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  • Acid/alkaline....nonsense or?



    Hola - I'm looking for some insight into the acid/alkaline fad that seems connected with vegan raw foodists (mainly encountered it at the blog of the gal who wrote crazysexycancer - she seems to have becomes extreme & looks frail, hope she keeps her cancer in check.) anyway - on one level it's total bunk - your body regulates your blood ph, thank god, because any minor change either way & you'd be a corpse. Your stomach is acid - whatever leaves it is acid. However - I'm wondering if this isn't what these folks are talking about? Or are they indeed ignorant & brainwashed? It's true bodily fluids can be either acidic or alkaline...semen is alkaline & the vagina is acid - as most women know the more acidic the better or you'll get an infection....urine....saliva...etc. I would guess there's about zero basis for this 'diet' - (and the enzyme thing!), for instance eating 'raw' - well, you could say the stomach has it's way of 'cooking' it in all that acid...just like thinly sliced raw fish in lemon juice essentially cooks it.


    Just wondering if I don't understand what these folks are talking about - ? Because they can't be talking about blood, & given the stomach acidifies all food....? Hard to believe these folks would be that gullible...?


    Thanks for any insight!


  • #2
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    The acid/alkaline diets have always puzzled me. It's one of those things that "makes sense" just thinking about it... but on closer examination seems to fall apart.


    The theory is that the food you eat affects the PH balance of your blood and other fluids in your body, and the more alkaline your body is, the more it will resist disease because disease somehow can't survive in an alkaline environment. Certain foods are classified as being "alkaline foods" that cause you to become more alkaline. Followers of this type of diet will test the PH of their saliva and try to get is as alkaline as possible.


    So far, I haven't found anywhere that offers concrete evidence to support any portion of that argument. I've known people who follow this type of diet and they are able to (at least temporarily) change the PH of their saliva. I've heard from several doctors, though, that the PH of your saliva doesn't actually correlate to the PH of your blood or any other body fluid. Oops!


    The other major problem with this belief system is that if you look at a ton of different websites, there seems to be a lot of disagreement on what foods are actually the preferred alkaline foods, and which ones are acidic. Some say all meat will cause acidity. Some say chicken is neutral. Some say chicken will cause alkalinity. So, even if you completely believe in this type of a diet, what should you actually eat??


    From looking at most of the recommended foods, it would seems that the benefits people get from this diet have to do with eating less starches, less processed carbs, less sugars, and a lot more veggies... which would obviously benefit pretty much anyone.

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    • #3
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      You said it yourself Osa, "your body regulates your blood ph"


      And how does it do this? By leeching calcium (the most abundant alkaline mineral in your body) from your teeth and bones into the blood stream to buffer your blood PH back to normal. So a long term acidifying diet would eventually lead to osteoporosis. That's the theory anyways.


      Most fruits and vegetables leave an alkaline ash in the body, while most nuts, seeds, grains and meat leave an acid ash.


      Since meat is very acidic to the body, eating it with lots of veggies to balance things out seems like a smart idea.


      It makes sense, but so many theories "make sense". It's tough to sift through all the knowledge that's out there and find some truth! I think there's some truth to this one though. Feels right to me.

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      • #4
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        Your blood is always going to stay between 7.35 and 7.45 pH. The foods you eat and the lifestyle you live will effect this by attempting to take you out of homeostasis, so your body stresses its organs and systems to keep it between 7.35 and 7.45.


        Now conventional wisdom will tell us that most fruits, vegetables, and teas are alkaline. Also, oils like olive oil are neutral. Most protein foods and other foods are acidic.


        Now, from what I've been reading lately, this is kind of true to a point except different foods can be very alkaline and/or very acidic to different people. On top of that, some people tend to naturally be more acidic or more alkaline.


        I wouldn't micromanage it too much unless your really having relevant symptoms. Be healthy, be happy.

        sigpic
        In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!: www.livingnotsurviving.com

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        • #5
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          I remember reading about this in Cordain's book and being paranoid about acidity for about a month..


          But the more I learn the more it sounds pretty bunky. I think for whatever acidity is induced by meat (if the acidity theory is even true), whatever is leeched from bones to buffer it is also replaced by the meat itself.


          Even if the theory is true, I doubt people eating a mostly meat based diet would be any worse off than the people eating the SAD.

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          • #6
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            I'm not sure on the eating a lot of meat only leading to osteoporosis. From what I hear from carnivores they report stronger teeth and bones, including increasing bone density.

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            • #7
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              BlazeKING, definitely the data shows H/G groups eating high fat/high meat diets (to the exclusion of grains and plant matter) have more robust bones, taller stature, better dental health. Anthropologists can tell at a glance of skeletal fossils/remains wether the owner was a grain eating agriculturalist (thin, weak and damaged bone structure), or a meat eating Hunter/Gatherer.


              My own long term carnivore experiment coincided with the healing of two cavities, and visible (in the dentists X rays, before and after) thickening of my jaw bones and of my tooth enamel. My dentist was happy to see it, but at a loss to explain, knowing I shun grains, CW and exist primarily on meat.

