Maintaining zeta potential is one of the main keys to leading a long and healthy life. Zeta potential refers to the ability of particles to stay suspended in solution. Its main usage is in industry where manufacturers want things to stay in solution. When the zeta potential falls, things precipitate (fall) out of solution. They form clumps. If you want your pasta sauce to look mixed together in the jar, then the correct zeta potential is the science behind why….
Here is how it works in the body:
The simple definition of electrolytes is anything, that when placed in water, will separate into charged particles. Your body is full of electrolytes – sodium (Na), calcium (Ca), chloride (Cl), bicarbonate (HCO3), etc. Many of these are measurable with standard lab tests to some extent. However, the tests don’t tell much about the environment these molecules exist in.
The lab tests can tell us about the numbers of particles, but not how they are interacting. That is where zeta potential comes in. In keeping the chemistry simple, all molecules want room to move. That “space” is due to temperature, thickness of the solution they are suspended in, number of particles and the charge on the particles. It is the last two that I want to focus on.
Particle charge: particles are positively charged, negatively charged or neutral (when they are called a molecule). In the body, the main liquid that moves things around is called blood plasma. It is what the red blood cells move in. If we look at blood plasma from an electrolyte standpoint, there are a specific amount of electrolytes (particles) that are supposed to be in solution. These charged particles attract or move away from each other very much like traffic on a highway as they move through the body.
Red blood cells are commonly negatively charged. Through small electrical forces this makes the red blood cells slightly push away from each other. This allows blood to normally flow smoothly. This is healthy blood. If the charge on the blood cell changes from negative to slightly positive, the blood cells now want to be closer together. They may even want to stick to each other. What do we call that? A change in Zeta Potential…or a clot.
If we just cut our finger on a piece of paper, then this is good thing. If we are talking about the blood vessels that run into our brain, this is very bad – that is a stroke. If it is our heart, that would be a heart attack. So Zeta Potential is important.
If you are in the optimal range for Zeta Potential, your blood is able to move around well in the body. Your pH (the acid or base level) is normal, you are hydrated, AND it is extremely unlikely that you WILL EVER develop heart or kidney disease.
If you have an excess of positive charges (the positive particle number goes up) in your body (which can come about from many things – like too much salt in your diet, heavy metal toxicity, drinking tap water, chronic dehydration, and WAY too many things to list here….) you predispose yourself to: cancer (from a drop in pH), blood clotting diseases (heart attack, stroke, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis and many more), kidney and gall stones (from the precipitation of blood electrolytes). If you notice, this is most of the chronic things that people die from.
If you have an excess of negative charges in your body (which can come from many things as well) you predispose yourself to diseases of fluid retention: congestive heart failure, peripheral edema, and nutrient deficiencies. These are the rest of the chronic diseases.
Remember that Zeta Potential just describes how much the particles in your body (blood and other fluids) attract or repel each other.
There are some simple ways to test Zeta Potential:
You can measure it directly with a urine and saliva test from Solaris.
You can measure it indirectly by using a zeta potential meter on urine. I have those meters at the office.