A simple test you can do to measure your susceptibility to cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, and many other degenerative diseases.
How to Do the Saliva pH Test
Wait at least 2 hours after eating. Fill your mouth with saliva and then swallow it. Do this again to help ensure that the saliva is clean. Then the third time, put some saliva onto pH paper.
The pH paper should turn blue. This indicates that your saliva is slightly alkaline at a healthy pH of 7.4. If it is not blue, compare the color with the chart that comes with the pH paper. If your saliva is acid (below pH of 7.0) wait two hours and repeat the test.
Where to Get pH Paper
It would be good if health food stores and pharmacies would stock pH paper. Why not go to your local health food store or pharmacy and suggest this to them? There are many suppliers of pH paper. Look for laboratory suppliers in the phone book. You want narrow range pH paper measuring pH 4.5 to 7.5 or pH 4.5 to 8.5. One source is Micro Essential Laboratory Inc., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11210 telephone 718-338-3618. They will send you a catalogue. When sending a container of pH paper through the mail to a friend, a single roll dispenser (catalog #334 that measures pH 4.5 - 7.5) is quite sturdy and should not break. However, the Jumbo strips (catalog #3827) in the more fragile plastic tube container are larger and easier to read.These pH strips to measure acid/alkaline balance belong in every family medicine kit, right beside the thermometer to measure body temperature.
Saliva pH and Cancer
"When healthy, the pH of blood is 7.4, the pH of spinal fluid is 7.4, and the pH of saliva is 7.4. Thus the pH of saliva parallels the extra cellular fluid...pH test of saliva represents the most consistent and most definitive physical sign of the ionic calcium deficiency syndrome...The pH of the non-deficient and healthy person is in the 7.5 (dark blue) to 7.1 (blue) slightly alkaline range. The range from 6.5 (blue-green) which is weakly acidic to 4.5 (light yellow) which is strongly acidic represents states from mildly deficient to strongly deficient, respectively. Most children are dark blue, a pH of 7.5. Over half of adults are green-yellow, a pH of 6.5 or lower, reflecting the calcium deficiency of aging and lifestyle defects. Cancer patients are usually a bright yellow, a pH of 4.5, especially when terminal." The Calcium Factor: The Scientific Secret of Health and Youth, by Robert R. Barefoot and Carl J. Reich, M.D., Gilliland Printing Inc., Arkansas City, Kansas, 1996.
The Importance of Acid and Alkaline Balance for Health
Virtually all degenerative diseases including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, kidney and gall stones, and tooth decay are associated with excess acidity in the body. While the body has a homeostatic mechanism that maintains a constant pH 7.4 in the blood, this mechanism works by depositing and withdrawing acid and alkaline minerals from other locations including the bones, soft tissues, body fluids and saliva. Therefore, the pH of these other tissues can fluctuate greatly. The pH of saliva offers a window through which you can see the overall pH balance in your body.
Cancer cannot exist in an alkaline environment. All forms of arthritis are associated with excess acidity. Acid in the body dissolves both teeth and bones. Whatever health situation you are faced with, you can monitor your progress toward a proper acid/alkaline balance by testing your saliva pH.
What are Acid and Alkaline?
Water (H2O) ionizes into hydrogen (H+) and hydroxyl (OH-) ions. When these ions are in equal proportions, the pH is a neutral 7. When there are more H+ ions than OH- ions then the water is said to be acid. If OH- ions outnumber the H+ ions then the water is alkaline. The pH scale goes from 0 to 14 and is logarithmic, which means that each step is ten times the previous. In other words, a pH of 4.5 is 10 times more acid than 5.5, 100 times more acid than 6.5 and 1,000 times more acid than 7.5.
Acid and Alkaline Minerals and Foods
Minerals with a negative electrical charge are attracted to the H+ ion. These are called acid minerals. Acid minerals include: chlorine (Cl-), sulfur (S-), phosphorus (P-), and they form hydrochloric acid (HCl), sulfuric acid (H2SO4), and phosphoric acid (H3PO4). Minerals with a positive electrical charge are attracted to the negatively charged OH- ion. These are called alkaline minerals. Nutritionally important alkaline minerals include calcium (Ca+), potassium (K+), magnesium (Mg+), and sodium (Na+). (Cancer patients tend to have an excess of sodium. - Gerson page 97). Also important for cancer treatment and prevention are the alkaline trace minerals rubidium and cesium.
