Chickens and eggs

February 25, 2007 at 1:19 pm 1 comment

Sunni Maravillosa left a provocative comment on a recent post of mine, to wit:

I’ve been thinking about this post a lot for days now, especially the excerpt from the essay about Dr. Young. I’m no kind of medical expert, but common sense leads me to be suspicious. If acid is so bad for our bodies, why do we have it in our stomachs, where it is essential for proper digestion? Why is vitamin C — also known as ascorbic acid — an essential nutrient? Amino acids and essential fatty acids are also crucial to health. Knowing all this, I have a hard time with Young’s theory — particularly the statement that “cancer is our tissues molding”. That makes no sense from just a logical standpoint.

I think the issue of cause and effect with respect to “acidification” and death is also confused. As a body’s systems begin to fail when death is imminent, wastes and toxins begin to accumulate. Thus, I think “acidification” is a result of organ failure and imminent death, not a cause of death itself.

In saying these things, I’m not defending the medical mainstream: there are plenty of things about it that are very messed up. But that seems to be equally true of some alternative medicines … particularly ones that claim to be a sure cure for just about everything.

And you know me – I had enough to say in reply that a comment just wouldn’t hold it all. (Literally. I couldn’t get it to post after four attempts – maybe it really was too much text for one comment.) So, Sunni, here’s the best response I have time to give you today…

Sunni – thanks for your thoughts. No expert on this am I, either, so I’ll just offer a few ideas based on what little I understand. And FYI, I do not dismiss allopathic medicine out of hand either – if I were in need of critical care, for instance, I would certainly go to an MD. I am beginning to see, however, that modern medicine has paid far too little attention to the workings of natural bodily processes.

Let’s use your example. Yes, acid exists in the stomach, as part of the natural digestive juices. Hydrochloric acid, I know you’ll find there. The lining of the stomach is naturally fortified to handle this acid under normal circumstances. (The lining of the esophagus is not – hence the trouble people so often have nowadays with “acid reflux” – stomach acid traveling upward into the food tube, which is not designed to handle it.) The acidic digested food then passes out of the stomach and bile is secreted, which should naturally be alkaline, to buffer the mixture’s acidity before it passes into the small intestine.

If the liver, however, does not have a sufficient store of alkaline (electrolyte) minerals to do the job, the body must pull calcium and potassium out of the bones and other structures to fill the gap. (Over time, if the diet does not provide sufficient organic, bioavailable minerals to replace these losses, this process can then lead to osteopenia – loss of bone tissue – and eventually osteoporosis.)

What it comes down to is that some structures of the body are naturally designed for an acidic or alkaline environment. Stomach – acid. Intestines – alkaline or neutral, hence the need for bile. Blood vessels – slightly alkaline. When, however, an oversupply of acid in the system occurs and becomes chronic, the entire body can begin to suffer. The blood, for instance, can become acidic as it tries to take up some of the slack.

Dr. Young and other researchers (I will try to find more on this for you when I can) have postulated that the buildup of cholesterol deposits in the blood vessels, and in part of excess fat tissue in the body, are a defensive mechanism to buffer the delicate body tissues from excess and abnormal acid in the system.

Note that we are speaking of excess acid – not the absence of any acids at all. (Vitamin C, as you point out, being one of the acids with benefit to the body.) For natural chemical life processes to occur in the body, a balance of acid and alkaline is required, selectively distributed based on the various organs and tissues and their functions. According to Dr. Young, the optimal pH of human blood is slightly alkaline – 7.365.

There is evidence – and I will have to look for links when I have a bit more time – that deleterious cancer, viruses and fungi cannot long sustain life in an alkaline environment. Think on that for a while.

You wrote, “As a body’s systems begin to fail when death is imminent, wastes and toxins begin to accumulate. Thus, I think ‘acidification’ is a result of organ failure and imminent death, not a cause of death itself.” What, then, caused the body’s systems to begin to fail initially?

Could it have been the long-term lack in the diet of the chemical elements vital for their performance? And do “wastes and toxins begin to accumulate” only after systems have begun to fail? If the system was free of wastes and toxins before the failure, then why did the failure occur? Which is the chicken and which the egg?

Fascinating topic. I’d love to talk it over more – it gives me motivation to educate myself further.


Entry filed under: Free Your Mind, Health, Living Free.

Another Atlas shrugging… Greenspan – Co-opted Randite or Clever Mole?

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Sunni  |  February 26, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    Wow, a new look – which I like, by the way.

    Thanks for the response; I agree, this is a fascinating topic. A short response to some of your points:

    I think it would also be true that a number of organisms cannot sustain life in an acidic environment as well. But it might be too acidic for our bodies to work well, also. It makes sense to me to ty to keep our bodies around the optimal pH, rather than more toward either extreme.

    What causes a body’s systems to begin to fail? Lots of things can. For many healthy individuals, I think it’s an accumulation of genetic damage caused by aging, plus programmed changes that begin to take place as an organism reaches some point to trigger them.

    Illness and poor nutrition can certainly contribute to that, and spawn problems of their own. I’d be more of a fool than I am to try to claim elsewise. That said, I’m skeptical of any health claim that offers very wide benefits, with few or no risks. And that seems to be what proponents of the alkalinization system are doing.


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