The Health Effects Of Drinking Distilled Water or Reverse Osmosis Water

drinking distilled water

What are distilled water and reverse osmosis water?

Distilled water and reverse osmosis water are artificially produced, pure water, devoid of dissolved minerals, initially used mainly for laboratory, industrial and technical purposes. From the 1960s when water scarcity problems led to increased demands from rapidly increasing populations, these water purification technologies had been employed for treating drinking water as well.

Water Purification using distillation

Distilled water is created by boiling water and then condensing the steam into a clean container. Distillation removes just about everything from water except volatile organic compounds (VOCs)[1].  VOCs are dangerous synthetic organic compounds which are harmful to human health and are possibly cancer causing. These water pollutants are typically associated with urban environments and include such names as benzene, dichloromethane and toluene. And because their boiling points are lower than that of water, they will end up in the distillate. Distillation is also a very time and energy consuming process. It is slow and requires a heated energy source.

Water Purification using reverse osmosis

Reverse osmosis is the most common water purification process and it is the method by which our country creates NEWater. It involves passing water at high pressure through a membrane  with tiny holes in it. Most minerals and chemicals are too large to pass through the membrane. They are trapped and flushed away in the waste water. Up to 5 gallons of water may be required to produce just one gallon of reverse osmosis water. An obvious drawback of reverse osmosis is that it wastes more water than many other water purification systems.

Home distillers and reverse osmosis systems are available for domestic water purification. And marketers promoting these devices claim that distilled water and reverse osmosis water are very pure and therefore healthy. Distilled water is also sold in bottles in local grocery stores.

Is drinking distilled and reverse osmosis water healthy?


Distilled and reverse osmosis water is largely  mineral-free, chemical-free and pathogen-free water. Distillation and reverse osmosis remove most of the toxic contaminants commonly found in water such as fluorides, bacteria, viruses and dangerous heavy metals like lead, arsenic, and mercury. However, they also strip water of natural essential minerals that are needed for good health. Minerals are naturally present in drinking water. Totally pure non-mineralised water is never found in nature. Neither can plants or animals live in such water. So it follows that demineralised water, without further enrichment with minerals may NOT be appropriate for human consumption as well. Here are some adverse health effects associated with drinking distilled and reverse osmosis water.

1) Consumption of demineralised water leads to mineral deficiencies

Distillation and reverse osmosis create “aggressive” water devoid of minerals. Water processed this way tend to attract to themselves whatever they come into contact with. So when we drink distilled or reversed osmosis water, beneficial minerals are going to be leached from the body. Long-term consumption of such de-mineralized water can result in mineral deficiencies in the body, resulting in susceptibility to diseases and loss of bone density. One study showed that drinking soft water, or water low in minerals such as distilled water or reverse osmosis water can actually increased the risk of heart disease due to the lack of beneficial minerals such as magnesium that help prevent heart disease. [2]

Distilled water in plastic bottles should be avoided. because the plastic leaches into the water. Ingesting plastics is detrimental to health as it mimics hormones in our bodies causing glandular imbalances.

2) Drinking soft water such as distilled water and reverse osmosis water long term increases cancer risks.

According to the World Health Organization, studies on the consumption of soft water in most parts of Asia, showed excess risk of several types of cancers. In one of their studies, researchers reported a 42% excess risk of mortality from esophageal  cancer in relation to the use of soft water. [3]

3) Distilled water and reverse osmosis water is tasteless due to lack of minerals.

The taste of water is enhanced by dissolved minerals. Distilled water and reverse osmosis water are devoid of minerals and therefore have poor taste characteristics.

Treating distilled water and reverse osmosis water With Minerals to increase health benefits.

Reverse osmosis water and  distilled waters remove most of the toxic chemicals in our drinking water but also removes life giving minerals that are essential for health. While this can help detoxification of the body to some extent over the short term, it can create serious problems over the long haul.

If one drinks distilled water or reverse osmosis water for more than a few weeks or months, over time it will remove some vital minerals from the body unless one is eating an incredible organic diet rich in minerals and vitamins. For most people, drinking pure demineralised water is harmful because they are low in vital minerals in the first place. Our body needs more than 60 major and trace minerals for robust good health with strong resistance to diseases. The number of increased sudden death by heart failure is telling that there are significant magnesium deficiencies among general population. It is estimated that 1,000 Singaporeans die from SCD every year, about half of whom are below the age of 60.[4]

Enliven demineralised water with Adya Clarity

Since reverse osmosis water and distilled water are “dead”, empty waters without essential minerals, we should re-mineralize the water before drinking them. By adding natural salts or a full spectrum mineral extract such as Adya Clarity, we can create healthy, hydrating drinking water that supplies ionic and essential minerals to the body instead of taking away from it. Ionic minerals not only flavour the water but are electrolytes that help to deeply hydrate all trillion cells in our body to support muscular, nervous and other biological processes.

For more information on Adya Clarity mineral extract, click here.

To order Adya Clarity products, click here.


[1] Vermont Department of Health, Agency of Human Services, Volatile Organic Compounds in Drinking Water. Available:

[2] Water Hardness And Cardiovascular Disease: A Review Of The Epidemiological Studies, 1957-78 by Rebecca L. Calderon & Gunther F. Craun

[3] Minerals From Drinking Water: Bioavailability For Various World Populations And Health Implications by Choon Nam Ong Ph.D.Centre for Environmental and Occupational Health
Department of Community, National University of Singapore.

[4], an intiative by SingHealth, Sudden Cardac Death: Are You At Risk, Available:

[5] Health Risks From Drinking Demineralised Water by Frantisek Kozisek, National Institute of Public Health Czech Republic.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *