Health Consequences of an Acidic Diet
An overly acidic body creates a vicious cycle that depletes us of minerals and degrades the tissues throughout the body. Poor quality tissue is a problem that goes well-hidden until we suddenly come down with injuries, minor health conditions, and in time, chronic health conditions.
Chronic low-grade acidosis is the medical term for a state where the body becomes acidic, most commonly from prolonged stress or eating an unhealthy diet. It may not be a "major" health condition that your doctor can clearly identify, but your cells definitely will notice and react accordingly.
Research has shown that an overly acidic body has been listed as a leading cause of several health concerns such as the development of kidney stones, loss of bone and muscle mass, increase in body fat, migraines, osteoporosis (see below), cardiovascular disease, accelerated aging, and even cancer.
Viral and bacterial growth thrives in an acidic body, with diseased states being more rare in an alkaline body. Edgar Cayce stated that infectious agents such as the cold virus cannot thrive in an alkaline environment. When asked how to prevent colds, Cayce stated "keep the body alkaline as only in acids do colds attack the body."(1)
- Chronic acidosis has been shown to promote resistance to growth hormones.(2)
- Chronic acidosis has been shown to worsen thyroid function and induce thyroxine resistance.(3)
Modern diets contain much more acidic foods and fewer bicarbonate alkaline salts (e.g. potassium) than those of our ancestors which is one of the primary factors in millions now suffering from lifelong, progressive acidosis.(4)
Is It True That Cancer Thrives In Acidic Environments?
Some proponents of the acid/alkaline diets believe that cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment. Yes, it is true that cancer cells do tend to grow better in acidic environments and data shows that culturing cancer cells in a mildly acidic environment causes them to become more invasive.(5) The more we place our bodies in a state of low-grade acidosis, the more susceptible we make our bodies to succumbing to cancer. By taking action to become more alkaline, you can make it more difficult for your body to succumb to cancer cells, and for these cells to regenerate because cancer cells do grow better in acidic environments.
But there is a caveat. Cancer cells have been found to be more acidic than normal tissues, in part because once a tumor has developed, research has shown that the cancer itself creates the required acidic environment and is not reliant upon the pH of the patient's blood.(6) (7)
This explains why getting rid of cancer is not as quick and simple as changing our diet. We must do more than that.
The Body Healer Protocol...
Does An Acidic Diet Contribute to Osteoporosis & Other Bone Conditions?
Yes, it does. Continually consuming a diet high in acid-forming foods is a primary cause of bone-related conditions such as osteoporosis, in part because acidic diets leach calcium from our bone structure.
The blood itself will always remain neutral for survival. But if the body is continually filled with acidifying foods, supplements, or suffers from chronic stress (which creates acidity), it must neutralize the acidic environment with alkaline minerals such as the calcium stored throughout our body in our bones and teeth. Over time, the bones become weaker as a result of the calcium loss from this internal survival mechanism. Once the calcium has been leached from the body to neutralize the excess acid, both the acid and calcium are then lost in the urine.
Every 10 years a healthy person will have an entirely new skeletal structure, but continual low-grade acidosis can negatively affects this process. Bone loss is a consequence we pay when our bodies become overly acidic, because we are robbing our body of calcium mineral reserves that are needed to help continually rebuild our bones.
What About Milk?
Pasteurized milk is one of the worst products you can put into your body. Not only does it destroy the nutrients in the milk, as well as the enzymes that help us digest the protein in the milk, but it also causes the tissues of the body to calcify. This is a primary reason that rates of osteoporosis and bone-related diseases are highest in western countries that drink the most pasteurized dairy products, and a reason children suffer more dental deformities than ever before (see below).
- Why you should never eat or drink pasteurized dairy products
- The benefits of raw milk & dairy
- How diet affects our teeth & jaw structure
There are many conclusive studies linking an acidifying diet to weakened bone structure and an increased risk of osteoporosis and hip fracture, including:
Metabolic acidosis causes loss of bone, as bone contains the largest amount of calcium alkaline buffers. These buffers are released into the blood to neutralize the acidity. Calcium released from bone is then lost in the urine, a process ultimately resulting in osteoporosis.(8)
The higher the amount of acid in the diet, the higher the risk factor for hip fractures. The countries with the lowest ratio of vegetable-to-animal protein intake have the highest incidents of hip fractures and vice-versa.(9)
Hip fracture incidents in older women correlate to higher acid intake from animal protein. Plant food intake tends to be protective against hip fractures.(10)
When dietary acid consumption was calculated, the highest levels corresponded to the weakest bones and highest loss of bone markers in urine.(11)
Calcium In Supplements
An alkaline diet rich in vegetables and fruits has no need for calcium in supplement form because:
- Such a diet does not continually deplete the calcium stores already in the body, and
- Many of these foods are rich in calcium, especially leafy greens such as collards, kale, and mustard greens. Packing a leafy bunch in a fruit smoothie is a fantastic way to get a great supply of calcium.
The calcium we buy in supplement form is not only a fractionated product, but it is generally derived from materials such as oyster shells, bovine bone meal, coral, and dolomite (rock), all of which are extremely hard for the body to assimilate. This is the reason why supplement manufacturers recommend such large quantities be taken daily. The body must work very hard to absorb the calcium from these sources. Adding a nutritious bunch of greens to a fruit smoothie is a fantastic and far superior way to give your body a healthy supply of calcium.
- Learn more about the acid/alkaline balance
- How we become overly acidic
- Health consequences of an acidic diet
- Acid vs. alkaline foods
- Acid/alkaline balance & sports performance
- Learn more about acidosis & alkalosis
- The SAD Standard American Diet
- The Dirty Dozen - what they are & how to avoid them
- Get off the diet merry-go-round
- Is your diet healthy?
- (1) International Journal of Integrative Medicine, Vol. 2, No. 6 - Nov/Dec, 2000
- (2) Effect of chronic metabolic acidosis on new growth... Kidney International, Jan, 1997, 51, 216–221; doi:10.1038/ki.1997.26
- (3) American Journal of Physiology, May 1997
- (4) Estimation of net acid load of the diet... American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Dec 2002, Vol. 76 no. 6 1308-1316
- (5) Acidic pH enhances invasive behavior of human melanoma cells. Clin Exp Metastasis, Mar 1996
- (6) Acid treatment of melanoma cells selects for invasive phenotypes. Clin Exp Metastasis, Feb 2007
- (7) What does it take to eliminate a disease? Novartis Foundation Symposium 2001, Raghunand N et al.
- (8) Effects of metabolic acidosis on bone formation & resorption in the rat. Kidney International, Nov 1986
- (9) Gerontology, Biological Sciences & Medical Sciences, Oct 2000
- (10) Calcified Tissue Int'l, Jan 1992
- (11) Bone Journal, 2001