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Importance of Alkaline Diet- Jaffe and Donovan, Alkaline and Acid Food Chart

I have found the following information and attached chart helpful in making food choices that support internal alkaline and acid balance.

Teri G

The Importance of an Alkaline Diet –
R Jaffe and P Donovan- Your Health- A Professional User’s Guide, Sterling, VA, Health Studies Collegium, 1993

"The internal environment of our bodies is maintained at a pH of just about 7.0. This means our internal environment is alkaline. Maintenance of this state is a dynamic, not static, process mediated moment to moment by numerous reactions that produce acid products. Our internal chemical equilibrium is primarily controlled by our lungs, kidneys, intestines, and skin. For necessary reactions and functions to occur, our body must maintain a proper pH. Adequate alkaline reserves are necessary for optimal pH adjustment. The body needs oxygen, water, and acid-buffering minerals to accomplish the pH buffering, while also briskly eliminating waste products.

When an alkaline environment is maintained in the body, metabolic, enzymatic, immunologic, and repair mechanisms function at their best. The acid-forming metabolics of stress and inflammation and of high fat and high protein foods are adequately and effectively neutralized only when sufficient mineral-buffering reserves are present. Mineral-buffering reserves are the gift that alkaline-forming foods give to our body. A diet that is predominantly alkaline forming is essential to the maintenance of sustained health.

Most vegetables and fruits contain higher proportions of alkaline-forming elements than other foods. These foods promote a more alkaline environment in the body. For example, commercial corn, barley, soybeans, and legumes are acid forming. This may reflect breeding selection in the last fifty years that favored higher carbohydrate and fat content. Traditional organically or biodynamically grown forms of these grains and grasses may well be much less acid forming. Surprisingly, despite their pronounced acid flavor, citrus fruit and rhubarb form alkaline residues. This is because their distinctive organic acids like citric, succinic, fumaric, and malic (Krebs' DCA or dicarboxylic acid) metabolize to water and alkalinizing bicarbonate, while producing energy (ATP) inside the cell.

Body balance, in terms of acid-alkaline state, is a pH of 7.450 for blood in the arteries and 7.350 for blood in the veins. Acid-alkaline equivalence is a pH of 7.000. Thus, a healthy body means a pH that is slightly alkaline. This means there are more buffering mineral receptors for electrons than acid-forming electron donors.

In foods containing large amounts of protein and fat, the acid-forming elements predominate over the alkaline-forming elements. Thus, cow's milk and related dairy products are acid-forming, although goat and sheep milk/cheeses (with less fat and protein) produce less acid. The one dairy product exception is clarified butter (known as "ghee" in Indian cookery), which has alkalinizing short chain fats known as butyrates and caprylates. The butyrates and caprylates present in ghee are also thought to promote healthy bacterial growth in the intestines, promote repair of the intestine wall, and suppress pathogen growth of some yeasts and parasites if they are present.

Whole grains give an acid reaction disproportionate to their protein content due to the extra phosphorus present in the phytates. The phosphate content of commercial grains may be higher than traditional, organic, or biodynamic sources in part because of fertilizer differences and plant strain selection. Although most fruits have an alkaline effect, some such as prunes, plums, and cranberries make a net contribution of acid to the body since they contain organic acids that are not metabolized by the body. Nuts such as coconuts, almonds, and chestnuts are alkaline forming, while others like peanuts (a legume) and walnuts yield net acid. Highly refined and processed foods consisting chiefly of fats, sugars, and simple starches, along with protein-rich foods are metabolically acidifying.

The attached chart titled, Food & Chemical Effects on Acid/Alkaline Body Chemical Balance, presents the message that, in general, fruits, vegetables, lentils, seeds, sprouts, roots, and tubers are healthfully alkalinizing, while grains, grasses, fowl, fish, seafood, dairy products, meats, and most beans are acidifying. "

Attached File(s)
Attached File  alkaline_and_acid_food_chart.rtf ( 66.69K ) Number of downloads: 17


Thanks Teri, this is really

Thanks Teri, this is really helpful. I've just started to look into this angle and use it myself. With the pH measurement, I've seen it suggested to do saliva and in other places to do urine. Does anyone know the protocol for pH testing? Saliva or urine? If urine, does Px need to urinate in container first, then dip pH strip in? First thing in the morning? More than once per day?


Submitted by MichaelS on 11 Jan, 2007

A few more goodies on pH and

A few more goodies on pH and measuring pH:

1) Many factors affect body pH in addition to food intake - water, climate, meditation and physical exercise are major influences also. For instance, during the North American winter, we usually seek the more acidic foods because the winter climate is alkaline and we offset that by eating more grains, meat and so on. In the North American summer, which has an acidic nature, many of us crave fruits and vegetables. This is another reason to select foods based on local climate conditions - another case of 'mama nature knows best'.

2) I noticed in the Food & Chemical Effects on Acid/Alkaline Body Chemical Balance that the footnote said that ITALICIZED items are not recommended. Then I saw that ice cream was not italicized. HA! I suggest that anyone, who may use this chart for clients, review and revise the chart before distribution. smile.gif

3) I spoke with Clive Buirski of Premier Research Labs recently and he had a number of interesting comments on the topic. He has personally tested his urine pH for a number of years. Quick summary of his remarks:

- He recommends M.T. Morter's book, Correlative Urinalysis, for those who want to explore the topic in depth.

- Saliva pH is not indicative of the body's soft tissue mineral reserve, therefore he recommends urine pH only.

- Saliva pH can be strongly influenced by what is most recently consumed and he also said that even if you consume an obviously acidic meal, your saliva pH reading will very often rise. Try it yourself!

-Urine pH timing: just before breakfast and just before evening meal

- Urine stream sample: you may capture any part of the urine stream and you only need a few drops to place on the pH strip

- the true test that you have established a healthy balance in your body: that all your morning and evening samples are in the 6.4 to 7.0 range for three straight months - most find that the evening target range is more difficult to attain

- use pH strips that are in .2 increments and a range of at least 5.5 tp 8.0

- Test Details: collect a small sample of your first morning urine in a clean cup. Check the pH of your urine by dipping a small piece of pH tape into your urine; then immediately match the color of the tape to the pH color chart on the roll. The number corresponding to the color tells you the pH. After you wet the tape, do not wait. Immediately match the color. If you delay for a few minutes, you may get a false reading.


Submitted by Bodhi on 23 Jan, 2007

See the pdf attachment "pH

See the pdf attachment "pH Notes" for summary information about testing body tissue pH. If you dowloaded this (Version 001) before February 9, 2007, please replace with Version 002, which is now attached.

Attached File(s)
Attached File  pH_Notes_Feb_2007_Version_002.pdf ( 16.52K ) Number of downloads: 3
Submitted by Bodhi on 29 Jan, 2007

Here is another food table

Here is another food table that lists the acid or base effect of foods. Compared to the food table that I previously posted, (prepared by Dr. Russell Jaffe) this table by Remer and Manze 1995, gives a numerical value based on milliequivalents per 100 grams of a particular food.

For those of us that are trying to understand the potential therapeutic value of using diet to establish or maintain a pH balanced internal environment, this website has a good bit of information taken from published journal articles.

I have been fairly confused about this topic for a long time! Even with good food tables as a reference, making food choices designed to reduce chronic net dietary acid load still does not address individual absorption and metabolism issues. Does anyone have experience using the acid/base effect of foods to alter internal pH balance???


Attached File(s)
Attached File  Acid_Base_Food_Table.pdf ( 94.79K ) Number of downloads: 3
Submitted by Teri Gruss on 5 Feb, 2007