7 min read
06 Apr

Firstly: Water with a high concentration of hydrogen ions has a low pH (Potential of Hydrogen) and  Water or solutions with a low concentrations of H+ ions has a high pH. 

From the Source: table you will notice a few relationships: 

  1. A difference of one (1) pH unit (ie from pH 2 to pH 3) is a ten fold (10X) difference in H+ ion concentration. 
  2. Pure water usually is and should have a pH of 7.0
  3. Solutions with a pH below 7.0 are termed acidic and solutions with a pH above 7.0 are termed basic

Importance of pH: 

The pH of water determines the solubility (amount that can be dissolved in the water) and biological availability (amount that can be utilized by aquatic life) of chemical constituents such as nutrients (phosphorus, nitrogen, and carbon) and heavy metals (lead, copper, cadmium, etc.). 

For example, in addition to affecting how much and what form of phosphorus is most abundant in the water, pH also determines whether aquatic life can use it. 

In the case of heavy metals, the degree to which they are soluble determines their toxicity. Metals tend to be more toxic at lower pH because they are more soluble. 

Download Link to Free PDF pH Food Chart

A study published by the World Health Organization cautions against drinking acidic or demineralized water (meaning no mineral content)

In most countries use of Reverse Osmosis (RO) purifiers are very dominant, commonly used and marketed as the best purified water. This is also primarily because of high TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) and high mineral content from source water (ground, well and municipality water).

Mildly alkaline water (pH 8-10) is marketed as healthy.1 It is produced from water ionizers via electrolysis  and naturally by river. Water with high pH primarily contains molecular hydrogen produced in the negative electrode (cathode) in Water Electrolysis.3 

There are many names given to this water including: alkaline,4 ionized,5 alkali ion,6 cathodic,7  electrolyzed reduced water,9 and many more.

Electrolyzed reduced water (ERW) is the most common term in the scientific literature.1 It is called “electrolyzed” because the water has undergone electrolysis and is called “reduced” as the water at the cathode is reduced to hydrogen gas and hydroxides. 


Benefits: Possible benefits of Alkaline Ionized Water

Studies on animals and humans have been conducted mostly in Japan suggest that it may work as an antioxidant and reduce inflammation. Oxidative stress from the sun, normal body processes and exposure to pollutants can damage cells and lead to premature aging and diseases like cancer. Inflammation also contributes to many chronic conditions, from type 2 diabetes to heart problems and brain disorders. H+ in alkaline ionized water appears to reduce both. That means, at least in theory, that H+ with Ionized water could help to reduce everything from diabetes to hardening of the heart vessels to Alzheimer’s and cancer.

Researchers used fresh ERW at pH 8.5 and 9.5 with a low Hconcentration in one group, and ERW with a pH of 8.5 and 9.5 with additional H2 gas (via bubbling) in the other group.  The results show that the ERW with a low H2 concentration did not offer any therapeutic effects.  However, the ERW at pH 8.5 and 9.5, with the additional H2 gas, provided significant therapeutic protection.

Importantly, there was not a statistically significant difference between the pH 8.5 and 9.5 with the same higher H2 concentrations. This further shows that it is the dissolved molecular hydrogen that is responsible for the therapeutic effects of ERW and not the alkaline pH or any other enigmatic properties.

In fact, it is so well recognized that molecular hydrogen is the key component of ERW, that some studies will remove the molecular hydrogen from the ERW and use it for the control group.27, 40-42

For example, the research group 40 prepared three types of waters: filtered water FW, electrolyzed reduced water ER, and ER with the Hdehydrogenated (removed) DR. They made fresh samples twice daily and delivered it with a metallic straw from a closed bottle.

Test Case used three different types of water: 

  1. Regular water (RW) pH ≈7, 
  2. Alkaline water (AW) pH ≈9.5, and 
  3. H+ generated Alkaline Ionized water (AIW) pH ≈9.5. 