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              • #8
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                I personally think it is bogus.

                The pH of your urine is the only thing that is affected.

                http://www.quackwatch.org/01Quackery...SH/coral2.html

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                • #9
                  1



                  Aside from the fact that I do believe in the PH balance theory, if you read Mark's book, he also agrees with the conclusion that animal products are acidifying and should therefore be consumed with a lot of plant food which has an alkalyzing affect.


                  In addition, diseases such as cancer, thrive in an acidic environment. Though I have yet to hear mainstream medicine acknowledging this in the treatment of cancer, I do have a friend who is an ICU nurse working mostly with chemo patients. ALL of their patients are taken entirely off of animal products and fed green smoothies while they are being treated. Naturally they are going to claim that the chemo produces miraculous recovery but many doctors will openly admit that the chemo itself is very dangerous. Seems to me they are doing all they can to hedge their bets.


                  I encourage everyone to read Mark's book and truly embrace his entire theory. He is an equal proponent of animals and plants and he openly says the acidity of animal products ought to be balanced by the plant foods. To abandon that part of the message pretty much lands you in the Atkins camp which seems like a pretty unbalanced diet.

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                  • #10
                    1



                    Acmebike, that is very amazing and fits in with what I have heard elsewhere. I am considering an all meat diet. My bone structure was weakened substantially by CW diet in the past, but thankfully I am only in my mid 20's so I found out the truth on evolutionary nutrition early on and have changed. I have noticed in the past 2 weeks that bumping up my protein intake to about 200-230g's a day (I'm 160 lbs) has made me feel stronger, more alive, and happier. What other changes, good or bad, did you notice going carnivore?

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                    • #11
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                      At the ripe old age of 41, I am now gaining muscle mass, functional strength, better sleep (by leaps and bounds), energy, lost of allergies (seasonal hay fever, pet dander, etc, used to be terrible, all gone now). I have lost all my minor joint pains, my recovery is enhanced. Oh, I managed to go from zero motility and poor sperm count to producing like a teenager, so managed to get my wife pregnant as well! All good stuff.


                      To be fair, I also eliminated veggie/seed oils, alcohol, sugars (of any sort), and all grains/legumes. But the all meat thing is pretty swell.

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                      • #12
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                        Well - I know an older lady who was diagnosed with breast cancer @ 35 years ago.

                        She was a vegetarian, just as an aside. It had already spread to her liver, doctor was a friend & was honest that no treatment could truly help her so she had no chemo, no surgery, no radition however in between soaking in hot springs, eliminating fear, laying out on the good earth completely naked & 'purifying' her diet of all sugars/alcohol/caffeine & I think she used castor oil compresses she recovered. If I recall she would eat some greens, herbal teas, ate some eggs, sweet potato with butter & cod liver oil. She was in a position to totally 'drop out' - she lived in a house she built herself, didn't have to work, no kids, no spouse. At any rate, six months later - cancer gone. And has never returned - she did incorporate some meat in her diet & other things here & there after her recovery.


                        I know & have known of too many good folks dying of cancer to put much stock in chemo or green smoothies. What have the cancer rates come to after 60 years or so? 1 in 20 to now 1 in 3 or some ridiculous figure? And younger & younger ...

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                        • #13
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                          Del Mar Mel, doesn't cancer thrive on glucose?


                          Anyways, high protein diets have been shown to increase bone density and strength. Protein is as vital to bone health as minerals. You have people drinking milk 3x a day yet continually worsening bone health. Acidity may be a culprit, if acidity is caused by foods that cannot help the bones, like grains. Meat may be acidic but it is not a cause of weakened bones. If you're eating mostly pb it probably shouldn't be an issue for most.

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                          • #14
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                            I am not disputing that meat in the diet is healthy. I'm interjecting that I believe the plant foods are equally important in the diet and that they should help balance acidity.


                            Regarding cancer, I have no doubt that the current prevalence is due to the crap "food" that is the basis of most people's diet along with the overall chemical burden in our environment. Most shocking of all is the fact that after WW II, the excess raw materials that had been going into chemical warfare were reallocated towards pesticides. How crazy that we take materials we were using to decimate populations and then decide to spray it on our food supply.


                            As always, getting back to nature, organically, is the way to go.

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                            • #15
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                              I absolutely agree about the need for plant foods for balance.


                              I first heard about "acidity" in the body being negative from an alternative medicine doctor on the radio who argued that many, many health problems are due to excess acidity in the body.


                              I had been eating low carb, and wanted to do just meat and eggs for a week to 'nudge' my weight loss a little. I felt terrible (I'm hypothyroid and need at least 30g carbs a day), but I had also bought some testing strips that check ph in saliva or urine.


                              I found that just 3 days of meat/eggs had me totally acidic, but when I began to eat veggies, my ph returned to normal range. I don't know how much my 'feeling terrible' had to due with acidity, but I know that I felt 100% better when I balanced my protein with veggie carbs (green, leafy).


                              I eat primal and focus on getting enough protein (fish, meat, eggs), but I also balance that with plant foods (which I love).

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