Alkaline diet?

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Alkaline diet?

Post by DrPangloss » Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:03 pm

I was wondering if anyone had heard about some sort of new alkaline diet fad? A co-worker was telling me all about how she is starting a diet where she's only eating alkaline foods. Ordinarily, I wouldn't care because most of the food she is talking about eating is fruits and veggies, which will probably be beneficial. The problem that I saw is that she was told several things by the health guru that set off alarm bells for me. First, she was told that many disease (including cancer) cannot survive in an alkaline body, so this diet will prevent or even cure cancer because those disease thrive in an acid body. The second was that she needs to drink alkaline water from an alkaline water ionizer. Of course, this machine costs over a thousand dollars. Interestingly enough, as a child I lived in an area with some natually-occuring alkaline lakes and we were told not to drink the water..

After she told me all this, I said that it sounded like a crackpot scheme to me. I would think that the body would be relatively self-regulating when it comes to it's internal chemistry and that if disease really couldn't live in an alkaline body, then people probably would have figured this out before now. Any addition advice on how to debunk this for people who have zero scientific knowledge?

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by JJM » Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:23 pm


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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by DrPangloss » Tue Nov 27, 2007 7:15 am

Thanks for the link! Hopefully I can save her some money, but she seemed pretty taken in by the flim-flam artist selling this stuff.

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by JJM » Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:08 pm

mater deum wrote:The people who oppose an alkaline diet generally don't know about it. {snip}
As a matter of fact, it is people who oppose the silly diet who understand it best. The proponents don't have science (physiology, biochemistry) to back it up. It is pure, magical thinking; which sells books and stuff.

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by DrPangloss » Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:59 am

mater deum wrote: So, what is the danger of eating a more alkaline diet? Why are you convinced that you have to 'correct' your co-workers thinking on her own diet. Why does it bother you that your co-worker may show up at work with more salads, fresh fruit, drink more water, take more walks outside (for a 'woo' sounding breather instead of a cup of coffee to perk up),and more healthful eating in general? Why does this concern you anyhow? Does she have impaired kidney function or on pharmaceuticals which may cause potassium imbalance? No? Then a change to an alkaline diet is safe (and is a great idea).


Because she is being sold this bill of goods as a miracle cure for all manner of diseases (including cancer) and asked to spend thousands on what appears to be useless machinery. If all this diet involved was eating healthier, I would of course think it was a good idea. I have essentially been on the same diet for years. What I don't want to see is people told this diet is some sort of panacea.

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by specious_reasons » Wed Nov 28, 2007 1:20 pm

mater deum wrote: re:The Alkaline Diet. There's sound science behind it. If you are relying on the book for information on what foods are alkaline and which are acid-forming in the body, a lot of sense can be found there. Eating 70 or 80 percent of your diet from the alkaline foods is just plain healthy (as long as your getting a variety!)


Sound science? I have my doubts, when a proponent makes a statement like this:
Cancerous tissue, above all other consequences of choice, has countless secondary causes. But even for a cancerous condition there is only ONE PRIME ORIGIN and CAUSE. I have simply summarized this origin and cause of cancerous tissue in a few words. The prime origin and cause of cancerous tissue is the over-acidification of the tissues then the blood due to lifestyle and dietary choices. A cancerous tissue begins with our choices of what we eat, what we drink, what we think and how we live. Cancer is a liquid and this liquid is a toxic acidic waste product of metabolism or energy consumption.


It makes me suspicious that something like the Alkaline Diet is healithier by accident than by design.
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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by JJM » Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:15 pm

mater deum wrote:{snip} Just FYI, the body is acidic when a person is suffering from cancer. One pharmacist and two respiratory techs. friends have just confirmed this for me. Resp. Techs test arterial blood for the blood gases and can verify that the blood is 'acidic' in cancer patients.
First, anybody with acidic blood is long dead. Read the post I linked. The techs may think the blood tends to the lower end of the normal range "more acidic;" but I don't take medical advice from techs. Maybe this post explains it more clearly:

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2006/ ... _woo_1.php

mater deum wrote:re:The Alkaline Diet. There's sound science behind it. If you are relying on the book for information on what foods are alkaline and which are acid-forming in the body, a lot of sense can be found there. Eating 70 or 80 percent of your diet from the alkaline foods is just plain healthy (as long as your getting a variety!)
You may believe there is science behind it; but you are wrong. It takes practice to distinguish "sense" from "nonsense."

