Alkaline water may just be a heartburn sufferer’s new best friend. Apparently, the alkalinity in artesian well water with natural bicarbonate (pH 8.8) can permanently inactivate pepsin in vitro. Pepsin is activated by contact with acid and is the main culprit behind reflux diseases and esophageal damage. This research suggests a potentially natural aid in the prevention or reduction of acid reflux.
Heartburn is a common and uncomfortable symptom of this potentially painful condition. Acid reflux symptoms are caused by stomach acid or other stomach contents flowing up into the esophagus. Many different foods, drinks, and activities can trigger its symptoms. Pregnant women often experience heartburn symptoms caused by temporary changes in their bodies. Anyone can experience acid reflux; however, it can be a temporary, situational condition or a permanent disease that can cause significant tissue damage.
Alkaline well water was compared to two leading bottled waters in terms of their ability to inactivate human pepsin in vitro. Tap and bottled water often have a pH range of 6.7 to 7.4, considerably less alkaline than the study’s natural well water. The pH 8.8 alkaline water inactivated the pepsin immediately, but the bottled waters did not. The researchers believe that the bottled waters were ineffective because human pepsin is stable at pH 7.4 and only reacts in the presence of acid (because of hydrogen ions).
Many acid reflux treatments also involve acid-buffering; the good acid-buffering ability of the alkaline water’s denatured pepsin bodes well for potentially natural water treatments for acid reflux. Essentially, this type of alkaline water may work as an antacid in the human body.