The controversy between steam distilled drinking water and spring or
"fresh" water is nearly legend in natural health circles. Until now, the
problem of choosing between the two for drinking and cooking purposes has
usually been a matter of who to believe and personal preference.
However, all of that has been quickly changing with information now
becoming available on these critical issues. Some of the key questions
which have surrounded this controversy include:
the use of distilled water disturb the electrolyte balance in the body?
Which type of water enhances mineral absorption?
distilled water "leach" minerals from the body?
water "hardness" or mineral content have any direct relationship to
the use of pure water such as distilled rob the individual of necessary
trace minerals? Does the use of "fresh" or spring water contribute
materially to total daily mineral intake?
Studies over the past several years have indicated a partial correlation
between water hardness and heart disease. What appears to be at fault with
these studies has been the lack of information on the presence of chlorine
in these two water types. Chlorine is normally found in softer water
sources and has been directly implicated in heart disease by any number of
Other variables unaccounted for include demographic and socioeconomic
variables such as lifestyle, race, age, etc. In addition, pre-existing
medical and genetic conditions including high blood pressure, alcoholism,
smoking habits, obesity, stress and the use of oral contraceptives, all of
which are thought to be underlying causes of heart disease, were not
considered in the studies.
Furthermore, the studies used data from the water treatment plants, not
the consumers tap. Softer water is known to leach heavy metals such as
lead, cadmium and others which are found in the home plumbing and have
been directly associated with high blood pressure, heart disease and
As reported in Water Technology magazine, the conclusions thus far cannot
be used to implicate distilled water, which has little or no mineral
content, in heart disease studies---nor can the use of mineralized water
be identified as reducing such possible problems.
The World Health Organization (WHO) concluded likewise but has gone one
step further and cautioned against the addition of minerals to water
products without adequate epidemiological studies as well as evaluations
of safety and effectiveness. The WHO says that in the future, the use of
water to convey beneficial effects (minerals, etc.) should proceed
Tap water and even spring water contains only a very small percentage of
an individual's total daily intake of minerals. A 1990 study by Nutrition
Almanac concluded that water accounted for less than five percent of daily
mineral intake. Only calcium and magnesium occur in spring water in
appreciable amounts to contribute in any manner to body mineral
requirements. Most other trace minerals needed by the body are completely
lacking and must be obtained through more reliable and less expensive
sources, namely fruits and vegetables.
With fewer and fewer sources of uncontaminated spring water available,
more and more individuals are switching to more reliable and cleaner water
sources, namely distilled water. At vending machines and water stores,
individuals are preferring de mineralized or purified water for drinking,
understanding that simple filtration does not remove metals, sodium,
bacteria and other unwanted materials from the source water.
During the 1970's, studies in the USSR suggested that spring water was
instrumental in regulating the rate of biological functions in the body.
It was suggested that "fresh" or spring water's ice-like structure
promoted biological actions.
However, the idea that fresh water entering the body is in a more usable
form than de-mineralized water is not proven by the body's absorption
process, which determine structure of molecules entering the blood stream
and cells. The kidneys control and convert these to usable forms.
The late Dr. Paul Monsler, well known in nutrition circles in the United
States, determined that distilled water, in fact, in it's HOH or
disassociated hydrogen form, is really the form the body wants water to
appear in. More rapid and complete absorption is possible with distilled
water than with water containing stray ionic materials with interfere with
critical bodily absorption processes.
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