Is it hype or does alkaline water have certain health benefits? People claim it helps with aging and prevents cancer from getting worse. We’ll clear up some misconceptions and benefits in this article.
What Is Alkaline Water?
If a solution is alkaline or basic, it has a pH level that’s greater than 7. Solutions or chemicals with pH that’s lower than 7 is said to be acidic. Basically, regular water has a pH of 7, which is neither acidic nor basic. pH is the measure of hydrogen ion concentration of a solution, which is usually in the range of 0-14. For example, baking soda has a pH of 9 while the pH level of lemon juice is 2, and water that’s alkaline has a pH higher than 7.
Alkaline Water Benefits
There are claims that drinking water with high pH is not beneficial to the body, but those who think otherwise say that it actually brings a lot of health benefits. Let’s mention a few.
- Slows down the process of aging
- Cleanses the colon and supports the immune system
- Aids in Weight loss
- Cancer resistance – neutralizes free radicals by reducing acidity levels in the body
- Boosts blood circulation
- Helps with kidney disease and heart disease
- Aids detoxification
Denatures pepsin, the main digestive enzyme responsible for breaking down proteins into polypeptides. Too much pepsin can damage the lining of a person’s stomach, causing ulcer.
Scientific data have also shown that the positive effects of drinking water with pH higher than 7. In one study, it was shown that water with a pH level of 8.8 instantly denatured pepsin, rendering it completely inactive. The same study also found that it has good acid-buffering capacity.
In another study, participants who used alkaline ionized water, and were found to have significantly lower levels of blood pressure, blood lipids and blood sugar after consuming high-pH water for 3 to 6 months. The researchers suggested that this type of water can be an accessory therapeutic method for hypertension, diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidemia.
The anti-cancer property of water with adjusted pH at 7.2 or unadjusted pH at 8 has been shown by another research, which was conducted among patients with breast cancer. The study found reduced viability of cancerous cells due to consumption of high-pH water, along with its apoptotic effects in breast cancer patients.
People with kidney disease can also benefit from treatments that involve drinking high-pH water, results from another study suggest. In this study, alkaline mineralized water was found to have positive effects on metabolic acidosis due to renal failure or dialysis or urinary diversion.
Possible Side Effects and Risks for Health
Water with high pH is not recommended in certain cases. Although it is safe for consumption, it may produce harmful side effects.
For instance, you must drink only regular water if a lower level of stomach acidity is harmful to your health. This condition is called hypochlorhydria, which is caused by too much stress, certain types of medication or vitamin or mineral deficiency, particularly zinc and the B vitamins. A sufficient level of acidity (hydrochloric acid – HCl) in the stomach is needed, because it is HCl that kills harmful bacteria and prevents undesirable pathogens from entering the bloodstream.
In addition, excess alkalinity in the body may lead to skin irritation and gastrointestinal problems. Too much alkalinity may also lead to metabolic alkalosis, a condition that will cause the following symptoms to develop:
- tingling in the extremities or face
- muscle twitching
- hand tremors
Hypocalcemia is another condition that low alkalinity can lead to. If you develop this disease, it means that you are deficient of free calcium in your body, which can significantly affect your bone health.
Talk with your doctor if your condition is due to your use of water with a high pH or it is stemming from a parathyroid malfunction.