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pH And ORP

Potential Of Hydrogen (pH)


The Simple Definition
pH is a logarithmic measure of hydrogen ion concentration, originally defined by Danish biochemist Søren Peter Lauritz Sørensen in 1909,

pH = -log[H+]

where log is a base-10 logarithm and [H+] is the concentration of hydrogen ions in moles per liter of solution. According to the Compact Oxford English Dictionary, the "p" stands for the German word for "power", potenz, so pH is an abbreviation for "power of hydrogen".

The pH scale was defined because the enormous range of hydrogen ion concentrations found in aqueous solutions make using H+ molarity awkward. For example, in a typical acid-base titration, [H+] may vary from about 0.01 M to 0.0000000000001 M. It is easier to write "the pH varies from 2 to 13".

The hydrogen ion concentration in pure water around room temperature is about 1.0 × 10-7 M. A pH of 7 is considered "neutral", because the concentration of hydrogen ions is exactly equal to the concentration of hydroxide (OH-) ions produced by dissociation of the water. Increasing the concentration of hydrogen ions above 1.0 × 10-7 M produces a solution with a pH of less than 7, and the solution is considered "acidic". Decreasing the concentration below 1.0 × 10-7 M produces a solution with a pH above 7, and the solution is considered "alkaline" or "basic".

pH is often used to compare solution acidities. For example, a solution of pH 1 is said to be 10 times as acidic as a solution of pH 2, because the hydrogen ion concentration at pH 1 is ten times the hydrogen ion concentration at pH 2. This is correct as long as the solutions being compared both use the same solvent. You can't use pH to compare the acidities in different solvents because the neutral pH is different for each solvent. For example, the concentration of hydrogen ions in pure ethanol is about 1.58 × 10-10 M, so ethanol is neutral at pH 9.8. A solution with a pH of 8 would be considered acidic in ethanol, but basic in water!

What does drinking high pH water do to our health?
Among the people who question the validity of alkaline water, the biggest question is, "What happens to the alkaline water once it reaches the stomach, which is highly acidic?" People who have some knowledge of the human body, including medical doctors, ask this question. Let me answer that question once and for all to erase any doubts about the health benefits of alkaline water.

In order to digest food and kill the kinds of bacteria and viruses that come with the food, the inside of our stomach is acidic. The stomach pH value is maintained at around 4. When we eat food and drink water, especially alkaline water, the pH value inside the stomach goes up. When this happens, there is a feedback mechanism in our stomach to detect this and commands the stomach wall to secrete more hydrochloric acid into the stomach to bring the pH value back to 4. So the stomach becomes acidic again. When we drink more alkaline water, more hydrochloric acid is secreted to maintain the stomach pH value. It seems like a losing battle.

However, when you understand how the stomach wall makes hydrochloric acid, your concerns will disappear. A pathologist friend of mine gave me the following explanation. There is no hydrochloric acid pouch in our body. If there were, it would burn a hole in our body. The cells in our stomach wall must produce it on an instantly-as-needed basis. The ingredients in the stomach cell that make hydrochloric acid (HCl) are carbon dioxide (CO2), water (H2O), and sodium chloride (NaCl) or potassium chloride (KCl).

NaCl + H2O + CO2 = HCl + NaHCO3, or
KCl + H2O + CO2 = HCl + KHCO3

As we can see, the byproduct of making hydrochloric acid is sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) or potassium bicarbonate (KHCO3), which goes into blood stream. These bicarbonates are the alkaline buffers that neutralize excess acids in the blood; they dissolve solid acid wastes into liquid form. As they neutralize the solid acidic wastes, extra carbon dioxide is released, which is discharged through the lungs. As our body gets old, these alkaline buffers get low; this phenomenon is called acidosis. This is a natural occurrence as our body accumulates more acidic waste products. There is, therefore, a relationship between the aging process and the accumulation of acids.

FREE  Alkaline Ionized Water DVD

By looking at the pH value of the stomach alone, it seems that alkaline water never reaches the body. But when you look at the whole body, there is a net gain of alkalinity as we drink alkaline water. Our body cells are slightly alkaline. In order for them to produce acid, they must also produce alkaline, and vice versa; just as a water ionizer cannot produce alkaline water without producing acid water, since tap water is almost neutral.

When the stomach pH value gets higher than 4, the stomach knows what to do to lower it. However, if the pH value goes below 4, for any reason, the stomach doesn't know what to do. That's why we take Alka-Seltzer, which is alkaline, to relieve acidic stomach gas pain. In this case, hydrochloric acid is not produced by the stomach wall, therefore, no alkaline buffer is being added to the blood stream.

Let me give you another example of a body organ that produces acid in order to produce alkaline. After the food in the stomach is digested, it must come out to the small intestine. The food at this point is so acidic that it will damage the intestine wall. In order to avoid this problem, the pancreas makes alkaline juice (known as pancreatic juice). This juice is sodium bicarbonate, and is mixed with the acidic food coming out of the stomach. From the above formulae, in order to produce bicarbonates, the pancreas must make hydrochloric acid, which goes into our blood stream.

We experience sleepiness after a big meal (not during the meal or while the food is being digested in the stomach), when the digested food is coming out of the stomach; that's the time when hydrochloric acid goes into our blood. Hydrochloric acid is the main ingredient in antihistamines that causes drowsiness.

Alkaline or acid produced by the body must have an equal and opposite acid or alkaline produced by the body; therefore, there is no net gain. However, alkaline supplied from outside the body, like drinking alkaline water, results in a net gain of alkalinity in our body.


How do you measure pH?

There are several ways to determine the pH of a sample.  In our Alkaline Shop we offer two main ways to measure pH.  The first, and most accurate, is to use a electronic pH meter.  You can take a look at our meters by visiting our shop here.

The second, and much more economical method, is to use pH paper - or, as we sell in our shop, pH Stix.  These pH test strips are made specifically to test saliva and urine, and are the most accurate and economical test strips on the market.

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Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP)

What exactly is ORP?
Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP) is a measurement (in mV) of the tendency or the strength that indicates whether a solution is oxidizing or reducing (= deoxidizing).

Any positive number indicates that the solution is oxidizing; the higher, the more oxidizing. The same theory applies on the negative side, just in the opposite direction; the lower, the more deoxidizing. And of course, any negative number indicates a reducing or deoxidizing tendency.

When chemists first used the term in the late 18th Century, the word "oxidation" meant, "to combine with oxygen." Back then, it was a pretty radical concept. Until about 200 years ago, folks were really confused about the nature of matter. It took some pretty brave chemists to prove, for example, that fire did not involve the release of some unknown, mysterious substance, but rather occurred when oxygen combined rapidly with the stuff being burned.

We can see examples of oxidation all the time in our daily lives. They occur at different speeds. When we see a piece of iron rusting, or a slice of apple turning brown, we are looking at examples of relatively slow oxidation. When we look at a fire, we are witnessing an example of rapid oxidation. We now know that oxidation involves an exchange of electrons between two atoms. The atom that loses an electron in the process is said to be "oxidized." The one that gains an electron is said to be "reduced." In picking up that extra electron, it loses the electrical energy that makes it "hungry" for more electrons.

We also know that matter can be changed, but not destroyed. You can alter its structure, and can increase or decrease the amount of energy it contains - but you can't eliminate the basis building blocks that make things what they are.

Chemicals like chlorine, bromine, and ozone are all oxidizers. It is their ability to oxidize - to "steal" electrons from other substances - that makes them good water sanitizers, because in altering the chemical makeup of unwanted plants and animals, they kill them. Then they "burn up" the remains, leaving a few harmless chemicals as the by-product.

Of course, in the process of oxidizing, all of these oxidizers are reduced - so they lose their ability to further oxidize things. They may combine with other substances in the water, or their electrical charge may simply be "used up." To make sure that the chemical process continues to the very end, you must have a high enough concentration of oxidizer in the water to do the whole job.

