You are here

The Truth About Alkalizing Your Blood

Is it true that the foods and beverages you consume cause your blood to become more alkaline or acidic?

Contrary to popular hype, the answer is: not to any significant degree.

The pH of your blood is tightly regulated by a complex system of buffers that are continuously at work to maintain a range of 7.35 to 7.45, which is slightly more alkaline than pure water.

If the pH of your blood falls below 7.35, the result is a condition called acidosis, a state that leads to central nervous system depression. Severe acidosis - where blood pH falls below 7.00 - can lead to a coma and even death.

If the pH of your blood rises above 7.45, the result is alkalosis. Severe alkalosis can also lead to death, but through a different mechanism; alkalosis causes all of the nerves in your body to become hypersensitive and over-excitable, often resulting in muscle spasms, nervousness, and convulsions; it's usually the convulsions that cause death in severe cases.

The bottom line is that if you're breathing and going about your daily activities, your body is doing an adequate job of keeping your blood pH somewhere between 7.35 to 7.45, and the foods that you are eating are not causing any wild deviations of your blood pH.

So what's up with all the hype about the need to alkalize your body? And what's to be made of the claim that being too acidic can cause osteoporosis, kidney stones, and a number of other undesirable health challenges?

As usual, the answers to such questions about human health can be found in understanding basic principles of human physiology. So let's take a look at the fundamentals of pH and how your body regulates the acid-alkaline balance of its fluids on a moment-to-moment basis.

pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline a liquid is. With respect to your health, the liquids involved are your body fluids, which can be categorized into two main groups:

  1. Intracellular fluid, which is the fluid found in all of your cells. Intracellular fluid is often called cytosol, and makes up about two-thirds of the total amount of fluid in your body.

  2. Extracellular fluid, which is the fluid found outside of your cells. Extracellular fluids are further classified as one of two types:

    • Plasma, which is fluid that makes up your blood.

    • Interstitial fluid, which occupies all of the spaces that surround your tissues. Interstitial fluid includes the fluids found in your eyes, lymphatic system, joints, nervous system, and between the protective membranes that surround your cardiovascular, respiratory, and abdominal cavities.

Your blood (plasma) needs to maintain a pH of 7.35 to 7.45 for your cells to function properly. Why your cells require your blood to maintain a pH in this range to stay healthy is beyond the scope of this article, but the most important reason is that all of the proteins that work in your body have to maintain a specific geometric shape to function, and the three-dimensional shapes of the proteins in your body are affected by the tiniest changes in the pH of your body fluids.

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. A liquid that has a pH of 7 is considered to be neutral (pure water is generally considered to have a neutral pH). Fluids that have a pH below 7 - like lemon juice and coffee - are considered to be acidic. And fluids that have a pH above 7 - like human blood and milk of magnesia - are considered to be alkaline.

It's important to note that on the pH scale, each number represents a tenfold difference from adjacent numbers; in other words, a liquid that has a pH of 6 is ten times more acidic than a liquid that has a pH of 7, and a liquid with a pH of 5 is one hundred times more acidic than pure water. Most carbonated soft drinks (pop) have a pH of about 3, making them about ten thousand times more acidic than pure water. Please remember this the next time you think about drinking a can of pop.

When you ingest foods and liquids, the end products of digestion and assimilation of nutrients often results in an acid or alkaline-forming effect - the end products are sometimes called acid ash or alkaline ash.

Also, as your cells produce energy on a continual basis, a number of different acids are formed and released into your body fluids. These acids - generated by your everyday metabolic activities - are unavoidable; as long as your body has to generate energy to survive, it will produce a continuous supply of acids.

So there are two main forces at work on a daily basis that can disrupt the pH of your body fluids - these forces are the acid or alkaline-forming effects of foods and liquids that you ingest, and the acids that you generate through regular metabolic activities. Fortunately, your body has three major mechanisms at work at all times to prevent these forces from shifting the pH of your blood outside of the 7.35 to 7.45 range.

These mechanisms are:

  1. Buffer Systems

    • Carbonic Acid-Bicarbonate Buffer System
    • Protein Buffer System
    • Phosphate Buffer System

  2. Exhalation of Carbon Dioxide

  3. Elimination of Hydrogen Ions via Kidneys

It's not in the scope of this post to discuss the mechanisms listed above in detail. For this article, I only want to point out that these systems are in place to prevent dietary, metabolic, and other factors from pushing the pH of your blood outside of the 7.35 to 7.45 range.

When people encourage you to "alkalize your blood," most of them mean that you should eat plenty of foods that have an alkaline-forming effect on your system. The reason for making this suggestion is that the vast majority of highly processed foods - like white flour products and white sugar - have an acid-forming effect on your system, and if you spend years eating a poor diet that is mainly acid-forming, you will overwork some of the buffering systems mentioned above to a point where you could create undesirable changes in your health.

For example, your phosphate buffer system uses different phosphate ions in your body to neutralize strong acids and bases. About 85% of the phosphate ions that are used in your phosphate buffer system comes from calcium phosphate salts, which are structural components of your bones and teeth. If your body fluids are regularly exposed to large quantities of acid-forming foods and liquids, your body will draw upon its calcium phosphate reserves to supply your phosphate buffer system to neutralize the acid-forming effects of your diet. Over time, this may lead to structural weakness in your bones and teeth.

Drawing on your calcium phosphate reserves at a high rate can also increase the amount of calcium that is eliminated via your genito-urinary system, which is why a predominantly acid-forming diet can increase your risk of developing calcium-rich kidney stones.

This is just one example of how your buffering systems can be overtaxed to a point where you experience negative health consequences. Since your buffering systems have to work all the time anyway to neutralize the acids that are formed from everyday metabolic activities, it's in your best interest to follow a diet that doesn't create unnecessary work for your buffering systems.

Acid and Alkaline-Forming Effects of Common Foods

Generally speaking, most vegetables and fruits have an alkaline-forming effect on your body fluids.

Most grains, animal foods, and highly processed foods have an acid-forming effect on your body fluids.

Your health is best served by a good mix of nutrient-dense, alkaline and acid-forming foods; ideally, you want to eat more alkaline-forming foods than acid-forming foods to have the net acid and alkaline-forming effects of your diet match the slightly alkaline pH of your blood.

The following lists indicate which common foods have an alkaline-forming effect on your body fluids, and which ones result in acid ash formation when they are digested and assimilated into your system.

Foods that have a Moderate to Strong Alkaline-Forming Effect

Sweet, seedless grapes
Vegetable juices
Alfalfa sprouts
Most herbs

Foods that have a Moderate to Strong Acid-Forming Effect

Soft drinks (pop)
White sugar
Refined Salt
Artificial sweeteners
Antibiotics (and most drugs)
White flour products (including pasta)
White vinegar
Most boxed cereals
Most beans
Flesh meats
Most types of bread

Please note that these lists of acid and alkaline-forming foods are not comprehensive, nor are they meant to be.

