Acid and Alkaline Balance

Acidic vs alkaline cellular environment

Dr Otto Warburg stated this back in the 1920’s regarding the respiration of normal cells vs cancerous cells. “The prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar.  All normal body cells meet their energy needs by respiration of oxygen, whereas cancer cells meet their energy needs in great part by fermentation.”

Normal, healthy cells respirate by burning oxygen with a small amount of glucose in order to produce their energy– this is aerobic respiration, or “with oxygen.”  Warburg found that cancerous cells acquire their energy by breaking down large amounts of glucose through a process known as fermentation– this is anaerobic respiration, or “without oxygen.”  This change in energy production occurs when the cellular oxygen level drops below a certain level and the respiration process of energy production is forced to make the switch over to the fermentation process in order for the cells to be able to survive.

How can we create a healthy environment for our cells?  By changing the cellular environment to one that is alkaline and oxygenated.  The Standard American Diet (SAD)-  is high in meats, dairy, soda, coffee, alcohol, grains, processed foods, fast foods, poor quality fats, sugars, chemical additives, sodium, and is generally very low in the essential vitamins and minerals that your body requires to stay healthy.  When we consume the SAD diet, we are setting ourselves up for disease by creating the ideal low-oxygen, acidic environment for cancer cells to thrive that is known as chronic metabolic acidosis.

pH -refers to “potential of hydrogen.” The pH scale runs from 1 – 14, with 7 being in the middle (or neutral).  Any number lower than 7 is in the acidic range, and any number above 7 is in the alkaline range.   The pH of the different bodily fluids will vary for many reasons. For example, the digestive fluids are highly acidic in order to break down the foods that you eat; urine and vaginal fluids will also measure in the acidic range because this help to keep unfriendly bacteria from colonizing in these areas; the saliva normally measures slightly alkaline as this keeps the teeth from decaying; and the blood measures slightly alkaline at 7.365- 7.41, with your bodies buffering systems working very hard to keep it within that tight range.

Your kidneys and lungs are continually working to maintain the proper pH, but when further assistance is needed, this system will draw upon the mineral reserves that are stored in the skeletal system.  When this buffering system also becomes overtaxed, the excess acids will be released into the tissues. Then, as more acids accumulate, this acidity is transferred into the cells. Over time, as the cellular acidity increases, many of these cells will begin die as the are programmed to do when something goes wrong. However, some of these acidified cells are able to adapt to this harsher environment.  These cells can now function independently from the rest and they are able to survive without order or communication with the cells that surround them. These cells are abnormal, or malignant.

Acidic cells create an acidic body and an acidic body is a precursor for disease:

People with a balanced pH are able to resist illness and disease because their body is naturally able to fight them off, while those who have an overly acidic or overly alkaline pH will be more prone to illness.  Having an overly acidic body inhibits nerve function, damages cells, and creates a low-oxygen environment for diseases (such as cancer), viruses, and fungus to thrive.  Some signs of excess acidity include fatigue, shortness of breath, and having general muscular aches and pains. Acidosis is especially problematic because it interferes with normal cell function. An example of this can be found with white blood cells which are essential for a strong immune system. Poor functioning white blood cells are produced in acidic environments, thus making it easy for infection and disease to take hold.

Acid and Alkaline Ash

The most common method to test whether a food is acidic or alkaline is to incinerate a sample of it and then analyze the mineral content of the ash afterwards. If the ash is high in alkaline minerals, then the food is said to have an alkalizing effect on the body after it has been digested, and conversely, if the ash is low in alkaline minerals, it will leave behind an  acidic ash and have an acidifying effect on the body.   If this is a true test, then whenever you ingest any food or beverage, the end result after the digestion and assimilation of the nutrients should result in either an acid or alkaline-forming effect.  So when we eat, we are either providing the body with the abundance of nutrients that it needs in order to maintain optimal health or we are leaving our body in a state of continually drawing upon its mineral reserves until this delicate system can no longer sustain health.

pH scale

Making changes– unfortunately most of the foods that people are eating today fall into the acid-forming category.  One way to begin to normalize your pH is by stopping your consumption of the standard American diet and to begin eating a diet that is rich in fresh organic fruits and vegetables, and by juicing a variety of raw leafy greens such as kale, chard, spinach, watercress, celery, cucumber, and wheatgrass.  In addition, you can drink plenty of spring water with fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice which will also leave behind an alkaline ash following digestion.  

Use the food chart below to help guide your choices.   If your body is acidic then make it your goal to eat 80% alkaline foods, with only 20% acidic.

