Ionized Water and Digestion
How Does Ionized Water Help Your Digestive System?
Water Ionizers Help the Stomach and Colon:
Ionized water helps the digestive system in many ways.
The intestines need an alkaline pH in order to be healthy. Among the benefits of ionized water are improved conditions in the GI tract [including better elimination, digestion, energy, and overall health]. One thing about weight or health problems that many people don't realize is the importance of the pH balance in the gastrointestinal tract and the body in general. Most people do not know that it's not stomach acids that digest your food. It's enzymes. Water has no calories, and so it doesn't trigger digestion or depleat stomach acids at all. So anyone saying that to drink alkaline ionized water is bad for the stomach doesn't know what they're talking about. Of course if you are in the process of eating meat or dairy I don't suggest it, because it could interfere then. because you want the pH of the food to trigger the correct enzymes. However, 20 minutes before and after eating by all means drink alkaline water! You should drink alkaline ionized water at a reasonable pH-level, such as 9.5 or 10, although I have talked to many cancer patients who report better, faster results when they drink higher pH-levels. The stomach can handle all pH-levels and can easily create the acids it needs on demand when it needs it. The colon absolutely requires an alkaline pH. Colon cancer [which is an awful disease by the way] would be so much better to prevent than to "cure" after-the-fact. Dr. Shinya, inventor of the colonoscopy, has done a lot of work with that. See his video and diet plan, below. He highly recommends alkaline ionized water as part of his program to help people heal their colons so they don't get cancer.
When should you NOT drink alkaline water?
The right time to drink alkaline ionized water is almost always! The general rule of thumb is if you're eating meat or dairy it will want an acidic pH in order to trigger the proper enzymes, so during such a meal it's not suggested to consume alkaline ionized water [or 20 min. before/after]. Other than that the stomach likes alkaline ionized water, just like the other organs and cells in your body. Alkaline ionized water is fine to drink at all other times, and does not harm the stomach in any way. Because water has no calories, the stomach doesn't recognize it as anything that requires digestion. Water also doesn't stay in the stomach generally; it passes right through in a few minutes. Read on to learn more about the role of water ionizers in good digestion.
What is the Gastro-Intestinal Tract?
The GI tract can be considered to be all of the organs involved with eating, digestion and elimination. Just by starting to chew your food the body senses the food's chemical make-up and knows what pH-level the stomach will need to digest it. Then GI tract releases hormones to help signal the release of proper enzymes for digestion in the stomach.
PH is a key factor in knowing which hormones to activate.
Food needs enzymes to assist in proper digestion, and without enzymes functioning properly digestion would be sluggish, causing many health problems to arise. Hormones associated with enzymes can sense the pH in each organ and if the pH is right for the enzyme that hormone controls, the enzymes are signaled to become active and do their job properly.
The stomach is the only organ in the entire digestive system that requires a low acid pH level in order to do its job, and it produces it all by itself by injecting HCL, or hydrochloric acid, into the stomach as food arrives. The stomach is an interesting and unique organ. When dormant you will find only a tiny bit of acid in it, but when digestion is stimulated gastric acid, containing mostly HCL, is produced on demand to handle the load. HCL's pH is 1-1.5. Organisms in the food are likely to be killed by the low acid of the stomach juices. This makes it part of the body's immune system. The acid itself doesn't break down the food, but rather the low pH environment is conductive to the enzymes doing their job to break down of the protein walls. Certain types of food require a lower acid than others. For instance meat requires a greater strength of acidity to break down the protein walls.
Does Alkaline Ionized water upset the HCL balance in the stomach?
No, as long as you are not drinking alkaline ionized water during a meal containing meat. HCL is a strong acid, creating a low acid pH in the stomach during digestion, but unless you're actively eating, there isn't much of it [or much need for it] in the stomach. Water, by itself, does not trigger the production of HCL or digestion, so is allowed to pass through the stomach quickly and undigested. [see video] without upsetting the overall pH balance of the stomach. If you are just eating an apple or other piece of fruit, there is no concern about drinking alkaline ionized water right along with it.
The duodenum is the top portion of the small intestine, just below the stomach, and it is significant in the digestion process. The duodenum injects bicarbonate and other buffering "juices" in order to raise the pH to its preferred level of 8.8, which is very alkaline.
The duodenum likes this high alkaline pH, because it is more suitable for digesting fats [which come into the duodenum undigested]
Note: the best time to take your fat-soluble vitamins [A, D, E, Omega 3 fatty acids, etc.] is with a meal containing fat. This way the combination of food is not interfering with efficient digestion. I did some testing of ionized water, trying to simulate the water passing through the stomach and into the duodenum. The following three videos and chart not only show this testing in full, but also give good insights into how digestion works in general and also how pH affects each major organ of the digestive system.
