W.H.O. Proof That R.O. Water Is Bad For Your Health Unless It Is Remineralized

I can’t begin to tell you how much pleasure it gives me to write this article. I will never forget being severly chastized a few years ago by a senior executive of a company that sells thousands of RO systems per year for “not knowing what I’m talking about” and that my challenge to him and the industry about RO water being unhealthy was “preposterous”. At the time of the meeting I was not equipped to fend off his accusations because I hadn’t put in the research that I have now.

Despite being torn to shreds by the marketing executive at the meeting, I never believed the RO industry claim that it didn’t matter if their systems removed everything from the source water because the human body couldn’t absorb inorganic molecules anyway. After all, most of the supplements that are available on the market are inorganic, which means that either the RO industry was protecting its “ass-ets” or the entire supplement industry was a scam.

The RO industry has been disseminating inaccurate (that’s about as politically correct as I can get) information for years. Doctors and other health care professionals have unwittingly been endorsing the “RO water is the best drinking water” message for years which makes the myth worse because we trust these people with our health.

Proof that RO water is unhealthy

I could write about the dozens of interviews I have conducted with water industry experts and biochemists, or about the hundreds of scientific articles I have reviewed but nobody would take the time to read it. In order to keep things brief, I offer two sources of evidence that unequivically reveal the fact that the water produced by RO systems is bad for your health if you drink the water over the long term.

The American government’s online health website www.pubmed.gov is an arm of the National Institutes of Health. The site offers a collection of:

more than 22 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books

I spent several long days poring over numerous studies related to the ability of the human body to absorb inorganic elements such as Calcium and Magnesium. I managed to find 14 scientific studies on the site that provide irrefutable evidence that the human body can and does absorb inorganic matter such as Calcium and Magnesium.

The bottom line of what I learned from reviewing the studies is that your body will absorb anywhere fro 6% to 30% of its daily requirement of essential elements from tap water. In a world where our soil is virtually devoid of nutriets from too many crops and not enough recovery time, and where diets are anything but healthy, it is very important to your long term health that you ingest calcium and magnesium from drinking water.

The second website that drives a dagger into the RO industry myth that its pure water is healthy comes from the World Health Organization (W.H.O.). The WHO provides us with a Position Paper titled “The Health risks from drinking
demineralized water” which was written by F. Kozisek. You can tell by the title where the article is headed.

Here is a link to the article: http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/nutdemineralized.pdf

Here are some of the highlights from the article:

The final report, published as an internal working document (WHO 1980), concluded that “not only does completely demineralised water (distillate) have unsatisfactory organoleptic properities, but it also has a definite adverse influence on the animal and human organism.”

The potential for adverse health effects from long term consumption of demineralised water is of interest not only in countries lacking 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

The WHO provided recommendations in 2004 as to what they believe should be included in drinking water and in what concentrations:

* For magnesium, a minimum of 10 mg/l (Novikov et al. 1983; Rubenowitz et al. 2000) and an optimum of about 20-30 mg/l (Durlach et al. 1989; Kozisek 1992);

* For calcium, a minimum of 20 mg/l (Novikov et al. 1983) and an optimum of about 50 (40-80) mg/l (Rakhmanin et al. 1990; Kozisek 1992);

* For total water hardness, the sum of calcium and magnesium should be 2 to 4 mmol/l (Plitman et al. 1989; Lutai 1992; Muzalevskaya et al. 1993; Golubev and Zimin 1994).

At these concentrations, minimum or no adverse health effects were observed. The maximum protective or beneficial health effects of drinking water appeared to occur at the estimated desirable or optimum concentrations. The recommended magnesium levels were based on cardiovascular system effects, while changes in calcium metabolism and ossification were used as a basis for the recommended calcium levels

Summary of the research:

Scientific testing and the best “unbiased” brains in the world have repeatedly demonstrated that long term consumption of demineralized (RO) water is bad for your health.

What should you do if you are drinking demineralized “RO” water?

You don’t need to disconnect your RO system and throw it away (unless it is operating ineffectively which often happens if the system is not properly maintained). RO systems do a great job of removing impurities/contaminants from the water and that is a good thing. The problem with RO systems is that they don’t discriminate between good stuff and bad stuff as they remove everything. What you need to do is remineralize the water once it has passed through the RO membrane. Adding back Magnesium and Caclium in the proper concentrations fixes the problem.

