ARTIFICAL ALKALINE WATER AND WHY AVOID IT http://www.drlwilson.com/articles/ALKA.%20WATER.htm by Lawrence Wilson, MD © March 2012, the Center for Development, Inc. This article is a warning to avoid drinking artificially alkalinized water. I am sorry to have to write it, but there is a push to get people to buy alkaline water machines, and the propaganda is intense. Also, when one starts to use it, one feels better; so many people just assume they are becoming healthier, which is not the case in my experience of over 30 years. I am not selling any competing products, and am only interested in keeping people well. One reason for the popularity of these machines is that some people do indeed feel better for a while drinking alkaline water. Quick benefits may include fewer aches and pains, and perhaps a little more energy. However, the problems with the alkaline water machines more than make up for any benefits they confer. WHAT IS ARTIFICIALLY ALKALINIZED WATER? This is most often tap water that is put through an electrical machine that often runs the water over platinum and titanium plates. This process causes the exchange of some platinum and titanium ions that makes the water more alkaline in its pH. The machine also has a carbon filter in most cases to remove some impurities. With some units, one can also add a white powder that makes the water even more alkaline. This is very different from naturally alkaline spring water, for example. Spring water passes over rocks in the earth and picks up various trace minerals, which affect its pH. Good spring water usually has a slightly alkaline pH of about 8 or even 9.0, but not much more. THE RATIONALE FOR DRINKING ALKALINE WATER The pH balance of the body is very important, and most people’s bodies are too acidic at the cellular level. It does not matter if the saliva, urine or other fluids test alkaline. In almost all cases, the body cells, which are the site of metabolism, are too acidic. This predisposes one to many metabolic imbalances and diseases including cancer. The rationale for drinking alkaline water is that it will correct this important physiological imbalance. Problems with this rationale for alkaline water: The main problems with this theory are: 1. The real cause of excess acidity at the cellular level is a deficiency of what are called the alkalinizing or alkaline reserve minerals. These come from what one was born with, and from the diet. If one lives a stressful life, one also depletes these quickly. They include calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and a few others. Unfortunately, drinking artificially alkalinized water does little or nothing to replace these vital minerals. In fact, it may deplete them for unusual reasons. It may make the body think it is alkaline, so the body does not need to hold on to its alkaline reserve minerals as much, and it eliminates some of them, making the person even more deficient. 2. Water from alkaline water machines replaces the vital minerals with a little cadmium, lead, arsenic and other toxic metals found in tap water and not filtered by any carbon filters that I am aware of. Some filtering systems claim to filter out toxic metals, but I have not observed this in practice. Those filters that I have seen that are said to remove a lot of toxic metals tend to damage the water even worse. Reverse osmosis is an example of this type, along with KDF and other types of “advanced” filtration media. 3. In addition, the alkaline water machines also replace the good minerals with a little platinum and titanium found in the plates that the water passes over to make it alkaline. These are both supremely toxic metals, especially platinum. In addition, I have observed slightly higher levels of nickel in those who use alkaline water machines for several years. The nickel is probably leached from the stainless steel in the machine, or perhaps from a nickel-plated machine part. Nickel is a deadly toxic metal. The alkalinity of the water may cause a little to be leached out of the machine parts. 4. Carbon filtration also does not remove enough of the toxic chemicals in the water, so one is also getting a dose of chlorine, fluorides, aluminum, copper, residues of medical drugs in many areas, pesticides and more. 5. As a result, alkaline water machines do not really balance the body’s pH, although they will change it a little, giving some people the impression they are getting well when, in fact, they are becoming more ill. The only way to truly balance the body is to replenish the alkaline reserve minerals. To do this, one must eat a lot of cooked vegetables. The cooked vegetables, and perhaps some mineral supplements, when carefully chosen such as kelp, can and do supply the alkaline reserve minerals. Good quality, natural spring water also supplies some alkaline minerals, as does good quality sea salt. Using these on a daily basis, the body can be slowly remineralized. This is the way to do it, not drinking artificially alkalinized water. Is the water from an alkaline water machine the same as naturally alkaline spring water? Definitely not… First, alkaline spring waters usually have a pH of about 8 or possibly 8.5. The water from the machines is often much higher, up to 12 or 13. This is not healthful. Secondly, natural alkaline spring water and some well water are high in calcium and magnesium, which are excellent for one’s health. Water from the machines, by contrast, is artificially made to be alkaline by mixing the water with a small amount of platinum and perhaps titanium, both of which are toxic metals. Why is the diet important? Much of the acidity of the body is due to a diet that is too high in grains, cereals, beans, and sugars. Refined food diets are the worst, but so are most people’s high carbohydrate natural food diets. All of these foods have an acidic reaction in the body due to their peculiar mineral content. Red meats also have a more acidic reaction due to other factors such as their high iron content and the bacteria needed to digest them properly. Even eating some fruits today seem to have an acidic reaction. This is due to their content of fruit acids, their higher sugar content, their unbalanced mineral content today thanks to hybridization, and genetic modification. Some fruits are still alkaline forming, but not all by any means. We find that fruit is not a healthful food today. The diets need to be corrected by eating at least 70% cooked vegetables each and every day. This is the only way to obtain enough alkaline reserve minerals. Also, consuming sea salt only, and natural spring water, and supplements of kelp, for example, also help. Drinking an artificially alkalinized water does not help very much, and makes the person worse for the reasons outlined above. TYPES OF ALKALINE WATER PROCESSING I know of three types of alkaline water systems. None are recommended, and all are harmful, but the worst are the first type – the electrical machines. Type #1. Free-standing electrical home units. The first type of alkaline water machines are most popular. They are free-standing kitchen units. These include the Kangen, Jupiter, I-Water, and others. These devices begin with tap water, which is already a toxic product. The water passes through a carbon filter which does not remove most toxins and mainly improves the taste. If the filter becomes clogged or just old, it may also become a breeding ground for bacteria, viruses and even parasites. Then the water passes over electrified platinumcovered titanium plates to alkalinize it. Adjusting the electrical flow determines how much of the toxic platinum is added to the water. Then some machines may add a calcium solution or powder to the water to further enhance its alkalinity. Problems with these machines, that are heavily and falsely advertised in my opinion, include: Yin disease. Drinking any artificially alkalinized water, or even very alkaline well or spring water, tends to make one’s body more yin. This is the worst problem with highly alkaline water. Yin means expanded, ill and centrifugal in its effect, in traditional Chinese and Taoist medical terminology. This is a physics quality of matter. Today, becoming more yin is almost always extremely harmful for the body, because most bodies are already too far in this direction due to ionizing radiation, toxic metals and chemicals in the environment, and mineral deficiencies. It does not matter that you may feel better on this water. Becoming yin is always eventually a disaster. Please read the articles on this website entitled Yin Disease and Yin and Yang Healing to learn more about this serious condition. The other problems with this type of alkaline water machine have been mentioned above. Just for review, they are: Cleanliness. Tap water is not a very good base water. It is quite variable, and most tap water in America and elsewhere is not of excellent quality. It contains some chlorine compounds, fluorides, medical drug residues, hundreds of toxic chemicals, toxic metals and more. Carbon filters cannot remove most toxic metals and many toxic chemicals, no matter what the manufacturers claim. When water passes quickly over carbon, not that much is removed. Also, as the carbon filter becomes dirty, it stops working well and may well make the water even more contaminated. This is why changing carbon filters often is absolutely necessary. Platinum is too toxic for any human exposure. While the amount of exposure is small, we have noted that after using the machine for more than about 3 to 6 months, some who use it begin to develop a little platinum toxicity. While this may be okay for most people, some with delicate kidneys or liver problems may be affected. The amount of platinum absorbed from the water depends upon one’s tap water and one’s body chemistry. The more poorly nourished one is, the more platinum one is likely to absorb. Other factors such as one’s age, vitality, etc. also have an effect on platinum absorption. However, any platinum is too much. Mineral depletion. Drinking alkaline water seems to deplete some of the alkaline reserve minerals in the body. I am not sure why this happens, but perhaps the body is flooded with alkaline water, so it excretes some alkaline reserve minerals because the body may believe the minerals are not needed any more. White powders added to the water. Some alkaline water machines use a whitish powder that is added to the water to make it more alkaline. One must find out exactly what it is. Most is not that pure. Avoid coral calcium powder, for example, or some other contaminated product that adds more toxic metals. If you want to use an alkaline water machine, at least do not add the powder, and turn off the alkalization feature and just use it as a water filter. Preferably unplug the unit so there is less chance that the platinum plates are electrified and leaching a little platinum into your body. Your water is still passing over platinum, which is perhaps harmful. I have seen terrible problems caused by these machines when used daily for more than 6 months or so, even though the damage is very subtle at first. I do not like the advertising for these machines with claims that most Japanese hospitals and most Japanese people use them. I do not believe this is true at all. Type #2. ‘Water Store’ alkaline water. A few health food stores and water stores are selling even more dangerous alkaline water. They begin with reverse osmosis water. Then they add a calcium solution or powder, often coral calcium, to alkalinize it. Problems with this methodology are: Yin. Once again, any alkaline water seems to have a negative yin effect. Reverse osmosis does not hydrate the body well at all and should never be used for daily drinking water by most people. The calcium solution or powder, especially if it is made from coral calcium, may contain toxic metals. Very toxic, possibly. When toxic metals are added to reverse osmosis water, the ‘hungry water’ seems to take up the metals easily and