Alkaline diet (also known as the alkaline ash diet, alkaline acid diet, acid ash diet, and acid alkaline diet) describes a group of loosely related diets based on the misconception that different types of food can have an effect on the pH balance of the body. It originated from the acid ash hypothesis, which primarily related to osteoporosis research. Proponents of the diet believe that certain foods can affect the acidity (pH) of the body and that the change in pH can therefore be used to treat or prevent disease. Credible laboratories have done extensive research on this subject and have proven the theory to be false, not supporting the claimed mechanism of this diet. Due to conclusive evidence, it is not recommended by dietitians or other health professionals, though some have noted that eating unprocessed foods as this diet recommends may have incidental health benefits unrelated to bodily pH.These diets have been promoted by alternative medicine practitioners, who propose that such diets treat or prevent cancer, heart disease, low energy levels, and other illnesses. Human blood is maintained between pH 7.35 and 7.45 by acid–base homeostasis mechanisms. Levels above 7.45 are referred to as alkalosis and levels below 7.35 as acidosis. Both are potentially serious. The idea that these diets can materially affect blood pH for the purpose of treating a range of diseases is not supported by scientific research and makes incorrect assumptions about how alkaline diets function that are contrary to human physiology.While diets avoiding meat, poultry, cheese, and grains can be used in order to make the urine more alkaline (higher pH), difficulties in effectively predicting the effects of these diets have led to medications, rather than diet modification, as the preferred method of changing urine pH. The “acid-ash” hypothesis was once considered a risk factor for osteoporosis, though the current weight of scientific evidence does not support this hypothesis.
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