While eating a diet high in alkaline forming foods such as leafy green vegetables is healthy, what is missing from the picture is understanding that the stomach is designed to have an acid pH and that alkalizing the stomach with baking soda and alkaline water can do more harm than good. The best way to get more alkaline minerals into the body is through eating foods high in the alkaline minerals which by the way the alkaline mineral calcium requires an acidic pH of the stomach for optimal absorption.
The body tightly regulates the pH of blood and ensures that it is slightly alkaline between a pH of 7.35 and 7.45.
What is the pH of the stomach?
The body also regulates the pH of the stomach which is designed to be acidic, at a pH between 1.5-3.5.
As you can see the stomach is meant to have an acidic pH and the blood is meant to have a slightly alkaline pH. Disrupting the stomach pH which is required for optimal calcium absorption can also disrupt blood pH as calcium is an alkaline mineral that helps to maintain normal blood pH.
What makes a food alkaline forming or acid forming is due to the ash or residue that is leftover after the food is burned as fuel.
What are alkaline forming foods?
Alkaline forming foods are foods that are high in the alkaline minerals: potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium.
What are acid forming foods?
Acid forming foods are high in the acid minerals: chlorine, Sulphur, and phosphorus.
Most fruits and vegetables are alkaline forming while most breads, cereals, fish, meat, eggs and chicken are acid forming. A healthy diet should contain both acid and alkali forming foods.
Before you jump on the next alkalizing trend ask yourself how you are alkalizing your body and are you disrupting your stomach acid levels in the process and causing low stomach acid which then can lead to weak bone density. (more on this later)
One of the bodies first line of defense is for the ph of the stomach to have an acidic pH and for good reason. The purpose of stomach acid is to destroy harmful pathogens and bacteria that enter the body through the food you eat. Food is one of the primary ways in which the body is exposed to pathogens which is why one of the first steps of the digestive process is to bathe the food in stomach acid to kill any harmful bacteria that may have been on the food that was eaten.
An acidic stomach is also needed to digest your protein but if you are constantly alkalizing with alkaline water, alkaline drinks or bicarb soda (especially with meals) then protein and food will sit in your stomach longer and begin to ferment and putrefy as the body holds on to the food for longer due to low stomach acid. This can be the start of a long list of digestive symptoms that begin to present.
What causes calcium deficiency?
A common of calcium deficiency and side effect of low stomach acid is poor absorption of calcium which can contribute to osteoporosis and weak bone density as calcium is needed for making healthy bones and for helping to maintain the slightly alkaline pH of the blood through the process of bone remodeling.
What actions affect blood pH and what happens when the blood calcium level is too low?
The bone acts as a buffer and helps to balance the pH of the blood. When the pH levels of the blood falls and becomes too acidic the parathyroid gland detects this change and releases parathyroid hormone. Parathyroid hormone stimulates the osteoclast cells in the bone to breakdown the bone to release calcium which is an alkaline mineral that is then deposited in the blood to raise the pH of the blood back to the normal pH range.
When the pH levels of the blood rises and becomes to alkaline the thyroid releases the hormone calcitriol to stimulates the osteoblast cells which are the bone building cells to take calcium from the blood and deposit it into the bone to help lower the blood pH back to its normal range.
Through the transfer of calcium being released from the bone through the process of resorption or stored in the bone through the process of remodeling the correct pH of the blood is maintained.
While maintaining optimal pH through dietary means is important there is much more to maintaining the fine tuning of pH balance through the various parts of the body and its tissues through the function of the lungs, kidneys and calcium homeostasis.
If alkalizing is done incorrectly such as by consistently alkalizing the stomach with baking soda or alkaline water more imbalances can occur throughout the body further disrupting the intelligent systems of the body.
How to increase bone strength naturally to prevent weak bone density.
In order to have healthy bones you must have both the ability to digest and absorb calcium from foods in the diet which requires adequate stomach acid (which often declines with age) along with the ability to digest and absorb your fat soluble vitamins D and K which help with the utilization of calcium in the bones. The absorption of vitamin D and vitamin k requires good bile production and flow
The best natural way to improve bone strength is to eat calcium rich foods while also supporting the acidity of the stomach by taking apple cider vinegar or lemon juice with meals to help with the absorption of calcium. Foods that are high in calcium include raw milk, cheese, plain yogurt, almonds and leafy greens such as kale, okra, broccoli and watercress.
Supplements for bone health
Seeking health’s bone nutrients contains calcium, magnesium, boron vitamin D and vitamin K which are all important nutrients needed to make healthy bones found in one supplement.
Seeking health’s gallbladder nutrients helps to improve bile production and flow thus improving the absorption and the fat soluble nutrient’s vitamin K and vitamin D which are required for making health bones.