The RO industry is just waking up to the reality that long term consumption of demineralized water is bad for your health. The sellers of RO equipment are now racing around trying to find a solution to making their water healthy. From what I can see from the initial offerings, the industry has not done its homework because they are offering Corosex and Calcite solutions. While Corosex and Calcite will remineralize water, they were never designed to work with the aggressive acidic water produced by RO systems. As a result, Calcite and Corosex filters can dump more minerals into the water than your kidneys can digest and result in the formation of kidney stones. Calcite and Corosex filters are obviously not the right solution for remineralizing aggressive acidic water produced by RO machines.

What is the solution?

My focus for the past couple of years has been on natural remineralizing filters which can be used on their own as basic ionizing filters, or in conjunction with RO systems. Intuitively, one would think that the media of the various remineralization filters on the market would be very similar, and to some degree they are. However, I have found that even the smallest changes in the media, or the amounts of media used, and even the way that the media is layered inside the filter can make a big difference in the performance and life expectancy of the filter. Based upon my testing and what I see in the market, the best remineralization filter that I have found is the Vitev Remin filter which you can find at: www.vitev.com/alkaline-water-ionizers-p/remin.htm. I think the Vitev Remin filter is a little pricey for its category, but it is very effective and imo, is worth a few extra dollars per year.

Clean drinking water filtration has remained almost in the exclusive domain of RO systems for the past 45 years. Today, Nano filtration and Ultra filtration have been gaining market share as the filters are cost effective, are much smaller, and allow for much higher water flow rates.

The best filter for your needs will depend upon your source water. If you are drinking water supplied by a municipality, you don’t really need a RO system unless the municipality adds fluoride to the drinking water.

If your municipality does add fluoride to the water supply, there is a new American made water filter that removes 85% of fluoride at a flow rate of 2 liters per minute (this comment was added to the article in June 2016). If the flow rate is slowed down to 1 liter per minute, the new filter may remove as much (92% to 95%) fluoride as RO systems. The filter consists of two types of activated carbon and Zeolite minerals bound with polymers to form a carbon block.

I learned about this filter technology from the makers of H2FX (see http://h2fx.com/#oid=22092_2007 ), who will be incorporating the new “fluoride” filter in their Hydrogen Infusion (HIM) system going forward. That is good news for those that don’t want fluoride in their drinking water. I expect other companies will adopt the fluoride filters as the news gets out.

173 Responses to W.H.O. Proof That R.O. Water Is Bad For Your Health Unless It Is Remineralized

  1. Hi Rob,

    The water in my area is having a TDS of 150. Should I go for reverse osmosis membrane for water filtration or simply UF and UV are enough.
    Also I wanted to know about BIO+ AAA (Korean technology) mineral cartridge which is sold here in India.
    Plz click on the link for its details
    If I pass only 80% water through membrane and 20% water through UF (ultra filter cartridge) and UV (ultra violet chamber)and mix both of them will it maintain the mineral level if the TDS of this blending turns out to be around 50 to 70.


  2. The RO water has been touted as God’s gift for mankind.
    The main custodians of the health industry, the Medical personnel, have been saying so many confusing thing in mass media advertisement, the public have started installing RO water systems – from homes to hospitals to practically every public water outlets.

    At least we know that the Pharmaceutical industry will rake trillions by way sales of drugs.

    • Hi DR SOMA:

      Until a few years ago, I would have to agree with your statement about the benefits of RO water being touted by the medical community and beyond. I remember vividly a discussion with a VP of a water company that sells tens of thousands of RO systems per year. The guy told me I was an idiot for believing that long term consumption of RO water without taking some form of Cal/Mag supplement was unhealthy. Well, the thinking has changed today as people now understand that drinking RO water over the long term will deplete your body of calcium and magnesium unless you use supplements.

      While handing out thousands of cups of alkaline water at the National Hardware Show recently in Las Vegas, the owner of a Reverse Osmosis manufacturing company stopped by to talk to me. When I told him the story about my discussion with the VP of sales a few years earlier, he laughed and said of course RO water is unhealthy for drinking. I wanted to hug the guy.