But how much is "enough? " That's where the term potential comes into play.

"Potential" is a word that refers to ability rather than action. We hear it all the time in sports. ("That rookie has a lot of potential - he hasn't done anything yet, but we know that he has the ability to produce.)

Potential energy is energy that is stored and ready to be put to work. It's not actually working, but we know that the energy is there if and when we need it. Another word for potential might be pressure. Blow up a balloon, and there is air pressure inside. As long as we keep the end tightly closed, the pressure remains as potential energy. Release the end, and the air inside rushes out, changing from potential (possible) energy to kinetic (in motion) energy.

In electrical terms, potential energy is measured in volts. Actual energy (current flow) is measured in amps. When you put a voltmeter across the leads of a battery, the reading you get is the difference in electrical pressure - the potential - between the two poles. This pressure represents the excess electrons present at one pole of the battery (caused, incidentally, by a chemical reaction within the battery) ready to flow to the opposite pole.

When we use the term potential in describing ORP, we are actually talking about electrical potential or voltage. We are reading the very tiny voltage generated when a metal is placed in water in the presence of oxidizing and reducing agents. These voltages give us an indication of the ability of the oxidizers in the water to keep it free from contaminants.

What does oxidation or reduction mean to our health?
The consumption of oxidized foods and beverages tend to affect unfavorably the chemical characteristics of the body fluids. Many foods and beverages are highly oxidized and devoid of electrons.

Likewise, the addition to one’s diet of negative hydrogen ions, which are found to be especially high in organically grown vegetables, tends to affect the body fluids in a favorable manner.

Naturally, the ORP value varies quite widely between the foods and beverages. Considering you want to avoid oxidizing your body internally as much as possible, it is important to make a constant effort to eat and drink of which ORP value is on the negative side. However, unfortunately, the majority of what we eat and drink have positive ORP values, often quite high.

Many of you might be disappointed to know that some of the worst (the most oxidizing) examples include alcohol beverages, soda, meat, which ironically represent the most popular.

Also, some interesting comparison can be made on the freshness of the food at different stages of the product cycle.

For example, a freshly squeezed orange juice shows an ORP of usually around -100mV while most of the packaged orange juice show as high as +200mV.

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ORP stands for Oxidation-Reduction Potential. In some parts of the world, it is also known as Redox Potential.  The word "oxidation" means, "to combine with oxygen".

When we use the term potential in describing ORP, we are actually talking about electrical potential or voltage. We are reading the very tiny voltage generated; when a metal is placed in water in the presence of oxidizing and reducing agents.

Chemicals like chlorine, bromine, and ozone are all oxidizers. It is their ability to oxidize - to "steal" electrons from other substances. 

The process of oxidizing, all of these oxidizers are reduced - so they lose their ability to further oxidize things. They may combine with other substances in the water, or their electrical charge may simply be "used up."

The atom that loses an electron in the process is said to be "oxidized." The one that gains an electron is said to be "reduced." In picking up that extra electron, it loses the electrical energy that makes it "hungry" for more electrons.

If we had a body of water in which the concentration of oxidizers exactly equaled the concentration of reducers then the amount of potential generated at the measuring electrode would be exactly zero.

The World Health Organization adopted an ORP standard for drinking water disinfection of 650 millivolts. That is, the WHO stated that when the oxidation-reduction potential in a body of water measures 650/1000 (about 2/3) of a volt, the sanitizer in the water is active enough to destroy harmful organisms almost instantaneously.

Redox Potential

Any system or environment that accepts electrons from a normal hydrogen electrode is a half cell that is defined as having a positive redox potential; any system donating electrons to the hydrogen electrode is defined as having a negative redox potential. Eh is measured in millivolts (mV). A high positive Eh indicates an environment that favors oxidation reaction such as free oxygen. A low negative Eh indicates a strong reducing environment.

