This is not about the burning feeling in the stomach and œsopagus. It's
about acids that build up inside your body tissues and that can lead to
severe problems and pain:
- Chronic anginas, bronchitis, flus...
- Chronic inflammatory diseases like allergies,
heavy muscle pain...
- Depression, anxiety, mental fatigue, mood problems...
- Sleep problems. Do you often wake up around 3 o'clock?
- Bone loss. And hence teeth loss, when the jaw bones are damaged.
- Poisoning with toxic metals, even if the food contains no
abnormal quantities thereof.
- Maybe cancer, child autism...
The acids involved would be things like phosphoric acid, sulfuric acid,
I understand there are two ways by which those acids can build up:
- Insufficient neutralization of
the stomach acid. A normal digestion implies that the stomach
produces a lot of hydrochloric acid to make a first rough cut of the
proteins and to sterilize the food. After some time, the food then
dwells towards the duodenum, which can be seen as a second stomach.
There, more complex chemical operations will happen on the food, using
several different enzymes produced by the pancreas and the liver. Those
enzymes need the acidity from the stomach to be activated but they
cannot work in acid. That's why the pancreas also produces alkalies
like sodium bicarbonate, to neutralize the acid from the stomach. The
enzymes make that the starches are broken down in sugars, the fats
become soluble and the proteins are broken down to amino-acids. Then
the food passes through the small intestines, where everything that can
be directly absorbed will get into the blood (sugars, hydrolyzed fats,
amino-acids, vitamins, minerals, the water...) What cannot be absorbed
will then form a small compact mass that will get into the big
intestine, which acts as a biochemical reactor. Bacteria will manage to
extract some more nutrient out of the food and they will even produce
some necessary molecules like vitamin B12 (in return for eating a part
of the food for themselves...) Inside the big intestine, the food is
made slightly acidic again. The problem we speak about, happens when
the pancreas and the liver do not manage to neutralize the food that
comes from the stomach. In other words: there is not enough sodium
bicarbonate injected inside the duodenum to neutralize the hydrochloric
acid produced by the stomach. This leads to several problems:
- What flows towards the small intestine will be acidic hence
acids will get into the bloodstream. The acids will be piled up inside
the body cells, in an attempt to keep the blood sane.
- Proteins are not broken down into amino-acids. Small segments
of proteins can get into the bloodstream and act as morphine on the
- Fats are not enough hydrolyzed and starches are not enough
broken down in sugars. This means that the blood will not receive
enough fat and sugars from the small intestine. Hence, the need will be
felt to eat again, despite the fact that the intestines do contain
enough food. Also, overtime this makes that one will tend to prefer
food that contains a lot of sugar. (This leads to a second mechanism
that makes the victim crave for frequent and/or heavy meals: the sugar
gets in the bloodstream at a dangerous rate and the body is forced to
store it away in cells, anarchically, to keep the sugar level in the
blood below poisonous levels. The command to store the sugar (insulin)
can be exagerated and the blood will ultimately become depleted in
sugar, which leads to craving to eat new sugar and so on. Instead of
being used for energy, the sugar stored in the cells will be
transformed into fat, which is a far less dangerous kind of molecule
for cells to store. In a healthy body, the excess fat and sugars stored
in the cells would be released and used for energy or even simply burnt
up. But this implies good working enzymes in the cells and a good
working liver, which you may not have if you eat wrong food, the wrong
way, with wrong living habits. See your physician or nutritionist for
- The big intestine will receive far too much easily digestible
fats, proteins and starches. This can make the fermentation degenerate
into rotting, producing at lot of poisonous toxins.
- A too high proportion of the
kind of food that, once absorbed from the intestines, can turn into
acids. In this case, there is no problem with the digestion
process. But it is so that, once in the body, some kind of food will
lead to the formation of acids and other food will lead to the
formation of alkalies. For example: animal proteins tend towards acids.
If the proportion of acidifying foods is too high...
How can this be diagnosed?
It would seem that body acidity is a very frequent problem amongst
Westerners. Some of the recommendations in this text are mainstream and
should be followed even in the absence of an obvious problem of body
If you have some of the problems mentioned in the beginning of the
text, there is a fair possibility that they are caused or aggravated by
body acidity. I have been sick half of the time for 30 years. I had
continuous anginas in wintertime and hayfever in summertime. Simply,
there was always at least one part of my body with an ache. Since I
learned to control my body acidity, I haven't been sick. It's really
amazing. I even make fun of giving a kiss to people who warn that they
have the flu or something. I simply cannot manage to get sick...
If you often awake in the middle of the night, that can be a sign.
Diabetes can lead to high body acidity. This would be due to the fact
that the body uses almost solely fat as a source for energy. Bone loss
can be severe for persons with diabetes. (If you have diabetes, check
with you dentist to help protect your teeth.)
