Acid Bodies increase cancer risk and metastases

Acid Bodies increase cancer risk and metastases

'You need an alkaline body to beat cancer' is a much quoted view especially amongst the 'alternative cancer treatment' industry. It is actually wrong. You need alkaline mitochondria (power stations) in your cells; and you need an acid gut. Here we explain.

This article looks at how acid bodies, ill health and cancer. It provides ideas on how to alkalise for health and, indeed, how to alkalise to slow cancer progression, combat metastases, and prevent cancer forming or returning. In the article we also cover how you can alkalise your cells and stimulate your immune system making both work more efficiently.
Acid bodies - alkalise for health
This is one of the most interesting topics in cancer. Does an acid body cause cancer? Or does cancer cause an acid body?
"We have known since 2006 if not before, that extracellualar acidity causes more metastases"
And whether it is chicken or egg, can you alkalise yourself back to health? And, if so, is that done by diet? Lemon Juice? Or sodium bicarbonate? Here Stephen Colclough of Alkaline 4 Health and Chris Woollams, former Oxford University Biochemist, flesh out the answers.
The science of acid bodies
First things first. When people have cancer you frequently hear health ‘experts’ and people trying to beat their cancer talking about acid bodies, or alkaline bodies, or alkalysing for health.
This is actually a misconception and we will explain why, and what you need to be doing. 

Throughout this article we are going to be talking about pH. This is a measurement of acidity or alkalinity – at 7 your pH is neutral. A lower pH is a measure of acidity; a higher than 7 score is a measure of alkalinity.
The pH of your blood stream is regulated by your kidneys and your lungs. The pH of your blood should be around 7.4, that is slightly alkaline.
Acidosis is a state when your blood pH is lower than 7.35; alkalosis is when it is higher than 7.45. Extreme states of either are linked to severe illness and death.
There are two causes of acidosis:
Respiratory acidosis, which starts in the lungs and may be caused, for example, by asthma or too much alcohol, or
Metabolic acidosis, which starts in the kidneys and may be caused by too many ketones in your blood (due to a lack of insulin or an excessive fat consumption), or a loss of sodium bicarbonate from the body, or a build-up of lactic acid. This can be caused, for example, by heart failure, liver failure or cancer.
Basically, in a healthy person the pH is slightly alkaline at between 7.35 and 7.45. You can find more at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry.
An acid gut and cancer
The next thing to understand is your gut. Before you go drinking lots of sodium bicarbonate, understand this. Your gut needs to be acid to be healthy. When you were in the womb, you were basically inert with no gut bacteria. As you passed through Mum’s birth canal, you picked up your first bacteria, and these were perfectly fed by mother’s breast milk, so much so that a baby exclusively fed by its mother has a gut with a pH of 5.5. That is super acidic. The reason for this is that pathogens, yeasts and parasites hate an acid gut, whereas good bacteria (commensal bacteria) thrive in one.
As you move from mother’s milk to cows’ milk, your gut pH moves up towards pH 7 giving you less protection and slowing down the growth and multiplication of the commensal bacteria.
But the numbers of good bacteria result in a stronger immune system; some 85 per cent of your immune memory is produced in response to your gut bacteria. You need it to be strong.
You can of course weaken your gut bacteria –
1.Take drugs especially proton pump inhibitors or antibiotics
2.Don’t feed your friends properly – they love whole foods and soluble fibre 3.Feed their enemies – yeasts love sugar, for example
4.Change the pH – for example too much salt, binge drinking, smoking or stress.
To be healthy, your gut needs to be acidic – and this is controlled by both the bacteria and your own acid production system (which sadly weakens as we age, which is why we get more illnesses).
The most well-known of probiotics Lactobacillus acidophilus makes ac1d in the gut, as do all the Lactobacillus strains.
Cancer cells and acidity
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they talk about cancer and acid bodies or alkaline bodies, is that it isn’t the whole body that matters. What is important is the power stations inside the cells. That’s where cancer starts. Cancer cells are different. A healthy cell produces its energy in its power stations, or mitochondria, by a 20+ 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 to make them work most efficiently.