In Biochemistry

Many enzymatic reactions are oxidation-reduction reactions in which one compound is oxidized and another compound is reduced. The ability of an organism to carry out oxidation-reduction reactions depends on the oxidation-reduction state of the environment, or its reduction potential (Eh).

Strictly aerobic microorganisms can be active only at positive Eh values, whereas strict anaerobes can be active only at negative Eh values. Redox affects the solubility of nutrients, especially metal ions.

There are organisms that can adjust their metabolism to their environment, such as facultative anaerobes. Facultative anaerobes can be active at positive Eh values, and at negative Eh values in the presence of oxygen bearing inorganic compounds, such as nitrates and sulfates.


Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity

Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) is a method of measuring antioxidant capacities in biological samples in vitro.

A wide variety of foods has been tested using this methodology, with certain spices, berries and legumes rated highly[3]. Correlation between the high antioxidant capacity of fruits and vegetables, and the positive impact of diets high in fruits and vegetables, is believed to play a role in the free-radical theory of aging

Redox Potentials

The redox potential is a measure (in volts) of the affinity of a substance for electrons — its electronegativity — compared with hydrogen (which is set at 0).

Substances more strongly electronegative than (i.e., capable of oxidizing) hydrogen have positive redox potentials. Substances less electronegative than (i.e., capable of reducing) hydrogen have negative redox potentials.

The electro-negativity of a substance can also be expressed as a redox potential (designated E)

The standard is hydrogen, so its redox potential is expressed as   E = 0.

Any substance — atom, ion, or molecule — that is more electronegative than hydrogen is assigned a positive (+) redox potential; those less electronegative a negative () redox potential.

The greater the difference between the redox potentials of two substances (ΔE), the greater the vigor with which electrons will flow spontaneously from the less positive to the more positive (more electronegative) substance.

The difference in potential (ΔE) is, in a sense, a measure of the pressure between the two. ΔE is expressed in volts.

If we bring two substances of differing E together with a potential path for electron flow between them, we have created a battery. Although it may be in a mitochondrion, it is just as much a battery as a the lead-acid storage battery in an automobile.

The greater the voltage, ΔE, between the two components of a battery, the greater the energy available when electron flow occurs. It is, in fact, possible to quantify the amount of free energy available.


n is the number of moles of electrons transferred and

23.062 is the amount of energy (in kcal) released when one mole of electrons passes through a potential drop of 1 volt.

Cellular Respiration

For every molecule of glucose respired, 24 electrons travel down the respiratory chain to the final acceptor: oxygen molecules.

Carbon reduced to the extent occurring in carbohydrates like glucose (only partially reduced) has a redox potential of approximately − 0.42 volt.

Oxygen, as the most electronegative substance in the system, naturally has the largest E: + 0.82 volt

The difference (ΔE) is thus 1.24 volts. Allowing 24 moles of electrons to pass through this potential gives us a free energy yield of − 686 kcal:

ΔG = − (24)(23.062)(1.24) = − 686 kcal

What are antioxidants and free radicals, what is reduction and oxidation?

Free radicals are cellular molecules which cause damage by "oxidizing" other cellular molecules, where 'oxidation' refers to how the radicals "steal" elecrons from other molecules. They call this process 'oxidation' due to how the most well known free radicals are "active oxygen species" (please keep this term in mind for the upcoming research paper abstracts). 'Antioxidants' on the other hand, fight free radical damage, where these antioxidants are simply vitamins like beta carotene, vitamin C, A, E and others. The antioxidants prevent free radicals from destroying cellular molecules by 'reducing' the free radicals by giving electrons to the free radicals. Again, a reduced free radical is one which has gained electrons from the antioxidants, where 'reduction' is the opposite of the free radical's destructive 'oxidation' process of stealing electrons.

Water ionizers operate by filtering and then electrolyzing tap water:

Acidic water is a very strong oxidant which can destroy the cellular structures of microbes and bacteria, and it has a widespread use as a potent disinfectant in especially Japan. The oxidizing acidic electrolyzed water's molecules steal electrons from their cellular molecules of germs and bacteria.

