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Question
Posted by: Anne | 2012-04-12

Acidity

I have read a lot about being too acidic and how that causes weightgain and also all sorts of ailments - including mal-absorption of nutrients. Is there any truth in this ?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Anne
I have not read any sound scientific papers to support all these theories about acidity causing everything from baldness to bunions! How excess acidity could cause malabsorption of nutrients baffles me, because the acid in the human stomach helps specifically to digest foods and absorb nutrients. If you produce excess acid in the stomach, this can of course cause ulcers, acid reflux and a host of unpleasant symptoms. The idea that the human body becomes very acid and that this causes weight gain of all things, is also amazing, because the human body is absolutely dedicated to maintaining the so-called acid-base balance. It is only in severe diseases such as kidney failure that the acid-base balance of the body goes awry. Then there is the condition of so-called 'gouty arthritis' which some people seem to regard as a sign of too much acid. If you suffer from gouty osteo-arthritis then it may help to eat a more alkaline diet. Foods that have an acid taste like lemon juice, citrus fruits and strawberries do not actually produce an acid reaction in the body once they are metabolised, in contrast the final product of the metabolism of such foods is alkaline. Acid residues are formed by meat, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, peanut butter, peanuts, bacon, Brazil and walnuts, all types of bread, cereals, pasta, corn on the cob, cranberries, plums, prunes and plain cakes and cookies. Alkaline residues are formed in the body when we eat all milk and dairy products, almonds, chestnuts, coconut, all types of fruit (except corn on the cob, lentils), all types of fruit except the ones listed under acid ash. Fats and oils, sugar, honey, maizena, tapioca and coffee and tea are classed as neutral. I wrote an article on 'NEW DIETARY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR GOUT' which you should be able to access by clicking on 'Diet & Nutrition' at the top of this page and doing a Search with the title of the article. If you suffer from gouty osteo-arthritis then you actually need to eat a diet that is low in compounds called 'purines'. Generally speaking anyone with gout needs to avoid a buildup of uric acid in the body. Excessive uric acid buildup is caused by a disorder in the metabolism of so-called "purines", which are compounds that occur in high quantities in red meat, organ meats (brains, liver, kidneys, sweetbreads), anchovies, meat extracts, broth, bouillon, and gravies made from meat drippings, sardines, herrings, mackerel, mussels, partridge, fish roes, baker's and brewer's yeast taken as supplements. Beans, pulses, spinach, asparagus and mushrooms have a moderate purine content and can be eaten in moderate quantities. Other vegetables and fruits have a negligible purine content and can be eaten freely. Alcohol and rich, fatty foods, as well as high intakes of foods that contain fructose (fruit juice and fruits) also exacerbate gout. The gout may respond to an increase in the intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon oil capsules are a good source of omega-3.
Best regards
DietDoc

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Our users say:
Posted by: DietDoc | 2012-04-13

Dear Anne
I have not read any sound scientific papers to support all these theories about acidity causing everything from baldness to bunions! How excess acidity could cause malabsorption of nutrients baffles me, because the acid in the human stomach helps specifically to digest foods and absorb nutrients. If you produce excess acid in the stomach, this can of course cause ulcers, acid reflux and a host of unpleasant symptoms. The idea that the human body becomes very acid and that this causes weight gain of all things, is also amazing, because the human body is absolutely dedicated to maintaining the so-called acid-base balance. It is only in severe diseases such as kidney failure that the acid-base balance of the body goes awry. Then there is the condition of so-called 'gouty arthritis' which some people seem to regard as a sign of too much acid. If you suffer from gouty osteo-arthritis then it may help to eat a more alkaline diet. Foods that have an acid taste like lemon juice, citrus fruits and strawberries do not actually produce an acid reaction in the body once they are metabolised, in contrast the final product of the metabolism of such foods is alkaline. Acid residues are formed by meat, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, peanut butter, peanuts, bacon, Brazil and walnuts, all types of bread, cereals, pasta, corn on the cob, cranberries, plums, prunes and plain cakes and cookies. Alkaline residues are formed in the body when we eat all milk and dairy products, almonds, chestnuts, coconut, all types of fruit (except corn on the cob, lentils), all types of fruit except the ones listed under acid ash. Fats and oils, sugar, honey, maizena, tapioca and coffee and tea are classed as neutral. I wrote an article on 'NEW DIETARY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR GOUT' which you should be able to access by clicking on 'Diet & Nutrition' at the top of this page and doing a Search with the title of the article. If you suffer from gouty osteo-arthritis then you actually need to eat a diet that is low in compounds called 'purines'. Generally speaking anyone with gout needs to avoid a buildup of uric acid in the body. Excessive uric acid buildup is caused by a disorder in the metabolism of so-called "purines", which are compounds that occur in high quantities in red meat, organ meats (brains, liver, kidneys, sweetbreads), anchovies, meat extracts, broth, bouillon, and gravies made from meat drippings, sardines, herrings, mackerel, mussels, partridge, fish roes, baker's and brewer's yeast taken as supplements. Beans, pulses, spinach, asparagus and mushrooms have a moderate purine content and can be eaten in moderate quantities. Other vegetables and fruits have a negligible purine content and can be eaten freely. Alcohol and rich, fatty foods, as well as high intakes of foods that contain fructose (fruit juice and fruits) also exacerbate gout. The gout may respond to an increase in the intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon oil capsules are a good source of omega-3.
Best regards
DietDoc

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