We've all heard over and over that we should be drinking between six and eight glasses of water per day to ensure optimal health. It is also true that most of us could survive without food for over a month, but would perish without water for longer than five days. Today, while we may be more aware of the importance of drinking more water, much confusion abounds regarding purity issues, especially the value of purchasing water and if fluoridation poses a health threat. Where does the water come from that flows from our household taps? This water is generally collected in reservoirs from surface water, which has run off from creeks, streams, rivers etc., or from ground water which has filtered down through soil and rock layers to the water table and is supplied through a well.
To Fluoridate or Not to Fluoridate?Regardless of the hype we may have heard in the past, scientific evidence conclusively proving that fluoridated water results in stronger bones and teeth has been controversial and rather inconclusive. I must admit that the potential risks of fluoridation seem to outweigh its possible benefits. It must be understood that the inorganic forms of fluoride used in drinking water are totally different from the naturally occurring fluoride called calcium fluoride which is considered nontoxic. Fluoride ingestion has been linked to osteoporosis and osteomalacia and in some cases can actually cause damage to tooth enamel. Sodium fluoride and fluorosalicic acid are the two compounds used in public water supplies and are both considered inorganic industrial by-products. These chemicals can be toxic in the right amounts and are added to some insecticides. Over 50 percent of the cities in our country fluoridate their public water supplies regardless of the controversy which surrounds the practice. In these areas, purchasing pure drinking water is recommended. The potential hazards of fluoride far outweigh any of its proposed advantages.
Bottled Water and Filtration SystemsOne must be somewhat careful when purchasing bottled water in order to ensure that you are getting what you think you are buying. Bottled water can come from spring water; it can be called spa water, mineral water, etc. Remember that distilled forms of water will have had certain minerals removed. Demineralization, or a process called deionization, removes the nitrites, calcium, magnesium and other heavy metals from the water. For water to be accurately labeled mineral water, it must come from a free flowing source and be bottled at its location. The mineral content of these waters will vary according to their location. For this reason, they often provide a poor source of minerals in that their content is in question. Natural or spring waters only refer to water that has not been artificially altered in any way; however, their source and any filtration processes they may have undergone remain unknown. Distilled water is created by boiling the water, and then condensing it back to a liquid form. This method leaves behind a residue of minerals, microorganisms, contaminants, etc. This type of water is the safest variety but becomes rather tasteless in the process. It can also sometimes fail to satisfy thirst unless a bit of salt, lemon juice or vinegar is added. Using liquid mineral supplements to enhance distilled water is also recommended, and this allows the consumer an exact knowledge of what minerals are included.

Information provided is intended to provide an electronic reference library about nutrition and health. The views expressed in this or other sections of this site, have not been independently researched or confirmed.
Updated on : 2/19/2012 6:18:52 PM
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