Water Controversies, Part 1: Organic Minerals, Alkaline Water, Distilled Water and Health

Saturday Jul 13, 2013 | BY |
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iStock_000008265426SmallWe know that water is of great importance. The surface of the earth and our bodies are made up of approximately 72% water.

Although water appears to be a very simple element — H20 — a lot of confusion and hype exists in the field of natural health when it comes to what kind of water to drink.

For example, you may at some point ask yourself:

      How much water do I really need?

 

      What is the best kind of water to drink?

 

      Is distilled water good or bad for me?

 

      Should I be worried about the quality of tap water?

 

      Do I need “living” water?

 

      Do I need an expensive ionizer?

 

    What is the best purification method?

There is so much confusion about water, but more importantly, so much bad science out there. Based on recent discussions that recently surfaced on the Internet about water products, I present to you in this post accurately researched information that will hopefully make it much easier and cost-effective to get water, in the right amounts, in your body.

Minerals in Water

“Can minerals in water actually be assimilated by the human body or are they better assimilated when they come from food sources?

It’s much better to obtain minerals from our food instead of from our water. But that doesn’t mean that getting minerals from water won’t be absorbed by the body. It just won’t be very effective and most will be lost. That’s why so many supplements are a waste of time.

Most minerals are best absorbed when attached to some sort of protein molecule. This has to do with the stomach lining. It’s just best suited for proper absorption in that form. Calcium in water is a salt, which means that it has a positive ion and a negative ion. You can absorb it to a degree but when we are talking about efficiency, it’s better when it’s attached to other molecules.

So overall, you can absorb only a tiny amount of the minerals in the water you drink, so it’s better to plan getting them from food instead!

The Difference Between “Organic” and Non- Organic Minerals

I heard many times from raw-food circles that only minerals in plants can be assimilated by the human body. Rock minerals or minerals in water are not assimilable.

In some Natural Hygiene books, minerals from plants are called “organic” minerals and those from rocks are called “non-organic”.
Some people have even claimed that the cooking process turns organic minerals into toxic, non-organic ones.

I did some research for people who are interested in this topic, so this next section is going to be a bit technical.

I apologize about that but if you want the quick answer: minerals in plants are best but we can still assimilate a tiny amount of minerals found in water and other sources.

Here’s the longer answer:

How well a mineral ion is absorbed in the body depends on the environment it is in.

The stomach acids break everything down while the intestines reduce the acidity so that it can better absorb what was eaten.

So in doing so, additional anions, (negatively charged ions that the body produces) may bind with the mineral ions that you ate. So while you need iron in your diet, sucking on an iron bar is likely not going to help you.

In your body, iron is surrounded by the heme molecule. Many of the trace minerals in your body have some sort of protein molecule attached to it. This prevents the mineral ion from reacting with the alkaline chemicals your body produces. In many cases these protein molecules effectively surrounds these metal ions.

It helps with better absorption because some of these molecules can easily attach itself to the intestine. This doesn’t mean that non-organic is mineral useless. It just means that once ingested, it has to “compete” with the chemicals that the body produces for proper absorption, with other mineral ions, and bind with protein molecules to attach to the intestine to be absorbed.

Plant sources already have the minerals attached to these biomolecules and hence are better absorbed.

Alkaline Water Scams

Can you explain why the PH of water is not of concern to human health?
Can you comment on companies selling machines to make “alkaline
water”?

A lot of people imagine that we have to worry about the PH of our water.

What they don’t realize is that even in nature, the PH of water will vary from one type of water to the next.
pH of pure water is always 7.0, i.e it is neutral, neither acidic nor alkaline.

When certain minerals (also called salts) are dissolved in water, its pH may vary and it may become acidic or basic according to the properties of the minerals dissolved.

In the body, when we consume water, along with its minerals, food and other components, they all reach the stomach.

The gastric juices are highly acidic and all the food exiting the stomach into the intestine is highly acidic. Bile neutralizes these acids and makes the food alkaline.

Thus, when water and food passes through the stomach it will always be acidic and in the intestines it will always be alkaline irrespective of the original pH of our diet.

Urine is the only body fluid that can have its acidity changed by food or supplements.The rest of the body PH cannot be changed
by anything you eat or drink.

The machines claiming to sell alkaline water use pseudoscientific hype with use of some technical terms to support claims that cannot be substantiated medically or scientifically.

It is just a very expensive way of consuming calcium tablets!

Most people who have spent a lot of money on such machines and believe it has had a positive effect on their lives are probably going through a placebo effect, which means if you think something is going to make you better, it probably will.

It is an established medical phenomenon and it is observed in about 40% people taking placebo medication in drug trials.

There is some supporting research that alkalized water is beneficial and is used by the food industry to wash fruits and vegetables to remove and destroy harmful bacteria and viruses.

But once it is ingested, any alkalinity is neutralized by the acids. There is no evidence that drinking or ingesting alkalized water is beneficial to human health.

So the machine may be good to wash your fruits and vegetable in. While it is not beneficial it is also not harmful but I think there are better things to spend money on.

Water Ionizers

“Can you comment on water ionizers and their alleged health benefits?”

There are no reported health benefits to water ionizers. I think the main attraction is the free radical scavenging properties and because it has been effective against bacteria and viruses in washing fruits and vegetables.

But when ingested, the body will “seek” to bring it to the pH it needs for its own purposes. So it won’t alkalize the body of the blood.

In the studies I have read, some of the papers are interesting. The Ionizers are effective disinfectants. But using them for that purpose is very expensive.

Distilled Water and Health

“I heard that drinking distilled water can leech minerals from your body. Is this true?”

A lot of people believe distilled water to be dangerous based on information read on the Internet or other Natural Health book. In fact, here’s what Dr. Mercola has to say about this:

“Many health fanatics, however, are often surprised to hear me say that drinking distilled water on a regular, daily basis is potentially dangerous.

Paavo Airola wrote about the dangers of distilled water in the 1970′s when it first became a fad with the health food crowd.
Distillation is the process in which water is boiled, evaporated and the vapor condensed. Distilled water is free of dissolved minerals and, because of this, has the special property of being able to actively absorb toxic substances from the body and eliminate them.

Studies validate the benefits of drinking distilled water when one is seeking to cleanse or detoxify the system for short periods of time (a few weeks at a time).

Fasting using distilled water can be dangerous because of the rapid loss of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride) and trace minerals like magnesium, deficiencies of which can cause heart beat irregularities and high blood pressure. Cooking foods in distilled water pulls the minerals out of them and lowers their nutrient value.”

At this point, I will agree with the conclusion that distilled water is not the best kind of water to drink, but will also point out that a lot of what Dr. Mercola said in his article (which you can find at: http://www.mercola.com/article/water/distilled_water.htm) is completely wrong.

Water, whether it is found in a spring or the tap, contains trace elements and minerals.

If the water is distilled, in that it is devoid of all minerals, it will draw from its stores, what it needs for biological processes (for example: the calcium in your bones).

So calcium in your bones, the biggest mineral store will be used.

Distilled water is used to remove toxins from the body. It is what is used in kidney dialysis machines to cleanse the blood of toxins. It can also reduce potassium which is needed for proper heart function. Same with magnesium.

Distilled water can and does remove minerals from the body.

But fortunately, I don’t think there’s any evidence that this would be very dramatic — as long as you get enough minerals from your food in order to offset this.

In one article on Dr. Mercola’s website, it was claimed that: “There is a correlation between the consumption of soft water (distilled water is extremely soft) and the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Cells, tissues and organs do not like to be dipped in acid and will do anything to buffer this acidity including the removal of minerals from the skeleton and the manufacture of bicarbonate in the blood.”

Here, Mercola is dead wrong on the issue!

Distilled water is neither acidic nor alkaline! What happens is that the body removes it from various parts of the body to use the minerals it needs for biological function.

It’s not like acid is streaming through the body and dissolving your bones!

Overall, I think that drinking water that has some mineral ions in it is best, but I don’t think that drinking distilled water can be bad for health if you get minerals from other sources, such as a diet abundant in fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Mercola Continues:

“Those who supplement their distilled water intake with trace minerals are not as deficient but still not as adequately nourished in minerals as their non-distilled water drinking counterparts even after several years of mineral supplementation. The ideal water for the human body should be slightly alkaline and this requires the presence of minerals like calcium and magnesium”

There is no study, as far as I know, that shows that people drinking distilled water aren’t as adequately nourished as their non-distilled counterparts.

There will be too many factors to take into account.

I guess he is correct that the presence of the minerals will make the water slightly alkaline but drawing the conclusion of alkaline “good” and acidic “bad” is hardly scientific!

Question of the day: what kind of water do you drink and why?

Frederic Patenaude

Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998. He is the author of several books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies.

He was named Best Health Blogger of the year in 2011 by Renegade Health. Frederic has experimented with many diets and specializes in raw food, vegetarian and vegan topics, as well as how to balance a healthy diet in the real world. He lives in Montreal, Canada.

93 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. jamie says:

    Let’s see…we buy organic and grow a lot of our own greens too. We grow sprouts in our house and juice at least once a day on a green drink. We eat at least one large salad a day and don’t eat meat of diary. However, my wife drinks distilled water ( I drink filtered tap) for we live in an area where we know the water is bad. I do assume that given all the other things that we are doing, it clearly off-sets any “harmful” effects of distilled water. I think we in the health arena need to be careful in how we present ourselves and how far we go with this. Bike on…j

  2. ilona Kopacz says:

    I am a dialysis patient. I only drink distleed water. Have for over 25 years.
    I was a vegan before kidney failure. Mine is supposedly inherited from my father named polysistic kidneys.
    My kidneys crashed drinking Alkaline Water. Kidney patients cannot handle Calcium or any other minerals.
    When I take minerals or any product which is bound with calcium within 3-4 days my kidneys begin to ache with pain. My knees as hip feel like I am walking on sharp glass. Even small amounts
    I went blind in the hospital due to taking calcium after my dialysis treatments. DR recomended.
    It created catarachs.
    I cannot imagine mineral water being healthy. It settles into the weakest areas Shoulder, Hip, Ankles,Knees and elbow. This is what DR’s name arthritis.
    HCL/Pepesin may help some to stope the body from robbing bone calcium.

    ilona kopacz
    http://www.dancingcells.com

  3. Alice Harper says:

    I have my own distiller and have drank distilled water for years but I do eat lots of fresh veggies and fruits.
    I would not trust buying bottled water since there are no laws governing that industry.

  4. Max Tuck says:

    I am sure the water debate will run and run. Pioneers in “healthy water” such as Viktor Schauberger and Masaru Emoto indicate that all water delivered via pressurised pipes is not as nature intended. Some state that water systems that extract water from atmospheric air are likely to be best, since that water will not have been subjected to toxins from agricultural run-off and other contaminants such as MBTE and hormones.
    I have never seen any scientific validity in the “alkaline water” theory. I totally agree that minerals should be obtained from our food. It’s a great article Fred, thank you!

  5. Alan says:

    Dear Federic,
    Can you help me? i suffer with many disorders but have you got a natural treatment for DH = Dermatitis Herpetiformis? not sure how its spelt, however i try and eat healthily avoiding anything to do with Gluten, which my body can’t process or fights against and sometimes my immune system feels out of whack moods go up and down like a yoyo, Kevin’s suggestion of holy basil is the best one i’ve tried ever, so i really admire you all for the good advice that you give, i don’t buy everything that is recommended because i’d be bankrupt in an instant, but keep up the good work.

    Alan from the UK

  6. Wendy Eden says:

    Thank you for this interesting discussion. Here are a few further questions, and comments that I have acquired. First a few questions….Have you heard of Double Helix Water, I have met them at health shows, they say they have discovered stabilized cells in water that are greatly beneficial to healing as they remove acidity. They do Kirlian photographic images, then you drink the water, and take images again 20 minutes later. . I have their comprehensive book but its a bit too chemistry based for me . I was wondering your research on that and things like CELL FOOD or other stabilized oxygen drops for increasing oxygen in the water, and in ones bloodstream???
    Now commentary….I am a Certified Hippocrates Health Institute Educator and am a great believer in the research that Director Dr Brian Clement has done there for over 40 years. He says that he has been drinking distilled water for decades and that is his preferred water. He also fasts 1 day a week for decades. He does eat a very highly mineralized diet so there is no lac of minerals in that respect. He says that things like the Kangen system and the other high priced water systems are not worth the many as well. whats most important is a good water filter as otherwise we are getting all the pollutants and pharmaceutical chemicals that are in our water supply today. I used to read Paavo Airola books and follow them when I was a teenager. As for the water I drink, I am not perfect s I buy distilled water by the gallon mostly which is in plastic to begin with. I sometimes buy spring as well just to change off but ultimately I would buy a distiller and a good filter. You didnt mention Reverse Osmosis systems. from what I have heard about them they are very wasteful as it takes 3 gallons of water to render 1 gallon of RO water, and also that need to be filtered which its commonly not. So thats my share in brief. Thank you !

  7. Brenda says:

    I drink reverse osmosis water or spring water from a glass container. I do remineralize my r o water with drops or a tiny pinch of himalayan salt since the r o removes the minerals and water is my primary drink. I will at times add one drop of orange or lemon oil to help me absorb better. I add Cell Vitality also to help with absorption.

  8. Michelle says:

    I just recently bought a (Brita style) filter jug from Santevia that’s supposed to alkalize the water as I thought it would be beneficial. Perhaps I was wrong. One thing, however, I would like to contest (or at least have you elaborate on) is that “the body Ph cannot be changed by anything we eat or drink.” I’ve always thought that the quality of your diet ABSOLUTELY affects the blood Ph which in turn affects the bodies health.

  9. elf says:

    Very informative, thank you. I live in the mountains of Colorado and our water is very hard. I use a Zero water filter for the well water at home for, the taste, and another at work for the “town” water, to remove the chlorine and fluoride.

    Could you comment on the effect on the body when eating acidic and alkaline foods?

  10. nana con says:

    Thank you for exposing Dr. Mercola’s ideas on distilled water. I think that he makes a lot of sense. I will continue to look for his articles on health.

  11. Rebecca Cody says:

    I feel so fortunate because we have a source of clean spring water from deep underground that runs continually from a pipe in a downtown Olympia parking lot! Hundreds of people fill containers with this delicious, pure water every week. It’s free, and the city tests it monthly for safety and content. There are even a couple of restaurants here in town that have springs they draw from.

    What amazed me was a map I once found in the ‘net which showed the locations of hundreds of springs where people can get water straight from the ground. They are all over the country. I no longer have the website address, but I think Googling something like “spring water” would bring it up.

    Something not mentioned about water alkalinizers is that they waste more water than you get to drink. For every gallon of alkalinized drinking water, you throw away probably twice as much water. People who sell these machines tell you to use this water on your plants and to clean, but you’d have to be a hydroponic grower to be able to use it all, especially in a climate where nature waters our yards most of the year. Water is a precious commodity, not so plentiful in many parts of the western US, certainly, and to waste this much water seems unconscionable to me.

  12. Jackie says:

    I drink bottle water (Costco water and smart water) I add lemon sometime is this good or bad?

  13. Joe says:

    Tap water if it tastes good, and bottled water, because it just tastes better. Where I live the tap water never tastes the same, it is drawn up from the underground wells, and because of all the “chemical” lawns out there, I’m sure some of that stuff makes its way down to the water table therefore it has to be treated…. with what, more chemicals.
    At the end of the day its still water, and it tastes good when your thirsty, not to mention you pay for it, you might as well use it.

  14. GW says:

    I’ve been drinking re-mineralized distilled water since about eight years now. I am very active and feel I have no problems with mineral loss. I do however also drink a lot of “Green” drinks, possible substituting the lack of minerals from the water. I feel drinking distilled water gives me a sense of peace knowing I don’t drink all the extra chemicals added to drinking water for example chlorine, fluoride, etc.
    I constantly get comments from people telling me that I look much younger than my age – apron. 15 years. I contribute my “younger” look partially to the clean water I drink (amongst other things). I also believe that distilled water draws out the “inorganic” toxins from the body – not the “”organic minerals already in the cells in the body.

  15. Christy says:

    Thank you for the article! I always appreciate your research. I have been drinking distilled water and I try to add a squeeze of lemon or something else to it. I drink spring water if I can get it. The Reverend George Malkmus and his wife have been drinking distilled water for 35 years and are very healthy, so I’ve been taking into account their research too. I appreciate this article as well ..http://healthtip.hacres.com/index.php/2011/01/04/is-distilled-water-more-dangerous-than-tap-water/
    Thanks again for all your work!

  16. David says:

    what is your thoughts on reverse osmosis water?

  17. Kelly says:

    I disagree with a part of Mr Patenaude’s statement…

    [Urine is the only body fluid that can have its acidity changed by food or supplements.]

    ” THE REST OF THE BODY PH CANNOT BE CHANGED BY ANYTHING YOU EAT OR DRINK.”

    My understanding is that we CAN improve the alkalinity (PH) of the body by consuming more raw vegetables, and that if we can maintain our body in this alkaline state (rather than an acidic PH) that we could achieve optimal health … that the body cannot support dis-ease in an alkaline state.

    Is this an accurate statement?

