[OPINIONS] Alkaline Veganism and its Claims to Cure

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By: Kacey Ingram

I was having a conversation with someone today and they told me that they had a friend who was an alkaline vegan. Curious, I asked what that consisted of and they explained it is a vegan who eats things that are geared more towards eliminating acidity in the body and can be used for detoxifying and purifying the body. They also mentioned that being an alkaline vegan cures cancer, AIDS, and herpes. I tried my hardest to silently eat my food, but I immediately began to have a dialogue (more so in my head) about how dangerous it is to insinuate that being an alkaline vegan is the cure to all disease.

As soon as I was home, I researched alkaline veganism’s relationship to these diseases and found VERY little scientific research or peer-reviewed journals explaining these claims. The only things I could find were opinion articles and some writings based on the claims made by a Dr. Sebi that “all manifestation of disease finds its genesis when and where the mucous membrane has been compromised.” He makes the point that disease accrues in areas of the body where it is highly acidic and highly compromised by mucous. Eliminate the mucous and decrease acidity, and you can cure yourself of cancer, diabetes, HIV, herpes and any other disease found in internal organs. I became a bit saddened after reading his claims, not by what he was saying, but how this rhetoric could be harmful.

I continued to do more reading on Dr. Sebi and other claims he made, but I could not find any concrete evidence to support those claims. While reading reviews of people who used his products and detox eating plans, the results were all the same: they felt better, more energized, lost weight, and felt clearer. However, no one mentioned eliminating a disease. And it did not seem that anyone was willing to test these claims on their own. Why, then, was there a community who followed Dr. Sebi and his claims for an alkaline lifestyle and diet? And were these alkaline lifestyles really curing people of diseases such as AIDS, cancer, and herpes?

The word cure is a strong word, insinuating that the disease has been eliminated completely with no possibility of coming back. When we talk of diseases, like cancer or HIV, we never say one has been cured. We simply say they are in remission or have a low viral count which is undetectable. We rarely use the word ‘cured’, because it is a possibility that one comes out of remission or that a viral load may become detectable in the future. Even if that person stays in remission, we still do not claim they are cured. Dr. Sebi’s claims and alkaline veganism offered hope to people that if they were cured, their disease would not return. As wonderful as it is to have hope that you can be completely cured of a disease, this rhetoric is misleading.   

As I spoke with this person about alkaline veganism, it made me think of the difficulties people have dealing with a disease: the expenses, symptoms, and ailments that come along with being diagnosed. As important as it is to have hope, it is just as crucial to give people factual, thoroughly researched, and proven scientific evidence. Am I saying that alkaline veganism is a complete hoax? No, because I agree that nourishing the body is one of the important aspects of healing. However, alkaline veganism as a cure for disease? I’m still open to that debate.

Kacey Ingram, MPH  is an education coordinator at a pregnancy resource center in Texas. She recently graduated with her Masters degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and received a Bachelors of Science in Health Promotion and Behavior at the University of Georgia. Her passion and purpose is to serve others to the best of her ability and in doing so allows her to give back to the kingdom of God! She is excited to be a part of this platform that allows her to share some of the knowledge she’s  learned along the way! You can follow her on Twitter @kaceye_ .  

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