A Day In The Life #4: What My Swimming Pool Has Taught Me About Osteoporosis - Save Our Bones

Believe it or not, I’ve learned a lot about osteoporosis from the 13,500 gallons of water in my backyard swimming pool. Because the pH of the water in it – just like in every pool – needs to be balanced in a very similar way to the roughly 1.5 gallons of blood that circulate in our body. I’ll explain.

When I bought my house, quite a few years ago, I wasn’t really looking for a pool. After all, having a swimming pool adds one more thing to my already long to-do-list, since someone has to take care of the swimming pool. And that someone, of course, is me.

You Probably Already Know This: the pH Balance is Crucial

There are basically two main things to check for the pool water to be crystal clear. One is the pH of the water and the second one is the chlorine levels. Both are linked to each other because chlorine is highly alkalizing (it has a pH of around 9.5), and needs to be constantly present in the water in order to disinfect it. On the other hand, rain and dirt typically acidifies the pool’s pH. So chlorine levels and pH have to be perfectly balanced.

The optimal pool water pH ranges between 7.2 to 7.6, which is surprisingly similar to the optimal pH of our blood. As I write in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program:

“The blood, lymph and cerebral spinal fluid in the human body are designed to be slightly alkaline at a pH between 7.35 and 7.45.”

I Can See the pH Imbalance With My Own Eyes!

To check the water pH, I typically use – you guessed it – the strips. But more often than not, I can figure out what needs to be corrected by just looking at the water. When there’s a layer of greenish dirt-like precipitate on the pool walls, the water is typically too acidic.

This is strikingly similar to the calcium precipitate we get in our blood when it’s too acidic and our alkaline reserves have been depleted. That is why the bones need to release calcium so they can neutralize the acid. And that is what makes bones fragile and susceptible to fracture.

To alkalize my pool, I simply pour in a cup or two of sodium bicarbonate or baking soda , which is a potent acid neutralizer or buffer. Bicarbonate happens to be the predominant acid neutralizer in our blood.

I love to literally see the green dust completely disappear in just a couple of hours, leaving the pool sparkling clean. An incredible parallel with our bone health!

Pool “Detox”

Since the water is constantly recirculated, the sides and bottom of the pool have to be brushed a couple of times each week. Also – and most importantly – the pool filter needs to be sprayed clean once a month. This insures its optimal cleaning power. I’m always amazed to see the dirt dripping onto my patio floor while I power hose the filter.

Just like it happens with our own “filters” – the liver and kidneys – accumulated dirt (toxins) will render the pool filter overwhelmed and then it could eventually become a lot less functional. Unfortunately, only the pool filter can be replaced with a new one… We are stuck with the liver and kidneys we have.

What Are the Odds?

This happened just a few weeks ago. I was brushing the pool when I noticed that the mechanism to lengthen the brush pole was broken. So off I went to the pool supplies store and bought another pole. Much to my dismay, I soon realized that no matter how hard I tightened the new pole, it wouldn’t stay extended.

The next day I returned to the store to exchange the defective product. Out of curiosity I asked the salesperson if this happened often. He answered that for approximately every 100 poles he sells, two are returned because the mechanism doesn’t work.

So this time, it happened to me. As I was walking out the store with the new pole in hand, I realized what I had always known: that statistics are not just numbers… statistics happen to PEOPLE … people like you and me.

And precisely because of this truth, every adverse osteoporosis drug effect – no matter how small it may seem, will ALWAYS happen to people, not to numbers. It’s not a game (even though taking the osteoporosis drugs could be considered a “gamble”), and it’s not “luck” – whether good or bad. It’s a random event that can happen to anyone.

I leave you with this powerful thought till next time.


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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Carolyn Jannotta

    Hi Vivian,

    You mention that dairy should be avoided because it not good for your bones. Would using egg beaters be alright and how about reduced fat cheeses?

    Let me know soon.


    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Cheese is acidifying, Janotta, but remember that nothing’s off limits on the program – just balance the cheese with alkalizing foods. And eggs are one of many acidifying foods that has lots of beneficial properties – I wrote about eggs in this blog post: https://saveourbones.com/truth-about-eggs-and-your-bone-health/

  2. Helen

    Hi, I live in Australia and want to buy and install a Reverse Osmosis water filter with remineraliser. Does anyone know a good brand? I’ve seen one sold by Clean and Clear and another sold by GPA Wholefoods, but I have no idea if they are any good. I think the parts they use to make them up are from the USA/GB.

    It’s all very confusing. Hope someone can help as they are expensive to buy and I don’t want to buy a dud!



  3. Nu Ly

    My ph is 6, it is not a standard level, but for me, it is very hard to eat so many vegetables.