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by specious_reasons » Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:50 pm

mater deum wrote:Firstly,the alkaline diet is sound 'by accident rather than by design'. So, the author of the diet book stumbled upon a healthy way to eat 'by accident'. Your evidence?


Actually, I don't know anything about the diet, so I can't even tell you if I think it might be healthy. Seriously: "Cancer is a liquid"? If the diet is based on apparently irrational thinking, I think the diet itself can be at best healthy by accident.

(Apparently I didn't attribute my previous quote: What is the Cause of Cancer? Is There a Cure? By: Robert O. Young)


From a strictly pragmatic point of view, why should I even waste my time with it?
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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by Major Malfunction » Thu Nov 29, 2007 7:13 am

Mater, how is pushing your body to one extreme healthier than the other when either will kill you just as effectively?

"Too hot in the oven? Here, get into the freezer..." Personally, I prefer my porridge juuuust right.

And the slightly lower blood pH of some cancer sufferers is a symptom, not a cause.

Balance.
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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by specious_reasons » Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:20 pm

mater deum wrote:Indeed. BTW, there are numerous books out there that are about an 'alkaline diet'. The fact that some of the authors are frauds or that there are dubious companies out there promoting some expensive water filter or the like doesn't negate the fact that an alkaline diet is more healthy.


Well, the other books on this diet had better be highly convincing, well reasoned, and cite respectable authorities, because my burden of proof just got significantly raised after reading a bat-guano "doctor" expound a crackpot theory on it.
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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by JJM » Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:13 am

mater deum wrote:Seems strikingly coincidental that the foods listed as 'most alkaline' are the very foods that the dietetic associations want us to eat more.
Citrus, tomatoes, that sort of thing ...

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by specious_reasons » Fri Nov 30, 2007 2:12 pm

mater deum wrote:Seems strikingly coincidental that the foods listed as 'most alkaline' are the very foods that the dietetic associations want us to eat more.


Great! I have slightly more trust in the dietetic associations than sources like the "doctor" I linked to.

Still, my opinion is that a lot of diets are GIGO: Garbage in, Garbage out. Or rather, "false implies anything". When you start from questionable premises, your conclusion can go anywhere. I suppose I should be happy that at least the Alkaline Diet doesn't seem to be actively harmful.
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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by JJM » Fri Nov 30, 2007 9:15 pm

specious_reasons wrote:Great! I have slightly more trust in the dietetic associations than sources like the "doctor" I linked to. {snip} I suppose I should be happy that at least the Alkaline Diet doesn't seem to be actively harmful.
Of course, a problem with the "alkaline diet" is that each quack has different ideas. Here is a review of one book (which includes harmful advice) by the American Dietetic Association:
http://www.eatright.org/ada/files/PhMiracle.pdf

The review is too polite to say the diet is based on idiocy (they call it "based on what seems to be a rather obscure theory"). However, they do point out that some aspects (such as emphasis on vegetables) are reasonable. Most of the best mis-information has a kernel of truth. After that, the quacks lard on whatever will convince the public to buy their particular version (i.e., book).

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by specious_reasons » Fri Nov 30, 2007 10:18 pm

JJM wrote:
specious_reasons wrote:Great! I have slightly more trust in the dietetic associations than sources like the "doctor" I linked to. {snip} I suppose I should be happy that at least the Alkaline Diet doesn't seem to be actively harmful.
Of course, a problem with the "alkaline diet" is that each quack has different ideas. Here is a review of one book (which includes harmful advice) by the American Dietetic Association:
http://www.eatright.org/ada/files/PhMiracle.pdf

Sorry, JJM, it's the same author as the quack I referenced.
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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by DrPangloss » Sat Dec 01, 2007 7:46 am

Thanks for the help, I was able to bring the topic up with my coworker and talk her out of spending any money on alkaline machines or similar nonsense. Sounds like she's going to focus on the healthy eating (ie, lots of veggies, less red meat, etc) section of the diet which is a win-win for everyone.

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by JJM » Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:06 am

specious_reasons wrote:
JJM wrote:
specious_reasons wrote:Great! I have slightly more trust in the dietetic associations than sources like the "doctor" I linked to. {snip} I suppose I should be happy that at least the Alkaline Diet doesn't seem to be actively harmful.
Of course, a problem with the "alkaline diet" is that each quack has different ideas. Here is a review of one book (which includes harmful advice) by the American Dietetic Association:
http://www.eatright.org/ada/files/PhMiracle.pdf

Sorry, JJM, it's the same author as the quack I referenced.
No need to be sorry, I thought as much. I was specifically supporting your point; while generally observing that there is no one "alkaline diet" so no blanket statement can be made as to its value.

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by JJM » Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:11 pm

mater deum wrote:JJM: are citrus fruit and tomatoes acid forming? No. {snip} Maybe do some research. {snip}
It is one thing to do research; it is another thing to do it well and understand the results (which requires specialized knowledge):

http://www.extension.umn.edu/distributi ... J1097.html
Tomatoes are generally considered a high acid food item with a pH below 4.6. Unfortunately, a lot of misinformation has been printed in the popular press about "low acid" tomatoes referring to those with a sweet, non-tart taste. These tomatoes are often white, yellow, or pink in color but are not low in acid content. The higher sugar masks the acidic flavor.


http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/mort ... _lime.html
Of the two acid, or sour, limes in world trade …


http://www.museums.org.za/bio/plants/ru ... citrus.htm
Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, flavonoids, acids and volatile oils.
I underlined the pertinent parts for you.

mater deum wrote:On another diet -> disease note. Is it 'quakery' when a medical doctor advises a patient with gout to avoid certain foods? Limit meat, alcohol, cheeses, organ meats especially... Is this quakery?
I don't know if your particular, dietary advice for people with gout is any more reliable than anything else you claim. But, I do know that diet is important in controlling the disease, and that is science-based; not quackery.

mater deum wrote:The patient is told that these foods will increase the uric acid in the body and this will result in severe gout pain.
Yes, certain foods increase "urate;" which is not the same thing as acidifying the body- the proscribed foods do not acidify the body.

mater deum wrote:{snip} They are basically being told to 'follow a more alkaline diet'. This is just not the way a medical doctor would word it though.
Of course not, they are more sophisticated; they don't confuse uric acid/urate with acidification of the body. It is not an "alkaline diet" (by any of the myriad, quack descriptions); it is a diet to decrease the body's load of urate.

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:28 pm

Strikes me that Mater may be getting causes mixed up. There is no doubt that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is healthier. However, there are a heap of reasons for this, ranging from high fibre, lower calories, high vitamins, high anti-oxidants etc. We do NOT need to talk about alkalinity.

The silliest thing about the original idea is the $ 1,000 device for making drinking water alkaline. Hell, if you want a drink that gives alkalinity, try milk. Calcium is alkaline. Try high calcium food, like hamburger. Pity about the fat! If you want high alkaline water, add a little lime. Lots cheaper and gives the unnecessary alkalinity and the very useful calcium.

I agree with the idea of eating lots of fruit and vege. All sensible people will. But not with that silly rationale.

Incidentally, there have been several proper scientific studies to see if a diet high in fruit and vege improves survivability from cancer. It doesn't. It appears that cancer, once underway, is not easily stopped, except by drastic measures such as radiation or chemotherapy. In fact, anything that improves the general health of the cancer patient, improves the health of the cancer even more, and it grows even faster. The reverse effect is why the nasty poisons we call chemotherapy work. They knock the hell out of the patient, but, due to the faster growth rate and nutrient uptake of the tumour, knock the cancer even worse.

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by JJM » Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:07 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:Strikes me that Mater may be getting causes mixed up. {snip} We do NOT need to talk about alkalinity.
Exactly.

