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Water

Posted by gringojay (My Page) on
Fri, May 1, 09 at 9:34

Am still less than a year online, so perspective limited.
Another poster mentioned water pH, which reminded me of the popularization of "functional" alkaline water.
Anybody know how alkaline water is able to function once imbibed?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Water

This site looks into claims made for "alkaline water".

"The idea that one must consume alkaline water to neutralize the effects of acidic foods is ridiculous; we get rid of excess acid by exhaling carbon dioxide.
If you do drink alkaline water, its alkalinity is quickly removed by the highly acidic gastric fluid in the stomach.
Uptake of water occurs mainly in the intestine, not in the stomach. But when stomach contents enter the intestine, they are neutralized and made alkaline by the pancreatic secretions so all the water you drink eventually becomes alkaline anyway.
The claims about the health benefits of drinking alkaline water are not supported by credible scientific evidence."


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RE: Water

>> The idea that one must consume alkaline water to neutralize the effects of acidic foods is ridiculous; we get rid of excess acid by exhaling carbon dioxide.

Another factual error from eric - we only get rid of some acids (weak, organic acids) exhaling carbon dioxide. Phosphoric, hydrochloric, and many other stronger acids cannot be converted to carbon dioxide, and they cannot be exhaled in any significant amount.

The notion of alkaline water, or an alkaline diet, is not just about pH - it also proposes a shift to consuming more calcium, magnesium and potassium - fruits and vegetables are particularly good sources. These form alkaline compounds.

No need to buy 'alkaline water', which is likely overpriced (as all bottled water and sugar-water beverages are) ... changing the diet to include more fruits and vegetables and an inexpensive calcium/magnesium supplement will do the same thing for less.

Here's one study that found that an alkaline mineral water reduced kidney stone formation! Of course, this wouldn't help eric, as he just exhales the kidney stones as carbon dioxide!! ;)

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of a mineral water rich in magnesium (337 mg/l), calcium (232 mg/l) and bicarbonate (3388 mg/l) on urine composition and the risk of calcium oxalate crystallization.

CONCLUSIONS: The magnesium and bicarbonate content of the mineral water resulted in favorable changes in urinary pH, magnesium and citrate excretion, inhibitors of calcium oxalate stone formation, counterbalancing increased calcium excretion.

Influence of a mineral water rich in calcium, magnesium and bicarbonate ...


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RE: Water

Your link goes to an abstract of an Italian journal article on fibrocystic disease of the pancreas. No mention of alkaline water or kidney stones.

"Another factual error from eric"

Did you appreciate the fact that what you're quoting in your post is from an evidence-based website's explanations of acid-base balance, and not a quote from me? Or is this just another attempt to personalize disagreement and ignore what experts are saying?

Regardless, our bodies do efficiently maintain pH within a very narrow range through natural processes, mainly involving the lungs and kidneys. Fruits and vegetables are certainly a large part of a healthy diet, but not because our acid-base balance will go haywire without a sufficient amount of them.

The notion that our bodies are constantly on the edge of slipping into acidosis and causing all manner of diseases, requiring special diets or supplements to maintain health, is very popular among certain alt med advocates. But just like the claim that we're going to be overwhelmed by "toxins" unless we artifically flush them out, there's no scientific/medical basis for these beliefs.

They do help supplement dealers sell a lot of useless stuff, however.

Here is a link that might be useful: More on acid-base misconceptions


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RE: Water

Years ago I saw microscopic images reproduced of water molecules under different input.
These were said to have been taken when distinct sounds or contact were made.
Some showed dramatic configuration & seemed to indicate molecular organization could be altered.
Which makes me wonder if these were transient states photographed or structural changes that could make a difference when that water were used as an herbal solvent.
? Anybody recall those water images ?


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RE: Water

YES Gringo!!! I have the book and the video. It's fascinating and highly controversial. I tend to think there's a "drop" of truth to it. It's called The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto.


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RE: Water

In this case, "highly controversial" = "really nutty".

Emoto is small potatoes, though, when it comes to the vast array of water quackery out there.


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RE: Water

>> Did you appreciate the fact that what you're quoting in your post is from an evidence-based website's explanations of acid-base balance, and not a quote from me?

Well, that could indicate a worrying problem with the so called 'evidence-based' community, if their websites have incorrect explanations of simple matters of biology and chemistry, and their chief advocate on this site reposts such obviously wrong information in an attempt to educate others. You are intent on portraying the alkalinizers as unscientific, but in doing so resort to arguments that are blatantly wrong!!

>> The notion that our bodies are constantly on the edge of slipping into acidosis and causing all manner of diseases, requiring special diets or supplements to maintain health, is very popular among certain alt med advocates.

You insist on misinterpreting that which you disagree with - but I guess it is easier to appear correct when going up against a straw man. The only type of acidosis you are capable of understanding is a severe, end stage collapse of blood chemistry brought on by a serious disease like diabetes. You take it for granted that there cannot be a more subtle form of acidosis, even though there such a creature has been shown to exist:

In humans, an acidogenic diet results in mild metabolic acidosis in association with a state of cortisol excess and this increase in plasma cortisol may increase bone catabolism. (source)

Is it possible that a lifetime of eating diets that deliver evolutionarily superphysiologic loads of acid to the body contribute to the decrease in bone and muscle mass, and growth hormone secretion, which occur normally with age? That is, are contemporary humans suffering from the consequences of chronic, diet-induced low-grade systemic metabolic acidosis? Our group has shown that contemporary net acid-producing diets do indeed characteristically produce a low-grade systemic metabolic acidosis in otherwise healthy adult subjects, and that the degree of acidosis increases with age... We also found that neutralization of the diet net acid load with dietary supplements of potassium bicarbonate (KHCO3) improved calcium and phosphorus balances, reduced bone resorption rates, improved nitrogen balance, and mitigated the normally occurring age-related decline in growth hormone secretion... (source)

A Western-type diet is associated with osteoporosis and calcium nephrolithiasis. On the basis of observations that calcium retention and inhibition of bone resorption result from alkali administration, it is assumed that the acid load inherent in this diet is responsible for increased bone resorption and calcium loss from bone. However, it is not known whether the dietary acid load acts directly or indirectly ... source

Consider soda and osteoporosis. The 'alkalinizers' say that soft drinks increase osteoporosis due to the acidity in the soft drink. There certainly could be other explanations worth considering (drinking more soda leads to reduced milk consumption, phosphoric acid in soda binding calcium in the gut in a way that does not really change pH, etc).... but at the end of the day, the alkalinizer's idea is correct - soda is not a good thing for people to routinely consume in large amounts - it increases the risk of multiple health issues.

Or consider this, from a study that found that not only does an acidogenic diet lead to calcium loss, but the lower levels of calcium go on to elevate levels of parathyroid hormone:

Metabolic studies reveal that acidogenic diets increase bone resorption acutely...This study was conducted to examine associations between diet-induced changes in net acid excretion (NAE) and changes in serum parathyroid hormone (PTH), bone resorption, and calcium excretion over a longer period of 60 days.CONCLUSIONS: Diet changes that increase renal NAE are associated with increases in serum PTH, bone resorption, and calcium excretion over a 60-day period. (source)

And the acid levels of the diet affect the magnesium balance in the body, as shown in the study titled "Acid-base status affects renal magnesium losses in healthy, elderly persons:"

Clinically established metabolic acidosis induces renal losses of calcium. In normal subjects, even moderate increases in net endogenous acid production (NEAP) impair renal calcium reabsorption but no information is available whether this also influences renal magnesium handling. The aim of the study was to examine the relation between dietary acid and renal magnesium excretion in healthy, free-living, elderly subjects.... The significant association between potassium-adjusted magnesiuria and acid intake suggests that the acid-base status affects renal magnesium losses, irrespectively of magnesium intake. Magnesium deficiency could thus, apart from an insufficient intake, partly be caused by the acid load in the body. (source)

So doctors that study kidney stones and weak bones recognize that too much acid in the diet can cause those types of disease. And if an acidogenic diet is lowering calcium to the point where parathyroid hormone levels change, what else is being disturbed?

Magnesium is a co-factor in over 300 enzymes ... which of these enzymes is so unimportant that we can allow it's function to be impaired?? What effects on heart rhythm are typically associated with lowered magnesium levels? What effects do lowered magnesium levels have on circadian rhythms, anxiety or depression?

Here's another study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition titled "Alkaline diets favor lean tissue mass in older adults.". Simply reading the title indicates that there is scientific evidence that the acid/alkaline balance of the diet may have much greater effect than eric wants anyone to believe.

>> They do help supplement dealers sell a lot of useless stuff, however.

If you had bothered to read my post, I recommended that people not buy 'alkaline water' but instead eat fruits and veggies (a particularly good source of potassium) and consider a supplement of calcium and magnesium (which can be obtained for a few cents a day). Increasing dairy products is another alternative, if a person can tolerate them. But you seem to be on a crusade to rid the world of woo, and are unwilling to admit that even if the alkalinizers got a few points wrong, their basic ideas have value (after all, that would be breaking with the doctrines set up by the 'debunkers' and 'quack busters'). You feel that you can point out that others are unscientific, but if any one does the same to you, you accuse them of getting personal. Buck up, eric - you are only being held to the same standards as you have imposed on others in this forum.

>> Your link goes to an abstract of an Italian journal article on fibrocystic disease of the pancreas. No mention of alkaline water or kidney stones.

Here's the corrected link (the last digit got left behind when doing a cut and paste):

Influence of a mineral water rich in calcium, magnesium and bicarbonate .... And there are scores of other articles that show the same or similar points.

The Bottom line? In spite of all your non-scientific doctrinal objections ("the body is wonderful at what it does blah blah blah..."), there is evidence that too much acid in the diet results in loss of calcium, kidney stones, loss of magnesium, increased cortisol levels, increased parthyroid hormone levels, osteoporosis, and lower levels of human growth hormone. The consequences of these disturbances are not isolated - these changes affect things as fundamental as the heart and the nervous system. The alkalinizers may not be 100% correct on their explanation, there may be scam artists using the ideas to sell worthless products, .... but .... you are pseudoscientifically attempting to discredit a pattern of diet that would be beneficial to the average westerner and which does in fact have support in the scientific literature. Shame on you, you insecure little tyrant.


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RE: Water

I see you've been busy Googling.

apollog: "In humans, an acidogenic diet results in mild metabolic acidosis in association with a state of cortisol excess and this increase in plasma cortisol may increase bone catabolism."

From your link (which is to a study on reproduction in sheep):

"Formulation of rations to induce a compensated metabolic acidosis in the post-partum cow has proved a useful strategy for prevention of milk fever."

Thanks, that will be a big help to everyone here, assuming that post-partum cows are reading your posts (maybe those talking California cows have signed up as GW members? :)

Go to any good site on kidney stones (here's an example) and you'll see discussion on dietary prevention, all right - but NOT on some mystical need to eat "acid" or "alkaline" foods to prevent kidney stones. There are various different kinds of kidney stones, some of which are promoted by eating too much meat protein (i.e. urate stones), some by eating too much oxalate, including plant sources like spinach and rhubarb (oxalate stones), etc. etc. - the bottom line is that well-recognized risk factors like genetics, dehydration, and certain diet components are involved in stone production, and not the perils of eating "acid" or "alkaline" foods. And experts in the field agree on this.

That's the problem with your Pub Med and Googled links - they represent outliers and theoretical meanderings that do not reflect the current state of well-documented medical science. Cherry-pick random papers from these outliers and extreme minority dissenters all you like, but that's not how we select medical treatment and prevention.

"even if the alkalinizers got a few points wrong"

Thanks, but that's "virtually everything wrong".

"Attempts to change your pH through diet are going to fail, as your lungs and kidneys will make up the differenceunless you do it so drastically that you succeed, leading to illness and death. Claims regarding pH and health are a bunch of hooey."

Short and sweet, but so true. It's regrettable that many people who are into alternative medicine get convinced that their bodies are so inadequate that they must feverishly monitor their acid and base intake. It's a wonder that the human race survived through eons of evolution, seeing that merely eating the wrong lunch could precipitate a fatal health disaster. ;)

As it happens, I am secure enough in knowledge of this facet of human physiology, that I feel no need to trade petty insults with you. Engaging in ad hominems is a good sign that one's arguments have failed.


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RE: Water

>> Thanks, that will be a big help to everyone here, assuming that post-partum cows are reading your posts

The article cited the dietary acidosis as occurring in humans and other animals, and went on to study a particular aspect in cows. Believe it or not, humans are animals. And the same principles of physics that apply to cow kidneys and reverse osmosis filters apply to human kidneys. Pumping ions across a membrane requires energy, and trying to only pump acids while holding back the alkaline calcium, magnesium and potassium requires a HUGE amount of energy. This would create an osmotic pressure so high that it would damage the tubules of the kidneys ... but the kidneys do not pump only acid when people consume lots of acid or acid forming foods - calcium, magnesium, potassium and organic bases (carbonates, citrates, etc) all get pulled out or ride along when excreting acid. Consuming large amounts of inorganic acids with marginal levels of Ca/Mg/K leads to depletion of these essential minerals.

>> That's the problem with your Pub Med and Googled links - they represent outliers and theoretical meanderings that do not reflect the current state of well-documented medical science.

Not true. The value of alkaline mineral waters for the kidneys has been recognized for more than half a century, and is not disputed. Mild acidosis has been documented in people and other animals. You can choose not to believe in this black swan, but there is evidence. Sure, evidence appears to be 'an outlier' to those who have never seen one and are convinced that it can't exist. But that is a cognitive issue.

>> There are various different kinds of kidney stones, some of which are promoted by eating too much meat protein (i.e. urate stones), some by eating too much oxalate, including plant sources like spinach and rhubarb (oxalate stones), etc. etc. - the bottom line is that well-recognized risk factors like genetics, dehydration, and certain diet components are involved in stone production, and not the perils of eating "acid" or "alkaline" foods.

Of course there are different types of stones. Oxalate is an acid that is not easily metabolized, so it is excreted via the kidneys. This process lead to urine that is rich in both oxalate and calcium (the kidneys can't magically pump only oxalate, some other base passes with it) - this mix of calcium and oxalate can precipitate into crystals (although other bases like magnesium or carbonate don't form crystals the way that calcium does).

You stated that meat protein forms urate - again eric, you are spewing factually incorrect pseudoscience!! Uric acid or urate results from purine metabolism ... compounds like adenine, guanine and caffeine ... these are most certainly not proteins, and this is further proof that your actual knowledge of biology is not as great as your confidence in that knowledge.

High protein intake can contribute to the formation of any type of kidney stone - the metabolism of protein forms strong inorganic acids that are typically excreted by the kidneys, and which tends to pull calcium into the urine. The nitrogen in protein is broken down into nitric acid, and some amino acids have sulfur, which forms sulfuric acid. High protein diets were shown to increase the formation of oxalate stones in a study called The effects of dietary excesses in animal protein and in sodium on the composition and the crystallization kinetics of calcium oxalate monohydrate in urines of healthy men (along with many other studies). So again, your attempt to communicate the biology falls short of the actual facts of the matter. Also note the role of sodium in promoting kidney stones ... another tenet of most 'alkalinizer' theories is that part of the problem is that we evolved to eat more potassium and less sodium, while the typical western diet has flipped that ... most people today get too much sodium and less potassium than is optimal.

Here is a partial listing of articles that have documented the effects of alkaline mineral water on kidney stones:

* Effect of mineral water on metabolic processes
*Drinking mineral water in combined therapy of nephrolithiasis
*Bicarbonate calcium mineral water with carbon dioxide in rehabilitation of children with dismetabolic nephropathies complicated by renal inflammation
*Use of mineral water in the postoperative treatment of patients with nephrolithiasis after extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsy
* Effect of water of Anticolana Valley on urinary sediment of renal stone formers.
*An observational and longitudinal study on patients with kidney stones treated with Fiuggi mineral water
*Study of the diuretic efficacy and tolerability of therapy with Rocchetta mineral water in patients with recurrent calcium kidney stones
*Effect of mineral water containing calcium and magnesium on calcium oxalate urolithiasis risk factors.
*Method of mineral water drinking regimen in the treatment of patients with kidney calculi
*Effect of different diurnal doses of Naftusia mineral water on kidney function in patients with urinary calculi

I could list some of the research that shows that carbonates (including bicarb or baking soda) reduce the formation of All types of stones, but there isn't space here.

Additionally, there are many articles showing that citrus juices are particularly good at reducing stone formation... not only is citrus rich in potassium, but also in citrate, which works against stone formation. Consider the article titled "Citraturic, alkalinizing and antioxidative effects of limeade-based regimen in nephrolithiasis patients" ... again, we keep seeing that word 'alkalinizing' in the research!

>> Engaging in ad hominems is a good sign that one's arguments have failed.

You do it all the time, but try to hide behind science (or your routinely flawed interpretation of science) to do so. Consider your insulting pseudo-psychoanalytical characterization of people who don't share your views on 'detoxing' ... you don't call any individual a fool or deluded, you merely put forward the idea that anyone who believes in detoxing has a para-religious need to atone for their bad habits. Such arm-chair sociology is completely unproven, but you keep invoking it to argue ad hominem in a milquetoasty, indirect way.


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This says it all

Here's a solid article from the 2004 Journal of Nutrition.

Potassium (K+) requirements have been largely overlooked because severe deficiencies are uncommon due to the ubiquity of this element in foods. However, a transition toward modern ("Westernized") diets has led to a substantial decline of K+ intake compared with traditional food habits, and a large fraction of the population might now have suboptimal K+ intake. A high K+ intake was demonstrated to have protective effects against several pathologic states affecting the cardiovascular system, kidneys, and bones. Additionally, fruits and vegetables contain K/organic anion salts (malate, citrate), which exert alkalinizing effects, through KHCO(3)(-) generation, which serves to neutralize fixed acidity in urine. Low-grade metabolic acidosis, when not properly controlled, may exacerbate various catabolic processes (bone Ca++ mobilization, proteolysis), especially in the elderly. Fruits and vegetables are therefore receiving great attention in a strategy to increase the nutritional value of meals while reducing energy density and intake. The need to ensure a 2.5- to 3.5-g daily K+ supply from fruits and vegetables represents a strong rationale for the "5-10 servings per day" recommendations.


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Yet Another

The clinical spectrum of chronic metabolic acidosis: homeostatic mechanisms produce significant morbidity. American Journal of Kidney Disease, 1997 Feb;29(2):291-302.

Chronic metabolic acidosis is a process whereby an excess nonvolatile acid load is chronically placed on the body due to excess acid generation or diminished acid removal by normal homeostatic mechanisms. Two common, often-overlooked clinical conditions associated with chronic metabolic acidosis are aging and excessive meat ingestion. Because the body's homeostatic response to these pathologic processes is very efficient, the serum HCO3- and blood pH are frequently maintained within the "normal" range. Nevertheless, these homeostatic responses engender pathologic consequences, such as nephrolithiasis, bone demineralization, muscle protein breakdown, and renal growth. Based on this, the concept of eubicarbonatemic metabolic acidosis is introduced. Even in patients with a normal serum HCO3- and blood pH, it is important to treat the acid load and prevent pathologic homeostatic responses. These homeostatic responses, as well as the mechanisms responsible for their initiation, are reviewed.

While I'm at it, let me provide a link to the study in the previous post I made... it shows eric is full of it in 10 different ways.

Protective Effects of High Dietary Potassium: Nutritional and Metabolic Aspects


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RE: Water

Well, that's quite a lot of work cobbling together various articles, from milk fever in cows (who bizarrely are quite like humans in your view), to potassium requirements in the diet to various promoters of mineral water, but there's one glaring thing missing from all this Pub Medization that you've performed, just as there was one big hole in your arguments previously about insulin being a toxin that diabetics have to worry about:

The expert consensus on kidney health (as demonstrated by previous links) does not support the claims of the acid-base obsessed, that we must carefully manipulate our diets to avoid dangerous acid-base shifts. Recommendations based on long-term clinical practice and trials (not some cherry-picked tiny studies or theoretical proposals for things like "low level metabolic acidosis", unproven in actual clinical practice) do not call for mineral water drinking to prevent kidney stones, do not call for "alkaline diets", and are formulated with actual humans in mind, and not cows suffering from milk fever.

Similarly, in regard to your um, unusual ideas about diabetes, the experts in this field, from those at the American Diabetes Association to associations of endocrinologists, do not believe that insulin is a "toxin" or that "toxin flushing" can help diabetics.

Bottom line: where's the expert consensus opinion, formulated as recommendations for daily clinical practice, that says we need alkaline water, or alkaline diets to counteract the dread health effects of "acidity"? As Clara Peller used to say, where's the beef?

As to your habit of engaging in personal attacks, it's encouraging that you appear to recognize that this casts you in a bad light. What you need to acknowledge, though, is that criticizing a bad idea (which I do) is very different from hurling insults when frustrated (which is your strategy). Distorting another's postings is poor practice as well. For instance, in that lengthy thread on "detoxing", at least one of the many sources I quoted suggested that "detoxing" had a semi-religious basis for some people. I certainly did not claim that everyone who undergoes "cleanses" and "flushing" is doing it for religious purposes, nor did anyone I quoted. What was emphasized by me and others was that flawed ideas about health and physiology were largely behind the phenomenon.
It is of course true that "cleansing" has a basis in some religious or quasi-religious practices. Take for example the Scientologists, who started offering dubious "detox" services for 9/11 workers:


"The daily regimen involves drinking niacin, which reacts to chemicals in fat, running on a treadmill and then hitting the steam room for up to four hours. These activities release toxins stored in fat cells for years, says Dr. David Root, who has administered the program for more than 20 years.

Last week, however, toxicology experts said there was no scientific evidence that toxins can be dislodged from your body by any means.

"It sounds great and they mean well, but it just doesnt work," claimed University of Georgia professor Cham Dallas, who has studied toxins in humans for more than 20 years and is a leading expert in bioterrorism.

"This is just hocus-pocus," said Dr. Bob Hoffman of the New York City Poison Control Center. "For some people, sitting in a hot environment can be very dangerous.".

Do an Internet search on the topic of cleansing, detoxification and religion/sin and you'll find plenty of parallels between cleansing of sin and cleansing of bodily "toxins".

We now return to our scheduled topic of "alkaline water" and its non-evidence based uses for regulating body pH, which in the vast majority of people is accomplished handily by their own bodies.


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RE: Water

Found another excellent article on "alkaline water" and what it doesn't do. It references Dr. Gabe Mirkin's succinct take on this scam:

"Acid/Alkaline Theory of Disease Is Nonsense

Taking calcium or drinking alkaline water does not affect blood acidity. Anyone who tells you that certain foods or supplements make your stomach or blood acidic does not understand nutrition. You should not believe that it matters whether foods are acidic or alkaline, because no foods change the acidity of anything in your body except your urine. Your stomach is so acidic that no food can change its acidity. Citrus fruits, vinegar, and vitamins such as ascorbic acid or folic acid do not change the acidity of your stomach or your bloodstream. An entire bottle of calcium pills or antacids would not change the acidity of your stomach for more than a few minutes.

All foods that leave your stomach are acidic. Then they enter your intestines where secretions from your pancreas neutralize the stomach acids. So no matter what you eat, the food in stomach is acidic and the food in the intestines is alkaline.

You cannot change the acidity of any part of your body except your urine. Your bloodstream and organs control acidity in a very narrow range. Anything that changed acidity in your body would make you very sick and could even kill you. Promoters of these products claim that cancer cells cannot live in an alkaline environment and that is true, but neither can any of the other cells in your body...."

Here is a link that might be useful: Junk Food Science


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RE: Water

So, what does drinking soda water do?

I lost my hip a few years after starting to drink a lot of soda water...is there a connection?

I tried to Google this over a year ago but couldn't find anything on it.

:o/


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RE: Water

>> So, what does drinking soda water do? I lost my hip a few years after starting to drink a lot of soda water...is there a connection?

Soda water is usually just carbonated with CO2; this is a very mild acid. Soda water usually has a pH of about 6, while colas use phosphoric acid and are often around 3. Those 3 pH units represent 1000 times more acidity. Also, the carbon dioxide can be exhaled, while the phosphoric acid must be excreted by the kidneys, which takes calcium with it.

Osteoporosis involves many factors - intake of calcium and magnesium, rate of excretion of calcium and magnesium (which is elevated by an acidogenic diet), vitamin D, hormones, exercise, etc. I wouldn't hang much blame on just carbonated water. On the other hand, people who drink large amounts of soda that has stronger acids are not doing their bones a favor.


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RE: Water

The questions that have been raised about cola drinks are not due to their acidity (your own stomach fluids are considerably more acid than colas).

What's been found in some research is that women who drink a lot of colas are more prone to osteoporosis. One theory is that the phosphoric acid (i.e. phosphate content) of colas impairs absorption of calcium in the diet. This is still an unsettled question.

Regardless, the idea that colas are somehow so dreadfully acid that the body can't cope with them is an old wives' tale.

The key with soft drinks and many other drinks and foods is moderation, and consuming a healthy diet overall, without worrying unnecessarily about "acid" and "alkaline" foods.

Here is a link that might be useful: Osteoporosis


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RE: Water

>> What's been found in some research is that women who drink a lot of colas are more prone to osteoporosis. One theory is that the phosphoric acid (i.e. phosphate content) of colas impairs absorption of calcium in the diet. This is still an unsettled question.

Duh. I've already said that in this thread - "There certainly could be other explanations worth considering (drinking more soda leads to reduced milk consumption, phosphoric acid in soda binding calcium in the gut in a way that does not really change pH, etc)" And the alkalinizers favor low phosphate foods for this very reason ... soda contains dissolved phosphate that can immediately bind to calcium, while other dietary sources of phosphorous are less immediately reactive.

>>Regardless, the idea that colas are somehow so dreadfully acid that the body can't cope with them is an old wives' tale.

Brilliant! Now you are attempting to answer questions of nutrition using Snopes.com ... I guess if anyone anywhere once started a email that said something is dangerous, that proves it is actually quite safe!! And the snopes people dismissed the possibility that phosphoric acid might be a factor, even though the Framingham study raised the possibility that phosphoric acid might be part of the problem and they left the issue open. But snopes knows!! (link to Framingham Study)

>> The key with soft drinks and many other drinks and foods is moderation, and consuming a healthy diet overall, without worrying unnecessarily about "acid" and "alkaline" foods.

That's an interesting notion - do we define a 'healthy' diet scientifically, or based on 'common sense' - ie, cultural patterns and guesswork? Will the average person trying to 'eat a healthy overall' lead to adequate intake of calcium, magnesium and potassium? Here's a study showing that a typical western diet providing only 33% of the daily allowance of magnesium was associated with magnesium deficiency and disturbed heart function. I think that such deficiencies are much less common in people that follow the alkalinizing diet.

>> The expert consensus on kidney health (as demonstrated by previous links) does not support the claims of the acid-base obsessed, that we must carefully manipulate our diets to avoid dangerous acid-base shifts. Recommendations based on long-term clinical practice and trials (not some cherry-picked tiny studies or theoretical proposals for things like "low level metabolic acidosis", unproven in actual clinical practice) do not call for mineral water drinking to prevent kidney stones, do not call for "alkaline diets", and are formulated with actual humans in mind, and not cows suffering from milk fever.

Cherry-Picked?? And what are two of the most commonly used treatments for kidney stones? Baking soda and potassium citrate. Why? Because they alkalinize the urine. According to WebMD, "Sodium bicarbonate makes the urine less acidic, which makes uric acid kidney stone formation less likely... You will have to check the acid level of your urine (pH) to keep the pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Kidney stones are more likely to form if the urine has a pH much lower than 6.0 ... (source)

What does the Mayo Clinic say about it? "Your doctor may prescribe allopurinol (Zyloprim, Aloprim) to reduce uric acid levels in your blood and urine and a medicine to keep your urine alkaline. In some cases, allopurinol and an alkalinizing agent may dissolve the uric acid stones." (source)

From the research:
The most important risk factor for uric acid crystallization and stone formation is a low urine pH (below 5.5). ... The treatment of uric acid stones consists not only of hydration (urine volume above 2000 ml daily), but mainly of urine alkalinization to pH values between 6.2 and 6.8. Urinary alkalization with potassium citrate or sodium bicarbonate is a highly effective treatment, resulting in dissolution of existing stones. (source)

In the case of uric acid stones, there is a clear consensus that acidic urine is a part of the stone forming process - not the only factor, but it appears to be the most important. No one would know that if they listened to your distortions, eric.

In the case of calcium stones, there is a different process-dynamic, but we have seen a turn away from thinking that dietary calcium was generally part of the problem to recognition that dietary calcium is usually associated with protection from this type of stone. In terms of calcium oxalate stones, the research shows that high acid excretion and low levels of buffers like citrate (hypocitraturia) are indeed problematic:

Hypocitraturia was found to be a common risk factor associated with recurrent calcium stone formation and low urinary potassium level, low alkaline absorption, low urinary calcium level, and high titratable acid excretion. Hypocitraturia is predominantly of dietary origin. (source)

Your attempts to paint my ideas as 'unusual', 'cherry-picked', 'theoretical' and 'unproven' are an epic fail. You are unable to accurately communicate what the scientific consensus is when it comes to kidney stones and diet. While the medical community as a whole may not embrace the exact terminology of the alkalinizers, it is clear that dietary factors that include acid load and amount of alkaline compounds (magnesium, calcium, potassium) and buffers like citrate and carbonate are all important. And all of these are improved with the dietary recommendations of the core alkalinize diet.

In addition to the research on kidney stones, you are distorting and ignoring the research on acid load and the bones, eric...

Protein and alkalizing minerals are increasingly described as playing a major role in influencing bone status, not only in the elderly but also in children and adolescents....Long-term dietary protein intake appears to act anabolically on diaphyseal bone strength during growth, and this may be negated, at least partly, if dietary potential renal acid load is high, ie, if the intake of alkalizing minerals is low. (source)

Dietary shortages of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and other alkaline elements have negative effects on health in many ways. It's that simple. It wont lead to a rapid and dramatic drop in blood pH, but most alkalinzers never said that in the first place. The central point of the 'alkaline diets' is to eat more fruits and vegetables to remedy the problem. As the University of Wisconsin's Urology Department says on one of their kidney stone pages, "Fruits and vegetables, including fruit and vegetable juices, are the only food groups that provide an alkaline load to the body." (source)

Your extreme attempts to deny what science knows in order to 'debunk' the alkalinzers is strange and pathetic... but it is a common behavior among zealous quackbusters.


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Another thing -

More on the issue of a moderation ....

Here is a graph showing the relationship between cola consumption and bone density. There is a noticeable drop for women consuming only 2-3 colas a week.

How do you define 'moderation' when presented with such evidence, eric?? Zero to one cola a week? Do you think most people would define moderation in the same way?


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RE: Water

Actually, Snopes is a good and reliable source for debunking frauds and fables, using accurate and relevant documentation.
Quite a bit more dependable than relying on an obscure scientific paper (i.e. the one you linked to) studying a grand total of 13 women and sounding alarms about magnesium deficiency (according to the National Institutes of Health, such deficiency is quite rare and associated with defined medical conditions and use of certain drugs).

I'm glad to see you citing WebMD and the Mayo Clinic. I think you miss the point of both sources though - neither recommends "alkaline" diets for kidney stones. Allopurinol is a drug, not a food (there seems to be a continuing confusion on your part as to differences between the two).

"In addition to the research on kidney stones, you are distorting and ignoring the research on acid load and the bones, eric...

Ah, attempting once again to personalize the discussion and claim that it's only me who's "ignoring the research on acid load", when in fact it is the consensus of the vast majority who are knowledgeable on this subject, that fussing over "acid" and "alkaline" foods is not worthwhile. Check again your own link to Mayo Clinic, and kidney stone prevention advice from WebMD and tell us - where is the advice to eat "alkaline" foods? True, your UW site does mention some vegetables contribute to a less acid urine, but experts in the field do not typically suggest that eating more vegetables will be effective in preventing kidney stones - the focus is on drinking more water, avoiding excessive meat and other recommendations contained on the previously mentioned sites (it is not common either for sodium bicarbonate to be given as a stone preventative).

This whole focus on kidney stones is a digression from the main problem with hangups on "alkaline water" and "alkaline diets". The people who promote this stuff go way, way beyond merely promoting such things for kidney stones - they claim that alkalinization of the body prevents cancer, heart disease and chronic ailments of all sorts, ignoring the fact that you cannot significantly alter the body's pH (i.e. blood acid-base balance) by eating certain foods or waters. This misconception can be remedied by taking a basic level college course in human physiology or seeking out accurate information on the Internet (including sources cited here previously). I highly recommend them to you.

"Your extreme attempts to deny what science knows in order to 'debunk' the alkalinzers is strange and pathetic"

Um, no..."what science knows" is that our bodies handle acid-base balance quite nicely without special supplements or other outside interference, unless we are seriously ill or suffering from poisoning. Cherry-picked studies that are out of date, in obscure journals, surveying a handful of patients or completely irrelevant (i.e. your cited study on milk fever in cows) do not alter that fact.

From the American Institute for Cancer Research:

"While proponents of this myth (that acidic foods cause cancer) argue that avoiding certain foods and eating others can change the bodys pH level, these claims stand in stark contrast to everything we know about the chemistry of the human body. Acid-base balance is tightly regulated by several mechanisms, among them kidney and respiratory functions. Even slight changes to your bodys pH are life-threatening events...The take-away: What you eat can have a profound affect on your cancer risk, but the acidity or alkalinity of foods is not important. Instead, focus on making dietary choices that can truly affect your risk: Eat a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans; Limit consumption of red and processed meats; Enjoy alcohol in moderation, if at all."

And that's what science knows. :)

By the way, it is extremely unconvincing when you give long lists of articles without links to supposedly prove a point, or to say that you'd cite even more but there's no space. Trying to overwhelm us with sheer numbers of papers without any indication that they're even remotely relevant, is reminiscent of the famous Gish Gallop. This was a tactic used by creationist Duane Gish, in which he attempted to drown out opponents with a flood of rapid-fire arguments and "facts", which gave the impression that he had lots of data on his side which others were unprepared to answer (the truth was that much of his outpouring was false or irrelevant). Another common use of this tactic on alt med sites is to stockpile long lists of quotes, usually about the alleged evils of mainstream medicine. The quotes contained in these marathons are typically 1) irrelevant, 2) taken out of context, 3) attributable to people dead for a century or more, 4) false or undocumented.

Bottom line: eat a healthy diet high in fruits in vegetables, watch your calories, and don't fret about acid-base balance or "flushing toxins". You'll be happier, healthier, and save a bunch by not buying useless supplements and "alkaline" waters.


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Magickal waters continued

Here's an informative and entertaining article about water silliness, pseudoscience and and pH alarmism. It explains what kind of acid-base testing is reliable and how to avoid commercial exploitation based on bad science:

"...changing the pH of your drinking water wont even change the pH in your stomach, let alone the rest of you.

Your stomach juice is a rather special secreted fluid; it is a solution of 80-130 mM HCl (hydrochloric acid) and has a pH or about 1-2 (strongly acid). This is its normal pH - with or without your having drunk "alkaline water". So the pH of the water you drink will not even make a noticeable difference to the acidity of your stomach contents, let alone your body acid-base status.

For this reason, the pH of the water you drink is completely and utterly meaningless. It has hardly any physico-chemical meaning, and it certainly has zero practical significance.

Unless, of course, you are gullilble enough to be conned by the advertising pitch of the "alkaline water" snake oil salesmen."

And more here on the claims of certain mineral water sellers.

Finally, this site reviews and recommends good online sources of reliable information on acid-base balance. While I have not personally evaluated all of them, I know of none that support the idea that drinking "alkaline water" changes your body's pH, and none that buy into the claim that cancer and various degenerative diseases are caused by a mysterious "acid buildup" that can be remedied by eating an "alkaline diet".


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RE: Water

>> Allopurinol is a drug, not a food (there seems to be a continuing confusion on your part as to differences between the two).

I'm quite aware of that. Allopurinol is a drug ... but baking soda? Potassium citrate (common in fruits)? Not so much. The allopurinol lowers the purines, the baking soda or K-citrate raises the pH and makes the urine alkaline. Every biologist that reads this page will see that you are a B.S. artist.

>> Actually, Snopes is a good and reliable source for debunking frauds and fables, using accurate and relevant documentation. Quite a bit more dependable than relying on an obscure scientific paper (i.e. the one you linked to) studying a grand total of 13 women and sounding alarms about magnesium deficiency

Actually, your thinking has become muddled, or (again) you are purposefully distorting what I said because you can't refute it otherwise. The study that I cited that disagrees with snopes is the Framingham study, which had thousands of participants. The snopes and framingham links were entirely about the possible health effects of colas, distinct from the concept of magnesium.

>> and sounding alarms about magnesium deficiency (according to the National Institutes of Health, such deficiency is quite rare and associated with defined medical conditions and use of certain drugs).

This statement of yours is either proof that you are a raging idiot, or that you are intentionally distorting what is know for the purposes of ego and argument. Either way, you are a menace to public health.

Here's the real scoop on nutritional intake of calcium and magnesium:

The US Department of Agriculture's Community Nutrition Mapping program indicates only 32% of Americans meet the RDI for Magnesium; only 27% meet the RDI for calcium. (source)

From Bruce Ames, one of the leading cellular biologists in the world (and a person who has taken a keen interest in magnesium): Magnesium inadequacy affects more than half of the U.S. population and is associated with increased risk for many age-related diseases... Despite growing appreciation of the prevalence of magnesium inadequacy, essentially no immediate clinical symptoms are known, due in part to the lack of robust biomarkers of magnesium status in vivo. However, there is a sizeable literature on the functional consequences linked with long-term magnesium inadequacy. Epidemiological data have associated increased risk of several aging-related diseases with chronic magnesium inadequacy, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, and some cancers. Numerous animal studies on magnesium inadequacy have supported these findings, along with additional morbidities including increased oxidative stress levels, altered calcium homeostasis, aberrant inflammatory response, diminished glucose sensitivity, seizures, and tetany... (source)

By contrast, the present average potassium, calcium, and magnesium intakes are remarkably lower than the recommended intake levels (DRI). In USA, for example, the average intake of these mineral nutrients is only 35-50% of the recommended intakes. (source)

With respect to the magnesium status in humans, the daily intake in most industrialized countries does not reach the current recommended daily dietary allowances (RDA) values, and thus marginal magnesium deficiencies are very common.(source)

>> As to your habit of engaging in personal attacks, it's encouraging that you appear to recognize that this casts you in a bad light.

I don't know where you got that idea - you are fool spouting nonsense, and I have no problem saying so. You may think that your Eddie Haskell facade of politeness fools some people, but that is rarely true, and never for long. Better to say something like that openly, rather than with indirect references and innuendo, as you do. Once a troll's pattern is clear, there is no harm in calling them a troll. And you, eric, are a troll. The information you have presented on nutrition on this page is often flat out wrong and dangerous, and you are an arrogant twit that cannot honestly discuss a topic.


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RE: Water

Some thoughts.

Firstly, no, the body cannot clear all acids by breathing, the most important acid in terms of blood pH is H2CO3, carbonic acid.

Secondly, the body clears many acids through the kidneys.

Thirdly, many organic acids can be combined with neutral compounds to make bases, and vise-versa, eating basic foods does not mean that you are putting basic compounds into your blood.

Fourthly, if the substance was strong enough to swing the blood pH given the many mechanisms in place to maintain the pH it would also be strong enough to eat through your esophagus, which is why you should not drink draino.

Finally, regarding the water pictures, its very easy to make what ever point you like when you are allowed to cheat. He took many pictures of the water, and selected the ones that looked bad to display for the bad words, and the ones that looked good for the good words. I saw a series of photos where the bad ones were all taken in green light, which made them look sinister, it was not a property of the water, it was a gel that the photographer selected specifically to make it look like something was happening. This tells us a whole lot about the photographer, and almost nothing about the crystallization of water.


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RE: Water

So, have your questions about "alkaline water" been answered, gringojay? :)

What this all boils down to is that you cannot manipulate your body's acid-base balance (a.k.a. blood pH) through any food or drink. To a limited extent you can change urine pH and affect urinary tract function, but that's essentially it.

It seems that there's a need in alt med circles to focus on one Overriding Principle of Disease, which if corrected will solve most or all health problems. For some it's fixing "improper acidity" of the body, discharging "accumulated toxins", or eliminating Candida. Others see "glyconutrients" as the answer, or "superfoods", or herbs that allegedly cure or ameliorate virtually any disease. One self-professed healer even offers "The Cure For All Diseases" (which are supposedly caused by an obscure parasite - you're supposed to zap them out of existence with an electrical device).

It's tempting to think that if we can correct that one universal problem with one simple solution, we'll be healthy and happy. But there is no universal source of disease or simple fix. We can up our odds for better health through such things as proper diet, exercise, and avoiding real toxins (i.e. tobacco, illicit drugs and excess alcohol) - also simple-sounding things, just harder to accomplish in practice. Still, these measures offer the best (and proven) solutions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Acid-base follies revisited


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RE: Water

>> What this all boils down to is that you cannot manipulate your body's acid-base balance (a.k.a. blood pH) through any food or drink. To a limited extent you can change urine pH and affect urinary tract function, but that's essentially it.

I doubt anyone who reads this will believe your nonsense, eric... from your insistence on confusing acid-base balance with blood pH (even when they are quite distinct) to your providing inaccurate information about deficiencies of calcium, magnesium and potassium (which are widespread). Do you have a link to that purported NIH statement that such deficiencies are rare and typically the result of some other disease? Or did you simply make up that claim?

You are right that anyone that considers this a panacea has gone too far - good nutrition is a prerequisite for good health, but cannot solve all health issues. But you are refusing to accept the science on this issue because your primary goal is to attack and discredit anyone associated with alkalinizing, as anything that contains words like "alkaline diet" is a sanctioned target of the quackbusters cult.

We've seen erics posts that attempt to psychoanalyze those that believe in detoxing or cleanses ... for some balance, here is some socio-psychoanalytic characterization of the quackbusters:

    Most professional debunkers and quackbusters are entertainers and medical doctors (mostly retired or soon-to-retire), milking their role for all that it is worth and defending the scientific materialism with which they have been so indoctrinated. This gives them a slap on the back from the orthodox scientific community and a more important role in society than they would otherwise have. Debunking and quackbusting certainly puts one on the front-line, something that every attention-seeker and self-promoter craves (debunkers and quackbusters usually get more attention in their new skeptical roles than they ever did in their professions as doctors or entertainers). The more certain you are the more attention and kudos you receive and the higher your earnings, which is why debunkers and quackbusters are often some of the most bigoted and dogmatic individuals around. I have had the displeasure of trying to engage a few of the higher-profile ones in debate over the years and have found only intransigent stupidity. These are the fundamentalists of scientific materialism, and you get about as far with them in a debate as you would get from a bible-bashing Christian or an Islamic extremist. I put them all in the same fundamentalist category. ...

    Quackbusters.com is the highest profile quackbusting site online and and is run by retired medical doctor (surprise, surprise) Stephen Barrett. Barrett is very vocal in his dismissal of anything remotely alternative, but he will also dismiss out of hand any research (even orthodox) which he does not agree with. (source)

Sounds like they hit the nail on the head - even when it comes to established science, eric readily dismisses anything he disagrees with, and when questioned, he distorts the discussion. (Still waiting on your proof that 'such deficiencies are quite rare'.) It doesn't matter if eric posts wrong information about how kidney stones are formed, or whether the US Government recognizes widespread deficiencies of alkaline minerals. No sir, eric will redefine what part of science is real and what part is fringe and illusory so that his vision of the world makes perfect sense.


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RE: Water

In brief:

How am I "ignoring the science" relative to acid-base balance? I've quoted and linked to numerous good and reliable sources on this subject. Your latest post does not address anything they have to say, merely expands from attacks on me to lashing out at anyone who values evidence-based medicine over unproven theories and woo.

Your "source" on debunkers reveals a lot about himself in his opening remarks, when he talks about all the strange events in his life and how the paranormal is an "integral" part of his experience. I'm not surprised that he's bitterly resentful of people who are skeptical of his fantasies. Where it gets predictably dreary is when he (like others with his convictions) labels the scientific community as a "cult" or as "orthodox-minded", pretending that there's some fanatical religious basis behind seeking evidence as a basis for rational decision-making about health care.

Science is not a religion and respecting quality work in the field does not make one a disciple. Those descriptors accurately apply to people who want so badly to believe something that they'll reject evidence that trumps their conclusions and attack anyone who questions their ideas.

I don't know where you or your "source" get your impressions about "quackbusters", but it may surprise you to know that it's a rare individual that makes any kind of a living at this endeavor. From what I've seen, they are people in a variety of fields who have one thing in common: caring deeply about proper medical care and upholding high standards of scientific endeavor, and seeing that people are not hurt (through consequences to their health and/or financially) by charlatans.

From the last link I supplied:

"...in conventional medicine if you're going to advocate treating asymptomatic patients to prevent future disease, to make them "feel better," or to "improve health," you actually have to produce convincing scientific and clinical evidence that whatever it is that you are measuring in an asymptomatic patient (blood pressure, for example) correlates with disease and that your proposed intervention will indeed prevent the disease disease correlated with that measure, improve health, and/or prolong life. There is abundant evidence for such benefits, for example, for the treatment of asymptomatic hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, etc. There is no credible evidence that alkalinizing or acidifying your urine will provide similar benefits--or any benefit at all. Remember, we're talkiing very small differences in blood pH at best, even with significant intervention. All you're really doing with these diets, supplements, and minerals is altering the urine pH, in essence pissing out the alkali as the body gets rid of what its pH regulator perceives as excess base. Yes, the increase in urine pH gives you evidence that this woo is "working," but "working" doesn't really do anything that matters."

Then again, the author of these remarks is a self-described "evil minion of evidence-based medicine". ;)

Oh - since you were demanding a citation that the National Institutes of Health regards magnesium deficiency as rare (and getting worked up over my not having responded while you were still composing your post), here it is:

"Lack of magnesium (deficiency) is rare.

If you want to go into this further, I suggest a separate thread on the subject (preferably including how herbs can mitigate this supposed problem of deficiency). Going off into tangents like this does not address questions raised about "alkaline" water or our lack of ability to manipulate body pH to cure or prevent disease.


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RE: Water

Very thought provoking input.

Hi eric,
I do not feel that I missed much passing up on the "functional" water chuck wagon after reading your input.

Hi apollog,
? Do I rephrase one of your ideas accurately by saying the following....?
An alkaline diet is not about altering the blood pH - & is more about ingesting alkaline mineral rich foods, with the goal being to increase these minerals for internal biochemical activity.
The reduced proportion ingested of what are considered acid foods is to limit their metabolic byproducts, in order to let other biochemical activity predominate - & not an attempt to create a static blood pH change.


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RE: Water

>> Oh - since you were demanding a citation that the National Institutes of Health regards magnesium deficiency as rare (and getting worked up over my not having responded while you were still composing your post), here it is:

"Lack of magnesium (deficiency) is rare.

Ok ... not made up. But do you really believe that everything posted on the NIH website is the official position of the NIH?? That is an encyclopedia article with only 3 references, written by an unknown person at a private company called A.D.A.M., Inc,. The Medline Service of the National Institute of Health licensed the entire encyclopedia and put it on their site. I don't think it is an authoritative finding of the NIH....

But if you are equating the ADAM encyclopedia with the opinion of the National Institutes of Health, then you should know that the prestigious government institution is advocating elderberries for influenza - just check out what NIH/ADAM says about them ... very different from your attempts to disparage and belittle the idea that elderberry might be useful against flu after I suggested that recently. Their statement is: "Grade of B: Good scientific evidence for this use; Elderberry juice may improve flu-like symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, headache, sore throat, cough, and aches, in less time than it normally takes to get over the flu." By contrast, your conclusion in the thread on swine flu was that there was only enough preliminary evidence on elderberry to support more research and that it was probably a big waste of money. Then you nit-picked what evidence I did present, as you typically do. But isn't that your job here, to crap on anyone who dares to suggest that there is evidence that an herb can be useful?? Even if you haven't really researched the issue and don't know what you are talking about??

Apart from this encyclopedia article on magnesium you keep citing, we have the USDA actually going out and studying what people actually eat, and finding that ~70% of Americans don't consume enough calcium or magnesium. And we have experts like Bruce Ames citing the lack of magnesium and its effects. (You have heard of Bruce Ames, no? He is not known for doing shabby science). And after I presented this information and several other refereed articles, you continue to disparage and ignore these and fall back on the encyclopedia as if it were equal to or superior to the other works I cited ... it isn't.

>> How am I "ignoring the science" relative to acid-base balance?

You repeatedly characterize the idea you oppose as the idea that the pH of the blood changes by the diet. I have said repeatedly in this thread, and have quoted articles from peer reviewed journals that make it clear that the concern is not blood pH - the problem is that in order to excrete acid via the kidneys, one must also excrete other vital nutrients. The more acidic the urine is, the greater the osmotic pressure on the cells of the kidney. To compensate for excess acidity excretion, more alkaline metals are excreted. Acidogenic diets are usually low in Ca/Mg/K in the first place, and over time, there is a net negative balance of these minerals.

It isn't just an issue of the kidneys easily pumping a bit extra acid out of the body - there are metabolic costs, and the change affects the whole body. It won't lead to a collapse of blood pH because the body will pull calcium from the bones first (hence the osteoporosis discussion, along with kidney stones when it crystalizes in the urine) ... evolutionarily, we are better off to risk a fracture, heart problems or some other condition in the future than to go into a coma from acidic blood today. This idea that Bruce Ames is discussing is a chronic condition - very different from your unchangeable mental model of acute acidosis that is rare but can lead to a quick death. But I guess you are much smarter than Bruce Ames, and you have spent more time researching the subject, so we should listen to you and your idea that we can exhale all acids with no problems, and that magnesium deficiency is rarely a problem??

You have also ignored/denied/obfuscated a variety of points raised, including the fact that sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and potassium bicarbonate are both used specifically to alkalinize the urine of people with kidney stones, and that doing so is beneficial not only for reducing kidney stone formation, but for ameliorating many imbalances related to mineral flows within the body.

>> "...in conventional medicine if you're going to advocate treating asymptomatic patients to prevent future disease, to make them "feel better," or to "improve health," you actually have to produce convincing scientific and clinical evidence that whatever it is that you are measuring in an asymptomatic patient (blood pressure, for example)...

Funny that you mention blood pressure - because the D.A.S.H. diet to control hypertension and the alkalinizing diets are quite similar at their core ... less sodium, less meat, lots more fruits and veggies with what the University of Wisconsin Urology department called an alkaline load. The one area that the two diets differ is with respect to grains - DASH recommends somewhat more, while the alkalinizers think that somewhat people should eat somewhat less grain and more veggies.

High blood pressure, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome (especially low HDL), kidney stones, many types of heart issues, nervous system issues, and many other conditions are linked to high sodium/low calcium/low magnesium/low potassium. The risks of encouraging people to move towards the DASH/alkaline diets are quite low, while the potential benefits are significant. There quite a bit of evidence the DASH/alkaline diet does more than just control blood pressure.

But rather than co-opt the majority of alkalinizers and get them to improve their theory a bit, the quackbusters derive a strange satisfaction from going out and denouncing them wholesale - sometimes to a perverse degree. How do I know? I have been to a variety of quackbuster websites and forums, and agree that they are every bit ideologically rigid as various fundamentalists (although several of the quackbuster sites were curiously atheistic and very intolerant of anything that smacked of religion - I guess those particular sites saw the very notion of God as proof of dangerous, unscientific thinking). They only welcome 'discussion' that furthers the ends of defining the enemy as deluded and finding new strategies to denounce the quacks. I can tell you from personal experience that anyone who suggests that maybe the enemy is not always so wrong is quickly ostracized and criticized.

I'd be willing to wager that if we split you into two identical clones, one would be a complete supporter of Idea X when it was presented as the DASH diet with studies and citations, while the other eric clone would be 100% against the same thing if it is packaged as the 'alkaline diet'. It's not about the substance of the ideas or the underlying science, it's about how they are presented, which psychological buttons get pressed, which cultural filters let something fly under the radar or turn on the sirens and red lights. But that's the human experience - some think that natural is always safe and good, others are emotionally conditioned to filter the world in other ways that are somewhat more sophisticated, but still quite subject to subconscious impulses.

>> If you want to go into this "Magnesium> further, I suggest a separate thread on the subject (preferably including how herbs can mitigate this supposed problem of deficiency). Going off into tangents like this does not address questions raised about "alkaline" water or our lack of ability to manipulate body pH to cure or prevent disease.

You still don't get it - magnesium and calcium and potassium, and bicarbonate and citrate are all central to this idea of dietary alkalinity. For you to describe it as a tangent is ridiculous - if you would have accepted some simple facts (magnesium compounds make certain mineral waters and fruits a net source of alkalinity, there is evidence of widespread magnesium deficiency, etc) then there would have been no need to labor certain points that you now denigrate as "tangents."

>> All you're really doing with these diets, supplements, and minerals is altering the urine pH, in essence pissing out the alkali as the body gets rid of what its pH regulator perceives as excess base. Yes, the increase in urine pH gives you evidence that this woo is "working," but "working" doesn't really do anything that matters."

