Foods that modify the pH of our body: what is the basis of the alkaline diet to lose weight

Alkaline diet It is listed as a pseudoscience. Indeed, there is no scientific evidence to support its validity. That does not mean that it does not have a scientific basis. A misrepresented scientific base, of course.

To understand why this "diet" has neither feet nor head, and its premises are fallacious, misunderstood or directly invented, it is important to understand some basic scientific concepts. Today we talk about the alkaline diet and how effective weight loss can have.

Where does the alkaline diet come from?

The role of pH, the parameter that measures the acidity or alkalinity of a liquid, in our health is not new. It has been studied for many decades. Especially relevant has always been in relation to our kidneys and the excretory system. In the mid-nineteenth century, the French biologist Claude Bernard discovered that changing the diet of rabbits from a herbivorous (mainly vegetable) to a carnivorous (mainly meat) changed the pH of the urine, from more alkaline to more acidic.

From this point, thousands of physiologists have worried about the effect of this parameter on our excretory system. Especially with regard to the appearance of kidney stones and their infections. Without a doubt, related concepts. From this point, With the increasingly widespread use of the calorimeter, a new hypothesis began to be coined: that of dietary ash.

This proposes that the foods, when metabolized, leave an "acid ash" or "alkaline ash" similar in the body to the oxidized remains in the combustion of the calorimeter. If we take this for granted, then the food ends up breaking down into alkalines or acids. From there, we move on to the next step: that these foods are capable of modifying the pH of our body, from blood to urine. Under that foundation, the effects on the body, for example in bone acquisition, would be remarkable.

Later, this hypothesis grew to acquire several aspects in which a constant fact is assumed: Acidic foods acidify the body, and blood, as does urine, and this causes a physiological mismatch that promotes the disease: infections, infectious diseases, cancer, osteoporosis ... But all this is nothing more than unsubstantiated assumptions.

The pH of the blood is ...

There is a very complex acid-base homeostasis system dedicated exclusively to controlling that the pH variations in the blood, and in our body, are not too large. Specifically, the pH ranges of Our blood are between 7.32 and 7.42. It is practically neutral. This is important because of this range depends the uptake and release of oxygen (whose mechanism is terribly delicate), among many other things.

In the interstitial fluid, around the cells, there is also a strict balance. If the acidity increases an acidemia that ends in acidosis or an alkalmia that ends in alkalosis can occur, both with terrible consequences (tissue destruction, protein denaturation, loss of nutrients, impossibility of metabolic exchange, failures in enzymatic balances ...). Therefore, our body has up to three lines of defense against these pH changes.

The first is a buffer system that uses salts, contained in the cell and blood, to mitigate the changes. The second is breathing itself, which begins to expel more carbon dioxide if the blood is acidified, as this changes the balance of carbon salts in the blood. The third line of defense is the kidneys themselves, which are responsible for excreting metabolites (essentially urea) to change the pH balance.

If all these systems fail to keep the pH of the blood and interstitial fluid in balance, we have a serious problem. However, what can change, and quickly, is the pH of the urine, precisely because of these defense systems, which eliminate excess salts that change the pH balance.

Pseudoscience arrived, and managed to lose weight!

Although this effect is precisely a manifestation that the pH does not change easily in our body, for our luck, that has not prevented there from being advocates of a diet that is capable of changing it, against all scientific evidence. In the last stages of this pseudoscience (because it cannot be titled otherwise, since there is no scientific endorsement that corroborates it) among its benefits, weight control has appeared.

And interestingly, it has come to work. How!? Yes, There are those who have obtained positive results in weight loss but for a very simple matter: The alkaline diet promotes greater consumption of vegetables and a moderation in the consumption of meat and dairy products. The caloric restriction and the increase in water and fiber consumption, we know for sure, can help with weight control. However, the proponents of this diet claim that it is because "the metabolism is activated."

Again, we are faced with a fallacy. The only way to activate the metabolism is to exercise and increase muscle mass. The pH of what we eat has no effect on this fact, which has not prevented us from selling hundreds of ideas, and even products, on the benefits of the alkaline diet.

But no. If there are results, which may exist, they are not due to the erroneous and misunderstood premises of pH changes in the body, but to the change in eating habits related to fruits and vegetables. As much as we strive, the pH changes in our body are more complicated to achieve than it seems and thanks is that we are still alive

Video: Alkaline Food Diets: Does it Work? UCLA Center for Human Nutrition (April 2020).