A Case Against Alkaline Water

Alkaline water is not water. At best, it is an artificially processed fluid sold as water. It supposedly serves to reduce acidity in the body produced by a bad diet.

Current obsession with the product stems from thinking that being acidic is bad and alkaline is good and that an acidic body is prone to cancer whereas an alkaline condition is ideal for health. It is not that simple.

Alkaline water is not the antidote to ailments people believe it to be. It was announced as such by clever marketing yet, it is actually detrimental to health.

This is what happened to a friend:

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A routine blood test during a physical examination revealed elevated red blood cells. Based on this finding, her blood was tested, subsequently frequently, without ever showing a change. The doctor then diagnosed this condition as polycythemia. Polythemia is a disease state by which the blood shows an abnormal concentration of hemoglobin through either a reduction of plasma or increase in red cell numbers.

The disease is linked to chronic hypoxia, tumors releasing the hormone erythropoietin responsible for red blood cell production in bone marrow, and to abnormal increase in red blood cell production in the bone marrow. Polycythemia vera is a disorder of the bone marrow, a type of cancer, but rare, occurring more often in men than women. Tests were performed to rule out any bone marrow disease, leukemia or cancer.

She also underwent a sleep study since sleep apnea can cause elevated red blood cells. The result, she did not have sleep apnea.

Needless to say, even though repeated tests showed up negative, this was quite a shock for her. She had no symptoms, discomfort or particular feelings that something might be wrong. She did not understand she could have a disease of a certain magnitude and not feel anything.

The hematologist/oncologist she eventually was referred to decided on a course of treatments, which were monthly phlebotomies. Phlebotomies are done by puncturing a vein to introduce a fluid or, in this case, taking blood to reduce red blood cells.

More blood tests showed no change in reduction of red blood cells. They remained elevated despite treatments. This went on for months.

My friend became disheartened and that was when she called me. As a nutrition educator, I immediately checked her diet and supplements with the hope to find a simple answer there. Everything looked good, but I felt that a solution to her problem must be close by since there were no symptoms associated with polycythemia, which is a long list including bone pain, purplish skin, vertigo, itching, burning of hands and feet and blurred vision.

I researched and found that relative/spurious polycythemia could be caused by dehydration. According to Pubmed, “This can happen as a result of plasma volume loss from dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea or excessive sweating. In that case polycythemia is called relative polycythemia because the actual numbers of red blood cells are not abnormal.”

When I informed her of what I found, she said she drinks a lot of water and, when I asked what kind of water, she admitted to drinking alkaline water for a long time.

I immediately researched alkaline water and realized that this type of liquid is not the pure water we should be drinking, animals included. Processed water with minerals taken out is just as bad as processed food, not fit for consumption besides it does not hydrate the body because it lacks electrolytes.

She told the doctor and yes, he was surprised. He agreed that it probably was the alkaline water causing her condition. She immediately stopped drinking this water. Her red blood cells slowly decreased and blood work went back to normal. Her body is well hydrated now with real water.

While checking other sites, I found patients on alkaline water having to be hospitalized with heart conditions turned out that not drinking this water while in the hospital, cleared up their heart problem.

What is alkaline water?

Alkaline water is a fluid whose ph is higher than 7 on the ph scale. Pure water has a ph of 7, which is neutral, neither too alkaline nor too acidic.

According to Dr. Sircus’ in Alkaline Without Alkalinity, a higher than neutral ph, although alkaline at that point, does not mean it has alkalinity. Alkalinity is the ability to neutralize acid in the stomach and initiate production of bicarbonate in the bloodstream. It is the capacity to resist changes in ph that would make water more acidic.

In natural occurring mineral water, minerals from rocks the water flows over produce alkalinity. There are quite a number of different minerals and trace minerals the water picks up on its meanderings such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, silica, and substances from granite and limestone. Depending on the type of rock, alkalinity can be low, medium or high.

Artificial alkaline water, the one produced by ionization, although the ph indicates the ensuing water to be alkaline, does not have alkalinity because it lacks alkalinizing, buffering, minerals.

So, why drink expensive alkaline water if it does not have the buffering capacity of neutralizing acid in the stomach, blood and entire body?

Anyway, stomach acid is a necessary component for the digestion of proteins. Neutralizing this important acid produces long lasting problems. Often, symptoms of an overly acid stomach can be a sign of not having enough hydrochloric acid or stomach acid.

Unfortunately, prospecting for sustained health leads us in many directions and, when smart marketing enters our path, we easily follow the call for new diets, fads of one type or another and whatever promises quick results.

Using common sense before following trends is advisable. Remember, we evolved with pure water and real food. It is that simple.

Check out water filters to attach to your kitchen faucet for drinking and cooking. In the long run, they are much cheaper compared to dehydrating alkaline water that should not even be called water.

Ref.:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/high-red-blood-cell-count/basics/causes/sym-20050858
www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/alkaline-water-benefits-risks#2
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-berardi-phd/alkaline-water_b_7762588.html
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3560343/
https://www.aqualiv.com/alkaline-water-exposed/
http://www.mpnresearchfoundation.org/Polycythemia-Vera-28PV-29?gclid=CNaPx7vfydICFQp3fgodIxsNyA#symptoms
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/09/11/alkaline-water-interview.aspx
http://dr.sircus.com Alkaline Without Alkalinity

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