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The alkaline diet for curing arthritis is subject to lot of contradictory opinions. The main areas of conflict are mostly related to the credibility of the diet and its healing approach to cure arthritis.
However, it is important to note in this regard that many doctors refuted the claim that the alkaline diet can help in treating arthritis simply because they didn’t really understand what the alkaline diet is about and what food it promotes, nor how it works.
Accordingly, they mistakenly considered that the diet restricts “acidic foods” while the diet actually restricts “acid promoting foods” and there’s a major difference between these two aspects. To understand more about this, you can visit our section about the alkaline diet misconceptions, and learn how to differentiate between “acidic food” and “acid promoting foods”. The latter is actually based on the metabolic effect of the food after being digested not the actual physical status of the food itself whether being acidic or alkaline.
Subsequently, the alkaline diet supporters believe that arthritis is due to blood acidity that damages the joints and the tissues, hence leading to arthritis and creating inflammation. As a result, white cells come to the rescue acting as a janitorial cleansing mechanism.
Supporters of the alkaline diet also believe that inflammation can only occur and develop in an acidic environment, and can’t exist in an alkaline environment.
On the other hand, opponents of the alkaline diet completely reject the science behind the diet as they don’t agree with the claim suggesting that food can influence blood pH. This is despite the fact that research is available to support this fact.
Furthermore, they don’t provide a satisfying argument to explain why blood becomes acidic, nor a clear explanation why the blood pH has been dropping in the past years, based on research finding.
Instead, opponents of the diet only refer to an over alkaline blood type that might occur as a result of some kidney diseases. Hence, they use this argument to reject the claim that blood pH can change because of food and conclude that pH changes can happen only because of medical conditions.
Opponents of the alkaline diet also suggest that arthritis is an auto immune disease in which white cells mistakenly attack the joints lining. This also goes in contradiction with the alkaline diet philosophy that believes that acidic blood is what destroys the joints, hence causing arthritis.
Last but not least, some opponents of the alkaline diet suggest that the only benefit from the alkaline diet for curing arthritis is mainly because of the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of the food included in the alkaline diet not because of its ability to change the pH of the blood and make it more alkaline.
Opinion in favor of following an alkaline diet to treat arthritis:
Supporters of the alkaline diet for treating arthritis believe that arthritis is caused by acidic blood pH, which is what damages the joints. Accordingly, if the blood pH is maintained in a normal alkaline environment, arthritis would be prevented and eliminated. This would also result in decreased inflammation, and hence relieves arthritis symptoms such as pain and swelling.
Subsequently, the alkaline diet is believed to cure and relieve arthritis symptoms by eating alkaline producing foods such as fruits and vegetables makes the body’s blood pH more alkaline.
A review by Young (2016) suggests that alkalizing one’s body using several methods can work as a prevention, and even for reversing chronic inflammation and pain conditions such as arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
The review also stresses on the short and long term effects of using the alkaline diet. Young (2016) mentions that reversing the damage that is done by the acidity is one important short term positive influence of the alkaline diet. Moreover, the long term benefits of following this diet expand to safety and protection of bones and joints.
Skeptical views about following an alkaline diet to treat arthritis:
On the other hand, many medical experts agree that replacing processed, high fat, sugary and salty foods with fruits and vegetables is good for arthritis symptom relief. However, this is not based on the same reasons as believed by the supporters of the alkaline diet.
Opponents of the alkaline diet for treating arthritis believe that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of the food are actually the reason for arthritis relief and not blood alkalinity.
Accordingly, opponents of the alkaline diet state that the alkaline diet per se is not effective in treating arthritis based on the claim that it normalizes the blood’s pH level.
They also argue that there are physiological facts that show that the human body is capable of maintaining a normal pH level due to the kidneys and respiratory system, which regulate this process. Therefore it is believed that no matter what is consumed by the body, the blood pH is going to stay the same, and hence the alkaline diet is of no use for treating arthritis symptoms or any other conditions.
Furthermore, the opponents of the alkaline diet do not believe that the root cause of arthritis is increased acidity and that this condition could be reversed by simply changing the body’s pH to a more alkaline environment. This argument is also supported by limited scientific evidence linking the use of the alkaline diet to arthritis.
Opponents of the alkaline diet also argue that there is minimal evidence and research to support the theory that the alkaline diet may prevent or treat arthritis.