number 10 / 2013 them they release the acid residues of their metabolism. Therefore, both the health of the cells and the exchange of information between the various organs depend on the quality of the extracellular matrix. In particular, its pH must be slightly alkaline, that is, about 7.4. Only at this pH value the enzymes (called transmembrane carriers) which carry micronutrients along the cellular membrane accomplish their function at their best. The acidosis of these extracellular spaces can be the result of an acute or chronic lack of oxygen, of obstructive vascular origin or due to vasospasm, but also and above all, it can be a consequence of an acidifying life style (unhealthy diet, insufficient water supply, lack or excess of physical exercise, excessive stress, drugs, nicotine, alcohol etc). Acidosis generates a stagnation of acid toxins in the extracellular matrix which the immune system tries to eliminate by activating an inflammatory response. In clinical practice based on the suppression of the symptoms, also inflammation, which is the most important defence mechanism of the body, has become a “disease” to be clinically treated. If acidosis lasts, also the immune response remains active and will become increasingly more serious resulting into degenerative, if not even self-immune, forms and the inflammation will address itself against components of the body (cells, articulations, mucosae). Only in this self immune phase must the excessive inflammation be modulated in order to reduce its self-destructive effects. At an extreme degeneration level, a tumour degeneration can occur. Therefore, in conclusion, the process goes from acidosis to inflammation, from inflammation to degeneration, from degeneration to tumour degeneration. We must keep in mind this equivalence between acidosis-inflammation-degeneration as it will help us explain many diseases and it will give us important information on how to cure them. Some news which has recently circulated on the internet has been received with dismay, as a crime against information. The news was more or less this: “The cause for cancer was discovered decades ago but it has been kept secret until now”. The caption added that in 1931, a German physiologist, Otto Heinrich Warburg, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine because of his studies on the metabolism of the tumour cell. He established that the lack of oxygen and an extraordinary increase of anaerobic glycolysis (which is used by glucose cells in conditions of oxygen lack) were the first events that transformed a normal cell into a tumour one. Tissue acidosis, that is, the accumulation of acid substances, generates lack of oxygen, thus an acid environment is an environment lacking oxygen. There is no need to comment on the fact that in all these years after Warburg’s research, his studies have not had any influence
on the approach against the struggle against tumours, above all in terms of prevention. The clinical application of alkalinisation (let us use the term “de-acidification” as its synonym) has been practised and studied since the 60’s above all in German speaking countries to contrast progressive acid accumulations. I have been investigating this subject for about thirty years so we cannot consider it something new. Its very little circulation is due to the difficulty for Medicine - based on the search and the elimination of symptoms - to consider in a more general context the cure of the “biological ground” of the body. Acidosis is associated in magazines and books to overweight, obesity, pain, headaches, diabetes, inflammations, tiredness, hormonal imbalances, anxiety, depression, tumours etc. It might seem an exaggeration to associate so many diseases to a single physiopathological process: it actually is not because the extracellular matrix itself is the organ which, thanks to the intrinsic dynamism linked to its prevailing composition in water, poses itself in the centre of the connections between psyche, Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems, hormonal and immune Systems. In practice, PsychoNeuroEndocrinoImmunology exists thanks to the extracellular matrix. How is it possible to contrast the acidification of the extracellular matrix? By adopting an alkalinizing style of life in which the diet plays a fundamental role . In many articles and books on this subject, as soon as acidosis and diet are mentioned, there is almost a tendency to “accuse” the intake of proteins of animal origin. I do not want to take a position in favour or against animal proteins here. My personal impression is that it is all useless as whoever has to deal with people’s food habits today immediately realises that animal proteins are not the problem (on the contrary, I often find a lack of them), but rather the excess of carbohydrates. The media have contributed to distort the celebrated “Mediterranean diet” into pasta, bread and pizza transforming it into a diet rich in carbohydrates; the different kinds of flour, especially if processed, are acidifying. A number of books, often bestsellers, are being published on the unhealthy effects of animal proteins; I wonder what value books that do not make any reference to the daily amounts of food to be taken might have. Our diets have become more and more acidifying, above all for our increased consumption of cereals, sweets, coffee, alcohol, sugary soft drinks and the so-called junk food instead of alkalinizing food (simplifying, fruit but above all vegetables) and an adequate daily supply of water. In a healthy diet, from the acid base point of view 70-80% of our calories should come from vegetables (in a minor degree from alkalinizing fruit). That we
In particular, its pH must be slightly alkaline, that is, about 7.4. Only at this pH value the enzymes (called transmembrane carriers) which carry micronutrients along the cellular membrane accomplish their function at their best.