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An alkaline diet and cancer

An alkaline diet – also known as an acid alkaline diet – is a diet that consists of fresh fruit, vegetables, roots and tubers, nuts and legumes and only small amounts of meats and dairy products. Some people believe that this type of diet will help you lose weight, increase your energy and reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.

However, there is no evidence to support any of these claims.

The chemistry of your blood is slightly alkaline – alkaline is the opposite of acidic. Supporters of an alkaline diet believe you should eat food that matches the chemistry of your blood. They say that a high-acid diet upsets the balance of your blood and causes disease over time – so eating a more alkaline diet will protect you from disease.

The body has a complex system that makes sure the blood stays in its healthy, slightly alkaline range. If the blood becomes too acidic or too alkaline, the body automatically corrects this on its own. Your blood may become slightly more acidic or alkaline after eating certain foods - but it will stay within the healthy range without a special diet.

For more information about foods and cancer risk, see our Nutrition and Fitness section.