Drinking Distilled Water?Submitted by Delvin on Wed, 08/15/2012 - 04:18
I have complied this thread to share my recent research (and ongoing frustration) on clean and healthy water with all you DPers. If it wasn't for the dailypaul, I would still be drinking tap water all day, everyday and thinking I was doing my body good. I currently own a couple Berkey systems with 2 black Berkeys and 2 pf-2's. I've had these for well over a year now and I've been enjoying them. The Berkeys are the best system I have found simply because they don't need electricity. The only 'cons' are that it takes so long to filter and the reservoir is so small that I am constantly draining them into storage vessels and refilling them - due to the fact that me and my family and friends drink a lot of water and I cook with the water every night.
I am beginning to think that my pf-2's are needing to be replaced. They are tasting funky and I've primed them several times. When I prime them I turn them both ways (with and against the flow arrow) until they run clear and taste normal again (i hold them to the faucet and drink the results from a glass). But as soon as i reinstall them and fill the reservoir, the next day they revert to the old funky taste. This makes me think that My filters are past their prime and have filtered so much junk that they now cannot hold any more and are releasing it into the water.
That is not why I'm writing this; however, it does remind me of why I purchased these in the first place: self-reliance. If the power goes out and the city water stops pumping, I want to be able to purify my outdoor water. It dawns on me that I don't want to be dependent upon the Berkey manufacturers to replace my filters. If they only last me about a year while I'm using city water... how will they hold up to pond water? They are also expensive, so stocking up on filters... it just seems like my money could be better spent elsewhere.
So now I'm looking into distilling. I know it uses a lot of energy to heat a still and is very slow, but could be good info to know in a pinch.
So I arrived at the notion that distilled water is not safe for prolonged use as it depletes the body of minerals, furthermore it actually concentrates VOCs (volatile organic compounds). This mainly comes from this article by Dr. Mercola, but after reading a few DP threads and other websites, most people seem to agree.
Then as I was trying to find out which mineral solutions I need to add to distilled water (apparently Himalayan Sea Salt???), I found this compilation of sources saying just about the opposite. These sources all agree that distillation is fine by itself and agree that (summing most of them up with a quote from one source):
"Mountain spring water is not ideal for the human body because it contains inorganic minerals that the human body can neither use nor precipitate out. These inorganic minerals tend to hook up with cholesterol in the body and form a thick plaque in the arteries. Distilled water does not have this effect. When you eat a piece of fruit or a vegetable, you are consuming distilled water. The minerals are taken from the soil, the plant distills them, and then you consume them. You may have heard that distilled water "leaches" minerals from the body. That is partially true. The minerals that are leached(removed) by distilled water are the inorganic minerals that the body cannot use. The effect, therefore, is healthful. 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."
I'd love to hear some feedback on these statements. They reminded me of what I have heard about counterarguments to the old "marijuana kills brain cells" line, in that cannabis attacks only those cells which are old and in need of dying (lest they term cancerous) while not affecting the young healthy cells.
If that wasn't enough, next I found this article rebutting Mercola's original article, but not in the way I would have expected.He agrees with Mercola that Distilled water needs to have minerals reintroduced. However, he seems to think that I need to buy a counter-top/ plug-in still in order to vent out VOCs or filter them after distillation using a charcoal filter.
Then I read this study which agrees that many VOCs and pesticides which have a boiling point below or near that of water will be left behind in the distilled water. It did give a few good suggestions on preventing this (as they usually vaporize and condense before water does, a gas vent can be used early on, as well as discarding the first pint of liquid, or running them through a Active carbon filter (the very thing I'm wanting to avoid) prior to the process.
The pesticides are what scares me because I live on a family farm which is finally ending its lease with a gmo farmer this year, so sprays/ pesticides are an issue with my water.
I felt I was finally getting somewhere when I stumbled upon this woman who has been doing this whole distillation/ minerals/ water safety research for a long time. She seems to be genuine and has done her homework. She seems to think that this study is "reasonable proof" that distilled water is safe to drink. She also earns points with me by saying, "Perhaps the best research I have seen against the use of drinking distilled water is this report by the WHO. However, several researchers don't believe it's a credible report, at least not enough to disprove the use of Distilled water. One of the best rebuttals to the article was done by the Canadian Water Association."
This is an interesting excerpt from the short rebuttal:
"Dr. Daniel Menzel, on of the nation's leading toxicologists and the chairman of the Department of Community and Environmental Medicine at the University of California in Irvine, points to homeostasis as one of the reasons that the idea of leaching of minerals by consuming high purity water is an 'erroneous assumption'.
Homeostasis is the control of ion and water concentrations in the body's fluids. All organs and tissues of the body are involved in homeostasis. When the concentration of an ion such as sodium, potassium or calcium fluctuates, water moves across the cell wall or membrane to equalize it. Therefore, any changes in concentrations from drinking high purity water are quickly and naturally brought to equilibrium. These dynamic bodily adjustments continuously occur - they can be measured and are not an ill health effect."
does this mean that the water is not replacing the minerals from within the cell???
She seems to think that we should be getting a vast majority of our minerals from food (and I don't think that is a contentious assumption), that being said she is leaning towards distilled water to be totally safe, however she still does not drink low TDS (total dissolved solids) exclusively.
Finally, I decided to search the DP, the place where my journey began. I wound up on a recent and relevant thread created by Crickett.
This led me to a lot of interesting opinions which I thought were not expanded upon enough. Some were saying to be careful of raising pH because it could neutralize the acidity of the stomach acid. Others said that higher pH foods are better for you as the acidity leads to cancerous environments.
My favorite comment from this thread is this one Submitted by helios on Sat, 11/26/2011 - 13:47.
"...The thing is with water that although we now a lot about water at the same time it is one of the most mysterious substance. The electric charge for example have a great effect on the water. Some places the water has a very high mineral content yet it doesn’t cause any problem drinking it.
Scientists working on water for a long time and only now they realizing how complex the whole water issue is. So the water chemistry is just only one aspect that we need to be aware of. I hope this helps."
replied by reedr3v on Sat, 11/26/2011 - 14:15.
thanks for your input. Besides the complexity
you point out, each individual must find his/her own needs and ways through the tangle of known and unknown factors. Research, self-experiment and grow self knowledge.
Couldn't have said it better myself.