If you're eating mainly grains, flour products, animal foods, and washing these foods down with coffee, soda, and milk, you will almost certainly improve your health by replacing some of your food and beverage choices with fresh vegetables and fruits.

The primary purpose of this article is to offer information that explains why I believe that you don't need to take one or more nutritional supplements or "alkalized water" for the sole purpose of alkalizing your body. Your body is already designed to keep the pH of your body fluids in a tight, slightly alkaline range.

The ideal scenario is to make fresh vegetables and fruits the centerpieces of your diet, and to eat small amounts of any other nutrient-dense foods that your appetite calls for and that experience shows your body can tolerate.

I hope these thoughts bring some clarity to this often misunderstood health topic.


Join more than 80,000 readers worldwide who receive Dr. Ben Kim's free newsletter

Receive simple suggestions to measurably improve your health and mobility, plus alerts on specials and giveaways at our catalogue

Please Rate This

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (1648 votes)
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.


Kudos to you for explaining so well the importance of introducing more fruits and vegetables as we nourish our bodies!
Of all the alkaline gurus out there, you have given the best explanation for the non-medical person!
I am sending it to all my McDonald's Chompin' friends for them to digest mentally!
Thankyou once again!

I am always grateful to receive your newsletters which are packed with valuable information in a digestible format. This article grabbed my attention in particular as I have been drinking alkaline water for 2 years and have only just (with the help of an ND) figured out that my candida / yeast overgrowth problems that I suffered for the same length of time as the water intake was due to increasing my body's alkaline level. I know that a lot of women suffer from candida and I urge them to read this article and look at their diet to try and tackle this issue like I did. Thank You!

your candida problem*is the result of depleted levels of magnesium and potassium which occur whenever substances are taken into the body that increase alkalinity. the Mayo Clinic commented on this very thing some time ago in connection to successful (non-mainstream) alternative therapies such as cesium chloride and cesium carbonate for cancer treatment as cancer cells begin to die within 6-8 hours when pH is raised to 8.0. proponents of alkalinated water products rarely if ever mention this little known fact*.

OMG, thank you for this statement. I find it quite interesting that you attribute candida to a magnesium and potassium deficiency. I was diagnosed with bipolar 8 years ago and when first hospitalized and given the diagnosis I had candida outgrowth on my legs and hands. Doctors, however, did not know what it was and neither did I at the time. Every time I have been hospitalized for the BP disorder, my potassium levels were low and it was right before my cycle. Over the years I have struggled with the candida and the BP and have begun to eat more whole foods discovering that my outbreaks are fewer except during the week before my cycle when my progesterone is at its highest. Based on what you are saying, the progesterone must be creating a more acidic environment??? Also, based on what you are saying, my extreme mood swings could be a result of these deficiencies?????

Isn't it WONDERFUL to find out that much of our mood stuff is really about food stuff. (pardon the pun!)

I just had to write you and say I'm glad that you made that connection. Whoever you are, you made me smile today. With this information here I've never felt more loved.

You cannot imagine the connectin that has been made by reading that! You simply cannnot imagine it, especially after looking up the possible side effects of low potassium and magnesium, depression, delirium, and psychosis! Eight years of my life I have been dealing with this diagnosis that I believed to be incorrect. I lost everything in my life as a result of this....lately since taking more supplements I have been feeling better. Unbeknownst to me, which I discovered earlier this week, I was supposed to be taking more than one of the magnesium pills and potassium pills. Every time I am hospitalized I have this rash somewhere on my body and it is right before my cycle starts. I have been arguing with doctors for years saying it was hormonal or some sort of deficiency. Since beginning hormones last month I was better but the depression and mood swings would not go away, the psychosis was eliminated with the hormones. I am now going to up my potassium and magnesium. I went to the ER last week with chest pain and blood pressure spikes, only to return home and find out that magnesium and potassium stopped the heart palps and the pains in my legs and arms!

Thank You!!!

Please be careful taking supplements like Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium, and especially Potassium. Try to get them from natural food sources. As you noted...the taking of Potassium made some heart issues you were having subside. The window of toxicity with these salts is very finite, and very narrow. The same symptoms you were having with the chest pain and muscular pain, were resolved this time with K+ and Mg, but too much K+ will cause erratic heart rate, and even stop your heart. The heart becomes irritable reacts to the "highs" and "lows" of all of the above mentioned salts. They are referred to as your electrolyte balance. I am not advising you to cease taking your supplements, just to be extremely careful.

The information about the excessive intake of minerals like sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium has been of good help for me. Me as a person who take these supplements was negligent about the side effects of them. This might have saved me from serious health issues in the future. Getting these minerals from the daily diet is going to me my priority.

You talked about years of low potassium and magnesium and was not corrected then. I thought your doctor would correct it as soon as your blood results were made and reviewed by your doctor and made some corrections.

I don't want to come off all "angry patient" or "over the top" here but ... ??what the??

- a doctor CORRECTING a thing found in your blood??? Anything?? Especially a thing that shows up as nutritional? A thing that they can't cut out of you, irradiate, or drug?

HA! You live in a different world. Nearly all of them ignore anything that can't be treated with a prescription pad, or by cutting you open.

Most doctors have been taught in school to believe that nutrition just takes care of itself no matter what we eat (magical thinking).

Oh, they talk about a "balanced diet" in terms of "any balanced diet will keep you healthy", but never tell anyone what they MEAN by the term "balanced diet" (you can't pin them down as to what one would be). They also usually have had less than 3 hours total time of nutritional information in medical school (not CREDIT HOURS, actual clock hours)

Most MDs know so little science they do not know how to tell what sort of antibiotic is the right one to use for a given infection and they NEVER check to even see if you HAVE an infection before whipping out the pad (and they can't do even the most simple parts of their own lab work, and do not own a microscope).

They also cannot tell you the symptom picture of ANY nutritional problem (not even scurvy or pellagra), much less know what the long term cumulative problems are from "sub clinical" nutritional problems (ie, those that will not kill you outright, but will make you miserable and slowly kill you).

You have to teach yourself, and treat yourself. Yes this is dangerous. No, it is not the way things out to be. Yes, doctors are SUPPOSED to know this stuff and do it and help you. NO they will not do so. and yes - many people in the general public lack the ability to do this at all safely - and you STILL have to do it yourself, because the alternative is getting no treatment at all - because THEY won't do it. They act more like "talk therapy" shrinks - you wait an hour or so to see them, and then they listen for 5 minutes and do nothing of nay worth.

Imagine that you went to a mechanic to get your car fixed, and that they never REALLY fixed anything; but still charged you $150 just to talk to them for 5 minutes (after waiting for an hour to see them). Imagine you mechanic never did any work on you car. Imagine that they never once looked at your car and did not have even the most simple equipment to do so.