But, the normal body has a great excess of sodium over potassium. Left to natural osmosis, the sodium would just slowly leak into the cells, and the potassium would leak out. Sodium would thus increasingly replace potassium in the workings of the mitochondria.
If too much sodium, rather than potassium, gets into the mitochondria, the energy producing system starts 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’ local environment then makes the energy production process even less efficient - taking in even less oxygen and producing even less energy. Think of the power stations as little batteries. As the batteries run down, there is not enough energy to power the p53 gene, the one that regulates cell division. But there is enough to power other genes that send your cells division out of control. A downward spiral has begun. You are on your way to ill health and even a cancer cell.
The main reason that this process doesn’t happen in healthy people is that on the cellular membrane we have pumps, and these stop osmosis and push potassium into the cell, while kicking sodium out.
Thus, good levels of magnesium and potassium, and low levels of sodium in your diet are what predominantly give you healthy alkaline cells.
"Most people in the Western world eat little magnesium and potassium foods but lots of sodium"
However, 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 the great risk is that cells and particularly the mitochondria become acid as a result of the process outlined above. And acid cells mean illness.
Acid Bodies and cancer – blood, gut and cells
So, a summary so far
1.Your blood acidity is tightly regulated by your lungs and kidneys. Cancer is known to make it more acidic.
2.Your gut needs to be acid. Taking probiotics like L. acidophilus and some lemon juice or even apple cider vinegar in water will help the acidity. You should be wary of drinking alkalis like sodium bicarbonate as they will damage your microbiome.
3.Make your diet magnesium- and potassium-rich, sodium-poor if you want to have healthy cells
Acid bodies and cancer - cause or effect?
The really big question in ‘Acid bodies and cancer’ is “is it cause or effect?” By that we mean, does the above process of magnesium and potassium deficiency cause an acid body which causes cancer, or is it the other way round - the acid body is caused by cancer?
As we saw, cancer can be a cause of acidosis in the blood stream. And at the centre of a cancer tumour the pH has been measured at an acidic 6.2.
Add to that the fact that extracellular acidity is known to promote metastases. This has been shown in vitro and in vivo (1).
To quote from research (3) in 2013 by I Robey, “The extracellular pH (pHe) of many solid tumors is acidic as a result of glycolytic metabolism and poor perfusion. Acidity promotes invasion and enhances metastatic potential. Tumor acidity can be buffered by systemic administration of an alkaline agent such as sodium bicarbonate.”
We now know that only 7 per cent of cancers are hereditary involving a mutation in a gene. But what of other cancers and mutations? It is important to understand this term. Mutation is defined, only, as ’a sequence change in the structure of the DNA’. Many, many people misuse this term.
The Science of Epigenetics is showing that rarely is a cancer started by mutation and structural change INSIDE the DNA. Most usually, the cause of cancer is histone build up causing blockages AROUND your ball of DNA. This has been caused by levels of homocysteine increasing in the body.
Epigenetics concludes that cancer is very much a metabolic disease brought on by factors such as poor diet, environmental toxins, stress, and hormones such as oestrogen.
So it would seem that while you could have a genuine mutation that caused a tumour with a centre that was very acid, and this was independent of all else, it is far, far more likely that you have built a body conducive to cancer yourself and that has brought on metabolic changes. If poor diet can do this, why could it not correct it?
And as the American Cancer Society has recently shown with their study on diet and exercise with patients who were Stage 3 Colorectal, across the seven year study, those who most closely followed the diet and exercise programmes (i.e. built a body conducive to health) had 31 per cent less recurrence and 42 per cent less death.

