It is thought by many that everyone has a never ending problem with acid wastes and that this is the main cause of disease. We must continually combat this problem by eating an "alkaline ash" diet, we are told. And we are told to avoid meat because it is too acid forming. It is also thought by many that the urine pH or saliva pH are good indicators of the pH of body fluids.
Alas, the situation is a bit more complicated than that. Those who do Nutri-Spec metabolic balancing are aware that many of our sickest people have alkaline blood or urine or saliva.
Respiratory rate and breath holding ability are key indicators of the pH of blood. Why? The body uses carbon dioxide levels as a primary way to regulate blood pH. When you dissolve carbon dioxide in the blood, you get carbonic acid. If there is too much carbonic acid, the respiratory center in the brain will send signals to the respiratory muscles that they must breathe to get rid of excess carbon dioxide. Respiratory rate will be rapid - often more than 18. The breath hold time will be short. This is an acidosis situation.
If there is too little carbonic acid, the respiratory center will send out a message to reduce respiration to conserve carbon dioxide. The respiratory rate may drop to less than 12 and the person will be able to hold their breath a long time. This is an alkalosis situation.
A person with an acid imbalance will generally have a resting respiratory rate of 19 or more and if they take a deep breath will only be able to hold it for 40 seconds or less. Why? Since the blood is acid, the brain tells the body to breathe faster to get rid of the acidic carbon dioxide. The same principle applies to breath hold. The brain sends messages to breathe to get rid of excess carbon dioxide. The urine pH may be acid. But if the acidosis is caused by excess potassium in the body, the kidneys will dump potassium (alkaline) and retain hydrogen (acid). So the urine is alkaline while the blood is acid!
We can help the body reduce carbon dioxide production by having a steak. The will reduce the rate at which we burn carbohydrates, thus less CO2! And the blood will become more alkaline. The respiratory rate will slow down and the breath hold will increase toward normal. The body can easily deal with the "acid wastes" from eating beef. People have lived on a beef only diet for a year with no acidosis or ill effect.
Alkalosis very common and is the opposite to acidosis. A person with alkalosis will generally have a respiratory rate of 13 or slower and a breath hold of 65 seconds or more. The body is saving CO2 to because it needs the acid. Urine pH is generally alkaline, except in potassium depletion alkalosis. In that case, the body retains potassium (alkaline), and dumps hydrogen (acid), making the urine acid while the blood is alkaline!
There is a metabolic acidosis and alkalosis, a respiratory acidosis and alkalosis, and pH problems caused by potassium imbalances as mentioned above.
There is also an acidosis caused by a glucogenic or fast oxidizer imbalance. Fast oxidizers burn carbohydrates too fast and produce excess carbon dioxide and thus acidosis. They have rapid respiratory rates and short breath hold times. The do best on a diet high in vegetable with adequate protein. They need nutrients that aid fat metabolism. High dose B-complex is particularly toxic to them. For them to heat high-carb meals is like fueling a wood stove with gasoline.
The ketogenic or slow oxidizers are the opposite. They burn carbohydrates too slowly and make too little carbon dioxide. The body is trying to conserve carbon dioxide so they have slow respiratory rates and a long breath hold time. They need nutrients that promote carbohydrate metabolism such as a small amount of B-complex vitamins. I mean an extra milligram or two. A junk B-complex with 50 mg of each is like using a nuke to light a camp fire.
Then there are the anabolic/anaerobic and catabolic/dysaerobic imbalances. The anaerobic person generally has alkaline urine, high urine surface tension, low specific gravity and acid saliva. The body tends to use insufficient oxygen in metabolism so that instead of making carbon dioxide and water from glucose, the cells make lactic acid. Dr. Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize for proving that cancer is an anaerobic tissue.
The dysaerobic person generally has acid urine, low urine surface tension, high specific gravity and very alkaline saliva. Huge amounts of free radicals are generated by their metabolic processes. Tumors often grow rapidly with this chemistry. Alkaline saliva above 6.5 or so is a danger signal.
Treatment? For an introduction to this, see the section on Metabolic Imbalances.