ACID BODIES and CANCER
(based on an article by Stephen Colclough, with new and additional research and comment by Chris Woollams)
This article looks at how acid bodies can cause both ill health and cancer. It provides ideas on how to alkalise for health and, indeed, how to alkalise to help prevent cancer forming or returning. In the article we also cover how alkalising your body can alkalise your cells and stimulate your immune system making both work more efficiently.
Acid bodies – alkalise for health
In Chris Woollams´ first of ´The 4 Pillars of Cancer´ articles (Pillar 1 – Poor Diet), he discussed cellular acidity and foods as a cause of cancer. Many people had questions and so here Stephen Colclough of Alkaline 4 Health and Chris flesh out the answers.
The science of acid cells and acid bodies
Cancer cells are different. For the biochemists amongst you, a normal cell produces its energy in its power stations, or mitochondria, by a 26 step process where carbohydrate is burned in the presence of oxygen to produce energy (and waste products). Over hundreds of thousands of years the chemical reactions in this oxygen-burning, energy-producing process have come to rely on potassium compounds to make them work efficiently.
In the cellular membrane there are ´pumps´ that rely on magnesium to work properly. The pumps push potassium into the cell and pump out sodium. If too much sodium gets into the mitochondria, the energy producing steps start to use sodium instead of potassium – this will still work but not as efficiently. Less oxygen is burned and less energy produced. The waste products will now be sodium salts, which are more ´acid´ than potassium salts. This ´acidity´ in the power stations´ environment then makes the energy production process even less efficient – taking in even less oxygen and producing even less energy. A downward spiral has begun. You are on your way to ill health and even a cancer cell.
Most people in the Western world have sodium-rich and potassium-poor diets. On top of that they consume insufficient amounts of magnesium (40 per cent of Americans are deficient in magnesium), so all-in-all the cells have too much sodium and become ´ACID´. And acid cells mean acid bodies.
Once the cell has powered down, certain DNA repair genes (like p52) are switched off while the genes (like ras) that tell the cell to divide rapidly still run at low power and a cancer cell is in the making.
Cancer cells have other differences – for example their fuel is glucose rather than carbohydrate. There are several recent research studies that show people with cancer who have high blood glucose levels have shorter survival times.
Cancer cells make their energy burning this glucose in the absence of oxygen. People with cancer have lowered blood levels of oxygen, which is why exercise and oxygen generating complementary therapies can be so helpful.
Cancer cells are also clever – if you starve your body of glucose (other sugars like polysaccharides cannot be used by cancer cells) the cancer cells will make their own glucose: One waste product of the energy production process is lactic acid, which is only broken down in the liver. However, one end product of that chemical process is …..glucose, which passes round the body to feed the cancer cell. ´Alien´ has taken over your body! You may like to read our article about Hydrazine Sulphate which can block this self-feeding mechanism.
Other ways to develop an acid body?
These same acid conditions inside the power stations and cells can also be set up by certain forms of oestrogen, the female sex hormone, binding to receptor sites on the cells membrane. One natural oestrogen, oestradiol, is particularly aggressive and can create havoc inside the cell, reducing potassium levels, increasing sodium levels, with the resultant effect that the cell becomes more acid, uses less and less oxygen, and ´powers down´ in the same way as above. Again, the result can be ill health and cancer.
2. Lack of sleep
After 90 minutes of falling to sleep, your pineal gland produces melatonin, which helps put you into a deeper sleep. Apart from being a powerful antioxidant melatonin also helps regulate hormones like oestrogen and IGF-1 in the body. Without melatonin at adequate levels oestrogen levels rise, as does Insulin like Growth Factor 1, which makes your cells grow and divide more rapidly. So poor sleep patterns set up an acid body.
But then Electromagnetic Forces (masts etc) are known to depress melatonin levels too.
4. Some chemicals and pesticides
Some pesticides, and some quite common chemicals contain ingredients which, once inside the body, can mimic the action of oestrogen in your cells. Chemicals like Bisphenol A, Parabens, Phthalates and Toluene to name just a few are found in common usage as plasticisers, as preservatives and in nail polishes. You should read our web site section on ´Dangers´ and articles like ´toxic toiletries´ if you are concerned.
5. Stress hormones
All of the above cause acid stress in the body, as do the sress hormones themselves. Hormones like cortisol, produced by the adrenal glands in stressful times affect localised hormones around your cells – these are called eicosanoids. Insulin and steroids also stress your cells in this way.
6. Low blood oxygen
Dr. Otto Warburg was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1931 for the discovery that, unlike healthy cells in the human body, cancer cells do not “breathe” oxygen. Cancer cells are anaerobic, in other words they function with no oxygen present. In fact, cancer cells cannot survive in the presence of high levels of oxygen. Having a good level of oxygen in your blood and cells helps prevent cancer.
All of the above acid generating, stressful cell conditions lead to lowered cellular oxygen levels. In The Prime Cause and Prevention of Cancer, Dr. Warburg theorised that the way to treat cancer was to saturate the cells of the body with oxygen. This was his priority in treating cancer. The second priority was to avoid further exposure to toxins.
Keiichi Morishita agrees with this. “Cancer above all other disease, has countless secondary causes, but there is only one prime cause. The prime cause is the replacement of the normal oxygen respiration of body cells by an anaerobic cell respiration.”
However, Morishita went on to express another point: “The great advantage of knowing the prime cause of a disease is that it can then be attacked logically and over a broad front. This is particularly important in the case of cancer, with its numerous secondary and remote causes, and because it is often stated that in man alone there are over one hundred well-known and quite different kinds of cancer, with the implication that we will have to find one or several hundred bases for prevention and treatment, and usually without any realization that this need not necessarily be the case now that we know that all cancers studied have a characteristic metabolism in common, a prime cause.”