  3. Hi Rob

    This article confirmed what I was suspicious of. I have been having musculoskeletal problems that I have never had. I did have some back tightness but this is a whole different level of pain…wow. I also have severe digestive issues, fatigue, IBS, dull headaches, depression, anxiety, poor sleep, poor concentration just to name a few. I was wondering what was going on. It seemed to be getting worse. I re-evaluated my diet etc & realized even though I would take magnesium supplements from time to time that it wasn’t enough minerals. Especially since our soils are practically void of minerals so it made sense for me to investigate this. I came across this article & I am so grateful. I am floored that the owner of a RO Company told you RO was bad. How much more confirmation do we need…wow. Thank you for sharing this valuable information. I will keep you apprised regarding my symptoms after I return to drinking spring water.

    Best, Kim B.

    • You need to look into Enagic.com! Alkalized and Hydrogen enriched water! Change your water….Change your life!!!!!

      • Hi Grant:

        I have looked into Kangen. Unfortunately for Enagic, I didn’t like what I saw.

        Enagic makes alkaline water, but the pH of water (the alkaline factor) doesn’t provide any health benefits other than providing hydrogen which all water provides. When it comes to hydrogen (which provides all the health benefit), Enagic doesn’t do very well. Enagic is an alkaline water ionizer which produces hydrogen during electrolysis, but doesn’t have a mechanism to infuse the hydrogen gas back into the water. The fact that Enagic machines are powerful (a source of pride for Enagic dealers over the years) works 100% against creating dissolved hydrogen. That means the power that Enagic brags about makes bigger H2 bubbles which are much harder to dissolve back into the water. If that is not enough to discourage any potential Enagic customer, the fact that the Enagic machine needs to be cleaned every week (a 5 hour process) or it will stop producing hydrogen at all.

        The Enagic slogan “change your water….change your life” should be rewritten to say “change your alkaline water ionizer to a Hydrogen Infusion Machine (HIM)….change your life”.

        Sorry Grant!

  4. How can I be sure this is not just another sales pitch for Maxx?

    • Hi Erica:

      You are wise to be skeptical because the internet is full of agenda driven advice. The water ionizer industry has earned a bad reputation for slimy behavior among the owners of the various companies. I fought with the owners in the industry for years in an attempt to stop the bad behaviour and to get them to understand that in order to have the water go mainstream, the water would have to be affordable.

      In regards to the Maxx, I don’t have any financial interest in the company that sells the Maxx in terms of ownership, pay, or any other means. I have been using the Maxx (actually an early prototype of the Maxx) for a couple of years in my kitchen and my family loves it. If you want a less expensive solution, buy a low cost ($149) RO system from a big box store like Costco and then add a Remin filter ($149 at Vitev which I think is the best Remin on the market, or from other places which sell Remins for about $99).

  5. Hi Rob,

    Many thanks for this article. Do you have any thoughts on Aqualiv water? This seems like a kind of extra-mineralized water, which thereby raises the Ph without ionization.

    Thank you,

    • Hi Brett:

      Aqualiv has had an interesting history.

      I like their website as appreciate that they have backed off some of the voodoo. I wish they would talk more about the science behind why water ionizers works because the information is out there, but that is just me.

      I think they priced their unit at $1,795 at one point in time, so they are getting more competitive, but the $337.95 price tag their Remin filter is far too high imo.

  6. Hi Rob,
    I have read a few articles that water with ph level greater than 8 is as bad.
    I believe Maxx produces water with pH level between 9-12?
    Pls correct me if I am wrong. I was so happy when Maxx is available in my country, but the high alkaline pH is holding me back.
    Pls advise.

    • Hi Elaine:

      I wouldn’t worry about the pH level too much.

      The pancreas dumps bicarbonate into the small intestine if the pH of the incoming fluid varies from a 8.1 pH level. Bicarbonate is an incredibly effective buffer which means it will quickly modify the pH to the level the body requires. I hope to write an article soon on the buffering qualities of bicarbonate on pH.

      Here is an example that may shock and dismay alkaline water machine sellers…..1 teaspoon of baking soda will neutralize as much acid water as 10,000 liters of alkaline water with a pH level of 10.0……that will create a YIKES for those who make a living by telling people that alkaline water is the best way to neutralize an acidic diet. The health benefits begin from drinking clean water. That doesn’t mean that you can buy a box of baking soda and forget water ionizers (although that is what my Dad who was a medical doctor did for many years every evening). The bonus health benefits take place when water interacts with molecular hydrogen which can be filtered into the water supply with a alkaline filter or from the hydrogen naturally occurring in the source water that is then concentrated by an electric water ionizer. The end result of producing molecular hydrogen is the same.

  7. If we install ro for 250 tds water. Is the ro is able to give me 150 tds and 150 tds is safe for health.

  8. Water: just drink the way God has intended.
    Just remove the gross impurities ( the world has added over the last 200 years). Lead,mercury, organic insecticides are (just to name a few) -are inimical to health and should be removed from drinking water.

    Ro system system removes everything , even beneficial minerals – BAD.

    Get a system that retains calsium, magnesium and fluorine ( added for fluoridation purposes).

    The Amway corporation sells such units ( gives you wholesome water). The system is referred as ESpring.

    Beware: do not fall prey to hundreds of ‘Gimmicks’ going around.


    Dr Soma


    • Hi Dr. Soma:

      I agree with your post other than your comments about fluoridation. There is overwhelming evidence that fluoridation is BAD (your word) for your health.

  9. Look at the benefits of storing water in a copper vessel overnight before drinking or using it the next day.


    • Hi Subu:

      This is a case of “I can neither confirm or deny” for me as I simply haven’t done the homework.

      My gut tells me that the article is making a lot of claims that it can’t prove, but, as I say, I haven’t done the homework.

  10. As with most things we need to avoid the extremes. Distilled water removes many of the harmful compounds and heavy metals found in municipal water supplies. After that it is necessary to ensure that good minerals are reintroduced.

    There are many ways to do this including supplements or simply putting some mineral samples in the container that stores the water and allowing the water to dissolve the required minerals. This after all is how our rivers get their mineral content. Simply by dissolving minerals from the soil.

    The advantage is by carefully selecting the mineral one can avoid the high levels of heavy metals, hormones, disinfection bi-products and other harmful substances found in tap water.

    In the short term drinking distilled water is very cleansing and allows the body to release stored impurities rapidly. I have witnessed someone with arthritis in nearly every join recover in a few weeks.

    I am not touting RO or distilled water as a “cure”. But this person had a severe infection and as a result toxins built up in the joints and made them inflamed. After providing this water as the only beverage the condition cleared up after many months of pain and pain medication.

    RO systems are a valuable tool for health, but only if used intelligently. You perspective on this topic adds valuable balance to the debate, but be careful not to over state you point in seeking vindication of your positionn

  11. I and my 9 year old daughter lost hair after beginning RO consumption. Hair loss was severe and no medication could help. Because of my curiosity I spoken to number of dermatologist to find the link between hair loss and RO water. Doctor accepted RO water can be one of reasons of hair loss. Even recommended to change it. But my husband does not believe it as the trend is such. Each and every family has an RO purifier. My little girl turning bald at a tender age.

  12. Hi,

    I appreciate all the important information on the Reverse Osmosis water.

    We have the water delivered from a local water company who provides us with reverse osmosis 5gal containers that we mount on a water cooler machine. I was thinking is there way to put the minerals that we need in the jugs before we mount the container on the water cooler? For instance using an eye dropper and add the appropriate amount for 5 gallons of RO water…

    Really appreciate the help as I have read from many sources that one cannot make up the loss of minerals by using vitamin supplements.

    Look forward to your response

    Bryan O:)

  13. Pseudo science at its best. I am sure you probably know that but are still doing this to sell your MAXX Alkalizer(which we all know is a hoax Alkalizing your water will do nothing because as soon as it reaches your stomach it mixes with your stomach acids and its PH will change) or you are just pissed at the RO Marketing guy who made you sound like an idiot.

    A good example is the comment above the person has a TDS of 150. There are many places in the world where a RO machine will bring down the TDS to 200 which is more than more natural drinking waters.
    So there you cannot say RO is deminerlized. It can never be. Because even in 150TDS ti will have a TDS of 15.
    RO water can never be devoid of any minerals.

    For crying out loud RO is a memberane. Its nothing but a very fine filter. I needs pressure to push the water through the filter since its so minute and that results in purification.

    It has not process or heat or evaporation its just a very effective filter. So you are basically saying a filter can somehow make water unhealthy.

    Now coming to the biggest point RO water gets rid of chemicals and flouride Chlorine which is more harmful to the body.
    I would rather drink my water at a TDS of 20 than ingest floride and Pesticides.
    RO water IS NOT demineralized water So you argument is a fallacy.
    But even less minerals in water is not an issue water should not be your source of minerals. Food should be Many people around the world hardly drink water.
    Even 8 glasses of water a day will not give your RDA of minerals if your water has more TDS then its not absorbed by the body thats a known fact.
    I would still use a RO if i was so scared I would just add a drop of mineral that I am pretty sure gets absorbed like those “lake mineral drops” from some exotics Lake
    So hey do some real research and stop fear mongering people that somehow filtering their water is going to kill them.

