Book Review
The Acid-Alkaline Diet: An Innovative Program for Ridding Your body of Acidic Wastes




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"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."
- Thomas Edison


The following is an excerpt from the book The Acid Alkaline Balance Diet
by Felicia Drury Kliment
Published by McGraw-Hill; June 2002;$16.95US/$24.95CAN; 9780658016950
Copyright 2002 by Felicia Drury Kliment

Female Reproductive Disorders

There is an ongoing struggle in the body between the stress-promoting hormones that endanger life and the life-supporting hormones that enhance it. A hormone is life-supporting as long as it exists in normal quantities; but when it becomes elevated it causes stress. It does so by suppressing the life-promoting hormones that have a moderating influence, and then triggering the overproduction of chemicals. 

Nowhere is this battle between life-promoting and stress-promoting hormones more evident than in the female reproductive system. The antagonists are estrogen and progesterone, the two principal regulating hormones. Both hormones are generated by the cuplike follicle in which egg cells are encapsulated in the ovaries, but they function in opposite ways. Estrogen engineers the release of the egg into the fallopian tube (ovulation), triggers the growth of tissues in the uterus for the support of the embryo, and initiates the menstrual cycle. Progesterone, referred to as the pregnancy hormone, maintains the nutritional needs of the embryo and the uterine tissues to which it is attached. When these two hormones are in balance, reproductive function is normal, but estrogen levels have a tendency to rise, and when they do they lower progesterone levels. 

When estrogen and progesterone levels are normal, they act as a brake on each other to ensure balanced function. If progesterone, in an effort to ensure adequate nourishment of the fetus, raises blood sugar too high, estrogen triggers the production of additional insulin to take the excess glucose out of circulation. (The excess glucose is converted to fat and stored in the adipose tissues.) Or if progesterone causes the metabolism of too much fatty acid, estrogen reduces the level of fatty acid. Estrogen also lowers exorbitant accretions of abdominal fat in the expectant mother (thus lessening the risk of heart disease). On the other hand, when estrogen spurs an overgrowth of tissue and blood in the reproductive organs, progesterone lowers it.

While hormone replacement therapy and the growth hormone stimulants in meat are certainly factors in estrogen excess, the greatest single cause is elevated blood acid levels. Hyperacidity can be caused by several different factors. Strenuous exercise is one. When I went on a walking tour in Italy, I averaged twelve miles a day, ten more miles than I usually walk each day. After my return to New York, I discovered a hard, ridgelike area in my breast. While I was initially alarmed, after some reflection I realized what had happened. By walking twelve hours straight every day, my muscles eventually used up all the available oxygen for energy and had to produce energy anaerobically (without oxygen). The waste by-product of anaerobic respiration is lactic acid. The elevated lactic acid levels in my blood raised estrogen levels, and the estrogen triggered the growth of fibrous tissue. Going back to walking about two miles a day after my return to New York, I wasn't surprised that in one week the fibroid mass in my breast had disappeared.

For most of human existence, fear and excitement in the face of physical danger was the principal cause of heightened blood acid levels. Hyperacidity serves as an alarm signal, alerting the adrenals to a possible threat to survival. The adrenals respond by stimulating the production of additional estrogen, as well as adrenaline and cortisone. Estrogen, when in excess, diverts oxygen away from the digestive and excretory organs so that it flows to the muscles and general circulatory system, thereby empowering the body to act quickly. Because fear and anxiety go away when danger passes, these emotions cause only temporary increases in blood acidity, so adrenal secretions and estrogen are elevated for only a short time and the organ systems are not injured. 

In the present era, however, danger comes in a different form: processed foods, which, only partially digested, turn into acidic waste. When the individual's diet is consistently poor, hyperacidity in the blood becomes chronic, and, in response, estrogen levels become permanently elevated. The organs, including the uterus, cervix, ovaries, or breasts, suffer the consequences. Chronically subjected to inadequate levels of oxygen by excess estrogen, they become inflamed and degenerate.

Excess Estrogen and Cancer 
When conception occurs, the newly fertilized egg, the size of a speck of dust, must be attached almost instantly to the uterine wall before it falls out of the uterus through the cervix. Once attached, the nutritional needs of the embryo must be met almost as fast. Trophoblastic cells in the embryo, triggered into action by estrogen, serve that purpose. Multiplying at a tremendously fast rate, they hook the embryo into the wall of the uterus, create half the placenta (the uterus creates the other half), and then the umbilical cord, which attaches the embryo to the placenta, the source of its food supply. Trophoblastic cells are able to grow wildly in the uterus because they can generate energy by fermentation, that is, without oxygen. Estrogen makes this possible by lowering oxygen levels in the uterus. When the embryo has been in the uterus for seven or eight weeks, the work of the trophoblastic cells comes to an end and they migrate to the embryo's ovaries or testicles, where they are converted by enzymes into germ cells (egg or sperm cells). 

This is not necessarily the end of the trophoblastic cells, however. The germ cells can be converted back into trophoblastic cells any time estrogen levels become excessive. What is frightening about this is that trophoblastic cells multiply as fast as cancer cells. In fact, according to biochemist Dr. Ernst F. Krebs Jr., who studied 17,000 research experiments on the subject, trophopblastic cells are identical in all respects to cancer cells. Two obvious similarities are the way in which the fingerlike projections of trophoblastic cells invade the uterine wall in order to implant the fetus, and the fact that trophopoblastic cells, like cancer cells, generate energy without oxygen. 