Results (see below) showed that only the water containing the hydrogen gas / Ionization was effective at reducing various metalloproteinase enzymes (MMP2, MMP3), markers of oxidative stress (nitrotyrosine, 4-HNE, 8OHdG, MDA), vascular inflammation (ICAM, ETA, TNFa, IL-6), intimal hyperplasia and macrophage infiltration (ED1).

In tests, the only type of water that provided the protective effects was the ER containing the dissolved hydrogen gas. Just a note, the ORP was only -148 mV, which one would expect it to be much more negative at that pH and Hconcentration. Tested ERW received similar results and retested again after cleaning the probe and to get -800 mV. So the lower ORP should not be a concerning issue. The water ionizer used was a top high performing commercial grade water ionizer, which is also certified as a medical device.

Another study 41 confirmed that hydrogen gas, pH, or minerals, from alkaline reduced water is responsible for the therapeutic benefits. 

Another study 42  illustrated the importance of H+ and Water Ionization are responsible for the therapeutic effects of ionized water, is one by Ignacio and colleagues. 

Four groups of hairless mice were exposed to UVB radiation and then each group was bathed in one of these different waters.  The results show that only the ionized water with the higher hydrogen gas and Ionization concentration increased the antioxidant activity of glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and reduced inflammatory cytokines (IL-12p70, IL-1β, IFN-γ), 


Consumers of ERW already know that the water is most effective when ingested as fresh as possible. This is because the molecular hydrogen starts to leave the water (as seen by the loss of the –ORP).  Researchers tested water as fresh as possible, as well as using other methods to increase the concentration of molecular hydrogen H+. 33 Another method researchers are now choosing to produce for molecular hydrogen rich water is by simply bubbling molecular hydrogen gas into pure water.37 This also eliminates any potential variables and assures saturation is achieved.


Lastly, one recent review article43 specifically states that studies/researchers have “explicitly proved that molecular hydrogen, ionized alkaline in the electrolyzed alkaline water, exerts therapeutic effects”. This information is important to the consumer because it increases the importance of having water with a H+ and Ionization concentration. Not all machines are created equal, and perhaps differences in H2 concentrations and Ionization are responsible for differences in the observed therapeutic effects.32


