22 February 2010

Strong Enough For a Man, But PH Balanced for a Giant Load of Horseshit

Vegans are douches.

Certain naturopathic and left-leaning, tree-hugging, meat-eschewing groups around the world find themselves continually preoccupied with an odd facet of their body's state of being- their internal pH. PH, for those of you who are blissfully unaware, or who slept through several years of science classes and who have never owned a pool, is a measure of how acidic or basic a substance is. Measurement of pH ranges from 0-14, where 0-6 is acidic, 7 is neutral, and 8-14 is alkaline. Still confused? Battery acid is a 1, vinegar is a 3, blood's a 7.5, ammonia's an 11.5, and household lye is a 14. According to naturopaths, a body's pH measurement in the 7-7.5 range represents good health. This measurement is taken by pissing on a bit of litmus paper first thing in the morning. If you're 6-6.5, you're slightly acidic, and above 7.5 means you are either in good health or you suffer from low protein. Amusingly, it can also mean that your internal environment is acidic, but that you have a difficulty digesting acids.(1)
His diet was terribly acidic.

Of note, before I continue, is that it is rare that your blood pH will match your urine's pH. This will become important later, when we're examining the various deleterious effects ascribed to one's acidity. This issue is compounded by the fact that an ammonia-like smell is ascribed to acidification, which actually has nothing at all to do with your pH- it has to do with your hydration. When you piss, you're excreting nitrates (nitrogen and oxygen). Ammonia is comprised of nitrogen and hydrogen, so what you're smelling is high amounts of bonded hydrogen, which occurs when you're dehydrated, or when your liver stops functioning. Amusingly, ammonia's pH is 11.5, so it would seem to any rational person that if your piss smells like ammonia, your body is trying to acidify your system by shedding a substance with a super alkaline pH (Alkaline urine, usually containing bicarbonate-carbonic acid buffer, is normally excreted when there is an excess of base or alkali in the body.).(2) According to QuackWatch, "Acid-base status is commonly measured at hospital admission for many diseases, but it is extremely unusual to find acidosis or alkalosis of the blood or extracellular fluid in the early stages of any major disease except kidney disease. Moreover, no food is acidic or alkaline enough in a mixed diet to produce long-lasting changes in the body's acid-base balance."(3)

Sounds fucking stupid already, right?

It gets better. The following is a comprehensive list of bad shit that can happen to you if you're overly acidic, by system.(4)

Rectal bleeding (HOLY FUCK!)

Runny Nose
Extreme Sensitivity to Cold (That's poor circulation, which means you're deficient in B vitamins. Which means your diet is deficient in meat.)
Frequent Colds (prevented, according to Linus Pauling, by Vitamin C. Which is acidic. Hmmm.)

Thin Nails (Nails are made of protein. Thus, if your nails are thin, guess what's lacking in your diet?)
White Spots on Nails
Dull Hair with split ends (Try washing your fucking hair and taking EFAs)

Acidic Urine (if it burns when you pee, you have VD. The end.)
Irritation of Urethra (an itchy urethra? If a man has an itchy urethra, nothing should fucking stop him from getting to the hospital, stat, because it's highly likely that his cock's about to fall the fuck off)
Excessive urination (uh... that's normally attributed to excessive hydration)
Kidney and bladder stones

What? It's a long fucking list, and this pic makes about as much sense as this nutritional philosophy.

Acidic sweat (this means you're an alien, and the only things that can kill you are Sigourney Weaver and Predators. Fucking spot on.)
Dry skin (EFAs. Or maybe it's just WINTERTIME!)
Irritated in Sweat Regions (what the fuck?)
Skin splits at fingernails (ie, it's dry)
Itches (dry skin)
Pimples (could be attributed to anything)
Eczema (aka hereditary DRY SKIN)

Leg cramps/spasms (maybe you just squatted?)
Stiff Neck (caused by sitting at a desk)
Generalized aching

Herniated disk
Mineral and Calcium depletion
Osteoporosis (caused by menopause, generally)
Rickets (caused by a vitamin D deficiency)
Brittle bones

Poor circulation (sloth, heredity, and niacin deficiency)
Tendency to Feel Cold (same, or you're a woman)
Anemia (Iron deficiency)
Chilblain (caused by cold weather and heredity)
Rapid heartbeat


Inflammation of genital tract (VD)
Vaginal discharge (VD, or she's a squirter!)

Sensitivity to pain (aka, you're a pussy)
Migrant nerve pain
Tennis Elbow (caused, fucking obviously, by overuse of the forearm in a particular and repetitive way)

Additionally, acidification can cause: (5)
loss of drive/enthusiasm
a pale face
inflammation of eyes
acidic saliva (again, you're an alien, which is awesome)
loose teeth (brush them, idiot)
mouth ulcers
cracks at corners of lips
cavities (caused by carbohydrate digestion, not acid)
acid reflux

That's a hell of a long, comprehensive, and oddly repetitive list. Nearly every one of those issues has a clearly identifiable source that has nothing to do with your blood acid load. I will say, for the record, that gout in particular has been linked to acidic foods, so I'll give them that, osteoporosis(6), arthritis, acid reflux, and mouth ulcers. There's a little truth to every good lie, right? The rest, however, is clearly fucking horseshit. The do a fine job of listing every fucking thing on the planet that could plague a person, so as to sell you on the fact that, at its core, meat is the root of all evil.

