Did you read my post The Importance of a Healthy Acid/Alkaline Balance? It explains that having a balanced pH is good for your health and how to alkalize the body to achieve Homeostasis, which means balance and a relative state of equilibrium (the goal in regards to health).
In today's post, let's dig a little deeper...
What causes acidity in the body?
Having balanced homeostasis and a slightly alkaline pH is good for health. Disease thrives in both an overly acidic or overly alkaline body, and unfortunately, most Americans have a slightly acidic environment in their body due to an excess acid load. This is due to several factors:
Research done on the diets of Paleolithic peoples, who lived in pre-agricultural times, concluded that they ate an alkaline producing diet, based on alkaline plant foods. In modern times, the SAD diet is comprised of cereal grains, simple sugars, low fiber, high sodium, and nutrient-poor foods, which are rather acidic. It is no coincidence that there also has been an increase in disorders and “diseases of civilization”, including atherosclerosis, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer.
There are tests to determine a person’s pH using blood, saliva, urine, or hair mineral analysis, however, they may not be reliable depending on the amount of wastes in the cellular fluid at a particular time, and does not determine the quality of a person’s tissues, organs, glands, skin, etc., all of which will have various pH readings. According to Paula Bartholomy at Hawthorn University, “The best barometer for evaluating general acid alkaline levels may very well be just the overall health and well-being of an individual.”
What is the pH/Cancer Connection?
World Health Organization (WHO) research suggests that approximately four percent of cancers are genetic; which means the rest are linked to lifestyle, diet, and/or environment and may be preventable. Cancer cells also exist in healthy bodies, but healthy bodies are able to naturally kill and remove diseased cells before they can take hold or grow into tumors. Many holistic health experts believe that cancer is an effect of deep imbalances in the body. The imbalances may grow larger over time, and are caused by metabolic acids that build up in the blood and are released into cells, tissues, and organs (Cook, 2008).
Some pH/cancer connections explained:
Some pH/cancer connections explained:
- An acid-producing diet, environment, and lifestyle cause the body to have a compromised or overburdened immune system and an unbalanced pH at the cellular level. Unhealthy cells open the door to possible mutations. Cancer cells form when DNA and/or RNA is mutated. This can happen spontaneously or result from factors like radiation, toxins, chemicals, pathogens (bacteria, fungi, parasites, viruses), and the food and water one consumes.
- The human body has a natural, negative, electromagnetic charge. However, cells that are in an oxygen deprived, acidic environment have a positive charge. These positively charged, unhealthy cells are electromagnetically attracted to negatively charged, healthy cells. Therefore, healthy cells are pulled into an acidic environment and damage may occur. As a mass of unhealthy cells grows, the body often defends itself by isolating the tissue to prevent it from spreading. This is a cancer tumor.
- Acidity reduces oxygen. Healthy cells cannot thrive or divide in an acidic environment, and cell respiration is compromised. Yet, cancer thrives in an oxygen-poor, acidic environment. Instead of oxygen, cancer can use glucose fermentation for energy, which is anaerobic. Worse yet, the fermentation process produces more acid and lowers the pH even further. Research has shown that both acidity and lack of oxygen are factors in non-malignant tumors all the way to invasive cancers. Researchers also found very low pH levels in the veins of cancerous tumors and that the cells of most solid tumors are surrounded by acid.
- The mitochondria in cells are what convert food to energy. In an acidic environment, the mitochondria have inadequate energy and impaired capacity to stave off cancer cells.
Cook, M. S. (2008). The ultimate pH solution: balance your body chemistry to prevent disease and lose weight. New York: Collins.
Bartholomy, P. (Director) (2014 a). Diet Plan, Homeostasis. MSHN lecture. [Format of file]. Lecture conducted from Hawthorn University, California. http://www.hawthornuniversity.org.
Bartholomy, P. (Director) (2014 b). Food Characteristics/Diet Direction. MSHN 106 lecture. [Format of file]. Lecture conducted from Hawthorn University, California. http://www.hawthornuniversity.org.
The Au Naturale Nutrition series on Cancer:
Jenny Yelle, MHNE Holistic Wellness Educator
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