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Alkaline Water Hoax - It is Simple Science

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Alkaline Water Hoax - It is Simple Science


APSWATER offers these articles as a public service.
We do not sell these or competing devices because we are honest.


You hear a lot these days about alkaline or ionized water. In short and based on actual science, raising the alkalinity of water doesn't do much for you.

The simplest reason that you know Alkaline water is a scam is that the stomach is always acid. If the acid is low, your stomach simply pumps in more.

Also see : expensive ways to buy water (good article from science based medicine)

What is Alkaline water?

Alkaline water is water with a pH higher than 7.0

The pH of water is the difference between how much hydrogen (h+) water has vs. how much hydroxyl (oh-) water has. Water is H+OH- or H2O. If you add minerals with more H than OH the pH goes down. If you add minerals with OH- then pH goes up. An equal amount of H+ and OH- will give you a 7 pH. When water has more OH in it then it is alkaline. Water with less then 7 pH is acidic.

Most city tap water in the U.S and other countries is alkalized (OH added) to raise the pH to about 8.5 on average. This is because low pH water tends to dissolve things like concrete drain pipes and copper piping; while high pH tends to form deposits which actually thickens the same pipes. The reason is that thicker pipes rupture less often but plug over time.

These expensive devices are not sold in reputable stores like Walmart, Target, Home Depot or any other retailer. If is wasn't a scam they would be selling them and so would we.  

The people selling these devices seem like they belong to a cult. They have 'rah rah' parties where they pump up the crowd and fill them full of falsehoods not backed by any actual scientific evidence. Real healthcare products have gone through blind studies to scientifically prove they have the expected benefits.


Fantastic PodCast from Skeptoid.com
(must hear, best explanation yet)
View Transcript



You know a medical product is 'snake oil' when all the salesperson can do is offer outlandish claims based on testimonials and no peer reviewed studies. People are making claims that alkaline water cures cancer, heart disease, eye problems and all sorts of diseases. The manufacturers of the device however do not make these claims.  

There is not one mention of this ''Amazing Drug'' on any government medical website such as the FDA, CDC, EPA or any others. There are no clinical studies proving any of the claims made by the salespeople.

NEVER TRUST THE SALESPERSON OR WEBSITE PITCHING THE PRODUCT. WRITE THE MANUFACTURER DIRECTLY AND ASK IF THEY SUPPORT THE CLAIMS BEING MADE. IF THE SALESPERSON OR WEBSITE WONT GIVE YOU THE MANUFACTURERS CONTACT INFO TAKE THAT AS A SIGN THEY ARE PROBABLY MISINFORMED OR INTENTIONALLY LYING.

People are now pushing Alkalized water as a health product. In reality, raising the pH offers little benefit to your health.     

Is drinking Alkaline Water harmful?

There is currently no evidence that it hurts to drink it, but it sure doesn’t do anything to help. Your stomach acid will neutralize the pH of the water so it really doesn’t do anything once it hits your stomach. If you were able to change your blood pH you would rapidly develop Metabolic alkalosis.

Metabolic alkalosis develops when the body loses too much acid or gains too much base. For example, stomach acid is lost during periods of prolonged vomiting or when stomach acids are suctioned with a stomach tube (as is sometimes done in hospitals). In rare cases, metabolic alkalosis develops in a person who has ingested too much base from substances such as baking soda (bicarbonate of soda). In addition, metabolic alkalosis can develop when excessive loss of sodium or potassium affects the kidneys' ability to control the blood's acid-base balance. For instance, loss of potassium sufficient to cause metabolic alkalosis may result from the use of diuretics or corticosteroids.

Promoting Alkaline Water Hurts People

It hurts because the people selling Alkaline water are making false medical claims which give people false hope or makes them not look for traditional treatments. It is sold, as a food supplement so there is no regulation. It is the same way they can sell weight loss and male enhancement products that do not work. Sake oil products come along all the time. It is amazing how we are all so desperate that we tend to want to believe anything.  

A search of FDA, CDC, EPA, WEBMD show no studies or information.  

An FDA enforcement leter to Nutronix regarding health claims for coral (alkaline) supplements

Read Federal Trade Commision Report on MLM’s ABYSMAL NUMBERS

If a salesperson makes a medical claim about alkaline, Kangen or Ionized water, get it in writing. Only regulated drugs can make medical claims.

If you find any website or salesperson making a health claim about Alkaline, Ionized or Kangen Water you should file a complaint with FDA or the FTC for enforcement.

If they start talking about government conspiracy or 'modern medicine not knowing'. Show them the door quickly.

For those who think we expose this scam to sell our own products, let us tell you, if it worked, we would be selling it. The manufacturers are begging us to carry it, but we refuse to rip people off in the name of profit.  

These devices are being sold by seemingly un-trained non professionals. They have little or no chemistry or medical knowledge and quickly retreat when challenged with any questions concerning how the body actually works. We get a lot of hate mail from them for even offering this article.

