Testing Your Diet with Pee & Purple Cabbage

Testing Your Diet with Pee & Purple Cabbage
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Plant-based diets tend to be alkaline-forming. This may help protect muscle mass, and reduce the risk of gout and kidney stones. The pH of one’s urine can be estimated with natural pigments, using kitchen chemistry.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

If our body isn’t buffering the acid formed from our diet with our bones, how is it neutralizing the acid? Maybe, with our muscles! Our blood gets more acidic as we age, as our kidney function declines, and this may be a reason we lose muscle mass as we get older. “The modern Western diet based on animal products generates an acid load [that may cause] a lifespan state of unnoticed and growing metabolic acidosis.” And, this chronic, low-level, diet-dependent metabolic acidosis might contribute to the progressive shrinking of our muscle mass as we age.

See, “[m]uscle wasting appears to be an adaptive response to acidosis.” When our muscles break down, “amino acids are released into the bloodstream.” Our liver can then take these amino acids and make something called glutamine, which our kidneys can use to get rid of the excess acid. And indeed, in this three-year study, those over age 65 eating alkaline diets were better able to preserve their muscle mass, which they think may be because the alkaline-producing fruits and vegetables helped relieve “the mild…acidosis that occurs with the ingestion of [the standard] American diet.” But, show me a study in which fruits and vegetables aren’t associated with health benefits.

So, when the latest review asks, does an alkaline diet benefit health? If you’re asking, does a diet low in meat, eggs, and dairy—all acid-producing—and high in fruits and vegetables, with lots of dark green leafies, well then, of course, the answer is yes. An alkaline diet benefits health.

But, if you’re asking does it matter what the pH of your pee is (whether your urine is acid or alkaline), regardless of what actually goes into your mouth? Then the answer is, actually, still yes, it does matter. But, the accepted benefits of having alkaline urine appear limited to two areas—lower risk of kidney stones, and better uric acid clearance.

We knew about the kidney stones, but the uric acid data is new. Researchers found that alkalization of the urine “is effective for removing uric acid from the body.” And, if you remember, uric acid is bad stuff—potentially increasing one’s risk of fatal stroke, heart disease, and death.

So, those eating plant-based diets are at an advantage. The average vegetarian diet is alkaline- producing, and the average meat-eating diet is acid-producing. Even though there are some acid-producing, acid-forming meat substitutes, like some of the Quorn products, they’re not as bad as something like tuna. And, they’re typically consumed in smaller quantities than meat consumers consume meat. As the protein in plants “is usually accompanied by much more potassium,” which is alkalinizing, “there is good reason to meet protein needs preferably from plant sources.” And, if you actually measure urine pH, those eating strictly plant-based diets have the greatest advantage, significantly more alkaline urine than omnivores.

How can you tell what your urine pH is? Well, you can be all boring, and order some pH paper strips to pee on. Or, you can use what you should have right now in your crisper—a purple cabbage. Everyone should have a red or purple cabbage in their fridge, since it’s one of the best nutrition bangs for our buck. But, you can also do science with it!

You can either boil some until the water turns deep purple, or a quicker, safer way (since you’re not dealing with hot liquids) is to just blend some raw in your blender with some water (for that gorgeous purple), and just strain out the solids. Then, what you do with that royal purple liquid is, you pour it in the toilet bowl after you pee. You can imagine how much fun kids have with this!.

If it stays purple, your urine is acidic, and you should eat more dark green leafy vegetables. If the toilet bowl turns pink, your urine is really acidic, and you should eat more dark green leafy vegetables. You’re looking for blue. If it turns blue, that means your urine is neutral, or even alkaline, if it’s sky blue. And,that means you should continue to eat more dark green leafy vegetables.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Fundamental Photographsdiy.orgwallpapercraze.comListentoreason via flickr, and Biusch via Wikimedia. Thanks to Ellen Reid and Alicia Bittner for their photo wizardry.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

If our body isn’t buffering the acid formed from our diet with our bones, how is it neutralizing the acid? Maybe, with our muscles! Our blood gets more acidic as we age, as our kidney function declines, and this may be a reason we lose muscle mass as we get older. “The modern Western diet based on animal products generates an acid load [that may cause] a lifespan state of unnoticed and growing metabolic acidosis.” And, this chronic, low-level, diet-dependent metabolic acidosis might contribute to the progressive shrinking of our muscle mass as we age.

See, “[m]uscle wasting appears to be an adaptive response to acidosis.” When our muscles break down, “amino acids are released into the bloodstream.” Our liver can then take these amino acids and make something called glutamine, which our kidneys can use to get rid of the excess acid. And indeed, in this three-year study, those over age 65 eating alkaline diets were better able to preserve their muscle mass, which they think may be because the alkaline-producing fruits and vegetables helped relieve “the mild…acidosis that occurs with the ingestion of [the standard] American diet.” But, show me a study in which fruits and vegetables aren’t associated with health benefits.

So, when the latest review asks, does an alkaline diet benefit health? If you’re asking, does a diet low in meat, eggs, and dairy—all acid-producing—and high in fruits and vegetables, with lots of dark green leafies, well then, of course, the answer is yes. An alkaline diet benefits health.

But, if you’re asking does it matter what the pH of your pee is (whether your urine is acid or alkaline), regardless of what actually goes into your mouth? Then the answer is, actually, still yes, it does matter. But, the accepted benefits of having alkaline urine appear limited to two areas—lower risk of kidney stones, and better uric acid clearance.

We knew about the kidney stones, but the uric acid data is new. Researchers found that alkalization of the urine “is effective for removing uric acid from the body.” And, if you remember, uric acid is bad stuff—potentially increasing one’s risk of fatal stroke, heart disease, and death.

So, those eating plant-based diets are at an advantage. The average vegetarian diet is alkaline- producing, and the average meat-eating diet is acid-producing. Even though there are some acid-producing, acid-forming meat substitutes, like some of the Quorn products, they’re not as bad as something like tuna. And, they’re typically consumed in smaller quantities than meat consumers consume meat. As the protein in plants “is usually accompanied by much more potassium,” which is alkalinizing, “there is good reason to meet protein needs preferably from plant sources.” And, if you actually measure urine pH, those eating strictly plant-based diets have the greatest advantage, significantly more alkaline urine than omnivores.

How can you tell what your urine pH is? Well, you can be all boring, and order some pH paper strips to pee on. Or, you can use what you should have right now in your crisper—a purple cabbage. Everyone should have a red or purple cabbage in their fridge, since it’s one of the best nutrition bangs for our buck. But, you can also do science with it!

You can either boil some until the water turns deep purple, or a quicker, safer way (since you’re not dealing with hot liquids) is to just blend some raw in your blender with some water (for that gorgeous purple), and just strain out the solids. Then, what you do with that royal purple liquid is, you pour it in the toilet bowl after you pee. You can imagine how much fun kids have with this!.

