Mineral Supplementation Brief by William Sickert BSc. JD CNC
It is inarguable that the body maintains pH on a constant basis in a cascade of very complex relationships based on physical, dietary and emotional load. Bicarbonate mineral supplementation has a massive impact on lowering the bodily requirements to feed alkalinity from it own resources. A classic disease manifestation of this “robbing Paul to pay Peter” principal is osteoporosis when the body uses calcium as a last resort for the process. Fatigue, muscle weakness and poor sleep are additional signs of this phenomenon. Baking Soda is a horrific source of sodium bicarbonate but used widely throughout the world to alkalize an acidic stomach or create a calming mechanism as a beverage before bed time.
Herbal combinations assist and complement the process of calming in products that have more intelligence behind their design. To say that the body does not benefit from such supplementation is a sign of an uninformed nutritionist.
The following evidence is a small resume that supports the concept of bicarbonate mineral supplementation and the best sources are derived from plant and sea water based sources.
Most credit should go to Dr. Mildred Selig in her book Magnesium Deficiency in the Pathogenesis of Disease. Her work is an embodiment of clinical evidence although the web is a cacophony of information that is good but more fragmented.
The following is a small taste of the evidence.
Bicarbonate has beneficial effects on health
(News vol 3, no 1, May 2001)
Bicarbonate is a major element in our body. Secreted by the stomach, it is necessary for digestion. When ingested, for example, with mineral water, it helps buffer lactic acid generated during exercise and also reduces the acidity of dietary components. Finally, it has a prevention effect on dental cavities.
Bicarbonate is present in all body fluids (see table) and organs and plays a major role in the acid-base balances in the human body. The first organ where food, beverages and water stay in our body is the stomach. The mucus membrane of the human stomach has 30 million glands which produce gastric juice containing not only acids, but also bicarbonate. The flow of bicarbonate in the stomach amounts from 400 µmol per hour (24.4 mg/h) for a basal output to 1,200 µmol per hour (73.2 mg/h) for a maximal output. Thus at least half a gram of bicarbonate is secreted daily in our stomach. This rate of gastric bicarbonate secretion is 2-10% of the maximum rate of acid secretion. In the stomach, bicarbonate participates in a mucus-bicarbonate barrier regarded as the first line of the protective and repair mechanisms. On neutralization by acid, carbon dioxide is produced from bicarbonate. A study has underlined that a dose of 6.17 g of sodium bicarbonate rapidly leaves the stomach with the liquid phase of the meal.
Effects of ingested bicarbonate
For digestion, bicarbonate is naturally produced by the gastric membrane in the stomach. This production will be low in alkaline conditions and will rise in response to acidity. In healthy individuals this adaptive mechanism will control the pH perfectly. To modify this pH with exogenous doses of bicarbonate, some clinical experiments have been conducted with sodium bicarbonate loads as high as 6 g. Only a transient effect on pH has been obtained. It is quite possible that bicarbonate in water may play a buffering role in the case of people sensitive to gastric acidity. Thus bicarbonate may be helpful for digestion.
The most important effect of bicarbonate ingestion is the change in acid-base balance as well as blood pH and bicarbonate concentration in biological fluids. It has been studied particularly in physically active people. Among the types of acid produced, lactic acid generated during exercise is buffered by bicarbonate. In a study on sports, a dose of 0.3 g per kg of body weight of sodium bicarbonate was given (15.25 g bicarbonate for a man of 70 kg) to subjects before performing 30 minutes cycling. While blood pH was increased and then maintained constant with this bicarbonate load due to the changes in blood bicarbonate concentrations, increased acidity and decreased bicarbonate blood concentration were observed in controlled subjects. Mineral water which contains bicarbonate (>600 mg/l) may have an effect on acid-base balance. It is the case of Qu zac. The daily consumption of 1.5 liter of Qu zac in healthy subjects has produced a significant increase in the urinary pH due to the ingested bicarbonate (1685 mg/l).
Prevention of renal stones
Bicarbonate also reduces the acidity of dietary components such as proteins. As an example, adding sodium or even more potassium bicarbonate to subjects on a high protein diet known to acidify urine and leading to hypercalciuria (high level of calcium in urine) has been shown to greatly reduce calcium urinary excretion. The effect has been observed with 5.5 g of bicarbonate supplement received daily for two weeks. A recent study presented in the review of literature highlights that a bicarbonate-rich mineral water could be useful in the prevention of the recurrence of calcium oxalate and uric acid renal stones.
Many oral hydration solutions contain bicarbonate showing the usefulness of bicarbonate to control water absorption in patients at risk of dehydration.
