Q & A Library
Is Kangen Water Healthful?
What do you know about the efficacy of Kangen water?
Answer (Published 9/13/2010)
Kangen water is being aggressively marketed in the United States and elsewhere in the world for its purported health benefits. It is the latest variation of so-called alkaline water, which promoters claim is essential for elimination of the acidity in our bodies - attributed to all of the evils of the modern world. You don't just go out to buy a bottle of Kangen water. Instead, you have to buy a home water ionizer to create your own supply, an investment that can run to $4,000.
I am often asked about the health benefits of alkaline water and the notion that it is somehow protective of health and can prevent disease by balancing the body's pH. The usual selling points are that alkaline water is energizing, hydrates the body more effectively than regular water, improves the taste of food when used in cooking, promotes "regularity," helps the body absorb nutrients more effectively, and on and on. I've even seen claims that it can cure obesity, high blood pressure and breast cancer.
None of these claims is true. Furthermore, the human body needs absolutely no help in adjusting its pH. Normally, the pH of blood and most body fluids is near seven, which is close to neutral. This acid-base balance is under very tight physiologic control because all of the chemical reactions that maintain life depend on it. Unless you have serious respiratory or kidney problems, body pH will remain in balance no matter what you eat or drink. As for water, you should consider the fact that alkaline water is common throughout the western states but to my knowledge it has not protected anyone from the diseases common in our population.
Furthermore, Kangen water products are sold through multi-level marketing - that is, you can buy them only through distributors who make money not just from their own sales but from those of the people they recruit. I'm sorry, but I am prejudiced against all such pyramid marketing schemes and urge you to avoid them, whatever the products are.
Bottom line: The health claims for water ionizers and for alkaline water are bogus.
Andrew Weil, M.D.
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