The Acid/Alkaline Theory of Disease

by Dr. Robert O. Young / NOVEMBER 29, 2006

DrYoung As it pertains the email concerning, "Acid/Alkaline Theory of Disease is Nonsense," I would suggest Dr. Mirkin refer to the following books:

1) Understanding Acid-Base, by Benjamin Abelow, M.D., lecturer in Medicine at Yale School of Medicine, and

2) Clinical Physiology of Acid-Base and..., by Burton David Rose, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Theodore W. Post, MD, Deputy editor, Nephrology.

It is apparent that Dr. Mirkin doesn't have an understanding of endogenous acid production, which includes, gastrointestinal acid production, respiratory acid production, cellular degeneration acid production and finally metabolic acid production. His statement that, "you should not believe that it matters whether foods are acidic or alkaline, because no foods change the acidity of anything in your body except your urine," is a statement of pure ignorance on the subject!

For example, when an organ secretes protons (acids) into the gut lumen, it must secrete bicarbonate (electrons or base) into the blood. And if it secretes bicarbonate or electrons into the lumen, it must secrete protons into the blood. Thus, anytime bicarbonate is needed for secretion into the gut lumen, a proton or acid is also generated. And anytime a proton or acid is needed for secretion, a bicarbonate or electron is also produced.

What happens to the "waste" proton or bicarbonate or electron? It cannot enter the gut lumen, because it would react with, and thus neutralize, the secreted bicarbonate or proton (via the reaction H+ + HCO3- = CO2 + H2O), thereby preventing the intended effect on lumenal pH. Also, it must not remain in the cell because this would disturb intracellular pH and eventually the cell would disorganize. It has only one choice -- leave the cell in the direction opposite to the gut lumen -- that is, into the interstitial fluid and the blood.

Stomach: parietal cells secrete protons into the gastric lumen at about mmol per hour. After a meal the rate can reach 50 mmol/hour. This secretion of protons or acids lowers the pH of the alimentary contents (chyme) to about 1.0 pH, thus, the stomach liberates bicarbonate into the blood, both at rest and, especially, during meals. Duodenum and associated organs: Bicarbonate is secreted into duodenal chyme from three sources: pancreas, gall bladder, and duodenal mucosa. Pancreatic fluid has a (HCO3-) of between 25 mmol/L and 150 mmol/L up to 200 mmol/L in a 24 hour period. The bile from the gallbladder has a bicarbonate (HCO3-) of about 40 mmol/Liter. The duodenal mucosa also generates and secretes bicarbonate (HCO3-). As expected, these organs secrete equimolar quantities of protons (H+) or acids into the blood thus acidifying the blood stream. The amount of bicarbonate (HCO3-) secreted by these organs and the subsequent amount of proton (H+) or acid secreted back into the bloodstream is a direct result of WHAT YOU ARE EATING!

The gut secretes slightly more bicarbonate (HCO3-) or base than protons (H+) or acids into the gut lumen, so more protons (H+) or acids than bicarbonate (HCO3-) or base (electrons) enter the bloodstream thus acidifying the blood.

This, once again is a direct result of WHAT YOU EAT and DRINK! Thus, even after added protons (H+) and bicarbonate (HCO3-) neutralize each other, some additional protons (H+) remain in the blood -- hence, gastrointestinal acid production form the foods we eat and the liquids we drink. These excess protons (H+) or acids, like those released during metabolic acid production, are buffered by plasma bicarbonate (HCO3-), causing plasma bicarbonate (HCO3-) to fall.

Metabolism and gut together add about 100 mmol of proton (H+) or acids per day to the body fluids leading to an imbalance in the delicate pH homeostasis of the extracellular and intracellular fluids, morbid fermentation's and/or aging of the organism. The body goes into preservation mode and will produce buffering agents to bind or neutralize the excess acid productions.

These buffering or neutralizing agents include the following: 1) Plasma bicarbonate 2) Hemoglobin from the red blood cells causing anemia 3) Calcium from the bones causing arthritis and osteoporosis 4) Magnesium from the muscle causing muscle wasting 5) Cholesterol to bind acids leading to stoke and heart attack. There are many other buffering or chelating agents that the body uses to maintain the delicate pH balance of the body fluids, especially the blood at 7.365, at the expense of all other organs. For if the blood does not maintain homeostasis you die!

According to Max Planck, Nobel Laureate in physics, 1918, said, "For new ideas to be accepted, one has to wait for a generation of scientists to die off and a new one to replace it." So it is with the "New Biology" theory -- there is only one disease and one sickness -- the over-acidification of the blood and tissues due to an inverted way of living, thinking and eating.