    I would like to buy books not for the download,
    I am bad at computer.

  4. Tom Meletis

    Vivian, I like your thinking but would love to talk with you further about RO Water and Distilled Water. Best, Tom

  5. Pam

    What is a good ph level to have?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Pam, As I say in The Osteoporosis Reversal Program, there is a general consensus that a pH of 6.4 to 6.5 showing up at the same time in the urine and saliva is ideal for optimal health.

  6. Marlene


    You once suggested a protein supplement that you take on a daily basis. Would appreciate your advising me the name of the supplement and, if possible, other vitamins, etc. that you might suggest.

  7. Cecile

    Dear Vivian,
    I am 85 years old and in fairly good health except for hypertension.
    Several years ago I was diagnosed with osteopenia. I,ve always taken a lot of calcium and vitamin D and countless other vitamins. Also have done a lot of walking.

    After complaining of back pain my doctor ordered MRI and x-rays which showed that I had sustained silent fractures at some point. Apparently my bones are brittle and drugs were recommended which I refused because of the side effects.

    Two months ago because of severe pain in the thoracic spine and consultations with neurologists I had a kyphoplasty surgery with cementing of three vertebras in the thoracic spine. Although further xrays do n ot reveal any new fractures, am still having pain in that area. Have been having physical therapy treatments and exercise at home.

    I have heard of a natural product called Ostevone which is hormone free and supposed to be helpful for osteoporosis. I am curious whether you are familiar with this and whether or not I would be wise to try it instead of fosomax, etc.?

    Am constantly afraid of falling and sustaining another fracture and the pain is still present as of now. I take tylenol for the pain.

    It would be greatly appreciated to have your input on this. By the way I have your book “Saving our bones”

    Thank you.

  8. Carol

    Hi Vivian, I still very much enjoy the daily e-mail I receive from Save Our Bones – thank you.
    I’m sure you have heard of this, but today I read that Bahram Arjmandi – a nutriton researcher from Florida State University, has discovered that dried prunes have superior bone building properties. Apparently, eating ten a day has a miacle-like effect, but eating three per day will also make a difference. Wow!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Carol, studies have indeed shown that prunes are beneficial. The question is why and whether there something in prunes that can’t be found in other fruits. And the answer is: NO. Many other fruits contain the same beneficial polyphenols found in prunes. The results of Bahram Arjmandi’s study were quite positive, but it’s actually rather amusing that the one fruit used in the study happens to be acidifying. In addition to polyphenols, prunes also contain potassium and boron (a trace mineral), both believed to contribute to bone mineral density, but so do many other fruits.

      Be cautious of “miracle” claims for any single food or supplement!

  9. Cathy

    do you recommend Kangen water (alkaline) as a good way to keep your PH balance?

    • Nancy Perna

      I am interested in your response to the possible use of “Kangen” water. The processing machines are very expensive.

      Thanks, Nancy Perna

      • Susan

        Nancy, I’ve read about the Kangen water, and it is extremely expensive, and you don’t know what you’re really getting; but you can get the same effect, if not better, with reverse osmosis water or distilled water with a little lemon in it. That’s all you need, and that’s what SOB plan prescribes.

        I had an RO system put in the kitchen faucet and hooked to the refrigerator, and it is wonderful to have ice and cold RO water through the door and so worth it. Previously, I hauled it for a year from Whole Foods in milk jugs so I feel like I’m in heaven.

  10. linda trent

    So are you saying that one can use baking soda instead of chlorine?

  11. June Glover

    I was very interested in the blog about the swimming pool and how sodium bicarbonate will quickly alkalise it.

    I was told years ago that taking a teaspoonful of soda bicarb in water at night will help to keep urine alkaline and prevent cystitus. I have often wondered whether this would be a good thing to do if one had not been able to keep strictly to the low-acid diet.

    Comments please?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      June, please see my reply to Martha below.

  12. Bonnie

    I love word pictures and this one of the pool is especially helpful. My question has to do with the “filters”. Do you have recommendations for keeping the liver and kidney functioning optimally? Also, I have read about a gall bladder cleanse with olive oil and organic lemons. Any opinion?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Bonnie, I’m glad you liked the analogy, but it’s not meant to be taken too literally. If you use a healthy, pH-balanced program like the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, your “filters” should take care of themselves. 🙂

      But if you’re looking for an easy way to cleanse your system, take a look at my 7-Day Rapid Cleanse: https://saveourbones.com/rapid-cleanse/

  13. LESLIE

    Hi! Vivian,

    I Have Heard Of The Term PH Balance Many Times Since My Youth. And I Hope This Isn’t A Dumb Question. But What Does The “PH” Stand For? I Never Knew!