Lance Kennedy wrote:Hell, if you want a drink that gives alkalinity, try milk.
Not quite, it is ever so slightly acidic.
http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~comm/lacf-phs.html
This is a list of typical pH for many foods. Citrus ranks as rather acid; but we knew that. In fact, the list is mostly about fruits and veggies (and some grains and fish) and most register under pH 7! That is, in the acidic range. Of course, some quack will have a counterintuitive rationalization for that. Their groupies dote on counterintuitive rationalizations.

Lance Kennedy wrote:Calcium is alkaline. {snip}
Not quite. Calcium metal (the element) does slowly dissolve in water to yield an alkaline solution. However, dietary calcium (ion) has only a slight effect on alkalinity. The pH of the food will depend on all the components.

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sun Dec 02, 2007 12:08 am

jjm said

Not quite, it is ever so slightly acidic

No doubt. However, the effect of food on blood pH is not as simple as that. A lot of changes occur between consumption and impact on serum pH. I may be wrong, but I seem to recall that the effect of milk is to raise pH.

Ditto for Calcium. It depends on which form the Calcium takes. CaCO3 is definitely a pH lifter. When you talk about adding lime to water, it is normally CaCO3 you talk about.

In the Pacific, chewing betel nut is a common habit, since it is a mild narcotic. The narcotic effect increases at higher pH. So the chewers add ground up CaCO3 to the betel nut they chew. Not good for the teeth, but excellent for the impact on the brain. What it does to serum pH is not something I know. If Mater is correct, betel nut chewers will never get cancer. (insert laughter here).

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by JJM » Sun Dec 02, 2007 5:53 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:jjm said
Not quite, [milk] is ever so slightly acidic

Lance Kennedy wrote:No doubt. However, the effect of food on blood pH is not as simple as that. A lot of changes occur between consumption and impact on serum pH. I may be wrong, but I seem to recall that the effect of milk is to raise pH.
You may be wrong, we gotta see the data. When food is absorbed from the gut, it goes into the blood which is highly pH-regulated (buffered). If one consumes an unusually high amount of an acidic food, it will acidify the urine; but the blood pH remains within its tightly-controlled, alkaline boundaries.

Of course, excess acid intake can defeat the blood-buffering system and cause serious death (e.g., overdosing on aspirin).

Lance Kennedy wrote:Ditto for Calcium. It depends on which form the Calcium takes. CaCO3 is definitely a pH lifter. When you talk about adding lime to water, it is normally CaCO3 you talk about.
In this case, it is the (basic) carbonate ion that affects the pH, not the calcium ion.

Lance Kennedy wrote:In the Pacific, chewing betel nut is a common habit, since it is a mild narcotic. The narcotic effect increases at higher pH. So the chewers add ground up CaCO3 to the betel nut they chew. Not good for the teeth, but excellent for the impact on the brain. What it does to serum pH is not something I know. If Mater is correct, betel nut chewers will never get cancer. (insert laughter here).
In this case, one is not concerned with body pH. The alkaloid drug is absorbed more rapidly and completely when it is a "free base," hence the treatment. Alkaloids get their name from being basic, they react with water by picking up a proton and becoming ionized. The ionized form is not readily absorbed. Therefore, the treatment is irrelevant to body pH- betel nut chewers can get cancer, sorry. ( :D inserted)

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by Lance Kennedy » Mon Dec 03, 2007 1:16 am

To Mater.

So calling a food 'acidic' or alkaline' has nothing to do with its pH?

Good to see the points being made here stick strictly with the science. (insert more laughter)

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by Major Malfunction » Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:25 am

One group of people that have "healthy, alkaline blood pH" and I bet never get cancer are bulemics. Vomiting causes the loss of protons.

Other easy ways you can increase the pH of your blood include hyperventilation, depressurisation, dehydration and consuming excessive amounts of antacid.

Alkalosis is a painful and traumatic way to die. Knock yourself out.
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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by JJM » Mon Dec 03, 2007 6:18 pm

mater deum wrote:{snip} A food's designation as 'very alkaline', or 'moderate alkaline' or 'mildly acidic', etc. has NOTHING to do with the pH of the food itself or the taste of the food. {snip} The end products of its digestion and assimilation by the body is how scientists designate the lime as an alkaline-forming food for the body.
Do you suppose you can tell us who these scientists are? We cannot really discuss this unless we are on the same page. There are diverse, quack notions about "the" alkaline diet. The OP was definitely about a quack.

mater deum wrote:What is the ash residue that is left over after the body has , for lack of a better word, 'burned' the food up in what's known as 'digestion'.
I hope your reference to "ash" is meant to be lofty and poetic, not literal.

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by Lance Kennedy » Mon Dec 03, 2007 8:39 pm

To Mater

You do not need to refer to quack ideas like alkaline diets to explain why Okinawans live longer than Americans and other westerners.

If you take that small group of Americans who do not smoke and avoid excess saturated fat, salt, alcohol and sugar in their diet, their average lifespan is also into the high 80's, regardless of the pH of their food.

Smokers bring down the average very dramatically. I read somewhere that 2 pack a day smokers demonstrate a 60:60 rule. That is; 60% are dead before age 60. The tobacco industry is a great benefactor to the economy. It makes sure that we do not have to pay pensions to a large group of people!

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by Major Malfunction » Tue Dec 04, 2007 8:03 am

mater deum wrote:{snip} A food's designation as 'very alkaline', or 'moderate alkaline' or 'mildly acidic', etc. has NOTHING to do with the pH of the food itself or the taste of the food. {snip} The end products of its digestion and assimilation by the body is how scientists designate the lime as an alkaline-forming food for the body.

Sodium, potassium and calcium are the metals the body uses to form bases to regulate blood pH. Is that what you're talking about?
mater deum wrote:The Okinawans (and others like the 7th Day Adventists) have designed or planned the right diet.

Oh, reeeeeeally? Just like they have the right religion?

Any diet that provides enough nutrients - not too much, nor too little - is a right diet. It's a balanced diet.

Which is what you should be promoting. Not this reactionary woo garbage... Without the fanaticism, "Eat more fresh fruit and veg!" is the meat of the message!
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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by JJM » Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:03 pm

mater deum wrote:Why do 7th Day Adventists live, on average, 7 years longer than similar Americans? {snip}
What do you think the logical explanation is, {snip}
Scientists have proven it is because of their sexual proclivities.

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by Lance Kennedy » Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:00 pm

To Mater

A quick calculation based on the 60:60 rule, and assuming 20% of the population are smokers, reveals that any group that does not contain smokers will live 4 to 5 years longer than the rest, on average.

Add in a couple more factors, such as reducing saturated fat, and you quickly account for 8 years.

Reducing known health detrements are all that is needed to account for certain groups living a bit longer. You do not need to swallow quackery.

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by St. Jimmy » Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:08 pm

An "alkaline body" makes no sense. The human body has different parts at different pH values. The stomach is a very acidic place, with pH as low as 3, which is ideal for killing bacteria and beginning digestion. Inside cells, pH needs to be more neutral, around 7ish. I can't think of any examples right now but I'm sure there are several of bodily functions which require a basic (alkaline) environment.
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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by JJM » Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:15 pm

mater deum wrote:{snip} Got any new insights on how to can beets, carrots or string beans?
Scientists have proven that you can't "can beets, carrots or string beans." Savor the irony- you "can't" "can" some things. Get it?

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by JJM » Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:30 pm

St. Jimmy wrote:An "alkaline body" makes no sense. The human body has different parts at different pH values. The stomach is a very acidic place, with pH as low as 3, which is ideal for killing bacteria and beginning digestion. Inside cells, pH needs to be more neutral, around 7ish. I can't think of any examples right now but I'm sure there are several of bodily functions which require a basic (alkaline) environment.
But ... but ... scientists have proven ...

You and Lance are correct.

