In our ever increasing “health conscious” society, there seems to arise from time to time new various types of health fads, crazes and movements. Whenever we come across one of these health practises, the correct attitude we should have towards it is to control our excitement and calmly examine them in the light of reputable scientific proofs represented by reputable scientific bodies. In this blog we shall be analysing the “Alkaline Diet.”
When we talk about the “Alkaline Diet.” it is important to understand what is meant by pH levels. This is simply a measurement in Chemistry which determines how “acidic” or how “basic/alkaline” a solution is. 0 is the strongest Acidity, 7 is Neutral and 14 is the most Alkaline.
There are various types of foods that are said to be promoting of an Alkaline environment in the body. These include Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts and more.
Proposed Benefits of the “Alkaline Diet.”
Those who support the idea of taking an Alkaline Diet claim multiple health benefits. Perhaps one of the main benefits that are promoted is preventing Cancer from growing. There have been studies to show that Cancer thrives in an acidic environment. This is used as an evidence to suggest that the opposite (an Alkaline environment) would prevent the growth of Cancer cells.
Other proposed benefits include weight loss and preventing other diseases.
What do the Facts Say?
Before we ask whether undergoing an Alkaline Diet is beneficial for us, there remains a much more basic question that still needs to be answered: “Can we even increase our bodies pH level?”
Home test kits measuring the pH level of urine have shown that a difference in diet can affect the acid/alkaline levels. However, Urine is the only fluid that is affected. This does not apply to blood. There has not been any substantial research or evidence produced to shown that an Alkaline Diet can even change the general pH level of the body.
The balance between Acid and Alkaline is so tightly regulated by the bodies different mechanisms that it would not be possible for a diet to simply override this.
Infact, even small changes to certain parts of our bodies pH level could create great harm.
There have been tests conducted in laboratories that have proven that Cancer thrives in an Acidic environment and cannot survive in an Alkaline one. However, this was done in a laboratory setting and it is incorrect to apply this to the environment of the Human body!
So we ask the question: Have there been any concrete scientific research conducted to prove the benefits of the Alkaline Diet? Well it does not seem like it.
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We leave you with this statement from the American Institute of Cancer Research which nicely sums up this issue:
“What you eat can have a profound affect on your cancer risk, but the acidity or alkalinity of foods is not important. Instead, focus on making dietary choices that can truly affect your risk.”
Check out their article which clarifies the misconceptions of the Alkaline Diet: