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Alkaline Water may Protect Brain Cells: Study

Oxidative stress to brain cells is a major factor in age-related neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and until recently there were very few options for preventing oxidative damage to the brain. But now there is hope: A new study recently published in the journal of Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity reports that in laboratory testing, alkaline water from a water ionizer has been shown to reduce or even prevent the oxidative damage to brain cells that leads to neurodegenerative disease.

alkaline water may protect brain cells infographic

New hope for Alzheimer’s and Dementia victims: Alkaline water shown to prevent oxidative damage to brain cells

How Oxidative Stress Damages Cells and DNA

Oxidative stress is a condition where cells and their DNA are attacked by Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and Reactive Nitrogen Species (RNS). These harmful substances build up in the body when the body’s detoxification and antioxidant systems fail to keep up with the body’s production of ROS and RNS. These harmful substances are a byproduct of oxygen consumption. As your body burns oxygen to make energy, ROS and RNS are byproducts that are left over. Normally, your body’s detoxification mechanisms are able to prevent ROS and RNS from doing too much damage. But that changes when we age because the body’s antioxidant and detoxification systems decline.

The damage that causes aging and neurodegeneration occurs when ROS and RNS attack the DNA, RNA, proteins and lipids that are the building blocks of the body’s cells. Oxidative stress wears away at telomeres – protein caps that protect DNA from oxidative damage. As that damage occurs, the telomeres get shorter and DNA becomes exposed to oxidative damage. Ultimately, the damage builds up over time and accelerates ageing and the development of disease.

The organ most vulnerable to oxidative damage is the brain

The brain is responsible for over 20% of the body’s oxygen consumption, which means that the brain produces a high amount of ROS and RNS. This means that the highest concentration of those harmful oxidants is found in the brain – and traditional antioxidants meant to prevent this damage can’t protect you from it.

The Blood Brain Barrier separates the brain from the rest of the body’s circulatory system. It is there to prevent harmful substances in the blood stream from entering the brain. Unfortunately, it also prevents antioxidants from entering the brain, so they can’t prevent the oxidative damage the happens there.

Alkaline Water can Pass the Blood Brain Barrier

The reason that alkaline water is being studied as a potential preventative therapy for oxidative damage to the brain is that alkaline water can pass through the blood brain barrier. Alkaline water from a water ionizer shows even greater promise than any other kind of alkaline water because when alkaline water is made by a water ionizer, it contains a high concentration of molecular hydrogen, which is a  potent ROS scavenger. Because alkaline water can cross the blood brain barrier, it is believed to be an ideal way to deliver anti-oxidative protection to the brain.

Did you know? The antioxidant supplements you buy in the store can’t cross the blood brain barrier, so they can’t protect your brain from oxidative damage

Alkaline water shown to protect against cell death caused by ROS

How alkaline water neutralizes ROS Several studies have shown that alkaline water breaks down one of the most potent and plentiful ROS’ in the body – hydrogen peroxide – into water. Hydrogen peroxide is made of two hydrogen atoms, and two oxygen atoms – it’s chemical formula is H2O2. When combined with hydrogen-rich alkaline water from a water ionizer, hydrogen peroxide loses one oxygen atom, which turns it into water, H2O.

In laboratory testing, alkaline water was able to prevent cell death that happens when cells are exposed to hydrogen peroxide. Follow up testing on mice confirmed this result. Mice given alkaline water had lower levels of oxidative stress in their brain tissue. Based on this testing, it was shown that alkaline water does cross the blood brain barrier, and that it delivers antioxidative protection to brain cells once in the brain. Follow up studies in humans have shown similar success – alkaline water neutralizes harmful hydrogen peroxide.

Hope for Alzheimer’s and Dementia sufferers

These study findings are preliminary, medical opinion of alkaline water as a neuroprotective agent awaits human trials. However, these preliminary test results are promising because no other therapy has been shown to be effective against oxidative damage to the brain. This means that currently, alkaline water offers the only hope in ongoing research for protection against oxidative damage to the brain.

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Yan, H, , and et al. “The neuroprotective effects of electrolyzed reduced water and its model

water containing molecular hydrogen and Pt nanoparticles.” BMC Proceedings. Europeans Society for Animal Cell Technology, 22 Nov 2011. Web. 29 Oct 2013. <>.


Tsai, Chia-Fang, Yu-Wen Hsu, and et al. “Hepatoprotective effect of electrolyzed

reduced  water against carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage in mice.” Sciencedirect. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 01 Aug 2009. Web. 7 Nov 2013. <>.

Note: This study was performed and published in Japan, where the standards for medical research differ from the United States

Kashiwagi, Taichi, and Et Al. “Electrochemically Reduced Water Protects Neural Cells from

Oxidative Damage.” Electrochemically Reduced Water Protects Neural Cells from Oxidative Damage. Hindawi Publishing, 14 Oct. 2014. Web. 12 Nov. 2014. <>.

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