Alkaline Water Ionizers: A 20+ Year Perspective
I've been following water ionizer research for over 20 years, having owned one of the first water ionizers imported to the United States called the PurePort II. Also, a Panasonic model we had in 1999 was quietly removed from retail sales by the U.S. importer, due to concerns of contaminated internal parts, outsourced to an unknown manufacturer in Asia. However, we remained intrigued by the few research papers we had access to, as well as, directly observing the effects of drinking ionized water for ourselves. Eventually, more ionized water research became available to help clarify the health effects of drinking ionized water.
Here's a list of reasons that have factored in our re-evaluation of water ionizers:
1. The Magnesium Effect
According to Department of Biochemistry, at the Wonju College of Medicine:
"Alkaline reduced water not only has high pH and low ORP, but also contains some magnesium ions. Recently, magnesium was shown to be effective for the prevention of various diseases. We cannot exclude the possibility that the magnesium in alkaline reduced water might have contributed to the anti-cancer effect." - Anti-Cancer Effects of Alkaline Reduced Water
Ionized water depends on alkaline minerals, such as the presence of magnesium in the water. The health effects of mineral drinking water are well established among peer reviewed research.
2. Metal Nano-particles and Inert Hydrogen Antioxidants
"According to the mechanism underlying how "electrolyzed reduced water" effectively scavenges (as an antioxidant) for "reactive oxygen species" (ROS) intracellular, using H2O2 remains to be clarified in more detail," says Shirahata, who's been researching ionized water for many years. "It contains a high concentration of hydrogen molecules, however hydrogen molecules are chemically inert at room temperature."
In an attempt to overcome this challenging problem, Shirahata et al, proposed an active hydrogen hypothesis of reduced water in which active hydrogen, with a high reducing potential, was produced in ionized water by and played a key role in scavenging for ROS. Active hydrogen can be produced from a hydrogen molecule by catalysis action of noble metal nano-particles. Transitional metal nano-particles such as Palladium, Platinum, Nickel, and Copper are produced during the process of electrolysis. Platinum nano-particles have also been demonstrated to adsorb active hydrogen. Synthetic platinum nano-particles were shown to have an antioxidant effect, scavenging superoxide radicals. According to published research, "There is a possibility that platinum nano-particles derived from platinum-coated titanium electrodes used during electrolysis, metal nano-particles of 1—10 nm size can stably exist in solution for a long time. Taken together, we propose a new hypothesis of reduced water containing metal nano-particles and hydrogen molecules as follows: (1) Electrolysis produces active hydrogen on the cathodic platinum electrode and hyper-saturated hydrogen molecules in ionized water. (2) Metal ions in the solution are reduced to metal nano-particles on the electrode, or in hydrogen-rich ionized water. (3) Transition metal nano-particles with low ionic tendencies adsorbed or absorbed active hydrogen can exist stably in ionized water but other metal nano-particles with high ionic tendencies such as Na and K disappear in ionized water soon. (4) Hydrogen molecule is constantly converted to active hydrogen, which can scavenge ROS, by the catalysis of metal nano-particles. Some kinds of metal like platinum nano-particles can also directly scavenge ROS without hydrogen molecules." - Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin, January 2008, Pharmaceutical Society of Japan
Related: The Electrolysis of Colloidal Silver
Production of colloidal silver is created by using electrolysis, similar to the production of ionized water. Two silver plates are immersed in water. One plate is positively charged while the second plate is negatively charged. The electrified silver is liberated into a solution, similar to the platinum nano-particles produced during the electrolysis of ionized water.
3. Stomach Acid and Deep Breathing Produce Alkaline Tide Effect
Known as the "alkaline tide" phenomenon, high pH of alkaline drinking water is quickly neutralized by stomach acid. "When alkaline fluids are ingested, the stomach's parietal cells are capable of secreting high concentrations of hydrochloric acid. As a result, large amounts of bicarbonate is generated by carbonic anhydrase, and must be removed from the cells to prevent alkalization. The influx of bicarbonate into the blood after acid secretion can be detected and is known as the "alkaline tide." The health effects of acidosis and alkalosis are well documented. Merck also explains, the importance of acid and alkaline balance.
Stress has been shown to produce shallow breathing, resulting in acidosis. Oxygenating the body with proper breathing provides an alkaline effect, shuttling carbonic acids and CO2 from tissues through respiration.
