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Natural mineral waters: Chemical characteristics and health effects


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Water contributes significantly to health and a daily intake of 1.5 to 2 liters of water should be guaranteed, because a good hydration is essential to maintain the body water equilibrium, although needs may vary among people. However, worldwide population is far from the Recommended Allowance for water intake. Among the waters for human uses, there are 'waters (treated or not), intended for drinking, used for the food and beverages preparation or for other domestic purposes' and natural mineral waters, that are 'originated from an aquifer or underground reservoir, spring from one or more natural or bore sources and have specific hygienic features and, eventually, healthy properties'. According to the European Legislation (2009/54/EC Directive), physical and chemical characterization is used to make a classification of the different mineral waters, basing on the analysis of main parameters. Mineral composition enables to classify natural mineral waters as bicarbonate mineral waters, sulphate mineral waters, chloride mineral waters, calcic mineral waters, magnesiac mineral waters, fluorurate mineral waters, ferrous mineral waters and sodium-rich mineral waters. Although the concerns about bottled mineral waters (due to plasticizers and endocrine disruptors), many are the health effects of natural mineral waters and several studies explored their properties and their role in different physiological and pathological conditions.
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Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism 2016; 13(3):173-180 173
Sara Quattrini
Barbara Pampaloni
Maria Luisa Brandi
Department of Surgery and Translational Medicine, University
of Florence, Florence, Italy
Address for correspondence:
Maria Luisa Brandi, MD, PhD
Metabolic Bone Diseases Unit
Department of Surgery and Translational Medicine
University of Florence
Viale Pieraccini 6
50139 Florence, Italy
Phone: +39 055 7946304; Fax: +39 055 7946302
Water contributes significantly to health and a daily intake
of 1.5 to 2 liters of water should be guaranteed, because a
good hydration is essential to maintain the body water
equilibrium, although needs may vary among people. How-
ever, worldwide population is far from the Recommended
Allowance for water intake.
Among the waters for human uses, there are ‘waters (treat-
ed or not), intended for drinking, used for the food and
beverages preparation or for other domestic purposes’
and natural mineral waters, that are ‘originated from an
aquifer or underground reservoir, spring from one or more
natural or bore sources and have specific hygienic fea-
tures and, eventually, healthy properties’. According to the
European Legislation (2009/54/EC Directive), physical and
chemical characterization is used to make a classification
of the different mineral waters, basing on the analysis of
main parameters. Mineral composition enables to classify
natural mineral waters as bicarbonate mineral waters, sul-
phate mineral waters, chloride mineral waters, calcic min-
eral waters, magnesiac mineral waters, fluorurate mineral
waters, ferrous mineral waters and sodium-rich mineral
Although the concerns about bottled mineral waters (due
to plasticizers and endocrine disruptors), many are the
health effects of natural mineral waters and several stud-
ies explored their properties and their role in different
physiological and pathological conditions.
KEY WORDS: natural mineral waters; calcium; bicarbonate, magnesium; sulpha-
te; bottled water; endocrine disruptors.
Water covers most of the earth surface and composes most of
the human body; this can illustrate the critical linkages between
water, health and ecosystems (1).
From outer space, the earth looks like a “blue” planet because
most of its surface is covered by water. Only 2.5% of that water
is fresh, and most of that lies frozen and inaccessible in the ice-
caps and Greenland, leaving less than 1% of fresh water ac-
cessible in lakes, river channels and underground. Only about
one third of the world’s potential fresh water can be used for hu-
man needs. As pollution increases, the amount of usable water
Water contributes significantly to health and good health is the
essence of development. However water’s protective role is lar-
gely unseen and taken for granted in the wealthier countries. Its
contribution to health is directly within households through food
and nutrition, and indirectly as a means of maintaining a healthy,
diverse environment. These two precious resources — water and
health — together could enhance prospects for development (2).
In humans, about 60% of body weight (BW) is represented by to-
tal body water (TBW), distributed into intracellular and extracel-
lular fluid compartments, which contain about 65 and 35% of to-
tal body water, respectively (3, 4). Water is involved in many body
functions, since it serves as a carrier of nutrients and substan-
ces in the circulatory system. Furthermore, it is the vehicle to ex-
crete products and eliminate waste and toxins and it also lubri-
cates and provide structural supports to tissues and joints. Howe-
ver, there is no efficient mechanism of body’s water storage; the-
refore, a constant supply of fluids is needed to keep water con-
tent (4).
The water needs can be partially satisfied by an overall diet and
water contained in food (5): fruit, vegetables and milk are com-
posed for the 85% by water. Meat, fish, eggs and fresh cheese
contain the 50-80% of water; and cooked pasta and rice about
60-65%. Whereas, bread and pizza contain water for 20-40% and
bakery products (like biscuits, rusks and breadsticks) are com-
posed by water only for less than 10% (6).
Nevertheless, a daily intake of 1.5 to 2 liters of water should be
guaranteed, because a good hydration is essential to maintain
the body water equilibrium, although needs may vary among peo-
ple because of age, physical activity, personal circumstances and
weather conditions (7). In Table 1 are reported the Recommen-
ded Daily Allowances for water in the difference age ranges and
physiological conditions in Italy (8).
The choice of the water to drink can be variable and it depends
on the personal necessity. By European Community legislation
(Directive number 98/38), among the waters for human uses, the-
re are waters (treated or not), intended for drinking, used for the
food and beverages preparation or for other domestic purposes
(in Italy, D. Leg. N. 31 of 02/02/2001). Drinking water has to be
clear, odorless, tasteless, colorless and harmless, that is devoid
of pathogenic microorganisms and harmful chemicals to humans”
and safety on the basis of microbiological, physics and chemi-
cals parameters control (in Italy, D.M. n. 84 of 26 March 1991).
Natural mineral waters: chemical characteristics
and health effects
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Mineral waters represent a valid choice to meet the daily water
As reported in the European legislation (2009/54/EC Directive)
natural mineral waters are “originated from an aquifer or under-
ground reservoir, spring from one or more natural or bore sour-
ces and have specific hygienic features and, eventually, healthy
properties” (in Italy, D. Leg. N. 176 of 2011). They are different
from drinking water because of their spring purity and conservation,
for the constant level of minerals (trace elements or other con-
stituents) and, where appropriate, for certain effects they can de-
Food and drug administration (FDA, USA) regulates bottled wa-
ter as a food and identifies natural mineral waters as “water con-
taining not less than 250 parts per million (ppm) total dissolved
solids (TDS), coming from a source at one or more bore holes or
springs, originating from a geologically and physically protected
underground water source” (Code of Federal Regulations, Title
21, Part 165 - Beverages).