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  3. SHIRAHATA, S., KABAYAMA, S., NAKANO, M., MIURA, T., KUSUMOTO, K., GOTOH, M., HAYASHI, H., OTSUBO, K., MORISAWA, S. & KATAKURA, Y. (1997). Electrolyzed-reduced water scavenges active oxygen species and protects DNA from oxidative damage. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 234, 269-274.
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  7. BERJAK, P., SERSHEN, VARGHESE, B. & PAMMENTER, N. W. (2011). Cathodic amelioration of the adverse effects of oxidative stress accompanying procedures necessary for cryopreservation of embryonic axes of recalcitrant-seeded species. Seed Science Research 21, 187-203.
  8. Trademark Name of Enagic for ionized water http://www.enagic.com
  9. KOMATSU, T., KATAKURA, Y., TERUYA, K., OTSUBO, K., MORISAWA, S., & & SHIRAHATA, S. (2003). Electrolyzed reduced water induces differentiation in K-562 human leukemia cells. Animal cell technology: Basic & applied aspects, 387-391.
  10. Nishimoto right child "alkaline ionized water", "Comprehensive Dictionary of water", Maruzen, 2009, 19 pages, ISBN 978-4-621-08040-5 .
  11. (March 30, 1998) Issue # 318 Ministry of Health and Welfare Pharmaceutical and Medical Safety Director notification pharmaceutical departure (National Institute of Health Sciences)
  12. LEE, M. Y., KIM, Y. K., RYOO, K. K., LEE, Y. B. & PARK, E. J. (2006). Electrolyzed-reduced water protects against oxidative damage to DNA, RNA, and protein. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 135, 133-44.
  13. M. ODA, K. K., K. TERUYA, T. HARA, T. MAKI, S. KABAYAMA, Y. KATAKURA, K. OTSUBO, S. MORISAWA, H. HAYASHI. (2000). Electrolyzed reduced water effects in insulin-like activity on glucose uptake in muscle cells and adipocytes. Animal Cell Technology: Products from Cells and Cells as Products, 425-427.
  14. SHIRAHATA, S. (2001). Anti-oxidative water improves diabetes. Animal Cell Technology: from target to market. Proceedings of the 17th ESACT meeting, June 10-14, 2001 p. 574-577
  15. T. KASHIWAGI, T. H., S. KABAYAMA, M. TAKAKI, K. TERUYA, Y. KATAKURA, K. OTUBO, S. MORISAWA, S. SHIRAHATA. (2005). Suppression of Oxidative Stress-Induced Apoptosis of Neuronal Cells by Electrolyzed-Reduced Water. Animal Cell Technology Meets Genomics 2, 257-260.
  16. TSAI, C. F., HSU, Y. W., CHEN, W. K., CHANG, W. H., YEN, C. C., HO, Y. C. & LU, F. J. (2009). Hepatoprotective effects of electrolyzed reduced water against carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage in mice. Food Chem Toxicol 47, 2031-6.
  17. MASUMI ABE, S. S., KAZUKO TOH, TAKEKI HAMASAKI, NOBORU NAKAMICHI, KIICHIRO TERUYA, YOSHINORI KATAKURA, SHINKATSU MORISAWA, SANETAKA SHIRAHATA. (2010). Suppressive Effect of ERW on Lipid Peroxidation and Plasma Triglyceride Level. Animal Cell Technology: Basic & Applied Aspects 16.
  18. S. SHIRAHATA, S. K., K. KUSUMOTO, M. GOTOH, K. TERUYA, K. OTSUBO, J. S. MORISAWA, H. HAYASHI, K. KATAKURA. (2002). Electrolyzed Reduced Water Which Can Scavenge Active Oxygen Species Suppresses Cell Growth and Regulates Gene Expression of Animal Cells. New Developments and New Applications in Animal Cell Technology, 93-96.
  19. The Association of Alkaline Ionized Water Apparatus. History
  20. Miyashita, Kazuo, et al. (2003) "Antioxidant Activity of Electrolyzed Sodium Chloride." Book Food Factors in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. P. 274-288. American Chemical Society Symposium Series, V. 851
  21. HIRAOKA, A., TAKEMOTO, M., SUZUKI, T., SHINOHARA, A., CHIBA, M., SHIRAO, M. & YOSHIMURA, Y. (2004). Studies on the properties and real existence of aqueous solution systems that are assumed to have antioxidant activities by the action of "active hydrogen"'. Journal of Health Science 50, 456-465.
  22. RHEEM, K. E., LIM, Y. R., LEE, B. S., LEE, S. K., SEONG, K. M., HYUN, D. H. & MIN, K. J. (2012). Does alkaline-reduced hexagonal water delay the aging process in Drosophila? Geriatr Gerontol Int 12, 151-4.
