Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Water Is Just Water

Here is Dr. Stephen Cheney's enlightening discussion about the bogus claims of "super" bottled waters:

It's bad enough that some people are paying a premium price for bottled water that isn't required to be any better than tap water...
...but the latest fad appears to be things like "alkaline" water and "ionized" water...
...and these "super" waters come with a really hefty price tag.

If you believed the hype behind these products you would think that they were revolutionary advances that will cure all sorts of ills.  But the truth is that those enticing claims are completely bogus.  They contradict the basic laws of chemistry and biochemistry.  More importantly, there are no good quality clinical studies showing that they work!

Let's start with alkaline water - but first a bit of background information.

Pure water has a pH of around 7, which is neutral.  However, if the water is exposed to air for any length of time it picks up CO2 from the atmosphere. The CO2 dissolves in the water and is converted to carbonic acid making most sources of pure water slightly acidic.

On the other hand, if metal salts are dissolved in the water it generally becomes slightly alkaline.

Now the questions that we might ask are:

1) Does alkalinizing the body have any health benefits?

In the 1930s Otto Warburg, one of the founders of modern biochemistry, showed that cancer cells were much more dependent on glucose (blood sugar) as an energy source than were most other cells in the body and that cancer cells metabolized that glucose in a way that made the cancer cells very acidic.

That information languished for many years, but interest in the "Warburg Hypothesis" has been revived in recent years by studies showing that cancer cells can be selectively killed by limiting their source of glucose.

In theory, making the body more alkaline would also slow the growth of the cancer cells. There is some evidence to support that hypothesis, but the evidence is still relatively weak.

It is the same with the other proposed health benefits of alkalinizing the body. There is some evidence out there, but it is not yet convincing.

As a scientist I'm keeping on open mind, but I'm not ready to "bet the farm" on it.

2) Can alkaline water alkalinize the body?

Here the answer is a clear cut NO!

The body has a very strong buffer system and some elaborate metabolic controls to maintain a near- constant neutral pH.  Water is such a weak buffer that it has almost no effect on body pH!

If you really want to alkalinize your body you can do that by eating more of the alkaline foods (most fruits (including citrus fruits) and most vegetables (except the starchy vegetables), peas, beans, lentils, seeds & nuts) and less of the acidic foods (grains (especially refined grains), meat (especially red meat), fish, poultry and eggs).

I've seen some experts recommend 60% alkaline foods and 40% acidic foods.  I can't vouch for the validity of that recommendation in terms of the benefits of alkalinizing the body, but there are lots of other good reasons to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less red meat and refined carbohydrates.

Ionized water is an even sillier concept from a chemical point of view.  It is very difficult to ionize pure water and the ions that you do create quickly recombine to give you pure water again without any change in pH or physical properties.

If you add sodium chloride (table salt) to the water you can get electrolysis that creates a slightly alkaline pH at one electrode and a slightly acidic pH at the other electrode.

However, as soon as you turn off the current these pH changes rapidly disappear. And even if you were somehow able to capture some of the alkaline or acidic water remember that water alone has almost no effect on body pH.

But, what about all of those glowing testimonials that you heard?  You need to remember that the placebo effect is near 50% when it comes to pain or a feeling of well being.

You can't repeal the laws of chemistry and biochemistry.  Water is, after all, just water!

Good science trumps good testimonials any day.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Marti Gilchrist, Mother and Health Coach

Read my story about why I am a proponent of toxic chemical reform.

Marti Gilchrist, Mother and Health Coach

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Savin' O' The Green

In honor of St. Paddy’s Day I have a special gift for you.
I will give you a FREE Shaklee membership with a 50 point order.
This offer is good from now until March 31, 2010.

What are some of the benefits of membership?
  • 15% discount off retail on all products
  • Newsletters and emails on health related topics
  • Easy ordering on line or toll-free
  • Order whenever you want - no minimum requirements
  • Products delivered right to your door
  • A toxin-free home
  • Quality products from a 54-year-old company rated the #1 natural nutrition company 
Here are a few product suggestions that would qualify for the free membership:


 A daily vitamin strip that supplies 80 nutrients clinically proven to create a foundation for a longer, healthier life.* Comes in men's, women's and over-50 formulations

        Vivix ™ Cellular Anti-Aging Tonic -  resveratrol and a unique blend of polyphenols that is 10x more powerful than resveratrol alone and exclusive to Shaklee.*

Enfuselle®   Anti-Aging Skin Care products: The same nutrients that help keep you healthy on the inside also play a huge roll in how you look on the outside. Everything you need for healthy skin with none of the harmful ingredients.*

One package option:  Cleansing Product + Toner + Time Repair AM w/ SPF 15 (normal/oily or normal/dry formulations)

Get Clean® Starter Kit -  the equivalent of $3400 in conventional products without the toxic chemicals.

Always safe - always works - always green

 You can browse the catalog on the right side of this page, check out my web site or contact me to help you put together a qualifying order suited to your specific needs.

 Please also note - you will receive a rebate check for the price of the membership ($20) after your order has been placed.

“May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.”

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Prenatal exposure to phthalates could affect infant behaviour

Phthalates are used to make plastics more flexible and durable.  They are the most abundant man-made environmental pollutants and have been found to disrupt the endocrine system.

Where will you find phthalates?  Everywhere!  Upholstery material, shower curtains, children's toys, metal foils (like those found on yogurt containers), aluminum foil, cosmetics, perfumes, hairspray, nail polish, and food packaging material.  And this is just the short list.

Phthalates have long been suspected in connection with rising infertility rates, particularly among men. These substances are considered highly hazardous to human health because they disrupt the hormonal balance and impair reproduction and development.  New research has found significantly high levels of phthalates in almost 70 percent of girls with early onset of puberty.

Prenatal exposure to phthalates could affect infant behaviour