Talk:Alkaline diet

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PRAL and NEAP[edit]

I recently noticed a pseudoscience-smelling term PRAL (Potential renal acid load), which often comes with NEAP (Net endogenous acid production). Googling "PRAL value" gives mostly obvious bs about natural wellness and alkaline diets, but also some supposedly scientific articles, such as

Googling "Net endogenous acid production" on the other hand results in mostly academic links, but the abstracts usually reek. Take for example, which opens with "Normal adult humans eating Western diets have chronic, low-grade metabolic acidosis".

Is it all as wrong as its smell suggests? Is it worth adding to the page? -- (talk) 10:43, 8 April 2021 (UTC)

Potential Renal Acid Load (PRAL) is not pseudoscience. An alkaline diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides a low net acid load, which has been proven to have favorable metabolic effects in patients with CKD. [1], [2], [3], [4]. Sarah384 (talk) 23:37, 29 September 2021 (UTC)
Yeah, the term PRAL came up in two papers, both linked to the European Journal of Clinical NutritionWikipedia. [5][6] One showed a correlation between low PRAL and less incidence of kidney stones (particularly highlighting veggies as something good to protect yourself from this), and the other related to renal net acid excretion. Usually Nature linked papers are pretty good (these days unfortunately Google, even Scholar, has questionable takes sometimes). It's pretty typical for something that is pseudoscientific (eg alkaline diet) to cherry-pick legitimate terms from scientific papers and misuse them, as I see a few sites doing when I Google. The only takeaway I get from the papers are that the old saw about "eat more veggies" is right, but you don't have to go to extreme fad diet modes like the alkaline diet does to do that. (There's more to the body than kidney health, after all.) PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 00:05, 30 September 2021 (UTC)

Alkaline foods are good for you[edit]

Although the idea that alkaline or acid foods can alter the blood ph has been debunked its clear that there are many health advantages from eating alkaline foods [7] this doesn't appear to be mentioned on this article. Sarah384 (talk) 23:06, 29 September 2021 (UTC)

First, you're contradicting yourself. You just stated that alkaline/acid food can't alter blood pH but then immediately suggest advantages of eating alkaline foods anyway. Second, that's not a valid source. It doesn't even support what you're saying, as you specify blood pH (but never directly mentioned blood pH in favor of "your body's pH" which I can retort, "what? the hydrochloric acid in your stomach??? your snot? your earwax??), but the article itself seems to suggest blood pH, which you already conceded isn't altered by food.

Why is your pH level important? If youโ€™ve ever experienced health issues with your digestive, circulatory, respiratory, skeletal, integumentary, nervous, excretory, muscular, reproductive or immune systems, your pH level might be the culprit.

I could stop right there, as most people probably would, but I'll go on a little more in how thoroughly bad your source is. For instance, if they list practically every problem your body has and then suggests pinning it on one cause, it's bound to be quackery. And the moment I visited the site, there's a promise about weight loss in a relatively rapid amount of time in a pop-up listing "detox", which is well-known bullshit term on RationalWiki. The site itself suggests "alkaline" foods when they're already healthy to begin with by having an excellent calorie-nutrient ratio, not because they're "alkaline". Looking around the site, it also hawks a lot of things for not the cheapest amounts either, like $269 for vitamins? Which again, is a common trend among fad diet promoters, see vitamin and mineral supplements. Oh, and the article you linked me suggested garlic to treat cancer and "detoxify" (whatever that means). But here's a biggie: your site listed carrots as "alkaline" despite the vegetable measuring lower than 7 i.e. acidic. And if you check my link, celery is ALSO not alkaline; neither is cauliflower or cucumber or eggplant. The real whopper inclusion is grapefruit which is famously acidic. I mean that's already six foods not alkaline that they listed that are alkaline, and one, grapefruit, is so obviously acidic it's usually an example in science class to illustrate acidic material. Sure, they try to handwave by then talking about an "alkalizing effect" and that some acidic foods actually increase "the body's" pH somehow, which isn't exactly explained is it? To top it off, your article has a possessive "it's" (god damn I keep seeing that error everywhere), so that doesn't do that site any favors for the professionalism. Despite its best efforts at touting alkaline, the site you linked is vomit. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 02:49, 30 September 2021 (UTC)
They also list lemons and limes. ๐’ฎ๐‘’๐“‡๐‘’๐“ƒ๐‘’ talk 03:12, 30 September 2021 (UTC)
To be fair, they do concede that these foods are acidic, but they then go on with "but they increase the body pH in spite of being acidic", without explaining the mechanisms going on. Not even a BS sort of thing like "cells work so hard metabolizing these specific foods that they produce basic sweat and the sweat increases your pH". ๐Ÿคจ!? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 03:17, 30 September 2021 (UTC)
Oh and this list again I'll share, nearly every food listed has lower pH than your blood. This includes tofu! It seems that of all foods in that link, only ripe olives and corn have higher pH than blood. How do any of these foods increase your "body's" pH. What IS "the body's" pH, as blood has much different pH than stomach acid? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 03:24, 30 September 2021 (UTC)
There is, in fact, a nice Wiki article that summarizes how the body maintains pH: acidโ€“base homeostasisWikipedia. Unless you are diagnosed with kidney issues, the pH of your food really doesn't matter much to your body pH, your body does a nice job of maintaining pH for you. Folks hung up on pH are better off being concerned with tooth health because there is some concern among dentists that low pH drinks (below 4.0 especially, and sodas in particular) may cause enamel erosion. PanGalacticGargleBlaster (talk) 17:34, 1 October 2021 (UTC)