How to prove a product works

They seem to be quick to offer only ''testimonials'' which of course can not be proven and offer no evidence based on science and medicine. To test them, simply ask what happens when high pH water enters an acidic stomach that has acid pumps in it to keep the pH low?  

Many people may report they have more energy after drinking this water. In actually it is the fact that they are drinking more water than they used to and are finally hydrated. Hydration does indeed have benefits. It has nothing to do with the alkalinity of the water. It has to do with drinking a proper amount of water for a change.  

The purest and safest drinking water should be made with distillation. You can find high quality distillation units here : Stainless Steel Distillers


Also See :
What is pH
How to prove a product is NOT a hoax
Alkaline Disease theory is nonsense
Alkalosis - a serious health concern
Kangen Water - Sellers making absurd claims
Calcite : for raising pH of water.
Drinking Water Scams and Tricks(pdf from Auburn University)

Alkaline Water - Snake oil on tap.  (link to another site)  

Health Quackery Scams

The Internet may be the “information superhighway” to some, but to others it is an easy way to market junk science. One of the primary 4 market areas on the Internet is alternative
medicine, including all sorts of special water that is supposed to have medical healing and general health benefits. There are literally thousands of web sites promoting such products. Many of these supposedly special effects of water are based on the theory that subtle changes made to water’s internal structure have health benefits and that this structural memory is retained through extremely low dilutions of this formulated water. This is called homeopathy and is pure nonsense but people succumb to these crazy schemes. You can read all about homeopathy from thousands of sites on the Internet, including web sites set up to expose such scams designed primarily to separate people from their money. A good web site for facts about homeopathy is provided by the National Council Against Health Fraud

Another good homeopathy web site (
http://www.homeowatch.org/ 'target=_blank') has been organized by Stephen Barrett, a medical doctor.

From http://www.aces.edu/waterquality/articles/new/WATER_SCAMS3-HD.pdf


Better Ways to Raise pH.

Take Alka-Selzer, Take an antacid, Drink Milk.

Your body is designed to balance your pH using your kidneys. If you drink high Alkalized water the acid in your stomach will quickly make it acidic. The good news is that if you drink high pH water with an acid stomach it will help neutralize the acid indigestion. So will eating a Tums. The better bottled drinking waters have bicarbonate added which also buffers acids.

It comes down to this simple fact. If alkalizing water actually benefited you, we would sell it but we have a science background and a conscience so we don't. We would rather sleep soundly at night than make money off this product.

Kansas City Tap Water has a pH of 11-12 giving it high alkalinity. People are no healthier in Kansas City. If you want alkaline water, simply eat a Tums. It will have the same non-effect.

Alkaline Water Systems.

Like global warming, the presence in the Western World of acidic diets has fostered a collective knee jerk reaction by the above list of individuals to somehow offset this acidic fiber diet with an alkaline liquid - electrolyzed water.

Proponents of this type of drinking water claim cures ranging from hair loss to cardiovascular health; the list is nearly endless (and devoid of sound, scientific support). The only malady that we don't see on the cure list for alkaline water is the reversal of global warming---but don't hold your breath, that may be added as well, and soon.

Alkaline water is produced by the process of electrolysis, whereby mineralized water is separated into two categories; one acidic and suitable for the destruction of micro-organisms and one alkaline, with proven applications in some plant and animal situations, but none significant for human use.

The Japanese government has been sponsoring (and underwriting) the study of alkaline water. Some of these studies claim significant health benefits but independent medical studies to support these claims are not available. Most of the Asian claims for health benefits are fabricated and provide the public with a false sense of security regarding a very questionable health practice.

One needs to remember that this technology comes from the same sources and cultural activities that claim that writing Japanese words on the outside of a glass of water, or playing music near this glass of water will change the physical characteristics of the water in the glass to the point where the water can actually provide curative effects for the body .

Such technology advances are not only laughable but strain the credibility of what few decent and viable developments that might come from that part of the world.

It is exceptionally strange that supposedly knowledgeable nutritional experts do not realize that the use of alkaline water dilutes both the digestive acids in the stomach but also strains the pH stability of the blood. Dilution of the strong acidic composition of digestive fluids results in the inability of the body to properly break down proteins and carbohydrates, resulting in purification of these materials and the accumulation of toxic wastes which can create a variety of health problems.

Any simple study of body pH will illustrate that acidity is caused by the failure to remove metabolic residues from cells or extracelullar fluids. Once that acidity is removed by a cleansing or hydration activity, the body's pH returns to a normal balance. Failure to remove the acidic residues from cells(where metabolism occurs) results in a portion of these potentially toxic acids being placed in new cells when cell division(mitosis)takes place. Thus, the acidic condition is propagated from cell to cell and continues to provide a condition where more serious illnesses could develop.