Classic pee-pee logic from the quackbusting crowd ... don't waste your money on vitamins or minerals boys and girls, they will only give you the pleasure of having tremendously expensive urine! By that flawed principle (if the body excretes it, it must not be doing any good), we should not bother with antibiotics, as they are largely excreted in the urine and thus wasted. And just stop taking that heart medicine - it can't be doing you any good, as your kidneys are getting rid of it as fast as they can. 100% of that medicine will be excreted in a day or two, so it must be a fraud!!

Of course, the real question is not whether the body completely consumes 100% of all we take in - it is whether that compound is present for a while in the body so that it can be of benefit... such chemicals are often more like catalysts than fuel. But even though physiologists understand that it is moronic to suggest that a chemical is worthless just because it ends up in the urine eventually, that doesn't stop the quackbusters from using that shameful pseudoscientific argument to attack the alkalinizing idea. I guess the means don't matter if the end is noble, or something like that. Just another example of the petty group-think mentality of the quackbusters.


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RE: Water

    >> ? Do I rephrase one of your ideas accurately by saying the following....?
    An alkaline diet is not about altering the blood pH - & is more about ingesting alkaline mineral rich foods, with the goal being to increase these minerals for internal biochemical activity.
    The reduced proportion
    ingested of what are considered acid foods is to limit their metabolic byproducts, in order to let other biochemical activity predominate - & not an attempt to create a static blood pH change.

Yes - you boiled it down to a very concise statement. Thank you.

There may be some people out there that continue to insist that 'the blood is made acid' or the 'blood is made alkaline' - but this is not what is literally happening if we measure it. The fact that their theory is not 100% correct does not mean that the practice is not quite beneficial.

By using the distilled definition of an alkaline diet, it is possible to reconcile the practice with science, and the diet is no longer flakey or eccentric - it is more in line with what many people have been saying for years ... primarily more fruits and veggies, less meat, somewhat less grain.

Alkaline water is no problem if available - I once lived in a limestone area where the pH of tap water was very alkaline (9.1!). Other places might have other types of alkaline minerals in their water. But one does not need any particular form of calcium or magnesium ... it can come from a variety of sources, doesn't have to be water, could be in various foods, could be in a inexpensive supplement (Dad took bicarb nightly for a year after his kidney stone incident; that must have set us back a whole 5 dollars, although the sodium could be a concern for some people). There is no expensive, name brand product that is clearly better than common sources - the body doesn't care, as long as it gets enough.


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RE: Water

I am sure it must be vitally important to follow up with a detailed response to the above.

On the other hand, I found myself thinking of this cartoon.

It's time for bed. :)


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RE: Water

Support a diet proven to have significant health benefits? No problem.

"co-opt the majority of alkalinizers and get them to improve their theory a bit": Big problem.

Once you stand behind the incorrect concept that body pH can be easily altered through food and drink (and make no mistake, proponents believe you can do this all over the body, not just in the urine), you give credence to all kinds of false ideas about therapy and useless, expensive devices and supplements whose sale preys on the vulnerable.

"...folks in truly poor or unsecure health are also being taken in, often paying hundreds of dollars for worthless nostrums and devices that purport to energize, revitalize or restructure water so as to restore health, reverse aging, and even improve the harmony of the world."

The alkalinizers claim that you can cure or prevent cancer and a variety of chronic/degenerative diseases by "de-acidifying" the body. Do we just look the other way when such claims are made without foundation, or shrug and say "it could happen"?

One problem with alt med is relatively educated supporters who feel compelled to overlook or even defend various forms of quackery to present a "common front" against skeptics who they think threaten their own, less outrageous but still dubious beliefs. It would be refreshing to see them criticize flagrantly false and harmful quackery, but that would mean agreeing with their perceived enemies, and that would never do. ;)


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RE: Water

>> The alkalinizers claim that you can cure or prevent cancer and a variety of chronic/degenerative diseases by "de-acidifying" the body. Do we just look the other way when such claims are made without foundation, or shrug and say "it could happen"?

Well, Bruce Ames and a pile of studies taller than me say there is evidence that a wide variety of chronic diseases (including some cancers) can be prevented by simply increasing magnesium, calcium and potassium intake (which the alkaline diet does quite well). These statements can be made in a framework of science, they are reasonable, and I think they should be considered, not rejected out of hand without consideration. So I might say "it could happen" or I might disagree if I thought a particular claim was unreasonable.

Do I think it will cure cancer? No. Might it be useful as an adjunct therapy for cancer? Quite possibly, but that is not certain. With cancer, prevention is so much easier than treatment (in the realm of scientific theory) but prevention is much more difficult than treatment (in the realm of societies and people that behave in irrational or predictably unpredictable ways).

>> Once you stand behind the incorrect concept that body pH can be easily altered through food and drink (and make no mistake, proponents believe you can do this all over the body, not just in the urine),

Well, we can agree that the blood pH is not changed by diet to any large degree - it stays within a narrow range if the person is alive. We can agree that the pH of the urine can change significantly according to diet. And we should be able to agree that increasing the dietary intake of Ca/Mg/K can lead to a flow of these alkaline minerals into the bones, into muscle tissue, and into other spaces inside various cells and tissues. So I accept the idea that overall, an alkalinizing diet usually makes the net balance of the body more alkaline ... ie, it usually increases alkaline reserves, which can be good in a complex buffered system like a human body. Other people who have a weaker science background might describe it in less precise terms, they might even make mistakes in their thinking - do we berate them for being wrong on a few points, or do we ignore minor theoretical issues while trying to harmonize popular opinion to science??

>>One problem with alt med is relatively educated supporters who feel compelled to overlook or even defend various forms of quackery to present a "common front" against skeptics who they think threaten their own, less outrageous but still dubious beliefs. It would be refreshing to see them criticize flagrantly false and harmful quackery, but that would mean agreeing with their perceived enemies, and that would never do. ;)

First of all, what dubious ideas are you proposing that I hold? That elderberries might be of use in reducing the severity of the common cold or a bout of flu? That kudzu can be effective in treating migraine and cluster headache? That echinacea is an immune modulator with anti-inflammatory properties, and it can reduce symptoms of allergy in some people? There is evidence for all of these assertions - it may not always be enough to satisfy you, but there is a framework of evidence that makes these ideas reasonable. I believe that combining such information with personal trial and error can be a reasonable practice.

In this thread, I have made it clear that there is no need to buy overpriced, gimmicky products that make wild claims - calcium, magnesium and potassium are essential nutrients that are widespread, and can be relatively inexpensive. I have attempted to back up everything I said with scientific research, and don't believe that I have supported dangerous ideas in any way. If someone had shown up in this thread to propose that simply changing to an alkaline diet was a highly effective way to cure cancer, or that people should spend money on a machine to magnetically alkalinize our bodies while we sleep to reverse aging by a decade, I would have disagreed or called B.S. on them (depending on what they said and my mood at the moment). But no one here proposed any such thing - so I talked about the basic science related to acid/base loads and balance, and I disagreed instead with things in this thread that I did not agree with.

Consider the 'rainbow diet' - it proposes that we try to frequently eat every color of the rainbow (via real foods). On one level, people could attack it as unscientific. Some of its proponents have quirky ideas about why it is a good idea. If you wanted, you could compare it to nonsense like the doctrine of signatures, and anyone who didn't denounce the rainbow diet could be cast as simpleton. Some people who promote the rainbow diet are clearly scam artists. But the results of such a belief system is generally an increased intake in tomato juice, watermelon, oranges, blueberries, grapes, green beans, and other basic plant foods, and a decrease in processed foods and empty calories. Is that good or bad??

What many skeptics fail to appreciate is that other people structure their thinking different than they do, and will always think differently. Some people would rather denounce the public for being irrational than devise a public health campaign that is effective - because they insist that everyone should think like them, and deliver a linear, hyper-rational, orthodox scientific message that is boring. And then there is surprise such dull campaigns don't catch-on with the average person! Is it better for skeptics to fight the entire idea of the rainbow diet, or promote a positive version of it and limit their opposition to the worst forms of quackery that tries to latch on to the rainbow diet? The rainbow diet is going to continue to resonate with a segment of society for a variety of psychological reasons - skeptics can mount a full frontal assault and satisfy their memetic need for a fight to the death with the rainbow heresy, or they can engage in a nice dance with most of the average people that just luuv the thought of a nice rainbow. Hmmmm....


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RE: Water

"Well, Bruce Ames and a pile of studies taller than me say there is evidence that a wide variety of chronic diseases (including some cancers) can be prevented by simply increasing magnesium, calcium and potassium intake (which the alkaline diet does quite well)."

Beyond the fact that the "pile of studies" don't actually prove anything, the "magic mineral" theory doesn't depend on changing pH levels in the body.

"Might it be useful as an adjunct therapy for cancer? Quite possibly, but that is not certain."

There's no basis on which to say "quite possibly". Statements like this just boost the "Cures Cancer!" machine and supplement promoters.

"Some people would rather denounce the public for being irrational than devise a public health campaign that is effective - because they insist that everyone should think like them, and deliver a linear, hyper-rational, orthodox scientific message that is boring."

Actually, the message that stopping smoking, moderating use of alcohol, getting sufficient rest and exercise and lowering caloric intake as part of a healthy diet is an effective message that's reached a lot of people. There's nothing difficult there to understand. As noted previously, these are relatively simple and proven effective measures, just not that easy for people to accomplish, so they turn to miracle minerals, "alkaline water" and all the other quick fixes that have been mentioned.

As for the "rainbow" diet, there are roughly a zillion diets circulating out there, many of which have their moments of vogue (except the one that says "Eat less. Mostly plants."). If one needs a catchy label to eat sensibly, fine. If it means refusing to eat good foods or to serve them to your children because the colors interfere with someone's chakra or clash in the G.I. tract, should that not be pointed out as silly?

"First of all, what dubious ideas are you proposing that I hold?"

There are numerous specific examples from previous threads (like the idea that essiac tea fights cancer), but in general it's your insistence that tiny pilot studies (including test tube and rat research) provide sufficient proof for us to use herbs and supplements for various diseases, and your unwillingness to speak out definitively against various forms of quackery. As for the specific example of "alkaline water", you're around the edge of criticizing the sale of such products, but a simple forthright statement that "alkalinizing" the water you drink does not change body pH and has not been shown to prevent or cure disease would be accurate and helpful.


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RE: Water

An alkaline diet does not mean alkaline minerals. They are different things! Even if you eat the most mineral rich foods imaginable if you eat them with vinegar on them they will not be part of an alkaline diet! Eat a diet full of diverse whole foods, that is the key. The western diet sucks, not only is it not very tasty but it isn't good for you, alkaline water or an alkaline diet isn't going to fix ANY of the problems with the western diet I could add a bit of NaOH to every drink and food that enters my body, never having anything below a pH of 8 go into my mouth, but if I ate crap I'd get diabetes and ketoacidosis would set in eventually. the pH of your food and water does not fix the problems you are talking about.