The alkaline water produced is a 'reducing' agent which can which can supply electrons to oxidizing agents such as free radicals, according to the research, opposed to the 'oxidizing' acidic water that can destroy microbial cells. The alkaline electrolyzed water is a reducing agent due to its increased molecular and atomic hydrogen concentration.

Reactive  Oxygen Species (ROS)

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are reactive molecules that contain the oxygen atom. They are very small molecules that include oxygen ions and peroxides and can be either inorganic or organic.[citation needed] They are highly reactive due to the presence of unpaired valence shell electrons. ROS form as a natural byproduct of the normal metabolism of oxygen and have important roles in cell signaling. However, during times of environmental stress (e.g. UV or heat exposure) ROS levels can increase dramatically, which can result in significant damage to cell structures. This cumulates into a situation known as oxidative stress. ROS are also generated by exogenous sources such as ionizing radiation.

// Damaging effects

Cells are normally able to defend themselves against ROS damage through the use of enzymes such as superoxide dismutases, catalases, lactoperoxidases, glutathione peroxidases and peroxiredoxins. Small molecule antioxidants such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C), tocopherol (vitamin E), uric acid, and glutathione also play important roles as cellular antioxidants. Similarly, polyphenol antioxidants assist in preventing ROS damage by scavenging free radicals. In contrast, the antioxidant ability of the extracellular space is less — e.g., the most important plasma antioxidant in humans is probably uric acid.[citation needed]

Effects of ROS on cell metabolism have been well documented in a variety of species. These include not only roles in apoptosis (programmed cell death), but also positive effects such as the induction of host defence[1] [2]genes and mobilisation of ion transport systems.[citation needed] This is implicating them more frequently with roles in redox signaling or oxidative signaling. In particular, platelets involved in wound repair and blood homeostasis release ROS to recruit additional platelets to sites of injury. These also provide a link to the adaptive immune system via the recruitment of leukocytes.[citation needed]

Reactive oxygen species are implicated in cellular activity to a variety of inflammatory responses including cardiovascular disease. They may also be involved in hearing impairment via cochlear damage induced by elevated sound levels, ototoxicity of drugs such as cisplatin, and in congenital deafness in both animals and humans.[citation needed] Redox signaling is also implicated in mediation of apoptosis or programmed cell death and ischaemic injury. Specific examples include stroke and heart attack.[citation needed]

Generally, harmful effects of reactive oxygen species on the cell are most often:[citation needed]

damage of DNA

Oxidations of polydesaturated fatty acids in lipids (lipid peroxidation)

Oxidations of amino acids in proteins

Oxidatively inactivate specific enzymes by oxidation of co-factors

Oxidative damage

In aerobic organisms the energy needed to fuel biological functions is produced in the mitochondria via the electron transport chain. In addition to energy, reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced which have the potential to cause cellular damage. ROS can damage DNA, RNA, and proteins which theoretically contributes to the physiology of ageing.

ROS are produced as a normal product of cellular metabolism. In particular, one major contributor to oxidative damage is hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) which is converted from superoxide that leaks from the mitochondria. Within the cell there is catalase and superoxide dismutase that help to minimize the damaging effects of hydrogen peroxide by converting it into oxygen and water, benign molecules, however this conversion is not 100% efficient, and residual peroxides persist in the cell.

While ROS are produced as a product of normal cellular functioning, excessive amounts can cause deleterious effects.[3] Memory capabilities decline with age, evident in human degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease which is accompanied by an accumulation of oxidative damage. Current studies demonstrate that the accumulation of ROS can decrease an organism’s fitness because oxidative damage is a contributor to senescence. In particular, the accumulation of oxidative damage may lead to cognitive dysfunction as demonstrated in a study where old rats were given mitochondrial metabolites and then given cognitive tests, results showed that the rats performed better after receiving the metabolites, suggesting that the metabolites reduced oxidative damage and improved mitochondrial function.[4]

Accumulating oxidative damage can then affect the efficiency of mitochondria and further increase the rate of ROS production.[5] The accumulation of oxidative damage and its implications for aging depends on the particular tissue type where the damage is occurring.

Internal Free Radicals

Free radicals are also produced inside (and also released towards the cytosol[6][7]) organelles, such as the mitochondrion. Mitochondria convert energy for the cell into a usable form, adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The process in which ATP is produced, called oxidative phosphorylation, involves the transport of protons (hydrogen ions) across the inner mitochondrial membrane by means of the electron transport chain. In the electron transport chain, electrons are passed through a series of proteins via oxidation-reduction reactions, with each acceptor protein along the chain having a greater reduction potential than the last. The last destination for an electron along this chain is an oxygen molecule. Normally the oxygen is reduced to produce water; however, in about 0.1–2% of electrons passing through the chain(this number derives from studies in isolated mitochondria, though the exact rate in live organisms is yet to be fully agreed upon), oxygen is instead prematurely and incompletely reduced to give the superoxide radical,·O2-, most well documented for Complex I and Complex III. Superoxide is not particularly reactive by itself, but can inactivate specific enzymes or initiate lipid peroxidation in its HO2· form. The pKa of the protonated superoxide is 4.8, thus at physiological pH the majority will exist as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). If too much damage is caused to its mitochondria, a cell undergoes apoptosis or programmed cell death.

Bcl-2 proteins are layered on the surface of the mitochondria, detect damage, and activate a class of proteins called Bax, which punch holes in the mitochondrial membrane, causing cytochrome C to leak out. This cytochrome C binds to Apaf-1, or apoptotic protease activating factor-1, which is free-floating in the cell’s cytoplasm. Using energy from the ATPs in the mitochondrion, the Apaf-1 and cytochrome C bind together to form apoptosomes. The apoptosomes binds to and activates caspase-9, another free-floating protein. The caspase-9 then cleaves the proteins of the mitochondrial membrane, causing it to break down and start a chain reaction of protein denaturation and eventually phagocytosis of the cell.

Cause of aging

According to the Free-radical theory, oxidative damage initiated by reactive oxygen species is a major contributor to the functional decline that is characteristic of aging. While studies in invertebrate models indicate that animals genetically engineered to lack specific antioxidant enzymes (such as SOD) generally show a shortened lifespan (as one would expect from the theory), the converse, increasing the levels of antioxidant enzymes, has yielded inconsistent effects on lifespan (though some well-performed studies in Drosophila do show that lifespan can be increased by the over-expression of MnSOD or glutathione biosynthesizing enzymes). In mice, the story is somewhat similar. Deleting antioxidant enzymes generally yields shorter lifespan, though over-expression studies have not (with some recent exceptions), consistently extended lifespan.[8]

Superoxide dismutase

Superoxide dismutases (SOD) are a class of enzymes that catalyze the dismutation of superoxide into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. As such, they are an important antioxidant defense in nearly all cells exposed to oxygen. In mammals and most chordates, three forms of superoxide dismutase are present. SOD1 is located in the cytoplasm, SOD2 in the mitochondria and SOD3 is extracellular. The first is a dimer (consists of two units), while the others are tetramers (four subunits). SOD1 and SOD3 contain copper and zinc, while SOD2 has manganese in its reactive centre. The genes are located on chromosomes 21, 6 and 4, respectively (21q22.1, 6q25.3 and 4p15.3-p15.1).

The SOD-catalysed dismutation of superoxide may be written with the following half-reactions :

M(n+1)+ − SOD + O2 → Mn+ − SOD + O2

Mn+ − SOD + O2 + 2H+ → M(n+1)+ − SOD + H2O2.

where M = Cu (n=1) ; Mn (n=2) ; Fe (n=2) ; Ni (n=2).

