If you’re drinking purified water something is missing!
“Nearly all disease can be traced to a nutritional deficiency.”
Dr Linus Pauling, Two times Nobel Prize winner.
Before we get into this, a quick head up! In terms of bioavailability, water is the best carrier of nutrition into your body in the form of dissolved solids. While you may not have access to pristine spring water loaded with essential minerals, you can replace the minerals lost in the process of purifying water with natural sea salt or Himalayan Rock Salt.
From long-term consumption of drinking purified (demineralized) water, scientific studies highlight the serious health issues you need to be aware of. To be healthy your body needs the minerals that were removed during the filtration process to make purified water.
If you’re mineral deficient, it will become self-evident sooner or later, and your health will begin to suffer.
The symptoms from mineral deficiencies happen slowly but progressively, even so, subtle warnings signs will present in the early stages that are asking you to take notice of your body. The longer you ignore the signs the slower is your recovery.
For example, the warning signs might begin with the odd cramp, regular headaches, dizziness, hair loss, brittle or deformed nails, constipation, aches and pains in joints, dental decay, tired but unable to sleep etc. Symptoms identify specific mineral deficiencies – listen to your body and find out what is causing this symptom/s.
Symptoms identify specific mineral deficiencies – listen to your body and find out what is causing these symptoms.
Gradually the symptoms of mineral deficiency/s express more loudly and with progressively more discomfort (dis-ease) and always moving towards more serious and debilitating conditions called ‘chronic disease’ – unless the mineral deficiencies and lifestyle issues are addressed.
Symptoms from mineral deficiencies are not limited to physical aches and pains.
Mineral deficiencies can also be the cause of dehydration, cognitive dysfunction such as poor memory or ‘foggy’ head, unable to think clearly, constipation or hormonal and emotional imbalance, etc. Respectively, symptoms could be caused by deficiencies in the minerals magnesium, potassium, or lithium, just to name a few – examples only! Naturally, refer to a health professional who understands how mineral deficiencies affect biochemistry.
* If you’re mineral deficient in one mineral, you will definitely be lacking in others.
* The recommended daily allowance (maintenance dose) is different to a ‘repair’ or restorative dose!
There Are 21 Priority Minerals
Called priority minerals because your body utilizes these minerals in larger quantities than other minerals, and they are also involved in a more significant number of metabolic processes. Other minerals required in smaller quantities are referred to as trace elements; nonetheless, they are all essential.
You need more than just a few minerals!
All told, there are 80+ essential minerals and trace elements for physiological balance. All essential minerals function in synergistic relationships with other minerals as co-factors; for example, for your body to absorb calcium, Magnesium needs to be present.
The problem is because contaminants in our water supply have become so pervasive, toxic, and such health risks, filtration systems remove everything from our drinking water, including the minerals that offer the nutritional value we need.
While it’s pure water, it is not wholesome.
The question is, how safe is it to rely on demineralized water for hydration? It is not. (Verma & Kushwaha, 2014).
The consequences of drinking demineralized water
Since the early 1960s, many studies have been compiled discussing the effects of long-term consumption of soft water (low in minerals) and RO water that’s stripped of all essential minerals. The studies show an increased risk of morbidity (depression), disease, and shortened life expectancy compared to populations who drink water with a high mineral content (hard water/spring water).
Throughout the developing and developed world, industrialization has led to a decrease in mineral content in peoples’ drinking water, and food too, and this fact correlates with an increase of illness.
Early Childhood Development
Drinking demineralized water has far-reaching effects on all life beginning with in Vitro fetal development – the unborn child. (Moyle et al., 2013)
According to Ong (2005), it is because of mineral deficiencies such as Zinc, Iron, and Copper, that one-third of the world’s children fail to reach their physical and mental potentials! Deficiencies in Zinc, Copper, Iron, and Selenium will also cause higher vulnerability to infectious diseases.
Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Dementia
At the other end of the age spectrum, our reservoir of minerals reduces with age.
Researching neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia show a correlation to oxidative damage of brain tissue caused by magnesium deficiency.
Interestingly, elevating brain magnesium improves learning and memory (Slutsky I, Abumaria N, Wu L J, et al. 2010).
Maintaining the reservoir of minerals in the body is a preventative course of action to offset neurodegenerative diseases.
The World Health Organization states demineralized water affects peoples’ energy levels!
