and Urine pH Testing
To recap, pH is the acronym for potential hydrogen. It is a measure of the degree
of saturation of the hydrogen ion in a substance or solution.
From a mildly technical
perspective, let's look at the molecule of water, H2O. H=Hydrogen and O=Oxygen.
If water and water
is combined we get H2O + H2O => H3O + OH-
H3O (the hydronium
ion+) is the acid element and OH- (the hydroxyl ion-) is the base or alkaline
element. (You may also note that the +ion is a cation and the -ion is an anion
as discussed in the section on Zeta Potential.) In pure water these are balanced
and upon measuring with a pH meter the reading would be 7.
7 is neutral on a
pH scale which goes from 0 to 14. This scale corresponds to the hydrogen ion
concentration from 100 to 10-14 moles per liter. This is a huge range which
sensitive instruments can measure.
When the H3O and
OH- are out of balance a pH meter will detect this and the reading will move
above or below 7. Like a teeter-totter, if one goes up the other goes down and
In the human body
a pH balancing act is continuously going on to maintain homeostasis. When defining
measurement values of certain pH levels of human fluids, there are no absolutes
that can be written in stone because the value that "should be here" has to
be balanced against other values "that should be there". In essence, in the
human body things never happen in a vacuum and you need to be ever mindful of
these things as you make your measurements.
pH Buffer System
There are three primary pH buffering systems of the body but for now we simply
want to say a few words about the word "buffer". What exactly does that mean?
A buffer keeps something where it should be. It buffers adverse swings. It shields,
cushions and protects.
If you have ever
seen a pH test strip for a swimming pool, you will note a section of the strip
that states "pH" which will give a direct pH reading, and a section of the strip
that states "total alkalinity". Now you might have a swimming pool reading of
7.2 pH, but if "total alkalinity" is low, the pH of 7.2 can be easily moved
too acid or too alkaline. It can be pushed around because the total concentration
of (-) ions (the "total alkalinity") is low. Hence, pH can get pushed around
and will not stay put.
This same thing happens
with humans. pH values can get pushed around fairly easily if total alkalinity
is low. The key is to balance pH and increase total alkalinity levels. Now just
so you don't go overboard with the thought that all must be alkaline to the
extreme, note that everything has balance and a perfect range. There are compartments
in the body that you could say need "total acidity" in order to function. So
for our purposes, we will say that the key is "total buffering" which is a good
ionic concentration to maintain a solid pH that stays within an ideal range
for the thing being measured.
In general we can
raise the body's buffer capacity through consumption of mineral rich food, however,
this is not always easy to do with our current agricultural situation of chemical
farming on depleted soils. So in a clinical environment, we can assist pH balance
in the body by using supplemental minerals. We pay attention to the anionic/cationic
ratios, and while minerals like sodium, potassium and magnesium are important,
we use various forms of calcium to push pH in specific directions (up, down
or neutral) depending on the calcium type and this increases "total buffering"
activity to maintain a solid pH that stays within optimum range and does not
move easily. Now with that said, it is easy to use the wrong calcium in the
wrong pH range and screw things up. But we'll cover this later.
For our purposes we will be measuring urine and saliva. In a perfect world with
other health parameters in place, the pH of both urine and saliva will be right
around the 6.4 level - and this would be at just about any time of day when
tested - though the best times to track and test for a baseline reading would
be two hours after a meal.
Understand that pH
can move all over the place. This is so because most individuals "total alkalinity"
is not very strong. So two hours after a meal for instance, you may find the
urine going acid as it is a reflection of the meals acid components pushing
the pH. But as "total alkalinity" increases in an individual, this swaying urine
pH starts to lock in at the 6.4 level. This takes time to accomplish.
The question may
arise as to why urine and saliva should be steady in the 6.4 area, and the answer
lies with the work of many researchers, most specifically in this regard to
Dr. Carey Reams. In our own clinical work with the research of Reams, Vincent,
Rivici and others, we strongly concur with the 6.4 level for urine and saliva.
The reason 6.4 seems
to be ideal is for specific ionization principles to be carried out in the body.
Anytime we talk about the human body and biological terrain, we can relate it
to stories of farming and soil terrain for there is common ground in both areas.
After all, we do come from the dust of the earth and it is the dust of the earth
from which we will return (our bodies at least). pH is but one parameter that
quantifies the nature of the terrain.
