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Alkaline Water Benefits for Bone Health

Drinking alkaline water benefits you by helping keep the bone mass you have. It does this by reducing bone loss.  Your body absorbs calcium and magnesium 30% faster and easier than it does from food. Drinking alkaline water has been been proven to reduce markers of bone loss, even in people who get enough calcium in their diet. [2]  The prestigious Mayo Clinic  has even pointed out the fact that alkaline water has a positive link to bone health!

Rats used in alkaline water study

The one on the right drank alkaline water and developed healthy bones

Research done on rats  in Japan makes it easy to see how  alkaline water benefits you by providing calcium for your bones. Both of the rats in the image on the left were given no calcium in their food. Both rats received the same amount of  calcium in their water.  Both waters were  calcium sufficient. That means they contained enough calcium to meet the rat’s dietary needs.

The rat on the left pH neutral tap water (pH 7), like the water out of your sink. It is suffering from calcium deficiency, the symptoms of which include;  hair loss, and brittle, easily broken bones. The rat on the right ionized alkaline water with the exact same amount of calcium (pH 8 – 9). It had  no signs of calcium deficiency, and grew up perfectly healthy, even though it received no calcium in its diet!

The  36 rats in the study were divided into 6 groups. Three groups were used as control groups: They received enough calcium in their food for good health. The three other groups did not get any calcium in their food.  One  group was given ionized alkaline water from a water ionizer, and the other group received tap water.  The ionized alkaline water was made from the same source that the tap water was taken from, so both waters had the exact same amount of calcium in them.

Researchers monitored the concentration of calcium in the rats’ urine  during the study to see how much of the calcium that they were getting – from food or water – was discharged in their urine. They used this information to find out how well the rats  absorbed the calcium they received. Researchers found that rats given alkaline water (groups 3, 6) tended to lose less calcium in their urine than the other groups. This shows that  the rats that got their calcium from alkaline water were retaining better than the rats that got calcium from food or tap water!

When the study ended, scientists dissected the rats to  measure the calcium concentration in their bones and other tissues.  The researchers found that rats given alkaline water had  higher levels of  calcium in their bones and organs than any of the other groups. Based on the results of their research, the researchers concluded that alkaline water improves retention  of calcium in the bones. This research has been confirmed in later, human studies.

Alkaline Water Benefits Bone Health

Animal studies are not medical proof, human studies are required to prove any medical claim. Human studies have been conducted to measure the effect of alkaline water  on bone resorption – the process that breaks down bone cells and can lead to osteoporosis . In one study, 30 female volunteers were divided into two groups: One group drank alkaline water; the second group drank acidic water. Both waters had the exact same amount of calcium in them.

The volunteers rate of bone loss was  measured by using two markers of bone loss, hormones called PTH and S-CTX. Doctors measure levels of these hormones to measure your rate of bone loss.  The volunteers were tested at the beginning of the study to get a baseline measurement of their rates of bone loss. During the study, the volunteers all ate the same diet which had sufficient calcium for good health.

Researchers measured the rate of bone loss in the volunteers at 2 weeks and then again at 4 weeks.  Both times, the tests showed that the rate of bone loss was  significantly lower in the group that drank alkaline water. Alkaline water reduced the rate of bone loss and the acidic water didn’t. Because of this, the  researchers concluded: “In calcium sufficiency, the acid calcium-rich water had no effect on bone resorption.”

Clinical proof – Alkaline water reduces bone loss

In conclusion, both the animal and human studies point to the same fact: Alkaline water benefits you by reducing bone loss.  Alkaline water improves calcium retention which helps you keep the bone mass you’ve got.  In fact, some research suggests that  alkaline water may be safer than bisphosphonate-based medications for maintaining bone health over the long term.

 

References

[1] Chen, H, M Kimura, Z Zhu, and Y ZhuItokawa. “Evaluation on ionized calcium as a nutrient.” The 11th Symposium on Trace Nutrients Research. Ed. Japan Trace Nutrients Research Society131-138. Print.

[2] Wynn, E, M.A. Krieg, J.M. Aeschlimann, and P Burckhardt. “Alkaline mineral water lowers bone resorption even in calcium sufficiency: alkaline mineral water and bone metabolism.” Bone. Elsevier, 27 Oct 2008. Web. 8 Jul 2013. <http://www.thebonejournal.com/article/S8756-3282(08)00781-3/abstract>.

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