In this reaction the oxidation state of the metal cation oscillates between n and n+1.

Catalase, which is concentrated in peroxisomes located next to mitochondria, reacts with the hydrogen peroxide to catalyze the formation of water and oxygen. Glutathione peroxidase reduces hydrogen peroxide by transferring the energy of the reactive peroxides to a very small sulfur containing protein called glutathione. The selenium contained in these enzymes acts as the reactive center, carrying reactive electrons from the peroxide to the glutathione. Peroxiredoxins also degrade H2O2, within the mitochondria, cytosol and nucleus.

2 H2O2 → 2 H2O + O2 (catalase)

2GSH + H2O2 → GS–SG + 2H2O (glutathione peroxidase)

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The Biological Value of  ORP / Redox  Potential

The oxidation-reduction potential (redox potential) refers to the energy that a substance (or environment) has in relation to other substances (or environments) in terms of electron affinity. A substance with a powerful affinity for electrons is called an oxidizing agent. One that actively donates electrons (a substance with low affinity) is a reducing agent. Substances or environments that are electron-poor, we call oxidized. Electron-rich substances or environments are called reduced.

Hydrogen vs Oxygen

In terms of common chemicals, hydrogen is the prototypical reducing agent and hydrogen-rich chemicals are reduced. Oxygen is the prototypical oxidizing agent, and oxygen-rich substances are oxidized.

Generation of Energy

When strong oxidizing agents are mixed with strong reducing agents, energetic reactions (like explosions) commonly result.  For example:  Internal combustion engines are powered by gasoline (the reducing agent) and atmospheric oxygen (the oxidizer), with an electric spark to trigger the explosion at the proper moment to make the engine run.

In biological systems, carbohydrate and fat fuels are burned (oxidized) to generate energy. Ultimately, all of the energy needed to fuel the myriad of life processes comes from the energy of redox reactions.

Human bodies, and all other living organisms, are reduced relative to the atmosphere in which we live. What happens when the need for reducing power exceeds the available supply? What happens when the body starts to become oxidized?

The Biology of Oxidation --  Maintaining Redox Potential

The energy which maintains reduced conditions in animals is produced in two forms: 1) high-energy phosphate bonds (ATP), which can be hydrolyzed to donate energy to metabolic reactions, and 2) reduced hydrogen carriers (NADH, NADPH, and FADH2), which can either be used directly as a chemical reducing agent or be converted into high-energy phosphate bonds.

The reduced redox potential in tissues is largely determined by the dominance of certain key reducing chemicals: ascorbate (vitamin C), and reduced thiols (especially glutathione). These reduced chemicals become temporarily oxidized when they interact with oxidizing agents and oxidizing free radicals, but they then become re-reduced to their active forms by the body's primary reducing chemicals: the hydrogen-carrying NADH, NADPH, and FADH2.

Even with ample reducing power available in healthy cells, small amounts of oxidized ascorbate and glutathione are constantly being produced by stray free radicals. But when available reducing power falls or oxidative stress peaks, the percentage of oxidized ascorbate or glutathione can rise to levels which can impair health or threaten life.


The ascorbate-dehydroascorbate  redox pair is one of the most important factors in the maintenance of reduced conditions. Ascorbate is used to reduce other antioxidants (vitamin E, glutathione, etc.) that have become oxidized. In this process, ascorbate is oxidized to dehydroascorbate (DHA), which is then reduced back to ascorbate by NADH, NADPH, FADH2.

In the illustration below, redox potential is graphed versus the ascorbate-dehydroascorbate ratio. Under reduced conditions (top of graph), most of the ascorbate is reduced. As conditions become more j35-redooxidized (moving downward on the magenta “S” curve), the percentage of ascorbate begins to fall off more and more rapidly, passing through 50% and then slowing down as the concentration of ascorbate approaches zero.