This is a perfect parallel of going to see most MDs. When was the last time you saw an MD with a microscope? Most of them know so little biochemistry that if you take hard science in to them, they can't follow it.

Try (for instance) taking the research into FMS/CFS (hard cold science into : peroxunitrate, NO, dopamine levels and epigentics) to a rheumotolgist or to your GP ... or try talking to an anesthesiologist or a pain specialist about the Cytochrome P450 gene (two of the 50+ enzyzmes controlled by this gene, handle 90% of our prescription medications and also get rid of most pollution - and a huge number of people do not have fully functional P450 pathways) (way over 25%, some racial groups more than others)

Give them any real science to look at in an appointment, and FIRST they will be offended that you presume to know anything - then they assume you are an idiot, and they will be angry that you are informing them about ANYTHING from the wor4ld of science - instead of begging and grovelling at their feet as a supplicant.

They will not react well at all and will be quite offended by the idea that you KNOW anything (even about your own body and what it is doing before your own eyes...things that you can SEE, like a rash, or that you have a sore, or are bleeding - you get anger and ego, not solutions.

Then they will look at you like you grew a second head and ignore you, while trying to look like they are listening, and then take your $150 to $500 dollars (the cost of your 5 minute appointment)and all for doing nothing.

You get better information from reading PUBMED and talking to a microbiologist

The notion that what you eat and drink has no effect on your
body's pH is ludicrous. Anyone who has studied cancer knows
that monitoring your body's pH is one of the best ways to pre-
vent cancer. The Einstein of modern medicine, Dr. Emanuel
Revici, discovered that people with cancer have abnormal pH
levels in abnormal cycles. He was able to cure cancer by
administering therapeutic lipids and sterols to his patients
in order to correct their imbalance. Normally, the highly-
acidic western diet is the culprit which creates abnormally
low (acidic) pH in the body that lowers the oxygen levels
in the cells. Without enough oxygen, the cells revert to a
primitive form of respiration - known as fermentation.

If a patient has had conventional treatments, their bodies'
pH can become too alkaline - as a result of the shock, and
the cancer cells traveling in their blood or lymph become
more aggressive. So, even though hyper acidity is the main
cause of cancer, hyper alkalinity can be a factor as well.

Good heavens, this is common knowledge. Please don't take
the lazy route to Heaven. Inform yourself. We need informed
people, or the cancer industry will go on killing us for

Well said. Some people enjoy the attention of going against the current. Ludicrous indeed. We are what we eat, sure we have fail safe buffers but they were created for mynute inconsistansies, not the western mentality of thinking tgat everything will take care of itself!

I am about to see a naturopath concerning this situation. You are right. You know that the oncols are limited when they avoid answering your rquestions and being frank concerning nutrition. You are what you eat. That means everything, not just the food, but the thoughts and vibrations of those around you, whether you intake is constant anger, disrespect, put-down, or happiness laughter, elevated thoughts. Everything works. My respect to you..

Hello, I found this comment very interesting and agree with it completely. I would like to know though if you use acetone on your skin for any reason ie facial peels or removal of nail products would that interfere with your ph levels?

Any and all forms of illness, including "CANCER" can not survive in an Alkalized body. THAT IS A FACT! Don't scare people away with Alkalosis or hyper alkalinity, which is not what is being discussed. (Although is part of learning to get to a proper and safe alkalinity level) But the answer is as clear as day, We need to raise our PH to a non dangerous alkalinity level and sickness and disease can no longer thrive in our bodies.

Well said.....I am sick of doctors who dismiss and prescribe prescribe prescribe.

Kudos to you for expressing the truth about "modern" medicine!!!

I agree with a lot of what you are saying. When you go to a doctor, you very often hear, "Let's keep an eye on this. Come back if it gets worse." Or you get a prescription for some pills. But really, if you are expecting anybody to beg and grovel at your wonder they look at you like you have two heads!

However there are many other benefits of alkalized water vs alkalinzated water, alkalized water is made alkaline without having to add minerals, as it strips the acidity out of the water.

I know this is a very old thread, but hopefully you'll see this - J. Thurston - can you please expand on this or provide some additional information. I have had a candida overgrowth basically my whole life. I recently got my blood pH checked, and it was 8.0! I drink spring water and celery juice every morning. I am also 4 months pregnant. I'd love some more information about this.

i really appreciated your article. it made me understand about acid and alkaline balance but according to this article i have several questions for you. How can body get too much acid? Does alkaline balance diet helps prevent cancer or other diseases? if body has too much hydron ion where would they go? is it true that no matter how much alkaline food we not the affect the pH balance?
To prevent cancer or reduce chances of having cancer should we eat foods that have more alkaline?

So if you eat a diet with too much of one mineral and not enough of another, you will have problems. For instance, calcium signals muscles to clench and magnesium signals muscles to relax. Big problemo, if you cannot relax your heart muscle, you see? Acidic foods are high in certain minerals, alkaline in others. But it is more than acid/alkaline...there are 4 categories of foods arranged by mineral content, that one needs to balance for health. Read Acid/ Alkaline by Herman Aihara. And one step beyond his book is that it's not just what yoy eat but what you ate before...if your diet has allowed your gut to be colonized by some bacteria/virus/fungus/yeast that gives off acid waste, you have to deal with that too. Thus ginger for flu, for instance. But the single MOST IMPORTANT STEP to alkalizing is getting enough Vitamin D. You need a Vitamin D blood test to ensure that you are getting enough. If u do not get enough D, there is little u can do with food choices to make up for it.

Fruit & veges alone (even ones that are alkaline) is not the solution, bcos the nutrients & minerals in the soil hav been depleted not to mention that most of us do not live in a pristine environment we have exposure to pestilences chemicals etc beyond our control & unless we grow & cultivate our own kai we cannot depend on supermarket food alone becos the food standards are low and I agree with the reply that pharmaceutical companies and the medical proffession arent the most trustworthy when it comes to better health & wellbeing. I hav always drank water but alkaline is the alternative to the contamination of food and drug industries and if u can afford the alternatives of goid standards of food out there and I love the difference it makes but moderation is the key to anything butit doesnt take a genius to figure out we need more than more fruit and veges its a whole lifestyle change

I am not sure from your comment if you are saying that ingesting items to help replace or support your alkaline levels caused a candida problem or helped control or defeat your candida problem? Can you please clarify?

I love your logical, science-based approach to every health topic as it's exactly how I approach these issues as well. As a university student studying physiology, I just learned all the information included in this article this past year and this is not only a great, quick refresher but also helps me to use the information I've learned in a different setting.