drive them deep into the body cells and the kidneys. All the problems of reverse osmosis water. These are detailed in the article entitled Water For Drinking. They include making one yin, not hydrating the body well at all, mineral depletion, and plastic poisoning. Type #3. The Alkastream alkaline water units. This type of alkaline water machine is a non-electric, counter-top or under-the-sink unit that adds a magnesium compound to tap water to alkalinize it. It avoids the costly and dangerous platinum plates, but it still makes the body too yin, uses tap water which is of poor quality, and possibly ruins the water and causes toxicity from the magnesium compounds used to make the water alkaline. Avoid this system as well. Alkaline Water: If You Fall for This "Water Fad" You Could Do Some Major Damage http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/09/11/alkaline-water-interview.aspx September 11, 2010 Most of them are not. Dr. Mercola's Comments: Clean, pure water is a cornerstone of good health. Your body is mostly water, so the ongoing intake of water is essential to your every function. It’s common knowledge that most water sources are now polluted, but there is tremendous confusion about what kind of drinking water is the most health promoting, and what kind of home water treatment produces the best drinking water. Today, too many people are choosing soda instead of pure water as their primary beverage, and the health of an entire culture is at risk. The number one source of calories in the U.S. comes from high fructose corn syrup primarily in the form of soda. Americans drink an average of one gallon of soda each week, and this excessive fructose consumption is a driving force behind obesity and chronic degenerative disease in this country. The most practical and economical strategy to combat obesity and chronic disease is to replace all sodas and other sweet beverages with pure water. The trouble is, most public water supplies are loaded with hazardous contaminants, such as disinfection byproducts (DBPs), fluoride, and pharmaceutical drugs, to name just a few. Nevertheless, you DO need to make water your beverage of choice if you want to be healthy - but it should be purified water. But beyond water filtration, there’s also the issue of pH - alkaline versus acidic water. There are quite a few astonishing health claims being made about alkaline water, but are they true? The theory behind alkaline water is, in a nutshell, that alkaline (ionized) water is a powerful antioxidant with surplus electrons that can “mop up” the dangerous free radicals you have coursing through your veins. Marketers claim alkaline water can correct excess acidity in your tissues, which can then prevent or reverse cancer, arthritis, and other degenerative diseases.[i] Above is my interview with Houston Tomasz on this topic. He's a 10-year veteran in the water filtration industry and this article expands on some of the items that we discuss in our interview. The segment is part of a much longer interview that we will air in future issues. Additionally, I have interviewed two other experts on this topic and they both agree that ionizers that produce alkaline water are not your best choice. 'Snake Oil on Tap' When I posted a comment on my Facebook page, announcing I was interviewing Houston, I asked for questions and the most popular question by far was whether or not to drink alkaline water. Many alkaline water enthusiasts are convinced its powers are unparalleled and will vehemently defend it. I am also certain that many will post vigorous objections to my position, and that is their choice. It is also my choice and responsibility to provide information on a system that many people are relying on to provide health benefits that I feel are unjustified. It is my impression that the scientific justification for these water systems is absent and these consumers have merely fallen under the spell of a skilled marketer who selectively misused pseudoscientific information, and twisted it around to scare them into buying their product. There are a plethora of testimonials and so-called scientific studies on the Internet claiming alkaline water will cure your every ill. Many consumers, struggling to make sense of the scientific jargon, eventually throw up their hands in frustration. In truth, there are very, very few legitimate scientific studies about the effects of alkaline water on human health. The reality is, most of the circulating information is distributed by clever marketers, with very little scientific validity to back up their claims. Complicating matters is the fact that most water ionizers and alkalizers are being marketed by multi-level marketing (MLM) companies with lessthan-stellar ethics. They sell you a very expensive machine, for which you get a good discount if you sign up as a rep, and once you're part of the MLM, you can't very well change your mind about its benefits (especially if you're going to sell the units) - even if you realize that the alkaline water is no longer "working" for you. I have been personally approached many times and encouraged to sell these systems and there would have been large revenue streams had I chosen to do so, but I would never promote anything that I would never use personally, and I can assure you that I would never use alkaline water as a regular source of water. Please understand I have no ax to grind here, and I am not selling any competing products. The sole purpose of this report is as a public health message to warn people that alkaline water is not all it is hyped up to be. I have no doubts that many people do notice improvements in their health when they initially start drinking alkaline water, but I believe there are other reasons for this, and I am convinced that this is not a healthful strategy in the long run, so it is my strong recommendation to avoid alkaline water ionizers. Some people experience an initial “high” when they start drinking alkaline water. This can easily be