Leo McDevitt: November 21st, 2012
Research on Alkaline Water is preliminary, but promising.
This article is a summary of some of the most promising research that has been performed on the health benefits of alkaline water, and drinking water in general. This information is intended to serve as a basis for further study. You should consult with your doctor before starting to drink alkaline water.
Alkaline water for mineral nutrition
Calcium and Magnesium: Essential dietary minerals calcium and magnesium are 30% easier for your body to absorb from water than they are from food. Because of this, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends getting 10 – 20% of your daily needs of calcium and magnesium by drinking water. Alkaline water gets its alkalinity primarily from the calcium and magnesium hydroxides in it.
World Health Organization: Nutrients in drinking water http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/nutrientsindw/en/index.html
Alkaline water as an antioxidant
MUST be combined with a proton donor! – Alkaline water must be combined with a proton donor such as Vitamin C to unleash its antioxidant potential. In-vitro studies conducted in Japan show that alkaline water by itself does not show an antioxidant effect, but when combined with vitamin C, it produces an antioxidant effect that is significantly greater than vitamin C alone.
The mechanism of the enhanced antioxidant effects against superoxide anion radicals of reduced water produced by electrolysis. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14871602
Alkaline water for bone health
Link to bone health: Research conducted mostly in Sweden and the United States indicates that there is a link between drinking alkaline water and bone health. Studies show two surprising findings:
You get more beneficial calcium in your diet by drinking water – even if you get enough calcium in your diet!
People who normally have a hard time absorbing minerals from their absorb minerals from water easily.
 Chen H, Kimura M, Zhu Z, Itokawa Y, Evaluation on ionized calcium as a nutrient. The 11th Symposium on Trace Nutrients Research, Japan Trace Nutrients Research Society, p131-138, 1994.
 Wynn E, Krieg, M.A, Aeschlimann, J.M, Burckhardt, P, Alkaline mineral water lowers bone resorption even in calcium sufficiency. Bone; January 2009 44 (1): 120-124 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18926940
Alkaline water and blood pressure
Better nutrition: Mineral deficiencies in the body are considered to be a factor in high blood pressure and heart problems. Large studies have shown that helpful amounts of minerals can be gotten simply by drinking water.
Alkaline water (as revealed in the study discussed above) is the best way to get calcium. Alkaline water also contains magnesium, which is also associated with better heart health. The minerals in alkaline water are recognized for their contribution to human nutrition
Mineral water intake reduces blood pressure among subjects with low urinary magnesium and calcium levels BMC Public Health. 2004; 4: 56. Published online 2004 November 30. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-4-56
Alkaline water and hydration
pH is the key: Research has shown that the primary way that water passes into and out of cells is through tiny channels in the cell wall called aquaporins. Aquaporins are amazing because they can move a billion water molecules per second into and out of cells! The aquaporin channels are so tiny, that the billion water molecules have to pass through in single file!
The influence of natural mineral water on aquaporin water permeability and human natural killer cell activity. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21549098
Alkaline water and digestion
Gradual Relief: Alkaline water for digestive health has been studied mostly in Japan and Korea. Clinical trials of alkaline water in Japan for digestive upset revealed that 88% of people with chronic digestive upset found partial or full relief of their symptoms.
Limitation: researchers noted that relief from symptoms happened gradually, and the best results were in cases of minor digestive upset. This means there is no guarantee of immediate relief! For fast relief of upset stomach, take medicine!
[Kitahora, et al: The Summary of “Electrolytic Water in Medical Treatment” Symposium of the 25th General Assembly of the Medical Congress of Japan (1999)]
[Tashiro, et al: “Digestion and Absorption” issued by the Japan Digestion and Absorption Academics Society Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 52-56 (2000)]
[Tashiro: P473-477, 5th Revision of the 32nd Edition of “Digestive Organs” published by Kagaku Hyoron Sha (2001)]
[Kitahora: Journal (T) of the 26th General Assembly of the Medical Congress of Japan (p. 33) (2003)]
[Itokawa: FOOD Style 21, Vol. 7, No. 8, pp. 81–83 (2003)]
Alkaline water research is ongoing
The studies referenced in this article represent the strongest proof yet of the benefits of alkaline water. However, most of this research is preliminary; it needs to be backed up with further research.
However, the health benefits of the mineral hydroxides in alkaline water are well documented. There is plenty of research that demonstrates that alkaline water does contribute to body nutrition. It is also well-documented that alkaline water from a water ionizer tastes better than plain water.
Better tasting water may be the most significant health benefit of owning a water ionizer. You end up drinking more water simply because it tastes better.
Has the FDA evaluated the health benefits of alkaline water?
Not yet. But the minerals in alkaline water are recognized by the FDA for their contribution to human nutrition. 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.