Tagged: PRAL Forum
Norma Patricia Burrows September 10, 2018 at 12:34 pm #626
Are there any urine test strips available to measure alkalinity based on PRAL concept?
The only urine test strips I can find are based on the acid-alkaline scale 0-14. However, the acid-alkaline readings for specific foods based on the 0-14 scale vary considerably from the readings based on PRAL.
Consequently, as I see it, the test strips for 0-14 cannot read the urine pH for the PRAL system. Your advice, please.
I love your question, Norma. Because it highlights the biggest problem with PRAL alkaline diets. Also, it’s raised my awareness of urine pH testing and setting targets.
So first, let me explain “the biggest problem with PRAL alkaline diets”. Because it’s the single biggest issue that causes most questions about my alkaline food tables.
It’s vital to realize that PRAL is a food-scoring system. In itself, it has nothing at all to do with pH. Because PRAL scores are calculated from certain nutrients in food. So the first objective is a healthy balanced diet. By which I mean a diet that meets national standards for healthy eating. Then, we can calculate PRAL scores from food intake to calculate an overall PRAL score. But what’s the point?
The point is that PRAL scores give a good indication of how diet will affect urine pH. So we know that eating food with a negative PRAL score should make urine pH higher (more alkaline). Therefore the real goal is to make urine more alkaline using PRAL scores to guide our food choices to support that goal.
For practical purposes, PRAL scores provide an estimate of what will happen when we eat certain foods. Then urine pH tests tell us what actually happened. But note that there are other variables that affect urine pH. So it’s important to test regularly and look at trends rather than individual results.
All of which leads to my answer. Which is – any pH test strips designed for urine testing are acceptable to measure a PRAL alkaline diet. One study[*] specifically states that it used Phion Diagnostic Ph Test Strips which are available from Amazon and other sources. Personally, I’ve used Simplex Health pH Test Strips for Urine and Saliva. However, I find them difficult to interpret. So I’ve invested in a meter which I will report on soon.
Finally, your question prompted me to think about pH targets. Because I’ve said in my PRAL definition:
There is no target for PRAL. The target pH of urine in healthy individuals is 6.5 to 7 in the morning, rising to 7.5 through the day.
However, I’ve realized that target is based on my early research into pH. But the source is no longer available. So, I’ve looked for more recent references. Now I can see that each person needs to set their own target based on their urine pH history and the state of their health. Therefore, I intend to research this topic and prepare better guidance.
[*] Gunn, Caroline A., Janet L. Weber, Jane Coad, and Marlena C. Kruger. “Increasing fruits and vegetables in midlife women: a feasibility study.” Nutrition research 33, no. 7 (2013): 543-551.
The following is a “note to self” about the research I’ve done so far on urine pH targets. Because I intend to start a collaborative study topic for this. But I don’t want to lose all the references I’ve found so far:
1. Hara, Shigeko, Hiroshi Tsuji, Yuki Ohmoto, Kazuhisa Amakawa, Shiun Dong Hsieh, Yasuji Arase, and Hiromu Nakajima. “High serum uric acid level and low urine pH as predictors of metabolic syndrome: a retrospective cohort study in a Japanese urban population.” Metabolism 61, no. 2 (2012): 281-288.
Though that is more at home on my gout website, it has a very useful chart showing links between urine pH and Metabolic Syndrome. The data for men is:
Urine pH – Prevalence of metabolic syndrome
5.0 – 11.9%
5.5 – 9.2%
6.0 – 7.5%
6.9 – 6.4%
2. Cho, Young Hye, Sang Yeoup Lee, Dong Wook Jeong, Eun Jung Choi, Kyung Jee Nam, Yun Jin Kim, Jeong Gyu Lee et al. “The association between a low urine pH and the components of metabolic syndrome in the Korean population: Findings based on the 2010 Korea National health and nutrition examination survey.” Journal of research in medical sciences: the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences 19, no. 7 (2014): 599.
30% to 35% increased risk of Metabolic Syndrome when urine pH is below 5.5.
3. Welch, A. A. “Dipstick measurements of urinary pH have potential for monitoring individual and population dietary behaviors.” The Open Nutrition Journal 2, no. 5 (2008): 63-67.
Given that body size and age also relate to urine pH and NAE, it is likely that it is the within person change in urine pH with diet, rather than the absolute value that would be important when monitoring change.
4. Scialla, Julia J., and Cheryl AM Anderson. “Dietary acid load: a novel nutritional target in chronic kidney disease?.” Advances in chronic kidney disease 20, no. 2 (2013): 141-149.
Urine pH has also been proposed as a cost-effective, simple tool to monitor net endogenous acid production and may be appropriate for use in large population based studies (29). However, the relationship between net acid excretion and urine pH may not be reliable in populations with CKD, age-related renal function decline, or in those with renal tubular acidosis where distal acidification of the urine is compromised
5. Welch, Ailsa A., Angela Mulligan, Sheila A. Bingham, and Kay-tee Khaw. “Urine pH is an indicator of dietary acid–base load, fruit and vegetables and meat intakes: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Norfolk population study.” British Journal of Nutrition 99, no. 6 (2008): 1335-1343.
In conclusion, dietary acid–base load was significantly related to urine pH with more alkaline urine associated with a more alkaline dietary load. There was a difference of 4·2 mEq PRAL and two-thirds to just under one portion of fruit and vegetables, in men and women respectively, between the lowest and highest categories of pH. The scale of the associations found was similar to intervention studies. Casual urine pH provides a simple tangible measure of the effects of diet in this population and its use to monitor change in diet quality needs further investigation.
Finally, my original source explained why it is important to compare a morning measure to an increasing pH value through the day. So, I need to re-investigate the science that applies there with appropriate references.