Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Enagic water filter – is it worth the hype? (Kangen water)

The Enagic water filter is one of the gold standards in water filtration.

They sell ionized alkaline and acidic water products with the name of Kangen Water.

Because of the company’s ability to meet quality and purity standards for over 40 years, the filtration units provided by the company have earned a ‘medical device’ rating by the Ministry of Health, Japan.

In this article, we are summarizing the evidence available regarding health benefits of using electrolyzed-reduced alkaline and acidic water, as well as some customer reviews regarding the quality of Enagic Water.

The Health Benefits of Electrolyzed-Reduced Water — Evidence from Scientific Studies

Recent advancements in technology have led to the introduction of newer water filtration and purification techniques.

Electrolyzed-reduced water is a product of newer filtration techniques and have gained immense accolade all over the world due to the health benefits it offers. Electrolyzed-reduced water is available in two different pH values — acidic and alkaline.  While acidic water is unsuitable for drinking purposes, but appropriate for body care and hygiene, alkaline water is drinkable and is beneficial in the treatment of several health-related disorders (1).

Research suggests that alkaline water works as anti-oxidant because of its high concentrations of dissolved molecular oxygen which acts as a scavenger for oxygen. This consequently leads to decreased oxidative stress and maintains integrity of cell membranes.

Mayo Clinic says that alkaline water neutralizes acid present in the bloodstream, boosts the metabolism, and helps body absorb nutrients more effectively. Some researchers even claim that alkaline water can help suppress bone loss and slow the aging process, but scientific evidence available to back this claim is insufficient and inconclusive (2).

Enagic Electrolyzed-Reduced Water — What Customers Have to Say

Enagic, the company that’s known for its electrolyzed-reduced water across the world makes use of activated carbon filters to produce acidic and alkaline water through the process of electrolysis. In addition to purifying municipal water, the company also offers filtration units to residential and commercial customers in several countries.

Here a couple of reviews from customers to help you better understand the benefits of Kangen Water.

“It is not a water purifier as noted by many critics. The machine alkalizes and restructures the water. This allows tremendous hydration at the cellular level. I noticed an immediate improvement in my health and overall wellbeing. I sleep better, had more energy, and my thoughts were much clearer.” — Thomas, Amazon.

“I have been drinking this water since 2010 and noticed a difference. I no longer have acid reflux.” — Rose Caldwell, Google

While alkaline water has its own benefits, Enagic has not conducted any systematic research studies to back the claims regarding health benefits of its products. The co-founder of National Standard Research Collaboration, Catherine Ulbricht said, “Human evidence is lacking, safety profile is lacking and it’s very expensive.”

Contrary to popular assumption, Enagic does not purify water. Instead, it restructures the water to make it more alkaline and acidic for different uses. Currently, the company produces five different types of water, including strong acid, acidic, neutral, alkaline, and strong alkaline water. Each type of water has several different applications, with alkaline water being the most commonly used one due to its health benefits.

Enagic claims that the alkaline water marketed by the company promotes longevity and detoxification because of its free radical scavenging properties. In addition to this, experts also advocate the use of alkaline waters because of their potential role in gastrointestinal disorders and bone-related issues.

In this article, we are summarizing the scientific evidence that supports the use of alkaline water for improving bone mineral density and halting the progression of age-related bone loss.

Alkali-Rich Mineral Water Decreases the Levels of Bone Resorption Markers   

An interventional study conducted on human subjects demonstrated that variation in alkali load results in varying bone metabolism when calcium content is kept constant. During the study, all the subjects consumed a very strict diet with same nutritional value.

The only difference between the control and intervention groups was consumption of mineral water which resulted in different nutritional alkali load in subjects. The results demonstrated significant difference in the bone resorption markers and parathyroid levels of controls and cases, suggesting that consumption of alkaline water can help improve bone mineral density.

Calcium Containing Alkaline Water Reduces Bone Loss

Another study compared the effect of calcium-rich acidic and alkaline water on bone resorption. The study inducted 30 females with a mean age of 26.3 years (standard deviation 7.3). The subjects were randomized into two groups and they consumed identical diets for four weeks. The only difference was the daily consumption of 1.5 liters of the assigned water.

The investigators measured the electrolytes, urinary pH, bicarbonate level, and serum parathyroid hormone levels at 2nd and 4th week to determine the effect of alkaline and acidic water on the metabolism. The measurements revealed that acidic water had effect on bone mineral density, while alkaline water reduced serum parathyroid hormone, which is responsible for the release of calcium from the reservoirs contained in the bones.

Conclusion — Can Enagic Water Help Improve Bone Health?

While Enagic does not specifically promote its filtration units and water products for their bone health related benefits, scientific studies suggest that consumption of alkaline water improves bone health by reducing bone resorption. However, systematic scientific studies are required in order to generate conclusive evidence regarding the effects of Enagic water on bone metabolism and bone mineral density.

Takeaway: Considering the mixed reviews and inconclusive scientific evidence, this isn’t a no-brainer. But if you’re set on getting a filter, there probably isn’t a better (or trendier) pick.

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