Avoid The “Alkali Diet”

The Evening Standard recently carried an article on the “Alkali Diet”. It was full of rubbish and was taken down after a few days after a complaint by a blogger. Since the diet has celebrity endorsement (there is clearly no woo so stupid that some celebrity won’t endorse it) it is bound to turn up elsewhere so I thought I would take a closer look at it.

It is being pushed by this website amongst others. All foods are said to be acid or alkali and the perils of acidosis are spelled out. ‘Acid’ foods are listed in a scary red box and are as follows:

Custaceans [sic]
Other Seafood (apart from occasional oily fish such as salmon)

Ice Cream

All fruits, aside from those listed in the alkaline column.

Cashew Nuts
Pistachio Nuts

Microwave Meals
Tinned Foods
Powdered Soups
Instant Meals
Fast Food

Saturated Fats
Hydrogenated Oils
Margarine (worse than butter)
Corn Oil
Vegetable Oil
Sunflower Oil

First off, most of these foods are not acidic (some fruit are but see below) but the clear impression is given that they are to be avoided. So you should avoid meat, eggs, cheese and some nuts – which will make an adequate protein intake rather difficult. Kwashiorkor anyone?

Interstingly, butter is omitted from the list of dairy products. You may wonder how the buttermaking process de-acidifies cream. It does not of course, cream is a fat suspension and is not acidic. Nor is milk in general, as anyone who has drunk milk to ease an acid stomach would agree.

You might also think that since the alkal dieters are encouraged to avoid fruit, they are risking scurvy. However, in the ‘alkali’ box we find:


Taste alone tells you that most of these are acidic, not alkali. In fact, lemon juice has a pH of 2 – 3 and other citrus fruit are similar. Even the tomato has a pH below 4.6 although some varieties have a high sugar content which masks the acidity.

The alkali diet pushers get round this problem by claiming that:

Although lemon juice is itself acidic, the ash of lemon juice is alkaline. When you consume lemon, it neutralizes acid and makes the body more alkaline.

Not sure how you would get lemon-juice ash as it is not noted for its flammability and anyway, when you eat a lemon, it is the lemon itself you are eating, not its ash.

This notion is shown up to be even more absurd by the assertion that:

Apple cider vinegar is an exception: unlike almost every other vinegar, it has an alkaline ash and improves pH by making the body less acidic.

All vinegars are solutions of acetic acid (which is produced when ethanol is partially oxidised) so even if you could burn it, the ‘ash’ of apple cider vinegar would have the same pH as that of any other vinegar.

The alkali diet lacks any scientific underpinning and if you follow it you are risking all kinds of deficiency diseases. Avoid.


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63 Responses to “Avoid The “Alkali Diet””

  1. Clam Says:

    I wonder whether these woo-meisters have noticed that the stomach goes about the business of digesting by producing hydrochloric acid at a pH of between 1 and 2?
    [Woo-meister thinks “1-2? That’s low. Must be good! That’s why lemons are ok?]

  2. David Driscoll Says:

    Those who use a little more (pseudo?) science to support their beliefs refer to PRAL Potential Renal Acid Load and not just the pH of the food.


  3. josephinejones Says:

    I think the answer to all this is that these people don’t really understand anything about physiology but believe (with a blind, almost religious faith) what they tell each other.

    They do often have answers to these questions but they rarely make a lot of sense (eg, from the Energise for Life website:

    “It is not the relative acidity/alkalinity of the food but rather the effect it has on the body that is important. Seemingly acidic foods such as lemons, limes and tomato are acidic in their basic state, but once metabolized by the body have an alkalising effect. The high alkaline mineral content of these foods means that once consumed and metabolized they increase the alkalinity of the cells of the body.”

    I only heard of the Alkaline Diet about three or four weeks ago (through a ‘friend of a friend’), did a bit of online research and was gobsmacked.
    My desire to do something about this sort of nonsense is what got me started blogging. It still feels weird to be described as a ‘blogger’ given that my first post was less than two weeks ago.

    I’m still waiting to hear back from the Evening Standard about my follow-up complaint (I want them to publish a correction). I will of course blog their reply.

  4. Neuroskeptic Says:

    Lemons and limes in the alkaline column! That’s hilarious.

    • Brenda Says:

      And what average person is going to sit down and enjoy a nice lemon or a lime! Yikes, a garnish, fine, to sit down and eat now thank you! Maybe suck a piece of lemon after a shot of tequila LOL!

      • Masom Says:

        Hahaha you got a healthy sence of humour, very healthy LMAO – “Maybe suck a piece of lemon after a shot of tequila LOL!”

    • alfred kann Says:

      wow, you guys are dumb. this entire site is promoting misinformation, and its a pity really.

      when your body is digesting citric acid, your pancreas releases sodium bicarbonate, and the leftovers are also broken down into potassium citrate. both are highly basic materials.

      test the pH of your urine after you eat a lemon, you’ll see.

      the acidity/alkalinity of the foods themselves often has NOTHING TO DO when what gets formed when how you eat them. lemons and apples produce citric and malic acid respectively, and both are broken down into basic components during digestion.

      read a fucking book and get off the internet.

      • Steph Says:

        I wish I had a thumbs-up icon. This should be a reminder about reading information on the Internet. Information only needs a forum, page, whatever, and people can take is it as truthful information.

        Chemistry 101 really. But hey, you also have no idea how old the posters are. Maybe they haven’t had chemistry yet.

      • timothy c. Says:

        Nice. Someone on this site has a little education and research abilities. Until I got to this post, I thought this might be the most misinformed or juvenile bunch I’ve come across in awhile. Thanks for inserting some sound knowledge Alfred.