  18. Sky Fusor says:

    The best water to drink and/or bathe, and the ancient civilizations like the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and others all knew, is sun absorbed rain water which is technically distilled water with absorbed sunlight. Out of print books of the 1800s on hydrotherapy prove this beyond a reasonable doubt. For example in New York City a boiler blew up and burned many men. Half of them jumped into the surface water pond (distilled rain water) with absorbed sunlight. Later their skin came off with their clothes but they all healed while all the men who sought treatment at the hospital died!
    This is one of the reasons why the ancients had miles of aqueducts to transport the sun absorbed distilled rain water completely ignoring the dead ground water loaded with inorganic minerals which some think a few are absorbed. However, this is erroneous because all sorts of foreign substances can be stored in the tissues without being assimilated and can later be released by consuming distilled water. Thus the conclusion that distilled water consumption causes the loss of minerals is correct. What they do not tell us is that this inorganic minerals thus stored in the tissue cells were never assimilated in the first place. They also don’t show us the study on the bioavailability verses the absorption. Soaking one’s hand in gasoline reveals a high degree of absorption but the bioavailability is non existent. One of the fastest race horses, Secretariat drank only distilled water.
    In fact, according to the ancient books on hydrotherapy drinking and or bathing in sun absorbed rain (distilled) water can not only heal but prevent bad bones. No supplements in those days, mind you.

  19. DISTILLED WATER: Please correct me if wrong, it’s possble but are there studies showing that distilled water leaches minerals to any degree or results in “rapid loss of electrolytes”? Who would pay for that anyhow? Big pharma? However, like reverse osmosis water, distilled water has a highly acidic pH between 5.3 – 5.8. pH is logarithmic. Every number is 10 times greater than the preceding. Consider that 5.3 pH water would be 100x more acidic than 7.3 pH water.

    ALKALINE IONIZED WATER: You make a good point about the benefit of negatively charged ions and mineral absorption. I will get to that in a moment. Alkaline ionized water occurs naturally although only in very rare mineral springs such as Trinity Springs located in Ketchum, Idaho. The pH of ionized water is unlike consuming high pH calcium tablets because the high pH in ionized water is due to the high presence of negatively charged hydrogen ions and not simply alkaline minerals, bug difference here.

    I agree that regularly drinking high pH water whose alkalinity is based on minerals is not a great idea. That’s like daily taking calcium antacids to combat acidity which doesn’t work in the long run and can result in rebound hyperacidity. However, drinking negatively charged ionized alkaline water is not equivalent. It is physiologically different because its pH is based on the measurable presence of hydrogen ions which combines alkalinity and antioxidant properties.

    In Japan, their Health Ministry (equivalent to the US FDA but fussier) has approved ionized alkaline water for gastric problems. MDs in Japan will recommend it for hepatic problems. The exaggerated panacea zeal that often enough overtakes people in multi-level marketing does not obviate the actual benefits. Water ionizers effectively reproduce a natural alkaline and antioxidant water found only at a handful of places on earth.

    For years, I heard of people losing weight and also somewhat lowering their blood pressure. At first, I dismissed this because it didn’t seem to make logical sense. Here’s what I came to although the proof a this theory will never be tested, same for carrots and greens, due to pharma business politics.

    The process of ionic separation yields negatively charged ionized minerals. One factor in weight loss is having sufficient calcium reserves. If you’re low in calcium, the body will hang on to fat. However, negatively charged ionized calcium is perforce highly bio-available and will allow the body to release fat. Similarly with high blood pressure, more bio-available calcium lowers the need for calcium blockers.

    We learn more over years. Having been closely involved with these matters for over 20 years, more has come to light over time.

    All the Best,
    S.R. Arcieri

  20. star says:

    how can one tell if water is or isnt acidic ie distilled and reverse osmosis

    the acidity tests require minerals to work
    I imagine it can be tested in a lab somewhere but who has lab equipment available

  21. DISTILLED WATER: Please correct me if wrong, it’s possble but are there studies showing that distilled water leaches minerals to any degree or results in “rapid loss of electrolytes”? Who would pay for that anyhow? Big pharma? However, like reverse osmosis water, distilled water has a highly acidic pH between 5.3 – 5.8. pH is logarithmic. Every number is 10 times greater than the preceding. Consider that 5.3 pH water would be 100x more acidic than 7.3 pH water.

    ALKALINE IONIZED WATER: You make a good point about the benefit of negatively charged ions and mineral absorption. I will get to that in a moment. Alkaline ionized water occurs naturally although only in very rare mineral springs such as Trinity Springs located in Ketchum, Idaho. The pH of ionized water is unlike consuming high pH calcium tablets because the high pH in ionized water is due to the high presence of negatively charged hydrogen ions and not simply alkaline minerals, big difference here.

    I agree that regularly drinking high pH water whose alkalinity is based on minerals is not a great idea. That’s like daily taking calcium antacids to combat acidity which doesn’t work in the long run and can result in rebound hyperacidity. However, drinking negatively charged ionized alkaline water is not equivalent. It is physiologically different because its pH is based on the measurable presence of hydrogen ions which combines alkalinity and antioxidant properties.

    In Japan, their Health Ministry (equivalent to the US FDA but fussier) has approved ionized alkaline water for gastric problems. MDs in Japan will recommend it for hepatic problems. The exaggerated panacea zeal that often enough overtakes people in multi-level marketing does not obviate the actual benefits. Water ionizers effectively reproduce a natural alkaline and antioxidant water found only at a handful of places on earth.

    For years, I heard of people losing weight and also somewhat lowering their blood pressure. At first, I dismissed this because it didn’t seem to make logical sense. Here’s what I came to although the proof a this theory will never be tested, same for carrots and greens, due to pharma business politics.

    The process of ionic separation yields negatively charged ionized minerals. One factor in weight loss is having sufficient calcium reserves. If you’re low in calcium, the body will hang on to fat. However, negatively charged ionized calcium is perforce highly bio-available and will allow the body to release fat. Similarly with high blood pressure, more bio-available calcium lowers the need for calcium blockers.

    We learn more over years. Having been closely involved with these matters for over 20 years, more has come to light over time.

    All the Best,
    S.R. Arcieri

  22. Michael B says:

    Kevin,
    I appreciate the article a great deal.
    A year or so ago I read some articles from Dr Mercola that I disagreed with based on my study and research. I FULLY agree with your study and proclamation (well, almost).
    I have been drinking distilled water for years but I have a strong diet of raw organic veggies and fruits that I blend. I hardly cook food unless it’s a protein. If people have poor diets then perhaps distilled water could leech out needed minerals (change the diet). But I say, Continue to educate yourselves people.. and make healthy choices. :)
    With all the toxins in the world today my thought it to drink distilled to know what I’m putting into my body, leech out toxins that find their way in and feed my body all organic foods that I mostly mircronize (blend). Anything I can do to keep toxic value out and the body clean. Of course the mind must be in balance as well but that’s another chapter. :)
    However I will add only one thing that I might disagree with and that’s the intake of acidic foods over alkaline foods (or in your mention, it does not matter). It is true the body must maintain a specific PH to stay alive. The body is constantly drawing from it’s sources to keep in balance. Even thought the stomach is acidic it still needs balance. So if over acidic, it pulls from the body to balance. the balance factor is an alkaline/calcium from the bones, ETC. I’d imagine the pancreas has the same effect to create a balanced bile to over compensate the acidic value. The chemistry comes from somewhere… it’s a push and pull balance. Basically I stay away form processed foods, refined sugars, breads (unless sprouted), coffee and stay conscious of a balanced mostly raw diet.
    These are my quick thoughts.
    Thanks again for the great article and contribution to health education in general
    MB

  23. Pamela Weems says:

    We drink water that has been through reverse osmosis. In addition, all the water in our house is run through a water softener to remove harsh minerals. Given that we have lots of hard water here in Central Texas, it has extended the life of our pipes, reduced the white film on clean dishes, and lowered the amount of detergent we need to use in bathing, laundry and dishes. The softened water tastes okay, but the RO really makes the water taste good–or neutral–so you want to drink more!

  24. Michelle says:

    Adya Clarity water ALL the WAY! The proof is in “nature”.

  25. Saul says:

    Good article, basic info.
    Here is my QUESTION for Mr. Frederick:
    You are saying: “The bile from the pancreas neutralizes these acids and makes the food alkaline”.
    Really? Not from gallbladder? ;)

  26. Joe Shuttleworth says:

    What is the best water purification system to remove toxic substances fromt the water? I’ve read articles about distillation not removing all toxins. Reverse Osmosis removing the most, but the membranes in the units contaminating the water with the plastic and destructuring the water, etc.

    Thanks

  27. Margreet Busstra says:

    Hi Kevin,

    till now I really liked a lot of things you had to say about health. But with this topic of water you really burned your fingers! You are very bad informed! You should read more books about alkaline water and all the scientific reviews about that. In Japan they are using this already more than 40 years in hospitals. We are using it now more then 1,5 year and we and many, many people around us recovered from small to very serious health issues (like diabetes and even cancer). That has nothing to do with the placebo effect that you are talking about!!
    In the end after 20 years of following diets and therapist advices I’m recovered from candida and all my other intestine problems by drinking Kangen water (I can even stand sugar now)! My partners high blood pressure is completely normalised. Do you think that you can get those results as a placebo effect? No!

