Metabolic Syndrome and Aging
Metabolic syndrome has been linked to the progression of many diseases and some research suggests that it can accelerate the damages to tissues that are associated with aging. An analysis of studies conducted on the effect of age on metabolic syndrome suggests that the body becomes progressively more acidic as we age.
The authors of a study titled: Age and systemic acid-base equilibrium: analysis of published data evaluated the results of previous studies which reported on the levels of Hydrogen Ions (H+) in the blood of people from age 20 to 100, and found that, after age 40, levels of acid-forming H+ ions increased rapidly. The study authors speculated that progressively worsening metabolic syndrome is likely a product of declining kidney function as age increases.
The Acid/Alkaline Balancing act
Under normal circumstances, the body uses two methods to counter metabolic acids and maintain the blood pH in a narrow range of 7.35 – 7.45. One factor that can cause acids to accumulate is a buildup of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the blood. The lungs are used to counteract excess CO2 which is normally produced by the body’s metabolic processes. The most common cause of CO2 build up is exercise, and the body responds by increasing the breathing rate which allows the lungs to expel the excess CO2 and maintain the proper blood pH balance.
But – When you’re out of breath, your lungs are overwhelmed by acid!
Metabolic Syndrome’s effect on the kidneys
Metabolic acidosis – a temporary acidic condition in the body – caused by diet is marked by a buildup of acid-forming hydrogen ions in the blood. The kidneys respond to this by producing bicarbonate (HCO3) which is released into the bloodstream to counteract the hydrogen ions. The kidneys can also act to reduce levels of hydrogen ions in the blood by expelling them in the urine.
Both pH balancing systems (lungs, kidneys) normally work together as well. The products of both systems combine to form carbonic acid (H2CO3) which can be broken down to form both hydrogen ions, and bicarbonate, based on what the body needs at the time. In a normal, healthy body these two systems work to maintain the blood pH balance.
The Impact of Declining Kidney Function on Metabolic Syndrome
As we age, the ability of the kidneys to regulate metabolic acidosis declines, as a result, there is less bicarbonate produced by the kidneys to counteract metabolic acidosis. Since bicarbonates are needed to counteract the acidifying effects of hydrogen ions, a low-grade metabolic acidosis can occur. One way the body responds to the problem is to tap into another source of bicarbonates, the bones. Some research has suggested that the body’s use of bone-based bicarbonates to balance blood pH may contribute significantly to poor bone health.
Alkaline Water to the Rescue!
Research conducted over the last few decades (mostly in Japan) indicates that one way to counteract the increase in metabolic acidosis brought on by declining kidney function is to provide more alkalinity in the diet. Medical experts believe that by lowering the renal acid load – amount of acid that must be neutralized by the kidneys – metabolic acidosis can be reduced or avoided.
Research suggests that ionized alkaline water can help as well. Alkaline water has been shown in Japanese clinical trials to provide relief of minor digestive upset.. Alkaline water, some experts believe, may help prevent the body from robbing the bones of calcium in order to fend off metabolic acidosis.
How to get Alkaline Water
The best way to get alkaline water is to make it yourself with a home ionizer. High quality Life Ionizers™ come with a free custom-configured pre-filter, which works with Life’s exclusive Vitamin C Ceramic Block® internal filters to take harmful toxins out of tap water while leaving in beneficial minerals.
Minerals like calcium are 30% easier for the body to absorb from water than they are from food. A water ionizer is the best source of water-borne minerals for one simple reason. A water ionizer makes water taste better – so you drink more of it. If hydration is part of your health plans, a water ionizer makes it easier, if your water tastes better, you will drink more of it.
Has the FDA evaluated alkaline water for metabolic syndrome?
Not yet. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The preceding information and/or products are for educational purposes only and are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat illness. Please consult your doctor before making any changes or before starting ANY exercise or nutritional supplement program or before using this information or any product during pregnancy or if you have a serious medical condition.
Frassetto, L, and A Sebastian. “Age and systemic acid-base equilibrium: analysis of published data.” Journal of Gerontology, Advanced Biological Science and Medical Science. 51. (1996): B91-99. Web. 9 Jul. 2013. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8548506>.