The consumption of bottled mineral waters has greatly increased
during the past few years, worldwide. The U.S. and International
Developments and Statistics report that United States, Western
European countries and several Asian nations registered an in-
crease in bottled water markets (9) and by 2017, people all over
the world are expected to consume about 391 billion liters of bot-
tled water (10).
Many studies have focused attention on the safety of bottled mi-
neral water, in particular on the migration of chemicals from pla-
stic containers to water. Plasticizers (additives used to impart flexi-
bility and handling properties to several kinds of plastics) (11) and
endocrine disruptors (EDs - chemicals that interfere with function
of the endocrine system) (12) are the main compounds involved
in adverse effects on human health.
Nevertheless, natural mineral waters have intrinsic demonstrated
properties and this review intends to explore them and their wide
proved effects on the prevention and the treatment of different phy-
siological and pathological status.
Characteristics of natural mineral waters
“Natural mineral water” means ‘microbiologically wholesome’ wa-
ter, but ensures the absence of the main contamination indicators
(parasites and pathogenic microorganisms, Escherichia coli and
fecal streptococci, sporulated sulphite-reducing anaerobes, pseu-
domonas aeruginosa) both at source and during its marketing (13).
The characteristics of a natural mineral water have to be proved
from different points of view:
geological and hydrological, that requires a detailed description
of the catchment site, considering the nature of the terrain, the
stratigraphy of the hydrogeological layer and a description of
the catchment operations;
physical, chemical and physico-chemical, that implies a report
about the main physical and chemical analysis to describe the
final characteristics of the mineral water (i.e. rate of flow of the
spring, temperature at source, dry residues at 180°, pH,
anions and cations, trace elements, toxicity of certain consti-
tuent elements);
microbiological, ensuring the absence of the main contamina-
tion indicators;
possible pharmacological, physiological and clinical effects. The
clinical researches should be conducted in order to certificate
the physiological effects and benefits on human health; they
should be scientific studies, conducted in long term periods and
with different methodologies (13, 14).
According to the European Legislation (2009/54/EC Directive), phy-
sical and chemical characterization is used to make a classifica-
tion of the different mineral waters, basing on the analysis of main
parameters (3). First of all, natural mineral waters are classified
by the fixed residue at 180°, that is the amount of residual mine-
ral salts (in mg) after the evaporation of 1 L of water at 180°C (Ta-
ble 2).
By law, there is no upper or lower limits for minerals contents in
natural mineral water; instead of the tap drinking water, that are
strictly regulated as regards the fixed residue at 180°C.
Mineral waters are also classified by other physical parameters,
like pH, temperature and hardness. With regard to pH, mineral wa-
ters are classified as acid water (pH<7) or alkaline water (pH>7).
By temperature, mineral waters may be cold (< 20°C at source),
hypotermal (20-30°C at source), mesothermal waters (30-40°C
at source) and hyperthermal waters (> 40°C at source). Hardness
indicates the presence of alkaline earth metals and mineral wa-
ters may be very soft (0-100 mg/L of CaCO3), soft (100-200 mg/L
of CaCO3), hard (200- 300 mg/L of CaCO3 ) or very hard (> 300
mg/L of CaCO3 ) (15).
The effect of the water in many metabolic pathways is associa-
ted, in many cases, to its role of suppling and transporting diffe-
rent minerals. Minerals are inorganic compounds with biological
essential functions, as bone and teeth mineralization, regulation
of hydrosaline balance at the basis of cellular exchanges, activation
of various metabolic pathways (Table 3).
They are essential for humans because the organism cannot pro-
Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism 2016; 13(3):173-180
S. Quattrini et al.
Table 1 - Recommended Daily Allowance for water in Italy, LARN
(Livelli di assunzione di riferimento di nutrienti) 2014: nd= not de-
fined. The age groups are referred to the chronological age: i.e. 4-6
years is the period between the fourth year and the seventh year of
life. The period 6-12 months correspond to the second life semes-
Age ranges AI
Adequate Intake
INFANTS 6-12 months 800
1-3 years 1200
4-6 years 1600
7-10 years 1800
Males 11-14 years 2100
15-17 years 2500
Females 11-14 years 1900
15-17 years 2000
Males 18 -29 years 2500
30 -59 years 2500
60-74 years 2500
≥75 years 2500
Females 18-29 years 2000
30-59 years 2000
60-74 years 2000
≥75 years 2000
_CCMBM 3_2016.qxp_- 23/01/17 09:39 Pagina 174
duce them, so it’s necessary a regular intake from foods and wa-
ter. The availability of minerals from food is less than mineral wa-
ter, because in foods minerals are bound to complex molecules
that can limit their absorbability, instead in water they are present
as free ions (16).
On the basis of minerals content, waters have been classified in
several ways: Marotta and Sica classification (1933) represents
in Italy the first reference and it takes into consideration tempe-
rature, fixed residue and chemical composition, according to a sche-
me that includes classes and subclasses. They gave a name to
each mineral water considering, firstly, the prevalent anion and
secondly, the cation; they classified waters as salt waters, salty-
sulfate waters, bicarbonate-sulfate waters, salt-bromine-iodine wa-
ters, etc. (3). Although in Europe and in United States there are
many categorizations of mineral waters (17, 18), nowadays the
2009/54/EC Directive is the European reference to classify
them. As reported in the EC Directive, mineral waters can be:
“Water with bicarbonate”, if bicarbonate content is >600 mg/L
“Water with sulfate”, if sulfate content is >200 mg/L
“Water with chloride”, if chloride content is >200 mg/L
“Water with calcium”, if calcium content is >150 mg/L
“Water with magnesium”, if magnesium content is >50 mg/L
“Water with fluoride”, if fluoride content is >1 mg/L (More than
1,5 mg/L of fluoride is unsuitable for children below the age of
“Acid water”, if the CO2content is >250 mg/L
“Water with sodium”, if sodium content is >200 mg/L. The let-
tering “indicate for low sodium diet” can be added to labels if
sodium content is <20 mg/L.