Test the pH of your urine. Some
hours after a meal, the urine will show if many acid came into the
bloodstream. Also, during the night the body will try to eliminate the
acids that piled up inside the cells. Hence the first urine in the
morning will show if the body had to eliminate acids. Some herbalists
sell dedicated paper tests for urine pH but common test paper should do
(about $10 in lots of pharmacies). Neutral urine would be a pH of 7. It
seems that a slightly acidic urine is normal; a pH of 6.5. I start
worrying when the pH is 6 or lower. The worst I measured is 4.5 and I
really was not in a good shape. If I'm feeling unwell, I know there is
a high chance that my urine will show up to be very acidic.
What can be done?
If the problem is mild, then probably you can just opt for better
- Eating too much at a time forces the stomach to produce too much
acid. I believe some fast food restaurants rely on this to keep some
customers coming back. Heavy meals are wrongly digested and cause a
craving for the next heavy meal. The toxins produced by the rotting in
the intestines and the opioid effect of the undigested protein segments
make you need the caffeine from the drinks.
- Take your time to eat and chew the food to a find grind. Have
your meals with friends or family, with no television in the background.
- Organic food and unprocessed food
seem to help
- Have physical activities. One of the many advantages of sport is
that it makes the pumps of the lymphatic system operate. The lymphatic
system drains toxins from the body and allows cells from the immune
system to circulate.
- Have regimen with less acidifying food and more alkalizing food.
will find books and pages on the Internet with lists of
acidifying and alkalizing foods. Mixing acidifying foods makes things
even worse. My worst
enemy is rice (but I do eat some regularly, provided I have sodium
citrate at hand).
(Increasing the alkalizing food is what the NASA is currently trying
out to help
reduce the bone loss of astronauts in orbit. See http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/Pro_K.html
. Potassium-rich foods would tend to be alkalizing.) Google yielded for example this page
that contains a list of alkalizing and acidifying foods: http://www.lugositas.b74.hu/english.php
During a few years, I had to implement a more drastic approach. I had
add a few grams of sodium citrate to each meal. I made that sodium
citrate myself by mixing one volume of sodium bicarbonate with a little
more than one volumes of citric acid, in half a glass of water. It does
not taste bad, provided there was enough water. Herbalists sell
contain sodium and other useful metals, which would be better than my
receipt. Don't play with this!
Too much sodium can cause severe problems. When my urine shows to be
too alkalized, I don't feel much better than when it is too acidic. You
have to continuously monitor your urine pH and tune the dose of sodium
citrate accordingly. By now I know exactly the quantity I need with
every meal but I go on testing my urine pH almost everytime. A slight
increase in acidity does not bother me, I know it will be regulated in
a matter of hours or days. But if I'm suddenly far too alkaline, I have
to stop taking sodium citrate for a day.
The best way to take my sodium citrate is together with each meal.
About an hour after the meal is fine. If I took too much the previous
meal, it will protect me for the next meal (in which case I will take
none with that next meal). If I forgot to take some and the meal was
very acidifying yet it has been digested hours ago, it will help if I
take some sodium citrate anyway but I must not take a lot of it on an
empty stomach. Best for me is to take a dose with each meal, even with
meals that do not make it mandatory. Best is to have a continuous
intake of mild doses. Strong doses are bad. Do not try to compensate if
you forgot during several meals; just take your regular dose with the
next meal, twice that dose if things are realy bad.
If you have only sodium bicarbonate at hand (and no sodium citrate, no
citric acid nor even simply lemon juice...) it can do the job but this
is more difficult. The content of your stomach *must* be acidic. The
advantage of sodium citrate is that it is neutral. It does lower the
acidity of the stomach but it cannot make it alkaline. The stomach
acidity is necessary to start the digestion process and also to
activate the enzymes from the liver and from the pancreas that flow
into the duodenum. If you are in pain because your stomach is far too
acidic, a gram or two of sodium bicarbonate will make wonders, with no
side effect. But if the acidity of your stomach is about normal and you
take sodium bicarbonate to mend your body acidity problem, this is more
tricky. Just a gram of bicarbonate will tremendously lower the stomach
acidity. If the content of the stomach is still a little bit acidic,
your digestion may be less efficient but it will still be a normal
digestion. But if you take too much bicarbonate and the content of the
stomach becomes alkaline... this will be a catastrophe and a waste of
food. (If the food contains a lot of fats or oils, you will probably
vomit. Anyhow you will not benefit from the food.) (Reciprocally, If
one day you ate too much fat and you feel some nausea and may vomit,
drink a gram of citric acid in a glass of water or a lemon juice.)
If you start taking a salt of sodium, you should ask your physician for
advice. A diet with a high intake of sodium can have severe side
(Just to avoid some misunderstanding: common table salt is "sodium
chloride". Like "sodium citrate", it is not poisonous in quantities
around a gram. But pure sodium is a very dangerous substance in any
quantity above an atom. As is chloride. Do not infer from this text
that you would need "tablets of pure sodium". What you need is a *salt*
of sodium, where the sodium is neutralized by another atom or
I suppose that sodium citrate has the following effects:
- It lowers the acidity inside the stomach.
