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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lack of Minerals in Water - Dangerous?

(My Original Blog Post:
Anna from Wyoming Writes:

Hi, we get our water from a well and we use a water distiller for our drinking water. I am totally confused if this is the best water for us or not, because I am concerned about the water not having any minerals in it. Right now I add colloidal plant minerals to add some minerals, but please let me know if you have any better suggestions, the internet makes me scared with all their claims that distilled water leaches minerals out of your body!

Hi Anna, thanks for the question.

Two things happen to water when it passes through an R.O. membrane or a distiller:

  1. The removal of minerals.  Water is the worlds most universal solvent, which is why you find naturally occurring minerals and metals in water.  Once these minerals are removed, it does allow for very fast ion transfer from a source of high ions (the minerals) to low or no ions (the "pure" water).   Think of it like heat - if you have one room at twenty degrees and another room of equal size beside it at ten, eventually both will be fifteen degrees.  This can suck dissolved minerals from your body and pass it into your urine, which can be a problem, assuming you have a major mineral deficiency in the first place.

  2. The formation of carbonic acid.  With the minerals gone, the H2O is free to combine with the carbon dioxide in your water, forming carbonic acid. This will bring the pH of the water down to around 6.

The real question is will this do any long term damage.  The internet supports a lot of sensationalists that like to do fear mongering.  Fear mongering gets attention, and traffic, which is what webmasters like.  Creating this unfounded fear also drives sales for products that are not needed or just plain do not work, for the profit of these unethical business people.

I have not run across any sufficient long term studies stating if this lack of minerals is truly harmful or not.  The concept of "pure" water being harmful is a relatively new one and long term study is required.  However, there is no doubt that pure water is in reality an fairly aggressive and effective solvent.  That is scientifically valid.

My own personal thoughts are that if you are in good health, and have a healthy, balanced diet, there shouldn't be any problems.  However, if you are very young (infant/toddler), very old, weak, infirm, or have or are at risk of having osteoporosis, than ingesting de-mineralized water might be a risk for you, a risk that you might not want to take.

Personally, I drink and cook with the municipally treated tap water available from my taps.  As a member of the municipal treatment industry, I am familiar with local and federal regulations as well as industry wide standards and have every confidence that I am getting safe water.

If you do feel that your distiller is no longer working for you, I would be happy to help point you in the right direction of other effective water treatments for your well water. But for now, happy drinking!

0 keen observations: