Alkaline diet is a highly debatable topic. The various medical and scientific opinions about it show conflicting views among experts. The main disagreement points are focused around the scientific credibility of the diet claiming that:
- Diseases and illnesses can’t develop in an alkaline body pH environment.
- Food can influence the body pH, and can make it alkaline or acidic.
Accordingly, on one hand, we have very famous medical doctors that do strongly believe in the alkaline diet and its healing benefits. They do also report applying it to cure many medical cases, and confirm achieving great results.
On the other hand, many medical doctors completely reject the claim that food can influence the blood pH because they believe that the normal blood pH is regulated by a different mechanism in the body.
Accordingly, they suggest that the blood pH can change only in the case of medical illnesses such as the case of kidney diseases for example among others.
However, at the same time, they do agree that gout which is a type of arthritis, occurs because of blood acidity in the body, yet without being able to justify why this acidity happens. And it seems somehow that this goes in contradiction with their other statements about blood being regulated through the various buffering systems in the body.
Furthermore, opponents of the alkaline diet state that the normal blood pH is slightly alkaline, however diseases and illnesses still do exist and can even develop in this environment. Hence, this is another issue that adds to the conflict.
But overall, there’s a common agreement among all medical experts about the alkaline diet overall health benefits. This is mainly because this diet focuses on healthy food, and omits processed food which can be quite harmful for the health in general.
The normal blood pH is slightly alkaline, with a pH ranging between 7.35 and 7.45. Supporters of the alkaline diet believe that such a pH environment allows the body to fight several illnesses, and prevent many diseases and conditions from developing.
However, it is believed that this blood pH is drifting away for its optimal levels, hence causing major health problems in our modern society. It is even allowing simple diseases and conditions that are supposed to be treated easily, to develop and become a serious health threat.
According to the proponents of the alkaline diet, this change in body pH is mainly due to several changes in the modern diet, such as increased consumption of sodium containing foods, GMOs (genetically modified organs), and processed foods.
Furthermore, it is believed that stress and anxiety, among other health factors play a major role in making the blood pH more acidic.
This is even proven in several studies showing that many illnesses might occur secondary to the state of acidity in the body. Accordingly, a chronic disruption of the acid-base balance, low grade metabolic acidosis, can significantly predispose the body to diseases.
Skeptical views about the alkaline diet:
Opponents of the alkaline diet do not refute the fact that having an alkaline blood pH is healthy because after all, a normal blood pH is slightly alkaline, ranging between 7.3 and 7.45.
However, they object the claim that suggests that most diseases can’t survive in an alkaline environment. According to them, even in a normal blood pH that is slightly alkaline, people still get all kinds of diseases.
Furthermore, they do present several arguments explaining that there is no significant evidence that the alkaline diet can actually shift the body fluid pH to a state of alkalinity.
Based on science, they believe that the acid-base body balance is regulated by several mechanisms and organs in the body, including the renal and respiratory system, and the brain… but not food.
Therefore, opponents of the alkaline diet do not believe that alkaline foods are able to increase the blood pH and make it more basic, since this mechanism is already maintained in that range of alkalinity due to the function and roles of the lungs and the kidneys.
Accordingly, no matter what food we eat, this can’t change the body pH.
Furthermore, it is believed that the consumption of acidic ash producing foods can impact the pH of the saliva and urine because it is excreting the metabolic wastes of the diet. However, the pH of both does not influence the pH of the blood which hardly changes with shifting dietary patterns.
Opponents of the alkaline diet do also believe that pH blood fluctuations that are not within the normal range are considered dangerous, and mainly attributed to certain medical conditions.
Accordingly, if the pH reaches levels lower than 7.35, this puts the body in a state of “acidaemia”, while a pH higher than 7.45, drags the body into a state of “alkalosis”. Both situations are considered dangerous medical conditions.