4. Heart Damage via Potassium: To Much of a Good Thing?
Ionized water may produce high levels of potassium, depending on the mineral levels of the source water. Infants and the elderly can be adversely affected by ingesting excessive potassium, contained in ionized water, thus producing a potentially fatal condition called Hyperkalemia.
5. Ionizers Produce Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) Radiation
We've tested many ionizers with a trimetric Gauss meter, showing a reading of 20-80 milli-gauss. Considering that the user is exposed to radiation with every glass of water produced through-out the day, Even when an ionizer is not in use, and plugged in, it produces a constant background radiation of about 10-20 milli-gauss. Some may find this background radiation unacceptable, especially when working in the kitchen for extended periods of time. Although the topic of EMF exposure is controversial, some studies show how EMF radiation induce oxidative stresses on living cells. Source: EMF Health Effects Research
Why Buy a Water Ionizer?
The value of traditional water filter systems,can be enhanced by the addition of self-ionizing minerals such as magnesium chloride, and other trace minerals, found in full-spectrum sea salts. This offers a cost effective alternative to alkaline water produced by a water ionizer. Some doctors are talking about the health effects of adding small amounts of baking soda to raise the pH of drinking water, thereby raising the body's pH as well.
Many areas in the United States already have high alkaline pH water. This map shows alkaline (hard) water areas in red. Over time, alkaline water will produce "cementing," that can clog a water ionizer's internal electrode plates, and delivery spout, thereby voiding the ionizer warrant.
Those who live in hard water areas can simply filter their well water with a combination of activated carbon, and KDF. See related: What to Look For In A Counter Top Water Filter System.
The Question?: Spend over a $1500 for a water ionizer? Or, spend $100 on a simple carbon-KDF water filter, and then add self-ionizing alkaline minerals?
The Answer: Adding a known amount of alkaline minerals to filtered water is better than guessing at the unknown mineral content of water treated by an ionizer.
Why Has Our Self-Healing System Degenerated?
Dr. Apsely, offers an answer, "Because of lack of minerals in the soil, lack of minerals in our foods, and lack of minerals in our body cells. Tissue regeneration effects include the use of alkaline foods, breathing, stress reduction and drinking alkaline water. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) has been shown to stimulate our body's natural alkaline tide to increase the alkaline pH of our blood, particularly when our body responds to exercise.
Baking Soda and Exercise
Dr. Pendergast and fellow researchers at University of Buffalo's, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, state, "One may also consider increasing bicarbonate intake for exercise that relies on anaerobic glycolysis, whereas there appears to be little support for antioxidant supplementation. Insuring minimal levels of substrate will prevent exercise intolerance." PMID:21079991
See: "The consumption of alkaline drinking water has been shown to affect significant increases in both the blood and urine pH, 6.23 to 7.07 and 7.52 to 7.69, respectively, while showing a decrease in urine output from 2.51 to 2.05 liters per day."
If You Insist On Buying a Water Ionizer?
Water ionizers we've tried, range in price from $1195 to $2795 and up. However, even a low cost water ionizer will produce alkaline ionized water at a pH 9 level, or higher. Higher pH ranges depend on these three factors:
- Speed of water flow.
- Strength of electricity, (wattage) exposed to the water.
- Surface area of electrolysis plates (cm2, square centimeters).
The combination of these three conditions will provide a stronger, or weaker ionizing effect that can be measured with both a pH, and millivolt meter.
Our experience suggests that it's better to drink a moderately pH 8-9 level, over a longer period of time, verses drinking a super high pH10+ in the short term. Research has shown positive health effects of alkaline water measuring pH 8, with an oxygen reduction potential (ORP) of-200mv, also suggests that mild values over longer periods of time may provide health effects.
To target a specific pH, the Melody JP104 and Venus JP101 are among the lower cost ionizers that include a manual flow control lever, on the front of the unit, for adjusting the source water to a specific, and repeatable pH.
Minerals Used to Passively Condition and Electrolyze Water
Nano silver powder
Heartspring Staff are assistants of board reviewed doctors that are medical editors, authors, and reviewers, providing oversight for Heartspring.net. This article is currently undergoing doctor reveiw.
The Regeneration Effect of mineralized foods and water by Dr. Apsley.
Alkaline Food List by Dr. Veasey.