    • Hi srinig467:

      I don’t like taking shots at people even when people are ignorant of the facts.

      I will address you comments one at a time so people can learn from it.

      I don’t sell the Maxx. I know the folks at Vitev, but I don’t sell their products.

      In the short run, it doesn’t matter what the pH is of any food or drink that you put in your stomach because the body uses bicarbonate as a buffer in the GI tract (stomach or small intestine). One teaspoon of bicarbonate mixed in a glass of water will neutralize more acid that 10,000 liters of pH 10 water because water is not a buffer. It has nothing to do with the acid in your stomach.

      A proper functioning RO system will bring down the TDS to about 20ppm in the most trying circumstances. Your comments about 200 ppm is simply wrong. When commercial labs in Canada or the USA perform rejection tests on filters, they use a RO system that takes the TDS to zero.

      You are correct that the membrane in a RO system is essentially a very fine filter. Drinking water devoid of minerals will cause long term health problems. That is why every RO system seller takes a Cal/Mag supplement of some sort.

      I can continue, but what’s the point. You obviously have an agenda and you used this forum to vent. I hope you feel better.

  14. Any amount of local and International forums on this topic will not help to apply brakes on the impetus of mass usage of RO water and its negative health implications.

    A health capsule topic that appeared in ‘The Hindu Paper ‘ in India went as follows.
    If your family is consuming RO water, add a teaspoonful of Himalayan salt to put back the lost minerals.

    An eye opening caption to educate the public.

    Drink wholesome water and take care of your family’s health.

    • Hi Dr. Somasundram

      Thanks for your contribution.

      I think some readers would like to read the article. Perhaps you would be so kind as to provide a link for us. Hopefully the article is in English. If not, I’m sure someone can translate it for us if Google Translate can’t do the job.

  15. I am not able to decide whether i should go for RO filter or not. For thousand of years people of my village have been drinking deep well water and now bore well water. Some of them have lived more than ninety years and and they have not suffered any serious diseases. Then why people have started considering the RO filter as so essential / should we not go for drinking water sample testing before going for a RO filter?
    One thing I would like to know whether bacteria/virus can be removed in a RO filter/ what is the permissible level of TDS for drinking water .
    I need expert opinion . Pls help.

    • Hi Prabir:

      There are many places in the world where drinking well water without a RO system is acceptable. There are also many places where drinking well water without a RO system can cause serious illness. It really depends upon what is in the source water.

      A properly functioning RO system will remove bacteria and virus’

      RO systems typically only remove “most” of the TDS, not all of the TDS. A source water that has higher TDS before a RO system will typically have higher TDS after the RO system than a different source water that begins with a lower TDS.

      In general, TDS of 20ppm after a RO system is considered acceptable

  16. Can taking Cal/Mag supplements or adding drops to the RO water solve the problem?

    • Hi Cathy:

      The sellers of RO systems have been taking Cal/Mag supplements for many years to make up for the deficiency of Ca and Mg in their drinking water.

  17. It’s very true, you should be drinking water that contains certain levels of minerals in them…

    And I was following along most of this article nodding that yes… despite some bias showing its head here and there, you are generally correct.

    Then I get to this duzy of a line:
    “…with the aggressive acidic water produced by RO systems.”

    … Reverse Osmosis produces aggressively acidic water?

    Reverse osmosis creates pure water. It, like distillation, results in a nearly 100% H2O solution (depending the quality of your system).

    Here’s the thing… an acid is a solution whose ph levels is less than 7. Where as a base is a solution whose ph levels are greater than 7.

    7 being neutral.

    Do you know what 7 is defined as?

    Pure water.

    Pure water is a great solvent, it’s why we can put sodium and magnesium in it… but that doesn’t necessarily make it acidic. Water becomes acid due to the solute dissolved in it.

    So in its pure form, calling it ‘aggressive acidic’, is a bit ludicrous.

    • Hi Dylan:

      I have to agree with you that my use of “aggressive acidic” is incorrect and for that, I apologize to readers (heh, I just research and write, I don’t get paid for this).