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RE: Water

>> An alkaline diet does not mean alkaline minerals. They are different things! Even if you eat the most mineral rich foods imaginable if you eat them with vinegar on them they will not be part of an alkaline diet!

Not really. There are a variety of concepts and words that surround these concepts, and that creates confusion.

To an alkalinizer, citrus fruits are considered alkaline, even though the pH of orange juice is clearly on the acidic side. The net effect on the urine of drinking orange juice is alkaline. The net effect of eating citrus and most other fruits and veggies is to increase the alkaline reserves of the body. Orange juice is loaded with potassium citrate - the citrate is a weak acid (much of the citrate is metabolized to neutral compounds or exhaled as CO2), while the potassium remains and forms a strong base or alkaline.

This has been documented repeatedly. Consider this article from the journal Cancer Research:

    Controls received water and tea as test drink. Orange juice (pH 3.64) and tube feeding (pH 6.78) both led to alkaline urine pH and significantly decreased urine acid output compared to the control group. Yoghurt (pH 4.1), buttermilk (pH 4.58), and Coca-Cola (pH 2.54), on the other hand, all induced a higher acid output than the control group and a urine pH less than 7.0 during the whole test day. (source)

The acetic acid in vinegar is a weak organic acid/short chain fatty acid - it gets shunted into the a variety of metabolic pathways, and it is ultimately neutralized or oxidized to CO2 and eliminated. The heavy duty inorganic bases or acid forming elements (Ca/Mg/K and N/P/S) behave in a very different way. So sprinkling vinegar on your food has little or no effect on the ultimate pH of the metabolic products.

So clearly, the 'surface pH' of foods if you press a piece of indicator paper on them can be quite different from the pH of the metabolic products of that food. The alkaline diet is concerned not with the initial pH, but the final result in the body.

>> an alkaline diet isn't going to fix ANY of the problems with the western diet

I invite you to look at what a typical alkaline diet actually involves (mostly fruits and vegetables, moderate amounts of grain, meat, and dairy, less sodium, less processed foods), and then tell us that such a diet is no better than the typical western diet. Then tell us the same thing about the DASH diet.

The fact that you have a basic understanding of pH is great, but you haven't done your homework on how these terms are being used in this specific context, then you are simply making baseless statements.

>> I could add a bit of NaOH to every drink and food that enters my body, never having anything below a pH of 8 go into my mouth, but if I ate crap I'd get diabetes...

You are right about that, but you are quite wrong in your assumption that the alkaline diet includes the belief that sprinkling sodium hydroxide on crap makes it healthy food. It doesn't. You have successfully knocked down the straw-man you have created, but have not gotten close to discussing the alkaline diet.


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RE: Water

You missed my point, When talking to us laymen the alkaine diet proponents with out fail talk about avoiding acidic foods, and drinkinging alkalized water, and say that this will improve our health. This claim is false. What they claim when talking to the rest of us does not hold true and I explained how it doesn't.

Now you have brought something new in, another level of alkaline dieters, with claims different from those that most of us are exposed to. These second order alkalizers have a much more reasonable standpoint, however, there isn't anything presented that really suggests to me that the alkalinity of the urine is related to health, it seems to me that there claims just tend to coincide with things that are healthy for other reasons. Eating fruits and veggies and whole grains would still be healthy if you ate them with dilute HCl mixed in, which would acidify your urine.

Also, does the pH (which I have more than a basic understanding of thank you) of urine mean the pH or blood? In brewing (which is the practice that is responsible for our understanding of the concept of pH and water chemistry) there is an understanding, when you are brewing your beer and it smells delicious, you need to remember that what is in the air is no longer in your wert (unfermented beer), I think the same thing applies to hydroxide and hydronium ions, when it is in the bladder it is not in the blood.


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RE: Water

The mention of vinegar is interesting.

A number of people posting in this forum have praised vinegar, notably apple cider vinegar, for its purported value in weight loss, reflux esophagitis and other conditions. Vinegar is mostly acetic acid. Horrors - vinegar drinkers are taking in acid, which is unhealthy and will warp their pH in strange and subtle ways! Wait - apollog says the vinegar's acidity will be neutralized in our body by normal metabolism with no ultimate effect on pH.

And he's right - but the same processes of metabolism also neutralize those dreaded "acidic foods" that he's been warning us about.

How many people are worrying about consuming an "alkaline diet" and at the same time blithely drinking vinegar to cure their ills? There seems to be a philosophical conflict here.

I talked before about how support for the false proposition that you can easily manipulate pH in the body to affect disease, enables quackery. And here's another example - the selling of "coral calcium" which among other things is supposed to counteract our acidic diet.

"Nonsense. The body's pH at the cellular level is controlled by a set of exquisitely balanced buffer systems. It is not adversely affected by acidic foods or water, and it cannot be changed by drinking "alkaline" water."


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RE: Water

>> Now you have brought something new in, another level of alkaline dieters, with claims different from those that most of us are exposed to ...

Well, I can't say what you were told by unspecified people and I don't know what you are exposed to. I went to Google and searched for "alkaline diet" and looked at the #1 search result. I would suggest that more people read that than any other page on the topic, and that it is more representative of the concept of alkaline diet than what you are exposed to.

    What is the Alkaline Diet?

    An alkaline diet is a diet that emphasizes, to a varying degree, fresh fruit, vegetables, roots and tubers, nuts, and legumes. ...

    Almost all foods that we eat, after being digested, absorbed, and metabolized, release either an acid or an alkaline base (bicarbonate) into blood. Grains, fish, meat, poultry, shellfish, cheese, milk, and salt all produce acid, so the introduction and dramatic rise in our consumption of these foods meant that the typical Western diet became more acid-producing. Consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables decreased, which further made the Western diet acid-producing.

    Our blood is slightly alkaline, with a normal pH level of between 7.35 and 7.45. The theory behind the alkaline diet is that our diet should reflect this pH level (as it did in the past) and be slightly alkaline. Proponents of alkaline diets believe that a diet high in acid-producing foods is disrupts this balance and promotes the loss of essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium, as the body tries to restore equilibrium. This imbalance is thought to make people prone to illness.

    http://altmedicine.about.com/od/popularhealthdiets/a/alkalinediet.htm

It isn't perfect, I wouldn't have written it exactly that way, I could pick at some points ... but it reflects the ideas I have presented, not the ideas that you presented. And more people are exposed to this page than any other source.

I can't say that there aren't people out there selling overpriced gadgets to 'alkalinize' the water (there are), but my Google search on how to alkalinize water turns up more hits on adding lemon to water to make it alkaline. I don't have a problem with that - it makes that water alkaline in the sense that it reduces renal acid load - it adds potassium citrate to the water. I think that squeezing a bit of lemon into a glass of water is a perfectly fine practice. Alone, that may not do much, but it is consistent with the alkaline diet and reduces the dietary acid load.

Most sites on the alkaline diet that have lists or charts of what are considered alkaline foods, and what are considered acid foods. These charts are based on the ideas I have presented here, not the ideas that someone may have told you. The basic 'plan' is to shift the balance towards alkaline foods (as defined by the ash content, PRAL/Potential Renal Acid Load, NAE/Net Acid Excretion, or other concepts that you can read about on PubMed). This means eating lots of fruits and veggies, although acid foods are not prohibited and are recognized as being a good source of some nutrients.

>> it seems to me that the claims just tend to coincide with things that are healthy for other reasons.

That is partially true. Some of the benefits of the alkaline diet have little or nothing to do with acidity/alkalinity per se. Eating more fiber and phytochemicals (as one does with an alkaline diet) probably has benefits that don't involve a change in PRAL or NAE. But how does one separate the idea of raising levels of Ca/Mg/K in the body from the idea of lowering the dietary acid load and raising pH of the urine? As a practical matter, you can't. Increased intake of Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium goes hand in hand with an increased alkaline load. Is it the pH itself, or the correction of deficiencies that allow bones to strengthen and enzymes to work better? Yes!!


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RE: Water

"Increased intake of Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium goes hand in hand with an increased alkaline load. Is it the pH itself, or the correction of deficiencies that allow bones to strengthen and enzymes to work better? Yes!!"

Translation: "We don't know what the mechanism is for alleged, unproven health benefits for fixing deficiences in minerals/elements that people don't have."

By the way, vinegar has a pH much lower than supposed "acidic foods" - about 2.4 for typical white vinegar, for example. The acetic acid in various vinegar products including apple cider vinegar is relatively mild as acids go, but is still strong enough to burn the throat if drunk straight or taken in pill form. Yet ACV is harmlessly metabolized, but the body can't handle far less acidic foods? Really?

Can this contradiction be explained?


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RE: Water

>> Translation: "We don't know what the mechanism is for alleged, unproven health benefits for fixing deficiences in minerals/elements that people don't have."

Real Translation: eric is a troll trying to create doubt where there is none. He thinks he knows more than the USDA's Community Nutrition Program or Bruce Ames or the many studies that show that most people don't consume anywhere near the recommended daily intake of magnesium and calcium. He doesn't think that such low intakes can have negative effects on blood pressure, osteoporosis, kidney stones, and a host of other common diseases. And he doesn't have evidence of his own, and can't refute real evidence that shows the opposite of what he believes!!

70 million Americans have hypertension and many more have elevated blood pressure, and the DASH diet (which is based on more fruits and veggies, less salt, etc) is usually quite effective in reversing elevated blood pressure. Most Americans eat only 2 or 3 servings of fruits and vegetables (combined!) per day, while the alkaline diet advocates making them the majority of the diet... eric says nevermind all that, anyone who suggests that eating more fruits and veggies can improve health is venturing into the land of DANGEROUS, UNPROVEN SPECULATION!! No, friends, what is important here is that the skeptic groups have labeled the idea of an alkaline diet as heresy, and such dangerous words must be opposed in every way possible.

Eric, you tried to define the concept of an alkaline diet in a way that is inaccurate, but that didn't work - anyone who reads knows that you don't even know what you are against. You lost on science and resorted to labeling my arguments advocacy of a "magic mineral theory" even though my ideas are documented by research and yours are documented primarily by other skeptic pages and encyclopedia articles. The reasonable reader can see through you. Now your trolling continues and we see that you only have the tired tricks of distorting and nagging. I guess it is too much to ask for better - trolls don't have a wide repertoire of tactics.

Fortunately, all you get to do is stick out like a wart - you can't disprove or undo the case that has been made here for the alkaline diet, you can only try to confuse people with unsupported nonsense. Bully for you!!

Fruits and vegetables are the only food groups that provide an alkaline load to the body.!!


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RE: Water

Can you provide information suggesting that "alkalizing" foods contain higher levels of these minerals and other healthful components than acidifying foods? I just don't see any reason at all to even correlated the benefits to pH, mammals just have super advanced pH adjusting systems and I don't see anything else interfering with that process.


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RE: Water

>> Can you provide information suggesting that "alkalizing" foods contain higher levels of these minerals and other healthful components than acidifying foods?

Yes.


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RE: Water

The same stuff as usual from apollog - if you can't or don't want to address the subject of a thread, volley insults and go off onto tangents.

Remember, this thread was started to ask about the alleged benefits of "alkaline" water, which led to me linking to a site on water quackery (run by a retired chemistry professor), with a quote refuting the idea that "alkaline" water could alter body pH.

Nothing presented by apollog in this thread has overturned that simple fact. Nor has he shown (or will be able to show) that the acid-base balance of the body (i.e. pH of blood or pH at the cellular level) can ever be altered by "alkaline" water or "alkaline" diets. It just doesn't happen, and numerous sources knowledgable about human physiology and medicine agree (the sources cited in this thread include a nutritionist, a cancer surgeon, thoracic and gastrointestinal medicine specialists, WebMD and the American Institute for Cancer Research). These concepts are universally accepted in medicine, however much apollog wants to pretend that it's only me and "quackbusters" saying this.

It is irrefutable that lots of health quackery (ranging from expensive to actually harmful) stems from this false notion about altering body pH, which is why it is worthwhile and desirable to speak out against it.

I'm still waiting for apollog to explain why vinegar is harmless to consume because the body neutralizes its acidity (true), but that "acidic foods" are harmful because they lead to acidic conditions in the body (false).


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RE: Water

>> I'm still waiting for apollog to explain why vinegar is harmless to consume because the body neutralizes its acidity (true), but that "acidic foods" are harmful because they lead to acidic conditions in the body (false).

First, acidic foods are only harmful when consumed in excess, just as sodium is only harmful when it is consumed in excess... in amounts greater than we evolved to consume (or are able to, based on the unique condition of an individual). Sodium and acid forming foods are essential to the body at lower levels. When acid foods dominate the diet, intake of Ca/Mg/K is low and mineral homestasis shifts so that these minerals flow from the bones and muscles into the blood (to maintain that narrow range that we need) and there is an increase in net excretion via the kidneys.

Second, vinegar is not a big concern as an acid for the same reasons that apply to orange juice ... the initial pH of a food as it goes into the mouth is often quite different from the pH of the metabolic products. As mentioned earlier in the discussion, it is possible to metabolize organic acids to CO2, which is exhaled by the breath without depleting strong alkalines like Ca/Mg/K.

Elemental sulfur has a pH of 7 and is quite neutral. If consumed, it can lead to the production of sulfuric acid in the body, which could be rather unpleasant, depending on the dose. Your insistence on focusing on only the pH of something as it enters the body is quite unscientific when considering the acid-base status of the body.


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RE: Water

Hmm...how do we determine that "acidic" foods are being consumed "in excess"? We know that such foods don't alter body pH - so what measure are the acid-base-o-philes using to determine "excess"?

"Second, vinegar is not a big concern as an acid for the same reasons that apply to orange juice ... the initial pH of a food as it goes into the mouth is often quite different from the pH of the metabolic products."

Except that those metabolic products are typically produced in the alkaline juice of people's small intestines, so any "acid" metabolic products are going to be neutralized rapidly. There really seems to be a disconnect here as far as understanding of human physiology.

Speaking of which:

"...my Google search on how to alkalinize water turns up more hits on adding lemon to water to make it alkaline. I don't have a problem with that - it makes that water alkaline in the sense that it reduces renal acid load - it adds potassium citrate to the water. I think that squeezing a bit of lemon into a glass of water is a perfectly fine practice. Alone, that may not do much, but it is consistent with the alkaline diet and reduces the dietary acid load."

A Google search also turns up the information that lemon juice has a pH level of approximately 2. Adding lemon to water makes it highly acidic. One's dietary "acid load" would be increased by drinking lemon juice (not that that would be detrimental or affect body pH, just as eating citrus fruits and other "acid" fruit is generally beneficial despite the acidity factor).

Other Google searches turn up haranguing on so-called "good" and "bad" acid fruits. The level of obsession with acid-base balance in regard to the foods we eat gets ever more ridiculous and nonfactual, the more you hear about it.


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RE: Water

>> One's dietary "acid load" would be increased by drinking lemon juice (not that that would be detrimental or affect body pH, just as eating citrus fruits and other "acid" fruit is generally beneficial despite the acidity factor).

Please educate yourself on the basic science - concepts like metabolic acid load, PRAL and NAE. It is apparent that you are quite unqualified to comment on the ideas here as you are unable or unwilling to review the literature and rely on simplistic, inaccurate concepts of what is happening in the body and what others are actually claiming. The hundreds of studies and reviews that speak of acidogenic diets and alkaline load use that term in a specific way that is quite different from the measured pH of the food sitting on the dinner table. These concepts have been repeatedly demonstrated in research and are accepted in nutrition and physiology, and their meaning is not at all similar to your naive assumptions of what they mean.

You might start with an article from a group at the Bone Metabolism Lab at Tufts University, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2006:


    Metabolic studies reveal that acidogenic diets increase bone resorption acutely. American diets are considered to be a risk factor for osteoporosis and bone fractures in part due to their high potential acid content. The net endogenous acid produced from these diets, measured as urinary net acid excretion, is estimated to be 4080 mEq/day. Protein and cereal grains are metabolized to acidic residues whereas fruits and vegetables have an alkaline residue. Therefore the balance between intakes of these major dietary components will determine the net potential acid load of a diet ... Diet changes that increase renal NAE are associated with increases in serum PTH, bone resorption, and calcium excretion over a 60-day period. (source)

So dietary acid load (based on acid production and excretion) is not necessarily increased simply by consuming acid foods like citrus or vinegar.

    Controls received water and tea as test drink. Orange juice (pH 3.64) and tube feeding (pH 6.78) both led to alkaline urine pH and significantly decreased urine acid output compared to the control group. Yoghurt (pH 4.1), buttermilk (pH 4.58), and Coca-Cola (pH 2.54), on the other hand, all induced a higher acid output than the control group and a urine pH less than 7.0 during the whole test day. (linked to earlier in this post)


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RE: Water

The Tufts study you linked to is a) small (40 people total), b) short-term (the authors acknowledge this limitation), c) is imprecise because it involves self-reported diets among study subjects d) doesn't demonstrate that "acidogenic" diets increase bone resorption (the authors acknowledge this) and e) has findings contradicted by other studies (for example, the authors note that "In a recent 8-week dietary study, however, a higher dietary protein intake increased urinary NAE (net acid excretion) but did not affect several markers of bone turnover, calcium retention or urinary calcium excretion.)

All it shows is that someone is using the term "acidogenic diet", not that it has any practical implications, and certainly not that such diets alter body pH in any way. Back to the drawing board...

As to your followup on lemon juice (well, not really a followup since you don't mention lemon juice or how you got the idea that adding it to water makes the water alkaline (when in reality it's markedly acid): whether or not citrus or any other drinks change urine pH (for whatever period of time), that doesn't alter the fact that they do not affect body pH and that whatever effects they may have on the body as a whole do not depend on some mysterious alteration of body acid-base balance.

By the way, I was interested to see that at the bottom of the forum page, an advertiser is promoting "the proven original non-chemical body pH supplement that works!"

Their claims include:

"Acidosis or an acidic body is when your body is out of balance and the ph level is low due to an accumulation of waste matter in the system. Usually an acidic body tries to excrete toxins through bowel movement, skin eruptions and urination. On occasions due to poor elimination or excessive acidic environment these toxins may accumulate...The result of eating acid forming foods will literally clog up your system resulting in long term health concerns. Other causes of an over acidic body may include chemical exposure via commercial skin, body and hair care products, household detergents and lawn pesticides to name a few...How can you tell if your body is acidic? Your body may warn you by developing symptoms such as allergies, fatigue, acne, arthritis, asthma, foot fungus, restlessness, insomnia, boils, bronchitis, itchy skin, cancers, frequent colds and flu, diarrhea, constipation and even eczema. You may want to test your saliva with Litmus pH testers. The pH of your body may fluctuate from hour to hour and day to day, any test is a general guide. You may think that your body pH levels are great, with no need to take action. Remember prevention is far better than any cure, even if you are alkaline you will benefit from the Acid-2-Alkaine Supplement to boost your body's pH levels when needed."

http://www.NaturallyDirect.com

The above is a typical collection of hogwash from the promoters of the dread Acid Body Syndrome - complete with silliness about their product being able to "alkalize your cells" (if this happened, you'd be dead), the idea that you can get a realistic idea about body pH by testing your saliva (you can't) and the long list of health conditions supposedly caused by an Acid Body (not). This is an excellent example of the quackery engendered by false beliefs about acid-base balance.


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RE: Water

"Alkaline water" is back in the news - in the case of a 13-year-old Minnesota boy with Hodgkin's lymphoma. He and his parents are refusing radiation and chemotherapy for his disease (which offer an average long-term cure rate of 90%), in favor of "traditional" treatments:

"Olson asked how Daniel's cancer was being treated. Colleen said they are treating it by "starving it, by not feeding it." She said she found some information on the Internet and started giving Daniel high-PH water, many supplements and an organic diet that includes lots of greens and lightly-sauteed rice."

A physician is quoted in the story as saying the boy has a 5% chance of surviving the next five years without proven therapy.


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RE: Water

Very dangerous, treating something like that with something "found" on the internet. If they were working with someone specializing in alternative treatments and a nutritionist, that would be better. As a mom myself, I cannot say what I would do in such a situation given my beliefs- but i imagine the best of both worlds could be utilized. Can you answer this question, eric please? I've been wondering, knowing how many children from my state alone are at St. Jude's.......why do so many children today get cancer? Do you have any scientific data on this?
Use to be, young children passed away from contagious diseases, but cancer- not like today. Why, I wonder?
Let me know how that case with the boy and lymphoma turns out if you are keeping up with it. thanks.


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RE: Water

There've always been childhood cancers, though it's unknown why the pediatric cancer rate rose by about 1/3 in recent decades, or why it's been leveling off more recently.

What's especially sad in this particular case is that the cancer in question (Hodgkin's lymphoma) is so curable, and the alternative to proven treatment so deadly.

Here is a link that might be useful: pediatric cancer


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RE: Water

As requested, an update on Daniel Hauser, the boy whose mother wanted him to avoid mainstream therapy for Hodgkin's disease (which has a long-term cure rate of 90%), in favor of "natural treatments" including ionized/alkaline water.

It's reported that the boy's tumor has grown larger during the period he has not been receiving proper care, and his chances diminish the longer he and his mother are on the run.

A very sad case.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chemotherapy vs. dying of cancer


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RE: Water

Whats really sad is that he is illiterate. His parents wisely chose to homeschool him; Naturally this means that he has been exposed to a broad range of beliefs and is now well equipped to make up his own mind of what his beliefs are. Oh wait, thats not true at all. Sad panda is Sad.


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