Article from: NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council)

Is bottled water actually unsafe?
Could the plastic in water bottles pose a health risk?
How can I find out where my bottled water comes from?
How can I determine if bottled water is really just tap water?
What action can I take to improve bottled water safety?
How does drinking bottled water affect the environment?
If I drink tap water should I use a filter and what types of filters are most effective?
How can I obtain test results on my tap water?

1. Isn’t bottled water safer than tap water?
No, not necessarily. NRDC conducted a four-year review of the bottled water industry and the safety standards that govern it, including a comparison of national bottled water rules with national tap water rules, and independent testing of over 1,000 bottles of water. Our conclusion is that there is no assurance that just because water comes out of a bottle it is any cleaner or safer than water from the tap. And in fact, an estimated 25 percent or more of bottled water is really just tap water in a bottle — sometimes further treated, sometimes not.

2. Is bottled water actually unsafe?
Most bottled water appears to be safe. Of the bottles we tested, the majority proved to be high quality and relatively free of contaminants. The quality of some brands was spotty, however, and such products may pose a health risk, primarily for people with weakened immune systems (such as the frail elderly, some infants, transplant and cancer patients, or people with HIV/AIDS). About 22 percent of the brands we tested contained, in at least one sample, chemical contaminants at levels above strict state health limits. If consumed over a long period of time, some of these contaminants could cause cancer or other health problems.

3. Could the plastic in water bottles pose a health risk?
Recent research suggests that there could be cause for concern, and that the issue should be studied closely. Studies have shown that chemicals called phthalates, which are known to disrupt testosterone and other hormones, can leach into bottled water over time. One study found that water that had been stored for 10 weeks in plastic and in glass bottles contained phthalates, suggesting that the chemicals could be coming from the plastic cap or liner. Although there are regulatory standards limiting phthalates in tap water, there are no legal limits for phthalates in bottled water — the bottled water industry waged a successful campaign opposing the FDA proposal to set a legal limit for these chemicals.

4. How can I find out where my bottled water comes from?
A few state bottled water programs (e.g., Massachusetts and New York) maintain lists of the sources of bottled water, but many do not. Try calling or writing the bottler to ask what the source is, or call the bottled water program in your state or the state in which the water was bottled to see if they have a record of the source (your state’s health or agriculture department is most likely to run the bottled water program). If you choose to buy bottled water and are concerned about its safety, buy brands with a known protected source and ones that make readily available testing and treatment information that shows high water quality.

5. How can I determine if bottled water is really just tap water?
Often it’s not easy. First, carefully check the bottle label and even the cap — if it says “from a municipal source” or “from a community water system” this means it’s derived from tap water. Again, you can call the bottler, or the bottled water program in your state or the state where it was packaged.

6. What actions can I take to improve bottled water safety?
Write to your members of Congress, the FDA, and your governor (see below for contact information) and urge them to adopt strict requirements for bottled water safety, labeling, and public disclosure. Specifically, point out to these officials that they should:
set strict limits for contaminants of concern in bottled water, including arsenic, heterotrophic-plate-count bacteria, E. coli and other parasites and pathogens, and synthetic organic chemicals such as “phthalates”; apply the rules to all bottled water whether carbonated or not and whether sold intrastate or interstate; and require bottlers to display information on their labels about the levels of contaminants of concern found in the water, the water’s exact source, how it’s been treated, and whether it meets health criteria set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control for killing parasites like cryptosporidium.

Members of Congress and governors should also pass legislation providing the resources for the FDA and state regulators to actually enforce the law.

To take further action, you can encourage your bottlers and the International Bottled Water Association (a trade organization that includes about 85 percent of water bottlers) to voluntarily make labeling disclosures such as those above.

Contact information:
Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.
Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857

Congress/State Legislators
Go to our action center to find contact information for your members of Congress and state legislators.

7. How does drinking bottled water affect the environment?
In 2006, the equivalent of 2 billion half-liter bottles of water were shipped to U.S. ports, creating thousands of tons of global warming pollution and other air pollution. In New York City alone, the transportation of bottled water from western Europe released an estimated 3,800 tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere. In California, 18 million gallons of bottled water were shipped in from Fiji in 2006, producing about 2,500 tons of global warming pollution.

And while the bottles come from far away, most of them end up close to home — in a landfill. Most bottled water comes in recyclable PET plastic bottles, but only about 13 percent of the bottles we use get recycled. In 2005, 2 million tons of plastic water bottles ended up clogging landfills instead of getting recycled.

8. If I drink tap water should I use a filter and what types of filters are most effective?
The real long-term solution is to make tap water safe for everyone. However, if you know you have a tap water quality or taste problem, or want to take extra precautions, you should purchase filters certified by NSF International (800 NSF-MARK). These filters designate which contaminants they remove, and you can look for one that removes any contaminants of special concern such as cryptosporidium. Such certification is not necessarily a safety guarantee, but it is better than no certification at all. It is critically important that all filters be maintained and replaced at least as often as recommended by the manufacturer, or they might make the problem worse. See our guide to water filters for more information.

9. How can I obtain test results on my tap water?
Under new “right-to-know” provisions in the drinking water law, all tap water suppliers must provide annual water quality reports to their customers. To obtain a copy, call your water provider (the one that sends your water bills).

You also can test your water yourself, though this can be expensive. There are state-certified drinking water laboratories in virtually every state that can test your water. Call your state drinking water program or the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800 426-4791) for a list of contacts. Standard consumer test packages are available through large commercial labs at a relatively reasonable price.

Based on BOTTLED WATER: Pure Drink or Pure Hype? a March 1999 report by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Ray Kurzweil was inducted in 2002 into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, established by the U.S. Patent Office. He received the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, the nation’s largest award in invention and innovation. He also received the 1999 National Medal of Technology, the nation’s highest honor in technology, from President Clinton in a White House ceremony. Ray Kurzweil has been featured on numerous publications such as CNN & MSNBC.