Go To: Diet and exercise better than drugs?
Cancer is very acidic
Both healthy cells and cancer cells like and use glucose as their prime energy source. A healthy cell is flexible. If it cannot have glucose it switches to other energy sources such as ketone bodies. But, for a cancer cell, glucose is essential. In a cancer cell the mitochondrial power stations of the healthy cell have run down and switched off. This means that the energy production system lies in the cytoplasm, where in healthy cells glucose is normally only processed ready for the mitochondria. A little of the glucose burns in the cytoplasm; nothing like the mitochondrial output. So it’s all very inefficient. And therefore since a cancer cell needs lots of energy to grow, it demands lots of glucose. Cancer cells have 14 times more insulin receptor sites, and doctors use the glucose avarice and add radiological dyes to glucose intravenously to identify cancers on PET scans.
This process of consuming glucose only in the cytoplasm is called glycolysis, and it is very acid producing. This is why the core of a tumour is so acidic.
Cut empty glucose calories (and high fructose corn syrup); 40% of these come from fizzy soft drinks, puddings, sweets, biscuits, cake, jams, honey – then there are refined and processed foods.
The Acidity of cancer tumours
To stress the acid nature of cancer, I refer to research (2) published online (March 10th 2009) in Pubmed (19276390 - Cancer Res 2009; 69 (6); 2260-8) from Arizona Cancer Center (University of Arizona); the Department of Pharmacology, Wayne State University, Detroit and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center Florida seems pretty convincing. It is entitled ’Bicarbonate increases Tumor pH and inhibits spontaneous metastases.’
The researchers start by commenting on the acid nature of cancer tumours, saying that the internal pH of solid tumours is acidic due to the glycolysis mentioned above. The external surrounds are also acidic, and this seems to encourage metastases to fire off, and also to take hold and develop. The researchers comment that the pH inside a tumour can be as low as 6, whereas a healthy body should have cells at 7.2 to 7.5.
Oral ingestion of sodium bicarbonate (an alkali - think antacids) reduced the formation of new metastases in breast cancer models in mice. The equivalent human consumption would be 12 gms of sodium bicarbonate a day! 4 teaspoons of sodium bicarbonate a day in luke warm water to help it dissolve. (This seems a bit high). In the research, this level reduced metastases to the lungs and intestines. No lymph node infection occurred. Oral ingestion of sodium bicarbonate stopped the growth of the tumours.
When using injections directly into the tumours, the tumours regressed. A shot of alkali is a simple way to stop a chemical reaction that demands acidic conditions. A 16-year old at school will tell you that!
So, your gut bacteria might not like it but you could consider taking a little sodium bicarbonate in warm water on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning.
Other ways to develop an acid body?
How else, apart from a poor diet, low magnesium and low potassium, could you produce acid cells?
1. Hormones like Oestrogen 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 created in the body’s fat stores by aromatase enzymes (in females and males) - it is particularly aggressive and can create havoc inside the cell, effectively shutting down the magnesium pump, 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. So, cut your fat levels and reduce your oestrogen levels naturally.
Go to: ways to control your estrogen naturally

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.
If you don’t sleep well, you could try taking at least 3 mgs of melatonin, having made sure there are no EMFs near your bedroom.

