A growing body of research illustrates the link between acidic diets and arthritis. The health of your joints is based on many factors, one of which is a stable blood pH. If blood pH becomes excessively acidic, it can cause inflammation, and inflammation can damage joints. In some studies, researchers were even able to produce inflammation comparable to arthritis in the joints of mammals simply by switching their water to milk.4 Milk does a body good?
Certainly not for people with acid buildup in their blood and joints. A you learned in chapter i, milk creates acidity in the body. Many of he factors that are known to increase acidity also cause systemic inflammation, including joint inflammation. Acidity and inflammation go hand in hand.
Our joints contain cartilage, a gelatinous tissue that, like all body tissues, is made up of cells. And, like most cells, cartilage cells require a slightly alkaline environment to function properly. This environment is balanced by a combination of salts and water, which pulls acid out of the cartilage cells and washes it away. High acidity can dehydrate cartilage, killing cells and undermining the joint's ability to create new tissue. This leads to greater friction around the joint and the pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.
Studies have demonstrated that feeding a high-fat diet to animals that are susceptible to autoimmune diseases increased the severity of rheumatoid arthritis. Conversely, studies have shown that a vegetarian, gluten-free diet improved symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Most high-fat diets are largely acidic, while vegetarian diets tend to have a higher ratio of alkaline foods.