Reducing acidity and the inflammatory process
The pH level of our internal fluids has a profound effect on how well our body operates. The human body contains about ten gallons of fluid, so its cells are suspended in an ocean that is either alkaline, acid, or neutral.
Extended pH imbalances are not well tolerated by the body. If pH becomes too acid, cellular oxygen levels decrease, metabolism declines, and the cells can die. All regulatory mechanisms, including breathing, circulation, digestion, and hormonal production, help to serve the purpose of balancing pH. (see What is pH?)
The North American diet is largely acid-forming (refined flour and sugar products, meats, dairy, fried foods, sucrose, coffee, soft drinks, alcohol, etc.) and is a major source of acid residues. Research has shown that acid-forming diets produce a low-grade systemic metabolic acidosis in otherwise healthy adults, and that the severity of the acidosis increases with time. (1)
As acid residues build up, the body tries to buffer them with alkaline minerals – calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium – so that they can be converted into weak acids and excreted as urine. However if a person’s alkaline mineral reserves are depleted, the body is forced to “borrow” minerals from whatever source it can find, usually from the bones (calcium), muscles (magnesium), and vital organs. Eventually the organs, muscles, and bone structure are weakened.
When the buildup of acidic waste products exceeds the body’s elimination ability, it is forced to store these wastes in the tissues. For people with highly acidic diets and lifestyles, this process is constant, resulting in a significant acid buildup.
Inflammation is a key underlying factor in many chronic disease states, and is related to the acidification process. Acid-base imbalance plays a role in activating or deactivating matrix metalloproteases and matrix metalloprotease inhibitors (MMPs/MMPIs). These molecules are instrumental in most inflammatory and degenerative processes in the body. (2,3)
Excess acidity and inflammation are related to many chronic degenerative diseases, including diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, chronic fatigue, heart disease, and cancer.
Reversing acidosis with Tri-Salt electrolytes
Cells spend considerable energy to maintain proper
pH. Whenever a dietary deficiency of minerals
occurs cells start to lose their ion equilibrium,
resulting in significant deterioration and damage.
Ion composition must be maintained within very
precise limits, so concentrations of sodium,
potassium, magnesium, calcium and bicarbonate
must be sufficient and in proper relationship to
each other. Small variances can cause noticeable
pathological states to occur. Even slight acid
increases cause tissues and organs to become
inflamed, eventually leading to chronic disease
Excess acidity is a forerunner of inflammation, but
can be corrected through a whole foods diet and
the addition of alkalizing electrolytes (salts).
Electrolytes are responsible for the acidity or
alkalinity of solutions. They conduct an electric
current that can be measured. The millivoltage of
cells in a healthy adult measures 65, while in an ill
person it drops to approximately 35. In a cancer patient it drops to 15 - 20 millivolts. There is an absolute correlation between the level of millivolts, the availability of electrolytes, and pH.
Tri-Salt For Life is an effective means of addressing excess acidity and the deficit of electrolyes. It is formulated containing the key electrolytes for optimal cell function, and can help to shift the pH balance back towards alkalinity.
Our bodies normally contain more than twice as much K as sodium. About 98% of total body K is in our intracellular space. Regulation of body K depends upon both sodium and magnesium balance. K is important in controlling the activity of the heart, muscles, nervous system and nearly every cell in the body. It is an activator of enzymes, and is involved in bone calcification and the use of amino acids. Symptoms of K deficiency may include constipation, insomnia, nervousness, indigestion, weakness, irritability, edema, headaches, alkalosis, bone and joint pain, and tachycardia or galloping heart.
Sodium is usually associated with table salt (sodium chloride). Natural foods tend to be low in Na and high in K, but processed foods are the opposite. Salt is normally added to enhance flavour, and K is often leached out during processing. Excess Na retention increases fluid volume (edema) while low Na levels lead to relative dehydration. Sodium helps to govern normal extracellular osmalality, activates nerve and muscle cells, and influences water distribution. Na deficiency signals may include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, cramps, exhaustion, apathy and circulatory failure. However, these signals do not readily occur except for Na loss due to excessive sweating.
Approximately 65% of the body’s Mg is found in bones and teeth, with the next highest concentration in the muscles and the remainder found in the blood and other bodily fluids. Mg is a leading intracellular cation contributing to many enzymatic and metabolic processes, particularly protein synthesis. It modifies nerve impulse transmission, skeletal muscle response, and aids in Na and K ion transport across the cell membrane. Mg deficiency is common due to poor dietary choices and nutrient-poor agricultural soil. Symptoms of deficiency include depression, fatigue, irregular heartbeats, gastrointestinal disorders, high blood pressure, memory problems, mood swings, impaired motor skills, muscle spasms, and nausea.
The bicarbonate-buffer system is the body’s primary buffer system and works mainly in the blood and interstitial fluid. It relies on a series of chemical reactions where pairs of weak acids and bases (such as carbonic acid and bicarbonate) combine with stronger acids (such as hydrochloric acid) and bases to weaken them. Decreasing the strength of potentially damaging acids and bases by buffering, reduces the danger those chemicals pose to pH balance. In an acid condition, chemical buffers like bicarbonate act immediately to protect cells and tissues. They combine with the offending acid or base, neutralizing harmful effects until other regulators take over (lungs and kidneys). One way to shift pH is to introduce more bicarbonate to offset excess hydrogen ions in the body.
- Frassetto L et al. Diet, evolution and aging – the pathophysiological effects of the post-agricultural inversion of the potassium-to-sodium and base to chloride ratios in the human diet. European Journal of Nutrition, 2001
- Greener B et al. Proteases and pH in chronic wounds. J Wound Care, 2005 Feb; 14(2):59-61.
- Bode W et al. Insights into MMP-TIMP interactions. Ann NY Acad Sci, 1999 Jun 30; 878:73-91.
- Preston R MD. Acid-Base, Fluids, and Electrolytes Made Ridiculously Simple. MedMaster Inc., Miami, Florida, 2002
- Schilling McCann J, RN. Nurse’s Quick Check: Fluids and Electrolytes. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, NY, 2006
- Lieberman S PhD, and Xenakis A MD DSc. Mineral Miracle: Stopping Cartilage Loss and Inflammation Naturally. Square One Publishers, Garden City Park, NY, 2006
- Vasey C ND. The Acid-Alkaline Diet: Restore Your Health by Creating Balance in Your Diet. Healing Arts Press, Rochester VT, 1999
- de Langre J PhD. Seasalt’s Hidden Powers: The Biological Action of all Ocean Minerals on Body and Mind. Happiness Press, Asheville NC, 1994
- Whang S. Reverse Aging. JSP Publishing, Miami, Florida, 1990
- Pischinger, MD. Matrix and Matrix Regeneration: Basis for a Holistic Theory in Medicine. Haug International, Brussels, Belgium, 1991
- Abelow B, MD. Understanding Acid-Base. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, NY, 1998