Cancer Awareness Month: Debunked Myth #1
By Corinne Glazer, RDN
Clinical Outpatient Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
An acidic environment promotes cancer. MYTH.
A frequently asked question regarding food and cancer survivorship relates
to whether acidic foods increase cancer risk. Here is the evidence-based
research. This theory was based on a lab study that suggested cancer cells
thrive in an acidic (low pH) environment, but cannot survive when placed
in alkaline (high pH) surroundings. Although this was true in an isolated
lab setting, these findings are not conclusive in the human body. In fact,
it is virtually impossibly to change a human’s blood pH value due
to being tightly regulated by kidney and respiratory functions. If someone
is experiencing even slight pH imbalance, it could be life threatening
and during those times, often rely on dialysis machines and mechanical
ventilators to avoid disruption of pH. Human urine, on the other hand,
is capable of pH changes from food, however this is because any excess
acidity or alkalinity found in the body is excreted in the urine to help
maintain proper pH balance.
Bottom line is that although the acidity or alkalinity of foods may not
be as important, what you eat can have a profound affect on your cancer
risk. Focus on making dietary choices that truly affect your risk of all
kinds of chronic diseases, including some types of cancers by:
- Choosing more plant based foods coming from vegetables, fruits, beans,
nuts/seeds, and whole grains
- Limiting consumption of red and processed meats
- Decreasing intake of junk foods
- Drink alcohol in moderation, if any
Interested in learning more about the latest evidence-based research on
cancer and nutrition?
Call Torrance Memorial Specialty Center regarding our
Cancer and Nutrition Series or the
NEW (Nutrition Education and Wellness)
Program, (310) 891-6707.