The Acid - Alkaline Diet

While I was studying a unit through Monash University “Food As Medicine” some participants were discussing this Acid / Alkaline diet and were quite sold on the idea. Basically the philosophy is that Acid foods give rise to stress, anxiety, diseases etc, while Alkaline (base) foods are good for you and promote happiness and well being.

This theory falls down when you realise food is digested in the stomach acid - about pH 2 before it enters the gut to be absorbed. Most fruit & vegetables are slightly acidic. I saw red when they referred to books and charts that blatantly had incorrect pH readings for common foods. Lemon juice is about pH 2, but most had it as highly alkaline. Here is one example How incorrect can this be? Yet people doing a University course are quite taken in.

If you want to compare this nonsense with a more reliable source, here is the FDA pH listing for foods

The chart has lemon juice as pH 10.0, the FDA as pH 2.0 to 2.6. The books and classes also peddle the same message (for a fee!). It’s up there with the Eat Right for Your Blood Type - no basis in science. Any other weird diets?


Ahhh. Fake Science. The use of meaningless information in a seemingly logical fashion to bamboozle the credulous.

(Sorry, it’s Friday afternoon and I am fed up with all the fake information I have see peddled this week, and the gullible stupidity of those who just accept this doublespeak.)

Long live skepticism!

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And long live the sayings of PT Barnum, including “there’s one born every minute”, and “never give a sucker an even break”.

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You would hope that uni students (at least that have done Chem 101 or paid attention in high school) would know that there was quite a bit of citric acid in lemon juice… and that that might be a hint as to its pH!

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Fad diets always do the rounds. Here’s our article on the alkaline diet.


I have friends on a version of this diet. They were introduced to it at a Party Plan, signed up for the products and have been up-sold since. Each time they are told the water or Bi-Carb is not as “pure” as the next price point. They are now paying champagne prices for alkaline water. They report being happier, but then they had just retired, holidayed, bought the dream home etc.

I point out that bore water is alkaline (pH 8.5 to 9.0) in our town, so should be doing the same thing for them. I am also amazed at the number of people who sing the praises of these restrictive diets and then proceed to tell you how crook they are.


Which will raise the pH of their urine but nothing else. This is used as therapy for chronic urinary tract infections. Trying to alter the way the human body works without understanding homeostasis is a huge waste of time and effort.

The Choice article is pretty good - and free. If you want to improve your life using placebos at least stay away from the schemes that require that you buy their special supplements, superfoods and books. If you want to live on soup and salad you may in fact lose weight but skip the mumbo jumbo and try not give yourself a deficiency disease.

The main proponent Stephan Dominig’s web site does not give any detailed explanation of the system (you have to buy his books) nor does he publish in peer reviewed journals. But he does sell books.

He says he is the medical director of the very expensive Mayr clinic that apart from very pricey dieting and accommodation also sells a range of medicines, spices and beauty preparations.