Demineralised water without any further enrichment is not appropriate for drinking and long- term consumption of such water types may result in various health risks, says a study carried out by World Health Organization (WHO).
The study reported that people drinking demineralised water that is low in calcium and magnesium is tied to higher rate of death from cardiovascular diseases as compared to those drinking regular water.
The study also says that the intake of water with low mineral content may be associated with a higher risk of fracture in children and decreased bone density in adults.
In addition, the study revealed that cooking with demineralised water caused a huge loss of essential elements from foods. In some cases, the loss of magnesium and calcium was as much as 60%.
Drinking low mineral content water showed a negative effect on functions in the body that control water and mineral metabolism.
Researchers said, "Demineralised water tastes bad and therefore may affect the amount of water people consume and whether they stay hydrated or not. This imbalance augments urine output alters the balance of minerals and water inside and outside cell membranes, and affects hormones that are key to the supervising of body water balance."
If demineralised water is consumed, our intestines will have to add electrolytes to this water first, pulling them from body reserves. This results in the dilution of electrolytes
and insufficient body water redistribution, which may compromise the function of key organs, researchers added .
During the last two decades, demineralization has become a widely practiced technique in providing new fresh water supplies. There are more than 11,000 desalination or demineralisation plants all over the world with an overall production of more than six billion gallons of demineralised water per day.
Data based on study says the adverse health effects from consumption of soft water is not only affecting the health of people in countries where there is lack of adequate fresh water, but also in countries where some types of home water treatment systems are widely used or where some types of bottled water are consumed.
WHO urges international and national authorities responsible for drinking water
quality to introduce new guidelines for water demineralisation.
It suggests minimum Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in drinking water to be 150-300 mg/lit, minimum level of calcium 20 mg/l and magnesium10 mg/l.