Interviewing Mr. Alkaline Diet himself… Dr. Robert O. Young.
Today, I’m experimenting with breaking down my normal 2-3 question Q & A to just one for each individual post. The reason why is because it’s hard to have a title that clearly states what the Q & A is about and in the long term, it’s harder for our search engine and others to identify the true subject of the post.
I know that may be over your head technologically, but in real life, it’s also easier to just read one post that covers one thing rather than skip around to many.
In this Q & A, Lori wants to know more about the pH of the body and how taking HCL supplements can affect your pH levels.
Here’s her question…
In regards to HCL. HCL is an acid that will acidify the body. Why would we want that when we are eating an alkaline diet for good health. Kevin, I see you recommend HCL often, any thoughts on this?
Hey Lori, great question.
There is a lot of talk about an alkaline diet in the health world and it’s true that our blood must stay at a pH of 7.35-ish to keep us healthy. So if you help the blood stay around that pH by eating mineral rich foods, then it doesn’t have to find internal sources of buffering minerals in your body – like your bones. This is a possible reason why we have an epidemic of osteoporosis, since our diet – in general – is largely acidic.
So a diet high in minerals – which is a generalization of what an alkaline diet is – is very helpful.
Where people get confused is that various areas of the body have different pH levels. So for instance the pH of your small intestine can range from about 7-9. The pH of your colon is a little lower at between 5.5-7.0.
The pH of your stomach should be around 2-3 when you’re digesting and a pH of 4-5 when resting. If it’s higher, then you won’t be able to denature proteins or break down the food enough to make the minerals available for absorption. This in turn will cause your blood to require more buffering minerals to keep the pH of your blood at 7.35 (I’ve seen everywhere between 7.3-7.4 by the way.)
So a hydrochloric acid supplement will help those who have a higher stomach pH, raise the acidity (lower the pH) so that they can get access to more minerals and nutrients needed to keep the body healthy.
If you already have strong digestion, then of course, you don’t need extra HCL, because this can actually strip minerals from your body as well by having a stomach environment that is too acidic. (I know, it’s like a brain teaser.)
If your stomach is too acidic – too often – you will need more minerals to buffer the chime (your digested food, enzymes and gastric acids) as it enters the small intestine, since this organ needs a pH neutral or slightly alkaline environment to function properly. If your body doesn’t buffer the chime, the excess acid would cause damage to the delicate lining of the intestine.
So, just like everything in the body, there is a balance between acidity and alkalinity throughout it. The best way to know how you’re doing is to eat a high raw, primarily plant based diet and watch your blood work on a regular basis. If you want, you can actively take the pH of your urine and saliva as well – using pH strips.
To do so, you’d test saliva one hour before eating or two hours after and your pH should be around 6.5-7.0. For urine, your first waking urine should be somewhere between 6.8-7.2 – though some will say higher than 7.5. So there is a little disagreement of what the levels should be, but these numbers should be used as a tool to see if you’re in the ballpark, not as the only marker of good health – plus, the pH levels of these two fluids does tend fluctuate throughout the day, so you have to look at trends not every reading.
While I think this type of monitoring can be useful, I also want to caution that it can lead to excessive concern at every dip or elevation in pH – similar to how a dieter becomes neurotic about weighing themselves on a scale.
I want to know your thoughts: Do you like the shorter version of do you like the longer, more questions version? (Plus, please chime in on anything that will be able to help Lori as well!)