I hope that through this information I am presenting, you get a clearer understanding to why the alkaline pH factor is so important for cleansing, nourishing, detoxification and leads to cell regeneration. And also why the acid pH factor is the degenerative side and the cause of most, if not all, chronic illnesses. For us to be labelled as someone with a “dis-ease”, something must have caused it. Health conditions and obstructions are the effect of not having a balanced alkalinity (80%) and acidity (20%) in the body. To understand these opposite factors we have to bring in some chemistry and physics to the plate. This will give you a deeper understanding towards which side of chemistry we have to lean on to experience true healing and vibrancy. I try to keep it simple, as health should be.
Let’s dissect alkalinity and acidity. An alkaline is negatively charged and is cationic, meaning; to disperse or break apart. It has the ability to cool, soften, clean, pull and break apart stone formation (hardened and build up acids) and congestion in the lymphatic system. An acid is positively charged and is anionic, meaning; to compound or come together, it has a bonding effect. Hence the blockages, stiffness, pain, congestion, tumours and stone formation in the lymphatic system. This side is not the side we want to be on. For healing to happen, we need to get to the alkaline side of chemistry.
The pH factor is the measure of chemical solution’s acidity versus its alkalinity, on a scale of 0 (highly acidic) to 14 (highly alkaline). Even though we are an alkaline based species, too much alkalinity can cause the same burning effects as the acid side of chemistry. In today’s day and age it is pretty difficult to get an alkaline toxicity. The body is constantly trying to maintain homeostasis (balance). A good example is our blood pH, that is between 7.34-7.35, meaning that it has to stay there for us to be present and alive. When it drops down or slightly up (0.5 pH), we can get into a coma. Throughout our body we have different pH levels, but the majority of our internal systems are alkaline based systems. To measure your own pH factor, simply get a litmus (pH) paper and use your saliva to test your body’s pH on a daily basis. Then you can see first hand what type of foods changes the pH level of your mouth (start of the GI tract).
The PRAL formula
With the PRAL formula (Potential Renal Acid Load) (Remer & Manz, 1995) we are able to calculate the acidity and alkalinity of a food source. We can calculate this by the available amount of proteins, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium in a food source. The PRAL formula is designed to calculate the acidity and alkalinity of a food source (Remer, 2003). The formula is;
PRAL (mEq / 100 g) = 0,49 x protein (g / 100 g) + 0,037 x phosphorus (mg / 100 g) − 0,021 x potassium (mg / 100 g) − 0,026 x magnesium (mg / 100 g) − 0,013 x calcium (mg / 100 g)
The outcome of a negative number is the alkaline potential and the outcome of a positive number is the acidic potential. The weight of the tested food source is 100 gram, as presented in the formula.
More recent data (a 15-year study of 81, 697 older adults; average age ~61y; Xu et al. 2016) has examined the association between PRAL with risk of death from all causes. In women, acidic PRAL values ( > 0) were associated with a significantly increased risk of death from all causes, as were alkaline PRAL values (< -5.6). In addition, very acidic (~40) and very alkaline (-30) PRAL values were associated with the highest risk for all-cause mortality:
Similarly, in men, when compared with a PRAL = 0, both alkaline (PRAL < -5.6) and acidic (> 29.8) values were associated with increased all-cause mortality risk.
While this data suggests that eating too much meat, grains, and/or nuts may not be optimal for health, it also suggests that eating too much alkaline-forming food, including veggies and fruits, may also not be optimal! My high veggie-based diet yields a very negative PRAL, ~-120 (~ -0.05 PRAL units/calorie), which would seem to put me at increased all-cause mortality risk. For cleansing, detoxifying and regenerating new cells it is definitely recommended to go all fruits, berries and melons! When we are done with detoxing the body we could start implementing other foodsources, if one feels the need to do so.