    Also our family and friends are drinking this water now and the results are amazing!
    There’s a lot of quality difference between water ionisers. We have been researching this whole issue very thouroughly now for one year together with some friends and came to the conclusion that the only ioniser that is really worth buying is Kangen, since the other ones do not give the same health results because of the bad quality parts they use, or you can only safely use them for a few month because of the poor cleaning options.
    Kangen is also the only medical device! Save to use your whole life if you take care good for your machine.

    I’m not telling you this for any other reason, then to inform you and your public good.

    Good books to read:
    Confessions of a sceptical physician – T. McKnight
    Change your water, change your life – Dr. Carpenter

    I really hope that you will correct the things you said about waterionisers and alkaline water. If you have any questions, please ask!

    Margreet

  28. A.Slevin says:

    What about REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER???

  29. lanny s. says:

    several years ago I bought a water ionizer. I was on all kinds of drugs to combat extremely high blood pressure, lymph edema, pre=diabetes etc. I was monitored by an RN over a 6 month period. I was able to eliminate the use of warfarin, glipizide, attenol, lisinopril, aleeve. prilosec. and a couple of others whose name has been long forgotten. In short, the result of drinking the water may have been the placebo affect but I am happy with result.

  30. Dan Eyink says:

    Your comments on water are problematic. We can now measure relative tissue acidity using Dr Tennant’s biomodulator…..this gives you levels of millevolts over various acupuncture meridians and organ points. Tissue that is diseased will have a much lower reading consistent with acidic tissue. A good example of a wound healing shows a high millevoltage of 50mv consistent with alkalinity. This is well know in wound healing. Now what happens when you drink alkaline water or alkaline vegetable raw juices, the stomach neutralizes it. In doing so for each extra hydrochloric acid pumped into the stomach an alkaline bicarb molecule is excreted into blood or tissue which the body has to balance ……or excrete as in breathing. Dr Gersons work on cancer showed that cancerous tissue is very acidic and benefits from a high alkaline mineral diet of raw vegetables and fruits. The benefit of a high alkaline intake in food/water supports the healing of diseased tissue by offsetting this acidity. The military is currently researching Dr Tennant’s biomodulator because it directly changes tissue to an alkaline state by injecting electrons and thereby increasing healing rates. Dr Tennant is a strong advocate of alkaline water as well as other means of alkalinizing tissue for wound healing. As a surgeon, his wound healing rates are usually 10 to 30 % faster. This is new information. Also look up … using humus and fulvic acid for assisting with greater absorption of food nutrients. Sincerely, Dan Eyink

  31. Patty Foley says:

    Distilled Water isn’t WATER. Water is a LIVING organism with a life force. Distilled Water is DEAD WATER . Call it whatever you like or claim it may be healthy to drink but I would never consider it Water.

  32. Zyxomma says:

    I drink 5-stage filtered water, which I also carry with me. I keep a north pole magnet on the pitcher. Why? Water normally forms into clusters of 50-60 molecules. Exposure to a magnet (use only the north pole, the south pole promotes growth, and in the body that can mean the growth of bacteria, viruses, and parasites) causes these clusters to be 3-4 molecules in size. This increases the surface area of the water, in effect, making it wetter. I also bless and mineralize my water.

    Btw, Frederic, the pancreas secretes no bile; you’ve got the wrong organ. The exocrine pancreas secretes BICARBONATE into the duodenum to alkalize the acidic chyme coming from the stomach. Health and peace.

  33. Bruno says:

    Chlorine removal filter for the whole house + reverse-osmosis filter installed under kitchen sink for drinking, pure water, nothing else.

  34. Chris says:

    I drink water that I’ve distilled and then run through my Vitalizer Plus. I don’t know if it’s a scam…but it tastes better, makes me feel better, and my kids are drinking water instead of Dr. Pepper now and not complaining.

    http://vitalizerplus.net/

  35. Jean Hart says:

    I drink reverse osmosis water, which includes 2 drops of concentrated
    sea minerals with each glass. Just those 2 drops really changes the
    taste of the water from “dead” to an almost sweet taste (delicious!).
    Blessings, Jean

  36. Anastasiya says:

    Thank you for the article it is very informing. I have a quick question: A reverse osmosis filter yields what kind of water mentioned above? And what is your opinion on tap water?

    • Sabine says:

      Hi Anastasiya,

      I’d love to know any answers to your question because I just bought a reverse osmosis filtration unit on Friday and don’t know either what kind of water in respect to the article it produces.

      Would be wonderful to know.

      Best regards
      Sabine

  37. Genevieve says:

    If you test spring water and distilled water with pH strips, the spring water proves to be alkaline and the distilled water, very acidic. I would not drink distilled water.

    • Sean says:

      If I understand..since the stomach is acidic..pouring acidic water into it is actually less of a challenge for the stomach vs having to deal with something alkaline in that acidic environment..it is sooo confusing..acidifying vs acid..alkalizing vs alkaline..Lemon juice is acidic..yet when consumed..helps deal with acidity of the body…Kevin..care to expound on this??

    • Ira Edwards says:

      Distilled water has a tiny amount of acid from exposure to air. CO2 in the air combines with water to form H2CO3 which ionizes to produce some H+ ions. This does not detract from the neutrality, because the amount of acid is too small to affect reactions.
      Ph is not a measure of amount of acid. Water buffered at Ph4 may have thousands of times as much acid as unbuffered at Ph4. Water with enough minerals to bring the acidy to Ph4 is still hardly acid at all.
      I drink tap water without a shred of worry. At Medford, Oregon we have no fluoride, and a minimum of chlorine. Why worry about that, when we have other problems 1000 times as great. For one problem, worry or anxiety can affect health 1000 times as much as the problem we worry about.
      Ira Edwards, chemist, biochemist, nutrition student and author.

    • jim says:

      re. Genevieve’s comment re. distilled water testing as
      very acidic ; in past activities of fishkeeping I needed to
      maintain parameters of : temp., PH , hardness and
      cleanliness . Since PH change is an early warning for problems
      re. hardness and cleanliness esp. I did far more Ph tests
      than the other tests.
      Also,i often needed to add either distilled or “softened” water to
      the water mix to adjust for hardness.
      What I never observed , in hundreds of tests with both PH-strips
      and/or regents, was an acidic test result from “clean” distilled ( or softened)
      water.
      Distilled water is not always clean, it can contain pollution and often does.
      It’s cleanliness depends on the whole of the process by which it is prepared.

  38. Susan says:

    I didn’t like it when you were criticising Dr. Mercola for his views on distilled water because he is an easy target and you were singling him out. You didn’t call out any other experts.

    I think Dr. Mercola does a lot for the health industry. He has spent his own money trying to get GMO labeling. He sticks his neck out, like Kevin has, on cancer cures. He interviews interesting people with innovative ideas. One time, Kevin did a battle of the experts but it was more “disagreement and discourse among the experts” which I thought was classy. I would suggest that if you are going to take someone’s views on that you give them an opportunity to respond to your criticism. I understand that sometimes you can’t because people can be so venomous but Dr. Mercola is a heavy weight in the health industry and deserves respect. That is not to say his views or opinions should not be challenged if they are wrong.

    Last nite, I was reading Bob’s Watershed for Wellness blog and he was going after Dr. Robert Young and Dr. Mercola. The attack against Dr. Mercola was not well documented and didn’t appear to be scientifically supported. I don’t know who Dr. Robert Young is but I find it hard to read blogs or columns when the article appears to be more against the person rather than about the subject.

    • Kuru says:

      Susan, I didn’t get anything disrespectful from Frederic regarding Dr. Mercola. He simply disagreed! Please let’s not overdo the niceties in favor of the truth. I’m sure Fred has respect for Dr. Mercola. Mercola has often in the past revised his stand on things; I’m sure he’s the first to want to know if there is a valid proof that he needs to revise his ideas.

    • maria says:

      Dear Susan, please do not be so sensitive. Every man woman and child has a right to their opinion. It’s not the end of the world. There is no need to defend anyone. What are you defending? A false illusion? Really It’s okay.

