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 Is it true that vinegar makes your body acidic?

Even the late Dr. Tan Katase, who is well-known for his achievements in the field of calcium medicine and his establishment of "acid-base equilibrium in blood" theory, writes in one of his books: "Taking vinegar may cause acidosis and abnormal discharge of calcium. Therefore vinegar is unfavorable food." (Medicine of Calcium, p. 87).

His opinion, however, is a great misunderstanding, at least for the effect of acetic acid which eliminates fatigue. Acetic acid is not an acid food, it is an alkaline food. Moreover, it has a very strong effect in alkalizing blood. In two hours it will dissolve only lactic and pyroracemic acids, which are the main causes of acidic blood. Usually, Japanese don’t take a lot of vinegar or food containing much cholesterol, such as eggs and meat. Therefore, many of us have blood cholesterol levels that are below standard. It is such people who are attacked by horrible diseases like cerebral hemorrhages and heart disease most frequently. Eggs and meat contain a lot of proteins and fat of good quality. If we lack such food, our body tissues will become poor -- lacking in resilience, becoming more fragile, and more liable to bleed. The lack of cholesterol in blood, combined with the lack of intake of vinegar, makes us liable to be defeated by various stresses.

The lack in the intake of vinegar is liable to cause the acidification of blood. In such conditions, we will easily get angry at trifles, which means that a lot of adrenaline will be secreted frequently.

Vinegar is a source of good taste, because the more our bodies need some food, the more we like the taste.

It is said usually that water has no taste. But cool water tastes good, while the water cooled after it was boiled does not. The former tastes good because it is acidified by taking in more carbonic acid from air than hot water, and the coolness itself contributes to its good taste in addition. Whereas the latter does not, because it is alkalized and contains no carbonic acid, with bacteria beginning to propagate.

Japanese sake tastes good because it contains citric, succinic, and fumaric acids, which are three of the eight acids which eliminate fatigue. The more of these acids sake contains, the better it tastes, the more full-bodied it is, and the better its quality is. Carbonic acid (H2CO3) is a compound of carbon dioxide with water, and it differs from sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) or baking soda, although these are sometimes confused with each other.

Sour taste is the taste of acid and the hydrogen atom at the same time. Acetic acid is decomposed in our body into hydrogen atom (H+) and acetyl (CH3CO-), which is alkaline. Both are indispensable for activating enzymes that play important roles, as mentioned earlier. The words "acid food" and "alkaline food" are used only in Japan. They have no scientific basis. The acidity or alkalinity of food means that of ashes obtained after it was burned in a test tube. On the other hand, the acidity or alkalinity of blood results from the sum total of many elements such as heredity, disease, climate, etc. It has little relation to the acid or alkaline food.

Of course, Dr. Katase’s theory is a very excellent one. The necessity to keep blood alkaline, which was emphasized in the theory, is growing more important, as the secret of life is clarified. The main cause that will acidify blood is not acid ashes obtained after a substance was burned completely in a test tube, but acid products obtained after it was burned in our body. This is a great difference.

 Is it true that vinegar harms persons who suffer from gastric hyperacidity or duodenal ulcer?

Some investigations into heartburn have demonstrated that heartburn can occur to a person who has lost all of his stomach through surgery, or who has gastric juices which contain little or no acid. Moreover, some people can have heartburn even if they drank alkaline water, or just a lot of water.

Thus, heartburn is caused not only by excessive secretion of gastric juice, but also such diseases as esophagitis or gastritis, or when a person who is in highly nervous or frustrated state drinks a lot of water hastily.

If you have peptic or duodenal ulcers, you should start taking citric acid by drinking a little at first, increasing its volume little by little. You can distinguish these two diseases by the pain they cause: the peptic ulcer causes pain half or one hour after you ate food, while the duodenal ulcer hurts before you eat food in most cases.

Why take more acid when your gastric juice contains too much hydrochloric acid already? You needn’t worry; because citric acid is the most effective means to normalize the autonomic nerve, which is out of order due to stress caused by mental and physical overwork, and is a major cause of the peptic ulcer. You have to also take measures against the stress by resting your body and brain, or by recreation, as well as to take plenty of animal food and greens which are necessary to repair the wound.

 Is it true that vinegar causes abnormal discharge of calcium, and harms your teeth and bones?

No, it is not true. It may be natural that such a theory would have been accepted in the time before biochemistry was developed. I hope such a theory has not caused any ill effects for some people who believe it even till today. Calcium is certainly one of the main components of bones and teeth. It has to be acidified entirely in the stomach before its absorption, and can only be absorbed through the duodenum and the upper small intestine before it loses its acidity.

What will happen then, if the gastric juices were not secreted sufficiently or were lacking in acidity? The intestine juice, which is alkaline due to the sodium bicarbonate contained in the pancreatic juice, alkalizes the calcium quickly. Calcium particles, which are assembled together when alkalized, then form larger particles which cannot pass through the tiny holes of the intestine wall. Accordingly, they are only discharged with feces. As we get older, the secretion of gastric juices decrease.

If you lack gastric juice, you will also lack calcium, and you will be liable to have diarrhea because of insufficient sterilization of food by the chlorine contained in gastric juices. Moreover, Vitamins B1 and C will be destroyed by the alkalinity in the intestine. Thus, you cannot maintain your health.

However, the citric and acetic acids which eliminate fatigue can help you. If you take these acids properly, you can make up the insufficient gastric juice. These acids, or vinegar, never discharge calcium abnormally; on the contrary, they prevent such abnormality. They help the gastric juice to sterilize all the food we take and protect the absorption of vitamins B1 and C perfectly.

In addition, the lack of gastric juice prevents the absorption of iron, which is shown by the red color of blood and sometimes causes anemia.

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