pH: Why You Need To Know
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pH: Why You Need To Know

Did you know that balancing your pH can help reduce your risk of most illnesses and help you feel more energy? Interested? Here’s what to know about pH: It’s a relative measurement of how acidic or alkaline something is compared to something else. It’s based on a 14-point scale, from the most acidic (0) to the most basic (14), where 7 is neutral. The farther below 7 you go, the more acidic something is, and the higher above 7, the more alkaline or basic something is. Technically, it’s defined as the negative log of the hydrogen ion concentration, and what pH is actually measuring is the concentration or activity of hydrogen ions in any given solution. Remind you of high school chemistry class? How does this affect you?

Most people are too acidic. In fact, most chronic and degenerative diseases can trace an acid pH as part of the problem. Opportunistic microbes & bugs thrive in an acid environment, so does inflammation, pain & stiffness. How do we get this way? Here are some major causes of acidity:

  1. Too much animal protein in the diet. This creates a net ‘acid load’ or ‘ash’ when metabolized, like nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur-based acids that need buffering.
  2. Acidic tap water. Most municipal tap water (and many bottled sources) is too acidic.
  3. Excessive coffee, alcohol, sugar, as well as recreational and prescription drugs.
  4. Environmental toxins.
  5. Poor digestion and malabsorption. Eating right doesn’t matter if we don’t absorb it.
  6. Lack of adequate fresh fruits & vegetables. These are the alkaline/buffer foods.
  7. Stress.
  8. Low-level, chronic infection. This is often overlooked with conventional medicine.
  9. Poor drainage by the kidneys, bowel and liver. Acidic toxins can build up in the body.
  10. Medical conditions (less common) such as respiratory, renal or diabetic acidosis.

The bottom line is an acid pH can create fatigue, lowered immune function, weight gain, pain, stiffness and many other conditions that are difficult to medicallydiagnose.. How? The more acidic our body, the less oxygen is delivered into the cells (called the Bohr Effect in chemistry), which means more acidic wastes and less energy produced.

What is normal pH in the body?

Here’s a table of normal pH values in the body:
Tissue or Fluid pH
Saliva 6.0-7.0
Gastric Secretion 1.0-3.5
Pancreatic Secretion 8.0-8.3
Bile 7.8
Small intestine 7.5-8.0
Urine 4.5-8.0
Arterial Blood 7.4-7.45
Venous Blood 7.3-7.35
Feces 4.6-8.4

What is ideal pH and how do I check it?

There are a number of opinions on what is ideal pH, however we’ve found over 25+ years of clinical experience, using both simple and sophisticated testing methods, that the urine and saliva are most revealing, with both values in the range of 6.4-7.0. These are tested in the AM upon awaking, before you brush your teeth and start the day. A target range is 6.8-7.0 is ideal. Testing is simply done with a roll of litmus paper. Use the type with a rangeof at least 4.5-8.0, with small incremental measurements in the readings so you can determine subtle improvements.

How Do I Fix an Acidic pH?

For years, a balanced pH was the result of balanced activity with primitive and simple diets. Modern day living, with its fast food, depleted soils, environmental toxins, lack of adequate sunshine and fresh air, sedentary work habits, stress, poor sleep and a host of other factors now make pH balance challenging. However the reward for many is increased energy, better sleep, less colds & flu, strong hair and nails, lustrous skin, improved digestion and weight loss, not to mention a decreased risk of major chronic, degenerative diseases including arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and even cancer. To find out more, take advantage of my 25+ years of clinical experience to learn ‘short-cuts’to successful pH balancing, additional cutting-edge resources as well as methods to balance even the most stubborn cases of an acidic pH.

For starters, simply eat MORE fresh fruits and vegetables for a week and check your pH. For many, adding fresh fruits and especially vegetables can be rewarding, as the cost is low and they’re easy to prepare.