If it stays purple, your urine is acidic, and you should eat more dark green leafy vegetables. If the toilet bowl turns pink, your urine is really acidic, and you should eat more dark green leafy vegetables. You’re looking for blue. If it turns blue, that means your urine is neutral, or even alkaline, if it’s sky blue. And,that means you should continue to eat more dark green leafy vegetables.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Fundamental Photographsdiy.orgwallpapercraze.comListentoreason via flickr, and Biusch via Wikimedia. Thanks to Ellen Reid and Alicia Bittner for their photo wizardry.

Doctor's Note

Now, I have a low-flow toilet, so there’s very little water in the bowl to start with. The effect might not be as dramatic if diluted in a larger quantity of water. More bathroom chemistry can be found in Pretty in Pee-nk and Asparagus Pee.

What does acid have to do with bones? You might have missed the prequel to this video, Alkaline Diets, Animal Protein, & Calcium Loss.

How else can we protect our muscles? We can eat healthy enough to avoid statin drugs (see Statin Muscle Toxicity), and the neurotoxins that can cause movement disorders (Muscle Tremors & Diet).

Superfood Bargains is the video in which purple cabbage takes the gold—though it was unseated in Biggest Nutrition Bang for your Buck.

Why do I always go on and on about dark green leafy vegetables? Check out my dozens of videos on greens, and find out!

For more context, check out my associated blog post: Test to See If your Diet is Alkaline- or Acid-Forming.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

161 responses to “Testing Your Diet with Pee & Purple Cabbage

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  1. Thanks very much for posting this. We are entering a season where it is of great importance. I understand sweets can also increase acidity in the body. It’s great to have a simple way to test.




    0
      1. Bev: I too am not getting sound – and I have not had this problem before. Hopefully Dr. Greger’s technical people (should such exist) will read this and see if they can fix it.

        Thanks for reporting in.




        0
      2. Oooh! I just figured it out! Somehow, the YouTube thingy got changed to a default of “mute”. Perhaps a YouTube upgrade? (read: bug)

        For the fix: On my screen, there is a speaker symbol just to the right of the play button. I was able to click it and adjust the sliding bar thing that showed up so that it went from zero sound to plenty of sounds. I hope this helps other people.




        2
    1. If it’s 11 you should be dead :) In fact too much alkalinity can be deadly. Quite literally! But I guess in our world with loads of stress (which is acid producing) we can never be too alkaline.




      0
  2. From WEB MD this week: “Tips to keep your joints healthy”

    “Drink Milk to Keep Bones Strong

    Calcium and vitamin D help keep bones strong. Strong bones can keep you on your feet, and prevent falls that can damage joints. Dairy products are the best sources of calcium, but other options are green, leafy vegetables like broccoli and kale. If you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, ask your doctor about supplements.”

    Why do they teach this? Do they not know of the research Dr. G describes? Do they not want to know? Are they paid to ignore it? How can we expect people eating SAD to trust other sources over the docs at Web MD etc.?




    0
    1. People in the US and Norway consume huge amounts of dairy
      and have mucho osteoperosis. Asians are mostly lactose intolerant
      and have little or no osteoperosis?




      0
        1. “There is consistent evidence that epidemics of hip fracture occur with ur­banization throughout Asia.” What else comes with urbanisation? Macdonalds, etc.




          2
    2. Because the amount of calcium pulled from your bones to neutralize the acid is about 1/10 of the amount you gain back after the acid is neutralized.




      1
        1. So basically, consumption of meat and milk has no impact on bone loss.

          Nobel prize material, right there.

          Not.

          Simple fact known to anyone with half a brain.




          0
          1. I am unsure why the hostility is necessary, Dr. Greger does an excellent job of gathering the evidence and data FOR bone loss through an acidic diet and in turn, shows how the mechanism is misunderstood. Did you view first link?




            4
        2. How about this: I was diagnosed with osteopenia (quite progressive!) when I was only 21. “Healthy” omnivore diet all my life, grew up on home grown food and meats (we killed our own calf, pigs and chicken), lots of dairy (min 1/2 litre/day) milk and yogurts and cheese (homemade), plus every day fresh fruit and vegetables and bread with everything. In my family I was the only one ever to develop bone problem (my siblings not, sister could not digest it, so she ate only very little when our parents made her), I was the one who ate it at large amounts, at teenage years started even more, and when working as a trainer I added whey shakes with milk (for weight lifting, bodybuilding at the time). So by now I consumed 1-2.5 ltr of diary / day. Even weightlifting did not prevent osteopenia. My sis (2 years older) does not do any activities, no diary for years when she moved away, no health issues (occasional anemia). Me? Osteopenia was not the only thing I got on the way.
          In short-I’m now completely healthy! After 11 years of health battle, and doc told me that osteoporosis was inevitable (my bones at the time he said were like 70yo) I had it enough, went vegetarian, no improvement, then vegan, stopped progression, then raw reversed it all! Now since I’m raw for over 3 years, I had everything gone! (even family eczema problem)
          Foreign diary is toxic to our adult bodies, I just consumed it in larger quantities then average, to prove this.
          And “control subject” was my sis (and the rest of the family). Good news, my sis turned vegan when she saw what happened to me, her anemia (as it started to get worse) gone! In weeks!!! And she is even a smoker!




          6
          1. I guess our genetics can make us more or less affected by animal products, but I am certainly one of the more, even though I was never a big fan…and I think the reason for that was the subtle feedback of ingesting something that had negative effects, even if not overt enough at the time to be specific. It sure took it’s toll over time though and if it wasn’t for the few REAL doctors, who aren’t deterred or intimidated by industry and mass media, getting the word out there, I’d still be worse than dead by now! Yeah, there is a worse than dead, and I was there. Thanks Dr G for all you do!




            0
  3. Greetings long lifers!!! Hey I’m 100% vegan (for almost a year) and I eat more kale and spinach than Poopeye and Mr. Ed combined,… I’m on no meds except for combivent for asthma. (about one puff per day) but my Pee remained purple after this test. Needless to say I’m not happy about that. I WANT BLUE PEE!!! What else can I do to move towards alkalinity?




    0
    1. Are you sedentary? That increases acid in the body. I would recommend weightlifting where you do a hard set then rest for a few minutes. Or you could sprint for, say, 40 yards, then rest for 3-4 minutes and repeat. Train to increase your power and speed.




      0
        1. I think just walking is not enough. I may be still young and need more active exercising, but you could gradually increase your exercising. Add some more active and sweat-producing training. Walking only increases the happy hormones :) But active sport can be a real booster!




          0
    2. In the cited study, vegans still had an acidic urinary pH of 6.15 ± 0.40, which would still be in the purple range for cyanidin (the pH indicator in red cabbage). The methyl red + bromothymol blue pH test strips aren’t expensive, and offer better resolution in the critical 6-7 range.

      A standard formula for estimating the potential renal acid load of foods is presented in Remer & Manz, 1995. It can be calculated from food composition data with the formula

      PRAL= 0.49 × g protein + 0.037 × mg phosphorus – 0.021 × mg potassium – 0.026 × mg magnesium – 0.013 × mg calcium

      and will yield positive values for acidic foods and negative ones for alkaline foods. I’ve added it as a column in this spreadsheet of plant food nutrition data. The most alkaline (non-dried) foods (per 100 g) appear to be palm hearts (-31.9) and yams (-15.12), but spinach (-11.84) and kale (-10.74) aren’t far behind. Nuts, grains, baked goods, and legumes are all somewhat acidic by the PRAL measure.




