The Little Strip That Could

By creating pH balance in your body, Dr. Jeannette Graf says you can prevent your cells from accelerated aging, achieve youthful skin and feel fantastic.

A little strip of paper the size of your toothbrush is one of the most “empowering” health and beauty tools an FOF can own, according to dermatologist and former National Institutes of Health research fellow Dr. Jeannette Graf, M.D. The strip tests your body’s pH level, which according to Dr. Graf is the best indicator of how our cells are functioning and aging. Her her book, Stop Aging, Start Living, Dr. Graf explains how to “balance” your body’s pH by changing the amounts of alkaline-producing foods and acidic-producing foods you eat. The result? Fewer wrinkles, brighter skin and more energy. Here, Dr. Graf answers all our questions about her pH diet and what it means to FOFs.

Plus, 3 FOFs will WIN a copy of Dr. Graf’s book Stop Aging, Start Living and a package of pH strips. Leave a comment below to enter.

  • As a dermatologist, how did you discover the correlation between pH and anti-aging?
    • I was doing cosmetic procedures to help women look better, and although the procedures went well, technically, the women still didn’t look great. I’d peel them, and their skin would look a little better, but they were still missing something. On the other hand, I had 80-year-old patients who were just full of life and energy and had a glow, yet they never did any procedures. So I began asking questions. I realized that what’s going on internally impacts what your skin looks like and how it ages, but I didn’t know why. So I went back and began to read old research.
  • What did you find?
    • ImageA 1931 Nobel Prize Winning study in which Dr. Otto Warburg did a very simple test. He immersed cancer cells and healthy cells in two solutions. The first solution was oxygen-poor and highly acidic. The second solution was high-oxygen, highly alkaline. The cancer cells thrived in the low-oxygen, highly acidic environment but could not replicate well in the high-oxygen, more alkaline solution. The opposite was true for the healthy cells. Essentially, his study shows that when you’re alkaline at a cellular level you can defeat disease. That’s when I realized how important your body’s pH is to your overall health and appearance.
  • I remember pH from chemistry class, but how does it relate to your body?
    • pH measures the alkalinity or acidity of a liquid. All liquids have a pH. The pH scale is between 0-14. Acids are solutions with a pH lower than 7. A solution is alkaline when it has a pH higher than 7. You may think of the human body as a solid, but it’s made up mostly of water and has a pH. For optimal health and functioning, most of the cells, fluids and tissues in your body need a slightly alkaline pH.
  • What is the correlation between alkalinity, acidity and aging?
    • Body cells function best in the pH range of 7.35 to 7.45 (slightly alkaline). If your pH falls too low (acidic) the cells in the skin stop dividing, produce fewer enzymes and create less collagen. This leads directly to sagging, dullness and wrinkles.
  • Does your pH get more acidic as you age?
    • When we are born, our bodies are at their most alkaline, and when we die we are very acidic.
  • How do you test your pH?
    • The best way to test your pH is by using a pH strip every day. You want to make sure that your mouth is clean. If you just did something like brush your teeth or drink coffee, you’ll want to rinse your mouth with water. Then, you’ll want to take a strip and saturate it with saliva. Saliva is the best indicator of your pH since it is from an immediate organ. After you determine your pH, you can make adjustments to your diet to get it in the 7.35 to 7.45 range.
  • ImageWhere do you get pH strips?
    • Health food stores are selling them more and more. I also have an index of places that sell them in the back of my book.
  • What can we eat to get our pH in the ideal range?
    • If your pH is too acidic, you need to eat more alkaline-producing foods. If your pH is too alkaline, you need to eat more acid-producing foods. Certain foods are acidic such as lemons and limes, but these are alkaline-producing foods. Other foods that are alkaline, such as milk and dairy, are acid-producing foods. It doesn’t matter whether a food is acidic or alkaline; what matters is if the food is acid-producing or alkaline-producing. After every food is metabolized there’s an ash that is left. The pH of that ash determines if that food had an alkaline or acidic effect.
  • So what are acid-producing foods?
    • Refined carbs, sugar, cola drinks, meat and dairy. Cola drinks are the number one enemy. Coffee is acid-producing as it sits around and oxidizes, so you are better off having freshly-brewed coffee from newly-ground organic coffee beans. It can actually have a beneficial antioxidant effect when consumed in this way.
  • What are alkaline-producing foods?
    • The most alkaline-producing food is kale. I cook with it or I make juices out of it. Organic greens, vegetables, garlic, olive oil, lemon, fruit, Brazil nuts and seeds are other alkaline-producing foods.
  • If your pH is acidic, should you only eat alkaline-producing foods?
    • No, you’ll just want to up your intake of alkaline-producing foods until your pH is back in that 7.35 to 7.45 range. I recommend a Mediterranean diet— fruits and vegetables, protein, but not too much protein (about 20 percent of your diet), olive oil and safflower oil. Instead of table salt I would use sea salt. I recommend Stevia for a sweetener. I also recommend the addition of super alkalinizing green powdered drinks, which can be reconstituted in your favorite beverage, and spirulina tablets to boost pH. Mineral supplements are also a great way to boost alkalinity.
  • How often should you be testing your pH?
    • Every day. But if you want to play with the pH strips to see the effects that different things have, go ahead.
  • How long after you eat can you can see a change in pH?
    • After taking a mineral supplement, sometimes you can see results in an hour.
  • Is there anything else that can affect your body’s alkalinity or acidity?
    • Smoking and stress can also make your pH very acidic.
  • Some of this sounds like what we already knew about bad behaviors and bad eating habits…
    • It’s common sense proven by science. What’s unique is that it is simple to be alkaline. You can do it with simple changes each day. What’s appealing to most people is, it’s not prison. Dieting is stressful. Let’s say you went out with your friends and had a couple of margaritas, and then the next day you test your pH and maybe it’s not as alkaline as it was. So that’s the day you beef up your intake of greens and alkaline-producing food.


