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How can acid fruits and juices have an alkalising effect

By David Coory

We now have a new product – Apple Cider Vinegar powder in capsules.

Most readers will know that I recommend we keep our body cells as close to a neutral pH as much as possible for optimum health. Ideally it should be at around pH 6.8, when measured by our saliva.

So when our product development team were discussing the making of this product, they asked me whether we should sell an acid product, they asked “Won’t Apple Cider Vinegar make our bodies more acidic?”

I had to admit it was a great question and that I really didn’t know the answer off the top of my head and I’d often wondered why myself. I knew the text book explanation was that healthy, unsweetened acid fruits and juices actually have an alkaline effect on our body and it was something to do with ‘ash’.

But exactly how does this occur? I did some further research and it turned out the text books were right. Unsweetened acid fruits and juices do have a healthy alkaline effect on our body, but before explaining this mystery, let’s take a look at why an acidic body is unhealthy.

Health risk of an acidic body

The pH scale is an acid-alkaline measurement between 0 and 14. 0 is very acidic and 14 is very alkaline.

The ideal for our body cells is a neutral pH of 6.8, best measured in our saliva. A pH level below 6.2 is said to be acidic and disease is known to thrive in an acidic body, especially many cancers.

Now we are not talking about the pH of our blood – the blood in our veins is regulated to a very precise pH 7.46. It can fluctuate as low as 7.40 and as high as 7.49, but readings outside these two limits are generally only found among psychiatric patients.

You can easily check your cell pH at home with one of our Saliva Test Strips, (see page 17). Just soak the tip of the strip with your saliva and then compare the colour change to the colour ranges on the packet. A consistent reading of lower than 6.0 is reason for concern.

Four main causes of low pH

  1. Too much acid-mineral (phosphorus) containing foods such as meat, sugar, alcohol, coffee and processed grains.
  2. Not enough alkaline-mineral (potassium, calcium and magnesium) containing foods such as vegetables, fruit and dairy.
  3. Long periods of stress.

4. Some pharmaceutical medications.

Free booklet on how to raise your pH

If your pH does test low, I’ve put together a free 17 page booklet called "Is your pH Healthy?" It shows you how to raise your saliva pH to a healthy 6.8. It also gives you a list of acid and alkaline foods and the phosphorus (acid) and calcium (alkaline) content of 500 common NZ foods. Just phone us and we’ll happily include a copy with your order, or read it online at our website (click on downloads).

Why acid fruits and juices have an alkaline effect on the body

So back to our main question, how can unsweetened acid fruits and juices, including Apple Cider Vinegar which is very acid (pH 2.5) have a healthy, alkalising effect on our body.

The answer turns out to be relatively simple – first, the fruits or juices (not being a fat or protein) pass quickly and mostly unchanged, from our stomach into our small intestine. Here the fruit acid has a suppressing effect on any unhealthy bacteria living in our small intestine – the acetic acid of Apple Cider Vinegar is particularly effective at this.

As the fruit and juice pass along the small intestine the liquid acid content is extracted and sent to our kidneys to be expelled in the urine. This does make our urine temporarily acid.

What remains in our small intestine is a high fibre alkaline plant residue, which scientists call ‘ash’. This alkaline ‘ash’ then passes into our large intestine and is an excellent prebiotic food for the trillions of healthy probiotic bacteria in our large intestines. This assists our probiotics to better digest our food which ultimately has a healthy alkalising effect on our body cells.