THE INCREDIBLE FRAUD OF ALKALINE DRINKING WATER

Desperate businessmen, deluded nutritionists and a whole host of questionable, wanna-be medical practitioners who have been sniffing glue in the closet too long have been foisting on the public probably one of the most devastating and least proven devices seen in the water consumer marketplace in the last 30 years:

Alkaline Water Systems.

Like global warming, the presence in the Western World of "acidic" diets has fostered a collective knee jerk reaction by the above list of individuals to somehow offset or neutralize this acidic diet with an alkaline liquid - electrolyzed water.

Proponents of this type of drinking water claim cures ranging from hair loss to cardiovascular health; the list is nearly endless(and devoid of sound, scientific support). The only malady that we don't see on the "cure list" for alkaline water is the reversal of global warming---but don't hold your breath, Al Gore may soon add that as well. The marketing activities for this product are driven nearly entirely by anecdotal results: "...my clients tell me they feel SO much better"...and the list goes on and on. Actually, one could get the same results using Mylanta or Tums instead of a $4000 piece of junk.

Alkaline water is produced by the process of electrolysis, whereby mineralized water is separated into two categories; one acidic and suitable for the destruction of micro-organisms and one alkaline, with proven applications in some plant and animal situations, but none significant or conclusively proven heathy for human use.

The Japanese government has been sponsoring(and underwriting) the study of alkaline water. Some of these studies claim significant health benefits but independent medical studies to support these claims are not available. Most of the Asian claims for health benefits unfortunately are fabricated to support in-country business enterprises and provide the public with a false sense of security regarding a very questionable health practice.

One needs to remember that this "technology" comes from the same sources and cultural activities that claim that writing Japanese words on the outside of a glass of water, or playing music near this glass of water will change the physical characteristics of the water in the glass to the point where the water can actually provide curative effects for the body .

Such "technology advances" are not only laughable but strain the credibility of what few decent and viable developments that might come from that part of the world.

As noted elsewhere in this website, the only physiological result that appears to have significance, and perhaps some validity in Japan, is the use of alkaline water by pregnant Asian women to increase the probability of bearing a male versus female child. This practice is consistent with their continuing cultural objectives regarding gender superiority and desirability.

So, unless you are a pregnant Japanese woman hoping to bear a boy versus a girl, there is likely no tangible benefit for you to use alkaline water.

It is exceptionally strange that supposedly knowledgeable nutritional experts do not realize that the use of alkaline water dilutes both the digestive acids in the stomach but also strains the pH stability of the blood. Dilution of the strong acidic composition of digestive fluids results in the inability of the body to properly break down proteins and carbohydrates, resulting in putrification of these materials and the accumulation of acidic, toxic wastes which can create a variety of health problems.

The use of alkaline water can therefore increase acidity conditions in the unknowing user.

Any simple study of body pH will illustrate that acidity is caused by the failure to remove metabolic residues from cells or extracelullar fluids. Once that acidity is removed by a cleansing or hydration activity, the body's pH returns to a normal balance. Failure to remove the acidic residues from cells(where metabolism occurs) results in a portion of these potentially toxic acids being placed in new cells when cell division(mitosis) takes place. Thus, the acidic condition is propagated from cell to cell and continues to provide a condition where more serious illnesses could develop.

Some promoters of alkaline water start out by emphasizing the need for more water intake and then very subtly moving into alkline water discussions. They fail to point out any of the downside issues listed above.

As one of my personal medical doctors(1985 Nobel Prize recipient - Dr. Rudy Waiton) told me:

"...it is truly amazing that supposedly knowledgeable nutritionists cannot recognize that the proper balancing of acidic food intake is by way of alkaline foods, not alkaline water."

So, what is the driving mechanism that places the multi-level promotion of alkaline water ahead of the healthier alternative, the consumption of foods which possess alkaline fibre, yet contain neutral pH liquids? Cash, baby...just cash.

The drive to develop niche markets for a public desperate to obtain a better health condition has resulted in wide variety of bogus products, most from Asian or German sources; alkaline water is just one of those useless, and perhaps potentially detrimental products which are promoted by retailers and nutritionists who really should know better, but don't want to let go of a cash cow that the nutritionally uneducated public is unwilling to properly analyze and stop buying.


LACK OF MEDICAL CERTIFICATIONS

Despite claims to the contrary, the Japanese Ministry of Health has only issued "safety approvals", originally in 1954, but has never certified or tested the health effects of alkaline water.

"The Ministry of Health and Welfare was more concerned with safety issues when they examined the Ionizers for approval since they would be sold for general household use. Thus, it can be assumed that the Ministry of Health and Welfare does not recommend the use of these products."

Japanese Ministry of Merchandise Trade
Report on Consumer Complaints - 1992

However, despite almost 50-years of these devices being available there is still no medical clinical data on its long-term health effects. We have come a long way since 1954....

"..It has been 30 years since their [ionizer] approval, these benefits have never been reviewed using statistical data based on follow-up animal or dosage experiments with humans....."

