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Hydration & Musculoskeletal Pain

Dehydration can affect any or all parts of the body, especially the spine, intervertebral joints and their disk structure. Hydraulic properties of water stored in the disc core, as well as other parts of the musculoskeletal system are indeed dependent upon adequate hydration. Contact surfaces in the spinal vertebrae require water for it’s lubricating.

The disc core within the intervertebral space also contains water, and supports the compression weight of the upper body. Dr. Batmanghelidj states, "Fully 75 percent of the weight of the upper body is supported by the water volume that is stored in the disc core; 25 percent is supported by the fibrous materials around the disc." The fifth lumbar disc is affected in the majority of cases.

Water appears to be a universal lubricating agent for all joints in addition to sustaining the force produced by weight or tension produced by the action of muscles on the joint. Water is made available in most joints through an intermittent vacuum effect. The water is then dispersed by pressure brought about by joint movement.

Important factors in relieving back pain are:

  • Increased water intake

  •  Specific exercises to enhance the uptake of water into disc space through a vacuum effect

  • Correct posture

  •  Regular visits to your chiropractor

Neck pain is also exacerbated by dehydration and poor posture. Adequate hydration and exercise will help establish adequate circulation and a vacuum within the disc spaces. 

BioActives now have a hydrating formula called HYDRATE-1 that enhances the body’s uptake of water when used in combination with hydrating juices. Hydrate –1 is available through health care practitioners only. 

Hydration: A New Paradigm by Dr. Harris
common denominator in all living things is the need for water. Building the molecules of life is only possible when their components are dissolved in water. Adequate water intake and utilization is indispensable to all microorganisms, plants, and animals. The human body is composed of 25 percent solid matter and 75 percent water. Water is essential to life and is a key to the rate of aging, immunity, and all biochemical processes that occur in biological systems especially the brain, which consists of about 85 percent water. Water makes life possible because it has unique physical and chemical properties.

Most people are unaware of what happens to the body if it is not adequately hydrated. Whole metabolic systems are disturbed, often severely by dehydration. Some of the signs of dehydration are bloating or abdominal discomfort that occurs after drinking, dry mouth or difficulty forming saliva, disinclination to drink water because of the taste and sometimes not drinking water but obtaining water from coffee, tea, fruit drinks or manufactured beverages, etc. Other symptoms include insatiable thirst, craving and eating sweets followed by drinking a lot of fluids, lack of elasticity in skin and water retention are but a few. Unfortunately many of these beverages accelerate water loss rather than increase hydration.

Dr. Batmanghelidj, a medical researcher presents a new paradigm regarding the function and role of water in the human biochemistry. Scientists have assumed that the solute composition is the governing factor of all biological functions of the body, and water as only a solvent--a space filler and means of material transport in the body. Science considers the human body as a huge "test tube" with a myriad of solids, and the water in the body as chemically irrelevant "packing material."

It is my belief, and the belief of Dr. Batmanghelidj, that the water (solvent content) of the body governs the activity of all the solutes and directs all functions of the body. When the water metabolism of the body becomes disturbed various symptoms or signals appear. This indicates a "system" disturbance associated with water regulation. In consideration of this view, the importance of water intake has indeed been established. If there is an excessive production or over activity of the regulating neurotransmitter systems (histamine and its subordinate agents), one could assume that initially they are becoming involved in the regulatory action of water management (rationing) of the body. It is erroneous to block their action by pharmaceutical intervention. Achieving optimum levels of hydration should satisfy their purpose.

Water regulates all functions of the body, including the activity of all the solutes that are dissolved in it. The bonds that hold hydrogen and oxygen atoms together permit water to be fluid at the environmental temperature compatible with life. Water forms the aqueous medium that delivers nutrients to the cells, dissolves and dilutes poisonous wastes and removes them from the cells. Long-term health maintenance can only be achieved through efficient hydration.

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The Three Stages of Water Regulation
Water regulation is divided into three different stages during one’s lifetime. The first stage is the life of a
fetus in the uterus of the mother. The second stage occurs approximately between the ages of 18 to 25 when full height and width is attained. The third stage is from adulthood to the death of the person. Dr. Batmanghelidj points out that dehydration begins at an early adult age and becomes chronic due to a gradually failing thirst sensation. With increase in age, the intracellular water content diminishes to the point that the ratio of the volume of water inside the cell compared to extra cellular water changes from a figure of 1.1 to almost 0.8. This is a significant change and since our daily consumption of water directly contributes to cellular function, the decrease in our intake affects the quality of cellular activity. The end result is chronic dehydration, which contributes to disease symptoms, and in many cases is the direct result of a water shortage in the human body. Frequently these symptoms are treated with medications ignoring the body's cry for water.

