Does Alkaline Blood Really Minimize Cancer Risk?

The goal of an alkaline diet is to make one’s pH balance, or body’s acid levels, more alkaline. The theory behind the diet is that cancer cells cannot survive in an alkaline environment. The effectiveness of the alkaline diet for cancer patients is a topic of debate.

The Alkaline Food Theory

Supporters of the alkaline diet believe certain foods can change the body’s pH levels, which can improve health and yield benefits such as weight loss and cancer prevention. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14, with lower numbers being acidic and higher numbers being alkaline. The alkaline diet centers on the belief that eating alkaline foods will make the blood more alkaline, thus creating a more hostile environment for cancer cells.

Alkaline Diet Cancer Food List

Some foods are more alkaline than others based on their acid content. People who follow an alkaline diet try to consume foods that are higher in pH levels, with the goal of increasing their bodies’ alkalinity to ward off cancer cells. The following foods make up most of what someone practicing an alkaline diet would eat, organized by pH level.

High alkaline content:

  • Mineral water
  • Ginger tea
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tangerines
  • Limes
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Melons
  • Kale
  • Mustard greens
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Asparagus
  • Onions
  • Sea salt
  • Ginger roots
  • Chestnuts
  • Parsley
  • Pumpkin seeds

Medium alkaline content:

  • Grapefruit juice
  • Pineapple juice
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Blueberries
  • Oranges
  • Apricots
  • Grapefruit
  • Avocados
  • Green olives
  • Bananas
  • Lemons
  • Artichokes
  • Eggplants
  • Squash
  • Zucchinis
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Basil
  • Cashews
  • Cilantro
  • Cinnamon

Low alkaline content:

  • Apple juice
  • Grape juice
  • Orange juice
  • Herbal teas
  • Coconuts
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Snow peas
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Mushrooms
  • Ghee
  • Oils (olive, flax, coconut, avocado, cod liver)
  • Almonds
  • Oatmeal
  • Quinoa
  • Wild rice
  • Unsweetened granola
  • Sesame/sunflower seeds
  • Bay leaves
  • Almonds
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Rice syrup

What Is Alkaline Water?

Alkaline water is bottled water with a higher pH level than typical drinking water. Normal water has a neutral pH of around 7, but alkaline water will have a pH of 8 or 9. It also contains alkaline minerals to better impact the alkalinity in the water. It may also have negative oxidation potential, or the power to act as an antioxidant. Health professionals have stated that not enough research supports the effectiveness of alkaline water, but a few studies suggest drinking water with higher pH levels could help with acid reflux, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Reduce Your Risk Of Cancer With What You Eat

The Truth About Alkaline Blood Minimizing Cancer RiskThe alkaline diet and its possible connections with cancer is a controversial subject. However, researchers do agree that what you eat can impact your cancer risk. The connection between pH changes and cancer lies in the amount of acid in the system. The body must remain at a pH level of around 7.35 to optimally transport oxygen. If something like an illness causes a pH imbalance, the body naturally corrects itself using substances that neutralize acids. Problems can happen when a person eats a high-acid diet – such as eating a lot of processed foods, junk foods, and sodas.

Consistently eating high-acid foods can force the body to work harder to maintain an optimal pH balance. This can eventually lead to a depletion in the body’s natural alkaline reserves, and a more acidic overall pH level. If this happens, the body releases excess acids into the tissues, which can begin to deteriorate. Without reversing the process, the person could be at risk of cell death or abnormal cell growth. Abnormal cells are malignant and can grow indefinitely (cancer cells).

What you eat can have an effect on your cancer risk. Eating foods that naturally help your body maintain a healthy pH can balance out your system and help you reduce the odds of cancer cell development. Caring for your body properly with whole foods can boost your system’s natural ability to heal itself. Rather than working hard to balance out the acidity of processed foods, your body can focus on other things.

Does The Alkaline Diet Work?

Most scientists agree: eating a high-alkaline diet will not change the body’s pH to make it more alkaline. The body’s natural systems will prevent foods from enabling this change. Having a blood pH of much higher than 7.35 would mean something is seriously wrong. Tester kits for pH may show changes, but that is because the pH levels in urine are separate from the body’s pH. A urine’s pH balance will not accurately reflect the body’s overall pH. Similarly, a saliva pH test will only measure the acid levels of the saliva, not the blood. A blood test is the only way to accurately measure the body’s pH.

That being said, the main theory behind the alkaline diet is correct: lab studies show cancer cells thrive in acidic environments. Instead of focusing on making the body more alkaline, however, people should focus on making it less acidic. The difference lies in the approach. Food you eat cannot increase your alkaline level, but it can decrease the amount of acids your body has to combat to stay at a healthy pH balance. This in turn may reduce excessive acid buildup and could potentially lower the risk of cancer.

Eating mostly non-acidic foods could potentially reduce your risk of cancer by letting your body carry out its natural processes without excess work. Eating more alkaline foods than acidic foods can help your blood maintain an optimal 7.35 pH level without triggering regulation mechanisms in the body. This does not alter the body’s cell environment to be less cancer-friendly, as some alkaline theories suggest, but it can reduce the stress on your body and lower the risk of excess acids getting dumped into the tissues.

Final Thoughts On The Alkaline Diet

It is not possible to have “alkaline blood.” The blood will naturally balance itself to remain around 7.35 to 7.45. Most studies find that eating high-alkaline foods will not increase the body’s pH, nor will drinking alkaline water. Studies also have not shown a connection between an alkaline diet and a better response to chemotherapy, as some supporters claim. It is true that cancer likes acidic cell environments, but you cannot create an alkaline environment to combat cancer or become resistant to disease.

However, a low-acid diet could reduce cancer risk by helping the body naturally maintain its healthiest pH balance. You may be able to reduce your risk of cancer by eating a balanced, whole-foods diet. This can enable your body to automatically correct its pH on its own, without overloading the system with acid. You do not need a special diet, but avoiding eating mostly acidic foods could prevent your body from fighting hard to achieve pH balance. This in turn can give your body its best chance at naturally preventing cancer.