When a plant grows,
it draws up from the cationic earth and reaches towards the anionic sky. As
one force of the plant spirals up, another energetic force spirals down. The
plant uptakes the water and minerals from the soil and ionizes, changes and
incorporates those substances into the fibers and matrix of the plant. In order
for the plant to reach its optimum and most healthy state (and nutritious when
talking about edible plants) the soil terrain must be within an ideal range
When we eat the plant,
the process is reversed and the plant substance is broken down through the pressure
and resistance of digestion and the soil of the liver transforms, stores and
dispenses components of the life processes which are further acted on by the
soil of the cells and glands throughout the body. It is the circle of life;
highly charged, electric, and magnetic, some might say electromagnetic or electrostatic.
I am reminded of
a story of this circle of life spoken of by Buckminster Fuller who was truly
a great thinker (you may recall the geodesic dome and Bucky balls). He was once
asked the question, what is fire? In a nutshell, he said that if you were to
watch a log burning in the fireplace, the fire you are seeing is the sun's radiation
unwinding. The sun's flame winds through the sky and through photosynthesis
is absorbed by the tree. The tree grows and for every year of its life a growth
ring forms showing a years worth of absorbing the sun's flame. When the tree
gets chopped down to a log and burned in the fireplace, you are witness to the
sun's flame coming back out. It's the circle of life.
The food you consume
stores the flame of the sun. The more perfect your body's biological terrain,
the more capacity you will have to extract every ounce of the flame to give
you vibrant health and dynamic energy. The food you consume is met with the
resistance of digestion, and it is this resistance which causes a friction and
a release of energy in the form of amino acids and mineral ions, colloids, heat
Visualize a hydraulic
press. That press sits between your saliva pH of 6.4 and your urine pH of 6.4.
At that pH level the press has maximum force and effect to extract all the energy
food has to give. But if the saliva pH that is above the press or the urine
pH that is below the press shifts outside of the 6.4/6.4 range, the efficiency
of the press begins to fall. Hence, metabolic efficiency begins to go askew,
imbalance sets in, and over time problems can develop.
The testing that
follows are a series of tests to illustrate where your pH lies and will give
you insights to the degree of balance (or not) within your body.
We will follow this
up with a few guidelines and simple mineral and calcium rules that can help
an individual re-balance the pH.
This is an on-going test over several days to even a couple of weeks to determine
how your pH swings during the day under different circumstances and food consumption
Take a sheet of paper
and make 5 columns headed "time", "consumption", "saliva pH", "urine pH", "feel".
You will record your
urine and saliva pH every time you go to the bathroom. When you wake up in the
morning record the time and your pH values and how you feel. When you eat breakfast,
record the time. Next time you go to the bathroom record the time, your pH values
and how you feel. Next time you eat, record the time and what you ate. Next
time you go to the bathroom record the time, pH values and how you feel. Do
this throughout the whole day and over many days.
Here you will start
to track what you eat, how that makes your pH sway, and how you feel during
the process. It can be an invaluable tool to begin to make associations like;
every time I eat x food, my pH a few hours later goes to y value, and I feel
like…. You may start to notice patterns that are either for your benefit or
perhaps not. Do it for a long enough period and you will start to see cause
and effect. You are on the road to taking real charge of your health.
First thing in the morning, your eyes open up, you roll over and test your saliva
pH. In a best situation, your pH reads 6.4. Individuals with either chronic
degenerative diseases or those setting themselves up for such will see their
wake up saliva from 5.5 or lower with concurrent urine pH as low as 4.5. These
values represent a long term acid stress on the body. Generally this means that
an individuals alkaline reserves are very low to depleted. In general you do
not want to see a wake up saliva pH below 6.1.
You sit down to eat, you get the aroma of your favorite mealtime dish, you are
ready to chow down and something begins to happen in your mouth. You begin to
salivate. This is a reflection of the enzyme amylase kicking in for the starch
digestion process. This enzyme needs a range of pH ideally around 7.2 pH. So
if you have adequate alkaline reserves in your body, testing your saliva pH
as you salivate before a meal should give you a pH reading of around 7.2. If
your pH is not getting up to at least 7.0, you can assume there is stress in
your alkaline reserves and the further below 7 it goes, the more depleted are
those reserves. You could also suspect digestion all around is not doing so
well. This typically indicates a longer term problem and more serious effort
needs to be applied to help restore overall health.
Here you are going to eat an acid forming food evening meal. Meat, pasta, beans,
bread, nuts, fish, no vegetables. Next morning, check your first urine pH. The
meal the previous evening was too acid, but the body needs to be getting rid
of this acid, so the urine should reflect this. Best situation would be wake
up urine from 4.5 up to 5.8 or so. This would be a reflection of your body having
enough alkaline reserves that it was buffering the acid and the adrenals and
kidneys had appropriate energy to get rid of it. It is a healthy response.
