By Dr. Keith D. Kantor
Alkaline waters are designed to assist the body in maintaining a healthy pH. In order to understand if this is possible or plausible, it is necessary to establish the fundamental facts about pH, alkalinity, acidity, and how the body deals with them.
To begin with, the body is remarkably adept at maintaining a blood pH between 7.35 and 7.45. Just as blood pH operates within a certain range, so do other cell structures throughout the body, depending on what kind they are and to which system they belong. The body has a series of natural buffers, which help the blood and cells resist changes in pH.
By chemical definition, acidity is a problem of too much hydrogen (H+). Too much acidity (H+) in the body can stem from diet, disease, exercise, and other life style factors. Acidity also causes a lack of oxygen and a lower pH condition in which pathogens flourish. Buffering helps restore the pH balance but does not necessarily remove acidity. Still, a balanced pH does help the body work more effectively but the question remains, can acidity be removed completely?
In order to understand the acid/alkaline (acid/base) relationship we must first look at basic chemistry and the electro-magnetism involved. Ions play a major role in the acid/base reaction. The first modern definition describes how acids and bases interact in an aqueous solution (water). Simply put the Arrhenius theory maintains that:
An acid is any substance that produces hydrogen ions in an aqueous solution.
A base is any substance that produces hydroxide ions in an aqueous solution.
The hydrogen ions form through the dissociation of the acid and the hydroxide ions form by the ionizing of the base. Bases are said to ionize because they can either dissociate or dissolve whereas acids almost uniformly dissociate. In both instances, it is the action of water as a universal solvent that sets the ions free.
The Arrhenius theory was limited in its scope because it only dealt with acids and bases in aqueous solutions and only looked at the relationship between hydrogen ions and hydroxide ions. In an attempt to solve some of the limits of the Arrhenius theory, a new theory emerged put forth separately by two different individuals and became known as the Brønsted-Lowry theory, named for both of them. The Brønsted-Lowry theory holds that:
Acids are proton donors.
Bases are proton acceptors.
The proton in question is the hydrogen proton (hydrogen ion). Acids have at least one hydrogen proton that they easily transfer to another substance through a process called deprotonation. Furthermore, since bases are proton acceptors, they are in fact acceptors of hydrogen protons and it is called protonation. This concept of hydrogen proton donation and acceptance is fundamental to understanding how alkaline waters work.
The Arrhenius theory gives us the foundation of hydrogen ions and hydroxide ions and the Brønsted-Lowry theory gives us the concept of hydrogen proton transfer. With these theories as our basis, we can now discuss the fundamental chemistry behind base aqueous solutions, aka alkaline waters.
With this in mind, how do alkaline waters help the body buffer acidity and can they also eliminate acidity? Alkalinity is a quantitative measurement of the ability of a substance to neutralize acid (hydrogen) as measured by pH. Neutralization can be accomplished by one of two methods. The first method occurs when an alkaline substance with a negative charge is added to counteract the positive charge of an acid. This is called buffering and is accomplished in alkaline waters by the addition of minerals, trace minerals or electrolytes, all of which are alkaline. Although this helps restore the pH balance in the body by buffering and diluting the acid, it does not eliminate the acid. This is the main focus of most alkaline waters and how they accomplish their main goal of helping to restore pH balance. This does help reduce inflammation and will help with many of the diseases that inflammation adversely affects but it is not as effective as eliminating the acid.
The second method of neutralization occurs when hydroxide is introduced. Hydroxide (OH–) is a natural acid (H+) hunter that does not merely buffer the body against excess hydrogen but eliminates it by combining with it to form harmless water. That water can then be used for hydration or eliminated through excretion.
Here is the formula of the elimination reaction: OH– + H+ = H2O. This is a far more effective way to deal with excess acidity than mere buffering and it also increases the hydration potential of the water because it creates new water molecules while eliminating excess hydrogen (acid).
At this point it is important to note that hydrogen does not actually exist by itself in any aqueous solution or in the body. Hydrogen will always combine with another water molecule and form hydronium (H2O + H+ = H3O+). So the actual formula is OH– + H3O+ = H2O + H2O. This too is an oversimplification of what happens because hydroxide also clumps but this demonstrates the basics of what is happening.
The power of hydroxide is founded in the fundamentals of all acid-base theories as outlined above and is undeniable. Any alkaline water that has negative ions or undergoes some form of ionization contains hydroxide. The problem is that most alkaline waters use this as a secondary and subsidiary means of restoring pH balance and focus too much on mere buffering. Again, this does help reduce inflammation but not as effectively as eliminating the acid will.
What does all of this mean? Simply put: a water that concentrates on providing as many free hydroxide ions as possible will do more to eliminate acidity and thereby reduce inflammation than typical alkaline waters. Finding a hydroxide rich alkaline water is more important than finding a water that claims high alkalinity, especially if that alkalinity relies on minerals or electrolytes. Emphasis on hydroxide content rather than mineral content makes the alkaline water a more transformative water with greater restorative potential. Hydroxide rich alkaline water also increases the oxygen content of the blood; in many cases this tends to give people more energy.
Hydroxide rich alkaline water along with an all-natural diet also helps to detoxify and decalcify the Pineal Gland, which controls melatonin production and is known as the master gland since it has so much control over the endocrine system. When it becomes, toxic and calcified it decreases the melatonin production, reduces serotonin production and has been linked to many chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Anxiety Disorder, PTSD, Depression and many others.
Sуmрtоmѕ аѕѕосіаtеd wіth еxсеѕѕ асіdіtу include:
- Aсіd Indіgеѕtіоn / Hеаrtburn
- Lоw Enеrgу Lеvеlѕ
- Frеquеnt Cоldѕ аnd Infесtіоn
- Lеg Crаmрѕ
- Inflammation/ Diabetes/ Obesity
Fortunately, it іѕ possible to bring уоur bоdу’ѕ рH lеvеlѕ bасk wіthіn nоrmаl rаngе. Eating an alkaline diet and drinking a HYDROXIDE rich alkaline water are part of the success plan.
My research has shown, along with testing in my practice that the best hydroxide rich alkaline water is AQUA OH-! This is because it is all natural (made from pure limestone), the purest and has the least amount of minerals in it (just a little pure natural calcium). It also comes as a concentrate, so it is at least 250%+ less expensive that all other alkaline waters and it works more efficiently since it eliminates the acid instead of just buffering it.
Properties of Water
Regulation of Intracellular Hydrogen Ion Concentration
Importance of Intracellular [H+]
MAINTAINING CELLULAR CONDITIONS: pH AND BUFFERS
Source: Myers, Richard (2003). The Basics of Chemistry. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 157–161. ISBN 978-0-313-31664-7.
Brønsted–Lowry acid–base theory
Source: Masterton, William; Hurley, Cecile; Neth, Edward (2011). Chemistry: Principles and Reactions. Cengage Learning. p. 433. ISBN 1-133-38694-6.
Alkalinity Table (hydroxides and carbonates)
Source: Marx, D.; Chandra, A; Tuckerman, M.E. (2010). “Aqueous Basic Solutions: Hydroxide Solvation, Structural Diffusion, and Comparison to the Hydrated Proton”. Chem. Rev. 110 (4): 2174–2216.
Acid Base Reactions