A Look at the Claims About, and an Explanation of the 
Effects of Alkaline Ionized Water and Acid Ionized Water

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Overview

This page represents a consolidation or aggregation of some overviews on alkaline ionized water and acid oxidized ionized water, and the mythology surrounding them,  which I have offered at other times and places on the Live-foods list and in various pages on the Raw Paleo Diet website and the H-Minus Ion website. Despite these earlier, and more scatter-shot, presentations and de-bunking efforts, I have discovered that a number of myths seem to persist in the world, and especially, on the Web, regarding so-called alkaline ionized water and acid oxidized ionized water.  This page is an effort to offer a focused examination of the myths surrounding ionized water and a debunking of those myths.

The questions which are often asked seem to be:
Why Does So-Called Alkaline Ionized Water Seem to Improve Health? 
and
Why Does So-Called Acidic Ionized Water Act As a Disinfectant?

Unfortunately, these questions have often been answered with mythology, or at best, a mixture of mythology and half-truth.  The manufacturers and vendors of most brands of water ionizers sold for home use, commercial nursery use and for clinical lab use, claim that the so-called alkaline ionized water, or "alkaline water" from their water ionizers improves health in a number of ways, and most of them attribute this benefit rather vaguely to the alkalinity of the water and it's supposed effects in "alkalinizing" the body.  Some vendors go even further and claim that the alkaline water will provide abundant quantities of calcium and other "alkalinizing" minerals for the body.

Likewise, many of the same vendors claim that the acid water from the ionizers has powerful disinfectant properties when used on skin, on plants and on surfaces to be cleaned, and most of them claim that this property is somehow due to the acidity of the water.  What is the reality?  Do alkaline water and acid water from ionizers really do what is claimed?  If so, how do they achieve those effects?  Read on to learn more!

Close-up: Alkaline Ionized Water, or Electrolyzed Reduced Water
Many vendors of commercial and household water ionizers call the water from the reducing, or negative pole, side of the ionizers "alkaline water" or "alkaline ionized water".  However, this name is somewhat misleading, since it could imply that the positive bio-effects of the water are due to its alkalinity.  Indeed, most vendors and manufacturers of water ionizers who claim beneficial effects upon human and animal health from the "alkaline water" do attribute the beneficial effects rather vaguely to the "alkalinity" of the water.  Many also claim that it somehow alkalinizes the body, or improves its mineral balance toward the alkaline region.  Indeed, some vendors of health products now offer bottles of "alkalinizing" tablets or drops, which they claim that when added to water, turn it into something with the health benefits of "alkaline ionized water" from the water ionizers.  Incidentally, these drops and tablets usually contain nothing more than a bit of sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide, which do indeed make water more alkaline, but has never been proven to have any health benefits.  Sodium hydroxide is also known as "lye", and is used as a drain cleaner.  Incidentally, while there is indeed some calcium and magnesium present in most alkaline ionized water, the amount present is negligible.

Whenever articles have appeared in the peer-reviewed scientific literature about so-called alkaline ionized water, the water has, more appropriately, usually been referred to as "electrolyzed reduced water", or ERW, and more rarely, sometimes as "electrolyzed alkaline water".  The word "reduced" comes from the fact that the water has been chemically "reduced" by electrolysis, where reduction is a chemical process which is the opposite of oxidation.  The research in the scientific literature and in dozens of labs around the world has shown that ERW often does exhibit markedly strong health-enhancing benefits, among which perhaps the most primary effect is an antioxidant effect.  The health-enhancing benefits of ERW to humans and animals when consumed internally does not seem to be due at all to is alkalinity, which is a pretty much accidental corollary, but rather due to the presence in the water of a powerful and primitive antioxidant known as the negative hydrogen ion.  This ion, which usually is very short-lived in nature due to its powerful properties,  is actually present in the water in a protected or clustered form, wherein each negative hydrogen ion is protected by a cage (or cluster) of water molecules.  The scientific research shows that it is the presence of this H-minus ion which gives so-called "alkaline ionized water" its powerful antioxidant effects.  Due to the presence of the H-minus ion, the water also exhibits a clustering effect different from normal water or tap water, and usually shows a reduced cluster size and reduced surface tension.  These two latter properties (reduced cluster size and reduced surface tension), which are also created by the presence of the H-minus ion, are also believed to have some beneficial effect upon the health of humans and animals.

