Finally! There are some mainstream health professionals who recognize that alkaline water benefits health!
It’s easy to find alternative health practitioners and celebrity doctors that tout (and sometimes distort) the facts about alkaline water. But not all of these alternative health practitioners are recognized by mainstream medicine as holding legitimate medical opinions. Because of this, skepticism is the prevailing opinion of some doctors, scientists, and others in mainstream medicine. But that may finally be changing, as some mainstream health experts are beginning to suggest that alkaline water may have benefits for things like bone health, acid reflux, ph balance, and hydration.
Hydration and blood pH: Daniel Heil, Professor, Montana State University
Professor Daniel P. Heil conducted two experiments on alkaline water. One to compare alkaline water’s hydration to plain water hydration. The other to measure the effect of alkaline water on blood and urine pH as compared to plain water. In both studies, positive results were found:
- Alkaline water hydrated better and faster than plain water
- Alkaline water raises blood and urine pH
In the first study, male cyclists were subjected to a dehydrating bout of cycling. Their blood viscosity was then measured. The group that drank alkaline water hydrated faster and more thoroughly than the group that drank plain water.
In the second study, 38 people were divided into two groups. Both groups had their urine and blood pH tested. One group drank plain water, the other group drank alkaline water. The group that drank alkaline water had higher blood and urine pH than the second group that drank plain water.
Bone health: Katherine Zeratsky, Nutritionist, Mayo Clinic
Katherine Zeratsky of the Mayo Clinic had this to say about alkaline water:
“Some studies suggest that alkaline water may help slow bone loss, but further investigation is needed to determine if this influences overall bone mineral density and if the benefit is maintained over the long term.”
What does she mean? There are some studies that have shown that alkaline water lowers the two markers of bone loss that doctors use to measure bone loss in patients. Further investigation is needed confirm that these reduced markers of bone loss result in the maintenance higher bone density over the long term. Studies like these would take about 5 years to complete. Further research has been conducted, and it has shown that alkaline water does have promise as a way to maintain bone density. But we are still waiting for a 5 year study on alkaline water and bone density.
Hydration and Bone Health: Georgiana Gross, Dietician, UT-Health
Georgina Gross, writing for San Antonio’s KENS channel 5 evaluated some health claims about alkaline water for a regular series on that news channel called ‘Verify’. She was asked if any health claIms made for alkaline water were true. This is what she said:
“Alkaline water is, I believe, could be looked at as protective because of the mineral content and some of the studies that are noted to have positive effects. However, to promote it as some cure-all, I couldn’t do that,”
She also said that there have been studies that found that alkaline water may help people with acid reflux and may help maintain bone density.
How to separate trustworthy medical advice from fake cure claims
When you are considering any beverage, food, supplement, or health procedure, it’s important to know who you can trust. Trustworthy claims are narrow in scope. For example, both Katherine Zeratsky and Georgina Gross made specific, narrow claims that alkaline water “may maintain bone density”. They didn’t make a broad claim like: “Alkaline water cures weak bones.” Claims that are narrow in scope are trustworthy because any legitimate health research will also be narrow in scope. For example: Research on alkaline water for bone health looked specifically at:
- Markers of bone loss used by doctors to measure bone loss
- Calcium and oxalate excretion
Researchers used both of those indicators to see if alkaline water made a difference in two specific clinical ways that doctors use to estimate bone loss. They found that it had a positive effect on both indicators. The results of those studies suggested that alkaline water may slow bone loss, but as Katherine Zeratsky said, more research is needed. As mentioned earlier in this article, that additional research would be a five year study comparing people with similar lifestyles: One group would drink alkaline water, the other group would drink plain water. Doctors would then compare bone density in both groups after five years.
Untrustworthy medical advice is often given by “celebrity” doctors such as Dr. Mercola who have something to gain from the advice they gave. It’s easy to spot fakers like Mercola: They don’t have actual medical practices, all they do is give advice and sell products. If a celebrity doctor makes sweeping broad health claims for or against any product, watch out.
The Future of Alkaline Water Research
We here at LIFE Ionizers believe strongly that alkaline water is good for your health. We would love to see a long term study done on alkaline water for bone health. We would be willing to support that kind of research in any way we could. Alkaline water has shown promise in many studies, but long term research is needed to verify the results of much of the work done so far. As alkaline water becomes more and more popular, we can hope that the health benefits demonstrated in studies so far will finally be confirmed. Then alkaline water can take its rightful place as part of a healthy diet for people the world around.