attributed to detoxification, and the fact that they are likely just becoming better hydrated. Detoxification is about the only benefit of this type of water, and this benefit is limited to very SHORT TERM USE (no more than a week or two). I will elaborate on what is known about alkaline water, but first you’ll need a basic understanding of the properties of water and a few definitions. Types of Water Available to You As I will review in a future interview with Houston, there are many reasons why you want to avoid drinking tap water, or as Daniel Vitalis, a raw water enthusiast, refers to it: “tap liquid.” He believes calling what flows from your unfiltered tap “water” is being overly generous, and I would have to agree. In terms of types of water, here are some basic definitions to keep in mind: Purified water: Water that is physically processed to remove impurities (e.g., distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis, carbon filtration, etc.) Distilled water: Water that is boiled and evaporated away from its dissolved minerals, and then the vapor is condensed. Bottled Water. This water is typically from a spring or has gone through reverse osmosis before it is bottled. However, some brands are simply bottled tap water that may or may not have gone through any additional filtering. Ionized water or alkaline water: Water that has been separated into alkaline and acid fractions using electrolysis, which takes advantage of the naturally occurring electric charges found in the magnesium and calcium ions; in the drinking water industry, ionized water refers to alkaline water, which has a pH greater than 7. Deionized or demineralized water: Water in which the mineral ions (salts such as sodium, calcium, iron, copper, chloride and bromide) have been removed by exposing it to electrically charged resins that attract and bind to the salts. Hard and soft water: Hard water is any water containing an appreciable quantity of dissolved minerals; soft water is treated water in which the only cation (positively charged ion) is sodium. Understanding PH The concept of the acidity or alkalinity of your body - or of water - is based on the pH scale. So it’s necessary to have a basic understanding of what pH is. Anything with a pH below 7 is considered acidic, with battery acid being the most extreme example, around 1. Anything with a pH above 7 is alkaline (or basic), with lye at the top of the scale, around 13. [iii] Natural water on our planet ranges in pH from 6.5 to 9.0, depending on surrounding soil and vegetation, seasonal variations and weather, and even time of day responses to sunlight. Human activities further influence the pH of our water, from the barrage of toxic industrial pollutants. According to an educational website called Water on the Web: “Pollutants in water can cause it to have higher algal and plant growth, as a result of increased temperature or excess nutrients, causing pH levels to rise. Although these small changes in pH are not likely to have a direct impact on aquatic life, they greatly influence the availability and solubility of all chemical forms in the lake and may aggravate nutrient problems. For example, a change in pH may increase the solubility of phosphorus, making it more available for plant growth and resulting in a greater long-term demand for dissolved oxygen.” PH is simply a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions. In fact, the acronym “pH” is short for “potential of hydrogen.” The higher a liquid’s pH, the fewer free hydrogen ions it has; the lower its pH, the more free hydrogen ions it has. One pH unit reflects a tenfold change in ion concentration - for example, there are ten times as many hydrogen ions available at a pH of 7 than at a pH of 8 [ii]. The pH scale goes from 0 to 14, and a pH of 7 is neutral. Most aquatic animals and plants have adapted to life in water with a very specific pH, and will die from even slight changes. A pH below 4 or above 10 will kill most fish, and very few animals can tolerate waters with a pH below 3 or above 11 [iv]. With living systems being so sensitive to changes in pH, it should come as no surprise that YOU, as another living organism on this planet, would be sensitive to your water’s pH as well. Guidelines for the PH of Your Drinking Water So, what are the recommendations for optimal drinking water pH? The WHO has published a nearly-600 page document called “Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality.” [v] A review of the literature turns up a variety of anecdotal evidence about the importance of pH to various living organisms, however, and as you might expect, optimal pH varies, depending on the organism. The scientific literature indicates pH is important for nutrition and vitality. For example: Well, everything EXCEPT a pH recommendation there are no health-based guidelines for pH! Michigan State University studied greenhouse growth media (including the pH of that media), finding it is extremely important for the media pH to be properly adjusted prior to planting. Too high of a pH (greater than 6.5) increases the chances of micronutrient deficiencies. Too low of a pH (less than 5.3) results in calcium and/or magnesium and/or manganese toxicity. [vi] They state that pH usually has “no direct impact on consumers,” yet they also write pH is one of the “most important operational water quality parameters.” Ohio State University Extension Service reports that alkaline water affects a plant’s ability to obtain nutrients from the soil and can alter the soil’s pH over time.