      2
      1. Here are additional items using these same calculations.

        Cereals, oats, regular cooked with water, w/o salt/ 2.18

        Bananas, raw/ -6.93

        Blueberries, raw/ -1.04

        Rice, brown, long-grain, cooked/ 2.18

        Broccoli, cooked, boiled, drained, w/o salt/ -3.57

        Cauliflower, cooked, boiled, drained, w/o salt / -1.33

        Carrots, cooked, boiled, drained, w/o salt/ -4.10

        Peaches, raw/ -3.11

        Beans, kidney, cooked, boiled, w/o salt/ -0.69

        Kale, raw/ -8.34

        Animal Foods

        Chicken, broilers or fryers, breast, meat only, cooked, roasted/ 17.30

        Egg, whole, raw, fresh/ 9.43

        Fish, salmon, Atlantic, wild, cooked, dry heat/ 7.57

        Beef, bottom sirloin, tri-tip, separable lean only, trimmed to 0″ fat, choice, cooked, roasted/ 12.79

        Cheese, cheddar/ 19.00




        0
        1. Are there any grains that are in the negative range? if not, perhaps we should limit our consumption of grains and eat starchy foods like yams instead




          0
          1. I have not found any grains in the negative range, but overall, I do not think its a major concern as long as one balances it with other plant foods which tend to be highly alkaline.




            1
          2. Many of the alkalizing diet people eat only millet and amaranth – as they say they have an alkalizing effect on the body. Although not true grains, they might be worth checking out. I also agree with Toxins on this one – in that a diet full of leafy greens and vegetables will probably balance out the addition of a few grains easily.




            1
      2. One interesting thing about that PRAL measure is the acidic contribution of phosphorus.

        The estimated average phosphorous requirement for adults is 580 mg, its so ubiquitous in foods that essentially no one is deficient, and the median intake is about 3 times the requirement. Yet food processors add more phosphorous compounds as preservatives, acidifying agents, pH buffers and emulsifiers. Excess phosphorous doesn’t just increase potential renal acid load, it impedes calcium absorption, increases kidney disease risk and mortality, and is a predictor of cardiovascular events and mortality (source).

        There’s 69 mg phosphorous (mostly as tartifying phosphoric acid) in every 12 oz can of Coke, and 55 mg in the diet version. Its not just eating away your teeth enamel.




        0
        1. roger: Daryl’s knowledge, contributions and time have been a huge benefit to the NutritionFacts community, greatly appreciated by everyone else. Your comment, on the other hand, is about tearing down, not “building” anything. Something to think about.




          1
        2. roger: The time and effort that Darryl puts into his sound scientific responses and comments are greatly appreciated. If you can’t appreciate his contributions, then simply ignore them.




          0
    3. Sometimes excessive eating is also acid producing. Bad thoughts, sadness, negative emotions, stress, anger, etc… It’s not just the food that is alkalizing or acidifying.




      0
    1. In theory the shades should match regardless of density but in practice it will be hard to tell. The answer is basically “Enough so you can get a reading.” Don’t worry about a wrong reading – dilute blue looks like dilute blue. It doesn’t look like red.




      0
  4. Perfect! Could not have said better. This–correct pH, i.e., alkaline base–is KEY in utilizing nutrition and diet for treatment and management of any type of cancer. Thank you for your ‘kitchen science 101 course’ in how to determine pH.




    0
  5. So if the protein in omnivore diets aren’t leaching our bone calcium, as explained in your previous video, is alkaline diet and the prevention of age related muscle loss promoting a decrease in osteoporosis that might be seen in societies that follow traditional plant based diets and don’t have osteoprosis? Has that relationship be specifically looked at?




    0
  6. What kind of volume of purple cabbage solution here are we talking, a cup, 2 cups. Do we blend up an entire cabbage and how much water do we add to the blender? I need an SOP STAT




    0
  7. Good video, but as a chemist, I was needing more specifics about the cabbage prep: How much water? Boiled for how long? etc etc. I was surprised that wasn’t included, given all the statistical and analytical chemistry details that most people reading this site wouldn’t appreciate.
    Thanks for doing this work! I read/listen to almost every one in my effort to decide what’s true and what’s just opinion, or speculation (even by fellow MDs! online)




    0
  8. I broke out the pHydrion 5.5 to 8.0 tape. Apparently my peanuts and pistachios addiction is overpowering my green tea, broccoli sprouts, 99% vegan, 90% whole foods regimen. Results pH=6.2 on the acid side. (Whole
    Food Reference: I consider Restaurant spaghetti and my extra virgin olive oil to be junk foods.) Raisins look good so I may indulge in my whole food vegan candy: stuff mouth with raisins and peanuts and chew. And maybe up the ante on the powdered kale I make into a tea or as my wife calls it a dark green veggie liquor that she won’t touch but I love.




    0
  9. Thanks for posting this. Before becoming a vegan, I let my health go for over 30 years and my weight went out of control. As a result I became a type 2 diabetic and my arteries all clogged giving me high blood pressure. I was put on crestor (40 mg per day), metformin, and high bp medication (quinapril/hydrochlorothiazide). Now my weight and overall cholesterol levels are pretty good but my high bp is only controlled and my A1C was still 6.1. My physician lowered my crestor dose to 5 mg and I would like to get rid of it. He says that it is necessary to keep my LDL down and has some effect in preventing Alzheimers. I am wondering what I should do.




    0
    1. What constitutes your vegan diet?
      Perhaps you should consider reducing your sodium intake to no more than 1500 mg a day, avoid ALL oils, all white flours and processed foods, and consume a diet primarily consisting of complex carbohydrates, such as beans, potatoes, brown rice, oats etc with veggies. Also consuming cruciferous greens each day will prove helpful.




      2
      1. I would agree with Toxins post. The oils will contribute to your insulin resistance and interfere with any plans to lose fat. You may be one of the patients who can benefit on taking a statin. I think it is best to avoid statins as much as possible. To help make a decision you can ask your clinician what the NTT (i.e. Numbers to Treat) is for your LDL level. You might find several of Dr. McDougall’s newsletters of interest see 9/02 on Cholesterol, 6/03 on cleaning out arteries and 5/07 on statins. Congratulations on the improvement and good luck going forward.




        0
        1. I really appreciate this sort of cross-referencing, Dr. Forrester. Your join-forces attitude is very welcome.

          My thought is that the more banding together, rather than competing among people such as Drs. Fuhrman, Esselstyn, Ornish, Mc Dougall, and Greger, the stronger will be the voice for personal and governmental diet reform. I know little about Dr. Neal Barnard, and you, but you know what I mean. Competitive spirits have done much to cripple the advance of my own field (the psychological study of dreams) since the petty, but fanatic (true-believer-syndrome) battles of Freud and Jung and most who followed.

