Physiological effects of ionized alkaline water

Effects on metabolites produced by intestinal fermentation Alkaline Water and Intestinal Fermentation

by Takashi Hayakawa, Chicko Tushiya, Hisanori Onoda, Hisayo Ohkouchi, Harul-~to Tsuge (Gifu University, Faculty of Engineering, Dept. of Food Science)

We have found that long-term ingestion of alkaline ionized water (AIW) reduces cercal
fermentation in rats that were given highly fermentable commercial diet (MF: Oriental
Yeast Co., Ltd.). In this experiment, rats were fed MF and test water (tap water, AIW
with pH at 9 and 10) for about 3 months. Faeces were collected on the 57th day, and the
rats were dissected on the 88th day. The amount of ammonium in fresh faces and cecal
contents as well as faecal free-glucose tended to drop down for the AIW group. In most
cases, the amount of free-amino acids in cecal contents did not differ significantly except
for cysteine (decreased in AIW with pH at 10) and isoleucine (increased in AIW with pH
at 10).

Purpose of tests

Alkaline ionized water electrolysers were approved for manufacturing in 1965
by the Ministry of Health and Welfare as medical equipment to produce medical
substances. Alkaline ionized water (AIW) produced by this equipment is known to be
effective against gastrointestinal fermentation, chronic diarrhoea, indigestion and
hyperchylia as well as for controlling gastric acid.

*1 This is mainly based on efficacy of the official calcium hydroxide.

*2 By giving AIW to rats for a comparatively long time under the condition of extremely
high level of intestinal fermentation, we have demonstrated that AIW intake is effective
for inhibition of intestinal fermentation when its level is high based on some test results
where AIW worked against cecal hypertrophy and for reduction in the amount of shortchain
fatty acid that is the main product of fermentation.

*3 We have reported that this is caused by the synergy between calcium level generally contained in AIW (about 50ppm) and the value of pH, and that frequency of detecting

some anaerobic bacteria tends to be higher in alkaline ionized water groups than the
other, although the bacteria count in the intestine does not have significant difference.
Based on these results, we made a judgment that effect of taking AIW supports part of
inhibition mechanism against abnormal intestinal fermentation, which is one of the claims
of efficacy that have been attributed to alkaline ionized water electrolysers.

*4 On the other hand, under the dietary condition of low intestinal fermentation, AIW
uptake does not seem to inhibit fermentation that leads us to believe that effect of AIW
uptake is characteristic of hyper-fermentation state. Metabolites produced by intestinal
fermentation include indole and skatole in addition to organic acids such as short-chain
fatty acid and lactic acid as well as toxic metabolites such as ammonium, phenol and
pcresol. We do not know how AIW uptake would affect the production of these materials.
In this experiment, we have tested on ammonium production as explained in the
following sections.

Testing methods

Four-week-old male Wistar/ST Clean rats were purchased from Japan SLC Co., Ltd. and
were divided into 3 groups of 8 each after preliminary breeding. AIW of pH 9 and 10 was
produced by an electrolyser Mineone ROYAL NDX3 1 OH by Omco Co., Ltd. This model 2
produces AIW by electrolyzing water with calcium lactate added. On the last day of
testing, the rats were dissected under Nembutal anaesthesia to take blood from the heart
by a heparin-treated syringe. As to their organs, the small intestines, cecum and colon
plus rectum were taken out from each of them. The cecurn was weighed and cleaned
with physiological saline after its contents were removed, and the tissue weight was
measured after wiping out moisture. Part of cecal contents was measured its pH, and the
rest was used to assay ammonium concentration. The amount of ammonium contained in
fresh faces and cecal contents was measured by the Nessler method after collecting it in
the extracted samples using Conway's micro-diffusion container. Fecal free-glucose was
assayed by the oxygen method after extraction by hot water. Analysis of free amino
acids contained in cecal contents was conducted by the Waters PicoTag amino acid
analysis system.

Test results and analyses

No difference was found in the rats' weight gain, water and feed intake and feeding
efficiency, nor was any particular distinction in appearance identified. The length of the
small intestines and colon plus rectum tended to decline in AIW groups. PH value of cecal
contents was higher and the amount of fecal free-glucose tended to be lower in AIW
groups than the control group. Since there was no difference in fecal discharge itself, the
amount of free-glucose discharged per day was at a low level. The amount of discharged
free-glucose in faces is greater when intestinal fermentation is more intensive, which
indicates that intestinal fermentation is more inhibited in AIW groups than the control
group. Ammonium concentration in cecal contents tends to drop down in AIW groups
(Fig. 1). This trend was most distinctive in case of fresh faces of one of AIW groups with
pH 10 (Fig.2) AIW uptake was found to be inhibitory against ammonium production. In
order to study dynamics of amino acids in large intestines, we examined free amino acids
in the cecal contents to find out that cysteine level is low in AIW groups whereas
isoleucine level is high in one of AIW groups with pH 10, although no significant
difference was identified for other amino acids.


1. "Verification of Alkaline Ionized Water" by Life Water Institute, Metamor Publishing Co., 1994,

*2. "Official Pharmaceutical Guidelines of Japan, Vol. IT' by Japan Public Documents Association,
Hirokawa PublIshin Co., 1996

*3. "Science and Technology of Functional Water" (part) by Takashi Hayakawa, Haruffito Tsuge,
edited by Water Scienll cc Institute, 1999, pp.109-116

*4. 'Tasics and Effective Use of Alkaline Ionized Water" by Takashi Hayakawa, Haruhito Tsuge,
edited by Tetsuji Hc kudou, 25th General Assembly of Japan Medical Congress 'Tunctional Water in
Medical Treatment", Administratio~ Offices, 1999, pp. 10- 11