It was so interesting when I found out about blood pH during the ongoing learning about health and nutrition.
Ideally, blood pH should be slightly alkaline. Acidic pH leads to disease. Learning about food pH can be overwhelming and sometimes confusing. I have left this section to the expert, Dr. John McDougall, author of The Starch Solution and founder of McDougall Wellness Center.
So, you ready? here’s a hint. The typical American diet is way too high in acid forming foods. Some of the foods that are the most acid forming are…. (drum roll)….. You got it…. meat and dairy products.
Below is an excerpt from Dr. McDougall’s newsletter about blood pH, Osteoperosis and acid forming foods
Excess Protein Damages the Bones = Osteoporosis
Worldwide, rates of hip fractures (and kidney stones) increase with increasing animal protein consumption (including dairy products). For example, people from the USA, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Australia, and New Zealand have the highest rates of osteoporosis. 15,16 The lowest rates are among people who eat the fewest animal-derived foods (these people are also on lower calcium diets) – like the people from rural Asia and rural Africa.
Osteoporosis is caused by several controllable factors; however, the most important one is the foods we choose – especially the amount of animal protein and the foods high in acid. The high acid foods are meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and hard cheeses – Parmesan cheese is the most acidic of all foods commonly consumed. This acid must be neutralized by the body. Carbonate, citrate and sodium are alkaline materials released from the bones to neutralize the acids. Fruits and vegetables are alkaline and as a result, a diet high in these plant foods will neutralize acid and preserve bones. The acidic condition of the body caused by the Western diet also raises cortisol (steroid) levels. Elevated cortisol causes severe chronic bone loss – just like giving steroid medication for arthritis causes severe osteoporosis.
Consequence Two: Kidney Stones
Once materials are released from the solid bone, the calcium and other bone substances move through the blood stream to the kidneys where they are eliminated in the urine. In an effort to remove the overabundance of waste protein, the flow of blood through the kidneys (glomerular filtration rate) increases – the result: calcium is filtered out of the body. Naturally, the kidneys attempt to return much of this filtered calcium back to the body; unfortunately, the acid and sulfur-containing amino acids from the animal foods thwart the body’s attempts to conserve calcium. The final result is each 10 grams of dietary protein in excess of our needs (30 grams daily) increases daily urinary calcium loss by 16 mg. Another way of looking at the effects is: doubling protein intake from our diet increases the loss of calcium in our urine by 50%.25 Plant proteins (plant food-bases) do not have these calcium and bone losing effects under normal living conditions.
Once this bone material arrives in the collecting systems of the kidney it easily precipitates into sold formations known as kidney stones. Over 90% of kidney stones found in people following a high-protein, Western diet are formed primarily of bone-derived calcium. Following a healthy diet is the best way to prevent kidney stones.
Toxic Sulfur Distinguishes Animal Foods
The qualities of the proteins we consume are as important as the quantities. One very important distinction between animal and plant-derived protein is that animal proteins contain very large amounts of the basic element sulfur. This sulfur is found as two of the twenty primary amino acids, methionine and cysteine. Derived from these two primary sulfur-containing amino acids are several other sulfur-containing amino acids – these are keto-methionine, cystine, homocysteine, cystathionine, taurine, cysteic acid.
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Thank you for reading.