Acidosis is a state of the body chemistry. All substances are either acidic, neutral or alkaline. Acids have a pH value between 0 for strongest acids and 6.9 for very week acids. Battery acid has a pH value of 0 and if you touch it you burn your skin and your clothes. Digestive acid has a pH value of 1. It is very strong and it can break down food in the digestive system. Lemons have a pH value of 2, oranges have a pH value of 3, coffee has a pH value of 5, urine has a pH value of 6 meaning it is a very weak acid. Water has a pH value of 7, making is neutral. A pH value above 7 is alkaline, with the strongest alkali having a pH of 14.
The human body is slightly alkaline, with a pH value ranging between 7.35 and 7.45. A pH value above 7.45 means the body is too alkaline, or it is in a state of alkalosis. When the body’s pH value is below 7.35, it is too acidic and it is in a state of acidosis. Acidity of the body is tested through testing of the blood, urine or saliva. If you have a piece of litmus paper, you can just lick, give a few minutes to react and see whether your saliva is acidic or alkaline or just right.
Alkalosis is a rare problem in matters of health. Acidosis is the subject of this article.
What Causes Acidosis?
Acidosis mostly happens when we consume foods and beverages that produce acids as a by-product of digestion. Foods that contain high levels of purines produce uric acid as a by-product.
These foods are liver, kidney, bacon, beef, pork, lamb, game, meats, cereals, anchovies, tuna, herring, sardines, mussels, trout, scallops, haddock, mackerel and which have high purine levels and contribute to high blood levels of uric acid.
Cow’s milk, like the majority of dairy and animal products, is an acid-forming food. Dairy products are very acidifying to the body after digestion. Cheese is the worst culprit because it consists of concentrated milk solids.
Alcoholic beverages inhibit the kidneys’ ability to eliminate uric acid, and the retained uric acid causes problems in the body if the intake of alcohol is ongoing.
Legumes have lower levels of purine, and so they produce lower levels of uric acid.
Mild levels of uric acid are easily eliminated by the kidneys through urine. When there is excess uric acid in the bloodstream, the kidneys cannot eliminate it fast enough. Excess uric acid is deposited as needle-shaped crystals in the tissues of the body, including joints, causing intense pain. Those who suffer from arthritis and gout know the nature of this pain.
In 2004 the New England Journal of Medicine published results of a 12-year study. The study evaluated the relationship between the intake of purine-rich foods and dairy foods and the incidence of gout in a sample of 47,150 men. The men involved had no history of gout at the beginning of the study. They found that increased meat and seafood intake was associated with approximately a 50 percent higher risk of gout development over the 12-year study period.
How Does Acidosis Affect the Body?
Anybody who has ever touched battery acid with hands or clothes knows that acids burn. Those who suffer from acid reflux or stomach ulcers know too that acids burn. In fact strong acids consume. Have you seen a murderer in a movie putting a human body in a drum of acid and the body is completely dissolved?
In the initial stages of acidosis, the acid burns joints destroying cartilage. That burning causes inflammation and that inflammation is what we call arthritis and gout. Later these joints are so damaged that a person needs to have a joint replacement. You may know people whose backs are bent and shriveled because the spinal joints are damaged.
As more and more acid accumulates in the body, the the acid eats into flesh and body organs, causing general inflammation and destruction of tissue. This is when the body is so damaged that it becomes the playground of diseases. Cancers grow. High blood pressure develops, later causing heart disease. The affected person is then a very sick person, depending on dozens of pills just to make it through the day. The kidneys and liver are also affected due to over-use as they try to get rid of the acid. Eventually there is total failure of the body organs and early death.
If you want to prevent disease, prevent acidosis. Eat foods that alkalize the body. This is the real reason why we must avoid animal products and reduce intake of alcohol.
So What Should We Eat?
We should eat foods that are essential and at the same time they add less acid to the body. These are our beans and whole grains.
We must also eat foods that alkalize the body after digestion. These are our fruits and vegetables and raw nuts and raw seeds. These foods neutralize the mild acid formed in the body by the legumes. And they keep the body in a slightly alkaline state. That is the ideal state of health.