Sodium intake is restricted in patients with hypertension, but it is demonstrated that the accompanying anion, such as bicarbonate or chloride, plays an important role. It is now well established that sodium bicarbonate as well as citrate and phosphate salts do not raise blood pressure to the same extent as do the corresponding amounts of sodium chloride. A study on mineral water containing sodium bicarbonate has confirmed the absence of effect on blood pressure in elderly individuals.
Bicarbonate has been shown to decrease dental plaque acidity induced by sucrose and its buffering capacity is important to prevent dental cavities. Other studies have shown that bicarbonate inhibits plaque formation on teeth and, in addition, increases calcium uptake by dental enamel. This effect of bicarbonate on teeth is so well recognized that sodium bicarbonate-containing tooth powder was patented in the USA in October 1985. Sodium bicarbonate has been suggested to increase the pH in the oral cavity, potentially neutralizing the harmful effects of bacterial metabolic acids. Sodium bicarbonate is increasingly used in dentifrice and its presence appears to be less abrasive to enamel and dentine than other commercial toothpaste.
Bicarbonate helps physically active people combat fatigue
(news vol 3, no 1, May 2001)
An ingestion of 300 mg/kg of body weight of bicarbonate before exercising will help you reduce muscular fatigue and so increase the performance of short- term physical exercise. Thus drinking mineral water containing bicarbonate may contribute to this beneficial intake.
Sportsmen continuously have two problems to solve : the other athletes to overtake and fatigue to overcome. The causes of fatigue are multifactorial, either they have physiological or psychological origins. From the physiological point of view, fatigue can have a central or peripheral origin. Among the peripheral causes, fatigue could be due to the accumulation of metabolites in muscle, such as lactates, hydrogen ions and ammonia. During prolonged submaximal effort, the major cause of fatigue is the energy substrate depletion (namely carbohydrates), but it has been shown that hyperthermia (over 40.1 C) or dehydration (over 1 or 2 % of body weight loss) could also contribute to the occurrence of fatigue.
In fact, to optimize performance, it is important to minimize fatigue and to delay its appearance. Athletes are aware of substances which could offset fatigue and since the 90s the use of sodium bicarbonate has become usual among sportsmen to buffer the acids produced during exercise.
The pH is a parameter expressing the acidity of a solution. Neutral pH is 7. For example, the pH of blood is normally 7.4 and that of muscle is 7.0. pH under 7 is acid, that is the case of vinegar (pH =3), orange juice (pH =3.7 ) or cola-drinks (pH =2.4). pH over 7 is basic or alkaline. Some mineral waters are alkaline, such as Abatilles (pH = 8.2).
Physical exercise can imply the production of lactic acid, leading to the acidification of pH in blood and muscle. In order to buffer this accumulation of lactic acid and to regulate the acid-base balance, the body uses biological buffers, especially the bicarbonate buffer system. But under conditions of intense physical activity (short or long-term), this natural buffer is limited and accumulation occurs with the risk of fatigue.
The ingestion of sodium carbonate as a buffering agent has been studied in various experimental designs (repeated short bout exercises or long lasting efforts) and with large dose ranges (100 to 500 mg per kg body weight, ingested or injected). Plasma bicarbonate concentrations were shown to increase after oral ingestion but intracellular concentrations of bicarbonate in muscle were unchanged. However, recent studies underline that bicarbonate increases the transport of lactate from muscle. General considerations can be drawn from the 46 studies showing enhancements of exercise performance and 37 studies showing no enhancement : below 200 mg per kg body weight of sodium carbonate ingested, no effect on performance occurs. The optimum range to observe an effect seems to be around 300 mg per kg of body weight. Sodium bicarbonate ingestion is efficient for long lasting efforts, between 1 to 7 minutes (sprint, 200 m, 400m, 800m and 1500m). When cycling, running, swimming, rowing and weightlifting exercise performance is increased by sodium bicarbonate ingestion. Recently, a few studies have shown that sodium bicarbonate and sodium chloride have the same ergogenic effect leading to the conclusion that the effect attributed to bicarbonate buffering may be due to sodium.
Even if the mechanism of the effect of bicarbonate is a matter of discussion, it is clear that at a dose close to 300 mg per kg of body weight of ingested bicarbonate increases the buffering capacity of blood and may decrease the acidity of the muscle pH. As a consequence, acid accumulation will be attenuated and energy production or force maintained. The improved acid balance obtained by this administration produces a reduction of fatigue and an enhancement of strength recovery.
Natural mineral or spring waters have various contents of bicarbonates, from some tens to hundreds of mg/liter for still waters and from several hundreds to thousands of mg/liter for sparkling waters (see table). Although studies have shown an effect on acid-base balance of some mineral waters containing more than 600 mg of bicarbonate per liter, physically active people need to drink large amounts of water to observe an effect on fatigue when exercising. In athletes, several authors have shown a significant increase in blood pH and blood bicarbonate without improvement of performance.
Moreover, if the optimum content of bicarbonate ingestion is close to 300 mg per kg of body, this means for a 70 kg sportsman a dose of about 15 g of bicarbonate. Accordingly, the ingestion of water alone will help reach an efficient dose of bicarbonate, if a large volume of water is taken several hours before exercising. It could contribute to lowering the bicarbonate load to be ingested and avoiding the possible gastrointestinal side-effects.
San Pellegrino: 219.6 mg per liter
Perrier: 390 mg per liter
Vitter: 402 mg per liter
Campilho: 1479 mg per liter
Qu zac: 1685.4 mg per liter
San Narciso: 2165.5 mg per liter
Bibliography of Bicarbonate-related Articles
— “Normal adult humans eating Western diets have chronic, low-grade metabolic acidosis ….” Frassetto LA, Todd KM, Morris RC Jr, Sebastian A(1998) Am J Clin Nutr, 68 (3): 576-83
Estimation of net endogenous noncarbonic acid production in humans from diet potassium and protein contents
— “Previously we demonstrated that low grade chronic metabolic acidosis exists normally in humans eating ordinary diets … and that the degree of acidosis increases with age.” Frassetto L, Morris RC Jr, Sebastian A. (1997) J Clin Endocrinol Metab, Jan;82(1):254-9
Potassium Bicarbonate Reduces Urinary Nitrogen Excretion in Postmenopausal Women
— “In normal subjects, a low level of metabolic acidosis and positive acid balance (the production of more acid than is excreted) are typically present …” Sebastian A, Harris ST, Ottaway JH, Todd KM, Morris RC Jr(1994) N Engl J Med, 330 (25): 1776-81
Improved Mineral Balance and Skeletal Metabolism in Postmenopausal Women Treated with Potassium Bicarbonate
— “The lysosome system [acidic denaturing interior] provides the only intracellular environment capable of performing this pathological processing, and the recent observations reviewed here suggest that it lies at the heart of the pathogenesis of these diseases [Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Alzheimer’s disease, neuronal ageing and neuronal cell injury].” Mayer R J, Landon M, Laszlo L, Lennox G, Lowe J. (1992) The Lancet, Jul 18;340(8812):156-9
Protein processing in lysosomes: the new therapeutic target in neurodegenerative disease
— “Human metastatic breast cancer cells in culture contain large acidic vesicles ….. large acidic vesicles were associated with both phagocytosis and invasion …..” Montcourrier P, Mangeat PH, Valembois C, Salazar G, Sahuquet A, Duperray C, Rochefort H. (1994) J Cell Sci 1994 Sep;107 ( Pt 9):2381-91
– “Only a narrow pH range is compatible with life because even a small increase in [H+] [that is, cell acidity] has dramatic effects on normal cell function.” “The major source of H+ [acid] is … metabolically produced CO2 [carbon dioxide].” Sherwood, L. (Third Edition). 1994. Human Physiology. From Cells to Systems. p. 530
— “The crux of H+ [acid] balance [in the body] is maintaining the normal alkalinity of the extracellular fluid (pH 7.4) despite the constant onslaught of acid.” Sherwood, L. (Third Edition). 1994. Human Physiology. From Cells to Systems. p. 531
Fluid and Acid-Base Balance
Rooted in the code of federal regulation and the various three and four letter agencies lies an interesting inquiry with respect to the future of “smokeless or alternative” products for those interested in the non-tobacco based world of what is modernly called “vaping”.
This legal brief is merely a synopsis of the past and current situation with respect to the industry as a whole including my traditional straight forward analysis of the legal and regulatory environment having worked in the health and wellness regulatory community for over 20 years. The following is a historic review of significant events:
In 2008, the FDA attempted to regulate E-cigarettes as a “drug” or drug delivery device under the FDCA, Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, by blocking a shipment at the borders of the United States. In 2009, NJOY, the manufacturer and Soterra, the distributor of the product sued by simply asserting the FDA had no authority based on the lack of drug or drug delivery device status. The FDA would not appeal as it was baseless.
By 2010 the matter reached federal court attention and is probably studied in law schools today as an example of several key legal constructs fundamental to US law. Much of the basis for the future of “vaping” was established in 2000 with the benchmark precedent case FDA v. Brown & Williamson. This established a basis for the FDA’s inability to regulate tobacco products and soon to be nicotine based products. In frustration, congress created the Tobacco Control Act adding cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco and smokeless (chewing) tobacco to the sole categories of FDA regulation.
Two major understandings exist to warrant the support of “vaping” in the future. The first is that the federal government always defaults to a fundamental called State Police Powers when issues of consumer choice are involved. This is rooted in the founding of our constitution. States are left with the ultimate power to decide what is to be regulated in their own borders and the consumption of alcohol in Utah vs Tennessee is a classic example. The second point is the fact that regulatory gaps exist in favor of the future of “vaping” and the primary gap that has the test of time and federal court precedent is the fact that a nicotine based product, tobacco derived or not is NOT a “tobacco product” (House Bill 2 S.L. 2009-27).