    LOVE, MS. L.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Leslie, pH stands for “potential hydrogen.” The H is capitalized because the chemical symbol for hydrogen is a capital H. It’s not a dumb question at all, but the main thing to remember is that pH refers to acid/alkaline balance.

  14. Martha

    Will baking soda work to neutrolize the acid in a person’s body?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Martha, I don’t advise using baking soda on its own. For it to be effective, it must be combined with other important alkalizing elements that promote digestion. Baking soda alone will simply neutralize stomach acid and impair digestion. Plus you have to be very careful with the dosage due to its high sodium content.

    • BARI

      Yes, of course, because most of the bath salts contains sodi
      bi-carb as one of the ingradients.

  15. Jean

    Hey, Vivian, it’s “you and ME” not “I”. And I’d also like to know how to check my PH levels. But thanks for the analogy – very visual!

  16. Dee

    Where can we find PH strips to test our alkaline?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Dee, you should be able to find pH testing strips in any pharmacy, or online.

    • BARI

      pH strips have a range 1-10 or sometimes 1-12 pH range. so pH
      ranging from 8 and above are alkaline. You can see the colour of
      each PH, for example for pH 1, the colour the strip will show on
      dipping a piece of it in the sample will be red, the colour will c
      change to milder to orange, then yellow, then green then blue to
      deep blue with alkaline. You have a colour chart on the box of
      pH strips. You can ascertain the pH by matching the colour of the
      strips with the level of the box.

    • BARI

      pH strips are available in ‘Hydrophonic gardening shops’. You can check local shops in internet.

    • Jacqueline Whitney

      Need to know where to get ph strips.

    • Annie

      Amazon.com is where I bought mine from.

  17. Cindy

    What about the chlorine in the pool? Isn’t it a problem soaking in all that chlorinated water?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Chlorine is necessary to keep pools clean, Cindy, and it’s my opinion that the benefits of swimming are greater than the detriments of swimming in chlorinated water.

    • BARI

      The chlorine is a powerful disinfectant. It would kill all the
      germs on your skin. The reason behind using chlorine is that we
      donot know whether our skin is contaminated while walking outside
      from environment. In this way germs can spread from one to another
      The chlorine level is always kept in the safe level causing no
      problems with the skin. There are test kits for this.

  18. Joyce Hall

    Vivian, just as you take the time to tell us what’s good and what’s not so good for our aging bones, I can relate to the Pool inbalance PH level.. Funny how easy it is to picture the inbalance in the pool and think about Bones in our body. But we are blessed as women to be very visual. I can see the story about the pool and relate it to the aging bones. So nice that we have the SaveOurBones manual to lookup our PHlevel. and it’s not “luck” – whether good or bad. “It is a random event that can happen to anyone”. The other thing that this woman does is think I am unique and the pole will never be or at least should never be broken or damaged before we even use it. Kind of like the disbelief we all have when the diagnosis is given to us. That said and I really only worry on Monday’s and Fridays. I will go on working our program with the outlook of better bones and think “it’s not my turn to get the broken pole! Just in case I do I have a”Great FIX”! The SaveOurBones Manual…. Have a great day and I hope you don’t have to clean the pool this morning. My best to us everyone. Joyce H.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I love your attitude, Joyce! 🙂

  19. Sandra Weber

    How dangerous are dexascan tests and how often should you have one? Which osteoporosis medication is the safest to take for a short period of time?

    My spinal reading was -2.85
    Is this serious?

    Thanks for your help,

    • Cecile

      I’ve been diagnosed with osteopenia several years ago although for years have been taking a lot of calcium and vitamin D and countless other vitamins. I also eat a well balanced diet and have also walked a lot over the years until the last few years.


    • Cheryl

      I’m also wondering about the safety of dexscans and how often you should have them. My doctor wants me to have them yearly, but I’ve noticed other people have them every two years. How much radiation do they emit and should I be concerned?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Sandra, I don’t recommend any of the osteoporosis medications. To find out why, read my free Natural Bone Building Handbook (if you haven’t already).

      Your reading puts you in the osteoporosis category, but as I detail in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, bone health is about much more than arbitrary scores.

  20. nikiperets

    about cow milk…could i just make my own yoghurt with the milk and drink that..would that be ok?

    tap water in israel is considered pretty good
    everyone drinks from the tap
    do you still think that mineral water would be better?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Sure, making your own yogurt would be great! And I recommend using either distilled water or water that’s been filtered using reverse osmosis.

    • Annie

      Regular Pasturized milk is Acid,and not a good source of Calcium.
      You might want to find Raw grass feed cow milk, or Goat milk.

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