      Acidic is acidic, there is nothing “aggressive” about it. My bad

      The pH of the output water for most RO systems is around 6.0 but you sometimes find levels at 5.5 pH. That means 15 times more acidic that neutral.

  18. who benefits? who benefits from scaring people that RO water is bad for you?

    1) the (criminals who control) governments that put toxic fluoride and other rubbish in your water. research what fluoride does to your pineal gland. they are dumbing you down and poisoning you for a reason. (in fairness, although chlorine is toxic too it does have benefit in killing some bacteria, but it still needs to be filtered out.)

    2) the water bottling companies benefit, e.g. coca cola amatil. this, i believe, is the main reason why they have created this deception campaign against RO – they lose billions in sales from their bottled water, and now need to push people towards their “spring” waters etc which is mostly RO anyway. buy your bottled water and drink an unknown substance.

    3) the medial industry. cancer is BIG business. why would they remove one source of cancer causing substances? there are known cures for cancer (the primary being eating a healthy diet and alkalising your body chemistry – but don’t confuse that with the claimed acidity of RO water) but they keep that all hidden because it would means $trillions lost from their lucrative disease.

    4) the pharmaceutical industry (the same as 3 really). why not sell a few dozens pills to every person on the planet? tell them their RO water is deficient and harming them and scare some $ from a few billion people.

    pure water is just that: pure water. too much of ANY kind of water can harm you because you can become mineral deficient. eat well and healthy and your toxin free pure RO water will give additional benefits over poisoned water.

    both doctors and supposedly reputable/caring health organisations can and have been corrupted and controlled by big business. it’s all about the money.

    • Hi David:

      Do you feel better now?

      • ha. better not post my last comment because it would make people think, eh?

        if you need to hide someone’s arguments it does not bode well for your argument.

        but it’s your site, do as you please.

        • Hi David:

          I didn’t reply to your last comment because people come here to learn.

          • If all my levels are acceptable and my water tastes good (after a softener) but my arsenic level is at .016…should I go RO with a mineral adding filter?
            SOS…I’m so torn

          • Hi Tam:

            I have to admit that I haven’t read up much on arsenic as I rarely receive requests for info on the subject.

            I did a quick search online and found that the Safe Drinking Water Act of the EPA stipulates that the maximum allowable amount of arsenic is 10 parts per billion which is the equivalent of .01 ppm.

            I also learned that the at a level of 0.01 ppm, there are scientific studies that show even those small levels can cause negative health effects on pregnant and lactating mothers and the offspring.

            The bottom line is that people shouldn’t be ingesting arsenic at any level. If I were you, I would be finding a means of getting the arsenic out of your drinking water. You can achieve the reduction of arsenic with a RO system or an Ultra Filter.


  19. Anyone believing what the WHO says about health is simply naive. They say injedting fluoride and getting vaccines is fantastically healthy! RO takes out the poisons. If you are worried about minerals – get them from food/supplements. Why would you injest poisons just to get a tiny amount of minerals? If the soil is depleted of minerals what makes you think tap water is beneficial?

    As far as the “medical community” is concerned – remember, MD’s are NOT nutritionalists and know as much about actual health as your average garbage man. They know trauma and medicine. Unless they study outside of medical school they know little more about actual health than the average person.

    Also, PH does NOT equal Alkalinity. That sounds contradictory but look it up. Lemons have PH of 10, but is very acidic.

    As for remineralizing filters, I have no problem with these, but for taste reasons. The “minerals” in these filters have the same thing as supplements so its basically the same thing. My ph after RO is a little below 7 and is slightly bitter.

    Great article Sir and very indepth. I think we agree except on where to get your minerals from. Adding them back in after RO is fine, but getting the from Tap water is just a bad idea.

    • Hi John:

      Minerals are important. It doesn’t matter how you get them, as long as they can be absorbed into the body.

      Although you didn’t mention molecular hydrogen in your comment, I believe it will soon be part of every health discussion in the future. If you haven’t done so already, you might want to visit http://www.molecularhydrogenfoundation.org (written by a scientist for scientists) or http://www.h2healthyliving.com (an attempt at translating science talk into human).

  20. RO system is wasting one of our vital life supporting property. It leaves 60% of water wasted which is pure and safe to drink. You need to visit the areas those are facing water problem, people are leaving their homes. This fucking RO system is a threat to our environment and life on earth coz everything depends on Water. I was using RO water for last 4 years but i leave and through this shit out when i think about it, and now for last six months when i start drinking community water again my body, immunity system, my brain everything is working like before.