- It feeds sodium to the pancreas, which allows it to make more
sodium bicarbonate to neutralize the acidity from the stomach.
- It feeds sodium to the liver and the kidney, which allows to
neutralize and eliminate the acids. (unverified)
I now have switched to another approach: I tend to replace sources of
starch with fruit. Instead of eating rice, pasta, quinoa, bread, pizza,
fried chips and any such sources of starch, I will eat fruit. Most
meals will contain about 4 fruits, like 2 big pears, an apple and a
I mostly avoid fruit like oranges or kiwi, that tend to irritate the
intestines and void the digestion. Yet if I drink fruit juice far away
from any meal, I will gladly drink organic orange juice.
Fruit works so well that I sometimes get too alkaline and I *have* to
eat some rice or such.
Switching to fruit can cause problems, if your intestines are not
accustomed. Maybe try to increase the quantity of fruit over a few
weeks. What worked for me is to use those pills with "good" bacteria
that are sold in pharmacies, for people who travel in exotic countries
or who take antibiotics. Once the intestines are used to the fruit, you
will enjoy much healthier digestions.
I still eat meat but far less than years ago. I prefer white meal and
not too much fat. I don't know why, but fruit also had the effect that
I now need far less mayonnaise and such. But I never could diagnose, in
my case, that red meat and fat were the culprit of my acidity problem.
I don't know why but vegetables give me problems. I do, and must, eat
some vegetables every day but I cannot base my nutrition on huge
vegetables like I was able to base it on fruit.
Cucumbers are fruit.
On the long run, I went on eating sources of starch. So the compromise
became that I eat more fruit and take less sodium citrate, together
with the starch.
This is still experimental but a tablet of 500 milligrams of aspirin
together with a meal seams to decrease or even avoid the acidity
problem, even if that meal contained too few fruit. Maybe that, at
least in my case, the irritation of the intestines plays a role in
acidity problem and the anti-inflammatory action of the aspirin would
What's the link with metal poisoning?
Trying to eliminate the acids is a heavy task for the body. It will use
"healthy" metals like magnesium to neutralize the acids. Hence it can
get depleted in those metals, that are vital for numerous body
functions, like the operation and constitution of enzymes. In the
absence of the adequate metals, the body will start using toxic metals
like mercury, cadmium, lead... For example: people who lack zinc can
typically get intoxicated with lead, because the body will confuse lead
for zinc, once zinc is depleted. This happens even if the quantities of
toxic metals in the food and in the environment are below the
Metals like copper, that are considered to be useful for the body and
"healthy", become toxic if their amount is too high or if the body
lacks another key metal.
If a metal intoxication built up over a long time, it will not be
visible in simple blood or urine tests, because the metals stick in
cells with a low turnover. If mercury is involved, it can be very
difficult to cure the problem. See for example http://www.4p8.com/eric.brasseur/toxic_metals.html
Signs of metal intoxication are a bad temper, irritability and the
inability to cope with menaces and challenges.
Is that citric "acid" in the citrates not a problem?
It is an organic acid that is very useful to the body (especially the
liver) and above all it can be easily eliminated. It is not poisonous
and difficult to eliminate like the acids mentioned in the beginning of
the text. You should not swallow huge quantities of it... but up to a
gram is healthy. A few grams can be disturbing because of the acidity...
In a general way, while fruit are "acidic" they will not add to the
problem of body acidity. On the contrary. I heard about two examples of
fruits used to cure:
- The mother of a friend had very painful arthritis since years.
After reading about it, she ate only fruit during 40 days. Her
arthritis disappeared. The rule now is that she must not eat meat. If
somebody serves her say a soup with a just a little bit of meat inside,
she will feel some pain in the coming hours. (On a less stringent
basis, I must not eat red meat with a source of starch like rice. I
would automatically start an angina. If I need both meat and a strong
source of energy, I will take something fat like mayonnaise.)
If I eat wheat products, I'll add about 2 grams of citric acid in my
glass, to make the content of the stomach acidic from the start on.
This lowers the opioid effect of the digestion of wheat, which is a
real problem in my case.
- Day one, you drink one lemon juice. Day two, two lemon juices.
And so on up to day ten. Then you step backwards: day eleven, you drink
nine lemon juices. Day twelve, you drink eight lemon juices. Down to
one lemon juice. That would trigger the body to eliminate the acids...
I wouldn't dare try this out but I know people who just need to do this
once in a while.
If you ate a fat meal and feel some nausea, take about a gram of citric
acid dissolved in a glass of water.
My thanks to:
- The many authors who made data on the subject available.
- Françoise Westerloppe, who allowed me to understand the problem.
This gave me my life back.
- Dimitri Gathy, who made numerous tests together with me.
- Scott M. Smith, who made me understand the second way of acid
The present text is not an authoritative work. It condenses my
experience and what seems to be the likely explanations, in the hope of
being useful to others.
- June 26 2008 till October 19 2011