Some promoters of alkaline water start out by emphasizing the need for more water intake and then very subtly moving into alkaline water discussions. They fail to point out any of the downside issues listed above.

As one of my medical doctors(1985 Nobel Prize winner) told me:

...it is truly amazing that supposedly knowledgeable nutritionists cannot recognize that the proper balancing of acidic food intake is by way of alkaline foods, not alkaline water.

So, what is the driving mechanism that places the promotion of alkaline water ahead of the healthier alternative, the consumption of foods which possess alkaline fiber, yet contain neutral pH liquids? Cash, baby...just cash.

The drive to develop niche markets for a public desperate to obtain a better health condition has resulted in wide variety of bogus products, most from Asian or German sources; alkaline water is just one of those useless, and perhaps potentially detrimental products which are promoted by retailers and nutritionists who really should know better, but don't want to let go of a cash cow that the nutritionally uneducated public is unwilling to properly analyze and stop buying.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY OF RESULTS OF CONTROLLED STUDIES USING ALKALINE WATER

Title : Degradation of myocardiac myosin and creatine kinase in rats given alkaline ionized water.

Author : Watanabe T; Kishikawa Y

Address : Department of Veterinary Physiological Chemistry, College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University, Kanagawa, Japan.

Source : J Vet Med Sci, 1998 Feb, 60:2, 245-50

Abstract :

Recently, the authors have shown that marked necrosis and fibrosis of myocardium were observed in rats given alkaline ionized water (AKW). To clarify the cause of myocardial lesions, the activities of myosin ATPase, actomyosin ATPase and creatine kinase (CK) in myocardium of rats given AKW at 15 weeks-old were compared with those in myocardium of rats given tap water (TPW). Furthermore, sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) of myocardiac myosin and isoelectric focusing (IEF) of myocardiac CK were performed which revealed a distinct difference between AKW and TPW groups. The activities of myosin ATPase and actomyosin ATPase in the AKW group were higher than those in the TPW group, and these elevated activities were caused by the degradation of myosin in the AKW group judging from the SDS-PAGE pattern of myosin. On the other hand, the activity of CK in the AKW group was lower than that in the TPW group, and the IEF pattern of CK showed leakage of myocardiac CK. These results indicate that increases in actomyosin ATPase activity and myosin ATPase activity, plus the decrease in CK activity caused the disorder of coupled reaction in male rats given AKW at 15 weeks-old. It is concluded that this disorder of coupled reaction may cause marked myocardiac necrosis and fibrosis in rats given AKW.

Language of Publication
English

Unique Identifier
98185639




Title : Influence of alkaline ionized water on rat erythrocyte hexokinase activity and myocardium.

Author : Watanabe T; Kishikawa Y; Shirai W

Address : Department of Veterinary Physiological Chemistry, College of Bioresource Science, Nihon University, Kanagawa, Japan.

Source : J Toxicol Sci, 1997 May, 22:2, 141-52

Abstract :

Alkaline ionized water (AKW) produced by the electrolysis of tap water (TPW) was given to pregnant rats throughout gestation. AKW was subsequently given to infants as a test group until 15 weeks old to determine changes in body and organ weights, erythrocyte hexokinase (HK) activity and histological preparations of myocardiac muscle. The results were compared with those for rats given TPW. Body weight of male and female rats given AKWA at 3 to 11 weeks of age after birth significantly increased beyond control group values. Organ weights of offspring at 15 weeks-old showed no statistical difference for either group. HK activity, the rate-determining enzyme in erythrocyte glycolysis, significantly increased in males given AKW at 15 weeks-old. This suggests that AKW intake causes elevation of metabolic activity. Hyperkalemia was observed in males and females given AKW at 15 weeks-old. Especially in males, pathological changes of necrosis in myocardiac muscle were observed.

Language of Publication : English

Unique Identifier : 97341750




Title : Histopathological influence of alkaline ionized water on myocardial muscle of mother rats.

Author : Watanabe T; Shirai W; Pan I; Fukuda Y; Murasugi E; Sato T; Kamata H; Uwatoko K

Address : Department of Veterinary Physiological Chemistry, College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University, Kanagawa, Japan.

Source : J Toxicol Sci, 1998 Dec, 23:5, 411-7

Abstract :

We have reported that a marked necrosis and subsequent fibrosis of myocardium occurred among male rats 15 weeks old given alkaline ionized water (AKW) during gestation and suckling periods, and after weaning. In this study, it was examined whether similar lesions would occur in mother rats which were given AKW from day zero of gestation to day 20 of lactation. The myocardial lesion in the mother rats given AKW showed cell infiltration, vacuolation and fibrosis in the papillary muscle of the left ventricle, as were observed in male rats of 15 weeks old. Myocardial degeneration may cause a leakage of potassium into the blood that results in a higher concentration of potassium in the blood in the test group than in that of the control group given tap water.

Language of Publication : English

Unique Identifier : 99121699




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