“The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the pH Balance Diet” stresses how important it is to maintain balance in life, including pH balance. The pH scale originates from chemistry and is a way to measure the acidity or alkalinity of something. The scale runs from 0 to 14, with 7 considered neutral, 0 is very acidic and 14 is very alkaline. The ideal pH for humans is slightly alkaline, at 7.4, states the Budwig Center, an alternative cancer treatment clinic. An easy way to maintain alkalinity is to consume at least five glasses of alkaline water daily.
Having too much acid in your body can weaken all your systems, states the Budwig Center. Your body has to borrow minerals from your bones, teeth and organs to neutralize excess acidity. High acid levels, or acidosis, might lead to diarrhea, osteoporosis, anxiety, rheumatoid arthritis and impaired immune function. Acidosis could also interfere with your cells’ ability to heal or produce energy and also allow cancer to flourish. According to the Budwig Center, cancer cells thrive in acidic environments.
Alkaline water is also called ionized water, with a pH typically between 7 and 10. A pH of 8.4 or above is best, states “Fit for Life.” A good source of alkaline water is spring water — usually a pH of 8 to 8.5 — that naturally becomes alkaline by acquiring minerals as it passes over rocks, according to Lawrence Wilson, M.D., who specializes in nutritional balancing at the Center For Development in Arizona. You can purchase water ionizing machines, but Wilson advises against them, because such machines use titanium or platinum to make water alkaline and don’t introduce natural minerals the body requires.
Alkaline water may have numerous health uses, according to “Recover Your Health” by Jeremiah Joseph. He states alkaline water is better for hydration because it has fewer molecules and is more easily absorbed. Joseph says it can also protect against free radicals that cause cell damage and reduce the effects of aging. Other purported benefits include potential weight loss, improved mental clarity, an increase in bone strength and more energy.
More research is needed, but some scientific studies on alkaline water have revealed promising results. One study in a 2001 issue of “Shanghai Journal of Protective Medicine” found drinking alkaline water for 3 to 6 months lowered cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure levels in participants. Another study in the July 2012 edition of “Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology” found water with a pH of 8.8 effectively neutralized stomach acid and pepsin, making it a possible treatment for acid reflux.
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