Wake up urine after
the acid evening meal between 5.8 and 6.8 is a reflection that the body is barely
compensating, and the higher the pH the worse the situation.
Wake up urine after
the acid evening meal of 6.8 or higher is not good. It is a possible indication
that the body is dumping bicarbonate ions and may be in the ammonia cycle of
the liver to help deal with the acid. This situation probably means depleted
alkaline reserves and possible exhausted adrenal glands as well as probable
If the above situation
or an alkaline morning urine is accompanied by an acid saliva less then 5.8,
the situation is getting worse, and the further apart the numbers, the worse
it is. Definite remedial action for alkaline reserve build up is critical.
As a point of reference,
have you ever been to a nursing home and smelled an ammonia odor? Did you think
that was because the nursing home was doing a good job of house cleaning? Well
that is not the case. What is happening is you are smelling the urine of very
sick people in their last days. Their bodies are in a give up state, they are
likely dumping any alkaline buffers they have and the body is in last ditch
mode trying to maintain sufficient blood pH for life to hang on by converting
the acid in their systems to ammonia. The single biggest thing those individuals
need is more water for hydration and a lot of alkalizing minerals. I would venture
to guess that if this were to occur in nursing homes around the country a lot
of their patients would be getting better and going home.
Here you are going to eat an alkalizing evening meal. Basically all vegetables.
Green leafy veggies, broccoli, lima beans, carrots, etc. Next morning check
your first urine pH.
If the pH range is
4.5 to 5.5 you can consider it a too acid response. It means your body has a
lot of excess acidity stored and you need to keep up those alkaline evening
meals until the numbers come up.
If you have a pH
range from 5.5 to 6.8 it could be considered that you have a better level of
alkaline reserves, but key to that assumption would be how you feel. If you
feel healthy this range is ok. If you have symptoms of problems, you may need
to dig more into the situation.
If the pH range is
6.8 to 8.5 again it could mean all is very well IF you are perfectly healthy.
However, if you were experiencing serious symptoms of ill health, this alkaline
response could be an indication that your cells are too toxic to use the alkaline
reserves and instead are being dumped.
It should be mentioned
here that there can be times when someone consumes many vegetables and alkaline
minerals and their pH readings average far above 6.4. They believe this to be
healthy but it actually is reflecting an underlying imbalance. Instead of using
the minerals they are being dumped. Further testing will many times show an
anabolic/catabolic imbalance - some clinicians also refer to this as an anaerobic/dysaerobic
imbalance. This is related to the mix of fatty acids and sterols on cell membrane
walls. If these fatty acids and sterols go askew it will affect cell membrane
permeability so what goes in does not necessarily get assimilated the way it
To get a quick "average" pH, you can measure yourself two hours after breakfast
and two hours after lunch. Do this over a period of days and get your average
numbers. Then use this formula:
Urine pH ____ + Avg Saliva pH X 2 ___ ) / Divided by 3 = ___
Between 6 and 7
If your average pH
is between 6 and 7 just use the neutral calciums of gluconate and orotate to
build up your total alkalinity along with other minerals and trace minerals.
If your pH is above
7, add calcium lactate and vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Clinicians have found
about 1000mg twice a day of C is good, and the higher above pH 7 you go, the
more vitamin C you can take. Stop the calcium lactate when you come into range
between 6 and 7 and pull back on the vitamin C.
Do not take vitamin
If your pH is below
6, add calcium citrate or calcium carbonate (something like coral calcium is
the carbonate form). With pH 5.6 to 6 clinicians have found that adding 1000
IU of vitamin D once or twice a day is beneficial and pH from 5.2 to 5.6 up
to 5000 IU of vitamin D is good, while pH below 5.0 up to 50000 IU of vitamin
D once or twice a day would be ok as little vitamin D is being absorbed in the
acid terrain. You can use the vitamin D to help push the pH up. Stop the calcium
citrate and carbonate when you come into pH range 6 to 7. Pull back on vitamin
D and go to cod liver oil for vitamin D requirements.
Do not take vitamin
In order to begin testing your pH you will need pH paper or a pH meter. The
paper is limited in terms of range and also accuracy so a meter is a far better
choice. If you have the budget for one it is the only way to go as it will be
a lifelong tool for you and your family to use.
pH paper we have is called pH
Stix come packaged in a box containing 80 pH test strips giving
an indication in .25 pH unit increments, and test a range of 4.5
to 9.0. Plus, pH
Stix use the double color indicator method, allowing for a
more accurate determination of the pH value of what you are testing.
These are more accurate than regular pH paper. The pH Stix sell
for $9.95 per box of 80, or $24.95 for a 3-pack.