The pH Connection – Colds & Flu

The pH Connection to Colds & Flu – Increase Immunity, Lower Stress

Do you catch colds and flu frequently? Are you susceptible to canker sores, sensitive teeth and sore throat?  Are you mentally tired after an hour of desk work?

All of these symptoms and more may be connected to an imbalance in the body’s pH, as an over-acidic condition.  pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a fluid. Body pH is the key indicator of balance within the body’s internal fluids – including blood, urine, saliva, and the fluids between, as well as inside, the cells.

The body’s natural pH balance, which is slightly alkaline, must be maintained in order for us to feel our best and most energetic.  “An alkaline body can absorb up to 20 times more oxygen than an acidic body.” These are the words of, Dr Otto Warburg, a Nobel Prize Winner for his work on respiratory enzymes and cancer. He also found that diseased bodies are acidic bodies, which repel oxygen and attract the overgrowth of disease-causing micro-organisms.

Our body’s acid-alkaline balance is a key component to overall good health and one of the most crucial ways to affect health status. Raising pH (to an alkaline state) increases the immune system’s ability to kill bacteria, concludes a study conducted at The Royal Free Hospital and School of Medicine in London.

The viruses and bacteria which cause bronchitis and colds thrive in an acidic environment.  Keeping our pH in the slightly alkaline range of 6.8-7.2 can reduce the risk and lessen the severity of colds, sore throats and bouts of influenza.

Measuring the body’s pH using a small piece of specially-designed pH paper (available in Health Food shops) is the easiest and most economical way to measure your body’s pH. I have found that testing your urine first thing in the morning is a valuable indicator of whether your diet and supplementation program is providing enough alkaline minerals to neutralize the acids.

A consistent pH reading of between 6.4 and 7.4 shows a favourable acid-alkaline balance. If the pH is regularly below 6.4, this most likely indicates an acid condition known as acidosis and a low mineral reserve in the body fluids and tissues. Acidosis can impact immunity, digestion, bone & muscle strength, hormones, joint health, and the function of essential internal organs that handle stress including the adrenal glands, pituitary and hypothalamus.

Numerous studies * in the last 10 years have shown a strong relationship between food and low-grade acidosis.  Our daily eating habits have a great effect on the body’s pH. The typical Western diet is an acid-forming diet, low in the valuable alkaline minerals.  The good news is that by consuming a diet high in alkaline-forming foods such as dark leafy greens (see ALKALINE food chart pdf ), and adding extra alkaline minerals and superfoods, a change in your body’s pH balance can occur fairly quickly. Though it may take months to reduce tissue damage and restore optimal immune, nerve and organ function.

There are some alkaline powerfoods such as lemon, apple cider vinegar, aloe vera juice, chlorella, spirulina and other green-food powders, as well as citrate minerals of potassium, magnesium and calcium, that when added to alkaline water or spring water will help balance the body’s pH.

To increase infection protection:  start your day with an alkalizing lemon and aloe vera juice drink; add green-food powder & leafy greens to your smoothies; consume 75-80% of your foods and beverages from the alkaline-forming foods chart; practice deep breathing for at least 1 minute, at least five times daily; and hug 5 people to survive and 10 people to thrive.

Once last tip, cold OTC medications are acid-forming, as are most medications. When feeling stressed or a cold coming on, make yourself a natural lemon, honey and ginger drink. Activities that are soothing and relaxing reduce stress and will help make us more alkaline.

Note:  Anything that is stimulating can leave an acidic residue in the body; correspondingly, any activities which are calming and relaxing reduce stress and can make us more alkaline. So enjoy a hot soothing, alkaline drink (without the alcohol) and rest frequently to cure a cold or flu.

Frassetto L, et.al. (2001) Diet, Evolution  and  Aging. Eur.J.Nutr, 40:200-213
The Prime Cause and Prevention of Cancer. Dr Otto Warburg, Lecture delivered to Nobel Laureates on June 30, 1966 at Lindau, Lake Constance, Germany.

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RoseMarie Pierce, B.Sc.Pharm, earned her degree in Pharmacy from Dalhousie University in 1972. After extensive studies in herbal and nutritional medicine, RoseMarie integrated these disciplinary practices with her pharmacy education to become Canada’s first Holistic Pharmacist.