In biological systems, the redox potential must be kept reduced at all times to perpetuate the life process. In other words, the concentration of DHA must be kept to a minimum. Under oxidizing stress (injury or disease) or impaired ability to manufacture NADH (aging or disease), the concentration of DHA can rise as the redox potential slips. This is a potentially life-threatening state (which may be the event which triggers sudden infant death syndrome).

The initial rate at which the redox potential falls as DHA increase is initially slow — on the “top shelf” of the curve. But as DHA increases further, the redox potential falls faster, becoming progressively more antagonistic to the metabolic processes of life. Ultimately, if the process is not stopped, the organism “falls off the shelf” and slides down the cliff into death.

Supplemental ascorbate is an immediate remedy to this catastrophe. Each ascorbate molecule carries two hydrogen atoms (and two electrons) which would otherwise have to be supplied from cellular metabolism. This shifts the ascorbate/DHA ratio towards ascorbate and raises the redox potential back onto the shelf.

Reducing Power

The central role of reducing power in the recycling of antioxidants and free radical scavengers suggests that reducing power is frequently the limiting factor in response to oxidant stress. The total reducing equivalents carried by all of the non-enzymatic antioxidants is small compared to the amount carried over their lifetime in the body. It is their rapid recycling that accounts for their effectiveness. Likewise with antioxidants, if they were not continuously recycled, they would be quickly consumed by free radical stress.

Ascorbate is an ideal carrier of reducing power. It's toxicity is extremely low

Sulfhydryl Bonds

Although ascorbate is an ideal carrier of reducing power, the most active of the dominant reducing agents are sulfhydryl (sulfur-hydrogen) compounds (see illustration below). Sulfhydryl compounds can donate hydrogen atoms to other chemical reactions fairly easily because the large outer electron shell “delocalizes” the odd remaining electron and minimizes its energy state. These sulfhydryl radicals tend to be relatively stable in comparison to other free radicals, and preferentially dimerize into disulfides which are of low toxicity. Disulfides can then be reduced (unoxidized) back into their sulfhydryl forms. This recycling system functions well as long as adequate reducing power is available.

Glutathione (G-SH) is the predominant sulfhydryl reducing agent in animals.  It participates in redox reactions throughout the body, including the reduction of DHA to ascorbate.

Oxidized or Reduced?

While reduced sulfhydryl bonds play a vital role in antioxidant defense, oxidized disulfide bonds are critical determinants of the three-dimensional structures of proteins and enzymes throughout the body. Proteins are initially produced as linear polymers of amino acids, some of which contain sulfhydryl groups. These polymers fold and spiral into 3-D structures which can become bridged with sulfur-amino-acid-to-sulfur-amino-acid bonds. These sulfur-sulfur bonds lock the protein and enzyme into a stable configuration which is essential for its function. When these bonds break (by free radical hydrolysis, for example), the protein or enzyme can come loose or unravel.

Most sulfur-sulfur bridges in enzymes and proteins are protected from such potential damage by being buried inside the folded 3-D structure. Some sulfur-sulfur bridges, however, are exposed. In the case of antibodies, this may actually be by design.

Antibodies j35-anti

Antibodies work by the affinity of the four variable regions of the antibody (the shaded areas in the illustration) for the antigen. If both parts stick, the antibody attaches. If only one or none does, the antibody doesn’t attach to the antigen.


The redox-sensitivity hypothesis offers some interesting speculations regarding the influence of aging on immune competence. With aging, redox potential slowly becomes more oxidized


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Product Specification Comparisons


Product pH And ORP Comparisons Tests

Ionized alkaline water and acid ionized water made by electrolysis have the following chemical characteristics:

(+)2H20  -à  O2 + 4H+ + 4e- + 1.229v(Eo)

(-)2H20 + 2e- -à H2 + 2OH-  + 0.828v(Eo)

With electrolysis, the water at the cathode or negative pole produces alkaline ionized water (OH-) and positively charged ionized minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium.

Consequently the anode (+) pole has hydrogen (H+) ions because the oxygen gas (O2) generates acidic ions such as chlorine, sulfur and phosphorus.