The Multiple Roles of Water
Water plays other important roles in the body than just being a unique solvent and means of transport. Hydrolysis or hydroelectric energy (voltage gradient) is generated at the cell membrane and is stored in the form of ATP. This is used for elemental (cation) exchanges particularly in neurotransmission. Another important function of water is that of forming a specific structure pattern that is utilized as the adhesive material in the bondage of the cellular architecture. The brain cells manufacture products that are delivered to their target in the nerve endings for use in the communication of messages on "waterways." According to Batmanghelidj, there appears to be microstreams along the length of nerves that “float" the packaged materials along "guidelines," called microtubules. Enzymes and proteins are more functional in an optimally hydrated environment; this is true of all cell membrane receptors. On the contrary, enzymes and proteins operate less efficiently in a dehydrated state. 

It is becoming more obvious that sub clinical and clinical dehydration activates the histamine directed neurotransmitter system, which promotes water intake and management. With this system intact water that is in circulation can indeed be recirculated or be drawn away from other areas. In addition, prostaglandin, kinin, renin-angiotensin and vasopressin are subordinate systems employed as the intermediary agents. It is important to remember that there are no water reservoirs the body can pull from. Rather, it operates a priority distribution system commensurate to water intake, and uptake. 

It is interesting to note that in amphibian species, histamine production becomes pronounced when the animal is dehydrated. Under normal circumstances, however, production is minimal.

Dr. Batmanghelidj states, "For rationing regulation of the available water in dehydrated animals-drought management-the naturally coupled response is a proportionate increase in the production rate and storage of the neurotransmitter histamine. When they come across pain-sensing nerves in the body, histamine and its subordinate water intake and distribution regulators, prostaglandin, kinin and PAF (another associated agent) also cause pain." Based upon this new shift in thinking, many times chronic pain caused by excessive histamine production could indeed be the direct result of a water shortage in the body, and should be treated as such.  

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Dyspeptic Pain
Dyspeptic pain is indicative of dehydration and is a thirst signal. More specifically, gastritis pain, duodenitis, and heartburn are important signals of dehydration in the body. Ulcers however, require more rigid dietary management in addition to water intake. Dr. Batmanghelidj published an editorial article in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology in 1983 in which be describes his successful treatment of over 3000 persons with dyspeptic pain with water as the only medication. He states, "They all responded to an increase in their water intake and their clinical problems associated with the pain disappeared."

Research has shown that if we drink a glassful of water, it is immediately transported to the intestine and absorbed. Within 30 minutes the same quantity of water is secreted in the mucosal glandular layer of the stomach ready to aid digestion. Adequate digestion is dependent upon adequate amounts of water. The glandular layer of the stomach is normally covered in mucus. Mucus consists of 98 percent water and 2 percent the physical "scaffolding" that traps water. This protects the inner lining of the stomach by acting as a natural buffer state. An important part of this buffer system is sodium bicarbonate that is secreted by the cells below the mucous layer. Sodium bicarbonate becomes trapped in the water layer. This protects the stomach from acid production by effectively neutralizing it. The result of this natural biochemical reaction is an increased salt production (sodium from the bicarb and chlorine from the acid). Excess sodium changes the water-holding properties of the "scaffolding" material of mucus. To much acid neutralization and deposition of sodium in the mucus layer would make it less homogeneous and will allow penetration to the mucosal layer resulting in dyspeptic pain. 

The re-secretion of water through the mucus layer appears to exert a "back-washing effect" on the mucus layer removing the salt deposits. The effectiveness of this phenomenon of course is dependent upon the intake of water. As a note of caution, pains that do not respond to an increased water intake over a period of time could be the result of a serious pathological condition. It would be prudent to consult your physician for assessment of the condition. Other conditions responding well to proper hydration are, Colitis and false appendicitis pain. Rheumatoid Arthritis pains can initially be considered indicators of a lack of adequate hydration in the affected joint cartilage surfaces. The cartilage surfaces of bones in a joint contain much water. This “held water" provides a lubricating quality. A well-hydrated joint obtains its nutrition from the blood supply to its base attachment to the bone. A dehydrated joint will get some form of fluid circulation from the capsule of the joint, producing swelling and tenderness in the joint capsule. 

