I’ve been doing some research into alkaline diets and why they are considered healthy. There are so many ‘mythbusters’ around and so many conflicting ideas. But eventually I came across an article by Dr Ben Kim that resonated, firstly because it is straightforward (truths are simple), and secondly because it offers an easy counter to the common ‘alkalinity mythbusting’ argument that alkaline diets are pointless because food does not change blood pH. He also explains clearly why alkalinity in the diet has a positive effect on the body’s systems.
The main gist is that: your body will maintain your blood pH at somewhere between 7.35 and 7.45 no matter what, except in cases of serious disease. The body is constantly maintaining that pH level, as a matter of life and death. The foods you eat do not directly affect blood pH (because if they did, drinking three cans of soda would kill you!), BUT: if you make your body fluids very acidic through dietary imbalance, your buffer systems have to work much harder to maintain blood pH, and it is the taxing of these systems that leads to health issues.
There is some (online, forum-based) controversy around his claim that the body draws on its calcium reserves (in the form of phosphate ions) to neutralize the blood. I just saw this claim replicated in the documentary Forks Over Knives, which argues that, contrary to popular belief, drinking milk actually robs your body of calcium because it creates acidity and thus draws on calcium reserves – but I wonder whether this is due to the way milk is pasteurized, and whether it would not have the same effect when taken raw. (I really enjoyed Forks Over Knives, especially because it argues for a plant-based diet but WITHOUT bashing carnivorous practices. the argument is that a plant-based diet consisting of 5% of animal proteins is ideal.)
Here’s the link to Dr Kim’s article: http://drbenkim.com/ph-body-blood-foods-acid-alkaline.htm
+ Forks Over Knives is available on Netflix!