The effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents is markedly influenced by pH.
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Numerous agents such as epirubicin and adriamycin require an alkaline media to be more effective. Others, such as cisplatin, mitomycin C, and thiotepa, are more cytotoxic in an acid media [ 50 ]. Cell death correlates with acidosis and intracellular pH shifts higher more alkaline after chemotherapy may reflect response to chemotherapy [ 51 ]. It has been suggested that inducing metabolic alkalosis may be useful in enhancing some treatment regimes by using sodium bicarbonate, carbicab, and furosemide [ 52 ].
Extracellular alkalinization by using bicarbonate may result in improvements in therapeutic effectiveness [ 53 ]. There is no scientific literature establishing the benefit of an alkaline diet for the prevention of cancer at this time. The human body has an amazing ability to maintain a steady pH in the blood with the main compensatory mechanisms being renal and respiratory.
Many of the membranes in our body require an acid pH to protect us and to help us digest food. It has been suggested that an alkaline diet may prevent a number of diseases and result in significant health benefits. Looking at the above discussion on bone health alone, certain aspects have doubtful benefit.
There does not seem to be enough evidence that milk or cheese may be as detrimental as Remer's formula suggests since phosphate does benefit bone health and result in a positive calcium balance. However, another mechanism for the alkaline diet to benefit bone health may be the increase in growth hormone and resultant increase in osteocalcin. Even some governments are demanding that the food industry reduce the salt load in our diet. High-protein diets may also affect bone health but some protein is also needed for good bone health.
Muscle wasting however seems to be reduced with an alkaline diet and back pain may benefit from this as well. An alkaline environment may improve the efficacy of some chemotherapy agents but not others. Alkaline diets result in a more alkaline urine pH and may result in reduced calcium in the urine, however, as seen in some recent reports, this may not reflect total calcium balance because of other buffers such as phosphate.
There is no substantial evidence that this improves bone health or protects from osteoporosis. However, alkaline diets may result in a number of health benefits as outlined below.
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The resultant increase in growth hormone with an alkaline diet may improve many outcomes from cardiovascular health to memory and cognition. An increase in intracellular magnesium, which is required for the function of many enzyme systems, is another added benefit of the alkaline diet.
Alkalinity may result in added benefit for some chemotherapeutic agents that require a higher pH. From the evidence outlined above, it would be prudent to consider an alkaline diet to reduce morbidity and mortality of chronic disease that are plaguing our aging population. One of the first considerations in an alkaline diet, which includes more fruits and vegetables, is to know what type of soil they were grown in since this may significantly influence the mineral content.
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At this time, there are limited scientific studies in this area, and many more studies are indicated in regards to muscle effects, growth hormone, and interaction with vitamin D. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. J Environ Public Health. Published online Oct Gerry K. Schwalfenberg University of Alberta, Suite No. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. University of Alberta, Suite No. Schwalfenberg: ten.
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Received Jul 3; Accepted Aug 8. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract This review looks at the role of an alkaline diet in health. Background Life on earth depends on appropriate pH levels in and around living organisms and cells. The Role of pH in Various Cells, Organs, and Membranes The pH in our body may vary considerably from one area to another with the highest acidity in the stomach pH of 1.
Table 1 Ph of selected fluids, organs, and membranes. Open in a separate window.
The Alkaline Diet: Is There Evidence That an Alkaline pH Diet Benefits Health?
Chronic Acidosis and Bone Disease Calcium in the form of phosphates and carbonates represents a large reservoir of base in our body. Alkaline Diets and Muscle As we age, there is a loss of muscle mass, which may predispose to falls and fractures.
Alkaline Supplementation and Growth Hormone It has long been known that severe forms of metabolic acidosis in children, such as renal tubular acidosis, are associated with low levels of growth hormone with resultant short stature. Alkaline Diet and Back Pain There is some evidence that chronic low back pain improves with the supplementation of alkaline minerals [ 47 ].
