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Potential Health Impacts of Drinking Hard Water

Epidemiologists have been gathering evidence concerning increased cardiovascular mortality rate that has been rising gradually for the past fifty years, they believe environmental factors are playing a key role in influencing the mortality and the highly suspected factor is the hard water. According to the world health organization hard water is simply water with a variety of dissolved polyvalent metallic ions which are mainly calcium and magnesium there are other minerals present in the hard water but in small quantity namely iron, aluminum, manganese, barium, and zinc which contribute to hardness. To test water hardness try to make foam with soap, hard water will need more soap to produce a lather compared to soft water. Water hardness is measured in the concentration of calcium carbonate which is expressed in milligram per liter, soft water has calcium carbonate below 60mg/l, where water with calcium carbonate between 60-120 mg/l is moderately hard and hard water has calcium carbonate of 120-180 mg/l. Having sufficient essential minerals such as calcium and magnesium is vital for human health, for example calcium is required by the body to strength bones and vital in pregnant women, and old people, calcium deficiency is associated with kidney stones(nephrolithiasis), hypertension, obesity, insulin resistance and some other health conditions, human body need magnesium to produce enzymes that body needs to generate energy for metabolism, lack of enough magnesium has been associated with , cardiac arrhythmia and pre-eclampsia (gestation hypertension). The benefits of these minerals are only realized when they are provided at an optimum level implying that consuming them in excess as may be in the case of hard water can be harmful to human health. In this article, we look at the health effects of consuming excess minerals present in hard water.

The concern of excess calcium consumption is mainly directed to people with kidney issues or individuals with a milk-alkali syndrome that is concurrent of hypercalcemia, alkalosis, and kidney issues but for the healthy population consumption of excess calcium is highly regulated by intestinal absorption and other elimination mechanisms and when it is absorbed in excess amount is excreted by the kidney without exposing the individual to significant health risks.

Taking hard water with high magnesium mineral has not been proofed a health risk especially to a healthy population, however, people with renal insufficiency will experience bowel discomfort such as diarrhea but this is adaptable, additionally, consuming water with high magnesium level has been linked with laxative effects, but there has no strong relationship found between consumption of hard water with high magnesium and calcium level with cardiovascular mortality. Those are some of the health concerns related to consumption of hard water.

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