Many causes of cancer have been suggested over the years. Some are more common than others, such as the nicotine in cigarettes contributing to the development of lung cancer, and alcohol causing liver and mouth cancer. Others are not as commonly referred to or considered, such as certain medications including aspirin. A low pH is one of these factors, one which is not commonly known, but one which certain scientists believe should be considered. pH, or Potential Hydrogen, refers to hydrogen-ion concentration. Ideally this should be balanced in the middle of the scale, where it is considered to be neutral. A high pH means that the ion concentrate is alkaline, while a low pH denotes an acidic concentration. The body, being roughly 60% water, is usually a pH of 7.3, which is neutral verging on alkaline.
An acidic pH means that the blood and other fluids in the body become more acidic. This at first is thought to cause moderate symptoms, such as tiredness, headaches and chest pains. However, as this acidity grows the acid is deposited around the body, depriving these areas of the oxygen levels they need. These deposits are thought to occur in various places around the body, and as a result cause a number of side effects. These can include deactivating enzymes which digest food, decrease the energy produced by the body cells, and leave you more prone to catching illnesses. As this process continues, the cells in these areas start to die. However, there is a theory that these cells can survive, but through becoming abnormal, and it is these abnormal cells which are thought to spark the development of tumours in the body, and thus cause cancer. Cancer cells are also cells which will only survive with a lack of oxygen reaching them. An acidic pH of the body will cause these cells to be deprived of oxygen, while an alkaline pH will be much richer in oxygen, meaning that cancer cells will be unable to develop.
Therefore, it is important to live a lifestyle which encourages a balanced pH rather than acidic. This can be done in a number of ways. A diet rich in potassium and magnesium is a good way to do this. These minerals can be found in many sources, including fruit, vegetables, wholegrain food, nuts and seeds. To gain the most benefits from these foods try eating them raw, as cooking can strip the benefits away. Drinking lots of water too is thought to help to balance your body’s pH. Avoid eating foods such as dairy products, meat and processed foods which are rich in sodium. Other foods that may be dangerous to eat include those rich in salt and sugar, animal products such as saturated fats, and alcohol. Supplements to your food can also help to raise your body’s pH. Sport and other forms of exercise will help more oxygen to reach your cells, helping to prevent them from becoming oxygen starved. Stress too can cause your body to naturally become more acidic, so taking steps to relax yourself and distract yourself from this stress can be beneficial.
Of course the extent to which this acidity effects and causes cancer is open to debate and research is still examining precisely how much our pH level could impact the development of cancer. For this reason, ‘cures’ and countermeasures that focus entirely on the pH level in the body as the cause for cancer are premature and short sighted and need to consider the complex tapestry of things that can cause cancer such as those listed at the start of this article. At the same time you cannot be constantly avoiding foods and drinks that might alter your pH or potentially cause difficulties in other ways (though living so cautiously might be more advisable for those with a history of cancer in their families). In conclusion then, though there is a sound theory behind the role of acidity in the development of cancerous cells, it is only one of many factors and has not been fully studied or understood. Simply living a healthy and balanced lifestyle and eating well is the best precaution to take against all forms of illness.