Studies, scientific explanations etc concerning distilled (demineralized) water vs. mineralized water.

From the James Sloane forums at

"More than 50 studies in nine countries have been carried out on possible relationship of water hardness and health. Most of the investigations were in the United Kingdom, United States, and Canada; they reveal a consistent trend of significant statistical associations between the hardness characteristics of drinking water and the incidence of cardiovascular problems (heart disease, hypertension, and stroke) and, to a lesser extent, other diseases. Generally, reports have shown an inverse correlation between the incidence of cardiovascular disease and the amount of hardness of drinking water, or, conversely, a positive correlation with the degree of softness. Studies in the United States and Canada have shown that age-adjusted cardiovascular mortality rates among populations using very soft water may be as much as 15-20% higher than among populations using hard water. The differential reported for the United Kingdom may be as high as 40%."

"Hard water is a reliable and stable4 source of calcium and sometimes magnesium although the absolute and relative concentrations will vary greatly by source. Consumption of moderately hard water containing typical amounts of calcium and magnesium may provide an important incremental percentage of their dally intake. Inadequate total dietary intakes of calcium and magnesium are common worldwide. Therefore, and incremental contribution from drinking water can be an important supplement to approach more ideal total daily intakes. Moreover, hard water can reduce the losses of calcium, magnesium and other essential minerals from food during cooking. If low mineralized water is used for food and beverage production, reduced levels of Ca, Mg and other essential elements would also occur in those products. Low intakes would occur not only because of the lower contribution of these minerals from water used in beverages, but also because of the high losses of the minerals from food products (e.g., vegetables, cereals, potatoes or meat) into water during cooking.

The group concluded that there is sufficient epidemiological evidence of an inverse relationship between calcium and magnesium concentrations in drinking water and ischemic heart disease mortality, and that consumption of water containing calcium and magnesium, and therefore also the reintroduction of Mg and Ca into demineralized water in the remineralization process would likely provide health benefits in those consumer populations. There are no known harmful human health effects associated with the addition of calcium and magnesium within a large range and the nutritional benefits are well known. In addition, limited but suggestive evidence exists for benefits associated with other diseases (stroke, renal stone formation, cognitive impairment in e4lderly, very low birth weight, bone fractures among children, pregnancy complications, hypertension, and possibly some cancers). Adding calcium and magnesium to the demineralized water would be a relatively inexpensive preventive intervention that does not require individual behavioral change, and it is already done as part of many water treatment processes. The intervention could not only provide health benefits but also help reduce medical care costs.

Epidemiological studies in the United Kingdom, United States, Sweden, Russia and France, and research on changes in calcium/phosphorus metabolism and bone decalcification provide informatio9n about drinking water levels of calcium and magnesium (and water hardness) that may provide beneficial health effects. It has been suggested that reduced cardiovascular mortality and other health benefits would be associated with minimum levels of approximately 20 to 30 mg/l calcium and 10 mg/l magnesium in drinking water. The percentage of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of calcium and magnesium provided by drinking water at these minimum levels will vary among and within countries. Thus, lower levels in water may be sufficient to provide health benefits in some areas, but higher levels may be beneficial in others. Some limited information suggests that the desirable levels may be higher in some circumstances. Overall health benefits will be dependent upon total dietary intakes and other factors in addition to water levels. Because the exposure-response information is limited, further analyses, and possibly additional studies are needed to determine the levels of calcium and magnesium that may provide most favorable population benefits in each location."

"Unless properly stabilized, demineralized and some natural waters are corrosive to plumbing resulting in damage to the plumbing systems and also potentially increased exposure on metals such as copper and lead. Information should be provided on methods of application of home water softening devices so that consumers will also have access to mineralized water for drinking and cooking."

World Health Organization:

"There is considerable controversy over the significance of the relative absence of certain solutes from many surface and ground water supplies. In particular, disagreement has focused on the health implications of drinking soft, low-pH waters. According to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (1977) there have been more than 50 studies, in nine countries, that have indicated an inverse relationship between water hardness and mortality from cardiovascular disease. That is, people who drink water that is deficient in magnesium and calcium generally appear more susceptible to this disease (Foster, 1987a). The US National Academy of Sciences has estimated that a nation-wide initiative to add calcium and magnesium to soft water might reduce the annual cardiovascular death rate by 150,000 in the United States. However, this suggestion is very controversial, other authors being unwilling to accept that water hardness influences the death rate from cardiovascular disease (Hammer and Heyden, 1980).

Soft water, deficient in calcium and magnesium, has also been linked to elevated rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (Caddell, 1972), diabetes (Foster, 1987b), cerebrovascular disease (Foster, 1987a) and cancer (Allen-Price, 1960; Foster, 1986). It should be noted that both surface and ground water hardness in British Columbia is very variable, being generally highest in the east of the province and lowest in the west (Swain, 1985). However, ground water in general has a tendency to be harder than surface water supplies because of its greater contact with bedrock."

Benefits of minerals in water:


by Zoltan P. Rona MD, MSc

During nearly 19 years of clinical practice I have had the opportunity to observe the health effects of drinking different types of water. Most of you would agree that drinking unfiltered tap water could be hazardous to your health because of things like parasites, chlorine, fluoride and dioxins. Many health fanatics, however, are often surprised to hear me say that drinking purified water on a regular, daily basis is potentially dangerous. Paavo Airola wrote about the dangers of purified 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. Purified or reverse osmosis 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 purified water when one is seeking to cleanse or detoxify the system for short periods of time (a few weeks at a time). Fasting using purified 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 purified water pulls the minerals out of them and lowers their nutrient value.

Purified water is an active absorber and when it comes into contact with air, it absorbs carbon dioxide, making it acidic. The more purified water a person drinks, the higher the body acidity becomes. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "Purified" water, being essentially mineral-free, is very aggressive, in that it tends to dissolve substances with which it is in contact. Notably, carbon dioxide from the air is rapidly absorbed, making the water acidic and even more aggressive. Many metals are dissolved by purified water.

The most toxic commercial beverages that people consume (i.e. cola beverages and other soft drinks) are made from purified water. Studies have consistently shown that heavy consumers of soft drinks (with or without sugar) spill huge amounts of calcium, magnesium and other trace minerals into the urine. The more mineral loss, the greater the risk for osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, hypothyroidism, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure and a long list of degenerative diseases generally associated with premature aging.

A growing number of health care practitioners and scientists from around the world have been advocating the theory that aging and disease is the direct result of the accumulation of acid waste products in the body. There is a great deal of scientific documentation that supports such a theory. A poor diet may be partially to blame for the waste accumulation. Meats, sugar, white flour products, fried foods, soft drinks, processed foods, alcohol, dairy products and other junk foods cause the body to become more acidic. Stress, whether mental or physical can lead to acid deposits in the body.

There is a correlation between the consumption of soft water (purified 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. The longer one drinks purified water, the more likely the development of mineral deficiencies and an acid state. I have done well over 3000 mineral evaluations using a combination of blood, urine and hair tests in my practice. Almost without exception, people who consume purified water exclusively, eventually develop multiple mineral deficiencies. Those who supplement their purified water intake with trace minerals are not as deficient but still not as adequately nourished in minerals as their non-purified 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. Purified water tends to be acidic and can only be recommended as a way of drawing poisons out of the body. Once this is accomplished, the continued drinking of purified water is a bad idea.

Water filtered through a solid charcoal filter is slightly alkaline. Ozonation of this charcoal filtered water is ideal for daily drinking. Longevity is associated with the regular consumption of hard water (high in minerals). Ionized Water is the best possible drinking water. Disease and early death is more likely to be seen with the long term drinking of purified water. Avoid it except in special circumstances.


Airola, P. 1974. How To Get Well. Phoenix, AZ: Health Plus Publishers.

Baroody, Dr. Theodore A. Jr. Alkalinize or Die. California:Portal Books, 1995.

Haas, Elson M. Staying Healthy with Nutrition. The Complete Guide to Diet & Nutritional Medicine. Berkeley, California:Celestial Arts, 1992; p. 22.

Rona, Zoltan P. and Martin, Jeanne Marie. Return to the Joy of Health, Vancouver: Alive Books, 1995.

Rona, Zoltan P. Childhood Illness and The Allergy Connection. Rocklin, California:Prima Books, 1996.

Dr. Zoltan P. Rona is a graduate of McGill University Medical School (1977) and has a Master's Degree in Biochemistry and Clinical Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut (1985). He is the author of the Canadian bestsellers, "The Joy of Health" and "Return to the Joy of Health". He is a past president of the Canadian Holistic Medical Association and is a consultant on nutritional medicine to the Motherisk Program of the Department of Pharmacology of the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children."

Allen McDaniels, M.D., from his book: "Water---what's in it for you?"

Distillation removes all minerals from water, and the membrane methods of reverse osmosis and nanofiltration remove most to all minerals. This results in demineralized water which is not considered ideal drinking water. The World Health Organization investigated the health effects of demineralized water in 1980, and its experiments in humans found that demineralized water increased diuresis and the elimination of electrolytes, with decreased serum potassium concentration. Magnesium, calcium, fluoride, and other nutrients in water can help to protect against nutritional deficiency. Demineralized water may also increase the risk from toxic metals because it more readily absorbs them, and because the presence of calcium and magnesium in water can prevent absorption of lead and cadmium. Recommendations for magnesium have been put at a minimum of 10 mg/L with 20–30 mg/L optimum; for calcium a 20 mg/L minimum and a 40–80 mg/L optimum, and a total water hardness (adding magnesium and calcium) of 2–4 mmol/L. At water hardness above 5 mmol/L, higher incidence of gallstones, kidney stones, urinary stones, arthrosis, and arthropathies have been observed. For fluoride the concentration recommended for dental health is 0.5–1.0 mg/L, with a maximum guideline value of 1.5 mg/L to avoid dental fluorosis.[17]

Water filtration devices are becoming increasingly common in households. Most of these devices do not distill water, though there continues to be an increase in consumer-oriented water distillers and reverse osmosis machines being sold and used. Municipal water supplies often add or have trace impurities at levels which are regulated to be safe for consumption. Much of these additional impurities, such as volatile organic compounds, fluoride, and an estimated 75,000+ other chemical compounds[18][19][20] are not removed through conventional filtration; however, distillation and reverse osmosis eliminate nearly all of these impurities.

The drinking of purified water has been both advocated and discouraged for health reasons. Purified water lacks minerals and ions, such as calcium, which are normally found in potable (drinking) water, and which have important biological functions such as in nervous system homeostasis. Some percentage of our daily consumption of these minerals and ions come from our drinking water, but most of them come from the food we eat, making DI water perfectly fine to drink if one has food in his or her system. The lack of naturally-occurring minerals in distilled water has raised some concerns. The Journal of General Internal Medicine[21]published a study on the mineral contents of different waters available in the US. The study found that "drinking water sources available to North Americans may contain high levels of calcium, magnesium, and sodium and may provide clinically important portions of the recommended dietary intake of these minerals". It encouraged individuals to "check the mineral content of their drinking water, whether tap or bottled, and choose water most appropriate for their needs". Since distilled water is devoid of minerals, supplemental mineral intake through diet is needed to maintain proper health.

The consumption of "hard" water (water with minerals) is associated with beneficial cardiovascular effects. As noted in the American Journal of Epidemiology, consumption of hard drinking water is negatively correlated with atherosclerotic heart disease.[22] Since distilled water is free of minerals, it will not have these potential benefits.

If you want to make it easy look at it this way. Mankind has been drinking water ever since we have been on this planet. We did not always have distillers, alkalinizers, etc. What we did have all along is mineralized water as Nature made it and has always done well for us.

Nature does not provide us with distilled water. As the water falls it will saturate with various compounds it comes in with including gases and minerals from dust. When it hits the ground it further reacts with minerals. So we have always drunk mineralized, not distilled water, and we have flourished on this planet.

All of this garbage of making water alkaline through electrolysis, pure through R/O or distillation, clustered, etc. is just that, garbage. We are not smarter than Nature. And trying to outsmart Nature just creates more problems. Look at the drug manufacturers trying to outsmart Nature by isolating individual compounds from plants, which results in all sorts of side effects that we do not get from the plants. Water is no different. Drink purified waters and we throw off electrolytes and rob the body of nutrition. Drink alkalinized water and we neutralize the stomach acid leading to whole host of problems as well as loading the body up with caustic hydroxides that are some of the strongest free radicals known.

As far as some people drinking distilled water and not being deficient in minerals. Keep in mind that they are likely also ingesting a lot of minerals from other sources including food, supplements and herbs. This still does not make the drinking of distilled water healthy.

Myth: Distilled water will not leach (organic) minerals that have become part of the structure of the body cell system. Once a mineral has become part of the cell structure, it cannot be leached.

False. Let's say someone has hypercalcemia from hyperparathyroidism. According to the chelation hypothesis the minerals cannot enter the bone unchelated. Of course this is false since the primary mineral of bone is inorganic hydroxyapatite. But let's say for a second that their hypothesis is true. So the calcium released by the parathyroid hormone is excreted in the urine as a protective mechanism by the body, just as it rids itself of excess calcium from chelated sources. If we isolate the calcium from the urine that is being excreted we find that it is not chelated. The point being made is that the body does utilize non-chelated minerals, which is why we find non-chelated minerals in the body that were once chelated.

Schuessler came to the conclusion that missing inorganic mineral salts will cause disruption to the living processes and therefore create illnesses. This results in an inhibition of the cell metabolism.

Myth: Fruit and juices contains exclusively distilled water via Nature.

False. Nature does not really provide truly distilled water. Distiled water is highly solvent and quickly sequesters carbon dioxide from the air forming carbonic acid. It also picks up inorganic and organic substances from the air as the rain or snow falls.

This brings up the point if mineralized water is so toxic then how has mankind survived so long before water distillers were invented? In fact some of the longest living and healthiest people in the world drink mineralized water coming from rivers and wells.

Myth: Drinking water containing minerals is not good for you.

False. How do they explain all the centurians in the world that never drank distilled water in their life? I was in Iceland for 2 1/2 months backpacking. While I was there I had to find some benzene to fuel my stove since they don't sell white gas over there. So I went to a clinic and met a doctor there who I got the benzene from. While I was there I struck up a conversation about the general health of Icelanders. Turns out that despite their generally high consumption of sugar and alcohol there is very little heart disease or cancer there. And guess what their water source is? It is not distilled water, it is mineral rich glacial and river water.

The question of whether distilled water leaches minerals from the body causing hair-loss and other health problems due to mineral deficiencies.

Claim: Distilled water was used for decades in even the most prolonged fasts with NO hair-loss or other health problems associated with mineral/electrolyte deficiencies.

This is not true. Just because something is not obvious without testing does not mean that health issues are not occurring. For example there is the electrolyte issue. Distilled water is hypotonic to the cells so it rapidly flows in to the cells. In fact if red blood cells are placed in distilled water they will quickly swell and burst from the influx of water. One of the biggest concerns of drinking distilled water is that the sudden influx of water in to the system due to the hypotonic state will disrupt the electrolyte balance. The greater the intake of water at one time the greater the risk of a severe imbalance. Leaching of minerals from the bone or loss of vitamins due to drinking distilled water may not be obvious or obvious at first either.

Myth: The minerals that are leached(removed) by distilled water are the inorganic minerals that the body cannot use. The effect, therefore, is healthful.

Again not true and very easy to prove wrong. In order for minerals to get in to the body they must first be dissolved in water. As the water moves in to the body it carries the dissolved minerals with it. This is true whether the minerals are bound to organic materials or not. And just as easily as the water dissolves the minerals to carry them in to the body the same water can dissolve these minerals to carry them out of the body. This is essential to the body as too much of any mineral can cause problems to the body. Just imagine what would happen to the body if we retained all the "organic" calcium we ever ingested throughout our life. Luckily water removes these excess "organic" minerals for us.

It is also false that we cannot utilize "inorganic" minerals. And I have even seen some sites claim that the human body cannot even absorb inorganic minerals, which is also false. Take for example mineral salts? Are these people really claiming that sea salt, which has nearly the identical make up of our blood's liquid portion would not be absorbed and even if it did it would not be utilized by the body? And why is it if our body is not reliant on inorganic minerals then why is it that the mineral component of our bones is primarily the inorganic mineral hydroxyapatite? Going further with this according to their claim the distilled water only removes inorganic minerals from the body. So if their claim was true then this means that the distilled water would be removing the inorganic hydroxyapatite from the body,and thus we are back to my original claim that the distilled water leaches BENEFICIAL minerals from the body.

Myth: The function of minerals in the body is to serve as co-enzymes for the enzymes which direct metabolism. Without its proper mineral, an enzyme cannot function correctly. Without the function of the enzymes systems of your body, your metabolism would come to a screeching halt, and you would die immediately.

Again this is misleading. Minerals have other functions than activating enzymes. And these are not the only enzyme activators. Among other enzyme activators are vitamins. And minerals can still act as enzyme activators REGARDLESS if they are organic or inorganic. Although some inorganic minerals are poorly absorbed. For example magnesium oxide/hydroxide. A small portion of this inorganic mineral will absorb due to reaction with stomach acid turning it in to an absorbable salt. The rest will pass through the body. Other inorganic minerals though such as sodium chloride are readily absorbed and even utilized by the body.

Myth: "A mineral, to be useful to the body, must be in a form in which it can be taken up by its matching enzyme."

Nonsense. And this is contradictory to their earlier statement that the mineral is an activator for the enzyme. Now they are claiming that the enzyme is making the mineral useful.

There is only one way a mineral can be utilized by an enzyme: when it is delivered to its enzyme by an organic molecule. An organic molecule is made of a string of carbon atoms. When a mineral is in such an association with an organic molecule, it is said to be chelated. A chelated mineral can be transferred to an enzyme, so that mineral can then function as a co-enzyme. A non-chelated mineral cannot be transferred; therefore, it is worse than useless.

So how do they explain the use and benefits of inorganic mineral salts by the body?

Myth: A solution of minerals in a plain electrolytic solution, to be useful in the body, must first be chelated by the body.

Again not true. Take for instance sodium chloride, an inorganic mineral. One of its functions is in the production of stomach acid (hydrochloric acid, HCl), which is essential to our health. There is no chelation involved in this process. The sodium chloride is split in to sodium and chlorine. Carbon dioxide enters the picture leading to the formation of HCl from the chlorine and sodium bicarbonate from the sodium. No proteins are combined in the process to make a chelate of any kind.

Myth: The best source of straight water is distilled water. There was a time when nature provided pure, distilled drinking water in the form of rain water and melted snow, sleet, hail, etc.

Nature does not provide us with truly distilled water. The water being aggressive will find any substance it can to saturate with. This includes carbon dioxide from the air forming carbonic acid, the same acid used to make carbonated water and sodas, and organic and inorganic particles floating in the air. This includes dust made from inorganic minerals. Even if you went to the top of the highest mountain a thousand years ago before all the industrial pollution to collect the snow up there it still would not consist of pure water. Mankind has ALWAYS survived on mineralized water since this is what Nature really provides us with.

Myth: Distilled water is the purest water there is.

So why do you suppose that in order to get pure water from steam distillation for laboratory use that they have to TRIPLE DISTILL the water?

To a chemist, the term "pure" has meaning only in the context of a particular application or process. The distilled or de-ionized water we use in the laboratory contains dissolved atmospheric gases and occasionally some silica, but their small amounts and relative inertness make these impurities insignificant for most purposes. When water of the highest obtainable purity is required for certain types of exacting measurements, it is commonly filtered, de-ionized, and triple-vacuum distilled.

Myth: The worst possible choice you can make is mineral water.

Actually the worst waters you can drink are type 1 (ultrapure water), followed by distilled, deionized and reverse osmosis waters. All of these are aggressive waters that remove beneficial vitamins and minerals from the body. All of these waters should be saturated with minerals before drinking, just like the great water Nature has always provided us with. Next on the do not drink list are highly alkaline waters that can also be corrosive like type 1 water and can interfere with nutrient absorption among other problems.

Myth: Inorganic minerals are not only unavailable as co-enzymes; worse than that, they crystallize in the body, both inside and outside the circulatory system. When they crystallize outside the circulatory system, they cause such problems as arthritis.

What a load of garbage!!! There are over 120 forms of arthritis. None of these have anything to do with drinking mineralized water. And as far as the bone spurs that form in arthritis, this has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with mineral precipitation. I am not going to go in to a big long explanation of their formation, but in short it has to do with piezoelectric deposition of the minerals due to stress on the bone at a certain point.

When they crystallize inside the circulatory system, they are deposited in the walls of your arteries and, over the years, contribute to the plaque formation of atherosclerosis.

More garbage. The arterial plaque is a result of arterial inflammation. The cholesterol comes in to heal the injured area. If the source of damage is not removed then the cholesterol will continue to flood the area leading to the narrowing of the arteries. The cholesterol can calcify, but this calcium can come from a number of sources including our bones. And being that distilled water can leach minerals from the bones distilled water could also provide the calcium to calcify the cholesterol in arterial plaque.

Myth: "Atherosclerotic plaques yield only to prolonged chelation therapy, and while it is true that they can be dealt with in this manner"

This is not true. Arterial plaque can be cleared through a variety of methods. Lecithin, silica, magnesium, ozone, peroxide, TMG.........

"Prevention of atherosclerosis is accomplished through a diet high in fiber"

Yes, fiber rich in the inorganic mineral compound orthosilicic acid. This is the form of silica the body absorbs and utilizes. It does not contain carbon, and it is not really chelated either. But it does help strengthen tissues, including blood vessels, through the formation of collagen and elastin, and helps to reduce arterial inflammation. Thank goodness for this beneficial inorganic mineral!!!

The water of fruits is absolutely pure, having been DISTILLED by heaven's own process, and then canned and sealed by a skin that is impervious to germs.

The water in fruits is not pure. It is saturated with the chemicals in the fruit such as the sugar produced by photosynthesis and the minerals dissolved by the water and taken up by the plant. If the water in fruit was pure it would not have any flavor!