He has also received scores of other national and international awards, including the 1994 Dickson Prize (Carnegie Mellon University’s top science prize), Engineer of the Year from Design News, Inventor of the Year from MIT, and the Grace Murray Hopper Award from the Association for Computing Machinery. He has received twelve honorary Doctorates and honors from three U.S. presidents. He has received seven national and international film awards. Ray’s books include The Age of Intelligent Machines, The Age of Spiritual Machines, and Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever. Four of Ray’s books have been national best sellers and The Age of Spiritual Machines has been translated into 9 languages and was the #1 best selling book on Amazon in science.

Question: I have read on the Internet that it is not possible to create alkaline or acid water from pure water and that water that is pure enough to drink can’t be split into alkaline and acid components. Is this true?

Answer: As responsible scientists, we had the same skepticism when we first heard about alkaline water. Therefore, the first thing we did was to purchase a water alkalinizer as well as an accurate electronic pH meter. We ran tap water with pH 7.1 from our home faucet into the device and found that the water coming out of the alkaline outlet had a pH of 9.5 (indicating very alkaline), while the water from the acid outlet measured pH 4.5 (indicating very acidic).

We repeated this experiment with a variety of tap waters obtaining alkaline outputs with a pH ranging from 9.5 to 9.9. It is true that “pure” or distilled water can not be ionized. If you were to try to “split” distilled water, it would not work. Tap or spring water, however, has dissolved minerals in it. It’s the minerals in the water; primarily calcium, potassium and magnesium that allow water to be “split” by an electric current into alkaline, “electron-rich” (i.e., containing negatively charged ions that can engage in chemical reactions to provide electrons to positively charged free radicals) and acid, “electron-deficient” components. Individuals who say it is not possible to split tap or spring water are misinformed.

One site on the Internet states “Ionized water is nothing more than sales fiction; the term is meaningless to chemists. Most water that is fit for drinking is too unconductive to undergo significant electrolysis.”

The above statement is easily shown to be incorrect with a simple pH meter and an electrolysis machine. Most tap waters run through the machine produce highly alkaline water as measured by a pH meter.

Question: Since you advocate drinking alkaline water, why not simply mix something like sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) with water and drink that? There are, in fact, alkaline waters sold that are made by mixing water with bicarbonate. Wouldn’t that work as well and be much less expensive than a water alkalinizer?

Answer: There are more benefits to “alkaline water” than simply the alkalinity or pH. The most important feature of alkaline water produced by a water alkalinizer is its oxidation reduction potential (ORP). Water with a high negative ORP is of particular value in its ability to neutralize oxygen free radicals.

ORP can also be directly tested using an ORP sensor and meter. We have conducted these experiments as well. We found that water coming directly from the tap had an ORP of +290mV, while the water coming out of the water alkalinizer had a negative ORP. The more negative the ORP of a substance (that is, the higher its negative ORP), the more likely it is to engage in chemical reactions that donate electrons. These electrons are immediately available to engage in reactions that neutralize positively charged free radicals. This is the key benefit of water produced by a water alkalinizer that is not available by simply drinking water than has had some bicarb or other compounds dissolved in it to make it alkaline.

Although water mixed with bicarbonate is indeed alkaline, it does not have a negative ORP; rather it has a positive ORP, meaning that it is unable to neutralize dangerous oxygen free radicals. Alkaline water produced by running tap water through an electrolysis machine does have a high negative ORP, meaning that it does have the ability to neutralize oxygen free radicals. We have confirmed these ORP measurements through our direct tests.

Question: OK, why is it important to drink alkaline water with a high negative ORP?

Answer: All chemical reactions occur with the transfer of electrons. Negatively charged entities are said to be reducing agents, meaning they are relatively electron rich and are able to donate electrons, reducing the charge of the entity with which they react. Relatively electron-poor entities are referred to as oxidizing agents, meaning they tend to pull electrons away. Thus, each substance in our body may act as either an oxidizing or reducing agent.

However, not just any negatively charged ion will be able to engage in the specific chemical reactions needed to neutralize oxygen free radicals. The HCO3- (bicarbonate) ions in alkaline bicarb water do not have this potential, whereas the OH- and mineral-rich water coming from an electrolysis machine (from tap water) does have this potential. That is implied in the negative value of the “oxidation reduction potential.”

Free radicals are among the most damaging molecules in the body and are highly unstable molecules that are oxidizing agents and are electron deficient. They are a principal cause of damage and disease in the body. Oxygen free radicals contribute significantly to a broad variety of harmful conditions in the body ranging from life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, stroke and cancer, to less severe conditions such as sunburns, arthritis, cataracts, and many others. Free radicals MUST get electrons from somewhere and will steal them from whatever molecules are around, including normal, healthy tissues.

Damage to tissues results when free radicals strip these electrons from healthy cells. If the damage goes on unchecked, this will lead to disease. For example, the oxidation of LDL cholesterol particles in arterial walls by free radicals triggers an immune system response that results in atherosclerosis, the principal cause of heart disease. The negative ions in alkaline water from an electrolysis machine are a rich source of electrons that can be donated to these free radicals in the body, neutralizing them and stopping them from damaging healthy tissues. Specifically, these ions have the potential to engage in the chemical reactions necessary to neutralize oxygen free radicals.

Vitamin C and E, grape seed extract and alpha lipoic acid, for example, are all powerful electron donors. The vegetable-rich diet we recommend is alkaline and helps donate electrons to the body. Alkaline, electron-rich water falls in the same category. It can help with your body’s need for electrons to counteract free radicals.

Interestingly, we also tested vegetable juice with the ORP meter and found that it also has a high negative ORP, meaning that it is able to neutralize oxygen free radicals. So at least one of the important benefits of eating vegetables can be obtained from drinking the high negative ORP alkaline water from an electrolysis machine.

Another benefit of drinking alkaline water is that it assists in the absorption of minerals. We know that if the body is not absorbing enough minerals, it will rob minerals from the body’s mineral reserves, chiefly calcium from the bones.

It is well known that many chronic diseases result in excess acidity of the body (metabolic acidosis). We also know that the body tends to become more acidic due to modern dietary habits and lifestyles and the aging process itself. By drinking high negative ORP alkaline water, you combat metabolic acidosis and improve absorption of nutrients.