  • Are there other effects besides better skin? Can you lose weight from this diet?
    • It can give you energy, lower your cholesterol, and help you lose weight.
  • Can you change your pH through topical lotions?
    • There are two pH issues — outer and inner. We have been discussing inner pH which influences organized skin formation. The outer skin has a slightly acidic pH which is extremely important for skin barrier function. Both inner alkalinity as well as correct skin care are needed.
  • How fast can you see results from this diet?
    • In my experience, most patients felt an immediate surge of energy the first day.
  • How come I never heard about this before?
    • There are studies as far back as the early 1900s that have documented the negative health effects of unbalanced pH. However, it wasn’t until scientists were able to piece together a century’s worth of research on cellular function that we had a clear picture of the importance of acidity and alkalinity on cell health. The importance of pH is rapidly gaining acceptance in the medical community, and I predict that this will not be the last time you hear about it.
  • Author
    Dr. Jeannette Graf, M.D
    DermatologistDr. Jeannette Graf, M.D. is a New York-based, board-certified dermatologist and former National Institutes of Health fellow. She received an award for Outstanding Achievement from the National Institutes of Health, for her research on peptides in 1987. Published in Journal of Cell Biology, Dr. Graf is a leading expert on skin cells and anti-aging, consulting for cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies including Johnson & Johnson, Neutrogena and Aveeno. She is author of Stop Aging, Start Living: The Revolutionary 2-week pH Diet.

    0 Responses to “The Little Strip That Could”

    1. Nancy Kaminskas says:

      This year my skin is aging dramatically. I try all the creams and lotions but this time that has not helped. I’d like to stop aging or at least age gracefully!

    2. Mimi LaRaque says:

      I would love to try the Little Strip. I am 54 years old and look really great for my age. However, my energy level is depleted. I would love to try the strips. Where can I buy them?

    3. Margaret says:

      I’d like to try these strips.

    4. Debbie Dowell says:

      I have survived breast cancer twice, and have heard about the acidic/alkaline theory. I would love to learn more and strive toward having an alkaline PH.

