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Reverse ageing by balancing your pH

One of the most important metabolic functions our body performs is that of maintaining its pH balance—balance between acids and alkalis. Maintaining your body’s pH balance is your first defence against ageing.

Print Edition: August 24, 2008

One of the most important metabolic functions our body performs is that of maintaining its pH balance—balance between acids and alkalis. Maintaining your body’s pH balance is your first defence against ageing.

What is normal pH?
The body is largely made up of water, which can have either acidic or alkaline properties, measured by a scale called pH (potential hydrogen), wherein 1 to 6.9 is considered acidic, 7 is neutral, and 7.1 to 14 is alkaline. The ideal pH balance for humans is 7.4. According to Dr Sunita Saigal, Senior Consultant, Rockland Hospital, New Delhi: “There are a number of body systems that have their own specific preferred pH levels.”

What causes pH imbalance?
Imbalanced pH occurs when the body becomes too acidic or too alkaline for long periods of time. Says Dr Saigal: “The imbalance occurs more commonly in people with diets that are too high in acid-producing products such as meat, eggs, and coffee, and processed foods like wheat flour and sugar.”

Why should you be concerned?
A person with extreme acidity, for instance, is prone to degenerative diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, and cardiovascular diseases. People with extreme alkalinity, on the other hand, are likely to be epileptic. Says Dr Sanjay Gogia, Consultant, Max Hospital, New Delhi: “If pH imbalance continues for long, there can be a depletion of bone mass leading to osteoporosis.”

How can you rebalance the pH?
The best way to restore the pH balance is to eliminate foods that cause acid reflux. Eat a pH-balanced diet of 80 per cent alkali, with no more than 20 per cent acid-forming foods. Drink at least 10-12 glasses of water a day.

Manu Kaushik

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