Is Acidity Undoing Your Efforts to Reduce Blood Pressure?
Could a false understanding of the basis of heart disease be sabotaging your blood pressure reduction strategy?
Most of us are familiar with the prevailing cholesterol-based explanation of heart disease. In this scenario, cholesterol is our villain. The notion in a nutshell is that a poor diet, especially one high in saturated fats, leads to dangerous levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol. This cholesterol builds up as plaque in our arteries, which impedes blood flow. The inevitable consequences are hypertension, heart disease and maybe even stroke or heart attack.
But the drug industry has developed an answer to the problem: statins to lower cholesterol levels and related medications such as those used to control blood pressure. Statins, in fact, appear so promising that some advocate near universal use as a preventative, even in healthy people.
But what if the very foundation upon which these approaches are based turns out to be shaky? How useful are your cholesterol-busting statins if cholesterol is not the problem it’s claimed to be?
The “acidity hypothesis of heart disease”…
Indeed, a compelling alternative theory of heart disease has emerged in recent years, one that’s based on acidity and not cholesterol. What’s more, this explanation can boast impressive Blood balance formula and Blood balance advanced formula medical support and not just the ranting of the usual alternative fringe.
Dr. Robert Young, for example, cites an extensive recent study which found that of thousands of people admitted to hospital for heart failure, 75% had cholesterol levels within acceptable guidelines. Assuming the evidence is accurate it doesn’t take a medical degree to see the implications!
According to the “acidity theory of atherosclerosis”, it’s not cholesterol at the root of heart disease but rather elevated blood acidity. Among its many negative effects, acidic blood inflames the linings of our blood vessels. Ironically, LDL cholesterol is actually working to protect us from the ravages of an acidic environment by clinging to our arterial walls as an insulating layer.
Inflammation is only the start of a long process of degeneration set in motion by acidity, a process that leads to atherosclerosis and, ultimately, death. Some proponents of acid theory go so far as to claim that acidity is the basis of all disease… which conversely means that neutral pH is the foundation of all health.
Your health and even life itself exists within a narrow range of pH…
There is a lot of debate within acid theory and the finer points are for experts to wrangle over. But it raises several questions that are vitally important to all of us:
- What causes blood to be acidic?
- And what does it say about lifestyle and the other ways we use to influence our blood pressure and improve our heart health? Is their value confirmed or called into question by the acid theory of heart disease?
Not surprisingly, diet is just as relevant to acid theory as it is to cholesterol-based heart disease. Many of the same saturated fats, high sodium and processed foods in poor modern diets that increase “bad” cholesterol also increase blood acidity. Fizzy drinks are especially damaging when it comes to producing acid. Some people may remember watching a chicken leg turn to rubber in a bowl of cola in their high school chemistry class.
Drinking soda may not turn your legs to rubber but it does initiate the same process. In order to neutralize the acid and reverse the process the body often needs to leech calcium and other minerals from the bones and other body parts. In addition to long-term health implications like osteoporosis, mineral imbalances are a known contributor to high blood pressure. This is just one example of the inter-related ways in which acidity contributes to hypertension.
Whichever theory you follow about the cause of heart disease, improvements in diet are equally important. A good diet to prevent acidity is very much the same as that to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. But don’t be bewildered by long lists of foods arranged by their acid/alkaline levels; there’s no need to over-complicate things. Simply eat a balanced and varied diet of whole, natural foods while avoiding processed foods.
The abundance and variety found in nature provides a balance of not only minerals and other nutrients but also an acid/alkaline balance. That’s why it’s important to eat from a range of food groups and not gorge on one or two even supposedly healthy ones like fruit and veg. Most animals are specialist eaters but humans are omnivores and benefit from variety. So-called healthy diets usually go wrong by being too specific.
Breathing plays a vital role in regulating acidity…
While diet usually hogs the limelight when it comes to lifestyle and health, there’s another aspect of living which may prove even more important when it comes to regulating acidity: our breathing. Breathing is as much a chemical process as it is a mechanical one. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that breathing has an even greater effect on blood chemistry than diet!
Just about everyone will remember from Biology 101 that breathing in supplies oxygen to the blood while exhaling removes carbon dioxide and other toxins. It’s simple, but a lot can go wrong with even this simple process… and when it does it can really knock our blood chemistry out of whack.