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Disclaimer:  This information is not meant as direct medical advice. Readers should always review options with their local medical team. This is the sole opinion of Dr. Meakin based on literature review at the time of the blog and may change as new evidence evolves.

Can Alkaline Water Impact Cancer?

Questions from the Clinic:

What is alkaline water? Is there any scientific evidence to suggest that drinking alkaline water will fight cancer? If so, how does it work? Are there any cancers where it is most useful?

Alkaline waster PH level
Figure 1: Alkaline water has a pH greater than 7. In chemistry, potential of hydrogen (pH) refers to how acidic or basic any particular substance is and ranges from 0 (most acidic) to 14 (most basic). Image courtesy of EatingWell.

I. Introduction

Adequate hydration is among the most important practices to promote physical health and optimize athletic performance.(1) In the body, water lubricates the joints, facilitates digestion, regulates body temperature, maintains blood pressure, and cushions the brain, spinal cord, and other sensitive tissues.(2) Because of these diverse functions, the Mayo Clinic – a world-renowned American medical center – recommends that men consume 3.7 liters of water and women consume 2.7 liters of water per day.(3) That said, not all drinking water is the same. Like other liquids, water can be acidic or basic depending on its potential of hydrogen, or “pH”. Acidic solutions have a pH of <7, whereas alkaline solutions have a pH >7; pure water has a pH of precisely 7 (Figure 1).(4) In recent years, alkaline water and diets have become popular topics of discussion among patients with cancer seeking natural ways to improve their health. Some even testify that it can cure cancer. That said, significant controversy surrounds the efficacy and safety of these strategies, whose mechanistic basis is only beginning to be understood.(5)

II. Mechanism of Action