Food acidity affects arthritis

Posted on: 18 January 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

Detox to maintain a healthy digestion and help fight arthritis.

Detoxification is designed to give your body a spring clean. The sheer amount of toxins that we ingest every day of our lives, often without realising it, means that the body's own system of getting rid of toxins can become over-burdened. This is what Charles de Coti-Marsh referred to as 'auto-intoxication' and he believed it to be a key contributing factor in the development of a whole array of chronic health problems, including arthritis.

The importance of regular detoxification therefore is vital, and for it to take place effectively the body needs to have the correct internal acid and alkali balance (measured in pH) - in fact, the body's systems work best in a slightly alkaline or neutral environment. If the fluid inside or outside a cell is acidic then sensitive systems and organs have to work under adverse conditions or cannot work at all. So how is the pH balance regulated, and what can we do to help?

Maintaining the correct pH

Certain processes in the body produce acid. Acid is needed to break down complex proteins in the stomach, for example, and it's a by-product of energy release in muscles. But there are factors which influence the body's overall level of acidity which we can control. The most obvious of these is diet.

When we absorb food through the intestine not all of it gets metabolized. The remaining residue, called 'ash', is the substance which influences the body's pH balance. This is where there can sometimes be confusion: the acidity or alkalinity of the ash is not necessarily the same as that of the food in its original state. For example, meat before it is eaten tends to be alkaline, however the ash residue it creates once metabolized is acidic. Fruits and vegetables, however, leave an alkaline residue even though some of them, such as citrus fruits, are highly acidic in their natural state.

Balancing your intake of acid or alkaline forming foods in a ratio of 20:80, in other words 20% protein (fish and poultry or game) and 80% fruits and vegetables, will ensure that the overall effect is an alkaline residue.

Use the following chart to help you to maintain this delicate balance:


Alkali forming foods

Acid forming foods


Millet, brown rice, Quinoa, amaranth


Wheat: especially refined bread, pasta, biscuits, cereals and cakes

Rye and oats


Beans, especially when sprouted, peas, lentils


Nuts and seeds

Unsalted nuts & seeds

Brazil nuts and walnuts

Animal products


Eggs, fish, meat & dairy products


All fruits and juices including unsulphured dried fruits



All vegetables, including vegetable juices


Condiments and sweeteners

Manuka honey, natural honey, Algave Nectar, fresh and dried herbs, spices, garlic, apple cider vinegar, organic dairy and egg free mayonnaise

Sugar, salt, bottled salad dressing, artificial sweeteners, distilled vinegar, mayonnaise


Cold pressed such as almond, sunflower, avocado and virgin olive oil

Animal fats, hydrogenated fats, fried foods


Herb & fruit teas, mineral & filtered water, fruit & vegetable juices

Coffee, tea, soft drinks, alcohol, fizzy drinks


Elizabeth Hartland,
Nutritional Therapist,
The Arthritic Association

Adapted from an article which first appeared in The Arthritic Association News, Autumn 07.

The Home Treatment Programme for Arthritis offers a natural method of managing your arthritis and relief from the associated pain. Developed by Charles de Coti-Marsh over 60 years ago, it has enabled thousands of people to control their arthritis. The Arthritic Association is custodian of works by Charles de Coti-marsh. There are three essential components to his self-care health programme: diet, supplementation and postural management.


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