Japanese Ministry of Merchandise Trade
Report on Consumer Complaints - 1992

Whilst they were popular in Japan during the late 1970 to 1980's with more than two dozen companies involved, all this changed in the early 1990's. In 1992 a Japanese Government - Ministry of Merchandise Trade Report was released that was highly critical of both 'alkaline water' health claims and the sales tactics used to sell water ionizers. Today, apart from later entrants from Korea, only one or two companies in Japan continue to persevere.

Finally, one of the more outrageous claims being made by the alkaline promoters is that alkaline conditions stop bacteria growth. The opposite is actually true and is documented in many places, including

"...most bacteria grow best in the pH range from about 6-8"

1999 Science in the Real World: Microbes in Action; Department of Biology, University of Missouri - St.Louis.

"...Bacteria that are human or animal pathogens are generally adapted to a pH of about 7.4 which is slightly alkaline".

United States Department of Energy - Molecular B iology Archive: "pH and bacteria growth"

SUMMARY OF RESULTS OF CONTROLLED STUDIES USING ALKALINE WATER

Title
Degradation of myocardiac myosin and creatine kinase in rats given alkaline ionized water.
Author
Watanabe T; Kishikawa Y
Address
Department of Veterinary Physiological Chemistry, College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University, Kanagawa, Japan.
Source
J Vet Med Sci, 1998 Feb, 60:2, 245-50
Abstract
Recently, the authors have shown that marked necrosis and fibrosis of myocardium were observed in rats given alkaline ionized water (AKW). To clarify the cause of myocardial lesions, the activities of myosin ATPase, actomyosin ATPase and creatine kinase (CK) in myocardium of rats given AKW at 15 weeks-old were compared with those in myocardium of rats given tap water (TPW). Furthermore, sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) of myocardiac myosin and isoelectric focusing (IEF) of myocardiac CK were performed which revealed a distinct difference between AKW and TPW groups. The activities of myosin ATPase and actomyosin ATPase in the AKW group were higher than those in the TPW group, and these elevated activities were caused by the degradation of myosin in the AKW group judging from the SDS-PAGE pattern of myosin. On the other hand, the activity of CK in the AKW group was lower than that in the TPW group, and the IEF pattern of CK showed leakage of myocardiac CK. These results indicate that increases in actomyosin ATPase activity and myosin ATPase activity, plus the decrease in CK activity caused the disorder of coupled reaction in male rats given AKW at 15 weeks-old. It is concluded that this disorder of coupled reaction may cause marked myocardiac necrosis and fibrosis in rats given AKW.
Language of Publication
English
Unique Identifier
98185639

 

Title
Influence of alkaline ionized water on rat erythrocyte hexokinase activity and myocardium.
Author
Watanabe T; Kishikawa Y; Shirai W
Address
Department of Veterinary Physiological Chemistry, College of Bioresource Science, Nihon University, Kanagawa, Japan.
Source
J Toxicol Sci, 1997 May, 22:2, 141-52
Abstract
Alkaline ionized water (AKW) produced by the electrolysis of tap water (TPW) was given to pregnant rats throughout gestation. AKW was subsequently given to infants as a test group until 15 weeks old to determine changes in body and organ weights, erythrocyte hexokinase (HK) activity and histological preparations of myocardiac muscle. The results were compared with those for rats given TPW. Body weight of male and female rats given AKWA at 3 to 11 weeks of age after birth significantly increased beyond control group values. Organ weights of offspring at 15 weeks-old showed no statistical difference for either group. HK activity, the rate-determining enzyme in erythrocyte glycolysis, significantly increased in males given AKW at 15 weeks-old. This suggests that AKW intake causes elevation of metabolic activity. Hyperkalemia was observed in males and females given AKW at 15 weeks-old. Especially in males, pathological changes of necrosis in myocardiac muscle were observed.
Language of Publication
English
Unique Identifier
97341750
Title
Histopathological influence of alkaline ionized water on myocardial muscle of mother rats.
Author
Watanabe T; Shirai W; Pan I; Fukuda Y; Murasugi E; Sato T; Kamata H; Uwatoko K
Address
Department of Veterinary Physiological Chemistry, College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University, Kanagawa, Japan.
Source
J Toxicol Sci, 1998 Dec, 23:5, 411-7
Abstract
We have reported that a marked necrosis and subsequent fibrosis of myocardium occurred among male rats 15 weeks old given alkaline ionized water (AKW) during gestation and suckling periods, and after weaning. In this study, it was examined whether similar lesions would occur in mother rats which were given AKW from day zero of gestation to day 20 of lactation. The myocardial lesion in the mother rats given AKW showed cell infiltration, vacuolation and fibrosis in the papillary muscle of the left ventricle, as were observed in male rats of 15 weeks old. Myocardial degeneration may cause a leakage of potassium into the blood that results in a higher concentration of potassium in the blood in the test group than in that of the control group given tap water.
Language of Publication
English
Unique Identifier
99121699

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