Many people erroneously believe that reverse osmosis (RO) water is the best drinking water as it is pure and void of contaminants. However one could also say that RO water throws the baby out with the bathwater in the sense that it also removes the naturally occurring healthy alkaline minerals. RO water is never found in nature, and when given the choice between RO water and mineral water, animals will always choose mineral water.
Distilled water is also devoid of minerals, soft water contains a low mineral content, and most bottled waters contain RO water.
Studies show that there are actually several detrimental health effects that can result from long term reverse osmosis/distilled/soft water consumption. A World Health Organization (WHO) report by Frantisek Koziek states:
In the late 1970’s, the WHO commissioned a study conducted by a team of researchers of the A.N. Sysin Institute
of General and Public Hygiene and USSR Academy of Medical Sciences under the direction of
Professor Sidorenko and Dr. Rakhmanin. The final report concluded that “not only does completely demineralised water (distillate) have unsatisfactory organoleptic properities, but it also has a definite adverse influence on the
animal and human organism”.
Experiments in animals, primarily rats, for up to one-year periods have repeatedly shown that the intake of distilled water or water with TDS ≤ 75 mg/L leads to: 1.) increased water intake, diuresis, extracellular fluid volume, and serum concentrations of sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl) ions and their increased elimination from the body, resulting in an overall negative balance.., and 2.) lower volumes of red cells and some other hematocrit changes. Results of experiments in human volunteers evaluated by researchers for the WHO report are in agreement with those in animal experiments and suggest the basic mechanism of the effects of water low in TDS (e.g. < 100 mg/L) on water and mineral homeostasis.
Other more recent studies suggest that the intake of soft water (water low in minerals), may be associated with higher risk of fracture in children (Verd Vallespir et al. 1992), certain neurodegenerative diseases (Jacqmin et al. 1994), pre-term birth and low weight at birth (Yang et al. 2002), some types of cancer (Yang et al. 1997; Yang et al. 1998, Yang et al. 1999a; Yang et al. 1999b; Yang et al. 1999c; Yang et al. 2000), an increased risk of sudden death (Eisenberg 1992; Bernardi et al. 1995; Garzon and Eisenberg 1998), a higher risk of motor neuronal disease (Iwami et al. 1994), and preeclampsia (Melles & Kiss 1992).
When used for cooking, soft water was found to cause substantial losses of all essential elements from food (vegetables, meat, cereals). Such losses may reach up to 60 % for magnesium and calcium or even more for some other microelements (e.g., copper 66 %, manganese 70 %, cobalt 86 %). In contrast, when hard water is used for cooking, the loss of these elements is much lower, and in some cases, an even higher calcium content was reported in food as a result of cooking.
So how can you get more minerals in your water? Stop drinking bottled waters which do not contain minerals. If you have a RO system or live in a soft water area you can add a Remineralizer to your filtration system which will add calcium and magnesium into your water. If you live in a hard water area, get a high quality water filtration system that will reduce the contaminants but leave the healthy alkaline minerals. The addition of an electric water ionizer can then make those minerals more bio-available.