      • Terry Says:

        Thanks Steph for introducing a little bit of basic knowledge. I have been doing cancer treatment and research for 8 years and find it amazing that SO many people are truly ignorant of the importance of having an alkaline body. I don’t agree with the diet proposal it is not strong enough, but we use calcium potassium magnesium and lemon juice to alkalize.

        Whoever put this up REALLY needs to do some basic research before they cause a lot of people to suffer needlessly. We are getting 85% complete remission on late stage terminal patients. Of course alkalinity is not the only protocol we use, we use some very advanced chemicals with nanomolecules which I invented and some very advanced laser treatments with photosensitizers and a host of adjuvants.

        Biggest problem with cancer is all of the misinformation out there, and this site is one of the worst I have seen. They don’t realize their ignorance may kill hundreds by misinforming them, and they have not done even the most basic research.

        To the “blogger”.. if you can’t afford a pH meter get some pH strips from the pharmacy and test your allegations, then print a full retraction at the TOP of this blog.. get educated or start your blog with a disclaimer, for example “I have no expertise and no idea what I am talking about and have not done any tests or research”

      • jaycueaitch Says:

        85% complete remission of terminal patients eh? I look forward to the publication of your research. Amazing that you’ve kept such spectacular results out of the press.

  5. josephinejones Says:

    FYI – the Evening Standard’s resident doctor, Christian Jessen has published a follow up piece to last week’s nonsense here: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/health/article-23939049-alkaline-diets-are-silly-but-harmless.do.

    I’ve commented on the article and blogged about it http://josephinejones.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/the-evening-standards-ultimate-response-to-my-ph-complaint/.

    Overall I think this is a great result!

  6. Malvin O'Donovan Says:

    The Alkaline Diet. A charlatan from Australia requests an odd 27 US$ for a book that can be down loaded and you are given, in addition this bonus and the other bonus for free. you cannot contact this man again on his e-mail address once you have paid your money and he cannot be reached by way of his customer help desk either. you get a regular update/ newsletter, you are invited to partake on your experiences but try and reply to that news letter on the address given. A BLANK. [deleted – possibly libellous. JQH] i am a poor pensioner and that is why i am, in this case, so sour.

  7. Buh Says:

    At first glance the alkaline/acid dichotomy seems misguided, but there is good reason to hear it out. The metabolic biproduct of meat and dairy is uric acid, which require alkaline substances to neutralize. If you don’t eat mineral rich foods, acids leech minerals from bones and organs which could potentially cause deficiencies and lead to illness.

    Lemons are confusing in that they are very acidic before digestion, but leave the highest concentration of alkaline byproducts in the body (calcium, magnesium, etc.). By contrast, oranges have less minerals and more sugar, so they tend to leave more acidic metabolic byproducts.

    Finally, if I understand the alkaline diet correctly, you are not to avoid acid forming foods entirely, but rather to eat more alkaline forming foods to balance them. I have personally lost fat and gained muscle simply by drinking the diluted juice of one lemon and one lime per day. I believe my last remaining fat was maintained by a mineral deficiency, which was corrected by the addition of those highly alkaline forming foods.

    • jaycueaitch Says:

      Your body neutralises any acidic food long before it gets into your bloodstream, so the claim that they will leech minerals from your bones and organs is unadulterated bullshit.

      The calcium and magnesium in food is not in metallic form but in the form of salts so is pH neutral.

      Mineral deficiencies do not “maintain fat”.

  8. josephinejones Says:

    It is unfortunate that having little to no understanding of metabolism doesn’t seem to stop people writing about it as though they do, especially where there is money to be made.

    The whole concept of the Alkaline Diet is nonsense. That is not just my personal opinion: it is blatantly obvious to anyone with any background in human biology. It upsets me to see uncritical articles in newspapers and to see sites advertising such diets as though there is any scientific basis to it.

    I have made several ASA complaints about sites advertising such diets and as well as the Evening Standard complaint, I have also complained to the Daily Mail about an article they ran recently.

    I had my ASA complaint against Energise for Life upheld recently. They had been quoting Robert Young as though he is a ‘Dr’ and a ‘top research scientist’. This is the guy responsible for the table above, who believes all illness is caused by acidity, that the body’s own cell’s change into mushrooms and that he can reverse cancer and diabetes (types 1 and 2).

    I’m quite pleased with this result and the only reason I haven’t yet blogged it is that I’ve been on holiday and not had time:


  9. James Mason Says:

    Alkaline diet article also appears in The Sunday Times magazine today.

  10. josephinejones Says:

    Oh dear. I have just read the Sunday Times article and can feel a complaint coming on…


    If you can’t get past the paywall, let me just say it refers to Robert Young as ‘Dr’ and repeats the assertion that lemons are alkaline (along with more pseudoscientific nonsense eg re ‘detox’). It also links to Young’s site and 3 ASA-worthy sites (http://radiancecleanse.com/, http://www.honestlyhealthyfood.com/ & http://storeuk.bodyism.com/index.html

  11. josephinejones Says:

    My complaint to the Sunday Times:


  12. wynne Says:

    Confused now. Please help. My friend says eating 80 percent greens etc has really made her feel better. So there seems some truth in this diet. Help!

    • jaycueaitch Says:

      Nothing wrong with eating plenty of veg. What is wrong is the pseudoscience being peddled by the Alkali Diet brigade.

    • Natasha Says:

      Tell your friend if she feels better, then it’s likely working for her to eat more greens. Check with her doc, naturopath or nutritionist as nobody on the Internet can accurately diagnose what is best for a perfect stranger. Don’t look for personalized help online from people who know NOTHING of your medical history. Jeez, people!!!

    • Natasha Says:

      Reply: you’re confused because your friend feels better and now you’re looking here for help?
      Tell your friend if she feels better, it’s likely working for her but I would check with a doc, naturopath or nutritionist. DO NOT GET ADVICE from perfect strangers on the Internet regarding your personal health! There is no way a perfect stranger can diagnose you and what’s best for you based on a sentence asking for help. Seek the advice of a PROFESSIONAL who can assess your blood, urine, etc and let you know what YOU need, not what some website claims you need. Jeez, people!

  13. Brenda Says:

    And some of the fruits they say to avoid, Blueberries????? I was under the impression that blueberries were a Super Food, no we are supposed to avoid them????

  14. Bobinator Says:

    Okay seriously, yes original poster you have some common sense behind you, but your missing the main point and i dont mean to call you stupid either. After you intake any substance its met with saliva slightly acidic, then stomach acid with an acidity level of 1-2. After your body digests the substances and there broken down, since it is a chemical reaction in your body. The broken down substance has made a change. The remnants of what you just ate are completely different. leaving either a acidic residue or a alkaline residue in your body, which put the above info together with what im explaining. Now foods going through your small an large intestine where most nutrients are absorbed. Hmmmmmm now after what you just ate has already made a chemical change in your body the waste must just disappear huh. NOOO, its an acidic or alkaline residue, carlos mencia DUR DUR DURRRR. so yes this diet works. Humans are not suppose to be meat eaters. Our physiological design is not for meat. Meat takes 18 hrs to start decomposing or going bad in your body. Fruits an vegatables take 20-24 hrs to start the decomposition process in your body. your digestive system takes around 20-24 hrs to fully cycle food through. So the residue left by most foods we arent designed to eat but are occustomed to are mainly acidic, not natural in nature either. Yes there are discepancies with some foods but most are right on. Also this is scientifically proven. The ash your talking about, is the remants after the digestion process happens in your body dumb dumb, i e…. the residue after the chemical change from digestion. I really wish people with such little common sense would research and learn more before sounding ridiculous making public blogs an yada yada yada… Also the almost flower of life design on this site, or the celtic crosses, are kinda cool next to peoples names

  15. Gabriel Says:

    I’m not on the alkaline diet, but get a life! There is no “ideal diet.” That’s obvious. Some people have experienced great results from making their diet more alkaline. I really don’t care if it’s scientific. I want a diet to work. BTW… Lemons do actually alkalize your body. It’s crazy-insane, but true. At least it makes your urine and your saliva alkaline, which is the only way to test this sort of thing. Go ahead and get yourself some litmus paper and try it yourself.

  16. Steve Says:

    If you want to debunk something then debunk it.
    Don’t debunk what it doesn’t say. (which is everything you said)

    Yes the body neutralizes acids. The pH of the blood must be kept in a very narrow range. It is the cost of neutralizing the acids that is the problem.
    Using your body’s calcium stores to neutralize acid causing foods (not acidic foods) is not good.
    Although mere breathing also reducing acid in your system.

  17. Authentic Says:

    All I’m reading is nothing but negativity based on the original bloggers (and others who share the same misguided opinions) statements. Do you have nothing better to do? First off, I congratulate the intrigue and questioning the diet as without such a debate on such a broad subject, no one can get satisfactory answers. But if you use your own noggin for a minute and bump heads:
    I have a ‘basic understanding of human biology and physiology’ but these researchers have a more refined, deeper and broader practised knowledge of such. Therefore to dismiss their ‘claims/assumptions/ridiculous jargon’ entirely is just shear disrespect and ignorance considering NONE of us here hold a PhD or any deeper academically recognised OR deeper knowledge based on our own experiences, in food. With that said, we should all try to dig deeper rather than dismiss things on a ‘tip of the iceberg’ level. Needless to say however, if you don’t like the ice-berg, go away quietly. To protest against slight changes without full understanding is very similar to why hardcore Christians have deep turmoil against some ‘extreme Muslims’ and vice versa. Point being, let’s compromise and understand thoroughly (not ignorantly) before making such finalised decisions. You never know, these findings MAY just be the difference between adding years to your life or helping out in some way – no smoke without fire! 😉
    Moving on from this, The Acid-Alkali diet ‘theory’ (as it has been recognised to be) is based on previously recognised and accepted studies of biophysics within and without the human body. Try to connect the dots, and also see the dots already connected plus the transition from previous singular schools of thought to the combined theory now presented in this hypothesis.
    Finally, I can say based on my own research, experience and as being a fanatic of knowledge and information in the world around me, this theory definitely holds more substance in truth than it appears on the surface. There is (like anything as we are humans and don’t get it right all the time) still a bit of uncertainty and misconstrued info, slightly, and some things may be questionable. But my point in this final paragraph is this: this diet is based originally of the acidity of urine – which led to the study of how such harder to digest proteins and diary products (for example) leave a more acidic residue in the urea and blood stream. Also just before I continue – one blogger was quoted to have said something along the lines of ‘after digestion acidity/alkalinity stops’ which is pure nonsensical ignorance because outside the digestion system chemical reactions are occurring all the time. The body itself is metaphorically a Petri-dish of an abundant amount of chemical reactions all of which cover different aspects of such, such as acid/alkaline, cell changes, growth, formation, breakdown etc….back to my point – The basis of remaining acid in the urine gives a clear indicator to dietary intake and what is inside the body. Just because the urine and faeces are undesirable to handle doesn’t mean they don’t give an indication to what is going on inside of you after you long leave the matter behind! LOL. Anyway, The more acidic the urine/bloodstream the more dangerous in some senses this can be. Same is true for overly high alkaline levels. Our body however is very clever at balancing and neutralising and healing and restoring itself. This diet simply is suggested to aid this a little easier. If you notice, A lot of the alkaline foods are foods that are not marketed as frequent or as much as some of the acidic substances in the list. These less marketed foods are not business developers in the developing corporate world and therefore people tend to be inquisitive about the lesser exposed healthier foods such as fruit and veg. (Im talking major advertising campaigns here by the way). So take note and read between the lines. Also, the acid/alkaline theory is based off a very simple test you can do at home. Don’t clean your kitchen top surface with anything, not even water. What happens? Common sense tells you that sooner or later a build up of germs, bacteria, fungus etc. will appear. Why, because the area is not clean. Alkaline products such as bleach etc., are known to be antibacterial and counter such. I mean it goes without saying that the similar effect occurs in the body. Let bacteria fester and you have a lot of problems internally. Introduce alkaline food stuffs into your diet and this helps to clean your system on the inside, just like that bottle of Cillit Bang on your kitchen surface. Weak acid based on the sugar content involved will promote development of microscopic bacteria, primarily because like all living substances, sugary (carbohydrate or insulin – really sugar in any form) presences gives energy for cells to grow reproduce and gives energy for living things. So following the same hypothesis which has already been proven (go a month without carbohydrate food and see how tired you get).this also can be applied to cellular micro-organisms such as bacteria and the other undesirable single celled organisms which may get through into our system from our food we eat, air we breathe etc.. They cannot be avoided. So the overall acid/alkali diet is simply to safe guard you against such developments. Minimise the development of such single celled organisms with more intake of healthier alkaline balancing substances and you will live a healthier life. Lastly, regarding lemons, limes, apple cider vinegar and other similar products. In comparison to oranges, blueberries and strawberries (just to name a few for example) they latter contains more sugary substances naturally. Where as the former (lemons apple cider vinegar etc.) are lower in pH and contain less sugars as a result). So it goes without saying if you refer back to the previous point I made, more sugars = slightly higher pH and more energy for single celled organisms. whereas apple cider vinegar for example lacks in such sugars so therefore their acidity is higher in taste and pH, but once introduced to the body it is the BODY that counters the acidity whilst the acid also kills bacteria (such as hydrochloric acid does in the stomach in the absence of such sugary starchy like substances). Once the body counters this, and the acid and food metabolises it IS the ash (or end waste product) that contains a higher level of rejected alkaline, hence the term ‘they produce an alkaline ash’. I hope this has been enlightening and helpful. In regards to conditions and diseases such as diabetes etc….. I mean if you have been following what I have been writing then you can see the direct link between the two, which supports any speculated theory. Finally based off my own experience I can confirm that introducing such foods into your well balanced diets and maintaining a varied and well balanced diet with both acid and alkaline foods led to a healthier change in its outcome. I continuously refine and study additions to my diet and 1 thing I will never advise is removing things from your diet unless your YOURSELF see reason to. I’m not saying this is the only theory to go by in life, but it is an interesting addition and has proven benefits to myself and others. In a round about way, it is simply saying, eat less junk and crap, cut down on highly saturated fatty products and moderate your animal based proteins (as this leads to complications of the kidneys etc.) and improve upon veg, fruits (those with more acidity content and less sugary ones) and more herb/plant.root/fruit type proteins etc.. I mean it is common sense if you take the time out to read between the lines. Live life healthily and happily.
    ‘Knowledge is power. Ignorance is weakness’.
    Good afternoon bloggers. 🙂

    • Biochemistry major Says:

      ‘I have a basic understanding of Human Biology and physiology’
      What, like 8th grade biology?
      Urine is all the stuff that didn’t make it into your blood and what was thrown out from the blood. That means that your body is either done using it, or just threw it away. It’s not an indicator of what state your blood is in, but instead what it’s not, meaning urine pH is largely irrelevant.

      Scanning through your mish-mash of perfectly useless enunciation of semantics, the only ‘science’ you’ve really attempted developed in that unnecessarily long comment was that of ‘you can kill things by altering the pH to an extreme’. This says nothing about how that helps your body, since adjusting pH like that would hurt you long before it hurts any pathogens.
      It’s like saying potassium cyanide kills eukaryotic pathogens, so we should make potassium cyanide more abundant in our body to kill the germs.

      The alkaline theory of disease is completely unfounded and superstitiously simplistic, it is comparable to the hysterical pseudosciences of homeopathic ‘water infusion-energy healing’ and chinese ‘hot-cold’ ‘theories’ of health. Get your head out of your ass and have a good day, sir.

  18. Authentic Says:

    P.S. just to clarify my standing on this diet and other diets and theories on helath and food that I’ve come across – I am not saying to take on board this diet as a new diet, I am simply saying, disregard the silliness that may be absurd etc.. and consider the proven facts. A good balance between the 2 is better than living in ignorance and supporting just 1. Some of the misguided view points of the acid/alkali diet have taken the theory to the extreme and have gone on to avoid foods our body does need. Don’t follow that pattern. Instead just balance the 2. The theory on its own is raising awareness to people who may habitually overindulge in ‘acidic substances’. So simply just balance the 2. That is all we can do. Our body is clever enough to look after itself but don’t over indulge blindly in either acidic or alkaline diets. All extreme dieting in my opinion are nonsense. Just balance and eat as much variety of different food stuffs as possible.

  19. Zach Says:

    Dairy creates mucus in the body. Perhaps many foods are acid-forming because the body has to sacrifice too much stored nutrients and energy for their digestion, because of being too difficult to break down. Acid-forming foods are perhaps hard on the body. I’ve eaten blueberries and sugar-rich fruits and have found that they make me feel awful afterward. I experiment myself and find that cayenne and lemon make me feel much better. I have no beliefs one way or the other either. I just experiment and see what happens. Those who say that it’s all pseudo-science only make themselves look bad. People are so arrogant! And to file complaints like you own the internet… pathetic.

    • jaycueaitch Says:

      Any actual evidence to support your assertions about dairy foods? And why do you object to people filing complaints about inaccuracies and misleading statements?

  20. baka Says:

    Shit, you are even dumber than the people who made this diet. It is common knowledge that animal protein increases acidity in the body, it is the main cause of osteoporosis. The part with which I do not agree in this diet is the claim that acidity in the body causes cancer.

    • Terry Says:

      Hi Baka… I understand your suspicion about the claimed connection between acidity and cancer, but consider this please. Acidity, be definition, reduces available oxygen because there are free hydrogen atoms which take up the free oxygen to make water. Otto Warburg is the eminent nobel prize winning scientist who showed the connection between reduced oxygen and cancer. Those of us who do cancer research know that in the lab if you want to make cells cancerous you just reduce the oxygen flow and induce acidity. There is a connection and it is well documented. In my experience once this has happened it is very difficult to reverse the process by inducing alkalinity, but it definitely helps reduce the growth rate and reduces pain because it reduces the lactic acid residue. Keep an open mind, do GOOD research and I hope neither you or your family are hit by this disease.

      • Richard Says:

        Sorry, I’m afraid your understanding of science is somewhat lacking. People who actually conduct cancer research don’t make cells cancerous by reducing oxygen flow and inducing acidity. Instead they obtain cancer cell lines from patients or other research groups. They don’t make them in house and certainly not by the process you propose. If this was how cancer cells were made then there would be overwhelming evidence that anaerobic exercise causes muscle cancer (which is rare so any increase in risk would be obvious) and that the location of such cancers would be dependent upon the type of anaerobic exercise, this has never been demonstrated.

        Nor do hydrogen ions take up free oxygen to form water, they’ll take up free hydroxide ions to form water, but taking up free oxygen atoms isn’t physically possible, since the oxygen atoms will need electrons from the hydrogen atoms to form covalent bonds, which hydrogen ions do not have.

        Nor indeed do free oxygen molecules exist anywhere in human physiology. Oxygen is carried bound to other molecules, notably haem, it’s affinity for which is higher than it’s affinity for hydrogen (as you can see if you leave a nail underwater for a few weeks), but it’s never found as oxygen molecules.

        Nor does the Warburg effect cause cancer. Cancer is caused by mutations, the consequence of which is the Warburg effect, but the Warburg effect itself is not the cause of cancer.

  21. jennifer Says:

    Truth is short and simple. 80% of your diet should be alkaline and 20% acidic. Most people tend to do the opposite. Thats why the us has so many health problems. Acidic foods cause inflamation to the body (arthritis, acne, rhinitis/allergies, and more). Lemons, limes, tomatoes, and avacados are all very alkaline. You cant tell if something is acidic by its taste. Although lemons and limes are acidic in taste and have citric acid dosnt mean they are acidic. Citric acid is very weak. Once in your stomach, citric acid is destroyed by stomach acid. For the person who wrote the ad you can eat acidic foods, though in moderation.

    • jaycueaitch Says:

      Citric acid is destroyed by somach acid is it? Care to give the chemical equation for that reaction? Plus the process by which citrus fruit become alkali?

      • areyouserious420 Says:

        Na2CO3 + H2O —> 2NaHCO3
        HCO3- + H2O —> H2CO3 + OH-
        2(Na+)2O22- + 2H2O —> 4Na+OH- + O2

        Lemon juice is acidic, but it’s ash is not.

        Ash-The End Product of Metabolism

        Lemon acids, such as citric acid, are weak acid and the Lemon’s overall nutrients are alkaline. , otherwise known as Ash and it’s effects on the body make it Alkalizing.

        Citric Acid is a “weak” acid, meaning once it’s done it’s job in providing energy in metabolism it’s eliminated easily via sweat and respiration. It is alkaline forming in that it stimulates the formation of calcium carbonate in the body. Calcium carbonate then neutralizes the “Strong” acids in the body, acids that can only be gotten rid of through urination, including uric acid which is the end result of protein metabolism.

        In fruits such as the Lemons… the mineral content is also taken into consideration, and the Lemon’s Alkaline minerals are many, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and Selenium so after the citric acid has done its job and is easily eliminated, one is left with a very Alkaline Ash (end product) from the fruit.

        In a Similar way, Malic Acid (another “weak” acid) attacks Lactic Acids (A “strong” acid) making foods like Apples and it’s unprocessed vinegar also an alkalizing source.

        The list goes on… It’s how the elements of the food, inclusive of its “acids” are utilized by the body and whether it’s a weak acid or a strong acid in how it can be eliminated, and the food’s nutrient content such as it’s vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, etc. that a food’s ash ends up being.

        Proteins… they are acidic, not only in their amino acid content, but also in it’s utilization by the body… it leaves Uric Acids as it’s waste product from its metabolism. And we need Citric acid to help our bodies eliminate this Acidic end product (Ash).

        Please (excuse language) do your f***ing research!

      • jaycueaitch Says:

        Maybe you should do some research instead of just making up equations. First, the implication of those equations is that sodium carbonate reacts with water to form carbonic aciod and sodium hydroxide. Doesn’t happen, which is just as well since sodium hydroxide (also known as caustic soda) is highly corrosive to bodily tissues. Secondly, none of the compounds in those equations are citric acid so even if they were true, they would not prove your claim that citric acid produces alkali ash in the body.

  22. Augustine Says:

    Just check this statement: acidic bodies equals sicknesses and diseases and alkaline bodies equals health….google Prof Otto Warburg, Nobel Prize winner for medicine in 1931 for this discovery. And do yourself a favour, check it out and if it is debunking your “theory”, please stop spreading your ignorant fictional unlearned “facts” and hurting people with your advice. Unless of course your are better than Prof Warburg. Numbskull! Period.

    • jaycueaitch Says:

      Even assuming Warburg supports your notions, are you disdmissing everything that has been learned about the human body in the intervening 81 years? Why?

  23. Magic Drinking Water Bottle « Letting Off Steam Says:

    […] seems that the alkali diet fad has generated a Far-Eastern spin-off – a platic bottle that allegedly […]

  24. Shelley Says:

    Well wieners, was a good read. I shall eat lemons!!!!

  25. Jason Says:

    You should have educated yourself a little more before trying to give diet advice and especially before criticizing the advice of others. For instance, you say, “Not sure how you would get lemon-juice ash as it is not noted for its flammability and anyway.” When dietitians speak of “ash,” my friend, they’re not speaking of the remains of something thrown on a fire. They’re talking about what is left after running the food through a bomb calorimeter (which, in theory, is similar to what is left after the body metabolizes the food).

    Secondly, you say of meats and other acid-causing foods, “These foods are mostly alkaline.” This shows that you don’t understand the main point of the analysis. The point is to try to measure the net effect of the food on the body (not the net acidity of the food itself). While meat itself may be alkaline, the digestion of meat has a net acidifying effect on the body. The French biologist Claude Bernard provided the classical observation of this effect when he found that changing the diet of rabbits from a herbivore (mainly plant) diet to a carnivore (mainly meat) diet changed the urine from more alkaline to more acid. Much more research has been done since then with regards to the net acidifying or alkalizing effects of certain foods and the net health effect they have on the body. For instance, see this Dr.’s analysis of blood health before and after consumption of Goji-berry juice, a food that has strong net alkalizing effect. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40mvty0EM2o

    If you don’t believe me, then do a scientific test yourself. Measure your ph every morning. For one week, eat mostly meat, dairy, and partial (processed) grains (like white bread). Your PH will drop significantly every day. For the next week, start with some lemon water and eat mostly foods on the “alkalizing” list like leafy greens, avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, etc. Your PH will rise throughout the week.

    A diet that is too acidic (again, not in the original foods but in those foods’ net effect on the body) is unhealthy. I don’t know why you’re trying to deny the obvious. Maybe you just love meat and dairy so much that it pisses you off to hear someone suggest limiting your intake of such foods. I don’t know what is motivating you… maybe you’re just trolling and trying to spread mis-information. Who knows. But you don’t have to eliminate meat from your diet. The goal is to simply eat more alkalizing foods than acidifying foods. The advice of those who suggest a more alkaline diet (with more fresh veggies) is extremely good and supported by a lot of science… you’re doing yourself (and your readers) a dis-service by ignorantly opposing them.

    The fact is that the American diet is killing us. The typical American diet used to contain a lot more vegetables and whole grains and a lot less red meat, dairy, and refined sugar. Cancer and heart disease used to be very rare in America. Now the typical American diet consists of a lot of refined suger, meats (especially beef), soda, coffee, and alcohol, and cancer rates, heart disease rates, and other disease rates are through the roof! This is not coincidence.

    • jaycueaitch Says:

      I’m not giving diet advice – I’m criticising the lack of knowledge of some who do. Could you point to the place where I say meat is “mostly alkaline”? I think you’ll find when you try that I said no such thing. I’m not arguing against eating more veg, quite the contrary. I am against the pseudo-science peddled by the alkali-diet enthusiasts.

      Oh and by the way, I am not Ameriucan and neither are the majority of this blogs readers.

      • Jason Says:

        I did not say that you say meat is mostly alkaline. Instead, I referenced where, of the list of meats and other acid-causing foods (those that you listed as foods that alkaline-diet enthusiasts claim are acidic), you say that most of them are not acidic. My point is this: whether the foods listed are acidic or not to start out with is not relevant to the diet enthusiastic claims. They’re claiming that the foods are acid causing in the human body. And again, this has been observed in ph testing of both animals and humans in scientific experiments.

        In any event, regardless of how rigorous their science is or isnt, when it comes down to it the alkaline-diet enthusiasts are, at the most basic level, simply recommending that people eat more veggies. Sure, they have their theories about ph and why veggies and other healthy foods are so heatlhy. Much of those theories are confirmed by ph testing and analysis of results on the body’s ph with regards to dietary changes. But even if their theories weren’t confirmed by so much experience and testing, there still is no good reason to be so upset by or opposed to their ideas once you understand the actual claims they’re making (and especially once you understand that the diet they’re suggesting is a very healthy one).

  26. Keith Taylor Says:

    All “diets” endeavour to be a “one-size-fits-all” fix, which is clearly nonsense. Different people (cultures, blood groups, races, nationalities et al) originate from different areas on Earth where very specific plants and animals thrive. These plants and animals provide the nutrients required to keep the people who eat them alive. The original people who lived in those areas did so for millennia, so that their metabolic processes had enough time to adapt to the digestion of the nutrients contained in those plants and animals.
    As people explored beyond their “home turf”, they brought back to their home areas exotic foods, many of which have become part of the “global diet”. No research has been done to determine exactly what effect these imported food have on the various races, blood groups etc., etc., so that nobody REALLY knows what the hell they are talking about.
    Has anyone ever tried to determine whether “blue babies” suffer any particular ailments that are not common to “non-blue” babies? I don’t think so. What incidences of various diseases occur among people of the different combinations and permutations of blood groups and racial mixing? Nobody knows.
    In the end it’s all speculation, a word for uninformed guessing.
    Squabbling among yourselves is of absolutely no value, because none of us knows EVERYTHING and if you did, you’d probably realise that this argument, and many like it, is an exercise in futility.

