The alkaline, or Acid-Ash, diet is based on the belief that cancer and other chronic conditions like heart disease and osteoporosis are caused by acidic environments in our body. pH is a measure of how acidic or non-acidic something is. The pH of our blood is between 7.35 and 7.45. The words acidic or non-acidic can also be used to describe foods. Those who promote this alkaline diet claim that acidic foods like meats, dairy and grains cause our blood pH to lower and become acidic. They believe this puts us at risk of developing various diseases. This diet focuses on eating non-acidic foods like vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds which supposedly keeps the pH of our blood higher, or not acidic.
Research shows that our bodies tightly control our pH to keep it in the range of 7.35 to 7.45. If the pH of our blood went above or below this, it would be life-threatening. In healthy individuals, the kidneys and lungs work together to keep our body’s pH within that narrow range. Food, in fact, has no impact on our body’s pH. The kidneys will make urine more or less acidic to keep the pH of our blood the same, and this is a normal function of the body. Sometimes the alkaline diet will encourage people to test the pH of the urine; however, this does not reflect the pH of our blood.
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