In the diet we would keep about a 20 percent acid-producing to an 80 percent alkaline-producing diet. (1522-2)
Although naturopathic doctors learn a wide variety of health promoting diets, it was the Cayce material that really underlined the pH diet for me. Edgar Cayce re-iterated the pH diet repeatedly, in more than 330 readings, for immune support and prevention and treatment of chronic ailments. Often called the 80/20 diet, a pH balanced diet is characterized by eating 80% of daily intake from foods that form a higher, more alkaline pH and 20% of intake from those that form a lower,more acid pH. What are these alkaline and acid forming foods? Although there are some exceptions, alkaline-forming foods are fruits and vegetables. Acid-forming foods are grains,proteins,and starches. While we do need both categories of foods, the secret is in the ratio. Acting on the readings, I introduced the concept of eating “alkaline” personally, especially for the common cold. I noticed that if I began the Cayce alkaline diet with a new cold, I routinely saw it go away in 0-3 days, vs 7 usual days of misery. Thus encouraged, over time I advised the diet in various situations in private practice. I saw one patient who was a teenager with community acquired MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) infection. As can be the nature of MRSA, he had a recurring skin infection for months, despite being on multiple antibiotics. As we spoke more, it became apparent that his diet was the seat of the trouble. It consisted of fast food, frozen meat, and cheese meals, lots of snacks and sweets, soda. It appeared he did not consciously take in any vegetables or fruits. In the world of pH, his diet was very acid-forming.
I learned from the Cayce material that in an acidic environment, bacteria and viruses tend to thrive. Thus, I tailored his intervention around a brief but dramatic diet pH overhaul for a week. The first 3 days, breakfast was to be orange juice with 2 lemons squeezed into it, and citrus fruits. For lunch and dinner, he was to have vegetable based soups, salads, cooked vegetables, and then fresh fruits. After these three days, they could re-introduce meat and starches, but only at about 20% of daily intake. He was to eat fruits and vegetables for 80% of his meals. I followed up with them in one week. They did as instructed, and, lo and behold, his infection was gone! Even better,at a future follow up a month later, the MRSA did not return. I was thrilled and surprised to have made a successful resolution for this patient so quickly. As I used this diet more, I saw many more positive results. These consistent positive results begged the question for me; what has science learned since Cayce’s suggestions? It turns out the pH balanced diet is more than a fad or holistic health trend. The pH of blood is kept in a tight range for normal function. This range is 7.35-7.45. The body utilizes several buffering systems to keep our blood pH from a state of acidemia (less than 7.35) or a state of alkalosis (greater than 7.45). Both states of abnormally high and low pH result in serious medical consequences. However, what about subtle changes in the numbers, still within the “normal” range?
In the early 1980’s, it was shown in the research that diet can increase the acid load of the system and change pH towards the lower (more acidic) end of the physiologically normal range (around 7.36). When we eat, certain foods break down into precursors of acid production (mainly foods with high phosphorous and amino acids from proteins). When a person eats these foods that are acid-forming, several mechanisms happen with the result being that the body incurs increase in H+ (acids) and a decrease in plasma bicarbonate (base). If dietary patterns are chronic, a continued change in the pH towards the lower end of normal ensues. This trend to have a chronic low normal pH has been termed “low grade acidosis”. Countering this effect in the body can be done through the ingestion of base or alkaline forming nutrients (potassium, magnesium, calcium) which are largely found in foods of plant-based origin.
There is currently research to show that ‘low grade metabolic acidosis’ is associated with the development of kidney stones, progression of chronic kidney disease, Type 2 diabetes mellitus,hypertension, muscle wasting, non-alcoholic hepatic steatosis, cancer development and bone loss. There is even research associating increased overall mortality rate with low grade metabolic
Thus, there is plenty of wisdom and science in keeping your pH balanced.Try it out yourself so you can benefit from this key to good health
Deb Harding, ND, FABNO, has been a naturopathic doctor for more than twenty years. Her areas of focus are integrative oncology, environmental health, and the integration of Cayce ideas into general medical practice. For more information, please visit DebHardingND.com.