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Does the Japan Ministry of Health back alkaline water?
Hveragerthi Views: 66,717
Published: 11 years ago

Does the Japan Ministry of Health back alkaline water?

With all the hype Kangen has put out about alkalinized water it is hard to sort fact from fiction. MLM companies frequently make up "fact" in order to sell their products counting on the fact that most people will never take the time to verify or disprove their claims. So what do other sites have to say about Kangen's claim that the Japanese Ministry of Health approves alkaline waters?:

"Medical Certifications
Despite claims to the contrary, the Japanese Ministry of Health has only ever issued Safety Approvals, originally in 1954, but has never certified or tested the health effects of 'alkaline water'.

"The Ministry of Health and Welfare was more concerned with safety issues when they examined the Ionizers for approval since they would be sold for general household use. Thus, it can be assumed that the Ministry of Health and Welfare does not recommend the use of these products."

Japanese Ministry of Merchandise Trade
Report on Consumer Complaints - 1992

However, despite almost 50-years of these devices being available there is still no medical clinical data on its long-term health effects. We have come a long way since 1954....

"..It has been 30 years since their [ionizer] approval, these benefits have never been reviewed using statistical data based on follow-up animal or dosage experiments with humans....."

Japanese Ministry of Merchandise Trade
Report on Consumer Complaints - 1992

Whilst they were popular in Japan during the late 1970 to 1980's with more than two dozen companies involved, all this changed in the early 1990's. In 1992 a Japanese Government - Ministry of Merchandise Trade Report was released that was highly critical of both 'alkaline water' health claims and the sales tactics used to sell water ionizers. Today, apart from later entrants from Korea, only one or two companies in Japan continue to persevere."

The idea of drinking Alkaline Water was never seriously contemplated until the late 1940's when Japanese scientists were in search of a solution to the severe drug shortages of the post-war period. The researchers initially found that electrically ionized Alkaline Water with a pH greater than 8.5 to 9.0 was a potential solution for suffers of Gastric Hyperacidity and other primarily digestive conditions. Water ionizers were never approved as 'alkalizing' or 'balancing' devices. Furthermore, even their ability to combat the conditions they were approved for has been in doubt for at least 10-years;

"Slightly alkaline Ionized Water cannot be expected to control the acidity of gastric fluid, milk and mineral water is more effective. It [the Japanese Ministry of Health] also insists that the efficacy [of Water Ionizers] has to be re-evaluated so as to not bring about unreasonable consumer expectations."

Japanese Ministry of Merchandise Trade
Report on Consumer Complaints - 1992"

""The beneficial effects [of alkaline ionizers]claimed by the indications covered a wide range of subject matters. However, some of these statements could very likely violate current pharmaceutical laws."

Japanese Ministry of Merchandise Trade
Report on Consumer Complaints - 1992"

The above site should be read in depth as they also mention a lot of what I have been saying including the digestive problems that can develop and the fact that ORP is nothing more than a sales tool and does not indicate antioxidant potential. There are also views from other experts like Dr. Andrew Weil.

This site also says that the claim by Kangen is false. It also discusses some other potential adverse effects of alkaline waters:

"Can Alkaline Ionized Water Damage Health?
Up until now the long-term health effects of drinking alkaline Ionized Water has been poorly understood, even by its proponents. However, a search of the public medical record turns up significant independent scientific evidence that if you drink 'alkaline ionized water' it could be one of the worst things you can do!
While the short-term consumption of Alkaline Water may lead to feelings of increased energy and general wellbeing, according to the following independent clinical studies on laboratory rats (indicative of its effect on humans) the long-term consumption of synthetically created water alkaline water can actually induce pathological (i.e.; life threatening) changes in the heart muscle.
"Hyperkalemia was observed in males and females given AKW [electrically ionized water] at 15 weeks. Especially in males, pathological changes of necrosis in myocardiac muscle were observed." --Influences of Alkaline Ionized Water on Milk Electrolyte Concentrations in Maternal Rats, Journal of Toxicological Sciences. 2000 Dec;25(5):417-22. Auth. Watanabe T, Kamata H, Fukuda Y, Murasugi E, Sato T, Uwatoko K, Pan IJ
Hyperkalemia is a potentially life-threatening illness that leads to sudden death from cardiac arrhythmias i.e.; heart attack.
"The myocardial lesion in the mother rats given Alkaline Water showed cell infiltration, vacuolation [a vacuole is a hole in the cytoplasm of a cell] and fibrosis in the papillary muscle of the left ventricle, as were observed in male rats of 15 weeks old. Myocardial degeneration may cause a leakage of potassium into the blood that results in a higher concentration of potassium in the blood in the test group than in that of the control group given tap water." -- Histopathological Influence of Alkaline Ionized Water on Myocardial Muscle of Mother Rats. Journal of Toxicological Sciences. 1998 Dec;23(5):411-7. Auth. Watanabe T, Shirai W, Pan I, Fukuda Y, Murasugi E, Sato T, Kamata H, Uwatoko K."

Alkalinized water, along with deep sea water, only accounts for around 10.3% of the market in Japan:

I have been attacked quite a bit on these boards for not believing all the unsubstantiated hype here. The above shows why I prefer to see some real evidence before accepting anyone's hypotheses here. One poster in particular has spent most of his time trying to insult and ridicule me for challenging his beliefs, and asking him to back his claims with evidence like he asked of me and received. He still has yet to provide any evidence to his claims. In my opinion people like this are very dangerous. This is why it is so important that people do their own independent research when told something. Especially when it comes to one's health.


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