NPF Science Update: Acidosis
Posted Thursday, July 14, 2011

Each month, the NPF Science Update brings you news about scientific advances in the field of natural products. The NPF Science Update features contributions from scientists, academics, doctors, healthcare professionals, industry veterans and other experts. To sign up to receive the monthly Science Update via email, please click here: NPF Science Update.

Acidosis — What?
The Next Big Health Trend
By David Matteson

Never heard of acidosis? You’re probably not alone. It could become as common a health term as cholesterol in the near future. 

Natural health experts have long understood the relationship between good health and good pH balance in the body – the balance of acidity and alkalinity. Now, the mainstream medical community is catching on, too.

The modern western diet, with its emphasis on proteins, sugars, and processed foods, generates considerable amounts of acid in the body. The aging process and high levels of stress are known to do the same. With so many people experiencing these three factors, and others, there are more and more people experiencing the negative health consequences associated with too much acid in the body  metabolic acidosis. This is a condition that occurs when the body’s ability to naturally buffer acid in the body can’t keep up with the acidic load.

“Acidosis is a real phenomenon . . . that should be recognized and treated,” is the finding of a recent monograph published in the prestigious British Journal of Nutrition. After examining more than 400 peer-reviewed, published studies, the authors affirmed that even low levels of acidosis can impair the body’s natural ability to manage a wide range of chronic conditions.

Acidosis is a natural by-product of metabolism (how the cells produce energy) generating waste and this waste is acidic. The body has a variety of ways it buffers this acid, including the respiratory and blood filtering systems. When those systems can’t keep up the body has emergency backup systems to handle the load. It will pull calcium out of the bones and break down muscle to increase its buffering ability. The problem today is that acute acidosis is no longer an occasional occurrence that the body can accommodate without negative effects; it has become chronic. The result is the body is under continual acidic stress, which in turn diminishes its ability to ward off disease.

The good news is that as acidosis becomes better understood, there are expanding solutions to help people manage their pH balance. More people are conscious about and making better choices in their diets, lowering the consumption of acid-producing animal products like meat, eggs and dairy, white flour and sugar, and increasing consumption of alkaline-producing foods like fresh vegetables and fruit. Better supplement choices are also available to support the body’s acid buffering systems or to directly buffer acidic load. If you take dietary supplements, ask your local health food store for more information.

Story Source: David Matteson is the co-founder of pH Sciences, and he focuses his creative energy on his consulting practice, Early Edge Solutions. Mr. Matteson holds degrees in education, public health, biology/engineering, and public policy and planning, and he is a current member of the Natural Products Foundation Board of Directors.

References: J. Pizzorno, et. al., British Journal of Nutrition, January, 2010

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