You may get flashbacks to high school science or maintaining your pool, whichever is fresher in your mind, when you see or hear about pH, but it’s important to understand that each of us has our own pH levels in our bodies. While an average healthy person generally has set ranges of pH (or levels of acidity) in different parts of the body, even the slightest difference can have major repercussions. A good example of this is enzymes. As crucial as enzymes are to keeping you up and running, they need to be in a suitable pH level to do their jobs.
Bodily pH is not uniform, and if you think about it, that makes a lot of sense. Something like saliva is relatively neutral, in the 6.5-6.75 range. By comparison, gastric secretions like stomach acid are more acidic, and something like bile would be more alkaline. Where things go wrong in the body is generally when acidity levels are higher than they should be. What causes this? It varies.
When you have too much acid in your body fluids, it leads to a condition called acidosis, which can be extremely dangerous if left unchecked. This comes in two main forms: respiratory acidosis, where there is too much CO2 in the blood, and metabolic acidosis, which starts primarily in the kidneys. Diabetes, kidney issues, and dehydration can all factor into these conditions.1
There are certain foods that have a higher acid content as well. While eating these won’t lead to acidosis directly, lowering your intake is sometimes advisable. These foods include:
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