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Possible Health Effects of Drinking Hard Water

In the last fifty years, epidemiologists have gathered information related to cardiovascular mortality and they have compelling evidence to believe environmental factors particularly hard water is playing a significant role in the increased cardiovascular mortality rate. Hard water can simply be defined as water with high mineral content, according to the world health organization hard water has high polyvalent metallic ions dissolved in it where the prevalent are calcium and magnesium but there are also other metallic ions such as iron, aluminum, manganese, barium and zinc which contributes to the water hardness. The traditional method of measuring water hardness is the ability of the water to react with soap, where hard water is determined through its poor ability to produce foam. 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. These minerals especially calcium and magnesium are essential minerals and are good for human health, human need calcium especially women and old people to supplement body calcium that is needed to optimize bone density, although no compelling evidence insufficient calcium is associated with kidney stones(nephrolithiasis), hypertension, obesity, insulin resistance and some other disease, magnesium is need by the body to facilitate the production of cellular enzymes which are mainly involved in energy metabolism in the body, inadequate magnesium has been associated with hypertension, cardiac arrhythmia and pre-eclampsia (gestation hypertension)which is treated using magnesium salt. A balance needs to be maintained in the consumption of these minerals because consuming them in excess amount can also be harmful to body health. This article therefore has gathered some essential information regarding the health effects of consuming excess minerals that are mainly found 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.

Consuming magnesium in excess has not been proofed a risk to health for healthy people, however, people with kidney problems may experience some challenges such as bowel discomfort which is highly adaptable with the continuous consumption of magnesium-rich hard water, studies could not find a strong relationship between consumption of magnesium and calcium-rich hard water and cardiovascular mortality, however, consuming water with a high level of magnesium and sulfate can cause laxative effects. These are the main health concerns about the drinking of hard water.

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