Is Reverse Osmosis Bad For Your Health?

There are many claims on the internet that the reverse osmosis water purification systems are bad for our health. We live in the information age where a lot of people have the ability to freely share information on the internet. When it comes to reverse osmosis, there are many misconceptions that come from lack of understanding of how reverse osmosis systems work.

So in this article, we will go over some of the biggest accusations aimed at the reverse osmosis systems to find out if these systems are good or bad for your health.

But first, what is reverse osmosis?

The name itself doesn’t exactly describe what this system does and most people are unfamiliar with how this system actually works. Let’s take a look at what is reverse osmosis before we go over all common accusations.

 

What is reverse osmosis?

Reverse osmosis (RO for short) is a water purification system that has the purpose to remove all contaminants from your water. 

Reverse osmosis became popular because it helps by:

  1. Improving the taste of the water
  2. Reducing the number of contaminants in your water
  3. Saving the money on buying bottled water

Even though reverse osmosis might sound like a scientific term, the way it works is actually really simple:

  1. The tap water is forced through the membrane (A)
  2. The membrane filters 99% of contaminants in the water and it only allows pure water to pass through. (D)
  3. The pure water goes to your faucet (F)

The membrane is so small that it only allows the pure water to pass through, leaving all chemicals, contaminants and hard water minerals trapped.

If your water were to contain arsenic, lead, parasites or some other harmful chemicals, reverse osmosis would keep you safe by removing all of them from your water source.

Unfortunately, a lot of claims about reverse osmosis are just pure misconceptions. There are some claims about reverse osmosis water being more acidic than regular water or how the reverse osmosis system is generally bad for our health.

So, let’s go over all of these claims/misconceptions.

 

Is the reverse osmosis water bad for our immune system?

Regular water we all have in our homes is usually the hard water that contains a lot of minerals and isn’t really pure since a lot of water-based bacterias live in it along with some dangerous chemicals.

When people and especially the children drink the normal tap water, they drink all the minerals and the contaminants in the water as well.

Some would argue that this has a good effect on the long term health of the children because it helps them to develop their immune systems.

We have seen the rise of auto-immune diseases in recent years and some would contribute this to the sterile way of living today.

 

Is reverse osmosis water too acidic for us to drink?

When water is filtered by the reverse osmosis system, it becomes slightly more acidic than our regular water. The PH level of water drops to around 5.5 while the PH levels of the regular water is around 7.

This might sound as if the water that is filtered with the reverse osmosis system is dangerous for us to drink! But, this isn’t actually true. 

A lot of fruits for example have PH levels of around 5-6, regular coffee can range anywhere from 4.5 to 5.5 and a lot of things that we eat on a daily basis are far more acidic than the reverse osmosis water.

Are all minerals from the water removed?

Reverse osmosis is a really effective water purification system. As a matter a fact, it’s so effective that it will remove almost everything from the water.

When water passes through the membrane, the holes are so small that only the water can pass through. All the minerals, good or bad, are left behind. 

A lot of people see this as a problem, but let’s look a little deeper into the issue.

 

Is removing all the minerals from the water bad for you?

WHO (World Health Organization) has claimed that the majority of healthy minerals that body needs are found in the food we consume, not from drinking tap water. [1]

Minerals that are found in the tap water can be dangerous for our health. 

Calcium and magnesium for example are healthy for us. Calcium helps us build our bones and keep them healthy, helps our muscles to contract and our heart to beat.

Magnesium is important for various processes in our body, regulating muscle and nerve function, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, helps make the protein in your body and more.

But the amount of these minerals in the water compared to the amount we have in the food is completely insignificant.

Tap water contains a lot of contaminants that our body finds difficult to absorb. 

That’s why the use of tap water is also linked to a lot of diseases, such as: arthritis, kidney stones, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetes, etc.

Also, since minerals in the water are difficult for us to absorb, they get rejected by the cellular tissue sites and they can cause arterial obstruction or internal damage.

 

Common Misconceptions

The fact that reverse osmosis water has lower PH levels isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When you hear that it’s more acidic than the tap water, that sounds as if it’s dangerous, but in reality, our bodies are very robust and our normal PH levels are restored really quickly, no matter what kind of food we eat.

Removing minerals from the water might sound dangerous, but it’s easy to see how removing them won’t exactly cause malnutrition because the food we eat contains far more minerals than the water we drink.

Another common misconception is that reverse osmosis can cause vitamin D deficiency, but what we said about removing minerals also stands for removing vitamin D from water.  

Some people would claim that reverse osmosis wastes too much water, but it only removes contaminated water from your supply. You might lose a couple of gallons of water, but without the reverse osmosis system, you would be drinking more contaminated water.

 

Is reverse osmosis worth it?

Reverse osmosis is a great water filtration system. The name might make you think that the system itself is really complex, but when you realize that it’s only a membrane in your home water system that will only let the pure water pass, it becomes a lot easier to understand.

We went over all common claims and the misconceptions people have about the reverse osmosis system. Most of those claims lack any valid proof that the reverse osmosis system is actually dangerous.

The filtered water benefits far outweigh the disadvantages of removing minerals from the water or wasting a couple of gallons of water.

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Amir Pasic

Amir Pasic is a web design and CRO expert currently based in beautiful Bosnia. When Amir is not providing marketing services for his clients, he is reading and writing about the groundwater industry throughout the world.

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