I had just come across a few websites advocating alkalizing supplements and alkaline-water and had been wondering about them, and low and behold, it's the next topic you cover! I had assumed basically what you concluded: the body's pH is barely altered from hour to hour and day to day, but by balancing the acid and base levels in our body through the foods we eat we may be able to reduce the amount of work/energy our buffering systems (the lungs and kidney which I learned about) must use to keep our pH levels in check. The human body (or any mammal's for that matter) is truly amazing!

Thank you for this very informative article and for not trying to sell your brand of alkalizing supplement like pretty much the rest of the acid/alkaline cyberworld is up to!

I agree this is an amazing article to educate people concerning their health and it was very generous of you to offer the information without trying to push products and sales on people.....Thanks!

As usual, your professional, factual and straight forward article makes it easy for lay people to understand this very important aspect of our body and how it works to keep us healthy.

Dr Kim, I have been reading your newsletter for some time now and the above article really set my mind at ease about the Acid/Alkaline question. It is so easy for a professional to frighten or confuse people who have less knowledge on a subject - without making false statements even, but couching the information in such a way as to alarm us. It is apparent that your goal is to inform and educate people so that we are in a position to make informed decisions about how we treat our bodies.

For that, and the work that you and Margaret do is much appreciated. I know that a lot of your time is spent in writing these articles for us so I just wanted to be on record to say a big THANK YOU!!

Thanks for this article. This is the best way I have ever heard someone explained this alkaline and acid forming effect. Thanks again.

This was a good article but I have a question. I have had 3 episodes of kidney stones and have been told I have high levels of acid in my system. I drink a gal. of water daily to keep my system flushed out and do not drink anything else but a casual glass of milk occasionaly (once twice a month) I work hard at keeping the acid foods down in my diet. I just learned even with this life habit I have another kidney stone. It was found by accident when I had an x-ray from a car accident. It is to alrge to pass and will have to be lasered. Do you have any suggestions.

Are you drinking well water? I had 13 stones during a two year period of drinking well water. Am using only distilled now (but also take good minerals) and have not been bothered with kidney stones for several years.

you drink a gallon of water daily, what type of water?
Many types of water are acidic like some bottled and all distilled and R/O are dead water and acidic in pH.
what is the makeup of your diet? most people eat more acidic foods than alkaline. alkaline foods are simply vegetables and fruits, preferably raw. pasteurized juices are not necessarily alkaline.
Highest acidity items include drugs, caffeine, sugar, artificial sweeteners, grains-esp. white flour, processed foods, alcohol, fast foods, meat, dairy. Acidity can also form through negative emotions-- anger, fear, worry, etcetera.
Acidity does not mean grapefruit, lemons, oranges--these are alkaline forming in the body.
Ideally try to have 80% alkaline foods and 20% acidic in your diet. Try a change and notice the results, allow for a detox period.
hope this helps, rachel........

Distilled water freshly made by you is as pure and neutral as you can find. It is condensation of water vapor. Any slight imbalance is caused by contamination from the air or the equipment used to make it or serve it. Some like to use a charcoal filter afterward.

A pinch or drop of trace minerals suck as found in sea salt will help if you prefer.

Drinking distilled will eliminate the unknown garbage found in any water. Country water has different contaminants than city water. Unless you test your source water (tap or well or bottled) you have no idea what is in there.

If your kidney stones are calcium oxalate, and 80% are, you should drink juice from a fresh squeezed lemon every day. My husband had chronic stones. He would suffer two episondes a month and since jucing lemons everyday he hasn't had one in over a year. The lemon can also help with your current stone. So far so good!

I supplement with calcium citrate+magnesium citrate. You could look up online what foods contain citrate. There might be some that are less hard on the teeth than lemon.

I am an herbalist who also works with nutrition. I have assisted several people who preferred no laser or surgery in dissolving kidney stones that were too large to pass. The most dramatic was a friend with a 9mm stone. He began taking a strong tea of Gravel Root (Queen of the Meadow ROOT not leaf) and Hydrangea Root. In a few weeks the stone was 5mm. In a few more weeks it was still 5mm but transparent and broken into several pieces. After some months it was completely gone. All progress was monitored with ultrasound.

I also had him daily use umeboshi plum paste, a Japanese food that helps keep calcium from being improperly deposited as stones. He used the tea for over 6 months and still uses the plum paste frequently several years later. If you eat cooked greens or other cooked foods high in oxalic acid, it is important to use some either umeboshi vinegar or apple cider vinegar on them so stones do not form.

Awesome Charla, I don't have kidnney stone ,so far I'm very healhty, but I don't know about the umeboshi paste, I saw it but never buy it , here is very expensive ( fl )but i will start using it, to avoid any future problem,My sister have a huge stone they did the operation but it was so big that she still reamain the same as before the operation, I will tell her your opinion, thanks a million.11

Hi, my ex girlfriend had kidney stones one time and went to a nutritionist who got her to drink, I think it was just a shot glass of extra virgin olive every day for maybe two weeks (sorry it was years ago). And told her (after checking each time) to collect the stones when she passes them... and sure enough one night she came down the stairs with the stones in a small plastic container!
.... it surprised both of us.
Hope that helps someone.

There is a supplement called Chanca Piedra by Amazon Therapeutix that dissolves kidney stones rapidly. Not many health food stores have it, but if the ones in your area don't you can order it online and have it overnighted to you. It's very effective, I know a few people who've used it and had great success. One person had 3 large stones too big to laser and were going to have to be taken out by surgery on a Monday. She started taking Chanca Piedra on the Friday before and when Monday rolled around and she went in for her surgery, the kidney stones were all gone! Costs about $10 for a 1 oz bottle.

Hi Terri, kidney stones are formed from minerals in your diets. Kidney stones are formed when the pH level of the urine is unusually high or low - and without knowing your exact diet, I can only see the excessive consumption of water as the cause. If you're a female 2.2 litres (about half a gallon) and 3.0 litres for men are enough water and some of this comes in form of liquid in our food (especially soups and fruit). If you drink a gallon a day on top, then your kidney will be working to get rid of it as it upsets your electrolyte balance. Too much water and not enough solutes (sugars and salts) creates a hypotonic environment. This means water will be rushing into your body cells and cause them to burst. Ergo, the kidneys are trying to re-establish balance by removing the water from the blood. A lack of solutes also causes a more acidic environment in the urine (minerals are alkaline) and are a good sign that you don't have enough minerals. I would recommend replacing the pure water with more isotonic liquids, such as a water-juice mix (4:1 or 3:1 ratio), herbal teas with a spoonful of honey etc. So instead of avoiding acidic foods, increase foods with minerals!

My dad, brother, sisters, and myself all have suffered with horrifying kidney stones. My dads doctor told him it had nothing to do with calcium or any other food or mineral. He said that some people have a U shaped kidney, and that makes them prone to kidney stones. I dont know how true that is, but you may want to check it out.

I found this to be true but, Why do some people eat healthy but seem to be craving
sweet deserts a lot? What kind of food can just wipe out the sweet tooth?

