Importance of Balancing pH
What is pH?
On the pH scale, which ranges from 0 on the acidic end to 14 on the alkaline end, a solution is neutral if its pH is 7. At pH 7, water contains equal concentrations of H+ and OH- ions. Substances with a pH less than 7 are acidic because they contain a higher concentration of H+ ions. Substances with a pH higher than 7 are alkaline because they contain a higher concentration of OH- than H+. The pH scale is a log scale so a change of one pH unit means a tenfold change in the concentration of hydrogen ions. In this light, you can see how a slight change in your pH value can have a great impact on your internal environment and, ultimately, your health. 

Importance of balancing pH
Living things are extremely sensitive to pH and function best (with certain exceptions, such as certain portions of the digestive tract) when solutions are nearly neutral. Most interior living matter (excluding the cell nucleus) has a pH of about 6.8. Actually a healthy body is slightly alkaline measuring approximately 7.4. This ideal blood 7.4 pH measurement means it is just slightly more alkaline than acid. In the absence of oxygen, glucose undergoes fermentation to lactic acid. This causes the pH of the cell to drop from between 7.3 to 7.2 down to 7 and later to 6.5 in more advanced stages of cancer and in metastases the pH drops to 6.0 and even 5.7 or lower. Our bodies simply can not fight disease if our body pH is not properly balanced. It has been determined that an alkaline body is more conducive to health and well-being than an acidic one. An undesirable pH can lead to a variety of negative health effects. A body that tends toward acidity heightens the risk for infections from bacteria, yeast, parasites, and viruses. All of these "critters" seek out and thrive in an acid environment. Not only are you more susceptible to infections such as colds and the flu, degenerative diseases like cancer, arthritis, heart disease and osteoporosis are promoted if your pH is consistently acid. If disease is to be prevented or successfully managed, an acid pH must be overcome. 

Testing your pH
To perform this simple test, all you need is a roll of pH testing paper (preferably pHydrion test paper), a plastic spoon, and some fresh saliva! The test uses a pH-sensitive, color-coded test strip to reveal your personal pH status. For the saliva test: - Be sure not to eat, drink, or brush your teeth for 30 minutes prior to the test - Swallow a couple of times to clear the mouth and stimulate new saliva - Then discharge some saliva into a PLASTIC spoon (it is recommended NOT to touch the pH paper to your tongue due to the chemicals in the paper - Tear off a one-inch strip of pH paper, place into saliva and let sit - After approximately 30 seconds, compare the color of your immersed pH paper with the color chart provided on the pH testing roll - The lower your pH value below 7.0, the greater your degree of acid stress - Continue testing and recording your pH for a few weeks - first thing in the morning and at bedtime (This will show your personal pH trend) Salivary pH Test: While generally more acidic than blood, salivary pH mirrors the blood ( if not around meals ) and is also a fairly good indicator of health. It tells us what the body retains. 

Salivary pH
is a fair indicator of the health of the extracellular fluids and their alkaline mineral reserves. Optimal pH for saliva is 6.4 to 6.8. A reading lower than 6.4 is indicative of insufficient alkaline reserves. After eating, the saliva pH should rise to 7.8 or higher. Unless this occurs, the body has alkaline mineral deficiencies ( mainly Calcium and Magnesium ) and will not assimilate food very well. To deviate from ideal salivary pH for an extended time invites illness.If your saliva stays between 6.4 and 6.8 all day, your body is functioning within a healthy range. 

Urinary pH
The pH of the urine indicates how the body is working to maintain the proper pH of the blood. The urine reveals the alkaline building (anabolic) and acid tearing down (catabolic) cycles. The pH of urine indicates the efforts of the body via the kidneys, adrenals, lungs and gonads to regulate pH through the buffer salts and hormones. Urine can provide a fairly accurate picture of body chemistry, because the kidneys filter out the buffer salts of pH regulation and provide values based on what the body is eliminating. Urine pH can vary from around 4.5 to 9.0 for its extremes, but the ideal range is 5.8 to 6.8. If your urinary pH fluctuates between 6.0 - 6.4 in the morning and 6.4 - 7.0 in the evening, your body is functioning within a healthy range. 

Balancing your pH
'Acidosis' for an extended time in the acid pH state, can result in rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, lupus, tuberculosis, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, most cancers and many other diseases. Ways to increase your alkalinity:

1). Eat raw fruits and vegetables in the most alkaline range. 

2). Remove strong acidifiers from the diet such as sodas, whole wheat, caffeine, tobacco, black tea, alcohol and red meat. 

3). Drink Ionized water or mineral water. 

Additional links of interest:
Plain Herb - pH balancing   Really good article on pH balancing, also great chart with foods listed by acid/alkaline effect in body. 
pH - A Mini User Guide
Understanding pH Level and Why Many People Have Disease / Cancer

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