Importance Of Brain pH Balance
It has been well-established now in the medical circles that maintaining the blood’s pH balance is a critical activity of the body which involves so many organs and functions. All body functions such as respiration, excretion, cellular metabolism and of course, digestion are involved in the balancing of pH. This in turn keeps the body in the pink of health and one is able to steer clear of dreadful ailments like cancer.
What you consume is what you become. It holds true evermore when it comes to the food we eat and water we drink since they affect the acidic levels of our bodies. We are aware that imbalances in pH are harmful for physical health but what medical science wasn’t quite aware of (until fairly recently) is that acidification of the brain has direct links to mental illness and IQ
THE HUMAN BRAIN IS A FACTORY SPEWING OUT CARBON DIOXIDE
Human brain’s normal pH levels are slightly more acidic than blood’s. It is frequently undergoing changes in acidity with the main cause being temporary spikes in the amount of carbon dioxide gas which is continuously being released because the brain breaking down sugar for generating energy. Carbon dioxide combines with water present in the body to form carbonic acid. Technically, it means that eliminating carbon dioxide from the system is equivalent to removing acid.
Though carbon dioxide is mildly-acidic in property, the overall chemistry in a healthy brain stays relatively neutral as processes like respiration (which expels carbon dioxide) are working all the time in maintaining the status quo. This ensures that fleeting acid-alkaline fluctuations don’t have any long-term effect on the brain.
Along with lungs, the kidney is also responsible for maintaining the acid-alkaline balance of the blood. When the bloodstream gets extremely acidic, the kidney uses an entirely different procedure and excretes ammonium ions for balance. According to new findings published in Current Biology by researchers at Karolinska Institutet, the spinal cord too has its own system for detecting changes in pH. Cells in the central canal of the spinal cord detect and regulate pH whenever it fluctuates from normal levels. Such changes (if not addressed) may in turn impair the function of the neural network of the nervous system.
WHAT IS THE CORRELATION BETWEEN BRAIN pH AND MENTAL DISORDERS?
In recent times, there is a lot of research being done to suggest there is a definite correlation. Researchers from the Institute for Comprehensive Medical Sciences at Fujita Health University in Japan teamed up with others from eight other institutions set out to study the decreased pH levels in the brains of five different mouse models of mental disorders including models of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism spectrum disorder. They found that the underlying pathophysiology (the study of the functions and symptoms of diseased organs for the purpose of diagnosis and patient care) shows that the brain associated with these mental illnesses have a consistently acidic brain pH level. The findings were published on August, 4th 2017 in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.
Dr. Miyakawa (the lead researcher) and his colleagues didn’t restrict their studies to mice but also performed a meta-analysis of existing datasets from ten studies of postmortem human brains of patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They found out that the patients with these disorders exhibited significantly acidic brain pH levels that control participants.
For the sake of proper analysis, the team also considered potentially-perplexing factors like age of death, postmortem interval and importantly, the history of antipsychotic medicine use. “These factors may not be major factors causing a decrease in pH in the postmortem brains of patients who suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder,” Dr. Miyakawa stated.
Other researchers have been using magnetic resonance spectroscopy, a method that detects biochemical changes in tissue. They too have consistently found elevated levels of lactate in the brains of individuals with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
RELATION BETWEEN BRAIN pH AND IQ
Caroline Rae of the MRC Biochemical and Clinical Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, along with her colleagues claim to have found a correlation between pH in the brain’s cortex and IQ. They found that a more alkaline brain pH is more likely to be associated with a higher IQ.
Using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), a noninvasive technique in which the effects of pH of a chemical environment (in this case the brain) on the ability of certain atomic nuclei to absorb energy in a magnetic field is observed, Rae’s team measured pH levels in the brains of 42 boys aged between 6 and 13. The boys also completed the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, one of the most widely used tests of IQ. It gives a score for full-scale IQ which combines scores for verbal and visuospatial skills. They found that over a pH range of 6.99 to 7.09, the boys’ IQs more than doubled from 63 to 138.
THE LOGICAL CONCLUSION
Piecing together these findings, an entirely new correlation comes into play. The brain breaks down sugar to generate energy and releases carbon dioxide which is expelled through lungs. If the blood is already acidic, the quickest way for body to restore the pH balance is through respiration. But this restoration of blood’s pH balance through respiration ends up increasing the carbon dioxide levels in the brain since the brain’s carbon dioxide level’s reduction mechanism (the respiratory system) is already engaged in restoring the blood’s pH balance. This excess carbon dioxide in the brain makes the environment acidic.
HOW CAN DRINKING ACIDIC WATER AFFECT THE ACIDITY OF THE BRAIN?
Water without essential minerals like potassium, magnesium and calcium is acidic in nature. When we drink this water, the body calls upon these essential minerals stored in the body to restore the pH balance of the blood. Along with this, the respiratory system is also called into action which ideally should be maintaining the pH balance of the brain only. Therefore, drinking acidic water directly leads to brain acidity.
Cuckoo water purifiers, with their revolutionary technology, add these essential minerals after the purification processes thereby making the drinking water mildly-alkaline in nature. The visionary home and kitchen appliances brand had always acknowledged the importance of drinking mildly-alkaline water and has (since the beginning itself) ensured that all their water purifiers dispense pH balanced water.
Ever since Victoria Beckham tweeted about an alkaline diet cookbook in 2013, there has been a lot of interest in alkaline diet around the world but surprisingly the role of drinking pH balanced water has been overlooked. With new campaigns and awareness spread by numerous researches, times are changing and people are realizing the importance of drinking mildly-alkaline water for a healthy mind and body.