I had an unbelievable craving for sugar and sweets. In fact, I had dessert as a dinner a few days in the week. The only thing worked effectivley to stop that was drinking "Thyme water". You need to add 1/4th of a glass to a glass of water.

I may be wrong, but if you are craving sugar, this may point to a need for more minerals such as potassium.

hi, the best food for digestion is fermented food made by yourself not buying in the store, so easy to do, 1 cabbage ,shredded it, pounded it a little ( 5 minutes ) 1 spoon of sea salt ( I use Celtic s salt ) cover it leave at your kitchen counter a week or 2 then refrigerate it ( not need it , but it keep fermenting but slow ) then you eat a cup or half cup with your daily meals, bingo the best,

We have been using a pinch of baking soda in our water. After we checked the p.h we were shocked to find most bottled water and tap water is very acidic ..often below 5. Adding just a pinch is enough to bring it to a ph7.

Make sure your baking soda is aluminum free. Some say they are and others say not a thing. Making me think they may have aluminum in them?

I am told one teaspoon a day is sufficient with out crossing the line. Yet, I agree with this article one should not need a supplement.

May consider if they have a condition (cancer)that causes a very acidic condition. This is also used to prevent Metastasize(spreading) of cancer by some chemo therapies.

Some alternative medical use this basic method to eliminate cancer in Italy(Dr. Tullio Simoncini).

Aluminum is added to most baking POWDER. Baking SODA is pure sodium bicarbonate. See Wikipedia for the differences between the two.

Food grade baking soda has no aluminum. Check out chlorella its an algae supper food bentonite clay to detox taking metals out of your body eat a teaspoon daily moistened glass water before and after repeat for five days then again monthly if you wish. ionic silver solution pure water better than silver collodial. All of these work on a cellular level to assist on body blood cleansing buy bulk in health stores.

Thank you, Charla.

They are using bicarbonate in Italy, and elsewhere, and it is promising. It is also effective according to released information. However, the bicarb is inhaled, and IV. I am wondering if the same effects can be achieved with ingestion. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a treatment for cancer that has NO side effects, and really works? Since my husband died of NHL, recently, I try to keep up with EVERYTHING. I hope by keeping the "knowledge base", that maybe I can keep it from happening t another loved one, perhaps. There is also a young girl that has created some type of nanocell that destroys cancer. Recent news. Not just one cancer--all cancer. Going to research that, next.

Did you ever research about the girl who created nano cell?

Make sure you are testing the water with an electronic PH meter. Sometimes the water is SO PURE that strips or liquid drops cannot properly detect the PH and will show it as far more acidic than it is. Adding the baking soda is simply providing some contaminants to the water to make the PH strips or drops function properly.

Even RO water PH is in the 6 range, so still acidic but not like what a PH strip or drops will show.

One pinch of soda to how much water?

I believe that the foods and drinks we ingest CAN AND DO have a direct influence on our pH. From my own experiences and from what I have read and studied a regular, almost consistent ALKALINE pH (and it appears the ideal is a 7.365)
helps us to maintain health and wellness. I am a holistic practitioner (a reflexologist) but am not a nutritionist or an M.D.
Personally I have been a vegetarian for 22 years. I have tried every form of vegetarianism and tried being 100% raw on and off for years. I am not 100% raw but i believe the energy level you feel and high nutritional benefits and enzyme benefits are wonderful. I believe raw foods are good for everyone to add to their daily routine however I think going 100% raw is too extreme for most people. Try to consume 50% of your foods in a raw form and see how your energy level feels.
One or two days of consuming lots of acid forming foods is not going to ruin your life. Consistently consuming stimulating foods and drinks, those labeled highly acid-forming, is what creates the problem(s). Most Americans consume MOST of their calories from acid forming foods, and instead we should concentrate on consuming 80% alkaline forming foods and only 20% acidic forming; thats' the key to balance.
In addition negative emotions are highly acid forming such as anger, fear, worry, hatred, jealousy, resentment, and so on. Its' not just becoming alkaline by eating well and getting fresh air, sunshine and exercise.
A regular, consistent acidic pH shows that your body is not working efficiently to detoxify/eliminate acidic metabolic wastes. These wastes will build up and gradually create symptoms like pain, arthritis, lumbago, loss of energy, insomnia, and so on. As the acidity increases the symptoms get worse and can include becoming chronic, and leading to diabetes, leukemia and even cancer.
Want to see if your food consumption CAN and will affect your acidity and energy level? try a personal experiment. Buy some pH paper at the health food or pharmacy. Test your pH a few times a day and see how it measures for each experiment. Remember if you test your urine it will naturally measure more acidic than your saliva.
For the first two to four weeks eat an extremely CLEAN diet-plenty of fresh raw vegetables and fruits, good quality water, and stick to 50% raw and overall 80% alkaline and 20% acid foods. Whatever is comfortable for your palate to have yet stick to the alkaline/acid 80/20 balance.
For the second two to four weeks consume a typical S.A.D.
diet. Have all of the white flour products, soda, sugar, alcohol, fast foods, meat, dairy, coffee, cooked foods and pre-packaged foods you want. See how your energy level and general health feel. See what happens to your pH testing.....
Yes I believe the food we eat and drink DOES make our pH go alkaline or acidic. The Standard American Diet is maiming and killing American's and is the cause of multiple symptoms and diseases. The only cure for anything is the removal of the "cause" (prevention), this is the root of the problem. I believe over-acidity and an over-acidic pH is the basis for most if not all symptoms and disease.
Among the foods I do consume I have lots of fresh raw vegetables and fruit and love green salads and raw smoothies.
I do sell an alkaline-ionized water filtration system (the Alkal-Life) and I also do drink water with a pH of 9 or 10. It helps me maintain a healthy alkaline pH in my body and gives me clean water to drink and to cook with.
namaste', rachel

I stumbled across PH balancing a couple of years ago while looking for information on my gum recession and tooth decay. I have had very positive effects from following the guide lines to balancing my PH. I have just recently started researching PH balancing again for the reason my Aunty is very sick with Cancer. I came across your article and so far it has given me the best explanation on how this PH balancing in our body works. Thank you very much I am going to forward this info to my Aunty.

Really good well written article. nice to not be sold supplements. Good sound advice thanks, Beryl

I read an article recently which said something along the lines of scientists have known since the 1920s that cancer NEEDS acid to grow and spread through the body , so too much acid in our system is bad in that it can contribute to this terrible disease, and by consuming foods that can affect the alkaline balance in our bodies we can help to prevent it.

There seem to be a large variety of foods to aid in bone building that will help with osteoporosis. However, many of these same foods are antagonistic with hypothyroidism. I would like help in choosing foods for both conditions. Can you give me some suggestions?

Thank you.