          BTW, who are the women researchers or publicly-oriented female authors, doctors, etc. in this Plant-based world of education and practice?




          0
  10. So, doctor, does eating animal protein contribute to osteoporosis or not? Your previous video placed some doubt on this and this video has not clarified the issue.




    0
  11. Shouldn’t the chromophore cyanidin (0.21% by weight of red cabbage) do its trick regardless of extraction method? The 6 diacylated triglucosides of cyanidin found in red cabbage doubtless vary in solubility and stability, but according to the first link, the glucose substituents don’t change chromophore electron confinement or color absorption, much.

    This kitchen chemistry demonstration is evidently regularly done in California schools. They use the blender method.




    0
    1. Darryl what would we do without you!

      I started adding the fenugreek to my morning smoothy. I stopped one week later. I don’t like smelling like maple syrup. Actually I think it made me smell sour. But it was amazing to experience the smelly armpits. Now on to the pee!!!




      0
      1. I tried it but once, and discovered I didn’t particularly care for the fenugreek aftertaste in my regular strawberry/banana/flax smoothie. Back to lentil dals with double and treble the recipe spices.




        0
  12. It seems that this whole thing goes in a circle for isn’t it the muscle pull on the bones that causes the bones to strengthen (please disregard my untech wording) so if the muscles are weakened the bones are not strengthened as well with exercise.




    0
    1. Hi Susan,
      Bones are one of the most dynamic tissue in the body. Best way to prevent bone loss is to hit the ground. Walk, run, jump, skip rope. And yes lift weights. But that doesn’t compare to the feet hitting the ground.




      0
  13. I love your videos. Should I be concerned about being too alkaline? I eat an organic, unprocessed plant base diet. My pH strips go up 8.0. About half the time my morning urine pH is in the 7’s, but the other half it is 8+.




    0
  14. Yesterday I posted Web MD’s advice in their huge circulation weekly emailing:” Drink Milk to Keep Bones Strong.”

    Today I received Univ. of California’s Berkeley Wellness Letter email on “8 Facts About Milk.”

    http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/food/lists/8-key-facts-about-milk/slideid_419?ap=603?ap=ed

    THESE NEED STRONG REBUTTALS.

    The Berkeley Wellness Letter includes a warning not to believe anti-milk groups that dairy harms bones, states that there is no research showing that connects milk to mucous production, and so on. Here is the article. Is there anyone on the TEAM who could write letters and leave comments on WebMD and BWL?

    8 Key Facts About Milk

    At one time, milk was promoted as “the perfect food.” Of course, no one food is sufficient in itself, but milk and other dairy products are very nutritious (they remain the chief source of calcium in the American diet) and can be part of a heart-healthy diet. Still, legitimate questions, plus a number of myths, have multiplied. The arguments are highly politicized, with the dairy industry on one side and milk opponents on the other. Fortunately, there is plenty of well-designed research to help answer the questions you may have about milk.

    1

    Is there a cancer connection?

    Does cow’s milk cause cancer or protect against it? There’s no clear link between milk and cancer, one way or the other. Dairy opponents say milk increases breast, prostate and ovarian cancer risks. But only a few studies support this, and many studies have found no increased risk. In addition, milk may reduce colon cancer risks, because of its calcium and vitamin D. For example, a study in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2006 found that people who drank very little milk had a somewhat higher risk of colon cancer than those who drank at least a glass a day.

    2

    Is milk good or bad for bones?

    Don’t believe claims by anti-milk groups that dairy harms bones. Though osteoporosis rates are lower in Asia, where dairy is rarely consumed, other factors other than diet affect bones, and most studies show that calcium from dairy is protective. Dairy is protein-rich, and very high protein intake slightly increases calcium excretion. But some protein is needed for strong bones, and dairy’s high calcium may more than offset any small adverse effect of its high protein. Plus, in addition to calcium, milk provides vitamin D, magnesium, potassium and other key bone nutrients.

    3

    What about milk and heart disease?

    If you consume a lot of whole milk, whole-milk yogurt and cheese, you may see your blood cholesterol levels rise, especially if these foods contribute to weight gain. But you can get dairy products in nonfat or low-fat versions, which are lower in calories. There is evidence that increased intake of milk is linked with a reduced risk of stroke and heart attack. Certain substances in milk may even help lower cholesterol. In addition, nonfat or low-fat dairy products are an important part of the DASH diet, designed to control blood pressure.

    4

    Does milk cause acne in teens?

    For many years, teens and their parents have blamed diet for acne outbreaks—with chocolate the prime suspect. Most experts don’t think specific foods play a role. Still, some dermatologists disagree, and some blame milk. The theory is that hormones in milk interact with human hormones and cause pimples. In the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in 2008, researchers presented preliminary evidence that skim milk was associated with acne in young boys. There was no explanation for why only skim (not whole) milk would have this effect.

    5

    Can milk help you lose weight?

    Some studies have suggested that milk (or its calcium) can help people lose weight or at least prevent weight gain. A few years ago the dairy industry trumpeted this possibility in ads, but the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) told it to stop doing so. Even the positive studies, which were mostly funded by the dairy industry, showed only very small benefits over long periods.

    6

    Is it important to drink organic milk?

    Studies have consistently found no major nutrition or safety differences between conventional and organic milk. Batches of milk tested may vary—organic milk may have higher (or lower) levels of nutrients than conventional—because the composition of milk depends on the cows’ diets, the season and other factors. If you feel you are voting for better agricultural and humane practices, and can afford the high price of organic milk, that’s a reason to buy it. Whatever you do, always buy pasteurized dairy products, since raw milk is dangerous.

    7

    Does milk increase mucus production?

    Thus far, studies have found no connection between milk and mucus formation. This idea persists because whole milk tends to coat the mouth briefly. If you don’t like this quality of whole milk, that’s yet another reason to switch to low-fat or nonfat milk. If you find milk unpleasant when you have a cold or cough, you can simply stop drinking it until you feel better.

    8

    What if you are lactose intolerant?

    People who have difficulty digesting lactose (the natural sugar in dairy) can consume lactose-reduced products or take pills that contain lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose) before consuming dairy. Yogurt tends to be less of a problem, since bacteria in it break down some of the lactose. Still, if you don’t like dairy products, or they don’t like you, you need not eat them. You can get calcium from other foods, including leafy greens such as collards and broccoli, canned salmon with bones, soybeans and calcium-fortified foods.




    0
    1. We have evidence to the contrary, so these are blatant lies.