    So my advise please never buy and use this shit. Save mother earth.

    • Hi Nachhatar:

      RO systems should be used to remove harmful contaminants. If a RO system must be used it is important to remineralize the water so that the body doesn’t leach calcium out of teeth and bones and magnesium out of the thyroid.

  21. When we put in a RO on our fridge I started drinking what I thought was good water. I do have some health problems that cause me to cramp at any given time, it doesn’t happen constantly but will hit at night mostly, but not every night, more like a once a month occurrence. After a couple weeks of drinking only RO water I started cramping nightly! Feeling very bad and concerned. I started thinking about the water which was the only change I had done. Anyway we left to my daughters house to visit for three weeks and I started drinking regular tap water and smart water in bottles. The cramping stopped within the week! I did feel that the RO water was removing essential nutrients and I am convinced that is what caused the nightly cramping.

    • Hi Rose:

      You might want to check out http://www.vyvwater.com to see their pitcher. You can pour your RO water into the pitcher and have great water that is both clean and remineralized.

  22. Hi Rob,

    I really appreciate your blog and the amount of time you have spent investigating water topics. I agree completely with the need for remineralization and appreciate the link to vitev”s remin cartridge, but was wondering if you have experience comparing it to some other inline cartridges?

    I couldn’t find the composition of the remin filter, but in the video they mentioned it was a staged system with ceramics, stones and a mineral mix. This sounded very similar to the alkaline ph+ system offered by express water that I was considering. (http://www.expresswater.com/collections/alkaline/products/alkaline-10-inch-5-layer-alkaline-and-minerals-filter-replacement-cartridge?variant=6565905539) .
    Another option I have seen is cartridges with just maifan (or other) stones to simulate running through bedrock. At first I was worried about too little contact time, but as you mention the bigger problem may actually be getting too many minerals dissolved since the water is so acidic.

    Again thanks for taking the time to prepare the blog and I would appreciate your thoughts.

    • Hi Brian:

      I really haven’t physically tested many remin filters. I was asked to participate in the Vitev testing process and they were extremely thorough and by the end of the testing had what I consider to be a very good product. I was surprised by how even a small variance in the amounts or the layering would throw the results off…and not by a little bit. With RO water, the filter is really a dispenser as the filtration part of the equation is done by the RO system.

      If you love drinking a lot of water, you might want to look into the VYVwater pitcher (www.vyvwater.com) or their refills which fit into existing Brita pitchers. The VYVwater filters sell 3 for $49 and will likely last an entire year if you use RO water for your source water. You can pour your RO water into the pitcher and it remineralizes the water like crazy. I have been using a pitcher for a couple of years now. The best part of the pitcher (other than pulling it out of the fridge and having ice-cold great tasting water) is that it produces therapeutic concentrations of dissolved hydrogen gas if you clean the filter once per week with vinegar. If you don’t clean the magnesium in filters, it will stop producing hydrogen gas in a few days to a week.

      I’m totally immersed into the world of hydrogen gas now. Why? Because it is the hydrogen gas created during electrolysis (with electric water ionizers) or when water interacts with magnesium (natural alkaline water ionizers) that creates all of the health benefits. So what’s the secret to

    • Hi J:

      I suggest that you read the material on the websites and decide for yourself. I have done a ton of research and have decided on products that I like. I don’t want to seem like I’m “pumping” the product that I like.

  23. I have read countless articles and I’m so confused. I do have an RO system for my house and my drinking water. Without it, my water smelled like bleach. Now I am concerned about the lack of minerals in the water. Is calcium and magnesium all that I need to worry about as far as getting minerals back into my water? I’d rather take a supplement than buy some kind of cartridge but if there are other beneficial minerals in a cartridge I would do that.

    • Hi Gina:

      If you take a good Cal/Mag (calcium and magnesium supplement), you should be fine. The people in the RO industry have been supplementing with Cal/Mag products for years to avoid getting sick.

      • I have a question. We purchase RO water from a licensed public dispenser. I notice that every time i drink the water it leaves my throat extremely dry! Like I’ve been walking in the desert for weeks with no water. Any information you may have would really be appreciated. My husband doesn’t have the same problem, only I do. I used to drink bottled spring water but he wanted to try this; cheaper. Any thoughts? Thanks!

        • Hi Silverfox:

          It is not surprising that you and your husband have different reactions to the RO water.

