Some water filter companies have tried to make a virtue out of their failure to remove all harmful minerals out of water – by advocating that the body needs minerals from their water. Clearly the body does not need the toxic heavy metals that these filters leave behind, but let’s focus on the minerals for a moment.
The science behind the way the body processes nutrients is highly complex, and indeed not completely understood (and as usual studies are paid for by the companies with the biggest financial interest in the answers that they give). That said, almost everyone already realises that if, for example, you need to supplement iron, you don’t do this by sucking on a nail.
The reason for this is that the iron from the nail is not in a form that the body can readily use. Minerals in the form they come out of the ground, and indeed in the form they are in primarily when in water, are known as inorganic. They are essentially rocks that have not been processed by anything living. If a plant ingests these minerals, it breaks them down and combines them with other compounds, for example amino acids and enzymes. These enzymes are in a form that the human body can readily process – and was made to process! Almost all food comes either directly from plants, or from other animals that have processed the plant material. Pretty much the only exceptions to this are salt, and man-made “non-foods”, with generally negative health consequences.
Minerals that have been processed by plants are known as organic minerals. The body has a complex mechanism for binding organic minerals to other molecules (such as proteins) so that the combination can survive the acidity of the stomach, and then get broken down in the intestines so the minerals get absorbed. This absorption doesn’t happen for inorganic minerals – indeed in many cases the body treats ingested inorganics as toxins that require completely different bodily processes to deal with. These unabsorbed inorganics end up causing problems in various parts of the body, and are implicated in degenerative diseases and problems such as hardening of the arteries, arthritis, kidney stones, gall stones, glaucoma, cataracts, hearing loss, emphysema, diabetes, and obesity.
Any particles less than 10 microns in size that stay suspended in a solution (colloids) assume a negative charge automatically. If you drink lots of pure water, you’re increasing the volume of the colloid system, thereby increasing the negative potential. Each of your fat cells will take on relatively more of this water, will then pass them through the rest of the body’s systems through the law of equilibrium, and kidney function will improve because pure water can carry waste products easily. The result: weight loss and improved circulation. By contrast, the Standard American Diet (SAD) contains many foods with no nutritional value, such as saccharins, preservatives, leavening agents and the like. Also tap water has many impurities, as indeed does bottled water. The combination decreases electronegativity, and fat cells collect these impurities and attract others through osmosis rather than repelling them.