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Alkaline Water and its Health Claims

Unless you’ve never set foot into a natural health store, you’ve heard of alkaline water and its health claims. Alkaline water, or high pH water,  is a very popular wellness product and one you’ll see in natural stores across the country. Along with alkaline water, the alkaline diet is also very popular, with many websites and books dedicated to it. Both alkaline water and the alkaline diet are linked to various health benefits, but is there any solid evidence to support these claims?

In this Causes or Cures podcast episode, I chat with Dr. Tanis Fenton, a researcher who studied the alkaline diet, alkaline water, and the many health claims. Through her research, she discovered the health claims made about alkaline water and the alkaline diet are unfounded and make no sense on a basic scientific level. Yet, alkaline water is very popular, and one can only assume due to spiffy marketing tactics and possibly the placebo effect. Dr. Fenton is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Calgary, a Registered Dietitian, Epidemiologist and Evidence Analyst for Dietitians of Canada. She is the Nutrition Research Lead for Alberta Health Sciences.

I truly hope you listen to the podcast on alkaline water, but before someone accuses me of being “paid by Big Pharma,” like someone did in a natural health Facebook group, I want to assure you that’s not the case. In fact, based on my podcasts about psychiatric medication and the opioid epidemic, Big Pharma probably hates me. Questioning the legitimacy of  health claims surrounding a natural health product or alternative treatment does not make me a pawn of Big Pharma. It makes me logical. In fact, I think it’s smart to not take sides and make it a habit to question everything.

If you don’t listen to the podcast on alkaline water, the most important thing to remember is this: Our blood pH has a very narrow range. It’s between 7.35 and 7.45. When there is a disturbance to the normal pH range, meaning if our blood becomes either acidic (low pH) or basic (high pH), our lungs and kidneys work hard to bring our blood’s pH back to the range of 7.35-7.45. It’s our lungs and kidneys job to ensure that our blood pH remains between 7.35-7.45, because that is the range in which our enzymes ( molecules involved in every bodily reaction) work. When our blood pH is outside the range of 7.35-7.45, our enzymes and organs don’t function properly. People who have blood pH levels outside the range of 7.35-7.45  for a long enough time, are usually very ill.

Also, folks who drink alkaline water believe it’s “making their blood alkaline” because urine strips show that their urine has a high pH. This is 100% false. The urine having a high pH does not have any meaning when it comes to the pH of blood. In fact, because our organs run a tight ship when it comes to keeping our blood pH in a specific range, it’s probably nearly impossible to shift our blood pH through diet and drink alone.

Anyhow, hope you listen to the podcast. I included a graphic to go along with the above explanation on blood pH. Please check it out.

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