We all know water is essential for life.  Water is absorbed by the body to fuel cells, transport blood, remove wastes, and support almost every other vital function.  Dr. Peter Agre was awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2003 “for discoveries concerning channels in cell membranes” jointly with one half to Peter Agre “for the discovery of water channels” and with one half to Roderick MacKinnon “for structural and mechanistic studies of ion channels”.

Dr. Agre called the water channel “Aquaporins”, “the plumbing system for cells”.  Every cell is primarily water.  “But the water doesn’t just sit in the cell, it moves through it in a very organized way.  The process occurs rapidly in tissues that have these aquaporins or water channels.”

For 100 years, scientists assumed that water leaked through the cell membrane, and some water does.  “But the very rapid movement of water through some cells was not explained by this theory,” said Agre.   Agre said he discovered aquaporins “by serendipity.”  His lab had an N.I.H. grant to study the Rh blood group antigen.  They isolated the Rh molecule but a second molecule, 28 kilodaltons in size (and therefore called 28K) kept appearing.  At first they thought it was a piece of the Rh molecule, or a contaminant, but it turned out to be an undiscovered molecule with unknown function.  It was abundant in red blood cells and kidney tubes, and related to proteins of diverse origins, like the brains of fruit flies, bacteria, the lenses of eyes, and plant tissues.

Agre asked John Parker, his hematology professor at the University of North Carolina.  Parker said, “Boy, this thing is found in red cells, kidney tubes, plant tissues; have you considered it might be the long-sought water channel?”  So Agre said that he followed up Parker’s suggestion.  If aquaporins could be manipulated, it could potentially solve medical problems such as fluid retention in heart disease and brain edema after stroke.

How does the water channel work? A question of form and function

In 2000, together with other research teams, Agre reported the first high-resolution images of the three-dimensional structure of the aquaporin.  With these data, it was possible to map in detail how a water channel functions.  How is it that it only admits water molecules and not other molecules or ions?  The membrane is, for instance, not allowed to leak protons.  This is crucial because the difference in proton concentration between the inside and the outside of the cell is the basis of the cellular energy-storage system.

Selectivity is a central property of the channel.  Water molecules worm their way through the narrow channel by orienting themselves in the local electrical field formed by the atoms of the channel wall.  Protons (or rather oxonium ions, H3O+) are stopped on the way and rejected because of their positive charges.

**. Passage of water molecules through the aquaporin AQP1.  Because of the positive charge at the center of the channel, positively charged ions are deflected.

Scientific researchers theorize that ionized water slows down aging by reducing free radicals in the body because of its negative oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) – a measurable negative electrical charge that gives the water antioxidant properties.

To maintain and improve your health, drink at least two liters a day (or ½ ounce or more per pound of body weight) in order to gradually change from an acidic constitution to a slightly alkaline constitution.  Drink two to three cups of water first thing in the morning to rehydrate the body and improve bowel function.  By drinking the “correct” water, the tendency of your body to accumulate metabolic acid waste can be gradually corrected to enable it to maintain a slightly alkaline constitution.

“Correct” water is Living Water.  Compared to tap water, Living Water has no unpleasant odor, no chlorine taste, tastes and feels lighter, smoother (silkier), and has a pleasant and refreshing clean taste.  Compared to bottled water, Living Water is alkaline, is an antioxidant, and is environmentally friendly.

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