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by specious_reasons » Thu Dec 06, 2007 4:56 pm

mater deum wrote:Lance, have you recently been fired from your job as a health actuary? Your 'analysis' of smokers life expectancy vs. non-smokers life expectancy is the most bogus 'sciency' crap I've read in ages. Thanks for the laugh. :lol:


Actually, I think "Cancer is a liquid" is the most bogus 'sciency' crap I've read in a while. At least we know there's some truth to smoking being destructive to your health.

Mater, there's one thing I'd like to make clear: Saying that people who choose a certain diet seem healthier than people who don't choose a certain diet is fine. What it doesn't do is prove that the plan "The Alkaline Diet" has any basis in fact.

That's kinda what I don't understand here - why are you specifically defending the Alkaline Diet? I stand behind my earlier statements, because I've only seen a total nutjob's explanation of the theory behind it. Could you provide me with the name of someone else who promotes a theory behind this diet?
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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by Lance Kennedy » Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:44 pm

Mater

I will be the first to admit that my calculations about tobacco may be inaccurate. The figuring was pretty rough. However, there is no doubt that 20% of people who smoke do have a significant effect in lowering average lifespan. The suggestion that it may be 4 to 5 years may not be strictly accurate to 3 decimal places, but won't be too far off. Do you diasagree that smokers lower average life span?

Your statements about Okinawans are not even strong evidence. Why do they have more anti-oxidant in their blood? Because they eat more anti-oxidant.

There is no doubt that a diet high in fruit and vege is healthier. There is no reason to relate it to pH. There are plenty of other reasons.

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by Lance Kennedy » Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:52 pm

Just an additional point.
Those of us who have been following Mater's arguments for a while will know that she puts an inordinate amount of importance on diet for health. While diet is important, it is not the number one factor. Here is a reference to a news release from the Jounral of the American Medical Association, showing that fitness is more important to long term survival than how overweight you might be.

http://pubs.ama-assn.org/media/2007j/1204.dtl#2

I quote :

Xuemei Sui, M.D., of the University of South Carolina, Columbia, and colleagues examined the associations between cardiorespiratory fitness, various clinical measures of adiposity (body fat) and death in older women and men. The study included 2,603 adults age 60 years or older (average age, 64.4 years; 19.8 percent women) enrolled in the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study who completed a baseline health examination during 1979-2001. Fitness was assessed by a treadmill exercise test and adiposity was assessed by body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and percent body fat. Low fitness was defined as the lowest fifth of the sex-specific distribution of treadmill exercise test duration. There were 450 deaths during an average follow-up of 12 years.

The researchers found that those who died were older, had lower fitness levels, and had more cardiovascular risk factors than survivors. However, there were no significant differences in adiposity measures. Participants in the higher fitness groups were for the most part less likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension, diabetes, or high cholesterol levels. Fit participants had lower death rates than unfit participants within each stratum of adiposity, except for two of the obesity groups. In most instances, death rates for those with higher fitness were less than half of rates for those who were unfit.

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by specious_reasons » Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:47 pm

mater deum wrote:The fact that there are a multitude of alkaline books out there and some of them may come from kooks who say 'cancer is a liquid' doesn't negate the true scientists and their data.

I was asking for one that might be reputable. The "cancer is a liquid" guy is the #2 result when I do an Amazon search for "alkaline diet" and he has 4/5 stars!

The important thing is that I'm not disputing that diet can make a significant improvement in your health. It's just that I really doubt the theory given in the Alkaline Diet is the reason why this diet is actually healthy. If the theory is wrong, then other conclusions can be made, which may be dangerous to your health (or your pocketbook).
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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by JJM » Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:58 pm

specious_reasons wrote:{snip} The important thing is that I'm not disputing that diet can make a significant improvement in your health. It's just that I really doubt the theory given in the Alkaline Diet is the reason why this diet is actually healthy. If the theory is wrong, then other conclusions can be made, which may be dangerous to your health (or your pocketbook).
Did you miss the above? Mater says that scientists have proven the alkaline diet. Of course, she won't tell us which scientists; but she is always reliable ...