      1. Cancer
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/dairy-sexual-precocity/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/largest-study-ever/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/melatonin-breast-cancer/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/blocking-the-first-step-of-heart-disease/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/igf-1/

      2. Milk for the bones

      A review published in the Journal of Pediatrics focused on the benefits of dairy “the findings of epidemiologic and prospective studies have raised questions about the efficacy of the use of dairy products for the promotion of bone health. ” after a review of the existing literature and finding “A positive relationship between dairy product consumption and measures of bone health in children or young adults was reported in 1 of 4 cross-sectional studies; in 0 of 3 retrospective studies; in 0 of 1 prospective study; and in 2 of 3 randomized, controlled trials. Only 1 of these randomized clinical trials adequately controlled for vitamin D intake, and it showed no significant effect of dairy products on BMD [bone mineral density]” , they concluded, “Scant evidence supports nutrition guidelines focused specifically on increasing milk or other dairy product intake for promoting child and adolescent bone mineralization.”

      http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/115/3/736.long

      A meta-analysis published in the British Medical Journal found, “The small effect of calcium supplementation on bone mineral density in the upper limb is unlikely to reduce the risk of fracture, either in childhood or later life, to a degree of major public health importance.”and “The authors concluded that the literature did not support recommendations for consumption of dairy products for bone health end points in children and young adults…Our quantitative systematic review confirms this conclusion” The authors also state, “Our results also do not support the premise that any type of calcium supplementation is more effective than another.” Even studies that used intakes of 1400 mg per day of calcium showed no benefit.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1602024/?tool=pubmed

      An editorial accompanying this meta-analysis pointed out, “Populations that consume the most cow’s milk and other dairy products have among the highest rates of osteoporosis and hip fracture in later life. Given this fact, it is important to ask whether sufficient evidence exists to continue assuming that consumption of these foods is part of the solution.” They concluded “It is time to revise our calcium recommendations for young people and change our assumptions about the role of calcium, milk, and other dairy products in the bone health of children and adolescents. While the policy experts work on revising recommendations, doctors and other health professionals should encourage children to spend time in active play or sports, and to consume a nutritious diet built from whole foods from plant sources to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and provide an environment conducive to building strong bones.”

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1602030/

      A review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition of the research on the effects of dairy products on bone health found 57 studies, and of these, 21 studies were considered to have stronger-evidence, worthy of inclusion in this review. “Of 21 stronger-evidence studies, 57% were not significant, 29% were favorable, and 14% were unfavorable.” Keep in mind that the majority of these studies were funded by the dairy industry, and even with this natural bias and influence to produce positive outcomes, no better than 29% of the studies were favorable to bone health.
      http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/72/3/681.long

      “…although vegans have much lower intakes of dietary calcium and protein than omnivores, veganism does not have an adverse effect on bone mineral density and does not alter body composition.” The vegan participants had been on a vegan diet an average of 33 years.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19350341

      3. Heart disease

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/dietary-guidelines-from-dairies-to-berries/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/blocking-the-first-step-of-heart-disease/

      4. Acne
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/dairy-acne-2/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/acne-cancer-connection/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/national-dairy-council-on-acne-and-milk/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/skim-milk-and-acne/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-acne-promoting-effects-of-milk/

      6. Conventional milk
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/industrial-carcinogens-in-animal-fat-2/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/flame-retardant-chemical-contamination-2/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/avoiding-other-banned-pesticides/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/dioxins-in-the-food-supply/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/food-sources-of-pcb-chemical-pollutants/

      7. Milk and mucus
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-milk-and-mucus-a-myth/




      1
      1. BRAVO, Toxins, BRAVO!
        Is there any point of sending this rebuttal to WebMD and Berkeley Wellness Letter? To whom? From whom? What a shame that such influential communicators are so dangerously misleading and either incompetent or dishonest.




        0
        1. If it were to be presentable, the studies would have to be well cited and primary sourced and not through Dr. Greger video links. I personally do not have interest in sending a letter, but if you are so passionate as to do so then by all means!




          1
          1. I agree, Toxins, but I am a psychologist who specializes in dreams and problem solving; I don’t have the chops to write such a letter. Alas! But such potent newsletters should be responded to publicly. Is there no one on the NF Team who could and then keep the letter posted as a quotable template to rebut the common arguments that could be cut and pasted and sent by members to the misleading publications they receive?




            0
        2. Gayle, I stopped reading Berkeley Wellness Letter several months ago. It used to be one of my main sources for nutritional guidance until I discovered Dr. Gregor’s site about this time last year. Berkeley’s May 1, 2013 issue http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/nutrition/article/sunny-side-eggs had a long article recommending consuming one egg a day and listing all the benefits to doing so. I was stunned at their lack of current research knowledge. I had trusted the Berkeley name brand but now that I am much more educated (thanks to Dr. Gregor, and to all the other knowledgeable readers) I was able to see the Berkeley Wellness letter as full of fluff pieces at best, and perhaps, at worst, advocates for the meat, egg, dairy industries (which are huge contributors of money to university research).

          My confidence in Berkeley’s advice is further diminished because the letter only sites itself as reference sources and it offers no forum for reader questions and comments, like this site.




          1
    2. The incontrovertible fact is that countries with the highest consumption of dairy products has the highest rates of osteoporosis.




      1
  15. You’re talking Old School now bro!

    This is what my first college Chemistry teacher used in 1984 for us to use as an indicator to determine the acidity or alkalinity of chemical solutions. Quite cool stuff!
    I never thought of having my kids have fun with this in the toilet bowl.
    Guess what kids? Tonight we’re going to have a pee party!




    2
  16. Watched the video, did have purple cabbage in the fridge but chose to use the test strips I also had. My urine test strip showed 7.6 pH so my husband did his. We eat the same things all day every day so should be close, right? Wrong, his showed 5.4 pH. So decided to do a saliva test to see what that showed, my saliva test was 5.6 pH & his saliva test was 7.6 pH. Now, I am really confused, how can our pH be so different between urine & saliva???




    0
  17. Instruction weren’t clear.

    Ended up with my dick stapled to a cactus.

    On a more serious note, I eat meat(The red and juicy kind) and fat(the buttery kind. none of that plant matter. yuck), with about a fruit a day.
    Veggies are blech.

    Urine turned sky blue.

    Where’s your vegan god now?!




    0
  18. My husband and I both did the test with pH strips that we already had. I took the test about an hour after my morning glass of lemon water. My urine was very alkaline. We each continue to test throughout the day. I’m an avid green tea drinker and that seemed to have an acidic effect when tested. My husband tested before and after lemon water showed the lemon water having the same acidic effect that I saw. This is a pretty small sample but logically makes sense. Do you think regular consumption of lemon water should be encouraged?




    0
  19. Sorry for the delay in response Mike and Bev. I hope you have been able to figure it out. My problem was my own stupidity – wrong ear buds.




    0
  20. Interesting… but how they are sure that the amino acids comes from the skeletal muscles, they could comes in the blood stream from the diet too. It is a bit frustrating – the acidosis is caused by the (dietary) muscle mass and is neutralized by amino acids comes …. also by animal muscle mass (your own).

    I don`t doubt that the plant-based diet support the muscle mass prevention, I could see on myself. I start a plant diet as experiment … to see how I will feel and I was curious of consequences about 4 months ago. One on the effects is my fitness improvement, without to change anything of my exercises – they are quite low intensive – 20 min jogging, 3-4 series pullups, 50 pushups (3-4 series) once weekly. This is quite little, so I had not any effect until I switch to plant diet. May be is visual effect of some fat loss (I have never been overweight), but I looks more muscular now. Increase the maximum pullups in series with about 30 % for a month also. Except of fat loss, other possible explanation could be in improvement of protein gain/loss ratio in the muscles. Of course this is only one of the many good effects I feel after I avoid meat and most of the animal product (except yogurt) completely.




