Alkaline for Life®
pH and bones: the science
by Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhD
Many of the body’s organs and systems, particularly the kidneys and lungs,
play important roles in maintaining proper pH. The lungs excrete acids as carbon
dioxide, and they do this without much effort or input from us — diet, for
example, plays no direct role in the lungs’ excretion of volatile acids. The
kidneys’ ability and need to excrete acids, however, is directly influenced
by what we eat. On a balanced, whole foods diet that includes ample amounts of fruits,
vegetables, nuts, and seeds, the body is provided with the anonic (negatively-charged)
alkaline mineral salts it needs for buffering excess acids (positively charged ions).
Under these ideal circumstances, the kidneys are able to maintain the net acid-alkaline
balance in proper proportion. An imbalanced diet high in animal protein, refined
carbohydrates, caffeine, and processed foods, however, can force us into mild but
chronic acidosis. As acidity rises, the kidneys must compensate by seeking and using
the body’s precious alkali reserves. As the alkali reserves become depleted,
the body’s systems become compromised and are forced into suboptimal functioning.
Overall in our society, we consume a very imbalanced diet, high in acidifying foods.
This imbalanced diet pushes us toward low-grade metabolic acidosis, to which the
body’s response is a withdrawal of calcium salts and other alkalizing mineral
salts from the blood and tissues. The majority of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds,
and spices have an alkalizing effect. Most grains are somewhat acid-forming, as
are many high-protein foods. Refined sugar is acid-forming, while natural sea salt
is alkaline-forming. Ideally, our diet should be composed of about 35% acid-forming
foods and 65% alkaline-forming foods; however, the proportion of alkalizing foods
should be higher when bringing the body back into balance, or when healing is required.
For a comprehensive chart detailing the alkalizing and acidifying metabolic impacts
of foods, see our acid-forming
and alkaline-forming food
A good approximation of your overall tissue pH can be easily obtained by evaluating
the pH of your first morning urine and then monitoring it over time. When the first
morning urine is between 6.5 (slightly acidic) and 7.5 (slightly alkaline), it indicates
that the overall cellular pH is appropriately alkaline.
The Alkaline for Life® pH Kit was
developed by Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhD, as a self-contained guide to understanding
and measuring body pH. The kit is sold for the purposes of measuring and monitoring
your acid-alkaline balance. It includes instructions on altering pH balance with
diet and a comprehensive chart showing which foods and chemicals have metabolically
acidifying or alkalizing effects, an audiotape on “Acid-Alkaline Balance and
Bone,” the necessary pH test paper, and several published articles on pH balance
Detailed information on measuring your pH and alkalinizing your diet is also contained
in our book, Better Bones, Better Body: A comprehensive self-help program for preventing,
halting and overcoming osteoporosis (Keats 2000), by Dr. Susan E. Brown,
PhD, CCN. If you are interested in reviewing further recent research conducted by
the Better Bones Foundation, verifying the value of the first morning urine pH measurement,
see the 2000 ASBMR abstract
by Whiting, Bell, & Brown. See also Acid-alkaline balance and its effect on
bone health, International Journal of Integrative Medicine, Nov./Dec. 2000,
by Susan E. Brown, PhD, CCN; and Russell Jaffe, MD, PhD, CCN.
The Personal Program for Better Bones: the approach I recommend for naturally strong bones.
At the Center for Better Bones we promote an all-natural approach to bone regeneration
and repair that includes nutrition, diet, exercise, lifestyle guidance, and support.
The Personal Program for Better Bones is a convenient,
at-home version of this approach that was developed with Women to Women, one of America's premiere on-line women's
health websites. Working together, we've developed the most comprehensive approach
to bones health available today, and based on the 25 years of Dr. Brown's leading-edge
research in the field.
Questions about the Personal Program for Better Bones? Call toll-free at
Original Publication Date: 02/03/2003
Principal Author: Dr. Susan E. Brown, PhD