“When I was in internal medicine training, I happened to have a really super mentor, Dr. Eli Friedman, at the State University of New York (SUNY) in Brooklyn,” Frassetto says. “He made nephrology sound really interesting.
In the initial stages of their work, Frassetto and Sebastian worked on neutralizing acid in the diet using bicarbonate. Then, just over a decade ago, they started looking at low-acid diets. While all foods contain precursors that can be metabolized into acids, fruits and vegetables contain a lot of alkali precursors that are metabolized into bicarbonate, like citrate or malate.