3. EMFs
This is because Electromagnetic Forces (masts etc.) are proven 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.
Go to: Environmental causes of cancer
5. Stress hormones
All of the above cause acid stress in the body, as do the stress 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 adrenalin also stress your cells in this way. Stress can set up acid conditions in the body, along with cellular inflammation through the eicosanoid system. Interestingly, people with cancer have higher cortisol levels, more acid bodies, more inflammation and more metastases - it is all interlinked. Stress management courses (diet, yoga, meditation, fish oils, counseling etc.) have been shown in America to greatly improve survival times.
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. Indeed, cancer tumours survive by building hypoxic pockets (imagine valves) in the blood supply leading to the tumour. This prevents oxygen getting into the cancer cells.
Go to: Hyperbaric oxygen and 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."
But be clear. Possibly due to the hypoxic pockets talked about above, as yet there is no research that says flooding the body with oxygen on its own can beat the cancer defences. Although there is a meta-review showing that hyperbaic oxygen therapy and/or exercise and/or a good diet can damage the hypoxic pockets and weaken cancer tumours. Light daily exercise where you get out of breath, first thing in the morning for 40-60 minutes is a good start.
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.
"The body dumps acidic substances from the blood into our cells to keep the blood in its naturally and essentially alkaline state
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.
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 EMFs, 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. To counter cancer, countering the acidity problem is the first step.
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. Greens, greens and more greens is a start Broccoli, cabbage, chlorella, spirulina, wheat grass and more!
Water and Diet - the focus of alkalising for health!
The aim, then, is to ensure the pH level of your body is very slightly alkaline. You can test yourself using pH strips you can buy at your chemists’. pH (potential of hydrogen) is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. It is measured on a scale of 0 to 14-the lower the pH the more acidic the solution, the higher the pH the more alkaline (or base) the solution. When a solution is neither acid nor alkaline it has a pH of 7 which is neutral. Your body is at its healthiest at a pH of about 7.2 - 7.4.
There is extensive research showing that cancer exists and flourishes in an acidic environment, and deteriorates and dies in an alkaline environment. Making the body more alkaline is important in fighting cancer. So, focus on alkalising for health! Let’s look at some more things that can help:
"Making the body more alkaline is crucial in fighting cancer "
As JB Haldane said famously, "even the Archbishop of Canterbury is 80 per cent water".
1 Acidic water can hold very little oxygen. Alkaline water can hold large amounts of oxygen. This is particularly relevant to the water in your body and your cells. To increase the amount of oxygen in your cells, you therefore need to create a more alkaline water environment.
"Water is the key to balancing your inner terrain
Sang Whang believes that water is the key to balancing your inner terrain. "The best kind of water for this function is acid-free, alkaline water, the water that neutralises harmful acids and disposes of them safely while it does not leach out valuable alkaline minerals such as potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium." Sang Whang also states that, as everyone knows, water is H2O; two hydrogen atoms for each oxygen atom. Neutral water has an equal number of OH- ions (hydroxyl ions) and H+ ions (hydrogen ions), maintaining the 2 to 1 ratio of hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Alkaline water is water with more OH- ions than H+ ions. This water has more oxygen atoms compared to the 2 to 1 ratio of hydrogen to oxygen atom of regular water. For this reason, alkaline water is considered water with more oxygen.
At icon we are advocates of clean water and recommend ionisers or reverse osmosis systems for purifying water. The former, newer systems overcome the concern that although RO systems make the water purer, they do actually leave the water with no minerals and slightly acid. One other idea is the use of prime pH, which contains ionic mineral elements to increase the alkalinity of drinking water and can help release the oxygen molecules within water for easier absorption by the body.
2 Diet One key to realising this goal is by cutting your daily intake of SODIUM salt down to less than a gram. High sodium foods are typically processed and packaged foods, canned foods, dried meats like sausages and bacon, soy sauce, Chinese food with mono-sodium glutamate. Even 4 slices of bread, or three bowls of packaged breakfast cereal provide a gram of sodium.
"Everyone with cancer has more acidic blood pH levels
Another area to cut out is what the Chinese would describe as ’phlegm foods’: cows’ dairy, and excesses of hormone and pesticide containing meats.
And alcohol and caffeine don’t help in your alkalising regime.
Instead increase your consumption of POTASSIUM AND MAGNESIUM-RICH FOODS. And this means raw foods, greens, whole foods, whole grains, greens, vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruits. Other additions should be chlorella or wheatgrass, olive oil, sprouted seeds, garlic, ginger, herbs and figs, raisins, lemons, limes, carrots and apples.
Chlorella and other green foods and drinks are an easy way to incorporate green, alkalising, nutrient-dense food into your diet. As readers know we have long encouraged the use of chlorella, which apart from alkalising your body and helping to detoxify it, provides excellent levels of enzymes, and vitamins like B-12 and beta-carotene in a natural form. Green foods have also been linked in studies on the sunbelt in the USA to the lowered levels of cancer. Put simply, green foods photosynthesise under sunlight producing oxygen. They also provide high levels of glutathione in the cells and this increases cellular oxygen.
Many of you may have heard of Super Greens. This is a drink which has a deep, rich, herb-like natural flavour. If you have tried wheatgrass juice and cannot cope with its pungency, you will be pleasantly surprised, as this is a much nicer drink. You can increase its alkalising effects by mixing it with water and this mixture has a high pH level, being very alkaline.
Other tips?
A lack of certain minerals can slightly alter your pH. Take a good mineral supplement.
Secondly, we have talked about the importance of beneficial bacteria. The threat to them is yeast infection - and particularly candida. One way of alkalising your body and creating an anti-yeast environment is to drink a small teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate in a glass of warm water first thing in the morning. It is also very alkalising. We even have a ’Living Proof’ article on our CANCERactive web site on a man who beat his prostate cancer by taking sodium bicarbonate 4 times a day, in this way!
Every reader of this article should read Can Candida Cause Cancer?
(We also have an article on former Italian Doctor Simoncini, who believes cancer is a fungus and its growth can be stopped by sodium bicarbonate and an alkaline body - see bottom of page for link).
A must-read book is Chris Woollams’ The Rainbow Diet - and how it can help you beat cancer. (Click title to read review)
*Natural Chlorella and Clean Water systems can be bought from Natural Selection Products of Choice (click the site) on this web site (or by ringing 0203 186 1006).
Further Reading –
1.Extracellular acidity and metastases:
2.Acid cell pH stimulates tumour cell invasion; sodium bicarbonate stop this:
"The pH Miracle" by Robert O. Young, Shelley Redford Young "Reverse Ageing" by Sang Y. Whang "Alkalize or die" by Dr. Theodore A. Baroody "The Calcium Factor" by Robert R Barefoot, Carl J., M.D. Reich "The acid-alkaline diet for optimum health" by Christopher Vasey "Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill" by Erasmus Udo, Ph.D.
For more information read:
Beneficial bacteria
Can candida cause cancer?
The Rainbow diet and how it can help you beat cancer Chlorella

Acid Bodies increase cancer risk and spread
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