When estrogen is elevated, like all other chemicals in the body that are in excess, it no longer reacts according to the body's needs. It can create an oxygen-poor environment anywhere in the body and at any time. If oxygen deprivation is severe enough, it causes cancer, because without oxygen, normal cells cannot generate energy. In order to survive, they convert into trophoblastic or cancer cells so they can generate energy anaerobically (without oxygen). If estrogen levels in the blood aren't reduced (mainly by reducing dietary acidic waste), the number of cancerlike cells keeps growing and a malignant tumor in the breast, uterus, cervix, or ovaries forms.

Many studies confirm the role of estrogen in causing cancer. Dr. Ross Trattler, in Better Health Through Natural Healing, writes about a study linking estrogen therapy to a five- to twelvefold increase in uterus and breast cancer. Another study found that estrogen therapy without progestin causes a fourteen-fold increase in endometrial cancer. Especially significant because it tracked 46,355 women is a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, January 26, 2000. The study found that those who took hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for five years were 40 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than women who were not on HRT. 

Doctors prescribe HRT not only to ease menopausal symptoms but also to prevent osteoporosis in menopausal and postmenopausal women. This is ironic since any organ deprived of oxygen absorbs calcium, which hardens it. While this may work to the advantage of the bones, when estrogen-induced oxygen removal causes degeneration in soft tissue and then triggers its retention of calcium, the result is a hardening or degeneration of the tissue. Thus the logical consequences of longtime use of HRT are stronger bones and degeneration of the soft tissue organs. 

Health Problems Associated with Estrogen Imbalance 

Infertility and Heavy Periods 
When estrogen lowers energy levels by destroying oxygen, the pituitary can't produce the follicle-stimulating hormone and as a result, follicles are not produced. When not encased in a follicle, egg cells cannot be released. Not only does that make pregnancy impossible, when ovulation fails to occur there is a buildup of the uterine lining that causes heavier and more frequent periods. 

The lowering of oxygen levels by excess estrogen in the uterus increases acidity. The sharp acid crystals irritate and inflame the lining of the uterus. If oxygen deprivation is sustained, it results in endometriosis, inflammation of the uterine lining. When inflammation is chronic, the lining disintegrates, and the fragments are carried by fluids to the ovaries, where they cause adhesions and cysts to form. Intercourse during menstruation can exacerbate endometriosis because it pushes mucus and blood up the uterus and fallopian tubes into the ovaries. 

Heavy Periods and Menstrual Cramps 
Estrogen causes an increase in the amount of blood in the uterus for the purpose of menstruation, so when estrogen builds up, it causes excessive menstrual bleeding. Heavy bleeding is often accompanied by menstrual cramps because the overflow of blood in the uterine blood vessels dilates the vessel walls, causing them to go into a spasm. 

Premenstrual Syndrome 
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is related to excessive estrogen. The bloating, irritability, depression, migraine, acne, and so forth that occur anywhere from four to ten days before menses suggests that when estrogen is excessive, it tries to trigger the onset of menstruation before it is due. 

Suggestions For PMS and Endometriosis 

  • Fatty acid blood profile. This profile indicates possible deficiencies in GLA, ALA, DHA, and AA. Primrose oil, which contains GLA fatty acid, has relieved PMS symptoms. Michael Schmidt in Smart Fats states that British studies show that GLA relieves menstrual tension in 90 to 95 percent of the cases. (See Resources.)

  • Avoid milk. Milk is linked to a variety of reproductive disorders because the mucus it generates blocks the fallopian tubes. 

  • Thyroid supplements. A slightly above normal thyroid function (as indicated by a temperature slightly higher than 98.6 degrees) helps PMS and endometriosis by getting rid of acidic wastes. 

  • Avoid caffeine in coffee, tea, chocolate, and cola soft drinks.

  • Black cohosh, valerian, and wild yam roots contain hormones that normalize estrogen levels.

High estrogen levels also trigger miscarriages by causing excessive bleeding in the uterus during pregnancy. (Estrogen has also been implicated in dilating the walls of the veins carrying blood back to the heart, thus delaying the return of the blood to the heart and slowing the heartbeat.) 

Excessive Clotting 
The excessive clotting of menstrual blood caused by estrogen has its antecedent in estrogen's blood clotting function during childbirth to prevent excessive blood loss.

Fibroid Uterine Tumors and Cystic Breasts 
When estrogen levels are normal, after the menstrual period has ended, estrogen causes the uterine wall to rebuild its tissue in preparation for the possibility that the next egg released in the fallopian tube will be fertilized. Excess estrogen, however, overstimulates the growth of tissue in the uterus, making such a thick uterine lining that it fails to disintegrate when the egg is not fertilized. As one layer of tissue is laid over another, the hard, fibrous tissue thickens and forms a tumor. It seems probable, since excess estrogen causes the growth of excessive tissue in the uterus, that hormone replacement therapy has increased the number of women with uterine fibroid tumors. Of the six women I know who are on HRT, four have developed fibroid uterine tumors. Excessive estrogen also spurs the growth of breast tissue when it is not needed for lactating purposes, causing cysts to develop in the breasts. 

Copyright 2002 by Felicia Drury Kliment

Felicia Drury Kliment is a nutritional consultant in private practice and is also the author of Eat Right for Your Metabolism. Please visit her websites and 




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