The blood is carefully buffered to keep it in a narrow range between pH 7.35 to 7.45. The body keeps blood pH stable by utilizing alkaline buffers, chiefly bicarbonate, to neutralize acidic liquids (such as colas, which have a pH as low as 2.5) and other acidic products and byproducts. But as the blood stream receives these acidic substances, the alkaline buffers get used up. Drinking alkaline water helps reduce the burden on the limited alkaline buffers which are needed for the body’s natural detoxification processes.

Question: Is there research that actually shows the benefits of drinking alkaline water?

Answer: A number of studies are summarized below. One study described below suggests that alkaline water encourages “friendly” anaerobic microflora in the human intestinal tract, and discourages “unfriendly” aerobic organisms. The researcher (see Vorobjeva NV below) writes: “Many diseases of the intestine are due to a disturbance in the balance of the microorganisms inhabiting the gut. The treatment of such diseases involves the restoration of the quantity and/or balance of residential microflora in the intestinal tract. It is known that aerobes and anaerobes grow at different oxidation-reduction potentials (ORP). The former require positive E(h) values up to +400 mV. Anaerobes do not grow unless the E(h) value is negative between -300 and -400 mV. In this work, it is suggested that prerequisite for the recovery and maintenance of obligatory anaerobic microflora in the intestinal tract is a negative ORP value of the intestinal milieu. Electrolyzed reducing water with E(h) values between 0 and -300 mV produced in electrolysis devices possesses this property. Drinking such water favours the growth of residential microflora in the gut. A sufficient array of data confirms this idea.”

Dr. Grossman has also had many of his patients report of health benefits they have experienced from drinking alkaline electron-rich water.

Question: How can alkaline water with a pH of 9 or 10 be expected to affect the body when the pH of the stomach is 2 or less?

Answer: It is important to remember that large amounts of hydrochloric acid are present in the stomach primarily when food is there. There is only a small amount of acid in stomach when it is empty, and this can be easily overcome when alkaline electron-rich water is consumed. Therefore, in order to gain maximum benefit, we recommend drinking alkaline water in between meals. Water consumed between meals will very quickly pass through the stomach and the GI tract.

A sample of studies on the health benefits of alkaline electron-rich water.
Huang KC, Yang CC, Lee KT, Chien CT. Reduced hemodialysis-induced oxidative stress in
end-stage renal disease patients by electrolyzed reduced water. Kidney Int. 2003

J Environ Public Health. 2012; 2012: 727630.
Published online 2011 October 12. doi:  10.1155/2012/727630
PMCID: PMC3195546
This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.


This review looks at the role of an alkaline diet in health. Pubmed was searched looking for articles on pH, potential renal acid loads, bone health, muscle, growth hormone, back pain, vitamin D and chemotherapy. Many books written in the lay literature on the alkaline diet were also reviewed and evaluated in light of the published medical literature. There may be some value in considering an alkaline diet in reducing morbidity and mortality from chronic diseases and further studies are warranted in this area of medicine.


1. Background

Life on earth depends on appropriate pH levels in and around living organisms and cells. Human life requires a tightly controlled pH level in the serum of about 7.4 (a slightly alkaline range of 7.35 to 7.45) to survive [1].

As a comparison, in the past 100 years with increasing industrialization, the pH of the ocean has dropped from 8.2 to 8.1 because of increasing CO2 deposition. This has a negative impact on life in the ocean [12] and may lead to the collapse of the coral reefs [3]. Even the pH of the soil in which plants are grown can have considerable influence on the mineral content of the food we eat (as minerals are used as buffers to maintain pH). The ideal pH of soil for the best overall availability of essential nutrients is between 6 and 7. Acidic soils below pH of 6 may have reduced calcium and magnesium, and soil above pH 7 may result in chemically unavailable iron, manganese, copper and zinc. Adding dolomite and manure are ways of raising pH in an acid soil environment when the pH is below 6 [4].

When it comes to the pH and net acid load in the human diet, there has been considerable change from the hunter gather civilization to the present [5]. With the agricultural revolution (last 10,000 years) and even more recently with industrialization (last 200 years), there has been an decrease in potassium (K) compared to sodium (Na) and an increase in chloride compared to bicarbonate found in the diet [6]. The ratio of potassium to sodium has reversed, K/Na previously was 10 to 1 whereas the modern diet has a ratio of 1 to 3 [7]. It is generally accepted that agricultural humans today have a diet poor in magnesium and potassium as well as fiber and rich in saturated fat, simple sugars, sodium, and chloride as compared to the preagricultural period [6]. This results in a diet that may induce metabolic acidosis which is mismatched to the genetically determined nutritional requirements [8]. With aging, there is a gradual loss of renal acid-base regulatory function and a resultant increase in diet-induced metabolic acidosis while on the modern diet [9]. A low-carbohydrate high-protein diet with its increased acid load results in very little change in blood chemistry, and pH, but results in many changes in urinary chemistry. Urinary magnesium levels, urinary citrate and pH are decreased, urinary calcium, undissociated uric acid, and phosphate are increased. All of these result in an increased risk for kidney stones [10].

Much has been written in the lay literature as well as many online sites expounding on the benefits of the alkaline diet. This paper is an attempt to balance the evidence that is found in the scientific literature.


2. The Role of pH in Various Cells, Organs, and Membranes

The pH in our body may vary considerably from one area to another with the highest acidity in the stomach (pH of 1.35 to 3.5) to aid in digestion and protect against opportunistic microbial organisms. But even in the stomach, the layer just outside the epithelium is quite basic to prevent mucosal injury. It has been suggested that decreased gastric lining secretion of bicarbonates and a decrease in the alkaline/acid secretion in duodenal ulcer patients may play a significant role in duodenal ulcers [11]. The skin is quite acidic (pH 4–6.5) to provide an acid mantle as a protective barrier to the environment against microbial overgrowth. There is a gradient from the outer horny layer (pH 4) to the basal layer (pH 6.9) [12]. This is also seen in the vagina where a pH of less than 4.7 protects against microbial overgrowth [13].

