Our body permanently produces acid metabolites. Its acid-alkali equilibrium is regulated by powerful buffer systems. Breathing and renal function also play a role. Food also produces acid, especially proteins.
In spite of the presence of these buffer systems, regulation of blood pH is nowadays frequently disrupted.
The root of the problem, our Western diet , very high in acid-producing products (meat, salted food, processed food, sugar) and low in alkali-producing foods, especially fruit and vegetables. To this can be added overwork, lack of physical exercise, smoking... all of which generate acid.
Close-up on acid physiology and appropriate dietary advice…
Our body, naturally a producer of acids, has physiological mechanisms to maintain an ideal pH for its metabolism.
If these regulatory systems become overloaded, acid will accumulate in the tissue and over time the body will eat into its mineral reserves in order to neutralise them: this is what is known as an acidic environment.
The diet also contributes to the process of acid regulation. But our Western diet, high in meat, processed food and salt creates an acidic environment*.
Fruit and vegetables conversely, being particularly high in alkaline salts, magnesium and potassium, have an alkalising effect.
*Frassetto L et al.Diet, evolution and ageing-the pathophysiologic effects of the post-agricultural inversion of the potassium-to-sodium and base-to-chloride ratios in the human diet. Eur J Nutr. 2001 Oct ; 40(5) : 200-13.
How to combat an acidic environment
Correction of the diet is fundamental; first of allthe consumption of acidifying foods must be reduced.
Producers of acids during digestion, they are mainly composed of food rich in protein which are basic foodstuffs in our diet; they cannot, therefore, be completely withdrawn.
Refined foods, especially sugars and cereals, cannot sustain life as they are low in minerals.
Alkalising fruit and vegetables provide the bases required (magnesium, potassium, etc.) to neutralise acids (alkaline salts, etc.).
Mildly acidifying foods
Foods based on wholemeal flour
Raw or cooked green vegetables
Coloured vegetables except for tomatoes, sorrel, rhubarb
Fruit and vegetable juices
Liquid or powdered milk, curd cheese, cream, butter
Cheese, dairy products
Animal fats (lard, suet)
Refined vegetable oils, solid fats
Products based on white flour
Ripe or dried fruits: dates, raisins (except those that are acidic in taste: apple, apricot)
Alkaline mineral water
Sweet foods (syrup, pastries, chocolate, etc.)
Processed sugared drinks
Soya and derivatives
Oleaginous fruit except for almonds
Coffee, tea, cocoa, wine
Dietary adjustments for an acidic environment
1. A healthy diet should be predominantly based on vegetables, which provide most alkalis to neutralise the acids. For an acid-alkali equilibrium, prepare your meals with fresh vegetables rich in base minerals, especially potassium. 2. Restrict the amount of acidic and acidifying foods. 3.In the evening, favour analkalising diet (no animal protein). 4.Which foodstuffs should be favoured?
drinks: grain-based drinks, chicory, plant infusions, green tea
Trace element deficiencies
The combination of zinc and silicon promotes acid-base homeostasis. Zinc plays an essential role in strengthening the body. It is a formidable defender of the cell against what has become known as "oxidative stress".
What happens? The cell, assaulted by free radicals, that are all the more abundant in the event of an acid-base imbalance, initially defends itself by eliminating them. If the aggression persists, or if the aggressors become more aggressive, the cell is literally submerged. Its defensive system begins to fail, leading to an inflammatory reaction or to mutagenesis.
When the body lacks readily available alkaline resources, it draws upon its bone reserves (calcium salts). This perpetually regenerated connective tissue thus becomes unable to renew itself. Silicon, a component element of cartilage and bone, thus compensates for any deficiencies.