Acidosis, Diet and our Health

Acidosis has two stages in the body.

1) Low grade acidosis, known as Latent Acidosis, refers to the acidification of the fluid that surrounds our cells (aka interstitial fluid or the “terrain”).

2) When this builds up to an intolerable level it becomes Metabolic Acidosis. This is when the acid moves from our cells to our blood.

Latent acidification of the interstitial fluid causes tissue damage, resulting in chronic diseases like metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis, gout, kidney disease, neurological disease, autoimmune disease and cancer. Acidosis, may also somewhat be involved in so called, “infectious diseases”.

Latent acidosis is the result of;

Nutrient deficiency
Processed & refined food Over-consumption
Acid forming food over-consumption
Chronic stress
Sleep deprivation
Physical inactivity
Inadequate sun exposure
Lack of grounding to the earth

Neutralising a high acid load with proper dietary and lifestyle practices might just be the key to unlocking great health & preventing disease.

How good is our bodies inner Acid-base homeostasis?

The body’s buffering system tightly regulates blood pH in a process known as acid-base homeostasis.
Examples of buffers include calcium stored in bone, proteins, or other mechanisms by which the body resists pH changes in the bloodstream.

The following two mechanisms are primarily involved in this process:

  1. Respiratory compensation: Breathing rate increases when acid levels are high. This breaks down the carbonic acid in the blood to water and carbon dioxide or CO2. The process, including the exhalation of the CO2, returns blood pH to normal levels.
  2. Kidneys filter and secrete acids, needing alkaline foods to do this. The kidneys produce bicarbonate ions, which neutralize acid within the blood.

Metabolic acidosis refers to a change in the blood pH. The body will tightly regulate the blood pH via various mechanisms in the lungs, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract. It is important to differentiate between latent acidosis and metabolic acidosis.

  1. Consuming an acid forming diet results in net endogenous acid production (NAEP) and increased potential renal acid load (PRAL). Acid is also produced as a waste product by our tissue from metabolic processes.
  2. The PRAL of foods is calculated by subtracting the anions (acidic substances) like chloride, phosphorous, sulfate, organic acids (amino acids etc) from the cations (alkaline substances) like sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium.
  3. When anions exceed cations, there is a net balance of acid (ie acid formation & subsequent retention).
  4. The kidneys regulate blood and interstitial pH by excreting the excess acid in the form of hydrogen and ammonium.
  5. To excrete ammonium, various minerals like calcium, magnesium and other substances like bicarbonate (which come from alkaline foods) are required.
  6. When the body’s tissue stores of these nutrients reach sub-optimal levels, a negative feedback loop is generated.
  7. As the kidneys are now unable to excrete sufficient acid to maintain the blood pH, the lymphatic thoracic duct activity is down regulated. This reduces the acid being dumped in to the blood stream, resulting in a build up of acid in the interstitial fluid.
  8. This retention of acid around the cells, rather than being dumped into the blood, is the body’s protective and adaptive response to prolong life.
  9. The body can do this for many years or decades, however it results in tissue damage, leading to chronic disease.
  10. Eventually the body is unable to sustain this adaptive mechanism, the acid spills over into the blood, leading to metabolic acidosis.

An analogy of this might be living in a cabin in the arctic, which has a wood fired stove. The stove can keep you warm as long as there is enough fire wood. When you run low on fire wood, you begin rationing it to In other words, the kidneys and the lungs can only balance the pH of the blood and maintain an alkaline interstitial fluid (extracellular fluid) for as long as they have sufficient alkaline nutritional co-factors.

See Dr. Stefan Lanka’s newest lectures on: What Biology is not and what Biology is.

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