Hi I had been suffer for a condition call IC (interstitial cystitis) and i had read a lot on internet since the dr medicine didn't help I came on with many of the natural medicine pages that one of the problems of my conditions is the unbalance of PH, reading your article I got the big picture of everything I had been reading I was a big fanactic of coca cola prodicts no wonder why my ph it is bad, everytime I got a IC pain condition I felt that I had ulcer pain so. so I will try to start to balance my ph. thanks for the information

I am curious about weather or not balancing you ph level helped with your IC. I have recently been diagnosed with IC and I have a family member who has been studying the effects of our PH level on our body. He has recomended that I try HTZ water to bring my PH level up. Please let me know what results you have had. Thank you.

I was Diagnosed with IC 12-2010 and have also had Hashimoto's thyroiditis for 20 years. The IC DX was devastating but I have found some wonderful doctors and great diet guidelines and a support group. I have done a lot of research on IC and with instructions from doctors, was using the 1tsp baking soda to 6oz spring water 1-2x daily to lower my PH balance, I do have to say it works quite well.

However, If you are prone to High blood pressure it is not wise to take it that often. I feel that once you start a well balanced diet, avoid the foods that give flares, ie, foods high in acid, exercise be it yoga, walking or whatever works for you, then you are on the road to healing. Now IC cannot be cured but can be controlled. So, please speak with your MD about the baking soda before adding it to your regimen.

Well wishes to all

I also have IC and high blood pressure problems. I have found taking 1/4 teaspoon three times a day does wonders and has not upped my blood pressure. I have also found juicing greens (1 qt) daily also lowered my blood pressure, the result being lowered medication. Juicing greens is very alkalizing. Hope this helps someone.

I thought that your article was well researched and very helpful to the general public who are clueless about such things and easily misled.
A short discussion on the renal acid load might have been helpful to illustrate that acid ash plant foods, such as grains, are only slightly so, compared to meat and fish which may render ten fold more acid ash.
I find your website to be honest and very informative and I read your newsletter regularly.

i have great respect for you Dr. Kim......

but in this situation i totally disagree with you as i have been alkalizing with not only food but also drops and i feel better than ever and my entire body is running better......

i have been vegetarian for 40 years and that was not the key......

plus there are tons of doctors that just disagree with you......

and actually you do imply here that alkalizing is good in order not to tax our own systems....i go with your implication and not your actual suggestion.....

i still highly respect and appreciate you.....but my very own experience leads me to believe that you need to look into this further.....


Your article gave me an easy to understand view of the acid situation in the body. I now understand the need for better balance. I will strive to maintain a better balance. In the past I had kidney stone problems. The doctor only suggested lots of water. However, I think implimenting less acid and more alkaline would be helpful.

Hi The concern of acid/alkaline is of less importance, it's the lack of minerals in our food and water, intensive farming has robbed our food of minerals, now most people in US, are deficient in magnesium, iodine, Potassium and other minerals, its hard to have a natural balanced diet, when the healthy veg and fruits we are supposed to eat are deficient in essential nutrients, only seaweeds and seafoods contain the minerals we need, but unfortunately also contain mercury.

I was wondering if you had any comments on the whole "Ionized Watering Systems" and the effects they claim they have. I'm not even considering purchasing if it is true. What I am curious about is, can you cause alkalosis by drinking a high alkaline? One of the demos suggests to drink water with a pH 9.0 and the only reason tap water is at 7.0 is not a health reason but to prevent erosion of pipes and comparing it to what it is doing inside our bodies. I know what you said in the article about our bodies having a buffer system. But, you also said that you can make that buffer system work too hard and can cause negative health effects. So, could drinking the higher pH be water be beneficial or drinking too much be detrimental? Because what if your someone who doesn't eat right and not enough fruits and vege's, could this help? What about those who do eat right? Could it be harmful?

This is a very interesting article but I do have some concerns. From my study of metabolic typing and functional medicine, it would appear that different body types metabolize food differently. What causes an acidic ash in one type can cause alkaline ash in another. Generally speaking those types classed as protein types, who have a greater need of protein than carbohydrate types, are less likely to have an acidic response when eating meat. I believe this maybe why some people who go on an pH diet do not improve and why others do. We are not all made the same way. "One man's meat is another man's poison" is so true in more ways than one.
I would be interested to know what others think about this

In a way that is sort of true...Wouldn't be if all of us were active and health conscious. But, the information given in this article--except for his opinion--is sound. Our body does have the buffer system to de-acidize and take out toxins, and strives to maintain our blood pH at the ways he described. However, there has been too much research, and even a bicarb cancer treatment that appears to contradict his opinion. Cancer cell seem to die in an alkaline environment. If you are eating foods that alkalize, you are lessening the production of acid, and therefore the stresses on your body to do the same, and preventing long periods of acid OPINION. I have a client with a respiratory disorder that prevents him from blowing of excessive CO2 with normal respiration, At night, or whenever taking a nap he is on a ventilator. I am pointing this out, because if a vent can be medically sound for acid reduction, why can't eating or adding bicarb??? There is no logic. The vent prevents acid, which prevents organ damage. Eating alkaline prevents acid, which prevents organ damage, and possibly even has the boon of stopping and/or curing cancer. My thoughts, and opinion, with a touch of experience.

Were you refering to body type or blood type? A friend told me about eating by blood type. When I read the book, the info on Type A fit me to a T. I'm type A. I've never done well with dairy, sugar or too much meat.
When I maintain a mostly vegetarian diet, I feel great and weight gain is no problem. The type A food list is
mostly vegetarian.
A food is listed as Beneficial, Neutral, or Avoid for each blood type.
The theory is that each blood type reacts differently to different foods. I see a lot of similariities. Perhaps
meat consumption in type A leaves an acid ash but leaves an alkaline ash in type O - meats are listed as beneficial for O type and listed as Avoid for type A.
For me, the blood type eating list is so similar to the Alkaline food list. One seems to confirm the other.

Best explanation I've found after a lot of searching!

'Not really' doesn't sound too convincing Dr. I found your article to be splitting hairs, neither here nor there.
I heard the same statements made by Dieticians of Australia about alkaline/ acid - the very organisation sponsored by two dairy companies. If the PH level is so regulated then why don't we just go and eat whatever, knowing that our PH will regulate itself forever.

I think the article explained that very well. If we eat whatever, the buffering systems can be taxed too much and cause problems. For example too much calcium leached out of bones and teeth.