Natural mineral waters and administration
The classification of natural mineral waters on the basis of the mi-
neral content is also useful to identify the health properties of each
type. The Italian Geothermal Union has largely investigated the
roles and the effects of the natural mineral waters (19) and have
Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism 2016; 13(3):173-180 175
Natural mineral waters: chemical characteristics and health effects
Table 3 - Minerals present in some mineral waters and examples of their biological functions in human body.
Category Mineral Some biological functions
Macronutrients Calcium Bone development, regulation of muscle contraction and myocardium activity,
present in the human body blood clotting, nerve impulses transmission, regulation of cell permeability.
in modest quantities
Chlorine Hydrochloric acid formation (digestive juices for digestion process).
Phosphorus Protein synthesis, ATP synthesis and transport of energy in biological systems.
Magnesium Bone formation, nervous and muscular activities, lipid metabolism and protein
synthesis, CVD protection.
Potassium Muscles and myocardium activities, neuromuscular excitability, acid-base balance,
water retention and osmotic pressure.
Sodium Fundamental regulation of cell permeability and body fluids; defency is rare, but an
excessive intake may be associated with high blood pressure.
Sulphur Essential amino acids, cartilage, hair and nails formation, enzyme activity in redox
(Solphate) processes and cellular respiration, intestinal peristalsis.
Micro-nutrients Cobalt Constituent of vitamin B12: growth factor, nucleic acid synthesis, hematopoiesis.
trace elements, essential for
some biological functions Chromium Enzymatic reactions involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins.
Iron Blood and muscle tissues: hemoglobin, myoglobin.
Flourine Protection and prevention of tooth decay, bone development; diseases related to
(Fluoride) excess.
Iodium (Iodide) Essential for the synthesis of hormones that are involved in the growth process and
body development.
Manganese Synthesis of several enzymes involved in the metabolism of proteins and sugars,
bone development.
Molybdenum Production of enzymes associated to uric acid.
Copper Functionality of several enzymes in blood and muscles.
Selenium Protection of the muscle membrane integrity, antioxidant.
Table 2 - Classification of natural mineral waters based on fixed
residue at 180°C (14).
Fixed residue at 180°C Definition
< 50 mg/L Very low mineral content water
(or light mineral water)
50-500 mg/L Low mineral content water
500-1500 mg/L Medium mineral content water
> 1500 mg/L Rich mineral content water
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periodically diffused news about the usage of the different type
of natural mineral waters for specific upsets (Table 4).
Nevertheless, many are the clinical studies and researches that
have been developed to demonstrate healthy properties of natural
mineral waters.
“Bicarbonate mineral waters”
Bicarbonate natural mineral waters are cold and alkaline mine-
ral waters with low mineral content and diuretic properties. Several
studies have demonstrated the positive effects of bicarbonate mi-
neral waters on digestive tract. Studies on crenotherapy treatments
(20) and on patients with functional dyspepsia show that the con-
sumption of bicarbonate mineral water may neutralize acid se-
cretion, increase the pH level in the gastric lumen, accelerate ga-
stric emptying and stimulate the release of digestive hormones
(known to have pivotal roles in the regulation of gastric function)
The alkali load of this mineral water seems to be important for the
decrease of bone resorption. Few studies investigated the pro-
perties of bicarbonate-rich mineral water, especially waters with
a strongly negative potential renal acid load. They proved to crea-
te an alkaline environment and decrease bone resorption and bone
resorption markers (C-telopeptides) (23). This effect is demon-
strated in subjects with adequate calcium intake and in compa-
rison with acid calcium-rich mineral waters (sulphate calcium-rich
mineral waters) (24).
Many studies show the health effects of bicarbonate mineral wa-
ter on cardiometabolic risk biomarkers (reducing especially total-
cholesterol, fasting glucose and LDL-cholesterol) (25) and in the
prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD). In particular, so-
dium-bicarbonate waters demonstrated to significantly decrease
serum total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol, to increase HDL-cho-
lesterol and, moreover, produce a significant reduction in soluble
intercellular adhesion molecule (26, 27). Moreover, compared to
low mineral waters, sodium-bicarbonate waters decrease post-pran-
dial lipaemia and aldosterone levels (28). The capacity of redu-
cing lipaemia after meals may be associated to the capacity of lowe-
ring increase in cholecystokinin concentration and lowering gall-
bladder emptying, which may limit the release of biliary salts into
the duodenum and therefore reduce postprandial lipaemia (29),
especially the plasma triglyceride (VLDL triglyceride and chylo-
micron triglyceride) (30).
“Sulphate mineral waters”
Sulphate mineral water is characterized by the presence of
sulphate anion, with different cations (4). The presence of spe-
cific cations combined with sulphate enhance the properties of
these waters: magnesium sulphate and sodium sulphate mineral
waters demonstrated to be really efficient for functional con-
stipation conditions (31). Drinking mineral water rich in ma-
gnesium sulphate and sodium sulphate can confer significant
benefits for healthy digestion, in terms of improvement of con-
stipation symptoms, overall bowel movements and stool con-
sistency (32).
A more complex mineral system, as the sulphate-bicarbonate-cal-
cium-magnesiac mineral water, has a therapeutic activity in the
functional disorders of the biliary tract: this water is particularly ef-
ficient thanks to elective anions that exert choleresis and chola-
gogue actions, helping to remove the gallbladder hypomotility and
to correct the tendency to biliary sludge (33).
Sulphate is an obligate nutrient for numerous metabolic and cel-
lular processes, particularly in foetal growth and development. For
this reason sulphate mineral waters demonstrate to be an alter-
native choice for diet of pregnant women (34).
“Chloride mineral waters”
Chloride mineral waters are composed by chloride as predomi-
nant element and the most abundant cations are sodium, calcium
and magnesium. Although studies about their health effects are
scarce, chloride mineral water may exert their properties for bowel
functions: they may stimulate intestinal peristalsis and intestinal
secretion of water and electrolytes (3). Moreover, they may have
a choleretic and cholagoge action by increasing biliary secretion
and bile inflow into duodenum (4).
Chloride is often present in combination with sodium and they are
the main constituents of “Salt mineral waters”. They may be used
for hydropinic therapy and can be either hypo-, hyso- or hy-
perthermal waters inducing different biological effects, such as a
stimulating effect on both gastric emptying and interdigestive cy-
clic motor activity of the gastro-duodenal tract (15). Their use is
in particular indicated for hydropinic therapy for disease of the ga-
strointestinal system (35).
