The Health Benefits of Alkaline Water
Jul 11. 2022
There are many differing views on the benefits of alkaline water. Some claim it’s a complete fad, whereas others swear by its healing and rejuvenating properties. To some extent, both viewpoints are correct. The health benefits offered by alkaline water are supported by an individual’s own response as well as widely published scientific studies. On the flip side however, none of these studies have shown conclusive evidence that alkaline water can heal chronic illness.
In removing the conjecture, we’re taking a look at the true proven benefits behind this ionized water, revealing just how it can help the body on its journey to better health.
Reduces acid reflux
The stomach has an acidic pH between 1 and 2. That’s stronger than any form of bleach you can buy. It is specially lined with epithelial cells which are further lined with a mucous membrane to house this acid and stop it from eroding the stomach walls.
When we digest our food it travels down the oesophagus and through a valve called the oesophageal sphincter. This band of muscle opens and closes to only let food pass through into the stomach where the acidity will break down your food content for later absorption in the intestines. The stomach acid contains a powerful enzyme called pepsin which is responsible for breaking down and digesting proteins from our food. When the oesophageal sphincter is not functioning correctly, stomach acid can back flow out of it and into the lower part of the oesophagus causing damage.
Alkaline water has been shown to denature and neutralise this backflow of pepsin and stomach acid, should it come into contact with a tissue not meant for its containment. A laboratory study found that pepsin could be denatured at a pH of 8.8 making alkaline water and more specifically alk water, a safe bet at a pH of 9.5 compared to regular tap water which has a neutral pH of 7.
Reduces blood viscosity
Alkaline water has shown its powers in improving the everyday functions of the body and this can be seen in a study conducted in 2016 which looked at the relationship between alkaline water and blood viscosity.
Following induced dehydration through exercise, two groups were asked to rehydrate. One group was given normal tap water and the other group was given alkaline water.
The group that consumed the regular tap water experienced a reduction in blood viscosity by an average of 3.36% whereas the group that consumed alkaline water experienced a reduced blood viscosity by an average of 6.30%.
Reduces bone resorption
Bone resorption is part of the ‘bone remodelling’ process. This is where bone cells called osteoclasts release lysosomal enzymes to break down bone for bone matrix digestion. It’s activity includes releasing parathyroid hormone and cortisol which work to break down calcium and release it into the blood, increasing blood calcium levels.
Once females reach menopause, their bodies natural produce less oestrogen which is a vital hormone in bone health as it produces osteoblast activity. When this hormone drops, the body can become more prone to osteoporosis as the activity of osteoclasts increase.
A study by Emma Wynn is particularly interesting as it shows that drinking alkaline water that is rich in bicarbonate, a decrease in the production of parathyroid hormone can be seen, thereby reducing osteoclast activity.
In a similar manner to alkaline water reducing bone resorption, it has also been shown to reduce neurodegeneration.
Many brain diseases are caused by oxidative stress which is where an unstable molecule in the body that lacks its oxygen counterpart. In one study alkaline water was shown to suppress the ATP energy levels in neural cells caused by this oxidative stress which were markers of apoptosis.