[vii] They do recommend your water pH be in the range of 6.5 to 8.0 so as not to corrode your pipes - and they’re NOT talking about your body’s plumbing: An ecological study in the Netherlands found that an influx of alkaline water led to the demise of a native plant called Stratiotes aloides L. [viii] “Alkalinity and calcium management also contribute to the stability of water and control its aggressiveness to pipe and appliance. Failure to minimize corrosion can result in the contamination of drinking water and in adverse effects on its taste and appearance. Failure to minimize corrosion can result in the contamination of drinking water and in adverse effects on its taste and appearance.” Fish chronically exposed to alkaline soft water exhibit signs of stress (sometimes fatal), while fish in alkaline hard water experienced no such adverse effects, according to a study at the University of British Columbia. [ix] If you are a gardener, you can view a helpful illustration of the environmental effects of pH in your own garden. If your pH is low, your hydrangea produces pink flowers, but if your pH is high, you’ll get blue flowers. In this voluminous tome, you would expect to find everything you’d ever want to know about your drinking water, right? It appears that the WHO is more concerned about the pipes in your house than the pipes in your body. Most likely the optimal pH of the water you were designed to drink is somewhere between 6.5 and 7.5. Alkalinity Research I: Flora and Fauna Although the research is clear that alkaline water has detrimental effects on plants and animals, there are not many studies with humans. But what about us bipeds? Alkalinity Research II: Humans There has been a great deal of debate about battling cancer by making your body alkaline. This has become a focus of interest as cancer rates have skyrocketed (along with many other chronic, debilitating diseases), while our bodies have become more acidic from our processed-food diets. The scientific research about the benefits of alkalinity is by no means conclusive. PH appears to have a major influence on cell mitochondria: Normal cells die under extremely alkaline conditions. A study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry found that alkalosis (rising cellular pH) causes alkaline-induced cell death as a result of altering mitochondrial function. [x] Another study out of Cornell University states that antioxidants have not proven to be effective against many neurodegenerative diseases, and they state it may be a result of how the mitochondria operate within the cell in certain pH conditions.[xi] There are some scientific studies that really argue against alkalinity, at least with respect to preventing or treating cancer. Consider the research by Robert Gilles, who has studied tumor formation and acidity.[xii] According to Gilles, tumors, by their very nature, make themselves acidic - even in an alkaline cellular structure. In other words, they make their own acidity. Scientists who are in the process of developing prototypes for potential new anticancer agents that selectively kill tumor cells by interfering with the regulation of intracellular pH, have found that alkaline treatments do NOT have the desired effect - but strongly acidic treatments do.[xiii] Talk about fighting fire with fire - they are fighting acid-loving cancer cells with acid! LESS alkalinity inside a cancer cell seems to be what you want, not more. So, all of those ionizer salesmen promising alkaline water will lower your cancer risk are completely clueless when it comes to what the scientific research actually shows. Even more interesting is a 2005 study by the National Cancer Institute, which revisits the use of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) to treat cancer. They found that, in pharmacologic doses administered intravenously, ascorbic acid successfully killed cancer cells without harming normal cells.[xiv] This is yet another example of cancer cells being vulnerable to acidity, as opposed to alkalinity. It’s clear that the relationship between alkalinity and cancer has been grossly oversimplified by those jumping to premature conclusions - and of course by those trying to profit off your fear. The bottom line is that alkaline water isn’t cancer’s magic bullet. Balance Is Key As is true with many things, in the end it’s a matter of balance. Water that is too acidic or too alkaline can be detrimental to human health and lead to nutritional disequilibrium. This was demonstrated in a Swedish well water study [xv], which found both pH extremes to be problematic. So I believe it’s best to be VERY careful when it comes to something as foundational as the water you drink on a daily basis. If you get it wrong, you could really cause yourself some major damage. It makes sense that you are designed to drink water that occurs naturally, which excludes alkaline water with pH levels of 8 and above. And if you drink alkaline water all the time, you’re going to raise the alkalinity of your stomach, which will buffer your stomach’s acidity and impair your ability to digest food, as low stomach acid is one of the most common causes of ulcers. This can open the door for parasites in your small intestine, and your protein digestion may suffer. It also means you’ll get less minerals and nutrients over time - in fact, some of these health effects can already be seen in hardcore alkaline water drinkers. Alkalinity is also potentially a problem because it is antibacterial, so it could potentially disrupt the balance of your body’s beneficial bacteria.[xvi] Living Water What you want is pure water - water that is clean, balanced, and healthful, neither too alkaline nor too acidic. Ideally, the pH of your water should be close to 7, which is neutral. Somewhere between 6 and 8 is likely fine. And some of the most healthful waters in the world - that which emerge from mountain springs - are actually acidic in the range of 6.5 and would absolutely be my preference if it were readily available. If this is something that interests you there is a web site, FindaSpring.com, where you can find springs in your local area. That is “living water,” which is living in the same way that raw food is “living food.” One reason I am such an advocate for eating plenty of fresh, organic raw food is for its biophotons. Biophotons are the smallest units of light, which are stored in and used by all biological organisms - including you. Vital energy finds its way into your cells from the biodynamic foods you eat. In the same way that raw foods are alive with biophoton energy, natural water is “alive” in a similar way. If you really want to alkalinize your body, it would seem wise to encourage it with the highest quality water possible, which is obtained from vegetable juice. Green vegetable juices will help your body normalize your body’s pH naturally. If this is new to you and you are interested in more information, you can review my juicing manual for free. I cannot think of “living water” without thinking of the visionary work of Dr. Masaru Emoto, the Japanese researcher who experimented with the crystal forms of water. What he discovered is that different forms of energy influence water’s ability to organize into beautiful crystal forms.[xvii] He demonstrated that water crystallization depends on the natural health of the water. He found that water from natural springs, healing water sources, etc., formed beautiful and complex crystalline geometries - like snowflakes. Water that had been distilled or polluted lost its inner order, and its ability to crystallize was profoundly disturbed. You wouldn’t want to eat dead food... so why would you want to drink dead water? Water Ionizers Are NOT Filters! It is really important to understand that the ionization process in no way, shape, or form purifies your water. Many of them have additional carbon-based filtration systems added, as reverse osmosis or distilled water will not allow the ionizer to produce alkaline water. If for whatever reason the information I am presenting here does not convince you to avoid using ionizers, then you will need to carefully analyze the water filter that is being used. This article only addresses ionizers and alkaline water. In the near future I will post a comprehensive review of water filters as it is complex issue that is beyond the scope of this article. Is Your Water Filter Certified? In order to ensure your water is pure, you should use a high quality water filter in your home and workplace. You can narrow down the choices by making sure the product you choose is certified by a reputable independent water certification agency. One of the best, most stringent certification is UL. If a water purifier is certified by UL, the product claims have been verified, the system is structurally sound, and the literature and labeling is not misleading. Look for the UL water mark. Two other less rigorous certifications are Pace Analytical, and The Water Quality Association (WQA). There is no national regulation of water products states have their own regulations, which vary greatly state by state. The EPA has published a chart listing their limits for every type of water contaminant, including microorganisms, disinfectants and disinfectant byproducts, organic and inorganic chemicals, and radionuclides, viewable here. Please beware that some companies may mislead you by listing their UL certification, but this certification is usually only good for the electrical components, and has no bearing on water quality whatsoever. The UL water mark that signifies that a water treatment device’s performance has been certified looks like: Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all nutrition plan that works for everyone, which is why Nutritional Typing is so helpful. Determining your nutritional type will help you narrow down the foods that are best for YOUR body’s individual chemistry. A diet that makes one person “acidic” may make another person “alkaline,” so there is no one single universal food list for perfect pH. For example, protein types can “over-alkalize” their systems by consuming too many dark green vegetables, which can worsen rather than improve their health, in spite of the many beneficial phytonutrients in leafy greens. (I am very familiar with this mistake as it’s one I made prior to understanding nutritional typing!) I want you to be aware of just how important it is to understand your body at a deeper level. Your body is a complex, multi-faceted biochemical system that is unlikely to respond well to shot-inthe-dark treatments, like alkaline water. References Optimizing Your Body’s PH: Back to Basics The typical American diet is loaded with sugar and processed foods, which throws off your body’s ability to optimize your pH. Although your body has mechanisms to buffer your pH, many of you are likely living in a state of low-grade acidosis from eating too many low-quality processed, devitalized food. i “It’ll quench your thirst, of course” (January 22, 2007) Los Angeles Times: The Healthy Skeptic ii “Water on the web: pH,” National Curriculum for Colleges and High Schools iii “Water properties: Ph” USGS: Water Science for Schools iv N Mesner and J Geiger. (June 2005) “Understanding your watershed: What is pH?,” Utah State University Extension Our ancestors had no problems with pH because they ate a pre-agricultural hunter-gatherer diet, rich in plant foods and high-quality meats, and devoid of grains. v “Guidelines for drinking-water quality,” World Health Organization, First addendum to third edition, Volume 1 Recommendations You can optimize your body’s pH by eating like your ancestors did - a diet rich in raw, organic, whole foods - and this will help your body achieve homeostasis. vi DD Warnoke and DM Kraukopf (September 1983) “Greenhouse growth media: testing and nutrition guidelines” Michigan State University Extension Bulletin E-1736 vii J Christensen. “Alkaline water plant damage” GardenGuides.com xii RJ Gillies et al. “Causes and effects of heterogeneous perfusion in tumors,” Neoplasia August 1999; 1(3): 197-207 viii JGM Roelofs. “Inlet of alkaline river water into peaty lowlands: Effects on water quality and Stratiotes aloides L. stands” Aquatic Botany Volume 39, Issues 3-4, 1991, Pages 267-293. xiii D Rotin, et al. “Cytotoxicity of compounds that interfere with the regulation of intracellular pH: A potential new class of anticancer drugs,” Cancer Res. Mar 