Gareth is right at the very top of his field, so these answers are absolutely the best you’ll find from arguably Britain’s most qualified expert in this area!
Q&A With Gareth Edwards
Question One: pHorever pHour salts on Kidney Stones
I ordered the Young pHorever pHour salts and am wondering is there any danger of the salts causing kidney stones? I have been only using 1 scoop a day until I find out. Thanks! Cindy Parker
Thanks for your question Cindy. It is true that the majority of kidney stones are made up of calcium compounds and pHour salts does contain calcium. The two most common types of kidney “stone” consist largely of calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate. The reality however is that calcium is an “essential” mineral. We need it, not only for bones, but also for a host of metabolic “reactions” that make our bodies run healthily.
Theoretically the cause of kidney stones is unknown, but my strong hunch is that they are often caused when, (you guessed it!) the body becomes too acidic. There are research papers  showing a link between diets high in animal protein and an increased risk of kidney stone formation. Low calcium diets have also (interestingly) been shown to be associated an increase risk of kidney stone formation .
Dr. Young developed the pHour salts product based on his own observations in relation to acid / alkaline balance in the body and the observations of Italian oncologist Tulio Simoncini. Simoncini observed that the patients he was treating seemed to experience reductions in the presence of yeast and moulds in their bodies when sodium bicarbonate (one of the ingredients in pHour Salts) was administered to them during the wash out periods between chemo-therapy treatments.
The minerals in pHour Salts (sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium bicarbonates) are all in alkaline forms. The product is designed to promote alkalinity in the body. The production of acidic urine (from an acidic diet or hydration regime, the effect of certain pharmaceutical remedies and / or “stress”) over a sustained period, has also been associated with increased risk of kidney stones.
Taking the pHour Salts should not increase the likelihood of their formation, but build up your intake (to a maximum of three scoops a day) slowly. Keep well hydrated with good quality water too as this too has been shown to reduce the risk of renal (kidney) stone formation. If you are taking regular (or any) medication, consult with a qualified pH aware physician before increasing the dose.
1. Breslau NA, Brinkley L, Hill KD, Pak CY.(1988) Relationship of animal protein-rich diet to kidney stone formation and calcium metabolism. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. Jan;66(1):140-6. PMID: 2826524
2. Parmar, Malvinder S. (2004). “Kidney stones”. British Medical Journal 328 (7453): 1420–1424. doi:10.1136/bmj.328.7453.1420. PMID 15191979
Question Two: Taking Detoxifier with Bad Kidney
Hi. I just want to know if a person has problems with their kidneys, is it good or not good to take a detoxifier?
Take a look at the answer I’ve written about pHour salts and kidney stones. The kidneys are organs of filtration and buffering (neutralising acids). Reducing the acidic load (through diet, hydration and lifestyle choices) can only help to heal and restore kidney function.
It is of course true that when you take a de-toxifying agent, like an alkaline mineral powder or drops, you can increase the likelihood of acidic and toxic matter being released from body tissue. This in turn is likely to increase the load on the kidneys to filter any unwanted matter from the blood and pass it into the urine. If kidneys are compromised this could result in acids being released through the skin or feeling “unwell” as the acids remain in the blood.
I think my general advice would be to take things gradually, monitoring progress and any symptomology. Reducing (or eliminating) animal protein and maintaining alkaline hydration can only help support kidney function and repair. Eating low sugar, green plant foods or even juicing them should also support their repair. In Chinese medicine, the protein from mung bean sprouts is believed to be beneficial, without providing the acidity of animal source amino acids (proteins).
If the person is taking any medication, possible inter-actions between de-toxifying preparations and their medication should be considered.
Question Three: Overcoming Diarrheoea
Hi Gareth/Ross, I’m enjoying your new newsletter, one question I have is since going on pH diet and have a lot of raw food I find (I am sorry to get personal) I have a lot of diarrhoea, can you suggest how I can overcome this, Jonathan
Part of this could be a detoxification reaction as the fresh raw food arrives in your intestines, causing any residual matter there to be eliminated. This would be a good thing, but you would need to maintain an intake of electrolytes (such as those found in pHour salts) as these may be lost during diarrhoea. That said, it should settle down after any possible early reactions. My other thoughts would include making sure that you are eating low sugar fruits and vegetables (cucumbers, avocados, peppers and dark green leafies). The higher sugar content in sweeter fruits such as bananas and dry fruit can promote loose bowels.
The next and probably most important thing is to chew your food really well. Cooking does “break down” food and can therefore make it easier to digest. The challenge is though that the cooked food is unlikely to energise you in the same way that the raw food will. If you don’t have time to sit and slowly “ruminate” on your meal then do consider making more juices. These should be more easily absorbed, but again do focus on the low sugar veggies and fruits (cucumber etc.). Add lemon juice to make them more palatable.
Drinking water and pHour salts at meal (or juice) times might help you digest the food and therefore absorb it better. Cold temperatures can make digestion more challenging too, so try to get the food out of the fridge 15-20 minutes before eating it.
Question Four: Best Place to Start
Hi, I would like to start using alkaline rich foods so my body is balanced (I had skin cancer), where is the best place to start?
I am also wheat/gluten intolerant. Any help would be great.
Best regards Nicky
Drinking more water (ideally alkalised) and eating more (not only!) fresh (and ideally) raw vegetables is the best way to start. Use olive and refrigerated hemp oil along with good quality salt and fresh herbs to add flavour. Finding tasty flavourful alternatives to animal protein would be the next on the list. Avoid quorn products, as they are fungal in nature, but tofu and bean based products such as falafel can be tasty alternatives to putting chicken or cheese with salads.
I know that might feel limiting if you are trying to avoid wheat and gluten containing grains too, but hopefully your palate will soon start to adjust to the different delicate flavours of vegetables such as fennel, red peppers and leeks. You can get a carbohydratey filling feeling from lentils, beans and nuts and the Biscru dehydrated biscuits that Energise sell are gluten free and tasty.
Eliminating acid from your body is important, so do keep your hydration and therefore urination, regular. Be sure to add good quality salt, to compensate for any losses through urination.
Disclaimer: These answers are not intended to diagnose and do not replace the advice of a qualified physician.
If you have a question for Gareth leave it in the comments below!
Do You Want To Get Alkaline?
Grab your free, instant access to my Alkaline Diet Beginners Guide, Alkaline
Foods, Charts & ten free alkaline recipes (delicious!) plus all of my goodies delivered direct to your inbox each week.
Your information is 100% secure. By registering here, you will recieve weekly articles, videos and other tips to help you get alkaline. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Note: This blog is only my opinion. It is not medical advice or diagnosis. Only opinions based upon our own personal experiences or information detailed in medical/academic journals or other publications is cited. WE DO NOT OFFER MEDICAL ADVICE or prescribe any treatments. Please consult with a medical professional before making any diet or nutrition changes. Refer to our full disclaimer for more information.