Dr. David Brownstein,  editor of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter, is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. His books include Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming Arthritis, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet; and The Guide to Healthy Eating. He is the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage daughters, Hailey and Jessica.

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Will Drinking Alkaline Water Hinder Nutrient Absorption?

Thursday, 10 Dec 2009 10:06 AM


Question: In your newsletter on "Hidden Dangers of Popular Stomach-Acid drugs," you say that raising the pH level in the stomach can cause a host of medical problems. I am wondering whether drinking alkaline water with a pH of 8.5, 9.0, 9.5, or even 10.5 can also raise the stomach pH and therefore can hinder the nutrition absorption among other things.

Dr. Brownstein's Answer:

You have asked a good question. Alkaline water is promoted over the Internet as a healthier form of water. There are many sites that say, "In order to hydrate your body optimally, you need to drink water that is alkaline." These claims are made with no supporting scientific evidence. I have written in my books that many people who are ill with chronic disease are acidic: They have too low a pH, a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of the body. If the pH is too high or too low, health problems with develop. A normal pH is around 7.2.

What throws off pH in the body? Nutritional deficiencies generally promote a lowering of the pH (i.e., acidity). Eating refined foods like white sugar, flour, and salt promote acidity. The best way to optimize your pH is to eat a healthy diet full of minerals and vitamins. Eating unprocessed, organic is the way to achieve this.

If you are acidic, should you drink alkaline water to raise the pH and help you absorb nutrients better? That is what the merchants selling alkaline water machines claim, along with claims about curing various illnesses. I disagree. The best way to optimize your pH is to eat a healthy diet. Furthermore, the two most important substances the body needs to maintain a normal pH level are unrefined salt and iodine. It is especially important not to drink alkaline water with your meals, as this will impair your stomach’s natural digestive ability.





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