How many servings of vegetables should you have per day?  A woman should aim for 8 cups of fresh vegetables/fruits per day and a man should aim for 10 cups.

acid / alkaline food list

How to test your pH

You can test your pH level using pH testing strips that are made for saliva and urine. They can be purchased from health food stores or online and can be used as a measurement of what is going on inside of the body. The proper strip to purchase is a narrow or short range, which will measure from 5.0 to 9.5 or so.

pH range

Your goal is to reach 7.2 – 7.4.

To test the saliva:  The first test of the day is immediately upon waking before eating or drinking anything, otherwise you must wait at least two hours after eating or drinking to ensure that the food that you have  consumed does not alter your test results.  First cleanse the mouth by filling it with saliva and then swallowing or spitting it out. Fill the mouth again with saliva and place the test strip on your tongue for 10 seconds. The strip will change colors based on the results.  Use the insert from the package to determine your results.  You can perform this test 4 times per day to get a clearer picture of what is going on inside of your body.  You may find that your pH fluctuates throughout the day, this is normal.  Your goal is to register slightly more alkaline than acidic, around 7.2 to 7.4 for saliva, as it is at this level that oxygen is plentiful.

To test the urine:  I have found that urine pH can be more difficult to read as your body may be detoxing if you have adopted a healthier routine and these toxins will have an effect on your readings. Additonally, the body will release these toxins in the morning urine. With that in mind, your urine pH readings will average around 6.0- 6.6 in the morning hours and between 6.7 -7.0 in the pm hours.  It is normal for the urine pH to start out in the acidic range with the body becoming more alkaline as the day progresses due to the foods that you are consuming.  Concerns might arise if your pH readings do not follow this normal pattern.  For example, having an 8am alkaline reading, or a 9 pm acidic reading would be an indication that you have an imbalance. Also, if you test your urine multiple times per day at 8a, 11a, 3p, and 7p and have three or more of your readings registering below 6.5 this may be an indication that your body has an acidic imbalance.  Conversely, if three or more of your readings are registering higher than 6.7 this may be an indication that your body has an alkaline imbalance.


How to test urine and saliva with pH test strips


 Alkalinity = cellular oxygenation

pH food chart

If you have cancer -Those with cancer are generally very acidic, often registering around a 5.5 or lower with the saliva pH test.  If you are extremely acidic, you may not even be registering on the tape at all (depending on how low the calibration of the strip is compared to your level of acidity).  Additionally, it takes time to raise the pH from an acidic state to an alkaline range, sometimes even taking several weeks before you even begin to register on the tape, and then taking up to 12 weeks before you can reach your goal of 7.2- 7.4 with saliva.   It is at this pH that oxygen is plentiful and cancerous cells become inactive and begin to die.

Once this level is reached, you must hold yourself there until you have confirmation that the cancer is completely gone.  Also, please be aware that you cannot return to your old dietary habits after having cancer.  Make the necessary changes to your diet and lifestyle and plan on sticking with them for the long term. Please read the testimonials at the bottom of the page for more information on using this diet.

Over-alkalizing-  Please don’t go overboard and over-alkalize your body either.  Just as an overly acidic body is harmful to health, an over-alkalized body would be equally as well.  Just work on reaching your goal of 7.2- 7.4 with saliva pH and then maintain that level until all of the cancer is gone.

Cancer specific diets-  in general, most people who eat the standard American diet that is heavy in meats, dairy, refined wheat, sugar, processed foods, fast foods, soda, coffee, alcohol, etc.  are going to have an overly-acidic body.   Additionally, certain cancers are acid-based, these include solid tumors such as those found in the breast, lung, stomach, pancreas, colon, liver, uterus, ovary, prostate, as well as skin cancers. People with solid tumors tend to do better when they adhere to eating an alkaline-based diet that consists of lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, juicing fresh vegetables, fresh fruit smoothies, complex carbohydrates, nuts, seeds, legumes, and beans, with limited amounts of both healthy fats and animal proteins  (no red meats or dairy products allowed).

Other cancers are alkaline-based, these include brain cancers, myeloma, leukemia, lymphoma, and soft tissue sarcomas. People with these types of cancers tend to do better when a person follows a diet that is more balanced and can include a reasonable amount of clean animal proteins, some healthy fats, lots of fresh non-starchy vegetables and fresh vegetable juices, and limited amount of both fruits and complex carbohydrates. 