15, 1987 ; 47(6): 1497-504 ix TY Yesaki and GK Iwama. “Survival, acid-base regulation, ion regulation, and ammonia excretion in rainbow trout in highly alkaline hard water,” Dept. of Animal Science, University of British Columbia, Canada (March 5, 1992) JSTOR: Physiological Zoology, Vol. 65, No. 4, Jul-Aug 1992, pages 763-787. xiv Q Chen, et al. “Pharmacologic ascorbic acid concentrations selectively kill cancer cells: Action as a pro-drug to deliver hydrogen peroxide to tissues,” PNAS September 20, 2005, vol. 102, no. 38, pages 13604-13609 x HJ Majima, et al. “Prevention of mitochondrial injury by manganese superoxide dismutase reveals a primary mechanism for alkaline-induced cell death,” Journal of Biological Chemistry, 273, pages 8217-8224 (April 3, 1998) xi HH Szeto. “Mitochondria-targeted peptide antioxidants: Novel neuroprotective agents,” AAPS Journal 2006; 8(3): E521-E531 xv I Rosborg, et al. “Inorganic constituents of well water in one acid and one alkaline area of south Sweden,” (May 13, 2002) Lund University, Lund, Sweden Water; Air and Soil Pollution (2003) 142: 261-277 xvi NV Vorobjeva, et al. “The bacterial effects of electrolyzed oxidizing water on bacterial strains involved in hospital infections” Artificial Organs (June 2004) vol. 28, issue 6, 590-592 xvii M Emoto. Water Crystal Study (Japan) Ray Kurzweil Talks About Alkaline Water http://glowing-health.com/alkaline-water/ray-kurzweil-alkaine-water.html Dr. Kurzweil is one of the world’s leading inventors, thinkers, and futurists. He has been awarded 12 honorary doctorates, been honored by 3 US Presidents and is the recipient of many of the nation’s highest awards for excellence. Ray drinks 10 glasses of Alkaline Water per day, and believes it will help him live a long and healthy life. In this short interview he answers a few basic questions about Alkaline Water. Ray Kurzweil has been called “the restless genius” by the Wall Street Journal and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes magazine, Kurzweil’s ideas on the future has been touted by his many fans, who range from Bill Gates to Bill Clinton. Time magazine writes, “Kurzweil’s eclectic career and propensity of combining science with practical—often humanitarian—applications have inspired comparisons with Thomas Edison". Question: I have read on the Internet that it is not possible to create alkaline or acid water from pure water and that water that is pure enough to drink can't be split into alkaline and acid components. Is this true? Answer: As responsible scientists, we had the same skepticism when we first heard about alkaline water. Therefore, the first thing we did was to purchase a water alkalinizer as well as an accurate electronic pH meter. We ran tap water with pH 7.1 from our home faucet into the device and found that the water coming out of the alkaline outlet had a pH of 9.5 (indicating very alkaline), while the water from the acid outlet measured pH 4.5 (indicating very acidic). We repeated this experiment with a variety of tap waters obtaining alkaline outputs with a pH ranging from 9.5 to 9.9. It is true that "pure" or distilled water cannot be ionized. If you were to try to "split" distilled water, it would not work. Tap or spring water, however, has dissolved minerals in it. It's the minerals in the water; primarily calcium, potassium and magnesium that allow water to be "split" by an electric current into alkaline, "electron-rich" (i.e., containing negatively charged ions that can engage in chemical reactions to provide electrons to positively charged free radicals) and acid, "electron-deficient" components. Individuals who say it is not possible to split tap or spring water are misinformed. One site on the Internet states "Ionized water is nothing more than sales fiction; the term is meaningless to chemists. Most water that is fit for drinking is too un-conductive to undergo significant electrolysis." The above statement is easily shown to be incorrect with a simple pH meter and an electrolysis machine. Most tap waters run through the machine produce highly alkaline water as measured by a pH meter. Question: Since you advocate drinking alkaline water, why not simply mix something like sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) with water and drink that? There are, in fact, alkaline waters sold that are made by mixing water with bicarbonate. Wouldn't that work as well and be much less expensive than a water alkalinizer? Answer: There are more benefits to "alkaline water" than simply the alkalinity or pH. The most important feature of alkaline water produced by a water alkalinizer is its oxidation reduction potential (ORP). Water with a high negative ORP is of particular value in its ability to neutralize oxygen free radicals. ORP can also be directly tested using an ORP sensor and meter. We have conducted these experiments as well. We found that water coming directly from the tap had an ORP of +290mV, while the water coming out of the water alkalinizer had a negative ORP. The more negative the ORP of a substance (that is, the higher it’s negative ORP), the more likely it is to engage in chemical reactions that donate electrons. These electrons are immediately available to engage in reactions that neutralize positively charged free radicals. This is the key benefit of water produced by a water alkalinizer that is not available by simply drinking water than has had some bicarb’ or other compounds dissolved in it to make it alkaline. Although water mixed with bicarbonate is indeed alkaline, it does not have a negative ORP; rather it has a positive ORP, meaning that it is unable to neutralize dangerous oxygen free radicals. Alkaline water produced by running tap water through an electrolysis machine does have a high negative ORP, meaning that it does have the ability to neutralize oxygen free radicals. We have confirmed these ORP measurements through our direct tests. Question: OK, why is it important to drink alkaline water with a high negative ORP? Answer: All chemical reactions occur with the transfer of electrons. Negatively charged entities are said to be reducing agents, meaning they are relatively electron rich and are able to donate electrons, reducing the charge of the entity with which they react. Relatively electron-poor entities are referred to as oxidizing agents, meaning they tend to pull electrons away. Thus, each substance in our body may act as either an oxidizing or reducing agent. However, not just any negatively charged ion will be able to engage in the specific chemical reactions needed to neutralize oxygen free radicals. The HCO3(bicarbonate) ions in alkaline bicarb water do not have this potential, whereas the OH- and mineral-rich water coming from an electrolysis machine (from tap water) does have this potential. That is implied in the negative value of the "oxidation reduction potential." Free radicals are among the most damaging molecules in the body and are highly unstable molecules that are oxidizing agents and are electron deficient. They are a principal cause of damage and disease in the body. Oxygen free radicals contribute significantly to a broad variety of harmful conditions in the body ranging from life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, stroke and cancer, to less severe conditions such as sunburns, arthritis, cataracts, and many others. Free radicals MUST get electrons from somewhere and will steal them from whatever molecules are around, including normal, healthy tissues. Damage to tissues results when free radicals strip these electrons from healthy cells. If the damage goes on unchecked, this will lead to disease. For example, the oxidation of LDL cholesterol particles in arterial walls by free radicals triggers an immune system response that results in atherosclerosis, the principal cause of heart disease. The negative ions in alkaline water from an electrolysis machine are a rich source of electrons that can be donated to these free radicals in the body, neutralizing them and stopping them from damaging healthy tissues. Specifically, these ions have the potential to engage in the chemical reactions necessary to neutralize oxygen free radicals. Vitamin C and E, grape seed extract and alpha lipoic acid, for example, are all powerful electron donors. The vegetable-rich diet we recommend is alkaline and helps donate electrons to the body. Alkaline, electron-rich water falls in the same category. It can help with your body's need for electrons to counteract free radicals. Interestingly, we also tested vegetable juice with the ORP meter and found that it also has a high negative ORP, meaning that it is able to neutralize oxygen free radicals. So at least one of the important benefits of eating vegetables can be obtained from drinking the high negative ORP alkaline water from an electrolysis machine. Another benefit of drinking alkaline water is that it assists in the absorption of minerals. We know that if the body is not absorbing enough minerals, it will rob minerals from the body's mineral reserves, chiefly calcium from the bones. It is well known that many chronic diseases result in excess acidity of the body (metabolic acidosis). We also know that the body tends to become more acidic due to modern dietary habits and lifestyles and the aging process itself. By drinking high negative ORP alkaline water, you combat metabolic acidosis and improve absorption of nutrients. The blood is carefully buffered to keep it in a narrow range between pH 7.35 to 7.45. The body keeps blood pH stable by utilizing alkaline buffers, chiefly bicarbonate, to neutralize acidic liquids (such as colas, which have a pH as low as 2.5) and other acidic products and byproducts. But as the blood stream receives these acidic substances, the alkaline buffers get used up. Drinking alkaline water helps reduce the burden on the limited alkaline buffers which are needed for the body's natural detoxification processes. Question: Is there research that actually shows the benefits of drinking alkaline water? Answer: A number of studies are summarized below. One study described below suggests that alkaline water encourages "friendly" anaerobic microflora in the human intestinal tract, and discourages "unfriendly" aerobic organisms. The researcher (see Vorobjeva NV below) writes: "Many diseases of the intestine are due to a disturbance in the balance of the microorganisms inhabiting the gut. The treatment of such diseases involves the restoration of the quantity and/or balance of residential microflora in the intestinal tract. It is known that aerobes and anaerobes grow at different oxidation-reduction potentials (ORP). The former require positive E(h) values up to +400 mV. Anaerobes do not grow unless the E(h) value is negative between -300 and -400 mV. In this work, it is suggested that prerequisite for the recovery and maintenance of obligatory anaerobic microflora in the intestinal tract is a negative ORP value of the intestinal milieu. Electrolyzed reducing water with E(h) values between 0 and -300 mV produced in electrolysis devices possesses this property. Drinking such water favors the growth of residential microflora in the gut. A sufficient array of data confirms this idea." Dr. Grossman has also had many of his patient’s report of health benefits they have experienced from drinking alkaline electron-rich water. Question: How can alkaline water with a pH of 9 or 10 be expected to affect the body when the pH of the stomach is 2 or less? Answer: It is important to remember that large amounts of hydrochloric acid are present in the stomach primarily when food is there. There is only a small amount of acid in stomach when it is empty, and this can be easily overcome when alkaline electron-rich water is consumed. Therefore, in order to gain maximum benefit, we recommend drinking alkaline water in between meals. Water consumed between meals will very quickly pass through the stomach and the GI tract.
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