    • Jason Says:

      Actually, Kieth, we know a lot. Perhaps we don’t know “everything,” since (according to you) if we did know everything then we’d realize what you’ve realized. lol.

      We know this much though. A diet that is more vegetarian than not (or in other words a diet that is more alkaline than acidic in its effects on the body after digestion) is healthier than a more acid-causing diet. This is regardless of what continent the human body was born on. Diets high in vegetables are very good for human beings. We know this. Science has shown it time and time again. Beef and dairy can be good… but only in limited amounts. We should eat or drink more fruits, vegetables, and water than grains, meats, and alcohol if we want to live longer and better.

      When we don’t eat the way we should, then we end up with much higher rates of cancer, heart disease, and other diseases in the population. See, for instance, America: once the “land of the free,” now the land of the fat and diseased.

  27. Keith Taylor Says:

    Jason, I’m afraid that I have to turn to personal experience here: my wife can eat a hell of a lot more fruit and veg than I can. I’m O+ blood group, of Scottish-English descent and she is B+, of Mediterranean heritage, and we live in South Africa.
    I was diagnosed with angina pectoris some six years ago, given pills my my doctor and put onto a strict, low-fat, high vegetable-matter diet. At that time I was having two “attacks” (“heartburn”, which feels similar to, but is different from, indigestion as there is no tightening of the mandible), tightening chest, difficulty in breathing, left arm going lame, mandible tightening up) per week. It did not improve with the pills, but I suddenly began experiencing splitting headaches.
    I returned to the doctor, who said that the headaches were a side-effect of the tablets and prescribed an analgesic. This combination resulted in true indigestion. Back to the quack I went and he prescribed antacids. I argued that I’d come there with ONE condition and now I had THREE, so I threw away his prescription, went home and increased my animal fat and animal protein intake tenfold, at the same time decreasing the carbohydrate, margarine and seed oil intake.
    The “attacks” stopped almost dead … I still have them … once a year maybe and very mild indeed. All I do is sit down, breathe deeply for a few minutes and the symptoms go away.
    The members of brother’s family eat far more fruit and veg than I do and every one of them is either “dieting” or grossly overweight. The are all O+ blood group.
    My wife has never weighed more than 44kgs (97lbs), which is perfect for her build and I am around 58kgs (128lbs), which is dead centre of my BMI index. If she eats too much fat, my wife feels weak and nauseous. If I don’t eat more in a day than my wife can in two weeks, I have an angina attack.
    If I eat too much fruit or veg or carbs of any kind, I almost immediately get this weird sensation of ants running around in my blood vessels: a warning that I’ve overdone it.
    I don’t know how one goes about explaining this from your angle, but I take my cues from my body. Had I not done so, I’d probably be dead by now. I’ve lived in this body for 64 years now and it lets me know if I’m not feeding it properly.
    Another thing: neither my wife nor I have had a cold or ‘flu in almost ten years. We had a shop in a rural area and had people (most Blacks in this country do not cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze) with colds, ‘flu, TB and all manner of diseases coughing and sneezing in our faces, all day and every day for twelve years.
    We do not become ill, suffer discomfort only when we overexert ourselves (and then only temporarily) and have headaches only when exposed to perfumes, toxic fumes etc. and we both smoke like proverbial chimneys. None of my brother’s family smokes and they are forever running to the doctors with all manner of ailments.
    Can you explain this anomaly?
    My wife and I now consult doctors only when we do physical damage to ourselves that we are unable to repair, otherwise we treat ourselves for everything from cuts to deep burns and animal bites – and always with no infection and minimal, if any, scarring.

    • Jason Says:

      Kieth, there are certainly some human beings who have to eat less vegetables. When I said a diet higher in vegetables is healthier regardless of what continent the human body was born on I did not mean all humans without exception. Obviously you’re an exception (or so you judge from your personal experience). Also, for instance, there are people who are allergic to almost every vegetable. They have to eat mostly meats or other things to stay as healthy as they can possibly be. However, your theory that various races or nationalities have developed different dietary needs is not true. Generally speaking, the human body thrives the best with a diet that is high in vegetables (not *only* vegetables, but high in veggies and whole grains).

  28. Keith Taylor Says:

    Jason, a certain dentist, Weston A. Price, went around the world trying to ascertain the incidence of dental caries among Earth’s various peoples. His search ended up being a commentary about the overall health of the peoples he investigated. Go here: http://www.westonaprice.org/traditional-diets/out-of-africa where I think that you will discover that he does not only toss a spanner into the works of your argument, but up-ends a whole workshop full of tools into it. You may even be moved to take your own advice of January 25, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Reply
    “You should have educated yourself a little more before trying to give diet advice and especially before criticizing the advice of others. ”
    Best regards,

  29. ar585Allen Says:

    Higher Alkaline overall is better for your body, speaking from an experience as a cancer patient, cancer tumor itself is high in acid, for the past few years, many clinical proven result by increasing cancer patients body to a higher pH reduce and shrink cancer tumor growth. It worked, like me, third stage cancer patient with 9 cm tumor 18 years ago…

    Besides too much meat is not good for you overall anyway, again speaking from experience, with one of my stubborn family member, refusing eating vegi, not because he is allergic but simply he do not like it. Now as a cancer patient survivor for 18 years, compare to him he is like a pig dragging the floor.

