Meat eating causes Calcium loss
Posted on: 16 May 2011
To the ever-increasing list of ailments linked to meat like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, colon, breast and ovarian cancer, add one more -- severe loss of calcium with all its attendant ills. Consider this, an average 65 year-old non vegetarian woman suffers 35% bone loss; in a similarly aged vegetarian the bone loss at 18% is half of that!
Naturally then, meat eaters at greater risk for fractures than vegetarians. The question is how does meat consumption cause calcium loss?
The answer lies in blood pH levels.
'pH' is a measure of acidity or alkalinity and indicates the hydrogen ion concentration in a fluid. A pH of 1 indicates the highest acidity. At the other end of the scale is a pH of 14 indicating the highest alkalinity. A pH of 7 is neutral.
Human blood is slightly alkaline, and the body makes every effort to keep the pH level of the blood constant within a very narrow band between pH 7.35 and 7.45.
The level is regulated through the urine and the breath. The urine flushes out either increased levels of alkali or acid to maintain normal blood pH levels. Similarly, rapid breathing expels carbon dioxide making the blood more alkaline, while slower breathing increases carbon dioxide in the blood making it more acidic. The balance between carbon dioxide and sodium bicarbonate in the blood determines its pH level.
If the metabolism is efficient, then the pH balance depends mainly on the acidity or alkalinity of the diet. Ideally, we should eat approximately four times the weight of alkaline-forming food compared to acid-forming food, or 80% alkalizing to 20% acidifying food.
Let us look at acid and alkaline foods. Most of our foods supply minerals. The minerals in a particular food are both acid and alkaline. The acid group called Anion is chloride or phosphate, and the alkaline group called Cation is sodium, calcium or potassium. If one of these groups is stronger than the other then the food is either acid or alkaline .
In plants, strong alkalines combine with weak acids The acids may make the food taste acid, as in fruits. However, in the body these organic acids are oxidized and leave an alkaline residue. Therefore, we say vegetables and fruits are alkalizing or alkaline-forming. Alkaline-forming foods are grass juice, sprouted seeds, vegetables, fruits, almonds, most legumes, the outer parts of potatoes, bananas, millet, buckwheat and brown rice. Fresh green vegetable juices and vegetable broths, especially the broth of boiled potato peelings. are the strongest alkalizing foods.
Animal tissue, on the other hand, contains a high percentage of strongly acidic phosphoric acid . When it reacts with oxygen in the body a strong acid residue remains. Acid-forming foods are meat, fish, eggs, cheese, milk,. Other foods, which often form mucus and acids are refined starches and wheat products.
Overacidity or acidosis has a serious effect on the body. It causes a continual loss of minerals needed to neutralize excess acid. In mineral deficient bodies, sugars, which are chemically neutral and even fruits, which are chemically alkaline, become highly acid forming. The body becomes hypersensitive to pain and the whole metabolism becomes more and more inefficient. Acidity releases histamine which greatly increases inflammations and allergies and renders the skin very irritable. The body becomes oversensitive to pain especially in cases of arthritis and rheumatism, as well as to allergens such as insect stings. In addition, mucus production increases, providing a breeding ground for germs. Tumours too find fertile ground among surrounding tissue that is too acid.
But perhaps, the most alarming and largely overlooked effect of overacidic blood is calcium loss. If the blood pH is acidic, then calcium and phosphorus will leech out of the bones to neutralize acid and increase the pH. This is necessary for survival.. The blood needs pH in a very specific range in order to transport oxygen and function efficiently. Therefore, anything that causes low blood pH will lead to calcium loss from the bones. As more and more calcium is leached from the bones, they become brittle and the tissues and joints calcify. As we age, this calcium taken from our bones to neutralize the acid in our blood, accumulates in our soft tissues – where it does not belong- instead of in our bones. Doctors call this 'extra-skeletal calcification.'. The condition can manifest itself in many ways: heart disease, cancer, wrinkled skin, acute arthritis, kidney stones, osteoporosis, gum disease like caries, gingivitis and pyorrhea, red rimmed eyes, bone spurs, senility, cataracts, headaches and nausea.
While being prone to allergies and having advanced cancer will cause adidosis due to overproduction of lactic acid, the main reason why people develop overacidity is eating a lot of animal based food and strenuous muscle activity. Switching to a vegetarian diet can prevent or reverse this condition.
Strangely enough , heavy meat eating can also lead to an over-alkaline condition and potassium deficiency, that can cause calcium deposits like kidney stones and bone deformations. The main reason for this condition is a weak liver in combination with a high meat diet.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein (meat). Normally the liver would convert these amino acids into urea and excrete it. But this process requires additional energy as well as specific enzymes, both of which are in short supply in a weak liver. So instead, an increasing amount of ammonium salts are formed. To dispose of these, the body uses up its store of acid minerals, its phosphates and chlorides. An active lifestyle would produce enough metabolic acids like lactic acid to neutralise the excess ammonia, but a sedentary lifestyle means insufficient production of metabolic acids, so the body compensates with acid ions, leaving the body too alkaline. Patients with cardiovascular and other degenerative diseases are often affected in this way. The amino acids in meat also cause ammonium salts to be formed in the kidneys which requires more acid ions for neutralization.
Alkalosis shows up as a lack of gastric acid resulting in poor protein digestion and mineral absorption. Bacterial overgrowth may extend into the stomach, causing belching, foul breath and gastric complaints. The inflammation response is suppressed making the skin and body insensitive. When the body is too alkaline, have plenty of acid fruits, ascorbic acid (possibly cider vinegar), and vegetarian meals!
Here's a simple home test to determine your pH level. Dissolve a teaspoon of turmeric (haldi) powder in half a litre of methylated spirits or rubbing alcohol, shake and let it settle to produce a yellow solution. Pour some of the yellow solution into a test tube or a small drinking glass. Add a few drops of urine or saliva, if it turns red then what was added had a pH greater than 6.8 (alkaline), if it stays yellow then the pH is still acid and less than 6.8.
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