The salt-bromine-iodine waters are characterized by the combi-
nation of chloride and sodium with iodine and bromine. They are
well known for their anti-inflammatory activity and are used in a
Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism 2016; 13(3):173-180
S. Quattrini et al.
Table 4 - Characteristics of the main natural mineral waters and their respective general therapeutic indications (22).
Type of Natural Content of the Applications
mineral water main mineral (mg/L)
BICARBONATE >600 mg/L Promote digestion, because neutralizes gastric acidity.
SULPHATE >200 mg/L Lightly laxative; it is suggested for hepatobiliary diseases.
CHLORIDE >200 mg/L Balance of intestine, bile ducts and liver; laxative effect.
CALCIC >150 mg/L It is suggested for adolescents, pregnant women, subjects who don’t consume dairy
products, elderly men; contributes to prevent osteoporosis and hypertension.
MAGNESIAC >50 mg/L Promote digestion.
FLUORURATE >1 mg/L Strengthen teeth structure and prevent dental decay; helps in osteoporosis.
FERROUS >1 mg/L It is suggested for anemia and iron deficiency.
SODIUM-RICH >200 mg/L It is suggested for intense physical activity (to replenish the salts leaked through sweating).
LOW-SODIUM <20 mg/L It is suggested in case of hypertension.
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variety of pathological conditions, such as diseases of the ga-
strointestinal system (36).
“Calcic mineral waters”
Calcium is the main mineral of the calcic mineral waters. It is ge-
nerally recognized that calcium intake is important for skeletal
health and that it may be beneficial to several non-skeletal body
systems, as nervous system, muscle and blood system (37). Cal-
cium is a cation that can be associated with different anions, that
give to calcium mineral waters specific properties. The main
anions are bicarbonate and sulphate. Some studies investiga-
ted the potential role of bicarbonate calcium-rich water in
maintaining an alkaline environment and in improving acid-base
balance in the body (38, 39). In fact, diet components (and also
mineral waters) may have basic or acid effects and their role on
bone mineral density, especially in elderly, have been largely stu-
died (40). The study conducted by Wynn et al. on European and
North American commercial waters reveals that bicarbonate cal-
cium-rich water has an alkalizing power and may increase se-
rum and urinary pH, creating an optimal environment for bone
mineralization (39). A French study shows that in post-meno-
pausal women, with low calcium intake, the consumption of high
calcium mineral water lowers indices of bone remodeling (41).
A systematic review and a meta-analysis on five studies shows
that, although only a few studies with a relatively small number
of subjects are available, the calcium bioavailability of mineral
waters is at least comparable to, and possibly better than, that
from dairy products or pharmaceutical preparations (42). Because
of calcium bioavailability, high-calcium mineral waters represent
an important dietary source of calcium and should be recogni-
zed as good low-calorie nutritional calcium supplements (43).
The beneficial effects of calcium-rich mineral water on bone mi-
neralization is widely demonstrated. A study conducted by Co-
sti et al. on 255 women shows that using regularly water rich in
calcium improves the average spine mineral density (44). Similar
results was shown in the study of Aptel that included 4434 wo-
men over 75 years of age. An increase of 100 mg/day in calcium
from drinking water was associated to a 0.5% increase in femoral
bone density (45).
European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) recognized the Health
claim on calcium ‘is important for the development of bones’ and
in this prospective calcium-rich mineral waters may be consu-
med as ‘functional foods’ (46).
“Magnesiac mineral waters”
Magnesiac mineral waters are characterized by magnesium as
the essential component. This water may be useful in obstetric-
gynecologic pathologies: pre-menstrual syndrome, climaterium and
postmenopausal osteoporosis (3).
Magnesium may be combined with other minerals. Magnesium
sulphate mineral waters improves bowel function, in terms of re-
duction of constipation, improvement in the constipation symptoms
and overall bowel movements (32). In vitro studies demonstrated
that magnesium sulphate may act as a cathartic by increasing the
aquaporin 3 (AQP3) expression level and by changing osmotic
pressure in the colon (47).
Sulphate-bicarbonate-calcium-magnesiac mineral waters proved
to have therapeutic activity in the functional disorders of the bi-
liary tract. High magnesium content favors the Oddi sphincter re-
laxation and allows the bile flowing, improving biliary ducts acti-
vity (33).
Results from a recent meta-analysis demonstrate that in European
population, (in particular in Scandinavian population), high levels
of magnesium in drinking water may reduce the risk of Coronary
Heart Disease (CHD) mortality (48).
“Fluorurate mineral waters”
Mineral waters with fluoride may be indicated for children, because
they can reduce the incidence of decay and promote bone mi-
neralization. However, fluorurate mineral water consumption
has to be maintained low (49). The concerns about high fluoride
intake are related to their possible carcinogenic effect, but actually
the results of epidemiological and animal models studies show that
fluorurate mineral water is not directly associated to cancer risk
(50, 51).
High fluorurate mineral water consumption may have some toxic
effects: from dental fluorosis to skeletal fluorosis, if fluoride intake
is above than 10 mg/L (49). For this reason, the European Food
Safety Agency (EFSA) established fluoride upper limit of expo-
sure to 1,5 mg/L/die (52). This value limit is confirmed also by World
Health Organization (53).
“Ferrous mineral waters”
There are two principal types of ferrous waters: sulphate-fer-
rous/ferric waters and bicarbonate ferrous waters. The sulphate-
ferrous/ferric waters are very concentrated and are arsenic-rich.
The pH is very low for the presence of sulphate and phosphate
acids. The bicarbonate-ferrous waters are arsenic-poor, the pH
is of about 6 and they have important haemopoietic properties (15).
They are indicated in iron-deficiency anemia and they are also re-
commended for pregnant women, specifically in the treatment of
anemia (54). In fact, the bioavailability of iron in this water is very
high due to the presence of other trace elements: copper, zinc,
manganese, lithium and aluminum (4). Moreover, they demon-
strated beneficial therapeutic effects on specific chronic phloglosis
of the upper respiratory tract (55).
“Sodium-rich mineral waters”
Sodium-rich mineral waters are characterized by the presence of
sodium as the main cation, that can be associated to different
The concern about the consumption of this water and the asso-
ciation with hypertension is reasonable when sodium is bound to
chloride. In this case, they are not recommended to subjects suf-
fering for cardiovascular diseases (CVD) (4).