As the article mentions, the pH scale is extremely coarse, with a lot of variation even in 0.1 point. There is a big difference in enzyme activation, urate solubility, etc, even between pH 7.35 and pH 7.45, both of which this article considers healthy.
I think a good diet, etc, can maintain pH between 7.4 and 7.45, in which range a gout attack never takes place (urate solubility declines rapidly as pH drops)and many other problems are less likely to occur or develop more slowly.
Oxalic acid is one of the strongest organic acid in the body and is present in beer, corn, etc, when there is plenty of Mg, it remains in solution, but when Mg and pH are low, Ca-oxalate (which is much less soluble) precipitates out.
The kidneys use glutamine, the most common free amino acid in blood to regulate blood pH. Unfortunately, even moderate kidney damage results in amino aciduria (long before there is proteinuria) and lower glutamate levels, so that after a large acidic meal the da,aged kidneys will not have enough glutamine to regulate well blood pH, especially if there is also vit B6 deficiency (required to transform glutamate in food to glutamine).

mentioned Vitamin B-6, SJ. I suspect that some people will need to supplement with this amazing vitamin because of who-knows-why. B-6, from what I read, has more functions than any other vitamin. Really.

Ben, I kind of take issue with Gibran's idea that you quote: "Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the
most massive characters are seared with scars."

I think maybe you should modify this to say that there IS a point of diminishing returns. People die from overstressed bodies and spirits every day. But before they die, they just suffer like crazy. For my part, I don't want to have a "massive character". Just a good enough character. Joan of Arc had a "massive character" and was involuntarily cremated to prove it. Just saying, Ben.

Great comment regarding the 'why don't we just throw dietary caution to the wind implication'...something I considered as well. I think the distinction, for me anyway, is that Dr. Kim qualified the overtone. It's relatively easy to garner a fly by the seat of your pants approach, but I don't believe Dr. Kim mentioned infinity with regard to the capacity of our internal buffering system. And, some systems may be more downtrodden than others so there's quite a bit of variance and room for debate there as well. I liked your characterization of splitting hairs...definitely a very interesting and thought-provoking topic. I'm more on the side of our diets do, in fact, affect our blood pH, if for nothing else, the innate efficiency of these buffering systems that Dr. Kim talks about are not the same in all of us...there are many other health and lifestyle variables at play.

Dear Dr. Kim,

While I agree with the majority of your post, I cannot see how you can discount alkaline ionized water from a pH water machine whle advocating alkaline-forming fruits and vegetables since essentially they do the same thing for raising the pH levels of the extracellular and interstitial fluids of the body.

Also, by the time the produce is picked, packaged, shipped, received, put on shelves, brought home, and prepared it has lost much of its nutritional and pH value, whereas soaking your fruits and vegetables in alkaline pH ionized water can revive their pH level to their freshly-picked state and optimize the negative ORP (oxygen reduction potential or antioxidant level).

Therefore, having a supply of alkaline ionized water on hand to supplement the plant-based diet you propose is extremely valuable. I have been a vegetarian for four years and started drinking alkaline ionized water 7 months ago and am now feeling better than ever before.

It's important to note that, if you are looking into buying a water alkalizing system for your home, that you purchase one that doesn't use electricity to alkalize the water, as that can lead to health problems over the course of years due to lack of minerals. There are many systems that alkalize the water naturally by running the water through stones that contain minerals, thereby allowing you to get your minerals via the stones that alkalize the water. Much like what happens in nature!!! In addition, as you have recently become a vegetarian, it is important to either grow your own fruits/veggies, so you can monitor the mineral composition of your soil, or buy organic locally, preferably from someone you know, because it's not only the travel time that diminishes the nutrients in our fruits/veggies, although it does contribute, it is mostly due to the soil they are grown in, the pesticides that are sprayed on them, and the quality of the seed. Choose wisely!!! =)

I do believe I experienced a case of acidosis earlier this year. This came after a round of unhealthy eating throughout the holidays. The symptoms I experienced were severe fatigue, slight jitters, teeth sensitivity, difficulty breathing as if I couldn't catch my breath, anxiety, and a dental carie on a front tooth.

I drastically changed my eating habits, cut out all processed foods, and detoxed on a raw food diet. All my symptoms went away including the dental carie! Now the only issues I am still battling are indigestion (low HCL, bad bacteria in gut), joint pain/aches in my knees and elbows, and sensitivity of 1 tooth when tapped with my finger. I am praying for complete healing of my body as I am a 29 year old female and at times I feel so much older.

Thank you for your helpful articles!

I too am a 29 year old female that has been wondering what has been going on with my body and making me feel at least twice as old as I am... have been displaying signs of multiple autoimmune disorders since I was 15 and they have gotten significantly worse since 2007... In the last 2 years I have experienced a sinus infection that lasted for 9 months despite multiple rx's of antibiotics, 2 lung infections resulting in pleurisy, severe allergy symptoms, thinning hair and fragile nails and teeth, chronic severe pain, depression, and fatigue... have actually been forced to cut back on exercise because the muscles in my arms and legs will "freeze up" and stay that way for up to 4 or 5 days... I also get frequent headaches and migraines mostly due to nearly constant muscle spasms in my neck... I could go on and on, LOL... I try to eat very balanced meals if I feel like eating at all and I take a couple different kinds of multivitamins in an effort to avoid having my muscles "freeze up" on me and avoid getting sick but my problems continue anyway... This information has just made my day!!! I have already started alkalizing my body with baking soda and water and hopefully it will work quickly to start just making me feel better, because it's such a drag to try to prepare healthy food when you are sick and tired and in pain all the time... I just want to be happy and healthy and feel like myself again... I also really hope that raising my PH balance reduces my allergy symptoms because right now almost all fruits and veggies make my mouth and throat itchy or give me hives... It's no fun eating my fave healthy foods when all of a sudden I have miserable reactions to them... Good luck to all of you who have decided to alkalize your bodies!!!

please try to alkaline your body Baking soda and honey hot water helps the quickest and will help flush out acid and put your body back to an alkaline state

Your muscle problems are probably due to magnesium depletion from all the antibiotics, especially if you were taking Cipro, Levaquin, or another antibiotic in the fluoroquinalone family. The FQ antibiotics literally chelate (tie up and remove) magnesium from your body. Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the body and is known as the relaxation mineral since it allows muscles to relax. Get your magnesium levels back to normal by using magnesium oil (magnesium chloride brine). You'll feel a rapid improvement in your muscle problems. I am speaking from personal experience.

What u described is me the cant catch your breath check your self out . I discovered my sarcoidosis like that not catching breaths 28 years old here i feel like sixty in bad shape and just getting blowed everyday more this article was informative

Regarding sarcoidosis. There is a bacteria often associated with sarcoidosis-Chlamydophila pneumoniae. When you get enough vitamin D3 (from the sun or supplementation) your body creates 'cathelicidins'. These kill Chlamydophila pneumoniae......So it might be that too low vitamin D is causing sarcoidosis. See pg 210 in "Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox" by Dr Kate Rheaume-Bleue, ND. Great book.....she talks about the bacteria and cathelicidins. I then looked up sarcoidosis on the internet and found that the bacteria is associated with it. The book also talks about vitamin D and vitamin A--both involved with vitamin K2.

