Acidosis & Energy Production
Metabolic acidosis limits celluar energy production
In order to function properly all cells need to be in a state of acid-alkaline balance. If not, this significantly diminishes the cells’ ability to produce energy via the cellular “energy factories” known as mitochondria. Located within the cells, mitochondria are responsible for producing a compound known as ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which furnishes the energy that cells, tissues, and organs require to function properly. Even a slight acidic tilt within the cells causes impaired function of mitochondrial electron transport, leading to both reduced energy production and increased energy consumption. Deficits of ATP caused by excessively acidic or alkaline pH result in fatigue, and can eventually cause pain and affect organ function.
To counteract the cellular problems caused by low level acidosis, the body’s mechanisms of homeostasis— its ability to self-regulate and thus maintain internal balance—call upon alkali mineral stores, such as the alkali salts of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These minerals, which are stored primarily within the musculoskeletal system, are used by the body to quench acid buildup. If the fluctuations in acid-alkaline levels are only temporary, homeostasis is usually restored. But if the imbalances remain chronic and unaddressed, eventually the body’s ability to maintain homeostasis is overwhelmed, leading to a state of “dis-ease” that will, over time, begin to attack the weakest and most susceptible organ systems. At a basic level, even low-grade acid-alkaline imbalance impairs the cells’ ability to perform their duties efficiently.
Acidosis diminishes available oxygen
Compounding this problem is the fact that acidosis also diminishes the supply of oxygen available to the body’s cells and tissues. Lack of oxygen further interferes with mitochondrial function, and also impairs the cells’ ability to properly repair and replenish themselves. The low-oxygen environment created by acidosis also promotes the growth of harmful microorganisms. This, too, contributes to fatigue by interfering with the body’s ability to properly assimilate and make use of the nutrients obtained from food. The resulting nutritional deficiencies not only diminish the production of hormones and enzymes necessary for energy production, but can limit absorption of the nutrients obtained from food.
An acidic tilt compromises immunity
The body’s immune defense and repair mechanisms operate best in an exquisitely narrow pH range. Acid-alkaline imbalances can weaken the body’s ability to ward off infectious microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The reasons for this are many, with two being of special importance to our discussion.
First, when blood pH becomes unbalanced, the cells of the body are unable to efficiently receive vital nutrients and oxygen from the blood supply. In addition, the cells start to experience difficulties in eliminating wastes. In both cases, these responses are caused by the decreased permeability of cellular membranes, now hardened by acid-alkaline imbalance. As the cell walls harden, not only are oxygen and nutrients unable to enter the cells, but waste products are unable to be excreted. Together, these factors lead to weakened cells that are no longer able to act as Nature intended.
The second factor that leads to diminished immunity concerns the way in which acid-alkaline imbalances make it possible for infectious agents to thrive and reproduce inside the body, as mentioned earlier. Contrary to popular opinion, we do not become sick simply from exposure to infectious pathogens. The truth is that we are all exposed daily to such microorganisms. In addition, literally tens of thousands of different types of potentially harmful bacteria live within our gastrointestinal tracts each and every day. Yet, for the most part, they are not, by themselves, able to cause illness. This is exemplified by the fact that during heightened times of infection, such as flu season, not everyone develops a cold or the flu, even though everyone is exposed to the viruses that cause them. To a large extent, the factor that determines whether microorganisms cause illness is the pH of the body’s internal environment. When the body maintains an acid-alkaline balance, the bloodstream is in an aerobic state—meaning that it is rich with oxygen. In this state, the body is able to defend itself against potentially harmful pathogens, as it has been found that pathogens cannot long thrive or survive in oxygen-rich environments. When acid-alkaline imbalances occur and become chronic, however, the bloodstream starts to become deficient in oxygen. This lowered oxygen status enables microorganisms that previously posed little health risk to become pathogenic (disease-causing), as the body is not able to effectively eliminate them. Moreover, a low-oxygen environment is ideally suited for allowing such microorganisms to multiply quickly inside the body, making it increasingly difficult for the body’s immune system to deal with them.