A 2015 scientific paper published in the Journal of Current Alzheimer’s research suggests that ionized water could assist in brain health later in life (1). But what exactly is Alzheimer’s Disease? And how on earth can ionized water help assist in brain health?
What is Alzheimer’s Disease: An Overview
At its most basic level, Alzheimer’s Disease is caused by plaque deposits and protein tangles in the brain that leads to dementia which eventually results in death. The cause of changes in the brain are largely due to oxidative stress, where an imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants create reactive oxygen species that disrupt proteins, fats, and, most importantly, DNA (2). It’s important to remember that life is built through balance. There are real benefits to having a healthy (low) level concentration of reactive oxygen species (3). They even play a role in boosting your immune system, but they can easily build to dangerous levels, especially as we age (4).
Alzheimer’s Disease is devastatingly common. In fact, it is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.(5). Though this is a terrifying statistic, research has established that your risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease is determined by genetics AND environmental factors (6). And this is good news! While there are genetic factors out of your control that play a role in your risk level, your risk is made variable by things like diet and exercise.
Unfortunately, there’s only so much that diet and exercise can do to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Because as we age, our bodies become less capable of preventing oxidative stress. When this damage builds up, it results in DNA damage and errors, which exacerbate dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Therefore, traditional approaches to diet and exercise may not be enough to protect your brain.
Ionized water could be another tool to assist in brain health later in life.
Is Alkaline Water REALLY the Best Way to Reduce Oxidative Stress?
As we already learned, diet and exercise do play a contributing role in reducing oxidative stress and decreasing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. So, why can’t you just rely on the food you choose to eat and the exercise you choose to engage in? The answer may surprise you.
It turns out the blood brain barrier, a barrier that prevents certain substances from entering the blood circulating around the brain, plays a significant role. Though it is really important, and blocks a lot of things that have the potential to harm the brain, it can be too selective in its permeability (7). It actually blocks antioxidants consumed in food from entering the bloodstream in the brain. As a result, antioxidants from food cannot easily reduce oxidative stress in the brain. This is also true of antioxidants consumed in the form of vitamins!
Alkaline, ionized water, however, can pass through the blood brain barrier because of the water-specific pores found along the barrier (8). This makes alkaline water the best choice for delivering powerful antioxidants (called reactive oxygen species-scavengers) to the brain.
Don’t believe it? Let’s dig a little deeper and see what the research says about the role of ionized water in reducing oxidative stress.
How Can You Reduce Your Risks?
A 2018 study in Japan found that alkaline water treatment for healthy individuals improved sleep quality, waking mood, gastrointestinal health, and it reduced oxidative stress (9).
Another study on mice with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease found that alkaline water even reduced liver damage (10). Why? Because the diatomic hydrogen in it is a powerful antioxidant which directly reduces the amount of free radicals, resulting in reduced oxidative stress (11).
It turns out that ionized water is so good at reducing oxidative stress that it has its own name. The process of electrochemically reducing water (ionizing) creates the property referred to as reactive oxygen species-scavenging (12).
And this is important! Though there have not yet been long-term studies that evaluate the direct effect of lifelong ionized water consumption and the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease, studies show that it reduces oxidative stress. And oxidative stress is the major contributing factor in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease, and many other diseases.
These diseases include cancer, early aging, other neurodegenerative diseases, autoimmune diseases like lupus, and many more (13).
For these reasons and more, it is essential that you do what you can to reduce oxidative stress for your health.
In this article, we’ve found out that Alzheimer’s Disease is incredibly common and serious, with 1 in 14 adults over 65 having it (14). We have also learned that the leading factor causing Alzheimer’s Disease is oxidative stress. Though food can reduce oxidative stress when a diet is rich in antioxidants, those antioxidants cannot travel through the blood brain barrier to stop oxidative stress in the brain. Alkaline water, however, can travel through the blood brain barrier.
Alkaline water is special because it is full of diatomic hydrogen (H2), which passes through the blood brain barrier and scavenges for reactive oxygen species to, essentially, deactivate them. Research has shown that alkaline water improves the health of both animal and human subjects by reducing oxidative stress. These results suggest that alkaline water could be a key preventative therapy in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Should you start drinking alkaline water?
Yes. It turns out that drinking alkaline water could be one of the best things to do for your health.