  30. ar585Allen Says:

    And also, talking about lemon being acid or alkaline, yes, lemon is acid to begin, but lemon is highly alkaline-forming fruit, when added with mineral water:

    If you ever have the heartburn (acid), try half lemon or lime juice with full glass of water, you will feel much better in 15 minutes.

    There has a great difference in the answer if we consider the question under views of chemistry or nutritional science. So, lemon is acidic or alkaline? It commonly believes that lemon is acidic because it’s sour in taste. However, in the view of nutritional science, lemon is an alkaline food.

    When we take in lemon juice, It’ll be oxidize to form water, carbon dioxide and an inorganic compound. The alkaline or acidic nature of the inorganic compound formed determines whether the food is an alkaline or acidic.

    If it contains more sodium, potassium or calcium, it’ll become an alkaline food. Because when sodium compounds dissolve in water, it forms an alkaline solution.

    Na2CO3 + H2O —> 2NaHCO3
    HCO3- + H2O —> H2CO3 + OH-
    2(Na+)2O22- + 2H2O —> 4Na+OH- + O2

    Depends on which point of view, the result can be slighty different than others. Hope this sum it up.

    • jaycueaitch Says:

      Somebody else used those exact same made up equations. Even if they were valid (they are not), they refer to sodium carbonate (which is indeed an alkali salt) not citric acid.

  31. Natasha Says:

    By alkaline im going to assume the diet is referring to the alkalazing effects in the body. Yes, lemons are acidic but the effects in the body are ALKALANIZING not acidic. Cancers, flus, colds, etc. have a difficult time growing in an alkaline body, hence he reason lemons are used so widely in cold remedies (for the alkalanizibg properties and the vitamin C). Next time, talk to a naturopathic doc or nutritionist before declaring basically anybody knows a lemon is acidic… Clearly YOU had no idea lemons are not acidic for the body. If you claim you “researched”, then do proper research… That said, every individual should consult a doc, naturopath, or nutritionist before following some celeb diet or listen to the typically shoddy advice given on the Internet.

  32. Greene Says:

    Nutritionist here. I don’t want to cause a fuss, but all of this talk is exactly why my job exists – because the public aren’t very good at working things out themselves.

    No, a diet high in “Acidic” food will not make you sick. Yes, vegetables and fruit are good for you. But so is red meat and milk and blueberries. I cannot get behind any diet that claims “Acidic food will give you Osteoporosis” and then remove all dairy from the diet. Eating “acidic food” – quote marks because of the interesting pseudo science used to decide whether food is acidic – will not cause Osteoporosis, but removing all calcium-rich foods from your diet certainly will.

    Also those of you claiming acid will be absorbed into the body – no, the acid in your stomach is far stronger, so if it was getting absorbed directly into your blood stream (?) then you have worse problems to worry about.

    My last point is that the PH balance of your Urine will change slightly depending on what you eat, but with the amount of change that happens to your body every day, it is not something you should be worrying about unless you are ill, in which case you should be seeing a doctor, and not trying fad diets on the internet. Diet “fads” are just that, and fads come and go because they do not work. If you have a weight problem, talk to a nutritionist or doctor to find out what will work for you. The internet will generally only dispense harmful or useless information based in pseudoscience, and if you are serious about becoming more healthy, you need correct information to help you on that path.

  33. Sunny Says:

    Ill not say acidic diet it better or Alkaline but i wanna say this

    Ayurveda is the most ancient n effective way of curing illness using herb based n other substances.

    According to very intelligent Vedacharya Vagvat (doctor who uses Ayurveda to cure illness) if body have high acid in bloodstream then it can cause heart problems n leading Heartattacks so if anyone have heart problems u must use high alkyl diet but u also must non completely ignore acidic diet in short u must have balanced acidic n alkaline diet

    IM NOT ANY KINDA BIOLOGY OBSESSED GUY OR KNOW ANYTHING MUCH ABOUT IT ( Accept for Reproduction chapters till high school :P)
    Also i have read n consulted PHD guys n many doctors about lemon they all say that their natural state is acidic but after metabolism kind of thing in body it acts as Alkaline This is because their acids, such as citric acid, are weak acid and the Lemon’s overall nutrients are alkaline


  34. Graeme Says:

    You are a total moron! Try doing research before you claim that an alkaline based body is unhealthy. I can’t believe that you were actually permitted to scribble this crap. I could go on and on about the pros and cons of acidic vs alkalinity based foods but there’s no point, google it; besides you obviously suffer from acute blind dogma or you work for the food industry.

  35. Nicole Says:

    this is so stupid. I would say everyone on this thread needs to read a book. Ash is the end product of metabolism, so the fact you think it actually means ashes says you haven’t really looked into the whole concept enough to bash on it. Lemons are pretty much the most alkaline thing you can eat. Diseases thrive in an acidic environment, where as the body wakes up to figh disease when it is alkaline. I know someone who had eczema and after his family had switched their faucet to alkaline water it went away.

    • Autumn Says:

      the problem is that everyone posting comments similar to yours are saying the same thing but don’t understand what it means. You’re all reading the same websites (which if anyone actually has a medical journal they’re quoting, I’d love to see that)…and quoting what someone else says without really investigating whether that person is factual. “Body wakes up to fight disease when it is alkaline” where is that research? Research actually shows that while urine pH is affected by what you eat (because your body gets rid of waste), there’s no change in your blood pH. Your body naturally regulates its pH…which is why your stomach is a pit of acid and yet we’re not all dying of stomach cancer. Do your research…and by research..not googling and reading the websites geared towards a diet fad. Man, they can get you to believe anything.

  36. Jon Snow Says:

    nice read, i will try some lime juice starting tonight. lets see if there’s some changes because i have a gout problem..

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