Although few are the studies that investigate bicarbonate sodium-
rich mineral water properties, some report health effects of this
water. Schoppen et al. report that in post-menopausal women bi-
carbonate sodium-rich mineral water may be protective against
CVD risk (26) and may increase insulin sensitivity (56). An ani-
mal study investigated the potential role of hypersaline sodium-
rich naturally sparkling mineral water in the protection against Me-
tabolic Syndrome (MS): in an environmental model for MS, the in-
take of sodium-rich water demonstrated to maintain low some pa-
rameters normally involved in the MS development (as insulin, lep-
tin, aldosterone, melatonine) (57).
The concerns about bottled mineral water are related to the re-
lease of chemicals from bottles to water. Among these are the pla-
sticizers, like the Di(2-ethylexyl)phthalate (DEHP) that is widely
used as plasticizer and is also present in PET bottles (11). Polyethy-
lene terephthalate (PET) is a material chemical inactive, but some
in vitro studies proved that storage conditions (like exposure to
Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism 2016; 13(3):173-180 177
Natural mineral waters: chemical characteristics and health effects
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sunlight and high temperature) may contribute to the release of
chemicals from bottles to water (32, 58, 59).
The EDs represent another important issue for bottled water. Some
in vitro studies investigated the exposure to chemicals with estro-
gen-like activity in bottled mineral water. Pinto et al. analyzed 30
samples of nine Italian mineral waters, stored in PET bottles, and
the results show that 90% of samples elicited an estrogenic acti-
vity lower than 10% of the activity induced by the reference model
(12). On the contrary, analysis on German mineral water, stored in
PET, glass and TetraPak bottles, demonstrate a significantly ele-
vated estrogenic activity in 12 of 20 brands (60). In an updated study,
bioanalytical techniques and in vivo experiments with molluskan mo-
del are used to determine the estrogenicity of bottled water. The estro-
genic activity of bottled water form PET containers is approxima-
tely twice compared to products from glass bottles (61). The release
of estrogenic compounds from plastic material has been investigated
also for tap water, that is distributed through plastic pipes. The sum-
marized results show that the migration of 2,4-di-tert-butylphenol
(2,4-d-t-BP) from plastic pipes could result in chronic exposure and
the migration levels varied greatly among different plastic pipe ma-
terials and manufacturing brands (62).
It is not demonstrated if the concerns about bottled water influence
water intake. However, nowadays, Mediterranean countries po-
pulation, as Italy, Spain and France prove to be below the EFSA
Allowance Intake (AI) for Total Water Intake (TWI) (63-65). Also
US population is far from the Recommended Allowance for wa-
ter intake, both in males and in females (66). Studies prove that
socio-economic status influence the consumption of water as a
beverage: adults with higher incomes consumed more water as
a beverage than adults with lower incomes (65, 66).
Adequate water intake, and especially drinking natural mineral wa-
ter, is associated with higher diet quality: in France, women with
the largest consumption of drinking water intake had higher diet
quality and less energy dense diets, also thanks to healthier food
choices (e.g., more fruits and vegetables and fewer sweets). Mo-
reover, the study in French population demonstrated that micro-
nutrients intake is positively associated to the water intake (65).
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Study in US also
documented a positive association of total water, plain water and
moisture in foods with dietary and serum minerals, vitamins and
carotenoids (67).
Natural mineral waters are characterized by specific mineral con-
tent and are classified on the basis of the main elements that com-
pose them. Several Authors explored the properties and health
effects of mineral waters, sometimes through not updated studies
or with low number of subjects.
Gastrointestinal system results to be stimulated by natural mineral
waters. In particular, bicarbonate and chloride mineral waters pro-
ved to have positive effects for gastric function. Animal and in vivo
studies on an Italian bicarbonate mineral water show its role in neu-
tralising acid secretion, increasing pH level in the gastric lumen
and stimulating the release of digestive hormones (21). Chloride
mineral waters are mainly used for hydropinic therapy, stimula-
ting gastric emptying and gastro-duodenal peristalsis (35). Bowel
function results to be promoted by sulphate and magnesium mi-
neral waters, in terms of reduction of constipation, improvement
in the constipation symptoms and overall bowel movements (31,
Biliary tract functionality is favored by a more complex mineral sy-
stem, as the sulphate-bicarbonate-calcium-magnesiac mineral wa-
ter, that is particularly efficient thanks to elective anions that exert
choleresis and cholagogue actions, helping to remove the gall-
bladder hypomotility and to correct the tendency to biliary slud-
ge. High magnesium content favors the Oddi sphincter relaxation
and allows the bile flowing, improving biliary ducts activity (33).
In iron-deficiency anemia and in the treatment of anemia for pre-
gnant woman, ferrous waters are highly recommended (54). Mi-
neral waters with fluoride may be indicated for children, becau-
se they can reduce the incidence of decay and promote bone mi-
neralization. However, fluorurate mineral water consumption
has to be maintained low (49).
Skeletal health and bone mineralization need a regular calcium
intake and calcic mineral waters represent an important dietary
source of calcium and should be recognized as good low-calorie
nutritional calcium supplements (43). The calcium bioavailability
of mineral waters has been investigated by different Authors and
it is demonstrated that calcium from mineral waters is bioavaila-
ble as dairy products, sometimes also more than milk (37, 42). Mo-
reover, calcium-rich mineral waters increase bone mineralization,
considering both femoral and spinal bone mineral density after cal-
cic waters intake (44, 45). EFSA identified calcium with the health
claim ‘is important for the development of bones’ and calcium-rich
mineral waters may be recognised as ‘functional foods’ (46).
Emerging studies on CVD report that bicarbonate mineral water
may have health effects on cardiometabolic risk biomarkers (re-
ducing especially total-cholesterol, fasting glucose and LDL-cho-
lesterol) (25) and, compared to low mineral waters, sodium-bi-
carbonate waters decrease post-prandial lipaemia and aldoste-
rone levels (28). The capacity of reducing lipaemia after meals may
be associated to the capacity of lowering increase in cholecystokinin
concentration and lowering gallbladder emptying, which may li-
mit the release of biliary salts into the duodenum and therefore
reduce postprandial lipaemia (29), especially the plasma triglyceride
(VLDL triglyceride and chylomicron triglyceride) (30). Moreover,
Schoppen et al. report that in post-menopausal women bicarbo-
nate sodium-rich mineral water may be protective against CVD
risk (26) and may increase insulin sensitivity (56). A recent meta-
analysis, instead, demonstrated that in European population, (in
particular in Scandinavian population) high levels of magnesium
in drinking water may reduce the risk of Coronary Heart Disea-
se (CHD) mortality (48).
