The basic premise of the popularity of alkaline diet is that it assumes that there are certain food if consumed can alter the acidity of the bodily fluids as urine and blood thus helping in prevention of diseases. This concept is known by different names as Alkaline Ash Diet, Acid Ash Diet, Acid Alkaline diet and Alkaline Acid Diet. It is one of the latest fads among the best living circles. Acidity in any fluid is measured from 0-14, in which less that 7 is being acidic and more than 7 being alkaline. If pH is equal to 7 then fluid is termed as neutral.


The effect of food that we eat on the acidity of body fluids especially the urine has been researched for long. It is observed that avoiding foods as meat, cheese, poultry and grains can make the urine alkaline thereby reducing the changes of kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Some practitioners of this concept also claim that alkaline diets reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, poor energy levels and a host of other diseases. But there is a lack of established research on this aspect as reducing intake of such basic source of proteins can cause other problems thereby forcing for medications thereafter.
The function of the Kidney as a blood purifier and controller of the pH of blood is in control of this theory of alkaline diets. It was observed in labs that when the herbivore diet of rabbits was changed to carnivores then the urine turned acidic from being alkaline. The dieticians later started refining the concept based on the presence of anions and cations in the food. Foods with high level of anions (the +ve charged) as chloride, phosphates and sulfates were assumed to be acid forming whereas the foods rich in cations (the –ve particles) as calcium, potassium and magnesium were assumed to be alkaline forming. With this premise, the effect of various foods in the pH of urine was studied and it was observed that acid ash is produced by foods as cheese, poultry, meat , eggs, fish and grains whereas alkaline ash is produced by foods as vegetables, fruits etc. Except for foods are plums, dates and cranberries. Later on the concept as alkaline diet was spun on this research.
The concept of the alkaline diet has evolved from the original research involving control of the pH value of urine to reduce the formation of stones in the body. But it was also observed that it is very difficult to control the pH of body fluids by controlling diet because the metabolism of different persons function differently and even for the same person it can behave differently in different conditions and seasons. Hence, medication has been considered as the best method of controlling the pH rather than that of controlling the diet.


There is also an alternative school of thought which believes that eating food prone to high acid-ash will force the body to create balance by using the bones thus increasing the chances of osteoporosis. Whereas when we eat alkaline-ash producing food then on the other hand the bones becomes stronger. This research has been seen as to link the importance of food that we eat in controlling the chances of Osteoporosis. But with more systematic study such claims are not proven conclusively. On similar lines it is claimed that the acidic and alkaline nature of food effect factors as muscle wasting, back pain or the control of growth hormone metabolism. But even for these claims there no conclusive scientific evidence.

The use of alkaline diet is more a concept promoted by the alternative medical practitioners as solution of problems as cancer, heart diseases and stone formation. But till date the same has not been proved conclusively through methodical research.

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