          RO water is “clean” but it has been depleted of important minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Many who sell RO systems take a daily CalMag supplement. I use a VYVwater pitcher (www.vyvwater.com) to put minerals back into the water. It is inexpensive and has a number of attributes, but you can check out their website if you are interested.

  24. Dear Rob,
    Thank you for your valuable article. The insight is appreciable. I have recently purchased an RO filtration system which has a mineral booster in its post-carbon filter. Coral sand seems to have been used here. Since I belong to a mountainous region, the water we get from taps is alkaline nevertheless. When I checked the before and after TDS and pH of tap water and RO-filtered water, both TDS and pH seem to have increased. Tap water shows 10 ppm and 9 pH and the RO water shows 14 ppm and 9.9 pH. I had been using a simple UV filter prior to this for years, with no complaints. I am concerned about the new RO system installed. Should I get back to the old one? I have elderly people and young children at home using this water. Thank you for your time.

    • Hi Dr. Kunzang:

      A TDS reading of 10ppm is extremely low which means your tap water is almost pure. Unless the 10ppm of TDS consists of something really nasty (which is unlikely in a mountainous region), I can’t see any reason why you would need an RO system.

      The fact that your RO water increases the TDS from 10ppm to 14 ppm and the rise in pH suggests that the post remin filter is adding trace amounts of something, which is likely Mg, or Ca, or Na.

      It is unusual that the pH of your tap water is so high when the TDS is so low. However, the pH of your drinking water is completely irrelevant to your health.

  25. Hi Rob,
    Well, it is quite in detail as far as drinking of water is concerned. Typically, in every home we use mix of hard water and soft water. Hard water is what we get directly from the tap and soft water filtered from RO. What we have discussed, although the discussion is of soft water. But, is it okay to use hard water for bathing, dishing, washing of clothes and vegetables? Because water does affect our health in other ways like wise the health of hairs, skin, ageing & clearing of detergent soluble of clothes or vegetable contamination etc.? What are your recommendations on that? Or is the question out of the scope of your research? If not, please advice..


  26. Thank you for this article. This is an essential information. I’m glad to know that R.O. water is not that bad and it can be still healthy if it is remineralized.

  27. A more cost effective solution might be to install point of use water filtration systems on each drinking water tap (or key ones) and a good quality shower filter where needed to reduce chlorine, etc. in while bathing.

  28. I just purchase a RO system. Then I read many articles on RO water. So you can see how confusing all that can get. Off course we need to remove metals from our drinking water. We need the minerals whether how small it is. Is Himalayan salt ok to remineralize theRO water?

    • Hi Thomas”

      The salt will help.

      The pros in the RO industry all take some type of Cal/Mag supplement.

  29. Hi Rob

    I have been using a 5 stage RO system for 9 years and was recently made aware of the danger of pure de mineralized water. Fortunately the final stage is a re mineralizer. It is cheap, only $26.50 here in Australia. It is Omnipure (from USA) K2548 BB. For years I have been suffering night cramps.

    Thanks for your article. It has raised a couple of questions for me.
    1. Would you suggest I use a different re mineralizer such as Vitev.
    2. If I start taking a Cal/Mag supplement, would I continue it for as long as I drink RO water?
    3. I feel this RO unit has paid for itself. If I were to start again, which system would you suggest?

    thanks Mike

  30. Hi I am new here. What is TDS? Also all this talk about calcium. If you get too much in it causes problems?


    • Hi Larry:

      TDS stands for Total Dissolved Solids

      It is unlikely that you will ever ingest too much calcium. Even the white crystals that you may see in the drinking water produced by an alkaline water ionizer are not unhealthy.

  31. Hello
    Thank you for your article. I would like to find out what is the acceptable TDS level just after the membrabe ? Then after 5th atage coconut carbon filter ? And then at last 6th stage after alakaline filter? I wonder TDS levels after different stages.
    Thanking you in advance

    • Hi Aydin:

      I don’t think there is any specific definition of “acceptable” levels of TDS.

      In general, the range of TDS for a properly functioning “home” RO system after the membrane can be anywhere from close to 8 – 20 ppm depending upon the source water and the membrane.

      A carbon (you call it coconut) filter will probably not change the TDS.

      A Remin filter will likely increase the TDS up to about 80ppm. The difference in TDS after the membrane and the Remin filter will likely be attributable to the infusion of Calcium and Magnesium in the Remin filter.

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