    0
  21. How much water should you add to it, I juiced it and have not added water, so when I peed in it… it didn’t change colour at all… I added some acid and it went red… What does that mean?




    0
    1. I believe the video (4:15) and the transcript address your question:

      “If it stays purple your urine is acidic and you should eat more dark green leafy vegetables.”




      0
  22. Dr. Greger is making a big mistake by getting us to become obsessed about acid versus alkaline. The most recent studies have shown that acid versus alkaline does not directly affect our bone health. However, the combination of more than 100 phytonutrients in plants will improve our long-term bone health (and our long-term muscle health, kidney health, etc.). Studies indicate that people who eat garlic, onions, green tea, and soybean foods tend to have good bone health. However, the Japanese fermented soybean food called, natto, appears to very easily be the grand champion for bone health. The map of where natto is most heavily consumed in Japan and the map of where hip fractures are least likely to occur in Japan are almost exactly identical. Despite studies in China proving that overall consumption of soybean foods definitely improves Chinese bone health and despite double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled studies proving that swallowing genistein pills will substantially improve bone density, there was no visible correlation between bone fractures and the consumption of any soybean food other than natto in Japan:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16614424
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21394493
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11369171
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17012826
    http://j-nattokinase.org/en/jnka_nattou_03.html

    Having an alkaline urine may have disadvantages. Although it has been shown that the good bacteria thrive extremely well in the presence of non-tannin phytonutrients and that vegans almost always have much better intestinal microflora than omnivores, a large percentage of the good bacteria are acid-loving lactic acid bacteria (lactobacilli and bifidobacteria) and may thrive better in the presence of the LEAST alkaline non-tannin phytonutrients rather than in the presence of the most alkaline non-tannin phytonutrients. [Tannins have been shown to inhibit both the good bacteria and the bad bacteria, although one of the good bacteria, namely, Bacillus subtilis natto, can survive triphala, pomegranate, cranberry, and other strong tannins]. For example, adding citric acid to phytonutrients in test tube experiments will greatly increased the number of lactobacilli. However, adding ascorbic acid (vitamin C) will not increase the number of lactobacilli in test tube experiments, possibly because ascorbic acid isn’t as strong of an acid as citric acid:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21411170




    0
  23. City water is already alkaline, so it’s best not to do this test in a toilet bowl which will give a false positive result. The purple cabbage water will turn blue before urine is even added.




    1
  24. Your side shows that soy and lentils are highly acidic. For those with IC, snd vegan, what can we eat for protein and reduce the acid in urine and in our bodies…and as we age?




    1
    1. Lentils and tofu are not highly acidic, but mildly acidic. Vegan sources of protein include everything you eat, as all these foods have adequate protein. There is no need to seek out protein rich foods.




      2
    2. Yes they’re not so acidic that eating green vegetables and fruits can’t balance it out.

      I’ll have to sort of disagree with toxins on not seeking out protein rich foods like legumes however. I’m not saying you need loads. Providing you’re eating sufficient calories, and your diet isn’t too fruit based, it is pretty easy to get enough protein without legumes, nuts and seeds, but getting most of your protein from grains might leave you a little short on lysine so it’s best to eat a cup or so most days.




      0
  25. Awesome video Dr G! :) And I DO have a purple cabbage, right in my kitchen, fermenting as I type, with wonderful juicy purple liquid all ready. Can’t wait to test my morning pee daily and judge it based on my daily diet. Really awesome!! :))




    0
      1. Wow I must full of them cause it always does in my stool as well .Will this improve over time? I became Vegan a few months ago. Thanks




        0
        1. Yes it happens in the stools too. Ive experienced that myself. No it wont stop if you keep eating beats, but it not a bad thing. No harm will come from this.




          0
  26. I did the test yesterday and my pee stayed pink. Ate lots of veges etc the rest of the day and this morning. Now it stays purple, getting better. But then I had a fruit smoothie, apple, banana, raisins and amla powder. 30min later my pee went pink again. All these fruits are alkaline so this should not have happened. Is it because of the sugars in the fruit that urine goes acidic again?




    0
  27. I have tested this again with the same result. Is there some truth in the Acid/alkaline foods list on the energiseforlife.com website? Here foods like “raisins” and “apples” for example are on the acidic foods list due to the sugars in the foods becoming acidic. Your comment on this would be appreciated.




    0
  28. Can your urine become too alkaline? I tested it today with a ph strip and it seems that it’s closer to 8 than to 7. It’s the 4th week of my diet change towards a plant-based one…




    0
  29. dr greger does it again!!!
    your videos are always informative and fun!
    thank you for your never ending dedication to making us all
    healthier (and keeping us entertained)!




    0
  30. Interesting! I just had to do a medical, and my urine pH was 5. I was very surprised, as I am vegetarian since 25 years, eat mostly organic and unprocessed, and eat only plant-based since more than a year. No alcohol, no smoking, no medicine, no drugs. And I do exercise a lot. How can my pH be so low?




    0
  31. My urine pH was 7.4 but my blood pH is too acidic at 6.9. I only eat fruits, veggies, and small amount of nuts. I do not eat animal products or processed foods. Why is my blood pH too acidic?




    0
  32. I have a couple of questions….

    1) can your urine be too basic?

    2) What are some possible health risks from too high a pH. (In the video about the cabbage, nothing was mentioned).

    3) can someone eating a WFPB diet get kidney stones?

    4) If so, wouldn’t there other evidence to indicate this is happening (blood work?)

    5) If so, are there foods to avoid on WFPB diet that would help stop the formation of kidney stones?

    6) What else can I do to help stop UTI?




    0
  33. I have ADHD, and I occasionally take amphetamines to get things done.

    I have never liked taking them, and have been breaking my pills into smaller pieces to get smaller doses.I recently went to the doctor and she seemed surprised at the tiny doses of amphetamines I take.

    I also recently learned that the treatment for amphetamine overdose is to acidify the urine. Lower pH draws amphetamines out of the body and into the pee.

    Might vegans with ADHD be slower secretors of amphetamines? Might vegans at be higher risk for amphetamine overdose due to alkalanized urine?

    Any other vegans taking amphetamines out there?




    0
    1. HOLY SHIT!!!!
      A clearance rate difference of 7500% from between lowest and highest urinary PH.
      So when I was slowly eating less and less meat in favor of a WFPBD, I was slowly poisoning myself because I was taking my dex-amfetamine?
      Happily I have a similar attitude as tbatts666 when taking my pills, typically I only take them lifting down’s up, so being non-compliant might have been a brain saver this time.

      tbatts666:
      Choline might help you go down, make the world a little less harsh, it has a similar mellowing effect as a cigarette but it lasts longer.
      I sup my WFPBD now with 500- 1000 mg. My brain went pressure cooker critical for a long time (half a year),
      first day 750 mg choline later pressure was off, it was amazing relief.
      http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.nl/p/map.html http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.nl/2011/01/zombieland-2-you-are-what-you-eat.html




      0
  34. For the past three years I havae been a vegetrian and almost a vegan for the past two years. I have been watching your videos for these three years and am covinced because of the evidence you present, that plant based eating is the way to go. I appreciate all the research and work that you do to educate us. I grow my own vegetables but during the winter often have to resort to store bought vegetables.

