In 2001, five European researchers published a study in the European Journal of Nutrition that traced our diet back through hominid evolution, through the agricultural revolution of the last 10,000 years, up to the Industrial Revolution of the last 200 years.
They showed that, at every stage of this massive dietary transformation, two things happened.
From Alkali to Acid
Alkali-forming foods were replaced with acid- forming food, and people developed a wide range of physical ailments unknown to previous generations.
People might have better access to food than ever before in history, but we are also further than we have ever been from meeting our genetically determined nutritional requirements.
It is far from coincidental that people become sicker as our food becomes more acidic. Physiologically, our blood, most tissue and intracellular fluid are supposed to be slightly alkaline.
The Physiological Need for Alkalinity
Human blood and intracellular fluid are meant to have a pH of between 7.3 and 7.4. Our bodies must keep this incredibly tightly regulated, preventing it from dropping even 0.1 points below this. Most of the foods we eat, however, form acids once our bodies break them down.
This causes a chronic low-level acidosis which our bodies are not capable of surviving without making harmful compromises and incurring serious damage.
Such chronic acidosis requires that the bones are broken down to supply our blood with alkaline minerals, leading to osteoporosis. It requires that acidic substances are stored in fat cells, causing obesity and interfering with our bodies’ natural weight-regulating hormones (mainly cortisol and insulin) in a way that can cause diabetes.
It also causes kidney failure, muscle wasting, low growth hormone levels and its accompanying underdevelopment of body tissue, depression, high blood pressure, and many other medical conditions that have almost become epidemics in the 21st-century.
The consequences of diet-induced, low-grade acidosis are discussed in this comprehensive 2017 research paper, published in the journal Nutrients.
How to Stay Alkaline
The most obvious solution is to eat alkali-forming foods like vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, pulses and most gluten-free whole grains.
At the same time, it is essential to limit your consumption of acid-forming foods composed of refined grains, gluten, animal products, refined oils and industrial chemicals like colourants, preservatives, texture enhancers and so forth.
The aforementioned paper in Nutrients alluded to the benefits of following a more alkaline diet, with reference to a previous study from 2001: “In the study conducted by Buclin et al. (2001) , the ingestion of an acidogenic diet for four days caused an increase in the urinary excretion of calcium and C-telopeptide of 74% and 19%, respectively, compared to the intake of an alkalizing diet for the same period. Moreover, the consumption of this dietary pattern was associated with a discrete, but significant, reduction in blood and urinary pH. “
Critics of the alkaline diet (and also alkaline water) like to insist that blood pH is tightly regulated. This is very true. However, pH is tightly regulated at the expense of bicarbonate levels and bone minerals to combat the acid load. Just as blood levels of sodium are strictly regulated (even on a restricted low-salt diet) but at the expense of sodium, calcium and magnesium in bone.
The human body will always compensate to preserve essential biological functions.
Alkaline Supplement Options
An alkaline supplement is the obvious solution that allows you to enjoy a primarily alkaline diet that still contains acid-forming foods. Some examples are given below.
An Alkaline Water Filter
While British tap water is neutral to slightly alkaline, you can improve your body’s pH balance significantly by drinking and cooking with water that has an alkaline pH.
This is the way to alkalise slightly acidic foods like the grains and pulses that you cook in water. The best option is a water filter that fits under your kitchen sink and filters the water that runs through the tap.
The Energy Plus is packed with features. It removes sediment from the water, filters the water through carbon to remove chlorine and dissolve organic compounds like pesticides, alkalises the water, gives it antioxidant properties and adds beneficial alkaline minerals.
If you want something simpler and cheaper – a device that can alkalise just as well as an undersink system – try the Biocera Alkaline Jug. It filters out chlorine, reduces many other contaminants and uses natural alkaline minerals to alkalise the water. The jug can hold 1.8 litres of water.
Maximum Vibrance: An Alkalising Greens Powder
Maximum Vibrance is an excellent supplement for those following an alkaline protocol.
The concentrated greens formula contains 120 plant-derived ingredients and can be considered something of an all-in-one supplement. Not only is it a multivitamin, but a multimineral, a vegetarian protein powder, a probiotic, an antioxidant and a food-based alkaliser.
Maximum Vibrance comes in vanilla and chocolate flavours so, unlike most green powders, it tastes great. Just tip one scoop or two into a glass of water and blend or shake. You can also add to your typical smoothie recipe.
Unlike many popular snacks, Vibrant Health’s greens supplement contains only plant-based ingredients – most with an alkaline pH. You can even alkalise a slightly acidic meal by enjoying a glass of it before you eat.
Alkamax contains only alkaline minerals, namely sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, sodium citrate, magnesium carbonate, potassium citrate and colloidal silica.
One tub will last almost two months. It takes just five grams in a glass of water every evening for an effortless, cost-effective, healthy pH boost.
pHAlo was developed by doctors who formerly worked together in the operating theatre. It offers many of the same alkaline minerals as Alkamax plus a few more, all derived from the main alkaline minerals: calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium.
In addition, pHAlo supplies you with aloe vera, the super plant that has become popular for its anti-inflammatory, wound healing, triglyceride and blood glucose lowering, antioxidant, anti-ulcer, antibacterial and many other healing properties.
If you need an alkaline boost, try out any of these quality alkalising supplements.
"No Better Diet for Longevity"
There are, of course, many other alkaline supplements worth considering – from pHresh Greens to Deep Ocean Alkaline Salt Caps, the latter of which have a pH of 10.3.
In combination with a mainly alkaline diet, supplements can certainly help to promote an alkalising effect. However, your focus should be on adopting healthy lifestyle practices rather than resorting to supplements to counteract bad habits.
Dr. Josh Axe said it best: “There is perhaps no diet better for longevity and staving off disease than an alkaline diet.”
It is far from coincidental that people become sicker as our food becomes more acidic.