  23. Hairston, James E., et al. "Drinking water and water treatment scams." Auburn, AL: Auburn University, Agronomy and Soils Department, Water Quality Timely Information, October 22 (2003).
  24. Shermer, Michael. "Bunkum!." Scientific American 290.1 (2004): 36-36.
  25. Binstock, Robert H. "Anti-aging medicine: History, anti-aging medicine and research: A realm of conflict and profound societal implications." The Journal of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 59.6 (2004): B523-B533.
  26. YAN, H., KASHIWAKI, T., HAMASAKI, T., KINJO, T., TERUYA, K., KABAYAMA, S. & SHIRAHATA, S. (2011). The neuroprotective effects of electrolyzed reduced water and its model water containing molecular hydrogen and Pt nanoparticles. BMC Proc 5 Suppl 8, P69.
  27. Personal communication.
  28. Hayashi, H. (1995) Explore 6, 28–31.
  29. OHTA, S. (2008). [Hydrogen gas and hydrogen water act as a therapeutic and preventive antioxidant with a novel concept]. Nihon Ronen Igakkai Zasshi 45, 355-62.
  30. A reading of all pre 2007 articles and post 2007 articles clearly illustrates this fact.
  31. FUJITA, R., TANAKA, Y., SAIHARA, Y., YAMAKITA, M., ANDO, D. & KOYAMA, K. (2011). The effect of molecular hydrogen saturated alkaline electrolyzed water on disuse muscle atrophy in gastrocnemius muscle. Journal of Physiological Anthropology 30, 195-201.
  32. Xue, Jinling, Guodong Shang, Yoshinori Tanaka, Yasuhiro Saihara, Lingyan Hou, Natalia Velasquez, Wenjun Liu, and Yun Lu. "Dose-dependent inhibition of gastric injury by hydrogen in alkaline electrolyzed drinking water." BMC complementary and alternative medicine 14, no. 1 (2014): 81.
  33. LI, Y., HAMASAKI, T., NAKAMICHI, N., KASHIWAGI, T., KOMATSU, T., YE, J., TERUYA, K., ABE, M., YAN, H., KINJO, T., KABAYAMA, S., KAWAMURA, M. & SHIRAHATA, S. (2011). Suppressive effects of electrolyzed reduced water on alloxan-induced apoptosis and type 1 diabetes mellitus. Cytotechnology 63, 119-31.
  34. KIKUCHI, K., TAKEDA, H., RABOLT, B., OKAYA, T., OGUMI, Z., SAIHARA, Y. & NOGUCHI, H. (2001). Hydrogen particles and supersaturation in alkaline water from an Alkali-Ion-Water electrolyzer. Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry 506, 22-27.
  35. TANAKA, Y., UCHINASHI, S., SAIHARA, Y., KIKUCHI, K., OKAYA, T. & OGUMI, Z. (2003). Dissolution of hydrogen and the ratio of the dissolved hydrogen content to the produced hydrogen in electrolyzed water using SPE water electrolyzer. Electrochimica Acta 48, 4013-4019.
  36. Testing performed by AquaSciences LLC
  37. GUO, J. D., LI, L., SHI, Y. M., WANG, H. D. & HOU, S. X. (2013). Hydrogen water consumption prevents osteopenia in ovariectomized rats. Br J Pharmacol 168, 1412-20.
  38. OHNO, K., ITO, M. & ICHIHARA, M. (2012). Molecular hydrogen as an emerging therapeutic medical gas for neurodegenerative and other diseases. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity 2012, 353152.
  39. ZHANG, J. Y., LIU, C., ZHOU, L., QU, K., WANG, R. T., TAI, M. H., LEI, J. C. W. L., WU, Q. F. & WANG, Z. X. (2012). A Review of Hydrogen as a New Medical Therapy. Hepato-Gastroenterology 59, 1026-1032.
  40. Wan-Jun Zhu1, Masaaki Nakayama, Takefumi Mori1, Kiyotaka Hao, Hiroyuki Terawaki, Junichiro Katoh1, Shigeru Kabayama, and Sadayoshi Ito. (2013). Amelioration of cardio-renal injury while aging in dahl salt-sensitive rats by H2-enriched electrolyzed water. Medical Gas Research. 3:26
  41. Sun, Q., Kawamura, T., Masutani, T. Masutani, K., Peng, X. Stolz, D.B. Pribis, J.P. Billiar, T. R., Sun, X., Bemudez, C. A., Toyoda, Y., Nakao, A. (2012). Oral intake of hydrogen-rich water inhibits intimal hyperplasia in arterialized vein grafts in rats. Cardiovasc Res. 94, (1) 144-53
  42. Ignacio, R. M., Yoon, Y.S. Sajo, M. E. J., Kim, C. S. Kim, D. H., Kim, S. K., Lee, K. J.(2013) The balneotherapy effect of hydrogen reduced water on UVB-mediated skin injury in hairless mice. Molecular & Cellular Toxicology. 9 (1) 15-21
  43. Ichihara, M. article has not yet been published, but is under the scrutiny of peer review. References will be provided as soon as it is published.