  • Read an article about juicing
  • Acceptable meats for this diet include organic chicken, wild-caught fish and pastured eggs.
  • Acceptable fats include unrefined coconut oil, organic butter, ghee, and unrefined lard for cooking purposes, and olive, sesame, avocado, hemp and flax for cold uses.
  • You can read more about cancer specific diets with this post:  Cancer, why it happens and how to address it


Soda pop/coffee – Soda pop has a very low pH, with nothing scoring below 3 on the pH scale. They contain phosphoric acid, which is not only bad for your teeth, but also terrible for bone health by promoting a chronic deterioration of the skeletal system.  Try drinking water with fresh lemon juice to help you break this habit.  Additionally coffee is another acidic beverage, try limiting yourself to only 1 cup of organic coffee per day and then switching to green tea which is more alkaline instead.

Minerals= Alkalinity

Supplements- minerals are the key to making the body alkaline.  Eating a mineral-rich diet is key to this program, but supplementation is often required as well.  Look for quality supplements that can provide your body with all of the vitamins and minerals that it requires for good health, such as found in this complete vitamin and mineral supplement .

Water with minerals

Your body needs a minimum of 50 ounces of water per 100 pounds of body weight per day.

“Buy a filter or be a filter”-  Consider purchasing a reverse osmosis water system that will remove the fluoride, chlorine, chromium 6, arsenic, lead, and other chemicals and metals which are found in municipal water supplies. A simple carbon filtration system will only remove chlorine so don’t assume that any filter will do. Installing an appropriate  water filter will make sure that you are getting the purest drinking water possible. RO machines and water distillers will remove toxins from the water but they also remove the essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium, thus making the water more acidic.  You can find RO systems that will filter the water and then add minerals back into it such as this one .  Regular maintenance is required on this type of filtration system with the filters requiring to be changed regularly, so if you are not mechanically inclined many companies offer to rent these systems to you for about $25.00/ month and will come in and do the maintenance for you.

Recipes to make filtered water become more  alkaline:

Alkaline water #1 – take one gallon of water and add 1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt, the juice of 4 lemons or limes (and toss in the skins too), 1 tbsp of raw, organic honey, and a pinch of organic stevia (if needed) and drink this throughout the day. Sea salt contains 82 trace minerals which will enhance this water.  Lemons and limes will create an alkaline ash following digestion.

Alkaline beverage #2- take 4 tbsp of fresh lemon juice, added to 8 ounces of water.  Drink this 4 times per day.

Alkaline beverage #3– take 2 clean organic lemons and blend them up whole (with skins and seeds) with some water, and then add this to 1 gallon of water, 1/2 tsp of Himalayan sea salt, and 1 tbsp of pure local honey, pure maple syrup, or some stevia.  You can filter out the pulp as you pour your servings.

Alkaline water #4- adding Alkaline Drops to your filtered water.

Ways to oxygenate the body

Exercise- will help to improve your circulation as well as oxygenate the cells.  Walking, stretching, yoga, swimming, biking, hiking,  jumping on a mini trampoline, etc. Read more about this.

Deep breathing– most people are shallow breathers.   Here is an exercise to help you become more conscious of your breath and this will assist your body in becoming better oxygenated, as well as relieve stress, and has the added benefit of releasing toxins through the lungs. Take a full breath, in through the nose and then expand the chest fully. When you think your lungs are full, then try sucking in just a little more air. Hold this for a few seconds and then breathe out through pursed lips to expel the air out slowly. Repeat this exercise for 5 minutes at a time, and do this multiple times per day or when you need a boost of energy.



Author Ann Boroch shares various ways to alkalize the body


Additional Resources:

Cancer cannot survive in an alkaline oxygenated environment

Alkalize your body by juicing fresh fruits and vegetables

 Juicing wheatgrass is highly alkalizing and oxygenating to the body

Read more about the ketogenic diet for cancer

Sugar is highly acidic and promotes the growth and spread of cancer

Read about the metabolic therapies used by Dr Emanuel Revici to adjust pH imbalances with essential fatty acids

Emotional healing- Anger, jealousy, and bitterness all have the ability to create a stressful and toxic internal environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit by incorporating meditation, visualization, forgiveness exercises, and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). You can find notes on all of these with this link.


Josie Nunez heals brain cancer with an alkaline diet

Ginger Rollins heals brain cancer with an alkaline diet

Jessica Biscardi heals stage 4 breast cancer with an alkaline diet

Allan Taylor used an alkaline diet and supplements to heal stage 4 colon cancer

Jessica Richards heals breast cancer with an alkaline diet and IV Vitamin C

Other diets that may interest you:

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