Many years ago I drank reverse osmosis water almost exclusively, believing that it was the best drinking water. However, since then I have discovered (through personal experience and research) that the health disadvantages outweigh the advantages.
As far as I can tell, there is only one health advantage R.O. water has over tap water—and that is that the R.O. system does remove some unhealthy contaminants.
A good R.O. system can remove contaminants such as arsenic, nitrates, sodium, copper and lead, some organic chemicals, and the municipal additive fluoride.
You might be interested to know that reverse osmosis was actually developed as a water treatment method over 40 years ago. The process was used primarily to de-salinate water.
The following are three of the main disadvantages of drinking R.O. water:
1. The water is demineralized. Since most mineral particles (including sodium, calcium, magnesium, magnesium, and iron) are larger than water molecules, they are removed by the semi-permeable membrane of the R.O. system.
Even though you may find some contradictory information online about the health benefits of reverse osmosis water, I am convinced that drinking de-mineralized water is not healthy.
The World Health Organization conducted a study that revealed some of the health risks associated with drinking demineralized water. Just a few of the risks include gastrointestinal problems, bone density issues, joint conditions, and cardiovascular disease. See reference below to review the WHO study online.
Removing the naturally occurring minerals also leaves the water tasteless. Many people thus have to add liquid minerals to their R.O. water to improve the taste.
2. The drinking water is acidic. One of the primary reasons R.O. water is unhealthy is because removing the minerals makes the water acidic (often well below 7.0 pH). Drinking acidic water will not help maintain a healthy pH balance in the blood, which should be slightly alkaline.
In the natural health and medical communities, acidosis in the body is considered an underlying cause of most degenerative diseases. In fact, in 1931, Dr. Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize for discovering the cause of cancer. In essence, he said it was caused by a lack of cellular oxygenation due to acidosis in the body.
Medical research has also determined that drinking acidic water (as well as other acidic beverages) will often cause a leaching of essential minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, from the body, especially from the bones and teeth, in order to neutralize the acidity.
3. Some critical contaminants are not removed. While reverse osmosis is effective for removing a variety of contaminants in water, it does NOT remove volatile organic chemical (VOCs), chlorine and chloramines, pharmaceuticals, and a host of other synthetic chemicals found in municipal water.
/s/ Dan Anthony