7. ´Acid dumping´
The toxins point of Warburg is amplified by Morishita. In his theory, as described in his book Hidden Truth of Cancer, it can all work at a more macro level than the mitochondrial and cellular goings on described above. He argues that the body dumps acidic substances from the blood into our cells to keep the blood in its naturally and essentially alkaline state. This causes the cells to become toxic and acidic, decreases their oxygen levels, and harms DNA. Eventually most of the acidic cells will die. However, some will evolve, and adapt, and survive by becoming abnormal, mutated cells. Malignant cells. These multiply indefinitely and without order. They are cancer.
Both Warburg and Morishita agree, from slightly different angles, that low oxygen levels turn some cells cancerous. Their research indicates, then, that to get as much oxygen as you can into the cells can be an effective way to prevent cancer, and increasing oxygen levels in already cancerous cells could destroy the mutant cells.
As Chris Woollams explained in The First Pillar of Cancer, and we have covered above, lowered cellular oxygen can be caused by a number of factors. Too much cellular sodium is one of the biggest contributors, and our salt-rich western diets are no help. Japanese research has shown that a doubling of sodium intake doubles colon cancer risk. But please be clear – poor diet, although vitally important, is only one factor that can give you an acid body, acid cells and lowered blood oxygen.
An Acid body means a weak immune system
You will probably have read that not just your cells, but your immune system flourishes in an alkaline environment. You may wonder how?
The short answer is Beneficial Bacteria. The gut is known to contain about 800 different strains of bacteria; 400 have been identified and about 12 keep coming up in research. To put this in context there have been over 4,000 studies and 80 clinical trials on them in the last five or six years – and your doctor probably knows nothing about them.
However, thousands of years ago we did a deal with these bacteria – they will protect us, as long as we give them a nice cosy place to live. Unfortunately, we have broken the deal.
Over the thousands of years, they have come to work best in an environment of a certain acidity. Increase that and they just won´t work as well. It is like a chemical reaction. Change the acidity or alkalinity in the test tube and it stops.
We have stopped feeding them their favourite foods – fibrous whole foods, whole grains, green vegetables.
Instead we eat too much salt or drink too much alcohol that increases the gut acidity. As does meat, as does stress.
Then to make matters worse, we feed their enemies – we eat too much sugar and dairy, the favourite food of yeasts and microbes. There is nothing a yeast likes more than a molecule of glucose. As we said, it is also the favourite food of a cancer cell.
The final ´coup de grace´ is we then kill them off – antibiotics (prescribed or in chicken breast), steroids and drugs, chlorinated tap water.
These beneficial bacteria are crucial to our very existence – something no doctor, drug company or Government Health baron seems to realise.
- At night when we sleep they consume yeasts and microbes for us – up to 2.2 kgs. They are our first line of defence. (Can Candida cause cancer? Essential reading.)
- Their very presence stimulates our immune system. It has been estimated that these beneficial bacteria direct a whopping 85 per cent of our antibody production. It is now thought they even orchestrate vour immune memory system.
- They help release crucial vitamins from our food; particularly the anti-cancer vitamins biotin, B-12, folic acid and vitamin K (all can be found in reviews in our nutritionals section).
- They even produce a powerful anti-cancer chemical (sodium butyrate)
- They help chelate with and eliminate cancer causing oestrogenic chemicals and nitrosamines, plus heavy metals like cadmium and mercury.
There is more – and you really should read our article on Beneficial Bacteria (click here)
But just from this you can see that changing the acidity in the gut hinders their action and aids the enemies. Is it any wonder that excess salt and microbes have each been linked with increased colon cancer.
The correct pH in the gut is essential for a tip-top immune system.
How can you Alkalise your body and your cells?
Regular exercise will help as this can increase oxygen
and haemoglobin levels
So how do we go about increasing the oxygen levels in our cells? It is not as easy as it sounds. Deep breathing – part of the package of therapies used for cancer patients in China? This can increase oxygen, but not in a sufficient amount, because it can be limited by the amount of haemoglobin in the blood, and by acidity levels.
Regular exercise will certainly help as this can increase oxygen and haemoglobin levels whilst also providing ´happy´ endorphin hormones to neutralise some more toxic hormones. Yoga has been proven to reduce cortisol levels – we have covered the research in icon.
Being slightly underweight will also help as this will reduce your total oestrogen levels, as will getting a good night´s sleep in a darkened room, avoiding EMF´s, and avoiding pesticides and harmful ´oestrogen mimics´, or xenoestrogens, in household products and toiletries.
But, while all of the above is essential, Warburg stated that our cells´ inability to uptake oxygen is due to increased amounts of toxicity, or over-acidity.
Sang Whang, in his book Reverse Ageing, agrees. If your body is overly acidic, your cells cannot detoxify. You then develop acidic and poorly oxygenated cells, which may turn cancerous. “In general, degenerative diseases are the result of acid waste build ups within us. When we are born, we have the highest alkaline mineral concentration and also the highest body pH. (i.e. we are very alkaline). From that point on, the normal process of life is to gradually acidify. That is why these degenerative diseases do not occur when you are young. Reverse ageing requires two separate steps: chemical and physical. The first step is to lower the acidity of the body so that it can dispose of acidic wastes in the blood and cellular fluids safely and easily. The second is to physically pull out old stored wastes into the blood stream so that they can be discharged from the body.”
To increase oxygen, to decrease toxins, to build health and well-being we need to positively alkalise.