If you are following the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, then you are familiar with the acid/alkaline balance to build your bones. The basic idea is to balance your meals and snacks so that you consume 80% alkaline-forming foods and 20% acid-forming foods. Maintaining this balance is crucial for increasing and maintaining bone density. But did you ever stop to think about how your body maintains its pH? It’s really quite interesting!
Acidic vs. Alkaline Body Environment: Why Does it Matter?
An acid is a substance that neutralizes alkalis and can dissolve some metals. In other words, acid is corrosive, and it neutralizes alkalis.
While some acids are stronger than others, these characteristics are fundamental to the nature of acid in general. When your body is acidic, the acidic environment must be neutralized by the dissolution of alkalis.
Quoting from 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.”
When you eat acid-forming foods, your body uses the available alkalis to neutralize the acidic environment in order to maintain the desirable pH. This process is called buffering. Unfortunately, some of these “available alkalis” are key minerals like calcium that are in your bones, or in your blood from diet or supplements. To neutralize the acid, once the circulating alkaline reserves are depleted, these minerals are pulled or leached out of the bones, or they’re intercepted to buffer the acid before they even get to your bones.
When it comes to these acid-alkaline reactions in the body…
Your Kidneys Do the Lion’s Share
Your kidneys are vital in maintaining the acid-alkaline balance because they are responsible for filtering out the excess acid from your system. They also reabsorb alkalizing bicarbonate from the urine. A constant load of acid, such as occurs with the typical American diet, means that these vital organs have to work very hard to remove it.
Our kidneys tend to get less efficient as we age, so a high-acid-forming diet combined with age sets the stage for compromised kidneys and continually high acid levels in the body. “The higher the acid load and the older you are, the worse your kidney function is and the higher the body’s acid level [that] is maintained,” writes Lynda Frassetto, MD1.
This is why, even if you’re following a pH balanced diet…
Keeping Your Kidneys in Top Shape is Vital to Your Bone Health
Eating an acid-alkaline balanced diet is the first key step to relieving your kidneys of their work overload to get rid of the acid. But there’s another (unfortunately) common condition that can do great damage to your kidneys, which means that it’s also detrimental to your bones. And that condition is…
High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force of blood against blood vessel walls. If this pressure is high, it results in damage to various blood vessels – including those in the kidneys. When the kidneys can’t do their job, excess acid, toxins, wastes, and fluid are not removed properly and therefore accumulate in the body. The resulting excess fluid increases blood pressure, so it’s a cyclic process.
High blood pressure is so hard on the kidneys that it causes more than 25,000 cases of kidney failure each year in the US alone.2
Thus, managing high blood pressure and keeping your kidneys in tip-top shape are crucial to the health of your bones.
Controlling Blood Pressure is Another Key to Bone Health
“Savers” know that here at Save Our Bones, we explore and research drug-free alternatives to osteoporosis. Thankfully, there are drug-free, natural approaches to managing high blood pressure. In fact, studies have shown that…
Vitamin C, a Foundation Supplement, Helps Control Blood Pressure
According to a 2012 study, increased intake of Vitamin C, with dosages as low as 500 mg, is associated with lower blood pressure.3 Since Vitamin C is a Foundation Supplement in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, when you follow the Program you’re a step ahead.
Isn't it great to know that when you're taking care of your bones you're also improving other important aspects of your health?
Till next time,
1 Frassetto, Lynda, MD. “Acid-base, diet, and preventing ‘age-related’ dysfunction of bone, muscle, kidney, and cardiovascular system.” 7 Oct. 2009. p. 9. PDF file.
2 United States Renal Data System. USRDS 2007 Annual Data Report. Bethesda, MD: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2007.
3 Juraschek, Stephen P., et al. “Effects of vitamin C supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. April 2012, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.027995. Web. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/95/5/1079.full