Over the past few years, there has been an assumption that consumption of alkaline pH is good for health and can prevent various diseases. Alkaline or alkaline pH (potential of hydrogen) is defined as the acidity which has a value above 7, where the pH value = 7 indicates a neutral state and pH
Relationship between pH level and body health
Basically, consumption with alkaline pH is based on the assumption that a consumption pattern can affect pH levels in the body. Consumption of various meats and eggs is considered likely to make the body acidic, while consumption with alkaline pH such as fruit, nuts and vegetables and consumption of water with alkaline pH can cause the body's pH to be neutral or even alkaline.
But in reality, the body consists of various organs that have roles and functions as well as variations in their respective pH levels, besides that overall body health depends on the adequacy of nutrients to support the performance of each organ. For example the normal pH level of blood that tends to be neutral to alkali at intervals of 7.35 - 7.45 but is very different in gastric organs that have a pH level of 2 to 3.5 or very acidic. Changes in pH of the blood or stomach beyond normal limits will disrupt the balance of bodily functions, but this can only be caused by a certain disease condition and cannot be influenced by food consumed every day.
Effect of alkaline pH drinks and food on the body
In general, the benefits of alkaline pH consumption patterns on the health of the human body have not been supported by evidence from strong scientific studies and very little shows the pattern of alkaline conditions will be beneficial to the health of the body. One in vitro study can show the potential benefits of consuming water with a pH of 8.8 can act as a balance of pH (buffer) in gastric acid symptoms in Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD) caused by the enzyme pepsin. Nevertheless this study is still a preliminary study, the effect can also be different if it is done under conditions of normal drinking water consumption in humans.
The pattern of basic consumption encourages a person to increase the consumption of fruits and various vegetables and limit the foods of various junk food. In addition there have been no reports of health problems due to consumption of drinking water with alkaline pH. So this consumption pattern tends to be safe and good for health because of the composition of the food consumed but has nothing to do with changes in pH levels caused.
Myths around alkaline pH
The main problem with consumption of alkaline pH is not because there is no benefit, but because of various inappropriate myths and theories that are not supported by scientific data related to the benefits of alkaline pH consumption patterns include:
1. Myth: A healthy body has an alkaline pH
As previously explained, the pH of each body part has its normal levels. Acidic pH levels are also needed by the body to carry out its functions such as the stomach to carry out digestive functions, and acidic pH in the vaginal tissues serves to prevent various fungal infections which actually become more susceptible when the pH level becomes alkaline.
2. Myth: Consumption patterns can affect the pH of blood and urine to be acidic
In fact, this will not happen because the body has its own mechanism to maintain acid and base balance, and without this mechanism it will be very fatal to health if our body's pH follows the pH level of what we consume. The body can maintain blood pH so that it stays between 7.35 - 7.45, because the acidic conditions in the bloodstream will cause a variety of very damage and very rapid death. In addition, urine is an unfavorable indicator to describe a person's health, urine can become acidic due to various substances which have nothing to do with the pH of other organs.
3. Myth: Acidic foods can trigger osteoporosis
Based on this theory, avoiding acidic foods such as meat, chicken, beef and fish which are sources of protein, and calcium that can be obtained from food sources of fruits and vegetables can maintain bone health. But in fact protein is one of the body builders that is useful in maintaining bone health. Besides that, there is no evidence that acidic conditions, both from food and body conditions trigger osteoporosis.
4. Myth: body conditions that are too acidic due to food can cause cancer
In fact, cancer cells are acidic and can make the pH level of the body acidic, but that does not mean the acidity of the body causes a cancer to grow. The body will also not become too acidic due to consumption patterns because it has a mechanism of acidic and basic homeostasis. In addition, a study also shows that cancer can grow even in alkaline conditions.
Balanced pH levels are better for health
In addition to the lack of strong evidence regarding the benefits of alkaline pH levels for the body, reducing food sources that are acidic sources such as meat and eggs is not proven to have an adverse effect on the body and will only make the body deficient in protein and various essential amino acids needed by the body. Alkaline pH levels from food and beverages do not have a significant health effect, moreover the recommended water consumption by WHO is water that has a pH level close to neutral or around 7. Extreme pH levels, both acidic and basic, can be harmful to health.
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