Low Back Pain
Dehydration can affect any or all parts of the body especially the spine, intervertebral joints and their disc structure. Hydraulic properties of water stored in the disc core as well as other parts of the musculoskeletal system are indeed dependent upon adequate hydration. Contact surfaces in the spinal vertebrae require water for its lubricating property. The disc core within the intervertebral space also contains water and supports the compression weight of the upper body.

Dr. Batmanghelidj states, "Fully 75 per cent or the weight of the upper body is supported by the water volume that is stored in the disc core; 25 percent is supported by the fibrous materials around the disc." The 5th lumbar disc is affected in the majority of cases.

Water appears to be a universal lubricating agent for all joints in addition to sustaining the force produced by weight or tension produced by the action of the muscles on the joint. Water is made available in most joints through an intermittent vacuum effect. The water is then dispersed by pressure brought about by joint movement.

Important factors in relieving back pain are: 

  • Increased water intake

  • Specific exercises (enhances uptake of water into the disc space through a vacuum effect)

  • Correct posture

  • Chiropractic assessment and treatment

Neck pain is also exacerbated by dehydration, and poor posture. Adequate hydration and exercise will help establish adequate circulation and a vacuum within the disc spaces.

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Compensation Mechanisms Associated With Dehydration

Dehydration triggers a series of biochemical events that are the same as the body's response to stress. Dehydration produces stress and subsequently actuates several strong hormones, which "mop up" some of the water reserves of the body. This in turn will elicit further dehydration.

The body reaction to stress is to mobilize a "fight or flight" response, which in turn causes secretion of hormones. Initially, ACTH levels are increased with a consequent increase in cortisol secretion. Endorphins, cortisone, prolactin, vasopressin and renin-angiotensin are also part of the hormonal crisis management team. Endorphin secretion is induced by stress and prepares the body for impending danger or hardship. Endorphins also increase the body’s pain threshold.

Cortisol is cholesterol. Exogenous cholesterol, in normal conditions accounts for 80 per cent of the total cortisol production and 25 percent being synthesized by the adrenal cortex. Cortisone mobilizes the body’s store of raw materials such as fat and protein for energy conversion and synthesis of extra neurotransmitter.

Prolactin is similar to growth hormone due to its specific action on tissues. It also has no regulatory effect on a secondary endocrine gland. The only established function of prolactin in man is the initiation and maintenance of lactation even if there is dehydration. Although the nutritional components of milk are indeed important, the water content is of primary importance to the developing fetus. During mitosis a single cell gives rise to a daughter cell and 75 percent or more of its volume requires water. Hydration of the daughter cell enables it to access its other dissolved contents. 

Dr. Batmanghelidj alludes to a study conducted on mice that revealed when prolactin was increased there was an increase in mammary tumours. He believes that due to the similarity of prolactin to growth hormone there is more than a casual relationship to chronic dehydration, persistent prolactin secretion and tumour production in the breast.

Vasopressin has a regulatory action on the bioavailability of water in some cells of the body. It also has a vasoconstrictive effect on the capillaries it activates. The architecture of the cell membrane is a bi-layer. The adhesive property of water is partially responsible for cell wall integrity. According to Dr. Batmanghelidj, enzymes travel and perform their varied functions in a connecting passageway located between the bi-layers of the cell membrane. He characterizes this waterway as a "water filled beltway." The body bas a unique safeguard against significant wafer loss in the beltway. He states, "The vasopressor receptor converts to a 'showerhead' structure when vasopressin hormone reaches the cell membrane and fuses with its specially designed receptor." Vasopressin plays a key role in water management and rationing in the body when dehydration occurs.

Renin-Angiotensin System
This system is a primary regulator of aldosterone, which is produced by the zona glomerulosa. The juxtaglomerular apparatus of the nephron is responsible for the release of renin (an enzyme) into the general circulation. Renin-Angiotension (RA) plays a crucial role in water regulation and is a subordinate mechanism to histamine activation in the brain. The (RA) system is extremely sensitive to decreased levels of fluid volume in the body and sodium depletion. The (RA) system is also responsible for vasoconstrictive action on the capillary bed and the vascular system. This in effect reduces the slack in the circulatory system. This system is largely responsible for restoration of fluid volume in the body. Adequate hydration is essential since hypertension can occur from prolonged (RA) activity. 