    • Melina says:

      I agree with Susan. I think that you can discuss differing points of view without needing to name names. Many people share the view the Dr. Mercola holds on this topic so there is really no need to mention him directly.. I also disagree that you cannot change the ph of the body. It is all about the alkaline ash that is produced after the food or drink has been digested. Even after the food or drink comes in contact with our internal HCL, making the mixture acidic, the alkaline minerals present in the food or drink are not destroyed. Instead the absorption of these alkaline ash minerals are greatly enhanced by the presence of acidic HCL in the stomach and then are able to contribute to keeping the tissues and blood adequately alkaline (slightly alkaline that is). Some argue that the blood stays at the same ph no matter what, but it can vary subtly by decimal points and these subtle variations are actually quite relevant. Also, it is important to be mindful of what materials your body is having to use to maintain its slightly akaline blood ph. If you don’t have adequate mineral reserves from good nutrition and quality drinks you will start to pull minerals from your bones and other tissues to keep your blood at the right ph because your body prioritizes your blood ph over your bones. This is because you will die if your blood ph gets to acidic. Testing your urine and saliva are a great way to know how your reserves are. I find that Dr. Robert Young’s instructions on what the optimal levels are for saliva and urine are the most accurate. Saliva tends to show how much reserves you have and your urine ph tends to show what your levels were for the day (basically). This is why I love my spring water (slightly alkaline), green juices, barley grass powders, trace mineral liquid supplement, etc, etc. because they are some of my tricks to keep me in the desired ph range. I cannot emphasize how much paying attention to this aspect of health can help. I do agree that alkaline ionizers are not really the best way to go about achieving good ph though.

  39. Karin Tucker says:

    Listened to the debate for years. I drink my well water filtered by a regular filter in my fridge-I think it is charcoal-Brita type. I tested my well water and it is pretty good.

  40. Chris Beckett says:

    It is true that distilled water will leach minerals from the body, but these are minerals that have not already become a part of the cell structure and metabolized as such. DW leaches only those minerals that have not been absorbed or metabolized: in other words inorganic minerals that only serve to clog and impurify the body.

  41. Tina says:

    I have been using the Nikken dual filter system for years because it makes the water drinkable, but I don’t use the stones which apparently provide the mineral content…..I don’t like the way it makes the water taste. I get my minerals from fruits, veggies, sea salt, kelp, etc. I keep hearing about structured water systems and I admit I’m intrigued. What do you know about them, and are they worth it? Is structured water the same as magnetized water?

    • van says:

      I have heard that when distilled water is exposed to air, it turns neutral not alkaline anymore. True or false?
      To replace minerals, what amount and type of fruit and vegetables are best?

  42. Great article, and awesome to see you here Frederic! (I’ve been enjoying your work since early 2000)

    I live in NYC, and for years have been using a reverse osmosis system to purify my water. I would love to use Spring water but living in a walk up makes it tricky to get those big jugs up here regularly.
    So it’s RO water for me at the moment.
    I also “re-structure” my water. I do this by filling a large glass jug w RO water, adding a pinch of sea salt, spin the water (create a vortex by stirring it vigorously) and then putting in in the fridge to chill. Not sure this increases the benefits of the water I’m not sure, but it def tastes MUCH better, and feels more hydrating in my body.

    I also consume green smoothies and green juice regularly for hydration, and eat a high water content diet. I used to drink less water bc my diet is already pretty hydrating. But these days I’m testing drinking more water in addition to the juices, smoothies and at the moment it feels right.

    Thanks and look forward to seeing more of your articles here!

    Berrnadette Penotti

  43. Raz says:

    Good article Frederic, but I was hoping to hear your idea of the best water and why.

    My issue is with packaging. I feel better drinking filtered tap water than trusting that a plastic bottle in a store hasn’t either been there forever or been left in high heat allowing toxic gases to build up in the water. Although the filtration system that I use is not top of the line (it costs $100) it gets a lot of the job done. Plus I have wn unlimited supply available for cooking, ice cubes, etc.

    I think the key is to just stay hydrated! Durianrider did make a good point in one of his older videos when he discussed a friend who died from dehydration from being picky about what water she drank. Just drink water … and eat fruit … and veggies lol.

  44. Elke says:

    Cousin in Germany swears by his whole house magnetic water and another his structured water – but he has 3 whole house units! Do you have info on how good these types of water are?

    • Ira Edwards says:

      There are at least two very respectable scientists who make claims about structured water. I have heard lectures, seen it demonstrated. However I find no validity in it beyond the expected structure at interfaces. I think it has not a shred of physiological significance. There are hundreds of water claims, so many kinds of water according to various proponents, and I will stick with my tap water.

  45. Sean says:

    I drink water that has been distilled. I mix some organic lemon juice before consumption. I take magnesium orally, and trans-dermally..so I may not fall as low in magnesium as I would otherwise. I’m looking into some magnesium bicarbonate water..excited to see if I notice any results..

  46. Muriel Carbone says:

    I drink distilled water as I think it is healthier than my tap water that is full of chlorine (enough that you can
    smell it), the rat-poison fluoride, prescription drug residue (that was mentioned in the newspapers), along with
    dozens of other chemicals used to “purify” the water.
    I am not overly concerned that I am not getting the minerals from the water (a lot of articles say they are
    unusable) as I use a lot of fruits and vegetables, sea salt or Himalayan salt (trace minerals), and supplements
    such as coral calcium and others.
    I must be doing something right as I am 81 and have not had as much as an aspirin (or any other kind of drug)
    in 13 years. Before that I was run over by a car (I had a big green light, the driver had a red light. He had
    been stopped for his red light until I got in his path and then decided he would turn on red. If I hadn’t
    stepped back I would have been a pancake. In the hospital I had traction pins and a cast to come home. I
    had three aspirins for pain after they took the cast off. Before the accident if I would have had as much as
    six aspirins in a year I would have been doing HEAVY drugs.

  47. Frank Siciliano says:

    It’s interesting that Dr. Ted Broer, a biochemistry expert, says that distilled water is the only water that he drinks and recommends to his followers !

  48. Emily Shaules says:

    I drink spring water. I live in Western North Carolina and we are lucky to be surrounded by mountains and spring water. I used findaspring.org to locate one near me and we go about twice a month and full three 5-gallon jugs worth. Tastes amazing, is free and I miss it when I’m out of town!

  49. Joy says:

    I think Mercola took some shortcuts in his explanation which confused you, but he is not “dead wrong” as you say. He is referring to the bicarbonate buffering system of the blood. Metabolic processes can produce an acidic state in the body (“dipped in acid”) and the body uses the bicarbonate buffering system to raise the pH and maintain homeostasis. You assumed the acidity was a result of the water and that is not what he was referring to.

  50. Ira Edwards says:

    In some places, toxins in water justify filters and distillers. Most of us don’t need them. The larger problem: Modern foods and water lack adequate minerals. Glyposate use produces foods that lack minerals, which is one reason among many to oppose present GMO processes.
    Primitive people got up to half their magnesium from water. The well water at our Iowa farm gave me a healthful start 82 years ago.
    The practical answer is to use mineral supplements, with water. It is absorbed, though not perfectly. Even If food-bound minerals is better, you won’t likely find enough of it. It helps to make bone-broth.
    Ira Edwards

  51. George says:

    Frederic,
    I’d like to kindly disagree with you about alkalinity and the body. You seem to understand well that the body will leech minerals out of storage in order to be used in biochemical processes, but you’re overlooking the step that happens in between drinking acid/alkaline water, and minerals being leeched out to neutralize this insult to homeostasis. That step is buffers! Any talk about physiological pH is not at all complete without a proper acknowledgement of buffers. For instance ladies and gentlemen, when Hydrochloric acid is infused into the blood of dogs(yes some sick /&(&$: actually did this experiment, their names were Swan and Pitts, search for yourself for a more accurate synopsis) the pH of the blood only decreased by about .1 (and I’m paraphrasing but the general idea is true) while when they removed all the buffers in the blood (of which the major one is Bicarbonate) the dogs blood pH dropped almost instantly by what I think was over 1, leading to the dog’s rapid demise. Buffers are the number one line of defense against a change in the body’s pH from the normal of 7.4. So here’s where alkaline water comes in. Say that you are drinking dr pepper as your only water source. That DP is going to wreak havoc on your buffers, but your blood pH will NOT change. Your body will do whatever the hell it has to do to make sure that your blood stays at 7.4 (or damn close to it) so that your body can function properly. If you keep on chugging that DP for years and years, your buffers eventually will be exhausted, their buffering capability will no longer be effective. NOW this is the time that the body leeches minerals out of storage in order to neutralize that excess acid. To the body, your bones are about a hundred times less important than your blood. So Frederic, you say that the anecdotal evidence in favor of alkaline water is purely attributable to placebo, but I say it is mostly attributable to helping restore the body’s buffering capabilities. Once the body’s buffers are active again, people are back to that natural state of jubilant health that the body was made to function in. And if people did nothing but drink alkaline water at ridiculously high pH’s ( although most alkaline water is not that high) they would again exhaust their buffer systems, except in the opposite way, and thus would similarly suffer from health problems.

    • Joy says:

      George, the other thing neither of us spelled out is that to the body, a pH below 7.35 is considered acidic even though on the pH scale it is alkaline. That can be confusing if one doesn’t understand biochemistry. The body is already alkaline and wants to stay that way. A truly acidic body (ie pH below 7) is most likely a dead body so disease does in fact live in an alkaline body and changing the alkalinity of our body is virtually impossible.