Why do I make that brutal claim? Certainly, them's fighting words when someone suggests that another is anti-meat. Here's a comparison of acid and alkaline foods, as offered by Vasey (7):

By the way, I forgot to add carbonated drinks (carbonic acid), coffee, tea, cocoa, wine, and all condiments. Vasey contends that proteins form uric and phosphoric acid, fats convert to fatty acids and acetyl acetic acid, and carbohydrates convert to pyruvic and succinic acid (the bad ones are the protein and fat ones- Vasey states that the strong ones come from animal proteins and the weak acids come from veggie sources). (8)

None of these motherfuckers can get their shit together, however, and are constantly at odds over the details of their pseudoscience. From author to author, these recommendations change, which is a boatload of fun. Loren Cordain jumped in though, and offered the following:

Loren makes an amusing point thereafter- the acid and base loads of various foods, on which "nutritionists" base their pH diets, is derived from analyzing food ash. Raise your hand if your body reduces food to ash!
I thought not. Thus, these numbers are all but useless. From the three books on acid-base diets that I've read, here's what I've determined:
  • anyone who touts a pH diet hates meat.
  • anyone who touts a pH diet knows nothing about nutrition.
  • anyone who touts a pH diet lacks the ability to think critically
I tried, briefly, to come up with some simple credits and debits accounting-style method by which a person could have a neutral pH load, and thereafter realized the whole fucking thing is pointless and idiotic.

Eat green things every day. Avoid any person who touts these diets like the fucking plague. It's that simple.
Fucking right.

1) Vasey, Christopher. The Acid Alkaline Diet for Optimum Health. Rochester: Healing Arts Press, 2006.
2) "Urine pH." http://www.rnceus.com/ua/uaph.html
3) Barrett, Stephen MD. "Urine/saliva pH Testing: Another Gimmick to Sell You Something." http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/Tests/reams.html
4) Vasey, pp. 36-39. Kliment, Felicia Drury. The Acid-Alkaline Balance Diet. NY: McGraw-Hill, 2002. Pp. 16-17.
5) Vasey, pp. 34-35. Kliment, pp. 16-17.
6) Sebastian A, Harris ST, Ottaway JH, Todd KM, and Morris RC, 1994. "Improved Mineral Balance and Skeletal Metabolism in Post-Menopausal Women Treated with Potassium Bicabonate." New Engl J Med 330, 1776-1781. Frasetto L, Morris RC, Sebastian A, 1997. "Potassium Bicarbonate Reduces Urinary Nitrogen Excretion in Postmenopausal Women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 82, 254-259.
7) Vasey, pp. 57, 52-3.
8) Vasey, p. 39, 10.
9) Cordain, Loren. "Implications of Plio-Pleistocene Hominin Diets for Modern Humans." Ungar, S., ed. Evolution of the Human Diet. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. p. 375


  1. Actually I've seen that acid reflux has more to do with carb intake and TOO LITTLE stomache acid then with too high an acid level. I use to be two Tums a night kinda gal till I cut out the processed foods and grains. I upped my protien and fat intake and, shockingly, put the Tums away in the cabinet for those days that I throw myself from the wagon into a big pile of brownies. Once, of course, tends not to be a problem, but two plus days of it and it's heartburn city! And this includes chili night with no heartburn. So, yeah, I agree that these lists are as idoitic as the people writing them, so inclusive that anyone can put themselves into the group and, therefore, think they have a problem.

  2. Holy hell, you certainly went out of your way to pick some nightmare inducing pics this time. What's the third one from (the girl getting dumped on by some creamy substance. Har har).

  3. Henry Bieler actually recommends sliced cucumber for acid reflux. Apparently, it works far better than Tums.

    As for the pic, I googled "WTF" haha. I want to get that pic blown up to a poster for my wall.

  4. That picture with the creature is actually a series of pictures intended to look slightly erotic in the worst and most disgusting fashion possible.

  5. wrt acid reflux, and also IBS, I've just ordered food is your best medicine for my gf which I think you recommended in an earlier blog Jamie. Is there anything else you recommend we read? Thanks.

  6. http://chaosandpain.blogspot.com/2009/10/i-like-to-break-metal-sweat-too.html

    That's my reading list for you guys. If you want homeopathic remedies, etc, I've got a few books I can recommend on that as well, but will have to do so when I get home.

  7. http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/profile_avi_3.jpg

    That guy...

    a. is a VEGAN
    b. is in his 50s
    c. doesn't manifest his insecurities into what can only be described as a permanent case of male PMS

  8. I guarantee you that guy didn't build all that muscle as a vegan. And most likely - with gear.

    And with a little research - voila! He built up his body EATING animal protein! From ages 13-mid 20's he was not a vegan. He started lifting at 13.

    Why are you reading Jamie's insecure PMS rants? There have been a few I didn't care for and guess what? I clicked on that little "x" in the corner. I suggest you do the same since your obviously very sensitive about your Veganism. LOL

  9. Although it's hard to find the entire fucking set intact anywhere you can find some of it (not all I don't think) here.




    Also, the sick mind who came up with this: http://www.charliewhite.info/work/

    I don't exactly know about the philosophical implications, I just think Charlie's a little fucked up.

  10. Thanks Jamie. Will have a look at that blog entry again. Have to wait a few days for the book to arrive but will implement its suggestions after that. B

  11. Dray, you're the man. Charlie White is a fucking genius.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Words dummies,

      The PH thing, as Jamie plainly stated, is shit. Here's why: if your blood PH changes even a few tenths of a ph point, you die. Guess how your body copes with increasing acid levels from either food or exercise? Wait for it.... breathing, I mean do you think that nature is so fucking stupid as to build you with no obvious and simple method to mitigate the deleterious effects of everything you do?. This whole PH argument is needs to be dropped so that everyone can pick up a fucking science book and stop talking like a bunch of goddamned retards (south park ref.).

      Jamie, what the fuck man, I started a blog a while back that coincidentally ended up being so fucking similar to this one I'm thinking about removing it from the internet and reporting myself for plagiarism. I guess Libras think alike (and hate on the dummies with equal vehemence). Google 'the power cave' and be sure to check out the articles on the TRX ; )