There is so much hype about the so-called Alkaline Diet Aka Alkaline Ash Diet, a weight-loss formula promoted by Robert Oldham Young. Young is an American author of several alternative medicine books promoting naturopathy or the “holistic healing” principle.
Young theorized that an alkaline diet is an ideal intervention and effective prevention against diseases. He believes that microbes thrive in an acidic environment, thus, neutralizing the body’s pH (potential of Hydrogen) level will kill the germs.
Several celebrities like Nutritionist and blogger Laura Wilson, famous actresses Jennifer Aniston and Gwyneth Paltrow follow this diet and swear by its effectiveness.
Despite the popularity of the alkaline diet, many health professionals debunked the claims and cited the following reasons that explain why this diet is just another lifestyle myth cashing in on the popularity of the celebrities promoting the commercialized products.
Fact No. 1: Alkaline Diet CANNOT change the body’s pH level
Our body has different pH levels. Our digestive system, particularly the stomach, has the highest pH level at 4.0 to 6.5. The acidity helps in the digestion of food. Once the digested food goes down to the small intestines, the pH level changes to basic (alkaline) where the nutrients are absorbed. The acidity of the membranes inside our body protects our organs from microbes and free radicals. Even the infusion of alkaline in our body cannot alter the body’s pH because our kidneys and respiratory system (lungs) regulate this balance.
Fact No. 2: Alkaline Diet CANNOT change our blood’s pH
Our blood is slightly alkaline with a pH level of 7.35 to 7.45. This helps our organs to function efficiently because blood carries oxygen throughout the body. Oxygen is deficient in an acidic environment. A healthy body has a balanced pH level. If the blood pH drops below 6 or goes above the ideal level of 7.4, the tissues will die and a serious illness may result.
Fact No. 3: Alkaline Diet CANNOT prevent cancer
Studies show that cancer cells are externally acidic. It makes the affected area acidic. Although an alkaline diet may stunt the growth of cancer cells in a particular organ, it cannot stop the growth of tumours in other areas of the body. More than 50 types of cancer are found to have inherited mutations manifested in syndromes which have nothing to do with acidity. If a naturally acidic organ is alkalized, chances are the essential vitamins and nutrients may not be absorbed and this deficiency may further cause the cells to weaken and its ability to rejuvenate will lessen. Either way, our body will suffer if pH is not balanced.
Fact No. 4: Alkaline Diet CANNOT treat cancer
Whatever food we eat; it does not affect the pH level of our body. A slight change in the pH number may manifest in the urine but it will not have a long-term effect in the blood or the organs. The kidneys will make sure that the balance is maintained. Increased level of alkalinity in our system will lead to many serious medical conditions other than cancer. The cells cannot heal by itself unless the blood pH is returned to its normal level of 7.4. It may be a proven fact that cancer cells cannot thrive in an alkaline environment but so does the acidic organs cannot function properly in an alkaline state.
Fact No. 5: Our body naturally balances the level of alkalinity and acidity however religiously we follow the Alkaline Diet.
Although the alkaline diet is healthy in itself because you will be eating organic fruits and vegetables, it does not guarantee protection from debilitating diseases. Our body needs essential acids to stay healthy. Our system cannot function without the fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6), the amino acid from Protein and the most important of all, our DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid).
Over the years, millions of dollars were poured into these diet programs that only made the proponents rich and famous. The alkaline diet is not an exemption.