      Also, I suspect the reason people feel so much better eating “alkaline” foods is that they’re no longer eating the crap found in the Standard American Diet. They’re eating real food, not processed food. Give up bagels and start eating kale, of course you’re going to feel better. You’re now feeding your body. Give up Doctor Pepper and start drinking water from your expensive new machine, of course you’re going to feel better. You’re hydrating your body instead of ingesting dehydrating caffeine. Unfortunately, to really pinpoint why people are seeing such dramatic changes in their health one has to be a detective and look at the whole before and after picture and that is darn near impossible to do accurately.

  52. Tina says:

    I sell water ionizers – I’ve studied much of the science and studies from Japan. I have my own story (on my website). Here’s the most important thing I’ve learned:

    1. the intake of something alkaline creates the need for more acid in the stomach to neutralize it

    2. the creation of this “extra” acid, throws off extra alkalinity that is now available to your body tissue. Think about this. Give yourself an example – if you’re at 7 pH, and you eat something at a 9 pH, say celery or spinach, your body produces enough acid to get it to 7, which concurrently leaves 2 pH levels of alkalinity available to your body tissue.

    Of course this is simplified, but as I understand it, that’s basically the way it works. Your blood stays around 7.365 pH (like your temperature stays around 98.6. Get a temperature, or get too cold and your body suffers. If your blood pH drops to 7.2 you’re in deep trouble. 6.85 and you’re near death. However, this being said, different parts of your body have different pH – like your pancreas – supposed to be alkaline. Wanna think for a minute what might happen if this gland isn’t the pH it needs?

    If drinking high alkaline water can help the body tissue be optimum, in this sea of fast-foods, energy drinks, stress and pollution (all acidifying) then it’s worth it. And, by the way, the negative electrical charge of ionized water is, by far, the best, most important quality for your body and health.

  53. Allison says:

    We distill our water in order to take out all the toxins and create a blank slate. (Gabriel Cousens says that distilling the water not only removes all the toxins in the water but also removes the memory of whatever may have been in it) Then we ADD BACK INTO the water very high quality sea minerals. We also add Fulvic Acid and MSM. Next we bless the water and put it in the moon overnight in order to recharge. When we are ready to drink the water we spin it for one minute with a large wooden spoon in one direction and then one minute counter clockwise. There is also a machine called the Vitalizer that will spin the water to oxygenate it instead of having to do it by hand. We like to make our own water because we are in control of the water that we drink. We take everything out that we don’t want but then add back in the highest quality minerals. I usually bring the distilled water up to TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) of about 100….This for us is the best of two worlds. This is all a little bit of work but we have it down to a system and so it has become a labor of love. We feel very happy when we drink our water…..

  54. cat says:

    Dr Mercola doesn’t write his own articles. He hires people who have the “same viewpoint” as him—-so I can see how his information could be inaccurate.

    When I was studying naturopathy, most of us agreed that reverse osmosis water was the “best” water to drink; distilled water came in high on the list, but it was agreed that minerals should be added to the water (such as Concentrace minerals),, esp as how many people follow SAD, but also because many of us are deficient in minerals.

    Drinking herbal infusions (such as nettle tea) is a great way to get in minerals and makes for a great way to replace regular water. We also remember the experiements done by Dr Emoto’s —positive energy can be a big factor, whether you drink Brita water or not.

  55. Graham Fraser says:

    A review of epidemological studies of the effects on bladder cancer of drinking normal chlorinated tap water versus non chlorinated water (such as water from ground sources) is given in J Epidemial Community Health 2003;57:166 – 173. Authors are Villanueava, Fernandez, Malats, Grimalt and Kogevinas. This review suggests that drinking chlorinated water in the long term is associated with some increase in bladder cancer, especially in men. This is attributed to the formation of trihalomethanes (THM) by reaction of the chlorine with organic substances found naturally in most surface waters. My urologist questions whether this problem has been studied sufficiently.

    It seems that the public health authorities and the WHO feel that the benefits of chrorination in disinfecting waters of bacteria far outweighs the increased risk of bladder cancer.

    I generally try to drink a highly purified water that is available in Australia where I live (it has been tested for chlorine, THM and other things and the manufaturer says these have been shown to be undetectable). Or I try to find boiled water. However this change may now have little effect for me as the incidence is found in the long term and for the past 70 years I have drunk plenty of normal tap water. Then again my two older brothers have drunk tap water with no problems.

  56. susanp says:

    I switched from spring water to distilled and felt a difference in my energy level (more tired). When I switched back to spring I felt good again.

    I read that distilled water is considered dead water, while spring water has oxygen and minerals in it.

    Even Hallelujah Acres who used to strongly advocate the use of distilled water only in the past is now recommending to remineralize distilled water.

    I would never go back to drinking distilled water again.

  57. Andrea says:

    Greetings!
    I have been using a water ionizer for almost a year after spending many years trying to figure out what was the best option. It was a tough choice but found a used one for very inexpensive so I went with it. I didn’t notice anything until I moved to another part of the city, into an older home, that broke my machine (water was too hard). I sent it back for repair and my energy dropped. I couldn’t get as hydrated as I was on the ionized water. Some symptoms I experience monthly became more intense. I took note of it and when I got my machine back all of that resolved.
    However my experience has been so far, I still feel this longing for spring water and am considering selling my unit and see if there is an affordable water restructuring unit or something that can recreate the spring water found in nature. I’ve been looking at a unit my Nikken called PiMag Waterfall. Here’s the link: http://nettrax.myvoffice.com/nikkenusa/ShoppingCart/Shop.cfm?CurrPage=CategoryDetail&NextPage=CategoryDetail&CategoryID=579&pid=51922903867494643

    Please share your thoughts.
    I am looking forward to the rest of your articles!
    Thank you so much!
    BLiss-ings!
    Andrea

  58. Valorie says:

    Hey Frederic,

    Loving your articles. Thanks so much. I have my own process for maturing the water I drink, a combination of techniques I’ve learned from many of my beloved teachers.

    If I lived closer to a spring, I’d harvest water there, but alas, I am in Phoenix. The closest spring is about a three-hour drive.

    So…I start with filtered tap water, then distill it (the distiller has a charcoal filter at its output). When I measure the pH out of the distiller, the water is indeed acidic. Distilled water is acidic. Sometimes, as you explained above, drinking acidic, distilled water can be good for us for short-term cleansing purposes.

    I then add Crystal Energy and Omica ionic minerals, spin the water in the jar CW, CCW and CW again a few times, bless it, then leave it under the stars/moon for a night (to infuse it with a yin quality), avoiding direct sunlight (which gives the water a more yang quality). If I’m maturing water for my teenage sons, I don’t worry about sun exposure. One of my sons often prefers the water directly out of the distiller. He runs a bit on the toxic side because of how he chooses to eat. I think it’s fascinating that he intuitively knows he should be drinking distilled water.

    I store the matured water on Tachyon discs, and use the it within 2-3 days. If the water sits too long, it gets a metallic-like taste, probably from the ionic minerals.

    Keep the great info coming!
    Val

  59. jim says:

    I’m sorry that I submitted my previous comments prior to reading all the comments here.
    I understood that you ? moderated the comments (for what?)
    It’s probably just me (yuk) but after reading all so far, I’m
    appalled at the absurdity of several which indicate there is no pilot at the controls
    as well as the blind leading the blind …so much for the moderation.
    Thanks…but no thanks!

  60. Pamela says:

    Fred,
    I respect some of your ideas, but disagree with many of the concepts you put forth here.
    I have been following your website for about 3 years, and while I appreciate your
    general intelligence on many subjects, I am wondering why you feel privileged enough to make
    a statement such as “Dr. Mercola is dead wrong on this issue”. I do not idolize any specific
    so called health guru; however you need to respect his background in medical science, and
    subsequently holistic medical science and research.
    It takes a lot to obtain a medical degree and then “defect” into the holistic
    realm, knowing you are going up against the largest conglomerate known to modern man.

    I have real “up front and personal” knowledge regarding water experiments from as
    far back as the 1970′s. My parents were “renegade health gurus” back in the 1940′s, and
    they both had doctorate degrees which gave them credibility. My assessment of this water
    blog post is that you need to do much more research on the subject, and even personally
    test the different types of water on yourself – using an “open mind”, of course. I have witnessed
    in others and personally experienced the effects of consuming the various types of water you mention.
    It is very eye opening to say the least.

    I think that you are not personally knowledgeable on this particular subject, however
    I want you to know that I do respect your work in general.

    I live in the Bay Area, if you would like to meet and discuss this further.

  61. Sabine says:

    I’d love to know the difference between distilled water and reverse osmosis water.
    Sabine

  62. Tuhua Tarakona says:

    Thank you! It bothers me a bit that a well known Dr., like Dr. Mercola, would post things like this that were grabbed from non-researched information. Then, once placed on his site, it goes wild and any time you do a search on distilled water the number one spot is his site – where folks instantly read the horrors of distilled water. Makes me sad in many ways. It would be nice to see this post and other information on distilled water become more popular, but we shall see.

    I also totally agree with your comment on one’s diet gaining minerals if they have a good diet of fruits and vegetables. I think that people forget to realize that and are only thinking of the SAD diet that too many are on. I would hope that my own body is gaining the minerals and vitamins from my 90% raw diet and balancing out what is needed. We’ll see and the best to judge this is myself. Listen to your own body and it will let you know what’s needing to be changed.

    Thanks for the article, Frederic!

    Tuhua

  63. Jessica says:

    Ok folks, this seems to be a perennial debate…What filter should you get. I hear good, bad, and ugly about all of them! I have a water distiller and I also have a under the sink filter but I don’t think it is very good. What does everyone use? Brand names please!

  64. it is simply not true that water ionizers do not benefit health….most do not….but the kangen water machine is unbelieveably powerful. I have seen countless shocking cases of peoples lives being changed forever with this water and as one of the only people in the world curing advanced terminal disease with the Gerson Therapy I fully endorse Kangen water. I lecture around the world with my good friend Shan Stratton–Nutritionist to the Pros—his world class, famous athletes are on this water and swear by it…I have a friend in Gastonia, NC who allows people to fill up for free with Kangen water….every Monday and Friday he has lines of an hour of peope waiting to fill up because countless people have told then what the water did in their lives. In 15 years of being a doctor i ahve had everyone and their brother try to sell me somethng…the only thing i have ever bought is a kangen water machine

  65. Dave Bowland says:

    If you are going to speak about PH and discount the PH of water or anything else that is consumed, you should start by defining it. Also I question your assertion that food must be “broken down by strong stomach acids” and that the stomach must be highly acidic. You make a very major error of logic by saying that alkaline food or water will be immediately neutralized in stomach via stomach acids but then say the alkalinity of food and water can affect your urine. That is illogical. Do not pose as an expert unless you have fully researched and edited your work. you do your readers a disservice.

    • Ira Edwards says:

      You need to know physiology and chemistry, not logic. The stomach will produce enough acid to acidify all foods. Then the food passes into the intestine, where enough alkalinity is added to overcome all acids. However, acids and alkalis are not destroyed by neutralizing, they are balanced and they still affect the whole body. Though the blood Ph is closely regulated, CO2 expiration and urine excretion are means to keep it that way. Urine us usually alkaline, but can be more or less so in order to get rid of excess acid or alkali. Another word for alkali is “base” so you often hear the term “acid-base balance.”
      I have taught both chemistry and physiology. Sorry, I wasn’t very good.

      • Ira Edwards says:

        I could give you the dictionary definition of Ph, but it would not be helpful here. It is enough to know that it is an acid-base scale from 0 to 14, with strong acid being closer to 0 and strong base closer to 14, and exact balance at 7. Ph is useful to express balance of acid or base, but not amount. Buffers are chemicals that stabilize Ph, resisting change. Thus a solution containing hydrochloric acid and lye can be easily changed a few points with a little more of one or the other, but add some carbonate or phosphate salts and that buffers it to a particular Ph. Distilled water, having nothing to buffer it, can change Ph with the slightest influence, like CO2 from air exposure.

  66. ina van der merwe says:

    now I am really confused – should I bought a distiller and is this the best option.

  67. Marisa says:

    Iron from plant sources is more easily absorbed? Are you sure about that? o.0

    • Of course! But the comparison is between iron from plants (or animals) and hard minerals. Animal-based iron is ultimately comes from plants. And yes, it is better absorbed (which in some cases, is not such a good thing)…

  68. Katariina says:

    Dear Frederic,

    thanks for this interesting article.

    You are saying in the article that body system kind a fix the acidity/alkalinity of all food and drink consumed:
    “The gastric juices are highly acidic and all the food exiting the stomach into the intestine is highly acidic. Bile neutralizes these acids and makes the food alkaline.
    Thus, when water and food passes through the stomach it will always be acidic and in the intestines it will always be alkaline irrespective of the original pH of our diet.”

    I understand this that no matter what we consume, the system fixes. However, this seems to be in controversy with what I have learned about eating foods and drinking drinks, based on the pH, acid (meats, processed stuff, soft drinks), and alkaline (fresh veggies, pure natural stuff etc). Also, I have understood that the diseases such as cancer like acid body.

    Can you please explain?

    Kind regards,

    Katariina

  69. Jenifer says:

    I live in an old mining town where the water is high in arsenic, antimony and lead. I do not drink the water, however, I bathe in it.
    I am wondering if anyone has a suggestion for filtering water that comes into a home in the most cost-effective sensible way.

  70. Chad says:

    Kevin,
    Congrats on “realigning” your priorities! I appreciate that you are focusing on what is most important: the people you love. With that being said; I hope that you will keep close direction on the blog. I humbly request that you please have the new guy list his substantiation when discrediting other health leaders like Dr. Joseph Mercola. I am pretty sure he uses confirmable data to make his case. Kevin, you have always been fair, balanced, and walked softly on other’s toes. I hope that Frederic will also be respectful enough of other opinions to give more than pointing the finger and saying “dead wrong.”
    Okay, now that is off of my chest, I would like to throw in something… Ozone water. I have helped many people clear yeast and parasites simply by ingesting ozone water before (or during) their colonic. So, Frederic, give me your best shot.

  71. Distilled Water and Health
    “I heard that drinking distilled water can leach minerals from your body. Is this true?”
    PATENAUDE: A lot of people believe distilled water to be dangerous based on information read on the Internet or other Natural Health book. In fact, here’s what Dr. Mercola has to say about this:
    “Many health fanatics, however, are often surprised to hear me say that drinking distilled water on a regular, daily basis is potentially dangerous.
    Paavo Airola wrote about the dangers of distilled water in the 1970?s when it first became a fad with the health food crowd.
    HOOVER: I wouldn’t call it a “Fad”, I would call it a Revelation… a life-saver! Besides mine, there are thousands of testimonies regarding “Distilled Water & Health”.

    PATENAUDE: Distillation is the process in which water is boiled, evaporated and the vapor condensed. Distilled water is free of dissolved minerals and, because of this, has the special property of being able to actively absorb toxic substances from the body and eliminate them.
    Studies validate the benefits of drinking distilled water when one is seeking to cleanse or detoxify the system for short periods of time (a few weeks at a time).
    HOOVER: I disagree It cleanses and detoxifies the body 24/7 for a lifetime, NOT just “for short periods of time”! I’m living proof of that! A man with an experience is not at the mercy of a man with an argument or an ignorant, non-educated opinion! I have been drinking a gallon of distilled water every day for 35 years with 0 negative side effects and I HAVE NEVER BEEN SICK OR BEEN TO A DOCTOR OR TAKEN MEDICATION OF ANY KIND!
    PATENAUDE: Fasting using distilled water can be dangerous because of the rapid loss of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride) and trace minerals like magnesium, deficiencies of which can cause heart beat irregularities and high blood pressure. NOT TRUE! 99% of the so-called “Health experts that make this statement are simply quoting someone, all of which have not fasted more than 5 days at a time! I have fasted a minimum of 21 days per year for the past 35 years…drinking nothing but pure distilled water. In september of 2012, I fasted for 60 days under an MD’s supervision, drinking distilled water! “DANGEROUS”?…as this author claims as do other ignorant authors on the internet, such as Mercola , ABSOLUTELY NOT!
    PATENAUDE: Cooking foods in distilled water pulls the minerals out of them and lowers their nutrient value.”
    HOOVER: TRUE! Boiling any vegetable in any type water not only draws out minerals, it destroys many vitamins and nutrients… but that has absolutely nothing to do with the foolish claims that distilled water pulls minerals out of the body. The proponents of this wild claim are simply revealing show their ignorants about the body’s metabolism and it’s relationship to water.
    PATENAUDE: At this point, I will agree with the conclusion that distilled water is not the best kind of water to drink, but will also point out that a lot of what Dr. Mercola said in his article (which you can find at: http://www.mercola.com/article/water/distilled_water.htm) is completely wrong.
    HOOVER: So is your statement about distilled water not being the best water to drink… “completely wrong” Two of America most renowned Medical doctors, Andrew Weil, MD and Charles Mayo, MD of the Mayo Clinics, both doctors claim distilled is the best and both have drank it for many years!
    PATENAUDE: Water, whether it is found in a spring or the tap, contains trace elements and minerals.
    If the water is distilled, in that it is devoid of all minerals, it will draw from its stores, what it needs for biological processes (for example: the calcium in your bones). so calcium in your bones, the biggest mineral store will be used.
    HOOVER: I disagree There are so few trace or ionic mineral, the kind the body can assimilate or chelate, plus so much other things the body can’t use or is even harmful, it is best to remove everything and for those skeptics that are concerned about the lack of minerals, they can simply add back the total 72 ionic minerals found in most health food stores.
    PATENAUDE: Distilled water is used to remove toxins from the body. It is what is used in kidney dialysis machines to cleanse the blood of toxins. It can also reduce potassium which is needed for proper heart function. Same with magnesium. Distilled water can and does remove minerals from the body.
    HOOVER: I disagree It is the machine that cleans the blood, the distilled water is the medium- they use distilled because unlike all other water, distilled water is pure and sterile.
    PATENAUDE: But fortunately, I don’t think there’s any evidence that this would be very dramatic — as long as you get enough minerals from your food in order to offset this.
    HOOVER: DISTILLED WATER DOES NOT NEED OFFSETTING! Plus, your absolutely right Patenaude, there is no evidence, in fact I have been offering $10,000 cash to anyone who can prove that drinking distilled water daily can be harmful or risky and no one , including Joseph Mercola MD has attempted to claim it.
    In one article on Dr. Mercola’s website, it was claimed that: “There is a correlation between the consumption of soft water (distilled water is extremely soft) and the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Cells, tissues and organs do not like to be dipped in acid and will do anything to buffer this acidity including the removal of minerals from the skeleton and the manufacture of bicarbonate in the blood.”
    PATENAUDE: Distilled water is neither acidic nor alkaline! What happens is that the body removes it from various parts of the body to use the minerals it needs for biological function.
    It’s not like acid is streaming through the body and dissolving your bones!
    Overall, I think that drinking water that has some mineral ions in it is best, but I don’t think that drinking distilled water can be bad for health if you get minerals from other sources, such as a diet abundant in fruits and vegetables.
    Here, Mercola is dead wrong on the issue!
    HOOVER: TRUE! Plus, Soft water is not distilled. Soft water is produced by a water softener and distilled water is produced by a water distiller. Why wouldn’t Mercola malign distilled water by comparing it to soft water since he is a distributor for a multi-level-marketing company and sells carbon filters. Both Red Cross and FEMA recommend distillation, not filters in a disaster or emergency- NOT FILTERS DR. MERCOLA!