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The Sleeper Phenomenon
Increasing water intake does not always solve the answer to re-hydration. Though dehydrated, the body may not be able to utilize more water. Glenn Braddy, an Australian architect and nutrition research scientist devotes his time to alchemical solutions to human biological puzzles such as dehydration. Mr. Braddy, and the IFA (International Foundation of Alchemists) have discovered the "sleeper" phenomenon. In simple terms, a "sleeper" is a vital component of body chemistry which has gone into a state of suspended activity… a hibernation. In other words, the component is indeed present in the body but not functionally active. According to Braddy, the sleeper can be an amino acid, vitamin or mineral. As long as the sleeper remains inactive it will promote symptoms in the patient. If a patient had a magnesium sleeper, the mineral would be present in the body but inactive or dormant. The symptomatic result would be that of a magnesium deficiency such as increased sensitivity to noise, some pre-menstrual symptoms, muddled thinking, morning joint stiffness... and many of the symptoms of decreased basal metabolism. 

The normal approach to a mineral deficiency is to supply that mineral through a dietary supplement. However, if magnesium is the sleeper, adding magnesium will not solve the problem. The obvious answer is to activate the sleeper. The cause according to Braddy is almost invariably dehydration.

It is crucial to point out that in many cases, increasing water intake does not equal uptake or utilization. Many people often identify symptoms of dehydration, and increase their water intake, but fail to re-hydrate. This could possibly explain why some individuals take certain nutrients and show little benefit.

The best approach to solving this problem appears to be re-hydration and finding a way to get water into the body. The key to achieving this is to provide a transporter that will facilitate the uptake of water into the body. Symptoms of insufficient uptake of water include, remaining thirsty after drinking, disliking the taste of water and bloating after drinking water. There are many transporters that can be used. Sub-acid fruit juice appears to have the best hydrating effect (see Instructions for Use). One such transporter that may come as a surprise is caffeine. Caffeine is an effective transporter especially for women. Another transporter is Dandelion, which is particularly important for men. 

Braddy states, "What is important to identify here is that many people who crave sugar, coffee and other caffeine sources such as Coca-Cola and chocolate are actually using those foods and beverages to promote re-hydration and often address sleeper problems in the process, although temporarily." In other words, the body is aware of the sleeper and actually promotes the craving or drive to particular elements, which can activate the sleeper. 

An important point to remember is that cravings are not the cause of the problem, but the result of the problem. Unfortunately, the intake of these foods can only temporarily alleviate the sleeper problem. The fact that the person craves other beverages, and certain foods and not water is a strong indicator of the inability to absorb water. 

The notion of increasing caffeine intake through coffee and tea to enhance uptake of water, is not a viable option according to Braddy. A simple alternative is to add BioActive Hydrate-1 formula to your choice of sub-acid fruit juice and water.

If additional information is required regarding hydration, please call  604-272-4325 or email us. 

Other useful products for hydration are Plant Derived Minerals from American/Canadian Longevity. To order, please call 604-272-4325 or email us.


1. Batmanghlidj. M.D., Your Body's Many Cries for Water (Falls Church. VA.) Global Health Solutions Inc., 1994




2. Glenn Braddy, The 'Sleeper' Phenomenon: A New Perspective on Survival. IFA News Sheet, Vol. 1, Sept. 90

3. Robert H. William's, Textbook of Endrocrinology, W. B. Saunders Company, 1974 (Philadelphia-London-Toronto) Robert H. Williams, M.D.

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BioActive Hydrate -1

Researched and developed by Paul D. Harris Ph.D

Contains: (1) Organic coffee (2) Germanium 3x, 5x, 7x (3) Silica 3x, 5x, 7x (4) Dandiplex

Germanium and Silica conduct electrons or amplify energy, and can also store electricity to a point; and then allow current flow. The transfer of electrons is highly dependent on the availability of molecular oxygen. In terms of how this influences biological systems, it enhances intracellular communication as well as increasing assimilation and utilization of elements at the cellular level.

Instructions for Use

Sub-Acid Fruit

apricots - blueberries - huckleberries - strawberries - nectarines - raspberriesblackberries - gooseberries - mangos - elderberries - fresh figs - sweet apples - cherries - sweet peaches - sweet plums - persimmons 






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