    Even with my good diet, I was recently diagnosed with cancer of the anus and will be going in a few days to have chemo and radiation treatments. I will be staying at a lodge connected with the oncology section of the hospital, for seven weeks. My meals will be provided for me-hospital cafeteria meals which I do not consider adequate for my way of eating or for my health, especially at the moment. I will be taking my own fruits and vegetables and baking with me to supplement the meals there.

    As food is such an important part of being healthy and helping to recover from illnesses, I cannot understand why more attention isn’t paid to nutrition in hospitals.

    My question is: do you have a recommendation for what vegetables would be best for my condition? I do eat a lot of pumpkin and squash too, as well as broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, etc.

    Greenstar




    0
  35. I did the test and was mid-scale. Then I drank a quart of alkalized water (sodium bicarbonate per another video here) and moved to the blue side. Now is good time to re-check, been vegan all week!




    0
  36. You didn’t mention what does it mean if your pee remains yellow, as in number 11 probe. Can we be in a TOO MUCH alkaline diet?




    0
  37. I was wondering just as other people that have posted what the amount of water vs urine should be. How much water do we add to the blender. When is the best time to measure? Does it matter?




    0
  38. Wouldn’t other additives in the water, like chlorine or fluorine, affect the color? I just poured some purple cabbage juice into the sink water and it turned a beautiful light blue.




    0
  39. If you want to build muscle a real way and not waste a bunch of your time testing pee and wishing on a star then you need all 3 items off this list:

    1 – A caloric surplus
    2 – enough protein – bonus points for protein w/ a high leucine content. .6 to 1.2 grams per # of body weight. If you are really obese then use your goal weight. If you are trying to lose weight then the best you can do is eat enough protein to preserve your existing muscles while you cut.
    3 – Pick up heavy things and put them down.

    Nobody ever got swole eating cabbage and testing their pee.

    http://www.insufferableintolerance.com/the-alkaline-diet-fad-and-the-people-who-never-took-highschool-biology-love-it/




    0
  40. So why is it that osteoporosis is worst in the most affluent countries? This seems to be saying that meat and dairy consumption doesn’t do anything to cause weaker bones. Why is there less osteoporosis in populations that consume less meat and dairy?




    0
      1. Thanks for the reply! According to the video above, the fact sheet by the Physicians Comittee is not correct:

        “Animal protein tends to leach calcium from the bones, leading to its excretion in the urine. Animal proteins are high in sulfur-containing amino acids, especially cystine and methionine. Sulfur is converted to sulfate, which tends to acidify the blood. During the process of neutralizing this acid, bone dissolves into the bloodstream and filters through the kidneys into the urine.”

        According to Dr. Greger, bone does not dissolve into the bloodstream as a result of sulfur-containing amino acid consumption from meat. Assuming that is true, meat consumption has no affect in bone health in that particular regard.

        My question is what phenomenon from meat consumption causes osteoporosis, if not through the acid-buffering issue (refuted above)? “Is Milk Good For Our Bones” http://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-milk-good-for-our-bones/ suggests galactose might be a culprit, but it’s still not known. But that’s just for milk. Is it likely only the milk that is the culprit? There seems to be no more evidence for meat affecting bone health.

        Full disclosure, I do not promote meat or milk consumption at all, I just want to know my facts.




        0
        1. There are likely numerous factors. Check out Dr. Forrester’s comment and his book recommendation. I published a paper with the author, Dr. Lanou, and she really knows the science on bone health and diet. I think that may be your best resource. Also, check out some papers on ecological data. As I mentioned, the wealthiest populations have higher rates of hip fracture.




          0
          1. Joseph – Going back to the source cited

            L.M. Ausman, L. M. Oliver, B. R. Goldin, M. N. Woods, S. L. Gorbach, J.
            T. Dwyer. Estimated net acid excretion inversely correlates with urine
            pH in vegans, lacto-ovo vegetarians, and omnivores. J Ren Nutr 2008
            18(5):456 – 465.

            The vegans have higher pH urine but have a lower net acid excretion. I though the NEA would be higher if such diet are more effective at removing uric acid. What am I misunderstanding?
            Thanks D R




            0
  41. How do you interpret the EPIC study in which vegans and meat eaters had the highest uric acid levels, higher than vegetarians, and fish eaters?




    0
  42. Okay, don’t play with your food is an old adage, but playing with your pee….hmmm. Sounds like great fun to get the grandkids to eat more “alkaline”! (Sounds so much better than ‘eat your veggies’ when you’re a kid.) Hey, anyone, what about the PH of the water in the bowl…our water system is made alkaline on purpose, wouldn’t that alter the result of just pouring the cabbage juice into the bowl? A lot easier than the alternative, but wouldn’t that skew the result?




    0
  43. I’m relatively new to kidney disease and on dialysis and I fight my dietician over my choice of protein sources every month. I’ve had 13 months of bloodwork and diet “adjustments” from mostly plant to 100-150g of egg and meat and protein bar protein a day trying to increase my albumin. The only thing overloading animal protein did was throw off phosphorous, cholesterol, etc which in turn they wanted to add binders. It was a stupid vicious cycle. I quit. I went back to mostly plant based and probly 20-50g a day of protein and my albumin stayed stable at 3.3. BESIDES this, my “clearances” worsened but are still passable. Which brings me to my question. They call it the urr clearance test. Two blood samples are taken; one before and one after dialysis. It is supposed to show how well it’s cleaning my blood. What is it testing? Should I eat SOME animal or acidic producing food before dialysis so that it shows something “improved”? Will eating 95% plant based be seen as “vacuuming a clean floor” when it comes to the urr test? I have a lot of studying to do but thankful for sites like yours to help me “supplement” the information supplied by my doctor’s which seem very flawed (but consistent!) And also, can taking the prescribed sodium bicarbonate falsely alter my results for this test & should I stop for a day before trying this?




    0
    1. Hi Melissa, I’m one of the medical moderators here but am by no means a kidney disease specialist. However your question regarding the Urr test seemed easy enough to look up so I did and here what I found. The Urr test is one of two tests that nephrologists use to measure how effectively a dialysis treatment removed waste products from the body. It’s expressed as a percentage and 65% is the accepted normal value. The reason they measure before and after is because they are measuring the amount of Urea in your blood before dialysis and again after to determine how much urea was removed. That value is then expressed as a percentage of the predialysis urea and is known as the Urr.
      What you eat has nothing really to do with this number. If you ate something that makes your urea very high prior to dialysis it doesn’t mean the dialysis will remove more urea it simply means you would need more (or longer) dialysis to remove it. So by no means would I attempt to “eat dirty” in order to make the doctor think they did a good job. The cleaner you eat, the less dialysis you will need.
      Here’s a link to the site where I found this info https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/kidney-failure/hemodialysis/dose-adequacy. It’s the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website.