Metabolic Syndrome (MS) is an increasing burden and the con-
sumption mineral waters may help to prevent it. An animal study
investigated the potential role of hypersaline sodium-rich naturally
sparkling mineral water in the protection against MS: in an envi-
ronmental model for MS, the intake of sodium-rich water de-
monstrated to maintain low some parameters normally involved
in the MS development (as insulin, leptin, aldosterone, melatonine)
In conclusion, natural mineral waters represent a valid choice in
everyday life to satisfy water needs of body and, because of their
documented characteristics (about mineral composition and
health benefits), they may be consume in different physiological
and pathological conditions. However, other studies could be use-
ful to understand the biochemical pathways involved in health ef-
fects of natural mineral waters.
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... Mineral waters originate from geologically and physically protected underground water sources, and their mineral content, including calcium, remains constant. Natural calcium-rich mineral waters can be an excellent supplemental source of dietary calcium, especially for individuals with dairy allergies or intolerances, or those following plant-based diets [23]. ...
... Globally, numerous regions boast natural calcium-rich mineral waters, their unique mineral composition reflecting their sources' specific geological and hydrological conditions. While these waters share the common feature of high calcium content, their other mineral constituents and sensory properties can vary widely, rendering each source distinctive [23]. Each of these waters offers unique health benefits with their distinct mineral compositions. ...
... For example, one study found that the consumption of mineral water high in calcium was associated with reduced LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels and increased HDL ("good") cholesterol levels. However, the precise mechanisms behind these observations remain unclear [23,84,85]. ...
Full-text available
This systematic review investigates the potential health and wellness benefits of natural calcium-rich mineral waters. It emphasizes the importance of dietary calcium sourced from natural mineral waters in promoting bone health, maintaining cardiovascular function, aiding in weight management, and enhancing overall well-being. The review process involved the comprehensive analysis of peer-reviewed articles, clinical trials, and experimental studies published within the last decade. Findings reveal that consuming calcium-rich mineral water can contribute significantly to daily calcium intake, particularly for those with lactose intolerance or individuals adhering to plant-based diets. The unique bioavailability of calcium from such waters also appears to enhance absorption, thus potentially offering an advantage over other calcium sources. The potential benefits extend to the cardiovascular system, with some studies indicating a reduction in blood pressure and the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases. Emerging evidence suggests that calcium-rich mineral water might have a role in body weight management, though further research is needed. The review identifies several areas requiring additional research, such as the potential interaction between calcium-rich mineral water and other dietary components, the effects on populations with specific health conditions, and the long-term effects of consumption. In conclusion, natural calcium-rich mineral waters show promise as a readily accessible and bioavailable sources of dietary calcium, potentially beneficial for a broad range of individuals. However, further investigation is required to fully understand its range of health impacts and define optimal intake levels.
... Comparisons of bottled natural mineral waters from different countries and regions indicate considerable variance in chemical composition, depending on local geological conditions of formation, taste preferences of the local population and national regulations (Misund et al., 1999;Wynn, 2009;Reimann and Birke, 2010;Bertoldi et al., 2011;Quattrini, 2016). Generalised ...
... studies on the conditions of formation and quality comparisons of bottled natural mineral waters have been published in many countries. Examples include a number of studies from Austria (Kralik et al., 2003), Croatia (Peh et al., 2010), Estonia (Bityukova and Petersell, 2010), Germany , Hungary (Fugedi, 2010), Italy Dinelli et al., 2010Dinelli et al., , 2012Quattrini et al., 2016), Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland (Frengstad et al., 2010), Poland (Gątarska et al., 2016) Romania (Feru, 2004), Russia (Vorornov, 2000), Serbia (Petrović et al., 2010(Petrović et al., , 2011, Slovenia (Brenčič et al., 2010), Turkey (Pehlivan, 2007, Baba et al., 2008, USA (Azoulay et al., 2001). The present paper considers only bottling of natural mineral waters in Bulgaria. ...
Bulgaria is rich in sources of mineral water of temperatures in the range of 25 °C–100 °C and various chemical compositions due to diverse geological and hydrogeological conditions. A large portion of the reservoirs of low-mineralisation water is suitable for bottling. Most of them are situated in Southern Bulgaria and related to fractured hydrothermal systems, while in Northern Bulgaria mineral waters of low mineralisation are formed in the relatively shallow levels of artesian aquifers. In the last 30 years, the utilisation of bottled mineral water has increased and, currently, there are at least 18 bottling facilities, while 12 others have closed down for various reasons. The purpose of the present study is to characterise the chemical composition of the Bulgarian mineral waters utilised for bottling, in terms of geological setting, quality, compliance with regulations and possible problems associated with mineral deposition and corrosion. The water type largely depends on the host rocks. In most cases, sodium-type waters are utilized and, in the case of anions, bicarbonate and sulphate. The only exceptions are the waters formed in limestone, dolomite and marble, which are calcium-bicarbonate and calcium-magnesium type.
... At the same time, these natural mineral waters are characterized by their high purity at the source, respectively free of contaminants of anthropogenic origin. Scientific literature confirms the fact that, due to their varied origin, the composition of natural mineral waters is unique for each water source and gives it a characteristic taste and specific properties, beneficial for human health, which can also be exploited for therapeutic purposes [4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21]. of these waters, data that would confirm the sustainability of the proposal regarding the expansion of their valorisation from the perspective of bottling and storage for a longer period of time. ...
