Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Is the Water You're Drinking Safe?

Did you know that more than 70% of the human body is made up of water? For this reason, your drinking water is extremely important to achieving optimum health. Even mild dehydration can slow down one’s metabolic rate as much as 3%. Further benefits of drinking good water can help with weight loss, reduce daytime fatigue, minimize back and joint pain, eliminate constipation, and improve short-term memory and concentration. Researchers and scientists are in agreement that by improving the quality of water you’re drinking, you can boost your immune system. Water carries out the important functions of purifying, filtering, filtering, and transporting excess water, proteins, and waste through the bloodstream.

Our bodies used to efficiently break down food and dispose of the resulting acid waste through the kidney and liver. Now because of the sheer amount of acid waste the average person produces, the body is losing its ability to neutralize and remove the acid proficiently. The average age when people start to show symptoms of hypertension, osteoporosis, diabetes and other degenerative diseases is approximately 45. We simply cannot neutralize all the acid waste we produce and as a result it accumulates in our body, showing up as cholesterol, uric acid, kidney stones and more.

With so many options for drinking water, anything from tap water to ionized water, it’s difficult to decipher which is the best option at an economical price for the consumer. On the surface, tap water seems relatively safe since it has already gone through several stages of treatment by the municipal water system. The truth is that despite government regulations of drinking water through the EPA and FDA, dangerous contaminants may still be present in tap drinking water. While the EPA sets maximum contaminant levels (MCL’s) for drinking water, these levels are not at zero and may affect your health.

Many people may say that attacks on the quality of tap water are simply scare tactics designed to increase profit for the bottled water industry. Yet America’s tap water is frequently contaminated with toxic heavy metals, (particularly aluminum, antimony, arsenic and sometimes lead), chlorination by-products, hormones, pesticides, parasites, and thousands of synthetic organic chemicals. Chlorine in drinking water is currently a leading cause of bladder and rectal cancer, and asthma. Health officials are now linking chlorine ingestion to breast cancer as well. Lead in drinking water is especially harmful for young children and pregnant mothers. Giardia and Cryptosporidum are resistant to chlorine and these protozoa can lead to severe and widespread outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease if they make their way into a municipal water system. Water treatment facilities were not designed to take out synthetic organic chemicals nor toxic heavy metals.

And contrary to popular belief, bottled water is not any healthier for you than your tap water. The bottled water industry in the US falls under the regulatory authority of the FDA. About 70% of bottled water never crosses state lines for sale, making it exempt from FDA oversight. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) tested the most popular bottled water brands and found that many contained mixtures of pollutants, including bacteria, fertilizer, industrial chemicals, and heavy metals matching the levels found in some of the nation’s most polluted big city tap water systems. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reports that 40% of all bottled water comes from city water systems, not spring water.

Unlike public water utilities, bottled water companies are not required to notify their customers of the presence of contaminants in the water, and in many states, are not required to reveal where the water comes from. Pepsi’s Aquafina or Coca Cola’s Dasani are essentially filtered tap water, bottled close to their distribution point. The typical cost of a gallon of bottled water is $3.79—1,900 times the cost of a gallon of public tap water. Many bottled water being chemically indistinguishable from tap water and the plastic container may leach into the water supply. Further, bottled water produces up to l.5 million tons of plastic waste per year and up to 47 million gallons of oil per year to produce. Combine this with the fact that 80% of plastic bottles are thrown into landfills, taking up to 1000 years for each bottle to biodegrade. The manufacture of bottles also can cause release of phthalates, and other byproducts of plastic-making, into the water, air, or other parts of the environment.

Many have used distilled or reverse osmosis water as a way to cleanse or detoxify the body, as this filtered water contains no minerals—simulating close to “pure water.” Natural water resources are never devoid of minerals. Studies have found that distilled water absorbs carbon dioxide when it comes in contact with air, making it acidic. The more distilled water a person drinks, the higher the body acidity becomes. The longer one drinks distilled water, the more likely the development of mineral deficiencies and an acid state.

Most toxic beverages that people consume (cola and other soft drinks) are made from distilled water, and 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 of osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, coronary artery disease and high blood pressure. A poor diet including meat, sugar, white flour products, fried foods, soft drinks, process foods, dairy products and other junk foods may cause the body to become more acidic. When a body is acidic, it holds onto heavy metals that are the cause of many degenerative conditions.

Gravity fed water filter systems and restructured ionized water systems for the home or office have various capabilities of reducing or eliminating contaminants, bacteria, chlorine, heavy metals, VOC’s, etc., without eliminating healthy minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron and more. The healthiest people in the world drink slightly alkaline water with lots of minerals. You can also buy these filters for your shower, refrigerator, and whole house water filters.

However, not all gravity fed water systems are equal. Brita, for example, uses reverse-osmosis and consists of a two-tiered pitcher and a carbon and resin filter. Brita water filters do not aim to kill microorganisms, and Brita traps but does not kill bacteria. If the filter is not changed regularly, it can actually become a breeding ground for bacteria causing the filter to become useless. Carbon filters cannot change the pH balance of the water. If you already have acidic water, you will still have acidic water.

Ionized water systems were first developed in the 50’s and were introduced into Japanese hospitals and clinics for health improvement and medical use. They are now more commonplace in American hospitals. The machine generates electrical current delivered to an electrolysis chamber where platinum coated titanium electrodes reside producing alkaline ionized water. As water flows through the chamber, the electrolysis process separates the water into acid and alkaline waters. While the basic technology is the same from manufacturer to manufacturer, the quality, reliability and consistency of production depends on the surface area of the electrolysis plates and the amount of electrical power used to accomplish electrolysis. Home units are now available, ranging from $1500-$4,000.

Ionized water is a powerful antioxidant, helps the balance of the body’s pH, and is six times more hydrating than conventional water. It’s also an efficient and effective way for the body to get its minerals. If you are overly acidic, an alkaline water device may provide a safe and easy way to restore the pH balance of your body.

Natural water is a rarity today due to industrial contamination and woodland loss. Filtration is just the first step. Your overall health and improving your immune system will benefit from good water that has not been polluted with chemical substances. The water you choose to drink plays a key role in the digestion, absorption, transportation and use of nutrients. There is no system in the body that doesn’t depend on water.

Cheryl Grace is a professional Feng Shui expert, nationally certified interior refiner, and winner of the 2008-09-10 Natural Choice Award for Favorite Feng Shui Practitioner. For a consultation for your home or business or to contact Cheryl, e-mail ggRedecorating@yahoo.com or call 941-400-3816. Visit www.ggRedecorating.com to shop for contemporary Feng Shui decor and enhancements, or to find a list of Feng Shui seminars taught by Cheryl. For daily Feng Shui tips, follow Cheryl on Twitter and her Blog at www.Twitter.com/FengShuiSimply ; www.Twitter.com/FengShuiGreen; www.FengShuiSimply.blogspot.com

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