posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 11:12 AM
I had a conversation a few months ago with a friend of mine who is a bio chemist that works in a lab to develop cures for cancer. This man is one of
many scientists who are responsible for some of the latest cures/treatments. Below is his response to my question about alkaline diets. There's no
conspiracy. There are actually some brilliant people out there working to create cures for this hideous disease.
"To be more detailed, the pH of what you eat means next to nothing in terms of health for 99% of the population. There are exceptions to this, but
pretty much, its bunk.
What we're really talking about is compartmentalization. Your body is not a continuous space. Its a mesh of segregated tissues comprising segregated
systems. When you eat, the pH of your stomach environment drops to approximately 2-3. There is absolutely nothing you could possibly eat that would
even compare to that high of acidity. Well, nothing that you'd survive. I personally don't make a habit of drinking battery acid.
So, EVERYTHING you eat is instantly acidified. This is required because the proteases in your gastric juice that are responsible for breaking down
food are optimized to this pH level. In fact, they would not function otherwise. So that's the first knock right there. If "alkaline" food actually
made a difference, you'd not be able to digest it.
Then, once you stomach empties the contents into the intestine, pancreatic secretions neutralize the pH, rendering it safe to travel the GI tract.
These pH diet people try to make these claims that you can do urine tests and that's somehow indicative of blood pH. Because really that's what
they're interested in, blood pH.
1) Urine pH is absolutely irrelevant to blood pH. Urine pH is a matter of kidney function (more on this in a minute).
2) Blood pH is so tightly controlled there is virtually nothing a healthy person can do to throw it out in any dangerous way. Blood pH is regulated by
your kidneys through filtration, by the blood acid/base buffer system, and more actively via respiration. Hemoglobin binds 3 molecules; oxygen,
hydrogen and BPG (2,3-bisphosphoglyceric acid). CO2 actually doesn't bind to Hb but rather is transported in plasma as HCO3-. BPG is not really
related to this discussion but is a molecule that binds to Hb in low oxygen environments and decreases affinity of O2 to Hb (thus increasing O2 in the
tissues). Think, mountain climbing or free diving without an oxygen tank.
So Hb works in 2 states. This is based on the molecular arrangement of Hb and is related to O2 binding. T state is deoxygenated Hb, R state is
oxygenated. T state has low O2 affinity, R state is high. The way Hb works, is that 1 heme can bind 4 oxygen molecules. Once that first is bound, the
Hb molecule changes is conformation (shape) from T, to R. This R configuration (R=Relaxed) opens up the 3 subsequent binding sites and those empty
spaces bind very rapidly. Thus the R state's high affinity.
This is linked with pH; remember I said the other molecule that binds to Hb is hydrogen, specifically H+ ions. Which is what pH actually is, a measure
of H+ ion concentration. The lower the pH, the more the ions. H+ binding to Hb favors a T state. Thus, in lower pH (meaning higher H+), less O2 binds
to Hb. This means more O2 is in the tissues. I realize this might be confusing, but think of it like this. When you are working out, you're producing
a bunch of CO2 and H+ ions. You also are using up a lot of O2 and thus, need that oxygen in the organs, its not doing you any good stuck in the
The opposite is true when Oxygen is in high supply. More oxygen is bound up in the Hb, leaving less space for H+ to bind.
So, a couple things should be apparent to you at this point. One, notice how respiratory rate seems to be implicated in blood pH? 2nd, notice this
whole time I've been talking about boundmolecules and Hb? The blood system as a whole, is consistent. These molecules are there, regardless. The
changes are based on whether at one point they're bound vs unbound. So the pH is relatively constant within a very narrow range of constraints. This
is vitally important because notice how much an impact H+ ions have on your body's ability to carry oxygen, its literally life or death. So ANY
changes in blood pH can become VERY VERY bad. But yet we live everyday problem free.
With regards to respiration, you can (for a very short time period) change your blood pH. Hold your breath for about 20 seconds. During that time the
pH is being altered (and quickly corrected for). Opposite holds true as well. When people that are hyperventilating black out, what is actually
happening is their body is losing too much CO2 and the pH is being altered (become more alkaline). When they pass out and breathing slows down, their
body automatically corrects itself. So not only is it tightly controlled, its so tightly controlled your body does it when you're not even conscious.
I did mention exceptions to this. Remember I said kidneys also control pH? This is long term regulation. Now people suffering from a depreciated
kidney function very much can have adverse effects based on what they eat. They pretty much have adverse effects based on anything though. Renal
failure is very serious business.
As for cancer. There's been stuff shown that cancer cells "favor" an acidic environment in culture. And there's been stuff showing that altering
the pH to a more alkaline level can kill the cells, in culture. Here's the problem. It kills everything. This is all in culture mind you. This
mechanism, for reasons I've already explained make absolutely no difference in vivo because there's nothing we can do to instantly turn someones
So with regards to diet, I don't recommend any diet based on pH. I don't think its a relevant consideration.
Summary: Blood pH is so tightly controlled that this is an irrelevant matter for any healthy individual. If you're up on chemistry, at least enough
to understand le Chatelier's principle of chemical equilibrium, this is the blood pH buffer equation that basically summarizes what I just said:
H+(aq) + HCO3-(aq) H2CO3(aq) H2O (l) + CO2(g)
Anytime you push the equation one way, so long as it doesn't exceed the constraints of the buffer system, your body will alter respiration and such
to correct back toward equilibrium."