    5. Ruth Sklar says:

      Wow! At my age (old crone, 66) I can use all the help I can get! Bring it on….

    6. ouch666 says:

      sounds good

    7. says:

      Thank you for your update on the acid/akaline balance.

    8. lydianna says:

      I have heard about this before but this is the clearest explanation of acid/alkaline balance in the body. Will have to get this book.

    9. DBentley says:

      Wow….would love to try this. Sign me up!

    10. ewalsh says:

      Yeast over growth can be a problem too when your body PH is too acidic. I would love to have a chance to win this, thanks!

    11. landart1 says:

      I’ve been having problems with my 55 year old skin. Dry patches and red bumps. I’ve been to the doctor and was told it was alergies. Allegra helps but does not eliminate my problems. Would love to try this diet.

    12. kardi109 says:

      A wonderful concept I would love to try!

    13. casusan1 says:

      I have lost some weight but really want to look and feel better. I’d like to give it a try.

    14. parisdreamer says:

      I am so ready to try this – I’ve recently quit smoking and my entire metabolism has changed – this would be a great way to feel as if I’ve got myself heading in the right direction!

    15. E.L. Flory says:

      This sounds like exactly what I need! I have never heard of this before and don’t have a clue where to get those strips but I would love to get some and try it. Plus it probably is the only thing I haven’t tried haha.

    16. Fab55 says:

      I love the idea of concentrating on how I FEEL rather than what the scale says… When you feel positive, you make better choices anyhow. I would LOVE to read and follow this book.
      It will be my new bedside bible. Would love to meet the gifted doctor someday, too.

    17. jetlag383 says:

      okay, i am interested!
      bring on the book.

    18. iamwarrior says:

      Very intriguing. I would love to read the book and find out more about this.

    19. starsmom says:

      I’d love to read and learn more about this subject.

    20. sierrasmom says:

      Hmmmm. This sounds interesting, but I’d like to read more to find out how this works. I’d love to read the book and try the strips.

    21. AnninFishers says:

      Some of this is counter-intuitive, so I would like to read the book and a little of the background science, then try it out. Seeing is usually believing, and I do think that food is the key to health.

    22. maurened says:

      Thank God I finally quit smoking but at 60 its not easy to lose those lbs from eating not smoking. I could really use the help to get back on track.

    23. jacson says:

      Again maybe I’m a skeptic – but this seems as obessive as weighing yourself everyday. However -I’m going to at least try an intial reading as I’m curious.

    24. morgan788_1 says:

      I would love to get the strips and book. I have just lost 35 lbs and need some to help my skin look as good as my body does now

    25. daisydoo200 says:

      How interesting! I’ve known for awhile about alkaline and acid and the roles they play in your body. I’d love to get this book AND the strips!

    26. JoannBally says:

      Would so love to win this 🙂

    27. krispy9 says:

      I’ve been reading a bit about how PH effects your overall health. I would love the read this book and test my levels.

    28. RarnChild says:

      that’s what to takes to become and stay healthy.
      I’d love to read more of what Dr Graf has to say.

    29. richgirl126 says:

      So important Ihope that reading your book can give me the
      push that I need to get on a healthier track . I can’t wait to share results wit family and friends. Thank you so much.

    30. mmimilinda says:

      This idea seems so reasonable-and do-able! I would love to read the complete book, and definitely try the plan of checking and adjusting my pH. I love it that a female MD came up with this!

    31. willow620 says:

      Dr. Graf, thank you for all this information. I have done pretty good most of my life with eating right. I have maintained within 5-10 lbs of my high school weight.
      Recently, i find I tire more easily and have been noticing fine lines and creases around my mouth.
      I will buy my ph strips right away.

    32. pavanco says:

      WOW, amazing information, but it really makes perfect sense.

    33. lfrench says:

      Wow! if just changing my PH will help my awful looking skin improve, sign me up for some strips and a good read.

    34. nascarblue3 says:

      Wow, just reading from the articles above I am amazed on the importance of balancing your diet. The comment about it all comes down to common sense, how true and how simple when you really think about it. Winning this book and a package of PH strips would be great, I do get confused when it comes to what is the right food to feed my body that will have either a lasting effect, or an immediate effect, this would be like having your own personal doctor by your bedside. Yes, I would LOVE to win this, I have always tryed to eat right, now I will know for sure and to me that is very important. Thank you.

    35. smfsprout says:

      I would love to read this book. I agree that more and more we need to pay attention to what we put in our bodies to make sure that we look and feel well. This should not be limited to just fats, carbs, protein and the like.

    36. 1wicket46 says:

      This sounds like just “my ticket” I am a nurse and very interested in utilizing the information I have obtained in my 30 years of nursing and putting it to good use within my own body. Healthy skin is so important to me. Thanks for this information. I would love to try your product and read your book. Thanks

    37. Rozzie68 says:

      Would love to try this innovative product — I’m retired, about to go into a new decade. Will be 70 on my next birthday.

    38. AJB says:

      Good article.

    39. mothert says:

      Not surprised at what the effects certain foods have on our skin. This book offers a totally different view which I would love to know more about. Now if we could only clean up our food supply of additives and chemicals that sabotage the effects of good nutrition. Organics should be the norm not the more expensive option.

    40. Mary in MN says:

      This sounds really interesting! It would be good to try and see if it lives up to the possibilities.

    41. amcintron says:

      Just celebrated my 52nd birthday and am trying to find ways to stave off those fine lines without having to resort to changing my look totally….Sounds like an interesting concept and would love to learn more about it.

    42. JustD says:

      It’s a broad question, but as a Black woman, I notice that there are, at times, significant differences in the ways our bodies and chemistries react to things; similar yet dissimilar. Not everything a woman, not of ethnic origin, uses I can use and get the same results in general. The same can be said for women of my ethnicity, however the differences aren’t as broad in context. This, as Gingerpye noted, however, is quite interesting. 😉

    43. gingerpye says:

      Quite interesting.

    44. Murphy says:

      Being a dental hygienist, we talk about pH in the mouth all the time, but I had no idea it could really affect the whole body. I would love to try this and learn more about it to help my patients. Also, anything to give me more energy would be awesome!!!

    45. Berti says:

      I desperately needed this information, thanks!

    46. Kathi says:

      I am all for trying something that makes you feel better and Look Better would Love to read Dr.Graf”s Book !

    47. drz says:

      At age 50 I still have to deal with breakouts while having to contend with wrinkles. Maybe this plan can help those of us who have an inbalanced hormonal system.

    48. gingermclendon says:

      anything to help with more energy would be great!

    49. mosiepup says:

      Hmmm, I like the sound of this!

    50. shewalk says:

      Sounds interesting. I would like to win it and try it out. I have no energy and could use the boost.

    51. mabrei says:

      I would like to learn more about the long term benefits of having a balanced pH level.

    52. rodiehl says:

      This makes SOOO much sense. Much better to work on aging from the inside instead of all of these topical items that really do not work.

    53. sheilachaffins says:

      I would love to win this. I am 47 and I need something to slow down the aging process. Please pick me!

    54. diannemadison says:

      I’m skeptical of most anti-aging products. However, this seems to go to the root of things. May be it will work!

    55. susielee says:

      I’m especially impressed that this intelligent, highly respected MD has taken the time to write a book on the importance of pH as it relates to our bodies. Most MDs focus on the medical or prescription remedies and so many dermatologists spend their energy on formulating and promoting their own creams for profit. This author seems highly credible and i would love to read her book.

    56. Soledad says:

      This sounds like something I could use; to be able to slow down the aging process, be more energetic, and feel better. Pick me, pick me. 🙂

    57. etangel18 says:

      Remember that saying? It seems to ring very true! What we put in our bodies reflects in how we feel and look. Eating healthy is a challenge for most of us. If you read the ingredients on many food products it can be a shock to the system to see just what is added to the product. I look forward to reading Dr. Graf’s book! A PH balanced diet sounds very healthy and easy to maintain. I am facinated with the PH strips and look forward to trying them.