Alkalinity and Chemotherapy The effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents is markedly influenced by pH. Discussion The human body has an amazing ability to maintain a steady pH in the blood with the main compensatory mechanisms being renal and respiratory. Conclusion Alkaline diets result in a more alkaline urine pH and may result in reduced calcium in the urine, however, as seen in some recent reports, this may not reflect total calcium balance because of other buffers such as phosphate.
References 1. Waugh A, Grant A. Anatomy and Physiology in Health and Illness.
What Do I Need to Make Alkaline Water?
University, Birmingham oAa. Oceans reveal further impacts of climate change. ScienceDaily, Coral reefs under rapid climate change and ocean acidification. Effect of cattle manure and dolomite on soil properties and plant growth in acid upland soils. Songklanakarin Journal of Science and Technologh. Estimation of the diet-dependent net acid load in worldwide historically studied hunter-gatherer societies. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Estimation of the net acid load of the diet of ancestral preagricultural Homo sapiens and their hominid ancestors.
Frassetto L, Morris, Jr. RC, Jr. Diet, evolution and aging—the pathophysiologic effects of the post-agricultural inversion of the potassium-to-sodium and base-to-chloride ratios in the human diet. European Journal of Nutrition. Konner M, Boyd Eaton S. Paleolithic nutrition: twenty-five years later. Nutrition in Clinical Practice. Lindeman RD, Goldman R. Anatomic and physiologic age changes in the kidney. Experimental Gerontology. Effect of low-carbohydrate high-protein diets on acid-base balance, stone-forming propensity, and calcium metabolism.
American Journal of Kidney Diseases. Bicarbonate deficiency and duodenal ulcer. Terapevticheskii Arkhiv. Ohman H, Vahlquist A. In vivo studies concerning a pH gradient in human stratum corneum and upper epidermis. Acta Dermato-Venereologica. Variability of vaginal pH determination by patients and clinicians. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. Remer T, Manz F. Estimation of the renal net acid excretion by adults consuming diets containing variable amounts of protein.
Remer T. Influence of diet on acid-base balance. Seminars in Dialysis. Low urine pH and acid excretion do not predict bone fractures or the loss of bone mineral density: a prospective cohort study. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. Human skin condition and its associations with nutrient concentrations in serum and diet. Lowering dietary protein to U. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Boron WF. Regulation of intracellular pH. Advances in Physiology Education. Potential renal acid load of foods and its influence on urine pH.
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Improved mineral balance and skeletal metabolism in postmenopausal women treated with potassium bicarbonate. New England Journal of Medicine. Treatment with potassium bicarbonate lowers calcium excretion and bone resorption in older men and women.
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Calcium absorption varies within the reference range for serum hydroxyvitamin D. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Addressing vitamin D deficiency in Canada: a public health innovation whose time has come. Public Health. Influence of metabolic acidosis on serum 1,25 OH 2D3 levels in chronic renal failure. Mineral and Electrolyte Metabolism. Phosphate decreases urine calcium and increases calcium balance: a meta-analysis of the osteoporosis acid-ash diet hypothesis. Nutrition Journal. The effect of supplemental oral phosphate on the bone mineral changes during prolonged bed rest.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. Meta-analysis of the effect of the acid-ash hypothesis of osteoporosis on calcium balance. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. But the evidence is skimpy:. The claim largely rests on one test-tube study in which alkaline water with a pH of 8. Inactivating it would be a bad thing. Its evidence: after company-funded researchers had adults exercise until they were dehydrated, only one of several measures of hydration that the researchers used—blood viscosity, or blood thickness—improved more in those who drank Essentia than in those who drank ordinary water.
I have multiple concerns about this research. I would have rejected this paper, had I been one of the peer reviewers. Sports Nutr. Find this article interesting and useful? Skip to main content. References 1 Ann. Make your voice heard in the halls of Congress, in city halls, and in corporate boardrooms. Join the Fight.