If you have trouble with menu or snack ideas, I suggest reading my e-book 'Supercharge Your Cell Vitality' and review the sample menu for the Cell Vitality Diet section. The book is available on Amazon or iTunes. See our main website page for ordering information. Also, check out my other ‘Suggested Reading and Books’ list from the Learning Center library, go to Diet and cooking section, then consider the following books:
  1. Supercharge Your Cell Vitality, by Dr. Greg Barsten
  2. FoodFor a Healthy Life (in our website article section, by Dr. Greg Barsten)
  3. Healing With Whole Foods, by Paul Pitchford
  4. Juicing For Life, by Marie Calbom and Maureen Keene
  5. The Ayurvedic Cookbook, by Amadea Morningstar
  6. Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone, by Deborah Madison
  7. Quick-Fix Vegetarian, by Robin Robertson
For those needing extra help or nutritional support, try NanoGreens10 (use our website's Virtual Pharmacy code: NANOGREENS. See website for setting up your free account. All products are available at a 20% discount!) at 1-2 scoops a day as a pleasant tasting super green food jammed full of alkalizing minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and naturally occurring trace elements. This is available on our website virtual pharmacy (use virtual pharmacy code: NANOGREENS once you've set up your free account). The liposomal delivery system in Nanogreens 10 ensures absorption into the cell. Ultimately, that's all that matters which is why I feel it's the best 'green food' on the market. If still no improvement after 2 weeks, consider the Two Day Veggie Juice Fast.

The Two Day Veggie Juice Fast

This 48 hour modified fast is super healthy and nutritious, and provides a needed rest for the entire digestive system. I often suggest this for stubborn cases of acidity. It also provides a short detox for busy people. But my primary reason for recommending it for resistant acidity is too determine if your pH can respond with diet alone. During the two days you are consuming exclusively veggies in juiced or blended form. No other foods of any kind! This has a tremendous alkaline mineralload (plus antioxidants, vitamins, enzymes, etc) that should provide a higher saliva and urine pH  value. Here's the important points to know: 1) During the two days, eliminate all supplements of any kind (except necessary prescription medicines and hormones). 2) The veggies must be either juiced (preferred method) or blended using a Vitamix, NutriBullet, MagicBullet, or other high-speed blender that can liquify solid foods. Regular blenders won't work. 3) The veggie mixture must be consumed fresh EACH DAY. No leftovers for the next day. You can make it fresh each batch/meal, or make enough to last an entire day. To reduce oxidation and keep the live enzymes fresh, I suggest pouring into a few quart sized jars (or smaller), then immediately placing juice mixture into the fridge or portable cooler. This minimizes the air exposure. 4) Drink enough so you won't get hungry or low blood sugar. Stay fed! This means you can drink as often and as much as you desire. Additional water is OK. 5) Checkyour 1st AM saliva and urine readings after the first and second day. It's normal if your pH readings are above 7, as you are consuming only alkaline food. 6) The mixture should be from the following organic produce: celery, cucumber, carrot, a green leafy (your choice of spinach, kale, collards, romaine, chard, etc) and the squeezed juice from lime. The lime is hand-squeezed into your mixture last (no peel). Ratios and proportions depend on your taste. A basic guide per 20-24 oz. is half a large cucumber, 6 stalks celery, 2 large carrots, 3 handfuls of greens, and a half lime. If you have an allergy to any of these, substitutions include any dark leafy green, apple, or fennel root. 7) This requires supervision if you are a diabetic. Not recommended during pregnancy or if you take blood thinning medication. 8) It's best to avoid strenuous exercise during the two day fast. Your body is clearing toxins, and you might notice a slight drop in energy. The fast may be repeated monthly for long term wellness. If you don't notice an increased pH the first AM after the fast, consider setting up a  phone or in-person consultation with Dr. Barsten. (408)358-2225. There may be other serious factors preventing your pH shift. Many cases of excess acidity/low pH are due to deep intracellular imbalance that involves mitochondrial dysfunction and altered cellular 'respiration'. * These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
pH testing rolls are available through various online sources or our office for pick up only. We do not ship these. Each roll lasts for approximately 30-60 tests, depending on how much litmus paper you use for each test. Make sure the version you buy has pH increments of .2 per reading.