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by specious_reasons » Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:55 pm

JJM wrote:Did you miss the above? Mater says that scientists have proven the alkaline diet. Of course, she won't tell us which scientists; but she is always reliable ...


I'm trying not to be sarcastic. There's a big difference to me in knowing a diet works and knowing why a diet works. Mater Deum's done a reasonable job of showing diets similar to the Alkaline Diet seem better for your health. I just am skeptical that the theory behind the diet is grounded in fact. If it's not grounded in fact, the success of the diet will lead people to believe or buy things that don't work, and that's a health risk.
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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by Major Major » Fri Dec 07, 2007 2:07 pm

I can understand to a certain extent. The vast majority of metabolic reactions in the body lead to the formation of acid. If even a greater amount of acid was formed (i.e.lactic acid in states of hypoxia) a strain would be placed on the bicarb buffer.
The chances are going into metabolic alkalosis on the other hand is very low, so there's relatively low risk in eating foods that yield more basic ions.

However, the pH of the blood is maintained between 7.35 and 7.45, so assuming you are in a 'normal' state it would not impact your pH at all. I just don't get the mechanism for how an alkaline diet would be more beneficial than just eating healthy foods period. Could someone please explain that to me?
If you produce more basic ions due to foods you ingest you're kidneys may simply conserve H+ in favor of potassium(K+), so the effects of eating 'alkaline foods' are negligible.

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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by specious_reasons » Fri Dec 07, 2007 2:22 pm

mater deum wrote:Seriously, you think someone might buy the 'wrong stuff' while on an alkaline diet? Really? They might make the awful 'mistake' of eating more greens, eating fermented soy products like natto or tempeh, eating more salads in general, and drinking more water and you think there's a danger to someone's health???


YES! In the opening post:
The problem that I saw is that she was told several things by the health guru that set off alarm bells for me. First, she was told that many disease (including cancer) cannot survive in an alkaline body, so this diet will prevent or even cure cancer because those disease thrive in an acid body. The second was that she needs to drink alkaline water from an alkaline water ionizer.

Which is exactly what I'm concerned about. Do you actually think diets can cure cancer? Would you be willing to tell a loved one with stage 3 cancer that all they need to do is follow this diet and they would be cured?
This kind of thing is the distinction between "The Alkaline Diet" as a nutritional plan, and studying the basic diet of a set of people.
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Re: Alkaline diet?

Post by St. Jimmy » Fri Dec 07, 2007 3:42 pm

Major Major wrote:I can understand to a certain extent. The vast majority of metabolic reactions in the body lead to the formation of acid. If even a greater amount of acid was formed (i.e.lactic acid in states of hypoxia) a strain would be placed on the bicarb buffer.
The chances are going into metabolic alkalosis on the other hand is very low, so there's relatively low risk in eating foods that yield more basic ions.

However, the pH of the blood is maintained between 7.35 and 7.45, so assuming you are in a 'normal' state it would not impact your pH at all. I just don't get the mechanism for how an alkaline diet would be more beneficial than just eating healthy foods period. Could someone please explain that to me?
If you produce more basic ions due to foods you ingest you're kidneys may simply conserve H+ in favor of potassium(K+), so the effects of eating 'alkaline foods' are negligible.


Exactly. The human body is equipped with a series of self-regulatory processes which maintain a more-or-less constant level of all sorts of things. This is called homeostasis, a typical favourite of the alt med crowd, because of its "delicate balance" implications.

What I'd like to know is what exactly alkaline food is? as suual, the Internet must be right so I looked up "alkaline food" and came accross this webiste, http://www.essense-of-life.com/info/foodchart.htm, which lists acid and alkaline foods. The list is quite scary. If you're going for an alkaline diet, you (according to this website, at least), should avoid the following (by far not an exhaustive list, I just picked out the shockers):

lentils, wheat, oat, barley, corn, rice, chick peas, green peas, kidney beans, soy beans, soy milk, fish, olive oil, pepper, chemicals [[/i]sic[/i]]


Notice rice and fish. Okinawa. You make the conections.

I really am going to dismiss this one on the grounds of lack of a properly-formulated theory.
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