Full-text available
In this study, six natural mineral waters (from sources named 1bis, 5, 10, 14, 15, “Sonda 2”) with therapeutic potential from Slanic Moldova area (Romania) were assessed for physico-chemical parameters during storage in different conditions (bottled in PET or glass containers and kept at 20-22 °C or 4 °C) for a period of maximum 360 days. The main parameters investigated were pH, conductivity, total dissolved solids, salinity, as well as the major ions (Na ⁺ , K ⁺ , Ca ²⁺ , Mg ²⁺ , F ⁻ , Cl ⁻ , SO 4 ²⁻ , HCO 3 ⁻ ), using fast and environmentally friendly instrumental techniques (electrochemical and spectrometric / UV-Vis and ICP-MS). The physico-chemical indicators were measured at six time intervals (within 24 hours, after 7, 30, 90, 180 and 360 days) and the results obtained indicated that the pH variation was significant for the majority of samples kept at room temperature in PET containers (between 0.4 pH units - Spring 15 and over 2 pH units - springs 10, 14, 1bis and 5), while cold storage is most favorable for all natural mineral water samples. The monitoring of the chemical parameters determined during cold storage in glass containers did not reveal statistically significant variations and therefore it can be considered that these natural mineral waters are characterized by the stability of the chemical composition. For the entire analyzed period, the smallest variations of all twelve analyzed parameters were recorded for “Sonda 2”, in all storage conditions, followed by springs 1bis, 15, 14, 10 and 5 stored at 4 °C in glass containers.
... Water is an important source of Ca. According to EFSA, a daily intake of 2 L for females and 2.5 L for males [31] should be guaranteed, because good hydration is essential to maintain body water equilibrium, even though it can vary among people, depending on age, physical activity, personal circumstances, and weather conditions [32] ( Table 3). ...
Full-text available
Osteoporosis is considered the most frequent rheumatic pathology in the elderly population. It is often accompanied by sarcopenia, defined as the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength. Together, these conditions increase the risk of falls, fractures, disability, lower quality of life, and frequent hospitalization. This means increased healthcare costs for all European countries, due to the increase in the average age and elderly population. Multiple pharmacological therapies are available for osteoporosis, but the prevention seems to be an important tool to reduce the risk of fracture and hospitalization of patients. A healthy lifestyle, consisting of the right amount of nutrients and micronutrients and physical exercise can help prevent the development of osteoporosis and sarcopenia in the elderly. This review brings together the information present in the literature on the benefits that nutrients and micronutrients, naturally present in foods, have on the prevention of these pathologies. it is suggested that a correct intake of proteins, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin.D, vitamin C and antioxidants, vitamin K and omega 3, associated with constant physical exercise, can help to contain osteoporosis. It also indicates the right physical exercise for older osteoporotic adults. This document drawn up by the CReI-Food study group of the Italian College of Rheumatologists aims to provide, based on the most recent scientific evidence, indications on correct nutrition and lifestyle for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis in older people.
... These waters have a very low pH value due to the presence of sulfuric and phosphoric acid. Hydrogen carbonate-iron waters are poor in arsenic and have a pH value of around 6 [2]. Sulfate-ferrous arsenic waters are used in the treatment of anemia, because the iron (II)-form is better absorbed in the intestines than the iron (III)form. ...
Full-text available
Crni Guber natural mineral water belongs to a group of highly mineralized iron-arsenic waters, which can be used for therapeutic purposes. In order to determine a more precise and accurate method for determining iron content, a comparison of ICP-OES and spectrophotometric method was performed. For the purposes of analysis using the ICP-OES method water samples were prepared with identical and different dilutions compared to the samples for the analysis performed using the spectrophotometric method. The G-test was used to check for the existence of outlier values in the obtained results, while the precision and accuracy of the method were verified by using the F-test and t-test. The aforementioned tests showed that the spectrophotometric method was more precise and accurate when the samples were prepared with identical dilution. When analyzing samples with different dilutions, the spectrophotometric method proved to be more precise, while in terms of accuracy there was no statistically significant difference between the methods.
... When taken internally, mineral waters act on various human organs and systems without side-effects, are simple to use and inexpensive. The mechanism of action of medicinal waters has been sufficiently studied [17,18]. ...
Full-text available
Introduction and objective: Past COVID-19 significantly worsens Chronic viral hepatitis C patients with concomitant NAFLD. The aim of the study was to assess effectiveness of including mineral water in the rehabilitation complex in patients with chronic hepatitis C with concomitant non-alcoholic fatty liver disease who contracted COVID-19. Material and methods: 71 patients with chronic hepatitis C with concomitant NAFLD wo contracted COVID-19 were examined. Group I (control) - 39 patients prescribed dietary nutrition and exercise therapy. Group II (main) - 32 patients, in addition to the above, received packaged 'Shayanskaya' mineral water. Methodology comprised anamnestic, anthropometric and clinical, general clinical, biochemical, serological, and molecular genetic (markers of hepatitis C virus, HCV RNA PCR (qualitative and quantitative determination, genotyping), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, ultrasonographic examination of digestive organs, and statistical methods. Results: Due to the treatment, there were significant improvements in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, as well as the cytokine profile. Conclusions: The effectiveness was established of the use of silicon low-mineralized bicarbonate sodium mineral water in the complex rehabilitation of patients with chronic hepatitis C and suputor NAFLD after contracted COVID-19. There was a significant improvement in the clinical course of the disease and improvement in the functional state of the liver.
... Both characteristics have been preserved intact because of the underground origin of water, which has been protected from all hazards of pollution [119,120]. ...
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Water is one of the most essential materials for human survival and preservation of life. The significance of equitable access to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is established as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life. The scope of this review is to record the different water sources, along with the water’s main characteristics of each source, and to compare the existing regulations and legislations regarding drinking water as have been set by the competent organizations. Furthermore, this review will highlight and provide a general insight into the most applied drinking water treatment methods and introduce some novel treatment methods. Moreover, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) requirements and case studies of drinking water treatment plants are presented. Finally, natural mineral water characteristics, treatment methods, and legislation, along with the uses and treatment of water in the food industry, are also discussed.
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The present study aims to review the sources of mineral water in Bulgaria, as well as the various aspects of their use as an energy source, benefit for human health and the national economy. Several literary sources on the subject are cited. Statistical analysis was performed and data were summarized about their physical and chemical characteristics, and especially to find distribution by temperature. The production of cheap thermal energy from the geothermal plants contribute to the reduction of the environment pollution, which is of great importance for the country. The extremely good bio-climatic resources in the country provide a base for the prospective development of the balneological branch. The barriers to geothermal development in the country are shown. It is concluded that the importance of geothermal energy from mineral waters in Bulgaria is underestimated.
