SHA Magazine Healthy Nutrition
Can an alkaline diet prevent cancer?
Although this diet has undoubted health benefits, there is no scientific evidence that it can prevent or cure cancer.
There has recently been much speculation about the supposed benefits of the alkaline diet in cancer prevention and cure. There is no doubt that nutrition plays a fundamental role in our state of health and well-being, which is why it is one of the foundations of the SHA Method. “The modern diet is often rich in acidic foods, such as meat, eggs, coffee and dairy products, and seems to increase cortisol secretion and insulin resistance, creating an environment that favours inflammation and the development of cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and cancer”, says Joana André, Nutrition and Health Consultant at SHA Wellness Clinic. “In contrast, adopting a more alkaline diet leads to increased consumption of plant-based foods and lower daily caloric intake, providing several health benefits, such as more effective weight control and improved cardiovascular and kidney health”.
The alkaline diet is based on the concept that food has an impact on the body’s pH. But, according to the American Institute of Cancer Research, food choices only affect urine pH, not blood pH. As Joana explains, “the American Cancer Society recommends a diet similar to the alkaline diet because it excludes processed foods, red meat, alcohol and saturated fats. On the other hand, it encourages the consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. But one of the most popular claims about the alkaline diet still needs to be clarified: that it can prevent and cure cancer, since tumours can only grow in an acidic environment. However, according to scientific evidence, it is the tumour itself that creates a more acidic environment through various mechanisms, such as anaerobic respiration and reduced local vascularisation”.
For this reason, when choosing foods, Joana reminds consumers that “it is important to evaluate them not only in terms of a specific parameter, such as acid/base potential. Other factors should also be taken into account, such as their metabolic impact on the body, their nutritional density and the nutritional needs and state of health of each individual”.
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