The urine may have a variable pH from acid to alkaline depending on the need for balancing the internal environment. Acid excretion in the urine can be estimated by a formula described by Remer (sulfate + chloride + 1.8x phosphate + organic acids) minus (sodium + potassium + 2x calcium + 2x magnesium) mEq [14]. Foods can be categorized by the potential renal acid loads (PRALs) see Table 2. Fruits, vegetables, fruit juices, potatoes, and alkali-rich and low phosphorus beverages (red and white wine, mineral soda waters) having a negative acid load. Whereas, grain products, meats, dairy products, fish, and alkali poor and low phosphorus beverages (e.g., pale beers, cocoa) have relatively high acid loads [15]. Measurement of pH of the urine (reviewed in a recent study with two morning specimens done over a five-year span) did not predict bone fractures or loss of bone mineral density [16]. However, this may not be reflective of being on an alkaline or acid diet throughout this time. For more details, see Table 1.

Table 1

Ph of selected fluids, organs, and membranes.
Table 2

Potential renal acid loads (PRALs) of selected foods [20].

3. Chronic Acidosis and Bone Disease

Calcium in the form of phosphates and carbonates represents a large reservoir of base in our body. In response to an acid load such as the modern diet these salts are released into the systemic circulation to bring about pH homeostasis [7]. It has been estimated that the quantity of calcium lost in the urine with the modern diet over time could be as high as almost 480 gm over 20 years or almost half the skeletal mass of calcium [21]. However, urinary losses of calcium are not a direct measure of osteoporosis. There are many regulatory factors that may compensate for the urinary calcium loss. When the arterial pH is in the normal range, a mild reduction of plasma bicarbonate results in a negative calcium balance which could benefit from supplementing bicarbonate in the form of potassium bicarbonate [22]. It has been found that bicarbonate, which increases the alkali content of a diet, but not potassium may attenuate bone loss in healthy older adults [23]. The bone minerals that are wasted in the urine may not have complete compensation through intestinal absorption, which is thought to result in osteoporosis. However, adequate vitamin D with a 25(OH)D level of >80 nmol/L may allow for appropriate intestinal absorption of calcium and magnesium and phosphate when needed [24]. Sadly, most populations are generally deficient in vitamin D especially in northern climates [25]. In chronic renal failure, correction of metabolic acidosis with bicarbonate significantly improves parathyroid levels and levels of the active form of vitamin D 1,25(OH)2D3 [26]. Recently, a study has shown the importance of phosphate in Remer’s PRAL formula. According to the formula it would be expected that an increase in phosphate should result in an increase in urinary calcium loss and a negative calcium balance in bone [27]. It should be noted that supplementation with phosphate in patients with bed rest reduced urinary calcium excretion but did not prevent bone loss [28]. The most recent systematic review and meta-analysis has shown that calcium balance is maintained and improved with phosphate which is quite contrary to the acid-ash hypothesis [29]. As well a recent study looking at soda intake (which has a significant amount of phosphate) and osteoporosis in postmenopausal American first nations women did not find a correlation [30]. It is quite possible that the high acid content according to Remer’s classification needs to be looked at again in light of compensatory phosphate intake. There is online information promoting an alkaline diet for bone health as well as a number of books. However, a recent systematic review of the literature looking for evidence supporting the alkaline diet for bone health found no protective role of dietary acid load in osteoporosis [31].

Another element of the modern diet is the excess of sodium in the diet. There is evidence that in healthy humans the increased sodium in the diet can predict the degree of hyperchloremic metabolic acidosis when consuming a net acid producing diet [32]. As well, there is evidence that there are adverse effects of sodium chloride in the aging population. A high sodium diet will exacerbate disuse-induced bone and muscle loss during immobilization by increasing bone resorption and protein wasting [33]. Excess dietary sodium has been shown to result in hypertension and osteoporosis in women [3435]. As well, dietary potassium which is lacking in the modern diet would modulate pressor and hypercalciuric effects of excess of sodium chloride [36].

Excess dietary protein with high acid renal load may decrease bone density if not buffered by ingestion of supplements or foods that are alkali rich [37]. However, adequate protein is necessary for prevention of osteoporosis and sarcopenia; therefore, increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables may be necessary rather than reducing protein [38].


4. Alkaline Diets and Muscle

As we age, there is a loss of muscle mass, which may predispose to falls and fractures. A three-year study looking at a diet rich in potassium, such as fruits and vegetables, as well as a reduced acid load, resulted in preservation of muscle mass in older men and women [39]. Conditions such as chronic renal failure that result in chronic metabolic acidosis result in accelerated breakdown in skeletal muscle [40]. Correction of acidosis may preserve muscle mass in conditions where muscle wasting is common such as diabetic ketosis, trauma, sepsis, chronic obstructive lung disease, and renal failure [41]. In situations that result in acute acidosis, supplementing younger patients with sodium bicarbonate prior to exhaustive exercise resulted in significantly less acidosis in the blood than those that were not supplemented with sodium bicarbonate [42].


5. Alkaline Supplementation and Growth Hormone

It has long been known that severe forms of metabolic acidosis in children, such as renal tubular acidosis, are associated with low levels of growth hormone with resultant short stature. Correction of the acidosis with bicarbonate [7] or potassium citrate [43] increases growth hormone significantly and improved growth. The use of enough potassium bicarbonate in the diet to neutralize the daily net acid load in postmenopausal women resulted in a significant increase in growth hormone and resultant osteocalcin [44]. Improving growth hormone levels may improve quality of life, reduce cardiovascular risk factors, improve body composition, and even improve memory and cognition [45]. As well this results in a reduction of urinary calcium loss equivalent to 5% of bone calcium content over a period of 3 years [46].


6. Alkaline Diet and Back Pain

There is some evidence that chronic low back pain improves with the supplementation of alkaline minerals [47]. With supplementation there was a slight but significant increase in blood pH and intracellular magnesium. Ensuring that there is enough intracellular magnesium allows for the proper function of enzyme systems and also allows for activation of vitamin D [48]. This in turn has been shown to improve back pain [49].


7. Alkalinity and Chemotherapy

The effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents is markedly influenced by pH. Numerous agents such as epirubicin and adriamycin require an alkaline media to be more effective. Others, such as cisplatin, mitomycin C, and thiotepa, are more cytotoxic in an acid media [50]. Cell death correlates with acidosis and intracellular pH shifts higher (more alkaline) after chemotherapy may reflect response to chemotherapy [51]. It has been suggested that inducing metabolic alkalosis may be useful in enhancing some treatment regimes by using sodium bicarbonate, carbicab, and furosemide [52]. Extracellular alkalinization by using bicarbonate may result in improvements in therapeutic effectiveness [53]. There is no scientific literature establishing the benefit of an alkaline diet for the prevention of cancer at this time.


8. Discussion

The human body has an amazing ability to maintain a steady pH in the blood with the main compensatory mechanisms being renal and respiratory. Many of the membranes in our body require an acid pH to protect us and to help us digest food. It has been suggested that an alkaline diet may prevent a number of diseases and result in significant health benefits. Looking at the above discussion on bone health alone, certain aspects have doubtful benefit. There does not seem to be enough evidence that milk or cheese may be as detrimental as Remer’s formula suggests since phosphate does benefit bone health and result in a positive calcium balance. However, another mechanism for the alkaline diet to benefit bone health may be the increase in growth hormone and resultant increase in osteocalcin. There is some evidence that the K/Na ratio does matter and that the significant amount of salt in our diet is detrimental. Even some governments are demanding that the food industry reduce the salt load in our diet. High-protein diets may also affect bone health but some protein is also needed for good bone health. Muscle wasting however seems to be reduced with an alkaline diet and back pain may benefit from this as well. An alkaline environment may improve the efficacy of some chemotherapy agents but not others.


9. Conclusion

Alkaline diets result in a more alkaline urine pH and may result in reduced calcium in the urine, however, as seen in some recent reports, this may not reflect total calcium balance because of other buffers such as phosphate. There is no substantial evidence that this improves bone health or protects from osteoporosis. However, alkaline diets may result in a number of health benefits as outlined below

  1. Increased fruits and vegetables in an alkaline diet would improve the K/Na ratio and may benefit bone health, reduce muscle wasting, as well as mitigate other chronic diseases such as hypertension and strokes.
  2. The resultant increase in growth hormone with an alkaline diet may improve many outcomes from cardiovascular health to memory and cognition.
  3. An increase in intracellular magnesium, which is required for the function of many enzyme systems, is another added benefit of the alkaline diet. Available magnesium, which is required to activate vitamin D, would result in numerous added benefits in the vitamin D apocrine/exocrine systems.
  4. Alkalinity may result in added benefit for some chemotherapeutic agents that require a higher pH.

From the evidence outlined above, it would be prudent to consider an alkaline diet to reduce morbidity and mortality of chronic disease that are plaguing our aging population. One of the first considerations in an alkaline diet, which includes more fruits and vegetables, is to know what type of soil they were grown in since this may significantly influence the mineral content. At this time, there are limited scientific studies in this area, and many more studies are indicated in regards to muscle effects, growth hormone, and interaction with vitamin D.



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17. Boelsma E, van de Vijver LPL, Goldbohm RA, Klöpping-Ketelaars IAA, Hendriks HFJ, Roza L. Human skin condition and its associations with nutrient concentrations in serum and diet.American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2003;77(2):348–355. [PubMed]
18. Ince BA, Anderson EJ, Neer RM. Lowering dietary protein to U.S. recommended dietary allowance levels reduces urinary calcium excretion and bone resorption in young women. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2004;89(8):3801–3807. [PubMed]
19. Boron WF. Regulation of intracellular pH. Advances in Physiology Education. 2004;28:160–179. [PubMed]
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21. Fenton TR, Eliasziw M, Lyon AW, Tough SC, Hanley DA. Meta-analysis of the quantity of calcium excretion associated with the net acid excretion of the modern diet under the acid-ash diet hypothesis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008;88(4):1159–1166. [PubMed]
22. Sebastian A, Morris RC., Jr. Improved mineral balance and skeletal metabolism in postmenopausal women treated with potassium bicarbonate. New England Journal of Medicine.1994;331(4):p. 279. [PubMed]
23. Dawson-Hughes B, Harris SS, Palermo NJ, Castaneda-Sceppa C, Rasmussen HM, Dallal GE. Treatment with potassium bicarbonate lowers calcium excretion and bone resorption in older men and women. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2009;94(1):96–102.[PMC free article] [PubMed]
24. Heaney RP, Dowell MS, Hale CA, Bendich A. Calcium absorption varies within the reference range for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Journal of the American College of Nutrition.2003;22(2):142–146. [PubMed]
25. Schwalfenberg GK, Genuis SJ, Hiltz MN. Addressing vitamin D deficiency in Canada: a public health innovation whose time has come. Public Health. 2010;124(6):350–359. [PubMed]
26. Lu KC, Lin SH, Yu FC, Chyr SH, Shieh SD. Influence of metabolic acidosis on serum 1,25(OH)2D3 levels in chronic renal failure. Mineral and Electrolyte Metabolism. 1995;21(6):398–402. [PubMed]
27. Fenton TR, Lyon AW, Eliasziw M, Tough SC, Hanley DA. Phosphate decreases urine calcium and increases calcium balance: a meta-analysis of the osteoporosis acid-ash diet hypothesis.Nutrition Journal. 2009;8, article 41 [PMC free article] [PubMed]
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Articles from Journal of Environmental and Public Health are provided here courtesy of Hindawi Publishing Corporation

Acidic or Alkaline? It Matters!
Written by: Kombu Kitchen: Gourmet Superfood

Remember the litmus test in high school chemistry? You know, it was the experiment when you spit on a little strip of paper that turned color. It determined whether the pH level of your saliva was acidic or alkaline. Have you thought about it since then? If not, maybe you should.

Your body has a pH level, and its balance is key to sustaining good health and an ideal weight. While an active lifestyle and a vegetarian diet helps the body maintain an acid/alkaline balance…stress, environmental factors, and a diet consisting of meat, dairy, sugar, and processed foods contribute to acid production in the body. When pH levels of blood and tissue dip into the acidic range, people experience a variety of health issues, including headaches, fatigue, frequent colds/infections, muscle and joint pain, cardiac events, gastritis, leg spasms, acid indigestion, weight gain, bladder conditions, osteoporosis, and more. In fact, some believe that all disease – including cancer — is caused by an excess of acid!

The body functions best in a slightly alkaline environment, with a pH just above seven. Although most people aren’t testing their levels regularly, many people are looking to every day nutrition as a natural way to ensure their bodies are functioning at peak performance. Respected doctors like Andrew Weil, great minds like Bill Clinton, Hollywood’s elite including Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kirsten Dunst, Josh Duhamel, and non-famous people around the world are choosing high-alkaline, plant-based diets in an effort to take control of their health and well being. Should you?

In upcoming weeks Kombu Kitchen will delve deeper into this topic and explore in detail the benefits of an alkaline diet for those seeking optimal health, and offer tips and tools you can do to support your pH balance.

Interested in trying out Kombu? Click here.

Use Travel Water Drops to counteract acidity and turn every beverage you consume into a healthy, Alkaline drink. Buy Travel Water here.

Fresh Coconut Water
Fresh coconut is naturally alkaline and is an excellent source of anti oxidants. It has a 9.5 pH and -35 Oxidantation Reduction Potential which makes it both Alkaline and Anti Oxidant.

Vita Coco
Vita Coco when measured came up with a pH of 6 (Acidic) and an ORP of +250 (not anti-oxidant). When Travel Water was introduced to Vita Coco, it boosted it’s values to a pH of 9.5 (Alkaline) and an ORP of -270. This means that Vita Coco on it’s own is not Alkaline or an Anti-oxidant but you can still enjoy it’s taste by simply adding Travel Water drops to it.

ORP Explanation
Reduction potential (also known as redox potential, oxidation / reduction potential, ORP, pE, ε, or ) is a measure of the tendency of a chemical species to acquire electrons and thereby be reduced.

The antioxidant capacity of liquids is measured in ORP (oxidation reduction potential or redox potential). This is the standardised measure of antioxidants in liquids in the same way that ORAC is the standard measure of antioxidants in foods.

Basically all liquids have an Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP), which, as per the definition of an antioxidant above, is the potential for one liquid substance to reduce the oxidation of another substance. It is measured in millivolts (mV) and most liquids fall between +700 and -800. In other words, the more powerful the antioxidant, the lower the ORP level. As things oxidize, the ORP rises.

To give this some meaning and relativity, here are some rough ORP measurements:
Tap water: +250 to +400 ORP
Cola: +400 to +600 ORP
Green tea: -120 to -250 ORP
Orange juice: -150 to -250 ORP
Travel Water: -280 ORP


So you already eat organic and gluten-free. You also practice Yoga daily. What about the water you’re drinking and how that affects your health and how your cells are able to absorb nutrients?

We’ve been getting rave reviews from other Yogis about our alkaline water.

Here’s the benefits:
1. It helps with nutrition absorption because it breaks water down into smaller clusters which pass through cell walls better.
2. It helps neutralize our acidic diets. In fact, if you take soda, coffee, tea, and 95% of bottled waters and test the PH level you’ll find that they are all acidic. A few drops of Travel Water will turn any of these beverages into a healthy alkaline and anti-oxidant drink.
3. Acidic bodies suffer from chronic pain and are more prone to injury.

Be well!

It’s been highly documented over the past 20 years of cancer research that cancer cells thrive in acidic environments and literally die off in alkaline environments. In the abstract below, you’ll see that an alkaline environment is considered a protective measure.

Recall how most of what we eat in today’s modern diet is acidic and Travel Water Alkaline Water with a pH of 9.6 completely neutralizes acid on impact. Include Travel Water diluted in a glass of water with every meal you eat and you’ll surely feel the difference.

The epidemiology of cancer of the small bowel.
A I Neugut, J S Jacobson, S Suh, R Mukherjee and N Arber
+ Author Affiliations

Department of Medicine, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.

Despite its anatomical location between two regions of high cancer risk, the small bowel rarely develops a malignant tumor. However, in recent years, small bowel cancer incidence rates have begun to rise. The purpose of this review is to explore the descriptive and analytic epidemiology of small bowel cancer for those factors that protect this organ and those factors associated with loss of this protection. Within the small intestine, the sites at the highest risk are the duodenum, for adenocarcinomas, and the ileum, for carcinoids and lymphomas. In industrialized countries, small bowel cancers are predominantly adenocarcinomas; in developing countries, lymphomas are much more common. The incidence of small bowel cancer rises with age and has generally been higher among males than among females. The risk factors for small bowel cancer include dietary factors similar to those implicated in large bowel cancer, cigarette smoking, alcohol intake, and other medical conditions, including Crohn’s disease, familial adenomatous polyposis, cholecystectomy, peptic ulcer disease, and cystic fibrosis. The protective factors may include rapid cell turnover, a general absence of bacteria, an alkaline environment, and low levels of activating enzymes of precarcinogens. Adenocarcinomas of the small and large bowel are similar in risk factors and geographic distribution but not in recent time trends; colorectal cancer incidence rates in the United States have been falling since the mid-1980s. Small bowel lymphoma may be associated with infectious agents, such as HIV. Given the differences in anatomic and geographic location among histological subtypes, much may be learned from well-designed, histology-specific epidemiological and genetic studies of cancer of the small bowel.

The aging process begins with dehydration.
Much to our detriment, the older we get, the less water we drink. It happens for years without our awareness.

Dr. Robert Young spoke passionately about how important it was for everyone to start drinking alkaline water–even if you’re still eating acidic foods. The key to a long, healthy life, he said, was to maintain the integrity of our internal bodily fluids with alkaline water.

Ask yourself, are you thirsty right now?
If you’re over 30 years of age, probably not so much. That’s because your body’s sensation of “feeling thirsty” has started to diminish already; and it will continue to diminish the older you get. By the time you reach the age of 50, you’ll become part of a majority who suffer, sometimes unknowingly, from symptoms caused by dehydration or chronic dehydration.

When you were born, you were 90% water and 10% matter. You just have to look at a baby to know this is true. The touch of the skin feels supple, soft and pliable. This is because the skin is hydrated. Somewhere between birth and death, we become dehydrated.

As you age, your hydration will fall to about 70% water and 30% matter. When you’re dead, you’ll be approximately 50% water. In reality, it might be fair to say most people die of dehydration.

As you drink less and less water, there is a corresponding loss of water volume held inside the cells of your body. The ratio of the volume of body water inside the cells to that outside the cells can slip from a healthy 1.1 to almost 0.8. This change in hydration decreases your desire for a drink of water. You stop feeling thirsty.

