Balancing Your PH Levels
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That familiar yellow box in your refrigerator, the one that keeps things smelling fresh, could also be the secret to living a longer, healthier life.
The main component of that white powder contributes to one of your body’s most important health mechanisms. In fact, according to recent research, having enough of this substance could prolong your life…
Can baking soda help you live longer?
The acid-base balance
If you think back to high school chemistry, you may remember learning about acids and bases, and about pH levels.
In order to stay in good health, your body must constantly manage the delicate balance that keeps pH levels where they should be. The trouble is that some of our vital functions throw that balance off.
When we breathe in oxygen, the byproduct is carbon dioxide, which is slightly acidic. And digestion produces acids, including sulfuric acid.
If your blood does not carry adequate levels of bicarbonate to balance out and neutralize the corrosive action of these acids, various organs can become unhealthy or stop working.
Your kidneys are particularly susceptible, since they process urine, which is highly acidic.
Low bicarbonate levels are life-threatening
Dr. Kalani Raphael, associate professor and nephrology and hypertension specialist at the University of Utah, found that having balanced bicarbonate levels in your body could reduce your chances of an early death.
Dr. Raphael looked at data from the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study conducted by the National Institute on Aging. The study followed almost 2300 participants ages 70 to 79 for about ten years.
His findings: low levels of bicarbonate in the blood were linked to a higher risk of premature death – 25% higher!
Greater risk of kidney disease, other health problems
Dr. Raphael points out that about 15% of people with kidney disease have low bicarbonate levels, which makes them more likely to reach end-stage renal disease, where dialysis or a kidney transplant are the only way to stay alive.
Even if your kidneys are not involved, you are still at greater risk of inflammation, osteoporosis and decreased muscle mass if your bicarbonate levels are low.
How to keep your bicarbonate levels where they should be
As we age, our kidneys must work harder to get rid of acid, so it’s even more important to maintain normal levels of bicarbonate.
But you don’t have to reach for the box of baking soda. The best way to balance your pH levels is with a healthy daily portion of fruits and vegetables.
Citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli, and rhubarb, for example, are rich in citric acid, which your liver converts to bicarbonate.
Another benefit: the potassium found in many vegetables and fruits controls the amount of acid your kidneys produce to begin with.
Bananas, apples, raisins, spinach, broccoli, and lemons will boost both your potassium and bicarbonate levels.
If you're using baking soda by itself, start with a half a teaspoon in water about every three hours. Do six doses a day for a few days, and then go to a full teaspoon, three times a day for a few weeks. While simple baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), will work, potassium bicarbonate is even better.
Start making a shift towards balanced PH and watch your health improve.
Test your own PH levels