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Alkaline Water Body Digestion
Among the people who question the validity
of alkaline water, the biggest question is; "What happens to the
alkaline water once it reaches the stomach, which is highly acidic?"
People who have some knowledge of the human body, including medical
doctors, ask this question. Let me answer that question once and for
all to erase any doubts about the benefits of alkaline water.
In order to digest food and kill the kinds
of bacteria and viruses that come with the food, the inside of our stomach
is acidic. The stomach pH value is maintained at around 4. When we eat
food and drink water, especially alkaline water, the pH value inside
the stomach goes up. When this happens, there is a feedback mechanism
in our stomach to detect this and commands the stomach wall to secrete
more hydrochloric acid into the stomach to bring the pH value back to
4. So the stomach becomes acidic again. When we drink more alkaline
water, more hydrochloric acid is secreted to maintain the stomach pH
value. It seems like a losing battle.
However, when you understand how the stomach wall makes hydrochloric acid, your concerns will disappear. A pathologist friend of mine gave me the following explanation. There is no hydrochloric acid pouch in our body. If there were, it would burn a hole in our body. The cells in our stomach wall must produce it on an instantly-as-needed basis. The ingredients in the stomach cell that make hydrochloric acid (HCl) are carbon dioxide (CO2), water (H2O), and sodium chloride (NaCl) or potassium chloride (KCl).
NaCl + H2O
+ CO2 = HCl + NaHCO3
As we can see, the byproduct of making
hydrochloric acid is sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3)
or potassium bicarbonate (KHCO3), which goes
into blood stream. These bicarbonates are the alkaline buffers that
neutralize excess acids in the blood; they dissolve solid acid wastes
into liquid form. As they neutralize the solid acidic wastes, extra
carbon dioxide is released, which is discharged through the lungs. As
our body gets old, these alkaline buffers get low; this phenomenon is
called acidosis. This is a natural occurrence as our body accumulates
more acidic waste products. There is, therefore, a relationship between
the aging process and the accumulation of acids.
By looking at the pH value of the stomach
alone, it seems that alkaline water never reaches the body. But when
you look at the whole body, there is a net gain of alkalinity as we
drink alkaline water. Our body cells are slightly alkaline. In order
for them to produce acid, they must also produce alkaline, and vice
versa; just as a water ionizer cannot produce alkaline water without
producing acid water, since tap water is almost neutral.
When the stomach pH value gets higher than
4, the stomach knows what to do to lower it. However, if the pH value
goes below 4, for any reason, the stomach doesn't know what to do. That's
why we take Alka-Seltzer, which is alkaline, to relieve acidic stomach
gas pain. In this case, hydrochloric acid is not produced by the stomach
wall, therefore, no alkaline buffer is being added to the blood stream.
Let me give you another example of a body
organ that produces acid in order to produce alkaline. After the food
in the stomach is digested, it must come out to the small intestine.
The food at this point is so acidic that it will damage the intestine
wall. In order to avoid this problem, the pancreas makes alkaline juice
(known as pancreatic juice). This juice is sodium bicarbonate, and is
mixed with the acidic food coming out of the stomach. From the above
formulae, in order to produce bicarbonates, the pancreas must make hydrochloric
acid, which goes into our blood stream.
We experience sleepiness after a big meal
(not during the meal or while the food is being digested in the stomach),
when the digested food is coming out of the stomach; that's the time
when hydrochloric acid goes into our blood. Hydrochloric acid is the
main ingredient in antihistamines and that is what causes drowsiness.
Alkaline or acid produced by the body must have an equal and opposite acid or alkaline produced by the body; therefore, there is no net gain. However, alkaline supplied from outside the body, like drinking alkaline water, results in a net gain of alkalinity in our body.
Copyright 1997 by Sang Whang Enterprises, Inc.