In summary, it appears that any beneficial health effects of alkaline ionized water, or more properly, ERW, are due not to its alkalinity or alkaline mineral (calcium, magnesium) content, but rather due primarily to the presence of a simple, primal, primitive and primeval antioxidant called the negative hydrogen ion, which has been called the original primordial antioxidant which was present for use by life on earth when it first evolved.  There may be some secondary beneficial bio-effects due to the reduced cluster size of the water and its reduced surface tension.  To learn more about the H-minus ion and its bioeffects, please refer to other pages on this website.

Lastly, it is important to understand that the alkalinity of ERW, even when in the pH 11 to pH 12 range, is what is known as "weakly buffered", and thus will usually not damage tissue, as it is almost immediately neutralized by other substances.  However, for this same reason, this alkalinity is not enough strong or well-buffered enough to significantly shift the acid-alkaline balance of the body.


Close-up: Acid Ionized Water, or Electrolyzed Oxidized Water

Many vendors of commercial and household water ionizers call the water from the oxidizing, or positive pole, side of the ionizers "acid water" or "acid ionized water".  However, this name is somewhat misleading, since it could imply that the antimicrobial and antiseptic effects of the water are due to its acidity.  Indeed, many vendors and manufacturers of water ionizers who claim beneficial effects upon human and animal skin health and upon plants from the "acid water" do attribute the beneficial effects rather vaguely to the "acidity" of the water. 

Whenever articles have appeared in the peer-reviewed scientific literature about so-called "acid ionized water", the water has, more appropriately, usually been referred to as "electrolyzed oxidized water", or EAW, and more rarely, sometimes as "electrolyzed acidic water", or EAW.  The word "oxidized" comes from the fact that the water has been chemically "oxidized" by electrolysis, where oxidation (as in rust) is a chemical process which is the opposite of reduction.  The research in the scientific literature and in dozens of labs around the world has shown that EAW often does exhibit markedly strong antiseptic and anti-microbial effects, often with no damage to skin of humans or animals, and with little or no damage to the exterior surfaces of plants.  The antiseptic effects of EAW, in the lab, and on the external skin of humans, animals and plants, does not seem to be due at all to is acidity, which is a pretty much accidental corollary, but rather due to the presence in the water of a wide variety of powerful and primitive oxidizing agents, collectively known as peroxides and superoxide ions, as well as a variety of other highly reactive forms of oxygen ions.  The scientific research shows that it is the presence of these strong and primitive oxidizing ions which gives so-called "acid ionized water" its powerful antioxidant effects. 

In summary, it appears that any antiseptic effects of acid ionized water, or more properly, EAW, are due not to its acidity or acid mineral content, but rather due primarily to the presence of several simple species of primal, primitive and primeval oxidizers, some of which are superoxide ions and peroxide ions.  It is important to understand that the acidity of EAW, even when in the pH 2 to pH 3 range, is what is known as "weakly buffered", and this explains why it will will usually not damage human, plant or animal tissue, as it is almost immediately neutralized by other substances.  Indeed, many commercial over-the-counter cola drinks show a pH in the range of 2 to 3!  However, for this same reason, this acidity is not enough strong or well-buffered enough to significantly shift the acid-alkaline balance in the environment and thereby damage micro-organisms in that way.  Rather, any antiseptic effects of EAW (and they are often pronounced) are due to the oxidizing effects.


Click Here to Return to the Main Page for the Negative Hydrogen Ion Website!


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This freely-offered educational website has been totally self-supported by the author, Vinny Pinto, since its inception (and many of my websites were started between August 2000 and June 2003). While I offer the content on this website freely, as a gift to all from my heart, it is quite obvious that not only did my research in these realms (and also my training, including formal education, that allowed me to offer this material in the first place) incur costs, but there are also monthly and yearly costs associated with web hosting, domain registration, etc. As you have likely noticed, I have chosen not to accept any advertising on any of my websites. As a result of all of these factors, any funds that you might choose to donate toward supporting my research work and this site will be very much appreciated.

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