Akaline or Alkalie

A great deal is made these days about alkaline water, and there are a great many who advocate consuming alkaline water as your primary source of drinking water, including claims that it helps reduce aging and prevents cancer. Unfortunately, there is no critical scientific evidence to support any of the claims made by manufacturers and promoters of water alkalizing machines.

A quick search of the Medline literature shows 6 references to "alkaline ionized water" all from the same Japanese group. The scientific literature showed that when given to pregnant or nursing rat females and offspring, the animals grew faster. However, they also reported significant cardiac muscle pathology. No other data were presented, certainly none on increased life span or reduced risk of cancer.

Those who support the theory your body is too acidic (i.e. progressing towards a disease state) and therefore needs to be alkalized often fail to appreciate of role of the kidneys in keeping our internal environment in balance. The major functions of our kidneys include:

  • Control blood concentration and volume by removing selected amounts of water and solutes
  • Regulate blood pH
  • Remove toxic wastes from the blood

As they go about these activities they remove many materials from the blood, return the ones the body requires, and eliminate the remainder in urine. The kidneys filter the blood in our bodies about 60 times per day.

Among the substances reabsorbed by the kidneys are water, glucose, amino acids, and ions such as sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, and phosphate. This reabsorbtion allows the body to retain most of its nutrients. Among the substances secreted by the kidneys are hydrogen ions, ammonia, creatine, and certain drugs. This secretion rids the body of certain minerals and helps control normal pH. (Tortora, 1992, Principles of Human Anatomy, 6th ed.)

If your body were in desperate need of alkalizing minerals like calcium, then certainly obtaining small quantities from drinking water would not solve your problem and you should be eating a lot more foods rich in calcium, or taking supplements.

An excellent discussion of calcium in the diet can be found in this article "Boning Up on Calcium" found on the web site of Alternative Medicine Magazine. After reading this article it should be apparent that buffering stomach acidity by drinking alkaline water (i.e. contains large amounts of alkalizing ions of calcium, etc.) might have negative side effects in actual calcium uptake.

It is vitally important to remember considering pH alone does not provide a thorough indication of water quality. This is one area where Prof. Vincent's work is of critical importance—considering pH without considering rH2 and resistivity does not provide genuine insight into the bio-compatibilty of drinking water. By far the most important factor is purity, and water alkalizing machines require the water to contain high volumes of minerals or they cannot separate the water into acid and alkaline components. If the water does not contain the needed ions, they must be added. This is contradictory to drinking absolutely pure water.

America’s trusted health advisor, Dr. Andrew Weil wrote in www.drweil.com

“Home water ionizers, which I've seen offered for sale on the internet, are just the latest twist in the ongoing effort to promote the notion that alkaline water is somehow protective of your health. The underlying idea is that you can prevent disease by balancing your body's PH. Promoters claim that alkaline water is energizing, hydrates the body more effectively than regular water, improves the taste of food when used in cooking, promotes "regularity," helps the body absorb nutrients more effectively, and on and on. I've even seen claims that it can cure everything from obesity and high blood pressure to breast cancer. None of these claims are true. Furthermore, your body needs absolutely no help in adjusting its pH. Normally, the pH of blood and most body fluids is near seven, which is close to neutral. This is under very tight biological control because all of the chemical reactions that maintain life depend on it. Unless you have serious respiratory or kidney problems, body pH will remain in balance no matter what you eat or drink. As for water, you should consider the fact that alkaline water is common throughout the western states but to my knowledge it has not protected anyone from the diseases and disorders that occur elsewhere in the U.S.”



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