Just about everyone knows that Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems excel at removing water impurities, but few are aware that they also remove the beneficial minerals. In fact, the reverse osmosis process removes 92-99% of beneficial calcium and magnesium. What’s the big deal?
After analyzing hundreds of scientific studies concerning demineralized or reverse osmosis water, the World Health Organization released a report stating that such water “has a definite adverse influence on the animal and human organism.”
Consumers have been so concerned with removing as many things from water as possible that they have forgotten to ask if the resulting water actually improves health or causes health problems. It’s assumed that no toxins equals better health, but there is simply more to healthful water than a lack of toxins, as the World Health Organization clearly points out.
What is alarming is that consuming reverse osmosis water for even just a few months can create serious side effects. “The effects of most chemicals commonly found in drinking water manifest themselves after long exposure.” However “only a few months exposure may be sufficient ‘consumption time effects’ from water that is low in magnesium and/or calcium. Illustrative of such short-term exposures are cases in the Czech and Slovak populations who began using reverse osmosis-based systems for final treatment of drinking water at their home taps in 2000-2002. Within several weeks or months various health complaints suggestive of acute magnesium (and possibly calcium) deficiency were reported. Among these complaints were cardiovascular disorders, tiredness, weakness or muscular cramps.” Again, serious side effects within just several weeks or months.
But it gets even worse. Because reverse osmosis water doesn’t have enough minerals, when it is consumed, it also leaches minerals from the body. This means that the minerals being consumed in food and vitamins are being urinated away. Less minerals consumed plus more minerals being excreted equals serious negative side effects and big health problems. In a scientific study performed to see if minerals consumed in food can make up for the lack of minerals in reverse osmosis water, scientists concluded that “reduced mineral intake from water was not compensated by their diets…low-mineral water was responsible for an increased elimination of minerals from the body.”
“It has been adequately demonstrated that consuming water of low mineral content has a negative effect on homeostasis mechanisms, compromising the mineral and water metabolism in the body.” Consumption of reverse osmosis water “leads to the dilution of the electrolytes dissolved in the body water. Inadequate body water redistribution between compartments may compromise the function of vital organs. Side effects at the very beginning of this condition include tiredness, weakness and headache; more severe symptoms are muscular cramps and impaired heart rate.”
” Disadvantages of reverse osmosis water. Unfortunately, RO water has many disadvantages:
1. RO water, in general, does not hydrate the body well. This is its worst aspect. It is unfortunate, but we see it over and over again. The plastic membrane must damage the water in some subtle way that I do not understand.
2. A residue from the plastic membrane seems to find its way into the water, and then into the body. This is a consistent finding in everyone who drinks RO water. So it adds a new toxin to the body, even though the water is quite pure in other ways.
3. The water is extremely yin in Chinese medical terms. This may be because it lacks minerals and because it is contaminated with plastic from the RO membrane. The yin quality is harmful and best avoided.
4. There is evidence from a few clients that RO water damages the third energy center or chakra.
5. There is no simple way to test the quality of the water. As the plastic RO membrane and pre-and post-filters age in a reverse osmosis machine, the water quality declines. A simple total dissolved solids or TDS meter may not detect chemical contamination.
6. Carbon and other filters in RO systems can become contaminated with bacteria and viruses easily. Manufacturers suggest replacing the carbon filters at specified intervals or after a certain number of gallons have been produced. However, these are just averages. Other than the taste, it is most difficult to assess the cleanliness of the carbon filters.
7. Reverse osmosis water is severely mineral deficient and has an acidic pH. As with distilled water, it does not supply the body with needed trace minerals, and it may have a mild chelating effect. This means that it may remove some vital minerals from the body.
The acidic pH is also a slight problem.
8. RO wastes a lot of water that must be used to backflush the system. It also causes pollution because the plastic membranes do not biodegrade quickly. The polycarbonate plastics degrade slowly in the landfills. Filled with toxic substances, they represent a source of long-term pollution. Extremely high-temperature incineration, which is gaining in popularity, is the best form of disposal of the membranes that I am aware of.
Summary. Water filtered by reverse osmosis or RO is not good drinking water, in my experience. Its effects can be terrible, including even kidney failure. I know that sounds extreme, but several cases have occurred that I know about.
It does not matter if someone has added minerals back to the RO water, boiled it, or done other things to it like praying over it or “energizing” it in any way that I have seen, so far. These methods do not seems to undo the damage to the water that occurs due to passing it through the plastic RO membrane. Please avoid all water made this way for best hydration.
Bypassing the RO membrane on a home water filtering system. Many people have an RO filter on their home or just their sink. If you wish to use this system for carbon filtration, it is fairly easy to bypass the RO part of your filtering system, in most cases. This will allow you to keep using the carbon filtration part of the system, which is fine.
The procedure is to open up the cylinder or container on your filtration system that contains the RO membrane. Then remove the RO membrane, and close up the container tightly. In most cases, this is all you need to do.
An alternative method is to remove the small tubes or pipes going to the RO membrane container and simply bypassing the RO part by re-connecting the tubes in a different way. Either of these methods should work okay.”