Tom Brady nearly won Super Bowl LII at the age of 40 and now he’s revealing the diet he follows to stay in top shape. His new diet book, “The TB12 Method.” is all about avoiding foods that promote inflammation. But experts say, not so fast.
Commonly known as the “alkaline diet,” Brady’s recommendations aren’t supported by medical science, says Tim Caulfield, professor of law at the University of Alberta, in Canada, and the former research director of its Health Law Institute.
“There is almost no evidence to support this monk-like approach to eating,” the pseudoscience critic wrote in a recent article.
Brady’s book The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance advocates that people avoid certain vegetables like eggplant and tomatoes. Instead, he recommends “alkalizing” and “anti-inflammatory” foods.
Those include wild fish and free-range, hormone-free meats, whole grains, nuts and, of course, his personal line of snacks and protein bars.
Altering the blood’s pH helps speed muscle recovery, Brady claims.
“The type of nutrition regimen you choose will either promote or reduce inflammation,” he writes. If I know my body will experience inflammation every Sunday during the season, the last thing I want to do is stack on more inflammation on top of it — not if I want to feel great every time I take the field.”
But Caulfield has another word for it: “Quackery.”
In that regard, it’s no different than sideshow elixirs to bloodletting, snake oils or other remedies based on pseudo-science.
“I think everyone wishes that there was one secret or a couple of secrets for making dietary changes and improving health outcomes,” Laura Cappelli, a rheumatologist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, told The Hartford Courant. “It’s not that simple.”
Some foods Brady says should be avoided, like eggplant, blueberries and other purple foods, are actually teeming with vitamins and antioxidants. One study found lower levels of 12 inflammatory markers in people who ate them.
The bottom line is not enough is known scientifically about the long-term impact of eating certain foods, according to professionals. That’s what makes people so open to health claims based on pseud-science, often promoted by celebrities.
So far, there isn’t any super-bullet to good health, other than getting enough sleep, eating balanced meals and exercising.