Trying to understand pH balance and health? Trying to find out more about alkalinity versus acidity in your body? Heard about alkaline water or water ionizers? Do you want to know how to transition to an alkaline diet or live an alkaline lifestyle? There is a lot of “alkaline” information out there. Unfortunately, it can be very confusing.
Sometimes the easiest path to understanding a solution — and its benefits — is by first understanding the problem.
The problem is lifestyle-induced over-acidification in our bodies. Acid is a corrosive, life defeating substance. Imagine those effects on the soft tissues of the body if the acid load gets out of balance. Over acidity (acidosis if extreme) ultimately weakens all body systems, giving rise to an internal environment that is conducive to disease.
Most doctors do not diagnose or treat over acidity. Rather, they treat its symptoms. If you have acid-reflux, the majority of doctors give you a prescription; they do not treat the root cause of systemic over-acidity. Ironically, there is not a single doctor who will tell you being over-acidic is a good idea.
What causes over acidity? At the most fundamental level, it is a matter of lifestyle choices. Fast food, stress, environmental pollutants and lack of healthy exercise all contribute to imbalance and over acidity.
The most commonly understood sources of over-acidity are what we eat and drink. Meat, dairy, gluten, or any food that is sweet, over processed, fried, or contains artificial sweeteners, will increase your body’s acid load. Any drink that is sugary, caffeinated, carbonated or contains alcohol will too. That is the Standard American Diet or SAD. It isn’t just sad, it is scary. Our bodies were not designed to process this much acid consistently over time.
Another prime source of over-acidification, which is far less understood, is our modern-day, fast-paced, stressed-out lifestyles. Stress causes cortisol to be released in our body. Cortisol is acid forming and causes our buffering system to work overtime. And it doesn’t have to be high-level stress. Scientists have shown that low-level stress, over time, has the same effect. Low level stress is like a constant drip, drip, drip.
Mother Nature gave us a wonderful buffering system to neutralize and eliminate acidic waste. It helps manage tightly regulated pH in various systems in our body. The reality, however, is that we are dealing with more acidity than at any time in human history. The cumulative effect? Researcher Lynda Frassetto PhD, from the University of California says, “We have turned an evolutionary corner. We simply do not handle acid waste the way we used to.” Based on her research of almost 1,000 subjects, she found that our overwhelmed buffering systems aren’t efficiently eliminating acid like they should do via the kidneys and liver.
Research published in Clinical Nutrition1 backs her emphatically. Our bodies are forced to adapt to protect themselves from the potential damaging acid by storing acidic toxins in fatty deposits. At this point, there is not ample buffering available to keep the blood pH at the upper end of its tightly controlled pH range. This means that an inadequate amount of oxygen is carried to our tissues and the cells in our body become more acidic.
The cost? A proliferating range of acid-related conditions that have become mainstreamed. These include obesity, immune disorders, lack of energy, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis and more. Many, many more.
The sobering — or acidifying — summary is that we choose to eat overly acidic food, wash it down with acidic beverages and then top it all off with stress. Every day…week-in, week-out...year-in and year-out. Our bodies simply can’t keep up.
Now the good news and the solution. Being alkaline is also a choice. The solution begins each time you choose what you eat, what you drink, and how you live with stress.
As you reduce the acidic load on your system, you rebuild buffer reserves and your system can begin to do its job the way it was designed to. Your body returns to a balanced state, where it can buffer and eliminate unwanted acids. Your blood pH begins to inch ever so slightly upward toward the optimum end of the tightly regulated pH range. As it does, its ability to carry and release oxygen to your tissues also increases. Medical science has known about and measured this blood pH/oxygen carrying relationship for years.
An oxygen rich environment is an alkaline environment. And a healthy one too. Dr. Otto Warburg, for example, (who is often misquoted), was awarded a Nobel Prize for making the discovery that low oxygen is characteristic of cancer cells.
Most functions in the body are influenced by pH. Healthy enzyme and hormone systems and our blood’s ability to carry oxygen all depend on an alkaline pH. Together, these systems impact our overall health. The 35-year body of testimonial benefits of the alkaline movement are staggering and cover an almost universal array of diseases and health conditions. Regularly reported benefits include: increased energy and mental clarity, improved memory, clearer skin, weight loss, detoxification, improvements in cardiac conditions, stabilizing of diabetic blood sugar, better digestion, a lessening or outright elimination of a range of inflammatory issues including arthritis and other conditions such as allergies, asthma and on-and-on it goes.
In addition to the host of testimonials, there is also scientific evidence (and logical common sense) that a more alkaline diet is good for you in a variety of ways.
A great resource for research is our extensive list of Japanese studies documenting benefits of alkalinity and alkaline water.
A study from Tuft’s University2 of 400 men and women who followed an alkaline diet revealed many of the foods included in an alkaline diet are nutrient-dense, low-calorie alternatives to traditional SAD choices. That is a benefit no matter who you talk to. Second, there is a comparatively higher potassium content in alkaline diet foods. Those who ate an alkaline diet with potassium-rich fruits and vegetables had more lean muscle mass than the control group.
A Cleveland Clinic study showed that an alkaline diet of mostly organic plant-based foods is high in vitamin C, selenium, iron, and zinc, all of which support gut health and the immune system3. Another study showed that sweet red peppers, broccoli, and carrots promote healthy skin due to their high concentrations of vitamin A4. Offering a wider view of the mineral benefits, Annemarie Colbin, PhD, author of Food and Healing, states “Fruits and vegetables all leave behind minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, and sodium, which buffer the acids.”
Many people who live the alkaline lifestyle report anti-inflammatory benefits. A study published in the Journal of Obesity5 backs that up by concluding that when you avoid foods high in omega-6 fatty acids (as in an alkaline diet), you reduce your levels of arachidonic acid, which causes the inflammation associated with heart disease and joint pain.
Various well-known natural springs and sources of “healing water” have been documented around the world. Examination of these waters find they are different than the tap water or purified, mineral-free bottled waters we typically drink. Water from these springs has been documented to be slightly alkaline, have a negative electrical charge and have some level of dissolved molecular hydrogen. They are also contaminant free.
The AlkaViva H2 Series ionizers contain our proprietary, and Japan made, UltraWater Filtration Technology, independently tested against 172 contaminants and shown to reduce virtually all of them to 99.9%. The clean water is then transformed into alkaline water that is also negatively ionized and hydrogen rich. With the push of a button, you can choose the level of alkalinity in the water that you drink. AlkaViva’s H2 Infusion technology adds the documented benefits of molecular hydrogen.
With an AlkaViva H2 Series Ionizer, you can literally transform your ordinary, oxidizing, contaminated tap water into the cleanest and healthiest alkaline water — just like world’s healing waters. You can enjoy the quality of water that nature intended, right in your own kitchen!