While there are several claims made about the health benefits of alkaline water, medical research has yielded mixed results.
By Tej Kumar
A viral video (in Hindi) on Facebook claims that alkaline water made from vegetables can cure liver and kidney failure as well as several gastrointestinal problems. The video, which has garnered over 30 million views, suggests mixing ginger, carrot, cucumber, lemon, and mint leaves with water, stored in a mud pot, to transform the solution into “magic water” that can remedy multiple health issues.
First things first, what is alkaline water? Alkaline water’s defining characteristic is its elevated pH level due to the presence of alkaline minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron. pH level measures the degree of acidity or alkalinity on a scale of 0 to 14. Lower pH values indicate acidity, while higher values signify alkalinity.
While there are several claims made about the health benefits of alkaline water, medical research on the subject has yielded mixed results so far. One study suggests that alkaline water might help alleviate symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. However, the study was conducted on mice, and it does not address the underlying cause of liver failure.
Another study indicates an increased risk of developing hyperkalemia (a medical condition characterised by elevated level of potassium in the blood) with daily consumption of alkaline water, particularly if the water’s pH exceeds 9.8.
First Check reached out to Dr Ibrahim Masoodi, consultant gastroenterologist at East Sussex NHS Trust, Eastbourne, UK, for an expert opinion. “Alkaline water cannot reverse or treat kidney failure or liver failure,” he notes.
“Many diseases can lead to chronic kidney failure, requiring either renal transplant or dialysis for survival. Similarly, chronic liver disease is typically caused by factors such as chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus. Patients experience fluid retention, swelling of the feet, and jaundice due to compromised liver function. Alkaline water cannot replace liver cells,” elucidates Dr Ibrahim.
Relying on home-based remedies may pose serious health risks, particularly for conditions such as liver and kidney failure. It’s advisable to consult a qualified medical practitioner at the earliest and pursue treatments with solid scientific backing.