Adding 3 drops Apple Cider Vinegar to Ionized Water
For this experiment I added just the tiniest amount of vinegar just to simulate what happens to ionized water as it enters the stomach. As you can see the pH dropped as well as the ORP.
Maintaining an alkaline balance in the intestines can make a great contribution to a person's colon health as well as their overall health an well-being. The small intestine is significant in the absorption of nutrients from the food. The mucosa of the small intestine is about 8.5 pH. All the way along the intestines, more enzymes are added and more food is absorbed until, by the time the chyme, digested food, reaches the large intestine, 95% of the nutrients should have been absorbed. The nutrients go into the blood, then straight to the liver for filtering before entering the regular circular system. Ionized water is very beneficial in the small intestine for many reasons. It will assist the small intestines to maintain a healthy 8.5 pH so as to inhibit the growth of parasites, funguses, and other undesirable microorganisms. Parasites going unchecked are often a large contributor to mal-nourishment and weight-management problems. Proper pH stimulates proper enzymes to digest whatever food hasn't been broken down thoroughly enough by now. Ionized water, being absorbed at this point in the GI tract, is healthy for you in many ways. The anti-oxidants will go to the liver and help to detoxify and anti-oxidize it [then will go to the rest of the cells in the body to do the same]. Also, the micro-clustered water will enable better absorption of water into the body and so keep the body hydrated better. This will put less demand on the large intestine for water, and so will help stools be softer, bigger, and move faster through the colon.
The Large Intestine
In the large intestine the main job is the absorption of water into the body, production of B and K vitamins, absorption of a few more nutrients, and then quickly eliminating the waste. A good, healthy, alkaline pH level in the large intestine helps to inhibit the growth of bad-bacteria and maintain the proper balance of good bacteria [intestinal flora]. Note: Insufficient water or oil in the diet or insufficient intestinal flora "good bacteria" can cause the stool to be hard, sticky and trapped in the walls of the large intestine. If we don't eliminate properly, we reabsorb toxins into our bodies from our bowels. Alkaline ionized water helps to promote good elimination through the colon. See the video showing several short clips of colonoscopies done by Dr. Shinya. Dr. Shinya is the inventor of the colonoscopy and has learned many good tips for keeping a healthy GI tract. See his advice below the video.
Dr Hiromi Shinya — Colon Therapy
Dr. Shinya's Diet Advice
In addition to drinking plenty of good water, Dr. Shinya advises you develop eating habits that are good for your colon and GI Tract health. He also advocates daily exercise, rest/sleep, and being stress-free. The following is the "Good Eating Habits" advice from Dr. Shinya's website.
Good Eating Habits:
Dr Shinya suggests 90% fruits and vegetables and 10% protein. Dr. Shinya's points for good eating are:
- Eat unpurified grains or cereals.
- Eat more vegetables.
- More seafood, less meat.
- Eat raw foods.
- Do not eat oxidized foods. [i.e., over-cooked, hydrogenated, or spoiled]
- Eat fermented foods.
- Avoid milk and milk products.
- Take Vitamins and Minerals
- Be disciplined with the food you eat.
How else can you take causative action to improve digestion?
Drink ionized water: Drinking alkaline ionized water will help establish and maintain a healthy, necessarily slightly-alkaline, balance of pH in the GI tract as described above. Combine foods properly. Try to not mix sugary foods, refined carbohydrates or refined starches with meals. Avoid junk food. This just gives you empty calories, taxes your digestive system, toxifies the liver and other organs of digestion, slows down digestion, and can contribute to mal-nourishment and obesity. Eat unsaturated fats rather than trans fats and saturated fats. Good fats help to supply you with quick energy and make you feel satisfied, so as to have fewer cravings for sweets or food in general. Your body needs fatty acids, but only the good ones. Bad fats contribute to hunger, over-eating, mal-nutrition, heart disease, and many other ailments. Don't overeat. This triggers insulin, which interferes with your body's sugar/energy balance and so makes you feel tired [and hungrier] later. Stress can lead to poor digestion and an overly acidic body. Therefore, it is suggested that you adopt a healthy, stress-free, lifestyle. Stress-free doesn't imply "action-free" or a lethargic existence. Quite the contrary. The more productive and purposeful a person is, often the less stress they are usually feeling. Move your body frequently and periodically exert yourself, so as to keep your muscles toned, use up your calories, improve circulation and improve digestion. Lose weight if you need to. Overweight people demand more calories, get hungrier, and so tend to eat more. The more you eat, the more difficult it is for your digestive system to function properly. Statistically, people who consume fewer calories live longer and healthier lives.