But just because you don’t feel thirsty, does not mean you’re not. The less water your body receives, the more it adapts to it. Over time, it goes into a masking phenomenon that allows the body to continue functioning even if it’s dehydrated.

What choice does your body have? It carries on, doing the best it can to process all the acid-forming foods we eat and the acidic beverages we drink. It all adds to declining health and vitality. Acid overload builds up and in turn eats away at the bone-building minerals our body need to buffer internal acids.

As an adult male or female, you contain approximately 43 to 45 litres of water. These waters need to be filtered and eliminated and replenished daily. But if the quantity and quality of the water deteriorates, so too does your body’s ability to function optimally. It is then that you may start to experience the symptoms of dehydration and dis-ease. You’ll start to look older, feel less vibrant. The more your body dehydrates, the more it compromises the health-affirming alkaline fluids in your body.

It doesn’t matter what foods you eat, all of it will produce acidic waste products that your body does not get rid of 100%. As waste builds up within our body, it becomes solids that accelerate weight gain, illness and the degeneration of how we look and feel.

Our cells can only stay as healthy as the fluids in which they are bathed. The secret to the fountain of youth is to eat alkaline foods and drink alkaline water to help you maintain a constant internal alkaline environment.

Here are 3 effective ways to improve the alkalinity of your body right now:

* Eat more alkaline foods, preferably raw

* Calculate how much water you need to drink each day to stay sufficiently hydrated

* Hydrate often with appropriate amount of Travel Water which falls within the 8.5 – 10 pH alkalinity range.

When hydrating your body with Travel Water becomes an automated part of your daily life, it is your secret to the Fountain of Youth. It is easier than you think.

Try Travel Water and change your life
We’re so excited to share our product with you that we guarantee that you’ll feel the difference and offer 100% Money Back Guarantee if you’re not satisfied.

Alkaline and Antioxidant Water for Athletes

Effect of PH on muscle glycolysis during exercise.
1. Five males were studied on three occasions, after oral administration of CaCO3 (control), NH4Cl (acidosis) and NaHCO3 (alkalosis), in a dose of 0.3 g/kg, taken over a 3 h period at rest. The subjects then exercised on a cycle ergometer for 20 min at 33% maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max.), followed by 20 min at 66% and at 95% VO2 max. until exhaustion. 2. Endurance at 95% VO2 max. was longest with alkalosis (5.44 +/- 1.05 min), shortest with acidosis (3.13 +/- 0.97 min) and intermediate in the control study (4.56 +/- 1.31 min); venous blood pH at exhaustion was 7.33 +/- 0.02 (mean +/- 1 SEM), 7.13 +/- 0.02 and 7.26 +/- 0.02 respectively. 3. Concentrations of plasma lactate at exhaustion were 7.10 +/- 0.8 mmol/1 4.0 +/- 0.5 and 7.9 +/- 0.9 mmol/l in the control, acidosis and alkalosis studies respectively. 4. Muscle lactate increased most from rest to exhaustion with alkalosis to 17.1 +/- 2.5 mumol/g and least with acidosis to 12.2 +/- 1.4 mumol/g. Muscle glycogen depletion was comparable in control and alkalosis studies. 5. The lower plasma lactate concentration during exercise in acidosis compared with control and alkalosis appears to be due to an inhibition of muscle glycolysis combined with a reduction in lactate efflux from muscle.

Effect of pH on cardiorespiratory and metabolic responses to exercise.
Five male subjects performed exercise at 33, 66, and 95% of their maximum power output on three occasions in random order. Each study was preceded by a 3-h period in which capsules were taken by mouth, containing either CaCO3 (control, NH4Cl (acidosis), or NaHCO3 (alkalosis) in a dose of 0.3 g/kg body wt; preexercise blood pH was 7.38 +/- 0.015, 7.21 +/- 0.033, and 7.43 +/- 0.029, respectively. Exercise was continuous and maintained for 20 min at the two lower power outputs and for as long as possible at the highest. Compared with control (270 +/- 13 s), endurance time at the highest power output was reduced in acidosis (160 +/- 22 s) and increased in alkalosis (438 +/- 120 s). No differences were observed for central cardiovascular changes in exercise (cardiac output, frequency, or stroke volume). The respiratory changes expected from changes in blood pH were observed, with a higher alveolar ventilation in acidosis. At all power outputs arterialized venous lactate was lowest in acidosis and highest in alkalosis. Plasma glycerol and free fatty acids were lowest in acidosis. Changes in blood [HCO3-] and pH were shown to have major effects on metabolism in exercise which presumably were responsible for impaired endurance.

How Professional Athletes Benefit from Alkaline Water
By Dr. Robert Burns, PhD / Dr. Susan Lark, MD

Competitive, elite athletes and sports trainers know that subtle changes in pH can have profound effects on the overall health, feeling of wellness, level of fatigue, pain, weight, ability to train and athletic performance. Muscles work best in a narrow range of Ph. At rest, muscle pH is about 6.9, while arterial blood is about 7.4.

When we exercise, the increased use of muscle glycogen for energy produces lactic acid, pyruvic acid, and CO2, which decreases muscle pH. The harder you exercise the quicker your muscles become acidic which leads to fatigue. Accumulation of acid also limits the production of ATP, the energy molecule, and disrupts enzyme activity that produces energy.

For example, the enzyme phosphofructokinase is the rate-limiting step in muscle use of glycogen. When muscle pH falls below 6.5 it stops working altogether. Acidity also reduces muscle power directly by inhibiting the contractile action of muscle fibers.

“Endurance and elite sports athletes should be concerned about maintaining a healthy pH balance,” says Robert Burns, PhD. He notes that lactic acid build-up or hydrogen ion excess is of most concern. As the body metabolizes food, acid waste is created which must be removed or neutralized through the lungs, kidneys (urine) and skin. “pH balance and acid buffering are crucial to human health and slowing the aging process,” he explains. Athletes, coaches and practitioners of holistic and traditional medicine are paying more attention to this area. “We may be able to buffer or slow the negative effects that acidosis has on athletes as well as the many disparate maladies that share acidosis as a common thread,” he concludes.