To determine if a food is acid or alkaline, it is burned and the ash is mixed with water. If the solution is acid or alkaline then the food is called acid or alkaline. Ash is the mineral content of the food. This method removes organic acids and bases. It seems surprising that a lemon or grapefruit would be considered alkaline, but it is the effect of the food on the physiology AFTER it has been digested and metabolized that we are interested in. The residual effect of food on the acid/alkaline balance in the body is determined by the mineral content of the food.
Twelve Ways to Restore Acid/Alkaline Balance in Your Body
If your saliva is too acid you may wish to increase the alkalinity of your body. Ways to do this include:
1. Eat mostly alkaline foods. The general "rule of thumb" is to eat 20% acid foods and 80% alkaline foods. Minimize the "strongly acid" foods. So about three quarters of your plate should be covered with alkaline foods.
milk, yoghurt, kefir, soft curds
It is the sulphur in the concentrated protein of meat, fish, eggs and hard cheese, and phosphorous in meat and soft drinks that makes these foods so acidic. In general, a more vegetarian diet is more alkaline. It is a question of balance, and at present the balance is tilted too heavily in the direction of acid foods.
Fats and oils have a neutral pH, neither acid nor alkaline. Plant-based beverages (tea, coffee, cocoa, herbal teas, beer, wine, juices of fruits and vegetables) are generally mildly alkaline. The above summary is based on a detailed Acid Base Food Table you can download. If you want more information, there are some articles you can read here 1, 2, 3.
The healthiest dairy products to consume have never been pasteurized or homogenized. Look for "raw" milk, and cheese made from raw milk. Kefir is better for your gut than yoghurt. The healthiest way to consume grains and legumes is in the form of sprouts. In a sense, by sprouting grains or legumes you are turning them into vegetables. Plus, the sprouting process deactivates enzyme inhibitors and other chemicals in the seeds so that in many cases cooking is no longer necessary. There are many advantages to eating foods raw when possible, as we discuss on our sprouts page.
2. Supplement your diet with alkaline minerals. The main alkaline minerals in the body are calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. These minerals complement each other. For example, calcium is needed to contract a muscle and magnesium is needed to relax it. At a cellular level, your cells maintain a balance of potassium inside and sodium outside, but this pumping of potassium and sodium requires magnesium. The calcium concentration in cells is controlled by sodium. All four of these minerals work together in the body. Problems arise in the body when one or more of the minerals are deficient or when the minerals are out of balance with each other. For example, here is a look at potassium vs sodium.
When potassium is insufficient, and sodium is excessive, the potassium/sodium pump is not able to keep sodium out of the cells. As sodium enters the cells they swell with water (cellular edema), energy production is reduced, and the cellular metabolism of proteins and fats is inhibited.
People in North America tend to consume too much calcium and sodium and insufficient potassium and magnesium. This is often reflected in urine tests which show calcium and sodium being excreted while potassium and magnesium are being retained. (This is why we are not interested in urine pH. An alkaline urine simply shows that some alkaline minerals are being discarded by the body. Of much greater interest is the pH of saliva, which reflects your success in creating an alkaline condition within your body.)
In the North American diet, excess calcium is coming primarily from dairy products and supplements, and excess sodium is coming from "prepared foods" that are loaded with salt. Largely missing from the diet are potassium and magnesium that would come from eating fruits and vegetables. A diet based on fruits and vegetables, grains and legumes, with a small amount of dairy, would give the body all four of the alkaline minerals in better balance. This is the diet we recommend in point number 1 above. Given that the kidneys will excrete excess minerals and retain what the body needs, it is not necessary to be overly concerned about consuming "right" amounts of calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. Just make sure that your diet contains all four of the alkaline minerals in reasonable balance.
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