Dr. Alison talks about should your body be alkaline? Is it important to your health? And what she really thinks about the whole thing, why this is an issue with SIBO, and what you can do to protect your health.
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Thank you for listening to functional wellness with dr alison, I am Dr. Alison and today we are talking about should your body be alkaline? Is it important to your health? And what I really think about the whole thing.
So, you have probably heard that you need to have your body in an alkaline state because cancer and inflammation grow in an acidic state. This all sounds very scary and convincing but what does this really mean?
Let’s start with what does alkaline and acidic mean. This is a state of pH in our body, a balance acids and how our body performs.
A pH of 7 is neutral, under 7 is acidic and over 7 is alkaline.
It is true that we need the right pH levels for good health. But this does not mean that you can eat something and change the pH of your ‘tissues’.
Your blood is a strict range of 7.35 to 7.45. Anything above or below that means death or severe illness. So you don’t want to change that pH.
What about other tissues? Your stomach ranges around 1.5 to 3.5, which is highly acidic. Your small intestines are a little less acidic, but still around 4-6 and becomes less acidic towards the large intestine. Muscles are at about 7.1, the skin is between 4 and 6.5 and vaginal tissue is around 5 or less.
So when you try to ‘alkalize’ your body, what tissues exactly are you trying to affect? And if our body is naturally more acidic, wouldn’t changing that balance cause harm?
Let’s start with apple cider vinegar. Does drinking this help improve your body pH? The answer is no. Ironically, ACV pH is about 2 to 3, so it is highly acidic. Which is why it is great for your stomach because it improves stomach acidity, improves digestive power, and can help reduce reflux and bloating. Apple cider vinegar is also great for supporting healthy blood sugar levels and is great to take when eating or using the gummies.
I think when holistic doctors or wellness influencers are saying that ACV helps reduce acidity in the body, what they are actually talking about is inflammation. But they don’t understand the difference and that you don’t want to change the pH of your body, unless you are experiencing severe disease like diabetes or kidney disease that is changing your blood pH.
What about alkaline water? I would say that alkaline water is one of the top products on the market that makes me nervous. Water, in all its forms, is one of the most common substances we are putting in our body on a regular basis. What we don’t know is what happens when you are constantly putting alkaline liquids into an acidic stomach. Especially if you are drinking the right amount of water for your body every day. What I do see happening with a few of my patients is that their acidity in their stomach is becoming weaker, because it is constantly fighting alkaline water. The more alkaline the stomach is, the less it has power to digest food. This also alkalizes the pH of the small intestine, which is supposed to be highly acidic to 1. Continue to digest food and absorb nutrients 2. Fight bacteria and reduce infections and 3. may even be leading to SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) because the small intestine no longer has the acidic fighting power to kill off the large intestinal bacteria that should not be there.
These machines are expensive and I did have a friend drop some water off a few years ago. I was promised the water pH was 8.5 but when we tested it at home, we found that it was 7.4, and matched the water district report for that area. So in the end, the machine didn’t even create alkaline water.
What about cancer? The truth about cancer is that it CREATES an acidic environment, not that it is CAUSED by one. What I learned in “The Body Says No”, a book by Dr. Mate, is that everyone has cancer cells. It is the person’s immune system and how that is able to fight and recognize there is an issue. So if you are worried about cancer, then changing your pH will not be the preventative because you can’t change specific tissue acidity. Focus on whole lifestyle support, supporting your immune system, reducing stress and definitely read “The Body Says No”.
In the end, if you are working to ‘alkalinize’ your body, you would do better to focus on lowering inflammation. Which really would be the same process. Eating whole foods, reducing sugar, alcohol, and carbs. Taking supplements like ACV or curcumin. Exercising, and getting lots of sleep.
Thank you so much for tuning in today. And as always if you are looking for personalized help, you can schedule your initial consult online and we will create a personalized care plan just for you! Make sure to like and subscribe to stay tuned with all our weekly podcasts and see you next time.