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Is Distilled Water Bad for You?

Two months ago, I stirred a lot of controversy with my open critique of the product “Raw Water” that was promoted in the raw food movement as the latest, greatest water. The controversy made me realize there was still too much confusion on the topic of water, and too many water scams.

This led me to do a complete research on every single aspect about water and publish them as part of my Raw Vegan Mentor Club newsletter.

The following is a short excerpt of the much longer newsletter that’s available as part of the Raw Vegan Mentor Club. To find out how to become a member and download this newsletter immediately as well as over $1200 in bonus gifts, click here.

Distilled Water and Health

“I heard that drinking distilled water can leech minerals from your body. Is this true?”

A lot of people believe distilled water to be dangerous based on information read on the Internet or other Natural Health Book. In fact, here’s what Dr. Mercola has to say about this:

“Many health fanatics, however, are often surprised to hear me say that drinking distilled water on a regular, daily basis is potentially dangerous.


Paavo Airola wrote about the dangers of distilled water in the 1970’s when it first became a fad with the health food crowd.
Distillation is the process in which water is boiled, evaporated and the vapor condensed.

Distilled water is free of dissolved minerals and, because of this, has the special property of being able to actively absorb toxic substances from the body and eliminate them.

Studies validate the benefits of drinking distilled water when one is seeking to cleanse or detoxify the system for short periods of time (a few weeks at a time).

Fasting using distilled water can be dangerous because of the rapid loss of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride) and trace minerals like magnesium, deficiencies of which can cause heart beat irregularities and high blood pressure. Cooking foods in distilled water pulls the minerals out of them and lowers their nutrient value.”

At this point, I will agree with the conclusion that distilled water is not the best kind of water to drink, but will also point out that a lot of what Dr. Mercola said in his article (which you can find at: http://www.mercola.com/article/water/distilled_water.htm) is completely wrong.

Water, whether it is found in a spring or the tap, contains trace elements and minerals.

If the water is distilled, in that it is devoid of all minerals, it will draw from its stores, what it needs for biological processes (for example: the calcium in your bones).

So calcium in your bones, the biggest mineral store will be used.

Distilled water is used to remove toxins from the body. It is what is used in kidney dialysis machines to cleanse the blood of toxins. It can also reduce potassium which is needed for proper heart function. Same with magnesium.

Distilled water can and does remove minerals from the body.

But fortunately, I don’t think there’s any evidence that this would be very dramatic — as long as you get enough minerals from your food in order to offset this.

In one article on Dr. Mercola’s website, it was claimed that:

“There is a correlation between the consumption of soft water (distilled water is extremely soft) and the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Cells, tissues and organs do not like to be dipped in acid and will do anything to buffer this acidity including the removal of minerals from the skeleton and the manufacture of bicarbonate in the blood.”

Here, Mercola is dead wrong on the issue!

Distilled water is neither acidic nor alkaline! What happens is that the body removes it from various parts of the body to use the minerals it needs for biological function.

It’s not like acid is streaming through the body and dissolving your bones!

Overall, I think that drinking water that has some mineral ions in it is best, but I don’t think that drinking distilled water can be bad for health if you get minerals from other sources, such as a diet abundant in fruits and vegetables.

Dr. Mercola Continues:
“Those who supplement their distilled water intake with trace minerals are not as deficient but still not as adequately nourished in minerals as their non-distilled water drinking counterparts even after several years of mineral supplementation. The ideal water for the human body should be slightly alkaline and this requires the presence of minerals like calcium and magnesium”

There is no study, as far as I know, that shows that people drinking distilled water aren’t as adequately nourished as their “non-distilled water drinking counterparts”.

There will be too many factors to take into account besides just water intake.

I guess Mercola is correct that the presence of the minerals will make the water slightly alkaline but drawing the conclusion of alkaline “good” and acidic “bad” is hardly scientific!

For more information on the best waters to drink, make sure to sign up for a test drive to my Raw Vegan Mentor Club and get the latest issue of our members-only newsletter where I discuss every single aspect of water, including: is water alive? What’s the best water to drink? What about spring water?

Get your test-drive membership by going to: www.fredericpatenaude.com/mentorclub.html

Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.