich in cooked foods, meat, hydrogenated fats, and dairy, creates a lower pH = more acidic = higher concentration of hydrogen ions in the human body. Huge strides can be made towards health and eradicating disease just by correcting the body from an acidic state to a more alkaline environment! This is huge when you understand that the different systems in your body are affected when you are more acidic than alkaline.
Your body can be a breeding ground for certain types of health killers when your pH is not in balance. Balancing your pH can kill pathogens without even trying!
As stated above, each system of the body is affected by an acidic nature, some of them more than others of course. Here is a quick list of health issues that are either caused or massively contributed to by a low pH:
- Compromised immune system, which basically affects the entire body.
- Respiratory issues like bronchitis, asthma, etc.
- Digestive system - different enzymes are more effective at different pHs, which changes how well your body can break down or absorb food. Indigestion, nausea, bloating, gastric reflux can be caused by too much acid in the stomach.
- Circulatory system - always seem to be catching your breath? That is a sign you are not getting enough oxygen in your system. Hydroxyl ions (OH-) can be a source of oxygen for the body. A low = acidic pH indicates a high concentration hydrogen ions (H+) and lower concentration of hydroxyl ions, meaning less oxygen available.
- Arthritis - accumulated acid destroys cartilage.
- Pimples and rashes can be a sign of too much acidity when the skin gets overwhelmed.
- Urinary system - know anyone with kidney stones? They are way acidic, which pulls the minerals and calcium form the bones to try and balance the pH. The extra calcium ends up in deposits when the kidneys try to filter it out.
- Lack of sex drive - especially in women - may indicate your is too acidic! Plus it increases chance of miscarriage.
Why are we sharing this?
- Because pH has such a far reaching effect on health, it is extremely important to know what your pH levels are! You can check your saliva, urine, and/or blood pH levels with a pH meter or litmus papers.
- We have been tracking the pH of our urine during our candida cleanse, and we have observed a dramatic difference - and we are only into our second week! That will be the topic of an upcoming post, so stay tuned.
Now that you know the what's what of pH in the body, let's talk solutions!
Diet is a significant factor towards balancing pH for the human body. The standard American diet generally creates an acidic environment. Changing your diet can make your body more alkaline!
It is suggested that a person's body should read between 7.30-7.45, but as we said different systems have different pH needs. If you test your urine or saliva using a pH meter or litmus papers, 6.5 to 7.5 is desirable.
Take a look at the chart below to find the best foods for increasing an acidic pH:
Because pH is so important and affects everything we do every day, we'll incorporate a lot of pH tips into our upcoming health posts.
We hope this will inspire you to do additional research and work towards the best possible health for yourself!
For additional resources on this topic, please check out some of these links and the ones above:
*This information is not intended to be medical advice; it is just shared research & experience.