This RationalWiki article and what LeftyGreenMario is claiming above is not telling the truth about what alkaline diet advocates believe. For example this user claims "celery is ALSO not alkaline; neither is cauliflower or cucumber or eggplant". In their "natural" state before digestion practically all foods are neutral or acidic. Alkaline diet advocates are not claiming foods are alkaline before being digested. The alkaline diet is based on P.R.A.L. (POTENTIAL RENAL ACID LOAD). This was calculated more than 100 years ago as

  • PRAL = 0.49 x protein (g/day) + 0.037 x phosphorus (mg/d) โ€“ 0.021 x potassium (mg/day) โ€“ 0.026 magnesium (mg/day) โ€“ 0.013 x calcium (mg/day) - A food with a positive PRAL is considered acid-producing, while a negative PRAL is considered alkaline-producing.

So celery is indeed not alkaline before it enters the body but it is once digested. As this website notes "a foodโ€™s acid or alkaline-forming tendency in the body has nothing to do with the actual pH of the food itself. For example, lemons are very acidic, however the end-products they produce after digestion and assimilation are very alkaline so lemons are alkaline-forming in the body." Here is a list [8]. Nearly all fruits and vegetables have an alkaline PRAL score. Most meat, dairy and eggs are acidic. This article is not being honest about what alkaline diet advocates believe nor does it mention the PRAL score. India55 (talk) 14:07, 2 October 2021 (UTC)

The claim that all alkaline diet advocates believe alkaline or acidic foods can alter your blood pH is also false. Most modern proponents of this diet no longer hold this view. For example this website that supports alkaline diets for a health benefits notes "pH Balance is not related to blood". [9]. But as said, the biggest mistake this article makes is when it starts talking about ph of certain foods before consumption, this is completely false. The pH Balance is not related to measuring acidity prior to consumption. It is dishonest not to mention this. No alkaline diet advocate believe that but this RationalWiki article is built on this false myth. India55 (talk) 14:52, 2 October 2021 (UTC)
There is also Net endogenous acid production (NEAP) [10]. But NEAP and PRAL are not mentioned on this article, the reason is because there are many peer-reviewed scientific papers that mention these. This an area of research in science but this article wants to deny any research is being done. India55 (talk) 14:56, 2 October 2021 (UTC)
Whilst the PRAL formula has indeed been cited in scientific literature I am not so sure that it is widely accepted for all health conditions. This website contains a criticism of it "More recently, the PRAL has been criticized for not considering our bodies ability to neutralize acids through normal body systems. In addition, the formula classifies phosphate as acidic and sodium as basic, despite evidence showing the contrary" [11]. Also apparently PRAL has only been used to treat people with kidney disease "To my knowledge, PRAL has NOT been researched for any other health condition besides kidney disease" [12], this makes sense because the scientific papers that mention PRAL are all on kidney disease and renal stones [13]. So the PRAL might help patients with kidney disease. Yesbody (talk) 16:32, 2 October 2021 (UTC)
Which I already stated: claiming that the alkaline diet is valid because possibly digestive process can help deal with a specific condition of PRAL which also is just a heap of extrapolated bullshit borrowed from possibly more legitimate observations regarding PRAL and kidney health (though results for both PRAL and NEAP are not very spectacular, as evidenced by earlier attempts on this talk page). It's basically a goalpost shift. I still see a failure in explaining to me exactly what this produces this "alkalinity". Finally the majority of sources shared here, they aren't exactly scientific bodies. Medinat, the one shared by red link India55, is ran by a team of "certified naturopaths and herbalists", so an alt-med site. First thing you also notice is that it hawks a lot of supplements, just like the aforementioned blender babe site from probably totally different user. Foodary is not a scientific source either. "[PRAL] is a scientific standard for estimating the acid or alkaline effect of food. It has been validated in many research projects." pretty bold claim for a term that appears in only two Nature papers. Also more bold to suggest this is a reliable indicator of a good diet or not when the term was used only in context of kidney stones. The alkaline diet is basically mostly bullshit regardless; just eat more vegetables like what everyone else is saying. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 17:45, 2 October 2021 (UTC)
According to the PRAL score, [14] raisins are the most alkaline food on the planet. I have adopted an alkaline diet and I feel very good on it. Joh (talk) 23:30, 5 November 2021 (UTC)
We will not promote the alkaline diet. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 00:04, 6 November 2021 (UTC)


The only alkaline gain in the world is Quinoa [15] but technically Quinoa is not a grain, it is a seed. There are no alkaline grains, they are all acidic. I believe this should be mentioned as most people have an obsession with consuming grains which are not all healthy. (talk) 20:45, 4 October 2021 (UTC)

We will not promote this. --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png LeftyGreenMario! 00:03, 6 November 2021 (UTC)

Pubmed journal article on alkaline diet[edit]