Celebrity Chef Pete Evans announced on Facebook his preference for Alkaline Water, citing many benefits.


Several AMA representatives have since responded, reminding us that despite the regard we hold for various celebrities, including chefs, they usually have no scientific background to make health and environmental claims, and their fans may put their health and their families health at risk with extreme views on diet and lifestyle.


What is alkaline water?


Alkanised water is also known as ionized water, it has a pH of greater than 7. The term has no meaning to chemists.


Pure water cannot be either alkaline or acid or charged with electrolysis as it contains no dissolved ions. Alkanised water must contain metallic ions, usually sodium, calcium or magnesium. Most waters found in Nature come into contact with rocks and sediment and acquire sodium or calcium, even rainwater forms ions as it collects carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and is slightly acidic as a result.


Acid-Base chemistry plays a crucial role in our physiology at cell and total organism levels. Deviation in blood pH from its normal pH of 7.4 by more than 0.1 can be serious and is associated with serious medical conditions requiring urgent medical attention. The pH of intracellular bodily fluids such as blood is controlled by a very balanced set of reactions involving removal of acidic carbon dioxide through the lungs and removal of alkaline ammonia through the kidneys and the buffering action of bicarbonate, phosphate and some proteins within the blood.


The companies selling devices to produce alkalinised or ionized water use electrolysis and depend on the addition of salt to make the water more conductive. Water molecules in scientific experiments have been shown to only exhibit a slight tendency to "ionize" or dissociate into hydrogen and hydroxide.


The main points to note regarding Alkanised Water are:



  • Alkaline water is quickly altered by the highly acidic stomach contents, even when the stomach is empty



  • Fluid absorption occurs mainly in the intestine, stomach contents are neutralized by the pancreatic secretions, so all water becomes alkaline



  • The process does not reliably remove common impurities, disinfect, affect tooth decay as fluoride has in major health initiatives worldwide or reduce scale



  • The products are not antioxidants, hypochlorites present in most alkalised water are oxidants



  • Body pH is a meaningless concept, different organs, areas and even cells have different pH values. The pH of drinking water has no effect on the pH of the body's cells



  • No credible scientific evidence supports the health claims made regarding the use of alkaline water, it does not improve aerobic capacity, reverse the aging process, lower blood pressure, neutralise toxins or reduce the growth of cancer cells


Why do those using the water feel better?


Placebo effect can relieve symptoms in between 30 - 40% of those suffering from symptoms. A recent study also showed that placebos can be effective even when " medicines" were clearly labelled as "placebo"


The hypochlorite ions present in such waters may remain present in the large intestine and alter the gut flora by suppressing some organisms and preventing various substances production that may be causing symptoms to the person. However, hypochlorous acid ( present in hypochlorite solution) is known to alter cellular processes, including mutation in DNA sequences and alter DNA bases.


There are no references to cite as there are no placebo-controlled clinical studies on alkaline/ionized water in humans in mainstream peer-reviewed medical journals.


There were almost no articles on the subject appearing in any scientific literature, and the few Japanese articles found were from small publications with no serious reviews of the evidence presented.,


After all that information, if you wish to try the alkaline water as part of your " healthy' life changes, you do not need to buy an expensive machine to produce alkaline water, dissolving baking soda ( sodium bicarbonate) in a glass of water will produce a drink with a pH of 8.3. Alternatively making a drink with weak laundry bleach will also produce an alkaline solution or otherwise taking a AlkaSeltzer will also alkalinize the stomach a little.










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