    HOOVER: The ridiculous statement that distilled water removes minerals from the body is foolish and irresponsible for several reasons. First of all, a medical Dr. of all people should have at least an elementary knowledge of the body’s physiology. Blood courses through our veins, not distilled water. The blood is composed of mostly H2O. When you drink distilled water, it goes to the stomach, duodenum, intestines and is absorbed through the walls of the colon. The body utilizes the pure distilled water to produce blood, lymph, digestive juices, lubricants and other bodily fluids. Dosen’t it make sense to start with the cleanest water possible to accomplish these tasks. The blood is what delivers the mineral, vitamins and nourishment to the cells of the body, not distilled water! How is the blood going to “leach minerals from the body when it is the bloods job to deliver minerals and carry away waste and toxins. Remember this fact when you read or hear this ignorant statement that “distilled water leaches minerals from your body” or Dr. Mercola’s foolish and irresponsible statement, “Early death comes from drinking distilled water”… $10,000 says that is not true…
    go to http://distilledwaterauthority.com
    Dr. Mercola Continues:
    “Those who supplement their distilled water intake with trace minerals are not as deficient but still not as adequately nourished in minerals as their non-distilled water drinking counterparts even after several years of mineral supplementation. The ideal water for the human body should be slightly alkaline and this requires the presence of minerals like calcium and magnesium”

    HOOVER: Dr. Andrew Wiel MD calls this theory “Bogus” and totally false! SO DO I

    PATENAUDE: There is no study, as far as I know, that shows that people drinking distilled water aren’t as adequately nourished as their non-distilled counterparts.
    HOOVER: I agree
    PATENAUDE: There will be too many factors to take into account. I guess he is correct that the presence of the minerals will make the water slightly alkaline but drawing the conclusion of alkaline “good” and acidic “bad” is hardly scientific!
    HOOVER: I agree Plus, what happens to any water, acidic or alkaline when it reaches the stomach? A 5th or 6th grader knows the answer to that! So why do certain “health experts claim that Alkaline water is healther than any other water including distilled? Because they are probaby one of thousands of people in the health industry marketing alkaline water machines with a variety of multi-level-marketing companie$ between $2000 and $6000. Healthier water? No, and especially not healthy for your bank account.

  72. deb says:

    Poor Dr. Mercola!

    • Jim McMahon says:

      Dr. Mercola should refrain from discussing water at all. He is lacking knowledge on the topic and often misleads his readers with the things that he does say. Glad to see that someone else agrees with me on this topic.

  73. Ken says:

    I have been using the new Pristine Hydro system for over six months with stellar results. Before you go out and buy a Kangen, Nikken, or any other system, I highly recommend you do your own research on the new Pristine Hydro system. Pristine Hydro is the new benchmark (note: I am not affiliated with this company in any way). http://pristinehydro.com

  74. Jim McMahon says:

    I have never seen any evidence that drinking distilled water removes minerals from the body. I’d like to see this and am very open to any data on the topic. I know of numerous health practitioners who recommend distilled water for drinking. I personally am not an advocate of drinking distilled water but I don’t believe that doing so will leach minerals from your body.

    I agree with the author that we do get some minerals from water but would characterize the issue a bit differently. It is my view that water with low levels of minerals is beneficial but, like anything, too many minerals in water causes the water to be less hydrating and may in fact be somewhat harmful.

    In the end I think it is the presence of contaminants and the level of minerals in your water that should determine your treatment preference rather than choosing a device first without consideration of your water source.

  75. Yakitah Jones says:

    Very good info on the water theory. Learned some things I didn’t know and got validation on stuff I kind
    of knew anyway. Perhaps news like this should be made public knowledge but maybe enough people
    don’t really try to learn any better or simply don’t care one way or the other.

    “Seek and you shall find, “Ask and be told, “Knock and doors will be opened” Those are wise sayings, but
    I wonder if that is largely accepted info by most. ummmm!

  76. David Smelser says:

    I have a Kangen machine but use a reverse osmosis before it. People say that RO water is acidic but I tested the water out and it is still equal to the setting I set. When I first got involved in the raw food movement I heard people claim that heating changes the minerals in you water and food into their inorganic form. But had no idea of how to get an unbiased and competent determination of the issue. As it so happens I made a business trip to visit a world famous and respected adhesive manufacturer’s (Rhom & Hass) facility in PA. Their lab had equipment that could accelerate a single atom onto a substrate and then analyze what splashed up. They have the tools and the competent people to fine out the truth. As it happens a lady engineer had a graph on her desk to show me. On the graph there were two identical calcium profiles. She pointed out that one was the profile of good product and one was of a failed product returned by a customer. She said that they had to scratch their heads for a while to figure out why the product failed until they ran another test to determine if the calcium was in the organic or inorganic state. They produce the product from the organic form of calcium but the failed product was inorganic. They asked the customer what processes they performed on the product and the customer said they heated it.

    So there you have it. If you heat your food the minerals probably will not work the way they are supposed to.

  77. Hi,

    I don’t like to be a party pooper, but once more there is a fundamental error in at least one, and as far as I am concerned, absolutely fundamental point in regard to health, and this is the misunderstanding of pH balance. In short, using Fred’s own words, he is dead wrong about pH and alkalinity.

    The stomach needs to be acidic only in the presence of protein because only protein needs to be broken down in an acidic environment. Fat and sugars are no t broken down in an acidic environment and therefore not broken down in the stomach, but in the small intestine. If there is protein in the stomach, then acid is secreted; if there is no protein, then acid is not secreted. If the chyme that leaves the stomach to go into the small intestine is acidic, the pancreas secretes a watery sodium bicarbonate solution to neutralise the acid because the intestine needs to be alkaline. (It is not the bile that does this.) Bile that is produced by the pancreas and stored in the gall bladder is secreted if there is fat that needs to be emulsified. And bile is alkaline because the intestine needs to remain alkaline and also because fats are broken into free fatty acids in the alkaline environment of the intestine.

    Everything in the intestine will result in either an acidic, neutral or alkaline residue. This is always transmitted into the bloodstream with the rest of the nutrients. This is what defines the pH effect of the diet on the pH of the body. And it is perfectly well understood that acidic residues that remain in the blood and are not fully taken out by the kidneys, will be stored in tissues throughout the body. This is what leads to tissues growing more acidic in time, what leads to localised and generalised inflammation, and what eventually leads to cells becoming anaerobic cancerous cells that thrive in the acidic tissue without oxygen and live on sugar only.

    You should read (at least) these three articles:
    1) http://healthfully.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/detoxification/
    2) http://healthfully.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/why-we-should-drink-water-before-meals/
    3) http://healthfully.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/the-kidney-evolutionary-marvel/

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