The Alkaline Way of Health
Since most of the damage that occurs in your body is caused by excess acidity, I’ve always felt strongly about the need to support healthy alkaline balance for optimal health and well-being. Paying attention to this essential component of health gives you an incredible preventive edge.
Each of the trillions of cells in your body contain many alkaline substances—minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium, as well as oxygen and bicarbonate. The combination of all these substances produces a slightly alkaline pH within your cells. Your body’s internal functions—including energy production, immunity, and much of your digestive process—work most efficiently in this alkaline environment.
In addition to your cells, your blood must also maintain a slightly alkaline state in order for your body to function efficiently. Unfortunately, you—and your blood and cells—are constantly exposed to a variety of acidic substances, including environmental pollutants, acidic or acid- forming foods, and even stress. To help neutralize the acidity caused by these daily offenders, your body has a complex buffering system that works hard to maintain alkalinity.
However, as most women age, this buffering system weakens, causing excess acid to be neutralized less effectively. This contributes to decreased energy levels, reduced immunity, and increased risk of diseases, such as osteoporosis. Since your bones contain high amounts of alkaline minerals, like calcium and magnesium, your body draws these substances from your bones to help alkalinize the rest of your system. Over time, this leaching of minerals can lead to bone loss.
Boost Your Buffering System
For decades, I’ve been advising my patients to prevent disease and boost their internal buffering system by managing stress, exercising, eating a diet rich in alkaline foods, and taking a multinutrient that contains ample amounts of various minerals.
But most importantly, I also recommend using an alkalinizing product—especially if your body tends to regularly veer toward the acidic side. I’ve found that a formulation that contains a 3:2 ratio of sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate works best. Unfortunately, the product that I previously recommended, Alka-Aid, has been reformulated. So, I created my own formula with the dosages of sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate that I’m comfortable providing. This product is available through Doctors’ Preferred (800-941-1997 or www.drlark.com).
Along with these suggestions, I encourage you to take a second look at the type of water you drink. Considering all my research and experimentation, I’m more convinced than ever that you
need to drink the best quality water possible to maximize the benefits of this miraculous substance, including increased immunity and overall vibrant health.
Not All Water Is Created Equal
Water comes in many forms, most commonly spring, filtered, mineral, and tap. All of the above options—except unfiltered tap water, which is full of chlorine and other impurities—are clean, pure forms of water that provide the hydration your body needs to function properly and effectively. However, there is another option that goes a step beyond “clean” and “pure” to provide healing and health-promoting benefits—alkaline water.
Water typically has a neutral pH, meaning it contains no acidic or alkaline properties. Water- alkalinizing devices can raise or lower the pH of water by actually redistributing the amount of minerals naturally found in water.
The device creates two streams of water—an alkaline stream that has a rich and abundant
amount of alkaline minerals (including calcium, potassium, and magnesium), as well as an acidic stream that contains a high number of acidic minerals. Drinking the alkaline water benefits your health by decreasing your risk of osteoporosis, heartburn, and many other conditions caused by excess acidity.
The Neutral-to-Alkaline Process
Japanese researchers developed the technology to create alkaline water in the 1950s. After rigorous testing on plants, animals, then humans, they concluded that the water was safe and alleviated symptoms of many diseases. The first commercial machines—called water ionizers— became available in the 1960s. Soon thereafter, the Japanese government approved the water ionizer as a medical device and healing tool. Now, water ionizers are readily available in Japan and South Korea. In fact, their popularity has soared, with more than one million home units sold each year. In addition, many hospitals in those countries use water ionizers to aid in healing.
A home water ionizer is an electrical appliance that connects to your kitchen faucet. When tap water enters the unit, it is first filtered to remove chlorine, impurities, odors, and tastes. Then the water passes through an electrolysis chamber equipped with positive and negative electrodes.
The negative electrodes attract the positively charged minerals. Through the electrolysis process, this water gains a negative charge, elevating its pH to alkaline levels. The alkaline water is diverted into a stream that comes out of the faucet and can be used for drinking and cooking. At the same time, the negatively charged minerals in the tap water are drawn to the positive electrodes, creating acid water. Water with an acidic pH has cleansing and disinfecting properties and can be used to wash hands, clean fruits and vegetables, sterilize cutting boards, and even treat minor wounds.
Fortunately, water ionizers are now available in the U.S., but the vast majority of Americans do not know of this device’s wonderful benefits—which is why I am so excited to share them with you!
Spectacular Cellular Benefits
As I mentioned before, one of the greatest advantages of alkaline water is its ability to gently raise the pH of your cells and tissues and to neutralize acids in your body. However, it doesn’t end there!
During electrolysis, alkaline water gains a significant number of electrons (negatively charged particles). It is able to donate these electrons to the destructive free radicals in your body, thereby blocking the oxidation (or breakdown) of healthy tissue. In essence, alkaline water becomes a super-antioxidant, helping to prevent cell damage and making you less susceptible to disease.
In addition, the electrolysis process reduces the cluster size of water, meaning there are less hydrogen and oxygen atoms in a single molecule of water. This allows your body to more easily absorb the high pH water, increasing its ability to hydrate, as well as alkalinize your cells and tissues.
To gain these amazing benefits, I suggest drinking four to six 8-ounce glasses of alkaline water per day. For best results, make sure the water’s pH is between 9 and 9.5. Many manufacturers provide solution that allows you to test the water’s pH. I also encourage you to use alkaline water in your cooking and baking. I’ve even found that dipping produce in it will help maintain freshness for longer periods of time.
Too Good to Be True?
Since the 1950s, when Japanese researchers first discovered the miraculous benefits of alkaline water, hundreds of studies have been conducted to test its effectiveness and safety. However, more scientists than ever are starting to catch on to this exciting trend, and research continues to yield positive results.
A study published in the May 1997 issue of Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications concluded that alkaline water does, in fact, protect DNA from oxidative damage. More recently, a study in the August 2003 Kidney International found that alkaline water can reduce oxidative stress in patients with end-stage kidney disease.
And on a more personal note, my family and I have been conducting our own informal “research” into how alkaline water has helped us over the past 12 years. Without a doubt, we have seen tremendous improvement in our health and resistance to illness and disease. As I said earlier, we have not suffered from a cold or flu in well over a decade—and as a doctor, I’m exposed to germs almost every day!
Conditions Alkaline Water Helps
* Chronic constipation or diarrhea
* Chronic fatigue
* Colds and flu
* High blood pressure
* Leg cramps
* Nausea and morning sickness
* Poor circulation
Make Your Own Alkaline Water
I recommend two brands of water ionizers more highly than others on the market.
AlkaZone by Better Health Lab, Inc., is my favorite brand (800-810-1888 or www.alkazone.com)
a highly sophisticated water ionizer that recently became available in the U.S. and Canada.
Better Health Lab, Inc., also sells a product called Alkaline Booster—tasteless, colorless, liquid mineral drops that you add to your water. Three or four drops can have the same alkalinizing benefits as the entire water ionizing system attached to your kitchen sink. Alkaline Booster is ideal for travel and can easily fit in your purse. For best results, I recommend using these drops at the same time you supplement with an alkalinizing agent, such as the sodium/potassium bicarbonate blend I mentioned earlier.
I encourage you to learn more about how to reduce acidity to improve your health. You can do so by referring to the July 2004 issue of The Lark Letter—now available for free at www.drlark.com when you visit the brand new subscriber center. I’m also working on a book that will focus exclusively on alkaline balance, which should be available by early next year.”