When RO treated water was introduced to Czech and Slovak populations as household tap water, a 2000-2002 study showed that even with short term reliance on water low in magnesium and/or calcium, various health complaints in the populace arose, such as cardiovascular disorders, tiredness, weakness, muscle cramps, and bradycardia (lower than regular heart rate). (Sahu & Thawani,2019, p.10).
Defining Good Drinking Water
Kožíšek (2003) stated distilled water while free of contaminates, concluded this type of water does not define good drinking water. In the chemical sense, good drinking water is a compound of various mineral substances and gases diffused and should be sources of essential minerals.
Over the years, the importance of mineral content in drinking water has been a source of much discussion in scientific communities. The German nutritionist R. Hauschka recommended adding sodium hydrogen sulfate to water before boiling it to preserve the dissolved calcium level and prevent loss of calcium due to precipitation (Hauschka, 1951).
More recent studies confirm that drinking soft water (water low in calcium) could increase the incidence of bone fractures in children, neurodegenerative diseases e.g., multiple sclerosis, pregnancy complications, preterm birth, and cancer. (Verma & Kushwaha, 2014).
Drs Gerald Combs and Forrest Nielson of the USDA Human Nutrition Laboratory in Grand Forks, N.D. stated that a low magnesium intake reflected heart arrhythmia in postmenopausal women, lowered energy, and other effects. When Magnesium was increased to normal levels, symptoms were reversed. (Dr. Cotruvo,2006).
Substantial evidence confirms that when a person consistently drinks demineralized water, adverse health effects accumulate as the scope of mineral deficiencies increase.
A final note on hydration: Drinking demineralized water will never fully hydrate your body because this type of water lacks the required electrolytes (mineral compounds) to hydrate you, and enable water to be an effective channel for the transmission of electrical impulses that is our nervous system. There are eight essential electrolytes, each interdependent with other electrolytes and minerals involved in every metabolic process of the body.
The bottom line is that by having an awareness of what defines good water for good health, you can make your drinking water your preventative medicine simply by adding minerals in the form of natural Sea Salt or Himalayan Rock Salt to purified water.
“Optimum nutrition is the medicine of tomorrow” – Dr Linus Pauling
Cotruvo, J. (2006). Health Aspects of Calcium and Magnesium in Drinking Water. Retrieved from http://fluoride-class-action.com/wp-content/uploads/cotruvo-health-aspects-of-calcium-and-magnesium-in-drinking-water1.pdf
Kožíšek, F. (2003). Health Significance of Drinking Water Calcium and Magnesium. Retrieved from http://www.midasspring.com/documents/Health-significance-of-drinking-water-calcium-and-magnesium.pdf
Moyel S. M., Amteghy, H. A. Naseer K. T., Mahdi, A. E., Younus M. B. & Albadran A. M. (2013). Comparison of total hardness, calcium, and magnesium concentrations in drinking water (RO), and municipal water with WHO and local authorities at Basrah province, Iraq. Marsh Bulletin, 8(1) 65-7566. Retrieved from https://www.iasj.net/iasj?func=fulltext&aId=74380
Ong, N. C. (2005). Minerals from Drinking Water: Bioavailability for Various World Populations and Health Implications. Retrieved from http://www.accomplishmoretoday.com/public/images/WHO%20Nutrients%20in%20Drinking%20Water.pdf
Sahu R. , Thawani V.(2019). Reverse Osmosis: Blissful or Unhealthy?J Rational Pharmacother Res 5 (1): pp.9-14. Retrieved from http://isrpt.co.in/j19pdfs/issue1/3-Reverse-Osmosis-Blissful-or-Unhealthy-Perespective.pdf
Verma K. C., Kushwaha, A.S. (2014) Demineralization of drinking water: Is it prudent? Med J Armed Forces India. 70(4): 377–379. doi: 10.1016/j.mjafi.2013.11.011 .Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4223198/#
Slutsky I, Abumaria N, Wu L J, et al. (2010). Enhancement of learning and memory by elevating brain magnesium.
MPH, Health Coach, Nutritional Consultant
Rima Hanhan is a health coach and Nutritional consultant based in Yuma, AZ. Rima Hanhan holds a Master’s degree in Public Health/Epidemiology from Purdue University Global and an undergraduate degree in Marketing from Notre Dame University, and an associate degree in applied sciences from Keystone college. She has a certificate in health coaching from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and a Nutritional consultant certificate from The American Association of Nutritional Consultants (AANC). She runs her own health coaching business, where she helps her clients achieve optimal wellness through changing nutrition and lifestyle, and is passionate about evidence-based nutrition.