This week Gareth Edwards, our Alkaline Diet Expert and highly qualified nutritionist, is writing about the importance of having sufficient levels of alkaline minerals in order for our buffering systems in our bodies to maintain the crucial and delicate pH of our blood at 7.365.
He also explains why Dr Young’s pHour Salts is a fantastic alkaline mineral supplement in helping to maintain the crucial alkaline state of our bodies and therefore optimum health!
The Importance Of Alkaline Minerals For Optimum Health!
The Food Standards Agency (a British Government organisation) issues a thick book known as “The Composition of Foods”. Originally compiled by McCance and Widdowson some sixty years ago, this book shows mineral and vitamin levels present in a wide range of food stuffs. Disturbingly, but not perhaps surprisingly, one can plot a trend over the years that these tables have been produced, showing a progressive decline in essential mineral levels in vegetables and other foods.
Intuitively we probably know that that probably isn’t a very good thing. What makes it particularly important to us, is that we have buffering systems in our bodies that maintain the crucial and delicate pH of our blood at 7.365 and this uses minerals to function.
The next potential challenge to our health comes from the fact that increased use of pharmaceutical remedies, longer distances from field to plate, greater pollution levels and general adulteration of the food chain, means that most of us face a higher acidic “load” than those who were around when the first McCance and Widdowson food tables were issued.
So what are we to do?
Before jumping to Private Frazer’s (from Dad’s Army) conclusion that “we’re all doomed” take a moment to look at some exciting and refreshing scientific research. In March last year, the peer reviewed journal “Cancer Research” published a paper by Robey et al. (and others) showing that the pH (acidic) tumours could be raised (made more alkaline) by giving patients bicarbonate salts. This also resulted in a reduction of metastases (the spreading of tumours to other body parts).
Also last year, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism published a study by Dawson-Hughes et al. showing that the administration of potassium bicarbonate led to reduced bone depletion (osteoporosis) in older men and women. This is particularly significant because the body draws calcium from bones in order to buffer (neutralise) acids. It is important to note that in this trial potassium alone (not in the bicarbonate form) did not help maintain calcium levels and bone density.
Bicarbonate is the alkaline form of minerals. It is (I imagine) universally accepted that large quantities of alkaline salts are secreted by our bodies as part of the digestive process. If however we are using these resources up in ever greater quantities and yet we are effectively consuming less of them, then there is a strong case for supplementing with bicarbonate salts.
One way to raise your body pH (become more alkaline) with mineral salts is to drink glasses of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) mixed with water. I have known this to be helpful and effective for patients. Make sure that the baking soda you use is pure (no anti-caking agents or other chemicals) if you want to try this.
There are however compelling arguments for consuming a broader spectrum of minerals in the alkaline form. It is important for the body to maintain a balance between sodium and potassium. Maintaining an intake of both of these minerals is important. The same is true of calcium and magnesium. In short large intakes of sodium or calcium without potassium or magnesium to balance them is not advisable. A healthy balance is naturally maintained by alkaline (high vegetable) dietary choices. Once we start supplementing it is important to maintain a balanced intake.
Dr. Young’s pHour salts product seems to tick a lot of boxes in helping maintain the crucial alkaline state of our bodies in the face of acidic challenges. It contains sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium in bicarbonate forms. (It is worth noting that producing the latter two minerals in bicarbonate forms is considered chemically challenging. I am however assured that Dr. Young has found a method of consistently producing powdered alkaline forms of these two essential minerals).
How To Take It:
I have now been using pHour salts for several years and I am happy to recommend them to virtually all of my clients (see cautions below to understand where I might not).
I generally recommend mixing a scoop of the salts with a glass of water and consuming before anything else in the morning. This can be particularly beneficial in helping to settle my stomach if… I haven’t followed my own advice in what I’ve eaten the night before. You can then have another glass before lunch and dinner.
pHour salts is quite a strong alkalising agent. That’s generally quite a good thing, but take a moment to reflect on what happens when you put alka-seltzer in water. There’s quite a fizz! The active ingredients in this once ubiquitous remedy are aspirin, sodium bicarbonate and citric acid. The fizz is what occurs when the alkaline sodium and the citric acid mix with water.
When pHour salts meet with strong acids it is likely there will be some kind of “reaction”. It is therefore advisable that you start slowly with small quantities and build up your intake over time. If you are taking or have taken medication for a sustained period of time, it is advisable to consult with a qualified, pH aware physician before starting.
Some people are concerned that taking pHour salts (or other un-refined salts) may lead to increased blood pressure. My experience with patients has confirmed Dr. Young’s and my opinion that the reverse is true. These substances have been part of regimes that have helped patients lower raised blood pressure.
It is however important to remember that pHour salts are not a substitute for alkalising dietary and hydration choices. They need to be used as a supplement to them.
Who Should Use It?
For most people looking to improve their health, increasing your intake of bicarbonate salts should be highly beneficial. At a rescue remedy level, it’s particularly good for helping with indigestion and for speeding up recovery times after physical exercise (less aching muscles). They can help stop urinary tract infections (UTI’s) quickly too.
The scientific evidence strongly suggests that they can be protective against and helpful in arresting tumours and maintaining healthy bone mass. These are things we all want. Start slowly.
Remember to consult with a pH aware physician before starting if you are on or have been on regular medication.