      Also taking sodium bicarb will not alter this test result either. The reason they have dialysis patients take sodium bicarb is because part of the job of the kidney is to maintain proper acid/base balance and when the kidney is not working that’s not being done so if you are acidic sodium bicarb is given to neutralize the acid.




      0
      1. The goal wasn’t too cheat, but to find out why even eating plant based, I didn’t have good clearances consistently every week. Made me think the before and after urr were close enough that it appeared to not be doing anything. And if plant based, wouldn’t that in itself be more alkaline and therefore not need bicarb. I’m still new at dialysis and just want to get the most out of it without having to have it so often and for so long. Thanx for the reply and the link!




        0
        1. Just for the record, I didn’t have the impression that you wanted to “cheat”. :-)
          Also to clarify. What they are measuring before and after is not the Urr but the amount of urea in your blood. It’s the difference between the before and after levels of urea that they use to calculate the Urr. If your clearances are consistently poor they would need to increase the concentration of the solution they use to dialyze you (so that it pulls out more) or increase the amount of time you are on dialysis.
          This may all be related to the fact that you are relatively new to dialysis. What I mean by this is that it is not uncommon for someone to need more frequent dialysis in the beginning depending on the cause of their kidney failure. This is especially true in conditions where it is felt that the dialysis will be temporary. It would be hard for me to say without knowing more about how you came to need dialysis but it is a conversation you could have with your doctor. You might also want to ask what your actual Urr number is and what number the doctor is shooting for.
          Also, on the site I linked to it said that the Urr would usually not be checked at each dialysis because it can vary quite a bit between each dialysis but would more likely be checked every 10-12 weeks. this might be different in the beginning as well but again certainly points you could bring up with your doctor.
          I wish you the best.




          0
    2. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/vegan-protein-status/

      There are 5 hits on Albumin in search. I would definitely recommend giving them a shot. Also search youtube for “mic the vegan protein”. He said that he has a protein level of 4.9. His video is talking about normal bloodwork and not bloodwork in the case of kidney failure, but at least it shows that in some cases you bring up protein levels by dealing with acid faster than you bring up protein levels by eating an excess of protein.

      Unfortunately if the kidney’s function is to bring down PH and it’s not working then this might mean that the pee test fails. If you see acidic PH in your pee then you need to eat more alkaline vegetables, but if you see normal PH in your urine then your body may still be too acidic, in which case you probably need to ask a doctor how to check for that.

      If it were me, I would follow his recommendation of sodium bicarbonate and green leafy vegetables for a while and then ask for more information.




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  44. This is the 2nd video since the new format that I cannot get to play on my iPhone. It does not play at all. I miss watching the videos during my lunch break. Hope this can be fixed!




    0
  45. Can I just us the Ph test that I have for my fish tank? Just put a tiny little bit of my pee into that bottle and use three drops of the Ph test. Much simpler than making cabbage tea and throwing it into the toiltet.




    0
    1. I would say yes. Especially for people that have a toilet bowl that isn’t white, which would make judging colors difficult. Some pH strips are also optimized for testing near neutral. You wouldn’t need strips that indicate below 3 or above 10, for example.




      0
  46. I have been vegetarian since 1969 and vegan since1991.
    I have never wavered. I don’t eat anything that is made with non whole grains,
    sugar, oils except a bit of Olive Oil, or much added salt. In terms of diet, I am a health nut.

    My urine is a constant PH of 6 and drinking lemon juice seems to have no effect.




    0
  47. There is disagreement on what it means for a food to be alkaline. According to one source:

    “Scientists can tell how foods will react inside the body by incinerating the food and analyzing the mineral content of its ash. If the mineral content is highly alkaline, then the food will likely have an alkalizing effect on the body, and vice versa.

    In other words, how the body reacts to certain foods is what determines what foods are alkaline-forming and what foods are acid-forming. For example lemons are acidic in nature, but have an alkalizing effect on the body once they are digested. Similarly, milk is alkaline outside the body, but acidic upon digestion.”

    http://greenopedia.com/alkaline-acid-food-chart/

    But other sources say it is not just about the minerals:

    “The problem is that most alkaline/acid food charts that you will find are WRONG!

    So many charts out there have foods that are actually ACIDIC listed on the alkaline side – no better way to mess up all of your hard work!

    Let me explain….

    When determining whether a food/beverage is alkaline OR acidic, there are two important components you need to look at in that food…

    the mineral content
    the sugar content”

    http://www.getoffyouracid.com/the-truth-about-fruit-is-it-good-or-bad-for-your-health/

    So, for example, most would call oranges basic, but the second website calls oranges acidic. Is there a scientific opinion on whether sugar changes the acidity question?




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    1. Hey Jeff, thanks for writing! The issue of food alkalinity becomes academic and not worthy of bantering back and forth when one considers that our kidneys adjust our blood ph levels instantaneously when they get too acid or alkaline (see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23551968 and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3195546/). The greatest concerns seem to be getting too much sodium (probably >95% of Americans) and inadequate amounts of magnesium (50% of Americans). The previous hypothesis that acid-producing diets increase osteoporosis has still not been put to the test and remains hypothetical.




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  48. Can I use l-glutamine powder instead of cabbage?
    Also if you could answer, would I get kidney stones if I ate a lot of potatoes?
    The reason I consume a lot of potatoes (over 1.5kg a day) is that most foods bother me since I suffer from IBS(I get diarrhea). My digestive issues diminished since I began to eat a low insoulable bland diet consisting mostly of potatoes, bananas, and cooked greens like spinach, kale, collard greens.
    I tried replacing white rice with potatoes and kale with spinach due to “high oxelate” levels in them but rice makes me really tired and probably isn’t good for my digestive system.
    When I was a meat eater I had high uric acid levels, i’m vegan for 2 weeks now so I’m curious about the change. Also I pee a lot on this diet, even if i don’t consume a lot of water, while on keto I used to pee like a normal person. Could this be that i’m flushing out the excess uric acid that formed while I wasn’t vegan or should I do some more tests? I don’t have any UTIs. And my fasting blood glucose levels are normal.




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  49. Can any one tell me if it matters how much cabbage juice is put into toilet bowel before peeing. This has got to make a difference with the outcome. Has anyone measured the amount of cabbage juice they poured in? Thanks, jp




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  50. Took a while for me to find this post. Seems like the search engine in this website isn’t working. If you type “Testing Your Diet with Pee and Purple Cabbage” in the search engine, it doesn’t return this post. Strange.




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  51. What if you ate beets and your urine turned pink? Will the pH test still work? Also, if your urine is alkaline already, will eating beets produce blue urine?




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    1. I’ve just thrown chopped cauliflower in the water in which I’d boiled beets. The water turned from pink to yellow, ha! That pushed me to watch this video.




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