The use of alkaline water is proving to increase competitiveness and overall performance in world class athletes. A diet that supports alkalinity is also recommended by sports nutritionists. Consuming alkaline water will reduce the accumulation of acidity in exercising muscles, improving workout intensity and recovery time. Former Denver Bronco, Bill Romanowski, was introduced to the power of ‘ionized’ water late in his career doing anything legal to maintain his competitive edge.

Competitive bodybuilder, Wade McNutt, credits the use of alkaline water for motivating him to come out of retirement. He says he has increased his training volume by 2.5 times with decreased recovery time and no muscle soreness. In his opinion, all sports teams should be drinking alkaline water because it will reduce injuries and allow for more efficient training.
In her book, The Chemistry of Success: Secrets of Peak Performance, Susan Lark, MD, talks about the role of acid/alkaline balance in peak performance and health. The following is her assessment of alkaline water:
“The benefits of the alkaline water created through electrolysis far exceed just its ability to gently raise the pH of the cells and tissues of the body and to neutralize acids. Because the alkaline water has gained a significant number of free electrons through the electrolysis process, it is able to donate these electrons to active oxygen free radicals in the body, thereby becoming a super antioxidant. By donating its excess free electrons, alkaline water is able to block the oxidation of normal tissue by free oxygen radicals.”

She continues by noting that another significant benefit of the electrolysis process is that the cluster size of the alkaline water is reduced by about 50% from the cluster size of tap water. “This allows ionized alkaline water to be much more readily absorbed by the body, thereby increasing the water’s hydrating ability and its ability to carry its negative ions and alkalizing effect to all the cells and tissues of the body.”

“If you are overly acidic an alkaline water device can provide a safe, gentle and effective way of restoring the pH balance of all the cells in your body as well as providing excess free electrons to act as super antioxidants,” Lark recommends.

Most people, including most athletes, do not consume enough alkaline rich foods, such as nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Instead their diets contain high amounts of acid forming foods, such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy. Because of this dietary imbalance, they may be at risk for increased acidosis that affects overall health and sports performance. Since proper hydration is also a key factor in preventing exercise fatigue, consuming alkaline water before, during and after exercise can help.

When I first started this blog, I wanted to let people know how ionized water had helped me with my arthritis and acid reflux and so many others with cancer, diabetes, fibromyalgia, eczema, weight loss and so on.

I have been writing a lot lately about other important issues such as contaminants, bottled water, and reverse osmosis, and about the marketing deception in the water ionizer industry.

I want to get back to talking about specific illnesses and how the water helps. While the other issues I have been writing about are important, the primary reason that people investigate Alkaline Waterr is because they want to know if the water can help them. Some day, I hope that everyone will be drinking ionized water so that I don’t have to write anymore about how the water can help cure or dramatically improve various problems.

Nobody talks about constipation. Even discussing the subject with your doctor or pharmacist seems to be embarrassing for many. You never hear people having a conversation about constipation because… well… people just don’t talk about it. But it is real and it can be painful and it affects far more people than you would think.

Wikipedia provides a quick and simple analysis: “Causes of colonic slow transit constipation include diet, hormones, side effects of medications, and heavy metal toxicity. ”

Wikipedia once again sums it up well: dietary habits, laxatives, enemas, biofeedback, and surgery. What Wikipedia fails to mention is that ionized water also can be found to be effective.

Our story:
I’m grateful that I don’t suffer from constipation. However, my wife Mary has had the misfortune of battling constipation for as long as she can remember. When we are at home, and in our comfort zone, she can somewhat control her constipation for the most part but it is an ongoing struggle. Even though my wife eats a lot better than I do, constipation and bloating had plagued her life before we started drinking ionized water.

When we started drinking the water, the results for me were rapid and dramatic because I have a very poor diet. My 15 year struggle with acid reflux reduced dramatically in about one week and virtually stopped permanently in a couple of months. My painful battle with arthritis ended in resounding success within a month of starting to drink the water. My wife eats well and she didn’t notice anything for the longest time after we started drinking the water. One day, I mentioned that she never seemed to complain about constipation anymore. She looked at me in her funny way and said “you are right”. Now how often do you hear that statement from your spouse?

It took five or six months until we realized that her lifelong ordeal with constipation was over. We are not talking about something as dramatic as curing cancer, but if you live with constipation, this is a big deal.

Every time Mary stops drinking Alkaline water for a few days, such as when we are on a trip, her constipation comes back. As soon as she starts drinking Alkaline water again, her constipation goes away. It is easy to eliminate heavy metal toxicity, medications, and hormonal changes from the equation, which leaves diet. Most people don’t consider water to be part of their diet, but they should as water plays a huge role in your health.

Other stories:

When I was in the water ionizer business, I spoke to hundreds and hundreds of people who called in to learn about water ionizers. People wanted to know if the water would help their health issues. I can fully understand how it would be easy to take advantage of people. I always stated that I was not a physician and that people should always consult their health care practitioner with health issues. Everyone in the water ionizer industry should do the same.

I was always amazed what people would tell me. I suppose it is easier to talk to a stranger than someone you know. One of the things that surprised me was how many women suffer from constipation. Constipation is not limited to women, but I found that it is a health issue that is definitely much more predominant in women. The diet’s of men and women are not likely to be exactly the same, but they would likely be similar in married couples. Given that the women were much more susceptible to constipation that their husbands, I have to agree with the information on Wikipedia that hormones play a role.

When people with constipation would purchase a water ionizer from me, I would always ask them to let me know if they had any success. I can’t be certain of the statistical impact that drinking Alkaline water had on the people who started drinking the water. However, I can tell you that I did have a number of calls from people telling me that they did achieve success after drinking the water for awhile.

I don’t believe that drinking Alkaline water should ever take the place of eating a healthy diet. At the same time, I believe Alkaline water can play a significant role in improving one’s diet.

You might want to check out the following link about a recent Japanes study about the test findings of Alkaline water on constipation: The article deals with Clinical Test Results that were presented at the 25th General Assembly of Japan Medical Congress. The tests verified in a double blind study that Alkline Ionized water is effective against constipation and diarrhea. Over 80% of the participants in the study found that Alkaline water was effective with constipation.

This article is not intended as medical advice. If you have medical issues, consult your health care provider. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Water FYI