Add the fact that former Bush administration Surgeon General Richard Carmona M.D. is a proponent of the industry as a significant improvement in the healthful delivery of nicotine and smoking alternatives. Such an advocate that he is directly involved in the manufacture and sale of the liquid supplies required for “vaping”.
The successful future of vapor distribution will reside in the traditional existence of hundreds of consumable products including, alcohol, OTC drugs, tobacco, and many others that require one thing; Responsible and conscious marketing. Clearly protecting children, product potency (nicotine), safety of mechanisms (pipes) ALL need to be conscious decisions by industry executives to create safety and quality product experiences. As with many like industries, the future is bright if handles responsibly and the track record of responsible marketing is relatively easy to follow.
BLASTOFF by Jonathan Gilliam is the #1 read for 2015
I have known Jonathan Gilliam for years and we met on a direct selling project in Miami Florida. At the time I had moved back to Southern California following a four year start-up tour in Jupiter Florida.
BLASTOFF is Jonathan’s second formal publication and it can be his last. It’s that good. Why did I not recommend his first book? He needed to get it right and the first book was his attempt at getting it right and BLASTOFF got it right.
The subtitle mentions the Direct Selling Community and it would be a travesty if only the Direct Selling community was to draw from the wisdom in this book. It is a lesson plan for branding, product launch, product development, mistake management (Ok that includes the world), and corporate momentum.
Jonathan founded and runs Momentum Factor, www.momofactor.com out of Austin Texas. I have met every one of his staff and recommend his business acumen to many of my clients as a business management consultant emphasizing wellness. ISBN 978-1497482425 Blastoff! Get real and get IT!
PRESENTEEISM Strategies Revealed
Employers are increasing the potential for alignment and connectivity with the most precious commodity in their organizations, the productive employee. Even massage therapy has evolved as a cost effective adjunct to the work day that has a resounding impact on productivity. Corporate wellness guru Bill Sickert refers to himself as the “Prophet of Presenteeism” exposing the many strategies used by organizations to enhance his national cause.
Suburban Chicago law firm Kovitz Shifrin & Nesbit treats employees to a free 20-minute chair massage once every two months. Therapists are on site once every two weeks, and employees can pay $20 for a 20-minute massage on the weeks that they’re not due for a company paid massage.
The company covers gratuity, explains firm administrator Ivie Cohn. “It’s something that we sometimes share in an interview with potential employees,” Cohn says. “It definitely speaks to our culture and our environment.”
At the Colorado Health Institute, Kathy Helm sits at a computer all day. She said one of the benefits of a massage is that it reveals problems that she didn’t realize existed. “You go in and get the massage, and you’ve got this problem and this problem and this knot,” Helm says. “Once you get it worked out, you’re able to do things better. You don’t have that tension.”
Helm says she gets an immediate sense of relaxation from lying in the chair and listening to the music played by the on-site massage therapist. “You immediately feel the stress level drop,” she explains. “After you’re in the chair, the therapist asks what is bothering you, if there are any areas you want her to focus on.”
Often, she’ll have the therapist work on her shoulders, tight from spending so much time in her chair in front of her computer. “So she’ll massage my arms and go down to each finger,” she remembers. “And when she’s done with that, you just feel so relaxed. Last month, I had so much stress in my back, and when she was done, I had nothing.”
Stories like these are what sway some corporations to add massage therapy to their existing employee benefits.
John Hasmonek can relate. Hasmonek is a certified public accountant and partner at Ronald J. Borden & Company, a Chicago-based accounting firm that offers employees monthly on-site massage therapy. The company began offering the benefit about a decade ago in response to extremely long work hours during certain parts of the year, especially tax time.
“Our people get tired,” explains Hasmonek. “So, we decided to offer them a massage in the office once a month in order to give them a little break to see if it would increase their energy levels. And it has. It has increased their morale even more than we anticipated.
People really look forward to that monthly massage.” Debbie Jordan, an administrative assistant at the firm, speaks highly of the program. “We brag about it,” she says. “I’ll go to the health club, and I’ll tell people that the massage people are coming Monday. They can’t believe it. They’re very jealous. They say ‘that’s a nice perk you have from your employer.’”
Bill Sickert notes that research on corporate massage does exist and massage practices and therapists widely rely on a 1992 article in the Financial Times to trumpet the benefits that companies can reap by offering massage therapy to employees. The article claims a company based in Ontario, Canada, reported a 25 percent decrease in time off for work-related injuries, and a $200,000 decrease in compensation claims after it implemented a massage therapy program.