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Are there any distinct biochemical reactions that are affected by the ingestion of distilled water?

The water is "distilled" in its literal sense.

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  • $\begingroup$ This was already asked/answered on the biology stackexchange: biology.stackexchange.com/questions/2250 $\endgroup$ – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Jan 29 '15 at 18:53
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    $\begingroup$ who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/nutrientschap12.pdf $\endgroup$ – J... Jan 29 '15 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ @J... Didn't see this when I posted my answer. If you'd like to develop an answer around it, I'll delete mine. $\endgroup$ – ron Jan 29 '15 at 22:01
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    $\begingroup$ @ron no, I think you've covered it - fair wages for fair work. $\endgroup$ – J... Jan 30 '15 at 2:58
  • $\begingroup$ @BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft I vote to keep this open. The answer on the Biology Stack exchange is deeply flawed at best. It discusses drinking only distilled water and consuming no other substances (you'd starve before you died from being hypotonic...) There's a massive difference between a water source being "not ideal" and "fatal." $\endgroup$ – Jason Patterson Jan 30 '15 at 4:40
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As @DavePhD has noted, drinking small amounts of distilled water does not pose any significant adverse health consequences. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has studied the effects of long-term drinking of distilled water and issued a report. They investigated the following five areas of potential adverse human health impact:

  • Direct effects on the intestinal mucous membrane, metabolism and mineral homeostasis or other body functions.
  • Little or no intake of calcium and magnesium from low-mineral water.
  • Low intake of other essential elements and microelements.
  • Loss of calcium, magnesium and other essential elements in prepared food.
  • Possible increased dietary intake of toxic metals.

In their conclusion, they state,

"Drinking water should contain minimum levels of certain essential minerals (and other components such as carbonates). Unfortunately, over the two past decades, little research attention has been given to the beneficial or protective effects of drinking water substances."

and

"Demineralised water that has not been remineralized, or low-mineral content water – in the light of the absence or substantial lack of essential minerals in it – is not considered ideal drinking water."

(emphasis mine)

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