Healthy Living

Alkaline Diet For Good Health: Does It Work?

The alkaline diet is healthy, generally speaking, for it consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes. However, Research on whether the alkalizing effects of these foods are good for health is inconsistent since no human studies have been able to prove the claims beyond a doubt. 

The proponents of the diet have their own theory as to why the alkaline diet works. It pertains to the processing of metabolic waste by the body that is generated from the food consumed. The food you eat determines if an acidic ash residue is left behind, which in turn creates more acidity in the blood. The same applies for alkaline food that increases the alkaline level in the blood. 

When acidic ash is left behind in the body, it can lead to several illnesses, while alkaline foods are said to improve health, according to this hypothesis. There is another category for neutral food that is neither alkaline nor acidic. Neutral foods are sugars, starches and natural fat. Acidic food includes poultry, grains, alcohol, dairy, eggs and meat. 

The pH level determines the acidity or alkaline levels in the different parts of the body.  The basic alkaline pH level is between 7.1 to 14.0, while the acidic level can range from 0.0 to 6.9. If blood pH levels are not within normal limits, it can turn problematic. But this has no connection to the diet since it is caused by excessive alcohol intake, ketoacidosis and fasting, among other medical condtions. 

Acidic Food Does Not Worsen Health

Diets with high acidic content are supposed to cause bone loss and alkaline foods act as a buffer to keep the pH level within normal range. Healthline referred to this as "acid-ash hypothesis of osteoporosis." 

Those opposed to this diet said that functions of the kidney, respiratory system and loss of collagen from the bones were ignored while formulating this theory. Since all of the mentioned functions contribute to maintaining stable pH levels in the body, the theory did not hold.  

In fact, a high-protein diet that causes acid release in the body is supposed to be beneficial to bone health. Clinical trials do not verify this claim, however. Similarly, the assumption that alkaline diet can cure cancer that thrives in acidity is unfounded since many experiments have proven that cancer cells grow in alkaline environments too. 

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