    58. soap says:

      I am excited to try this product. My body tends to be more acidic than alkaline. Help with balancing my body’s PH would be welcomed for a healthier me!

    59. caa29 says:

      I have researched this a little,but never tested myself. Would love to try it.

    60. jetlag383 says:

      I look forward to the book and trying the strips!
      Bring it on!!!!

    61. gaguac says:

      This really sounds very interesting. Its certainly worth a try.

    62. popper10 says:

      Most eating advice sounds too complicated for me to follow. This on the other hand is probably something I’d be able to follow and keep doing.

    63. hofken says:

      This sounds very interesting. I would love to try it

    64. marrobin36 says:

      Yes, it could definitely help me and I can’t wait to try it.

    65. carolineno says:

      I have been wanting to know more about this-Thanks!

    66. blax says:

      How interesting and logical. We check the ph of our soil and our water, why not ourselves?

    67. norma.byrd.45437 says:

      After my two previous comments (on dating younger men, and about FOFs in bikinis) I have to say I would dearly love to benefit by something like this. If it works as promised I’d try the program, even though I’ve always resisted changing the things I like to eat. THIS would be worth the effort!

    68. StChienne says:

      I’ve been trying to go alkaline — recently switched to a vegetarian diet, and I’m using alkaline water (no machine necessary, just add baking soda to change the pH). The results – in just a couple of month — are spectacular. I’ve lost weight, my skin looks terrific, and my hair’s shinier!

    69. fzoltanetz says:

      Sounds wonderful! Would love to try it.

    70. carrieobrien says:

      Wow, this sounds amazing–can’t wait to read it!

    71. vclark500 says:

      This book sounds great!

    72. CIM says:

      Who knew? My pool and I, we share PH issues. I’ll try it!

    73. trailblazer says:

      Great info! I just heard about this topic on the radio recently and made a mental note to learn more. Would love to read the book. I’m sure I could use an internal tuneup and I love the idea of getting quick feeback from the test strips. Thanks for sharing.

    74. Fab55 says:

      I love to experiment with facials and beauty products. This makes so much sense and could renew my whole life!! Wow.

    75. dwatson724 says:

      People have always thought I look younger than my age. I’ve taken good care of my skin, but I know there is more I can do. I would love to read the book and try the strips.

    76. crlawton98 says:

      I would love to try this product and see the results, I love the idea of looking younger while making my skin healthier. Thank you for letting me enter, I hope I win and am able to try this product.

    77. atlellie says:

      How exciting to try something brand new to hold onto my spirit of maintaining the glow!

    78. Maggie57 says:

      Would love to feel better, and wouldn’t mind looking a little more like what I THINK I look like. Sometimes, I look in the mirror and wonder who stole my face. I’d love to read this book.

    79. TJfacialist says:

      I am familiar with the importance of maintaining the proper ph within the body and I think that there are many people out there who have high acid counts, including me. The strips are a great and convenient way to accurately monitor the levels on a regular basis and alter one’s diet accordingly. After age 50 it seems like the aging process can really kick into high gear and I want the clock to go backward. Would love to try this protocol!

    80. debmcdonald says:

      Sounds like what I need, an energy boost and youthful skin!!

    81. Snowroxy says:

      I remember getting a lot of compliments on my skin when I was in my 40’s and early 50’s. When I look at it now I’m no longer impressed, and I realize that I haven’t been as careful with my diet as when I was younger. I’ll be 64 and don’t think I look it, but I could certainly use a kick-starter to taking better care of my skin and my body.

    82. my_sandra_dee says:

      This will boost my energy, lower my cholesterol, and help me shed 35 unwanted pounds??? Prove it…let me win and let’s test them out on me! 🙂

    83. suzy0206 says:

      Would love to try these strips!

    84. mandrada says:

      This is a great idea, it makes so much sense. I’d do anything to make me look better and younger and this sounds like a great maintenance idea.

    85. debbiehoskins says:

      I am always looking for new information on skin care. This book looks like it might have some new information that I haven’t read before.

