Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Importance of Monitoring Mouth pH

We’ve mentioned the importance of measuring pH often in this blog, but you may have noticed that we usually recommend you test the pH level of your urine. This is because it is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to get an impression of your body’s pH. This impression gives us an idea of whether or not we need to improve our pH levels. Regulating body pH is vital to health and you will find a variety of sources in journals, libraries and online that stress this fact. Our point in all of this is not to spend time telling you how important our body pH is to your health, but to show how to take the mysteries and secrets out of the whole process of determining your pH health. We have shown you how to measure pH for yourselves using pH strips or litmus paper and we have discussed many ways to change pH levels, depending on your current state.

Looking back at previous posts, we noticed a conspicuous lack of coverage regarding the pH of your saliva. Though this is the measurement that most people are aware of that utilize pH strips, we have intentionally omitted discussing saliva pH, because it is a limited tool. It merely measures the status of the mouth (and the mouth alone) at the time of the test. High acid levels in the mouth can be an indicator that there is trouble with the digestion, because we continuously swallow our saliva. If our mouth is high acid it likely possesses too much bacteria, and swallowing this, it is scientifically reported, can even affect heart health. A mouth with more bacteria also runs a greater risk of becoming infected if cut. I personally measure my saliva pH every night to be sure that it is balanced around 7.0. I don’t want an acid mouth, as this can eat up enamel in the teeth and cause your mouth to taste bad (and probably doesn’t help your breath).

There’s a simple solution that has kept my mouth pH perfect for the past decade. I gargle about 7 times a day. Anytime I wake up during sleep and go to the bathroom I gargle. I wake up in the morning I gargle. I gargle at different opportunities and times when I am at home. I gargle after dinner. It’s important that you use a mouthwash that contains Xylitol. I learned a long time ago that clinical studies have shown incorporating Xylitol into your daily oral health routine can lead to improvement. I am a firm believer in the legitimacy of this claim as I’ve used a Xylitol-containing mouthwash called Spry for a very long time and have not been disappointed (I also find that it isn’t as harsh as other mouthwashes which makes it ideal for multiple daily uses). My pH has remained at perfect balanced levels for many years and I believe this is true because of using Xylitol in my mouthwash.

I suggest that rather than spending a lot of money on products to improve the pH levels in the mouth, you simply try Spry or a similar product and then use the pH strips to measure your pH levels in the mouth.

An added benefit of gargling is the removal of bad tastes from the mouth that occur after sleeping and a temporary improvement in breath freshness.

Note: Gargling more often when you begin to feel signs of sickness can kill bacteria in the mouth (lowering the burden on the immune system) and may lead to improved recovery time.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Additional Methods for Controlling Acidity

Controlling acid levels in the body has been a major topic of this blog. We’ve covered a variety of techniques, from eating foods high in phosphorus to using bicarbonate, particularly 20 minutes after a meal. Well an additional way that the body can decrease acid excretion is through the use of the amino acid glutamine (amino acids are building blocks of protein), which triggers a sequence of chemical reactions that lowers acid by expelling it from the body through our urine when acid levels are too high. If you measure your urine pH and your levels are below approximately 6.5, you want to be sure your daily intake of food includes enough of the amino acid glutamine to help regulate acid balance.

You can take glutamine supplements to ensure that you are getting enough glutamine daily, however the body usually uses the nutrients we consume in tandem, where groups of nutrients work together to complete the many processes of your body. In order to help my body processes run efficiently, I usually won’t take supplements without a proven multivitamin and mineral. It is important to remember that glutamine is important, but that we’re also aware that there are many other amino acids. Many of these amino acids can cancel each other out when consumed at the same time and glutamine can easily lose its effect when coupled with many other proteins and amino acids.

I get around this problem by supplementing glutamine via undenatured whey protein. Whey protein is the equivalent of a multivitamin and mineral, except it provides the amino acids that help us build our protein structures in the body. The whey protein is a natural product that is loaded with amino acids in the perfect proportion to allow for maximum absorption. While the absorption of most whey protein is nearly 100%, undenatured whey protein reaches an almost supernatural absorption of 150%!!! Not only do you receive the benefit of this absorption, but whey protein supplementation is shown in studies all over the internet to boost the immune system up to 500%!

I take a glutamine supplement in a whey protein shake everyday. I also take a multivitamin and mineral with my whey protein shake to best maximize the synergy between these nutrients. The glutamine helps keep your acid levels balanced in the body via urinary excretion and without it, you could lose some your body’s ability to maintain acid-base balance.