PH and Cancer
pH & Acidity
In chemistry and biology, pH is a way of stating how acidic or alkaline a substance is. The pH scale was first proposed by a Danish chemist in 1909. pH is the expression of how volatile or how reactive hydrogen or the hydronium ion is in a particular solution or chemical. So highly acid compounds like hydrochloric acid for example, have a very low pH and can cause a lot of damage because they are very volatile.
These values are important because living organisms rely on certain specific pH values to thrive. Plants grown in good pH soil grow better and they contain more nutrients than plants grown in the wrong pH soil. You may have heard of acid rain and its potential to wipe out all life in a lake. This is a good example of why it is important to pay attention to pH.
Similarly, our bodies rely on certain pH levels to function correctly. The pH of the stomach is very acidic and this allows us to dissolve and then digest the food properly to get all the nutrients we need. The skins’ natural pH is between 4 and 6.5, and too much acid in the skin can actually age the skin prematurely and the same if the skin is too alkaline.
So pH has the potential to either cause us to look young and beautiful or cause us to age, and cosmetics companies use this information to include compounds in their formulas to make sure our skin retains a balanced pH to remain healthy. Now imagine what your body looks like inside if pH has such a big effect on how you look outside. This is why pH is essential in health and well-being and in creating a healthy body that fights and resists cancer.
The acid/alkaline debate has been raging between scientists and doctors for years. The debate is centered on the question of whether we can change the pH of the tissues and organs in our body by the types of foods we eat and what we drink. In other words, if we eat acidic foods, do our bodies become acidic and vice versa.
The question has not been proved either way. It seems likely that the debate will continue to be an issue for many years to come. But that doesn’t mean the theory or the information is useless to cancer patients. In fact, the debate has led to various theories on why the alkaline diet does work – most scientists now agree that the alkaline diet does work to keep us healthy but not because it changes pH, but rather for other reasons. WebMD for example says the diet may work, “but not for the reasons it claims.”
So what is the theory based on and what does alkalizing the body really mean?
In terms of cancer, the pH theory is based on the fact that cancer thrives in a low pH. When researchers grow cancer cells in a lab they have to do so in an acidic solution – in other words a solution with a low pH. The cancer cells do not grow in alkaline solutions.
Cancer needs an acidic environment to survive. The theory is that by eating alkaline foods, you can change that environment to an alkaline environment that will kill the cancer cells.
Although there is no research on that particular theory, there is very compelling research on baking soda and its ability to stop the spread of cancer. There is currently a phase III human trial on baking soda being used in breast cancer patients to see how baking soda can help these patients. For more information on baking soda please read the Baking Soda PDF.
So now that you have a basic idea of what the cancer and pH theory is about, let’s look at the foods that are recommended to alkalize the diet, and the foods that are to be avoided.
This is where the pH theory becomes interesting for cancer patients and it forms one of the reasons why you don’t have to choose which side of the pH debate you believe because you will notice that the foods that are on the avoid list are also the foods that cause inflammation. In fact, the foods to avoid are the foods that are included in most of the key factors for causing cancer. Whether you believe the inflammation theory of cancer or the pH theory doesn’t really matter, since the food lists in both cases are very similar. The only exceptions is green tea. It is on the acidic food list but information on the benefits of green tea, and whether you choose to add it to your cancer plan, is available in the Green Tea PDF.
It’s no wonder that sugar once again is top of the list of foods to avoid. Sugars cause acid to form in the body. These include all forms of sugar including glucose, sucrose, all of the other forms, honey and maple syrup.
- All meats on the alkaline food list
- Cheese and dairy
- Processed foods
- Beer, coffee, hops, liquor, malt, sodas – especially colas, tea, wine, white vinegar white processed flour
- Cereals and grains – Refined cereals sweetened with sugars, semolina, wheat or white flour products
Although there are many versions of the alkaline diet, the above list is the main foods to avoid. If you are interested in a specific alkaline diet, then you should purchase one of the books that deal specifically with an alkaline diet.
The following foods have an alkalizing effect on the body and they are powerful cancer fighters in terms of the alkaline diet:
- Collard/Spring Greens
The above list is not an exhaustive list but merely an indication that most of the foods that fight cancer also have an alkalizing effect on the body. Therefore, by selecting a wide range of cancer fighting foods and excluding the cancer causing foods, which happen to be very similar to the pH foods, your diet should have an alkalizing effect on the body.
The most important tool in alkalizing the body is probably the inclusion of sodium bicarbonate. You must however do this in conjunction with your doctor if you take sodium bicarbonate for a long period of time.
As mentioned, there is copious research on using sodium bicarbonate as a buffer to neutralize the acidic environment within the body.
- In a study on rats, sodium bicarbonate significantly reduced the spread of the cancer.
- In a study on mice, sodium bicarbonate increased survival and reduced the spread of breast cancer.
- In a lab study, sodium bicarbonate reduced the spread of cancer.
- In a study on rats, sodium bicarbonate prevented prostate cancer when given early enough
- Sodium bicarbonate and buffer therapy can be affected by diet.
- In a mouse study, sodium bicarbonate significantly reduced tumor invasion -.
How to monitor your PH
There are various ways of measuring PH. One of the most convenient ways to measure PH is by using a digital PH meter. To make use of the digital PH meter we offer, simply use a clean glass for urination purposes and place the PH meter into the glass. The urine level must reach the first notch on the PH meter. The PH meter will give you a digital reading of PH. Aim for a PH of about 8.