    86. bclaxton says:

      I’ll be 63 by the end of the year and my skin is OK but rather dull and, of course, the wrinkles are gaining ground. Besides it looks like your approach would make you feel better all around. Who doesn’t need that?

    87. j868jenn says:

      I feel like skin totally gives away a woman’s age – and often they look older than they are because of poor habits. I could surely use this to ward off aging from my sun damage!

    88. bksudduth says:

      I am entering 60 with fear and trembling….THIS could be KEY! unlock my loss of energy!!

    89. mimi1411 says:

      Interesting theory…worth a try!

    90. jeanf2 says:

      This is an extremely interesting article. Never heard about inside ph before. Thanks

    91. inMO says:

      Thanks for the information presented here and the opportunity to learn more from Dr. Graf’s book.

    92. micita says:

      When I was young, I’d read about alkaline/acid & wouldn’t use anything on my body that wasn’t pH balanced; at my age now I could really benefit from the information — thanks so much!

    93. lesliebee says:

      This is amazing information. I certainly could use more energy and I like the fact that this is a natural approach to balance and anti-aging.

    94. peggylanman says:

      Interesting concept. Makes sense really. Will be fun to read your book and find out more about it.

    95. kfulton says:

      I can’t wait to read more about “Stop Aging, Start Living !”I’m all about looking younger.

    96. cparkin says:

      With two of my 6 siblings having died from cancer this seems to be something to consider to reduce my risk. Definitely a must read!

    97. wrybbunz says:

      I have a feeling I’m highly acidic. I bleach my clothing and corrode metal that isn’t fine metal. Sounds like something I should look into.

    98. says:

      It sounds like most of the alkaline producing foods are also nutrient rich.

    99. ChristyJan says:

      Stop Aging, Start Living ~ I can’t wait to read more

    100. deeptodeep says:

      I love organic kale and eat lots if it, cooked and in smoothies. How nice to learn it’s very pro alkaline.

    101. cathsfifty says:

      Any product that can help reduce aging – I am all about it!

    102. tril says:

      This is very interesting science. I’m looking forward to reading your book!

    103. apple2 says:

      I would really like to try these strips. At my age any help is appreciated.

    104. ktpotat says:

      What a great idea.I’d love to try rhis product.

    105. Debbie W. says:

      I really need this as my hair is falling out and my skin is so dry!

    106. jd321 says:

      how interesting, I’d love to try this.

    107. Catalina says:

      Would love to be proved wrong-just don’t see how this would really work.

    108. joyzkim says:

      This is so interesting to me, but I really believe that your PH level can effect you just as it effects other things….I’ll definately look into this topic in more detail

    109. Loraine says:

      I would love to try this I would be very interested in knowing what my ph is as I do drink a lot of tea with lemon I’m 51 and am always looking for ways to keep my skin healthy

    110. lhershon says:

      I am researching my kale recipes now!

    111. jrjjmj55 says:

      I’d love to try this and see how much of an improvement it could make!

    112. Grammyms says:

      I have tried a lot of creams and don’t find much inprovement. I would love to try your strips.

    113. kaml810 says:

      wow, I’d love to have these! Just turned 56 yesterday and really want to revitalize my skin.

    114. vasslt says:

      I too have never heard of this before, and , love the concept, and would like to try it.

    115. nlawville says:

      I would love to get rid of the dullness that has appeared on the skin on my face and at the same time have energy. This would be wonderful!

    116. swoogietwo says:

      I would love the opportunity to give this a shot. It sounds like it make sense just never heard of it before.

    117. jef610 says:

      This makse so much sense, but it’s the first I’m hearing of it. I’m very interested in learning more about it.

    118. Rockyred says:

      Our American diet is so acidic – no wonder we have so many ailments, syndromes, obesity and general unhealthiness. I think these strips would be a great thing to have for those of us serious about gettting healthier, maintaining it and striving to still be SexyAtSixty! If it makes my skin look better, younger – sign me up!!!!


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