I found your article to be most enlightening. Strange as it sounds I am allergic to the foods listed above that have the alkaline forming effect. I realize that this is not a comprehensive list, however I also notice that they are all plant based. I supplement heavily, eat lean meat,
and whole wheat in an attempt to maintain my health and weight. I would appreciate any other input to help me maintain my health. I was not always allergic to fruit,vegetables, and nuts, this happened to me after having kids.
Thank you in advance

Have you looked into doing a Candida cleanse? I know that an imbalance in intestinal flora or overgrowth of yeast can cause food allergies.

Thank you for your insightful explanation. This was exactly the info I was looking for.

I have to disagree, not with WHAT you are saying but HOW you are saying it. I understand that the blood adjusts to ensure it is the proper PH. But food does directly affect that. If you have an extremely acidic diet then the blood has to work harder and harder to maintain the balance. This acidic state is what leads to illness. When the body has to overcompensate to maintain this ph balance of the blood then the normal day to day functions of the cells become compromised. I'm not a scientist but I have studied much and have a basic understanding about ph balance. Eating an alkalized diet is very important. When our diet is alkalized then our body can manage the acidity that comes from daily functions. When we exercise it produces acid, other bodily functions produces acid and the body has to manage it and get rid of it. If we also eat an acidic diet then it's too much for the body to process and then we have problems. The show "The Doctors" gave this same opinion that Dr. Ben Kim is giving and it sounds to me like they are saying food isn't important. It absolutely is. I felt it was another ploy by those who benefit most from western medicine to belittle the efforts of those who use food to heal. Though I follow a different theory on this topic I do greatly respect your opinion and love your messages and guidance on health. Thank you.

Hi Shelley,

Thank you for your thoughts, I appreciate you sharing.

If you re-read my article, including the last few paragraphs, I think you will find that we feel the same way about the overall importance of food.

What we eat and drink and how we live are vital determinants of our health. The point of this article is that in my opinion, one does not need to spend thousands of dollars on water machines and supplements for the sole purpose of "alkalizing their blood." Such efforts won't hurt their health, but I would rather see people use their funds on nutrient-dense foods, which I believe will provide greater return on their investment.

Thanks for this Article.
I have been reading up on why lemons are helping my Anxiety caused by IBS and started to get lost in the PH Hype scams out there.

This was good information! Thanks for explaining certain things in laymans term.

Before alkaline water could ever affect your blood, it must go through your digestive tract. Your stomach is supposed to be acidic to properly digest your food. IMO, drinking alkaline water could affect the pH balance of your digestive tract and cause nutritional absorption issues. (similar to taking antacids) "Pure Water is the World's First and Foremost Medicine." Regardless of what sales people tell you, alkaline water is not pure water. Pure water has a pH of 7 which is neutral.

Thanks for this article and the practical perspective it offers.

Citrus fruits such as lemons, limes and oranges and even apples contain Citric Acid which acts as a preservative and has a ph around 2. While they are high in vitamin C and were carried on ships in the old days to prevent scurvy (I'm British hence the nickname limeys) I'm curious how you categorize them as having an alkalizing affect on the body. After all it will take the body's bicarbonate buffering system to neutralize the acid during metabolism? I have some scientific training with a BSc in Physics with maths and took chemistry through the first year of my degree. I don't see how an acid can alkalize the body?

Hi Tony,

There's no denying that citrus fruits are rich in natural acid. Alkaline-forming and acid-forming effects in the body refer to the effect of foods on the body after they have been acted upon by the body, not their acid content.

I hope this distinction is helpful.

Love your straightforward, user-friendly, informative articles. Thank you for providing clear and useful health information while avoiding sensationalism, hype, and fads!

Hear, hear. I couldn't agree more. The best article I've read on this matter. I have the utmost respect for Dr Kim in that he has taken the time and trouble to write such a detailed article that makes it easy for a layperson, such as me, to enjoy reading and understanding it.

You can eat alkalizing foods like crazy and still be acidic, which you can measure with litmus tests of your urine. THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU NEED TO DO TO ALKALIZE IS GET ENOUGH VITAMIN D. Most people do not get enough and many have Vitamin D Receptor genetic defects (can't hang on to Vitamin D). Thus, you need a Vitamin D blood test, then you take a doctor recommended amount of Vitamin D, and it is WAY more than the grossly inaccurate mdr in multis, then you retest to make sure u got the right dose. I have to take 5,000 IU per day. Food choices hardly register next to that.

Of course having an alkaline pH from fresh fruits and vegetables is positive but there is MORE to it. No matter how healthy or even raw you eat-- people ignore the source of the health problem and want a "pill" as the solution. The "solution" is CHANGE your attitude. You did not mention the fact that NEGATIVE EMOTIONS AND STRESS LOWER THE PH. Anger, fear, worry, hatred, jealousy, lack of forgiveness all help create an acidic ph, love, forgiveness, acceptance, gratitude, compassion, understanding, mindfullness, peace, help create an alkaline ph. namaste', rachel

I cut thin slices of lemon and boil and eat them, peels and all. The concoction, after the water cools, is my version of lemonade. Needs no sugar, because the lemon becomes alkaline (surprise) in boiled water, and the peel becomes soft and tasty. It's a healthy home made lemonade.

; ) thank you for sharing!!!

I dont believe lemon makes an alkaline beverage, as many people say. The pH of lemon is about 2.5, very acidic, it can even dissolve a tooth if you put it in lemon juice for some hours. SO if you put some lemon juice in a glass of water, I am sure the resultant pH of the lemonade is acidic, maybe between 6 and 4, depending on the amount of lemon juice you add. So the supposed alkalinity produced may be due to a reaction of the body to the presence of lemon juice in stomach. I mean, since it detects an acidic beverage, the body releases
some juices ( I am not sure if from pancreas or gall bladder) that neutralizes the high acidity of the lemon and produces an alkaline effect. Maybe some physician can provide some additional information.

It is a very helpful article. I was looking for this type of trusted resources. Thanks a lot for this effort. I am breast cancer survival, I know most of the decease happening due to our imbalance PH level. I have seen a change in myself after taking alkaline foods as given in above.I stopped all acidic foods listed in above ( stopped suger intake, white flour...)

dear dr. kim,

thank you for this most comprehensive, easy to understand, and as far as my research have borne out, the most sensible and reliable article on body fluids pH in connection with general body health.

i am sharing this with others. blessings be to you.

kind regards,
grace yow

ps i do not belong to any social network. please use this however you seem fit.

I find the information on pH and food confusing. For instance, Dr Kim says this:

"Most carbonated soft drinks (pop) have a pH of about 3, making them about ten thousand times more acidic than pure water. Please remember this the next time you think about drinking a can of pop."

However limes are listed as moderate-to-strong alkalinity-response, but limes have an approximate pH of 1.8-2.0. So obviously simply looking at the pH of a substance isn't adequate for determining its effect on the body.