Most new patients who come to our healthcare clinic aren’t familiar with pH balance. And yet restoring an alkaline pH level is one of the most powerful things you can do for your bone health.
pH refers to a measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. Low pH readings (below 7.0) are considered acidic, while higher readings (above 7.0) are considered alkaline. Your body functions best when its blood pH is slightly alkaline (between 7.35 and 7.45), but many of its processes — like digestion of certain foods — produce acid residues. This means your pH level is always in flux: acids are constantly being produced and neutralized.
Your bones are the guardians of pH. While your body has several mechanisms for dealing with internal acid production — such as excreting it through the lungs and kidneys — your bones are a vital safety net for your pH. Bones store alkalizing mineral compounds, which they donate as needed to neutralize acids.
Bone: the great giver
It may seem hard to believe, but even tiny fluctuations in the blood pH can have profound effects on your health. A shift of just 0.1 from the ideal range causes blood cells to be unable to deliver adequate oxygen and protect us from disease. Other body tissues have a much wider range of acceptable pH levels, but blood pH must be tightly regulated.
If it weren’t for the mineral reserves in your bones, you would have to consume a precise amount of minerals on a daily — or even hourly — basis to prevent acidosis in the blood. Fortunately, bones store these minerals for us and readily donate them when needed.
This process is literally life-saving, so it’s no wonder that bones have evolved to prioritize pH balance over their other responsibilities, like building strength and resisting fracture. With a healthy balance between acid production and nutrient intake, your bones can easily do both. But when acid production chronically outpaces nutrient intake, bone strength deteriorates.
Balance your diet to balance your pH
Unfortunately, most Americans today eat too many acid-forming foods — so many that our bones are unable to keep up with neutralizing them. Acid is produced during the digestion of animal protein, sugar, processed foods, salt and coffee — substances that permeate the average American diet. Chronic inflammation, exposure to toxins, and stress also have an acidifying effect on the body.
The good news is you can improve your pH. When you do, your bones will divert fewer resources towards neutralizing acids and will be better able to repair and strengthen.
You can do this by first reducing your intake of acid-forming foods and drinks, and increasing your intake of alkalizing foods. Vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are generally great choices for an alkaline diet. Reducing inflammation, detoxifying the body, and managing stress can further reduce your acid burden.
We’ve had great success with our approach in helping women restore their pH levels for better bone health. When you purchase Better Bones Program you will receive an easy-to-use pH test kit as part of your Package. You’ll be able to easily measure your progress toward balancing your pH as you follow the guidelines of the Package. Reaching an alkaline pH is usually one of the first signs that your bone metabolism is beginning to heal.
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