Excess body acidity (acidosis) is thought to be the first step towards premature aging, interfering with eyesight and memory, and creating wrinkling, age spots, dysfunctioning hormone systems, and a host of age related phenomena. Also, cancerous cells grow well in acidic mediums.

In fact, studies are confirming that body acidity is implicated in all diseases.

High Carbs/Sugar/Sugary Fruit >> Higher Acidity
Body acidity is caused by many factors; primary among these are refined sugar and refined carbohydrate foods. Our digestive enzymes break the carbohydrates down into sugar, namely glucose. Sugars are ultimately metabolised into carbon dioxide, water and energy.

Rest >> Lower Acidity
We breathe off most of this carbon dioxide to varying degrees via rest and relaxation. If on the other hand we have short or interrupted sleep patterns, then some of the carbon dioxide remains in the body as carbonic acid.

Either a high sugar and carbohydrate diet or a lack of quality rest can add to the body’s naturally occurring acidic wastes. The other elimination avenues cannot deal with this extra load, so the body becomes more acidic. In addition, the saliva and the urine become more acidic as the body desperately attempts to rid itself of this acidic load. Changes in the blood stream can be monitored by measuring the levels of acidity in the saliva and in the urine.

All chemical reactions in the body are affected by the level of acidity, measured as pH.
As you know, all physiological reactions in the body are affected by the temperature. As the temperature rises the reactions speed up, as in a fever, to assist the body to eliminate the virus or bacteria. If the temperature falls dramatically, the reactions slow and we may die.
Likewise, the level of acidity affects all reactions in the body.
In an attempt to correct these acidic conditions, the body releases alkaline substances from the bone, including calcium and magnesium. However, a considerable amount of these minerals will simply be lost in the urine, contributing to the development of osteoporosis. Alternatively, the body may deposit some of this calcium in weak tissue such as damaged arterial walls, to strengthen it, causing hardening of the arteries, for example.
And there is a study linking osteoporosis to hardening of the arteries.
Another way that the body can deal with excess acidity is by depositing some of the acid in fatty tissue, leading to obesity or in the joints, leading to arthritis.

Alkaline Babies
You have probably noticed the smell of a newborn baby. All fresh and clean. This is because the baby is born in a very alkaline state. Nature has drawn the alkaline minerals – potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium – from the mother. This leaves the mother’s body very acidic, which is one of the main reasons why some expectant mothers experience morning sickness.

Acidity & Age
As we age we become more acidic, more dehydrated and somewhat oxidised (rusty). The body of most aged people is very acidic, loaded with toxic wastes in the blood stream, the lymph system and between the cells. These acidic wastes come from many sources.

Our cells and our digestive system produce acidic wastes and we ingest toxins from the environment as they are in the air, the water and in food.
If you were to keep your skin, muscles, organs and glands alkaline like when you were a baby, you would dramatically slow the aging process.

Initial signs of Body tissue acidity include:-
· Feeling weak, tired and having low energy.
· Needing more sleep.
· Experiencing agitation, anxiety, panic attacks and depression.
· Having skin problems eg. Eczema, acne and hives.
· Feeling nauseous.
· Experiencing heartburn (many people are taking ant-acids these days).
· Suffering generalised aches and pains,and
· Diarrhoea or constipation or bloating.
· Cramping before or during periods.
· Loss of libido.
· More dental decay.

Signs of long-term body acidity are far more serious: –
· Osteoporosis.
· Chronic digestive problems.
· Poor immunity, including fungal and bacterial infections.
· Arthritis, joint and ligament problems.
· Kidney stones, kidney diseases and gout.
· Heart problems and circulation problems.
· Cancers.

How can we reduce body acidity?
Less Sugars and Carbohydrates
– Reducing the intake of refined sugars and carbohydrates reduces the production of carbon dioxide and hence body acidity.
More rest 
-Deep breathing in the form of sleeping longer, or practicing yoga, tai chi or meditation allows the body to remove more carbon dioxide.
And, there is a third option. Citrus 
-If you drink the acidic citrus juices from lemon, lime and grapefruit, you will trigger the pancreas to dump bicarbonate into the intestine for digestive purposes. But there is an added advantage, in that you will neutralise some of the excess acidity, leaving your body in a healthier state with less acidity to excrete.
You can add these acidic citrus juices to your daily drinking water. You can also add some apple or orange to sweeten the mix if you wish.

As you can see, keeping your body alkaline has many advantages, including more energy and feeling calmer.
Jeff Cox, Foodcoach
Dip of Pharmacy
Nutritional Chemistry