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Macronutrients are crucial for the growth, and development of plants due to their roles as structural components and redox-sensitive agents. Generally, the application of macronutrients leads to increased crop output, growth, and overall quality. While macronutrients play a role in every stage of a plant's life, scientists in fields such as plant physiology, biotechnology, and eco-physiology have recently focused on exploring additional aspects of these minerals, and their potential. Each macronutrient has a unique function in plant metabolism, and this study aims to examine the latest advancements in understanding the specific roles of macronutrients in plant growth and acclimatization. Furthermore, the study also discusses future research prospects in this field, highlighting the importance of ongoing investigations in maximizing plant productivity, and resilience.
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With the widespread application of plastic pipes in drinking water distribution system, the effects of various leachable organic chemicals have been investigated and their occurrence in drinking water supplies is monitored. Most studies focus on the odor problems these substances may cause. This study investigates the potential endocrine disrupting effects of the migrating compound 2,4-di-tert-butylphenol (2,4-d-t-BP). The summarized results show that the migration of 2,4-d-t-BP from plastic pipes could result in chronic exposure and the migration levels varied greatly among different plastic pipe materials and manufacturing brands. Based on estrogen equivalent (EEQ), the migrating levels of the leachable compound 2,4-d-t-BP in most plastic pipes were relative low. However, the EEQ levels in drinking water migrating from four out of 15 pipes may pose significant adverse effects. With the increasingly strict requirements on regulation of drinking water quality, these results indicate that some drinking water transported with plastic pipes may not be safe for human consumption due to the occurrence of 2,4-d-t-BP. Moreover, 2,4-d-t-BP is not the only plastic pipe-migrating estrogenic compound, other compounds such as 2-tert-butylphenol (2-t-BP), 4-tert-butylphenol (4-t-BP), and others may also be leachable from plastic pipes.
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This study aimed to examine the association between drinking water intake and diet quality, and to analyse the adherence of French men and women to the European Food Safety Authority 2010 Adequate Intake (EFSA AI). A representative sample of French adults (≥18) from the Individual and National Survey on Food Consumption (INCA2) was classified, by sex, into small, medium, and large drinking water consumers. Diet quality was assessed with several nutritional indices (mean adequacy ratio (MAR), mean excess ratio (MER), probability of adequate intakes (PANDiet), and solid energy density (SED)). Of the total sample, 72% of men and 46% of women were below the EFSA AI. This percentage of non-adherence decreased from the small to the large drinking water consumers (from 95% to 34% in men and from 81% to 9% in women). For both sexes, drinking water intake was associated with higher diet quality (greater MAR and PANDiet). This association remained significant independently of socio-economic status for women only. Low drinking water consumers did not compensate with other sources (beverages and food moisture) and a high drinking water intake was not a guarantee for reaching the EFSA AI, meaning that increasing consumption of water should be encouraged in France.
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Background: The aim of this study was to investigate total water intake (TWI) from water, beverages and foods among Italian adults and the elderly. Methods: Data of 2607 adults and the elderly, aged 18-75 years from the last national food consumption survey, INRAN-SCAI 2005-06, were used to evaluate the TWI. The INRAN-SCAI 2005-06 survey was conducted on a representative sample of 3323 individuals aged 0.1 to 97.7 years. A 3-day semi-structured diary was used for participants to record the consumption of all foods, beverages and nutritional supplements. Results: On average, TWI was 1.8 L for men and 1.7 L for women. More than 75% of women and 90% of men did not comply with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Adequate Intake. The contribution of beverages to the total energy intake (EI) was 6% for the total sample. Water was the most consumed beverage, followed by alcoholic beverages for men and hot beverages for women. Conclusion: According to the present results, adults and elderly Italians do not reach the adequate intake for water as suggested by the EFSA and by the national reference level of nutrient and energy intake. Data on water consumption should also be analyzed in single socio-demographic groups in order to identify sub-groups of the population that need more attention and to plan more targeted interventions.
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Water intake is essential for health maintenance and disease prevention. The effects of an intervention with two mineral waters, sodium-bicarbonated mineral water (BW) or control mineral water low in mineral content (CW), on cardiometabolic risk biomarkers were studied. In a randomised-controlled crossover-trial, sixty-four moderately hypercholesterolaemic adults were randomly assigned to consume 1 L/day of either BW (sodium, 1 g/L; bicarbonate, 2 g/L) or CW with the main meals for eight weeks, separated by an eight-week washout period. Blood lipids, lipid oxidation, glucose, insulin, aldosterone, urine pH, urinary electrolytes, blood pressure, body weight, fluid intake, energy, and nutrients from total diet and beverages were determined. Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and glucose decreased (p < 0.01), oxidised LDL tended to decrease (p = 0.073), and apolipoprotein B increased during the intervention, without water type effect. Energy and carbohydrates from beverages decreased since soft drinks and fruit juice consumptions decreased throughout the trial. BW increased urinary pH (p = 0.006) and reduced calcium/creatinine excretion (p = 0.011). Urinary potassium/creatinine decreased with both waters. Consumption of 1 L/day of mineral water with the main meals reduces cardiometabolic risk biomarkers, likely to be attributed to a replacement of soft drinks by water. In addition, BW does not affect blood pressure and exerts a moderate alkalizing effect in the body.
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Background: Inadequate hydration is a public health issue that imposes a significant economic burden. In Spain, data of total water intake (TWI) are scarce. There is a clear need for a national study that quantifies water and beverage intakes and explores associations between the types of beverages and energy intakes. Methods: The Anthropometry, Intake and Energy Balance Study ANIBES is a national survey of diet and nutrition conducted among a representative sample of 2285 healthy participants aged 9-75 years in Spain. Food and beverage intakes were assessed in a food diary over three days. Day and time of beverage consumption were also recorded. Results: On average, TWI was 1.7 L (SE 21.2) for men and 1.6 L (SE 18.9) for women. More than 75% of participants had inadequate TWI, according to European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommendations. Mean total energy intake (EI) was 1810 kcal/day (SE 11.1), of which 12% was provided by beverages. Water was the most consumed beverage, followed by milk. The contribution of alcoholic drinks to the EI was near 3%. For caloric soft drinks, a relatively low contribution to the EI was obtained, only 2%. Of eight different types of beverages, the variety score was positively correlated with TWI (r = 0.39) and EI (r = 0.23), suggesting that beverage variety is an indicator of higher consumption of food and drinks. Conclusions: The present study demonstrates that well-conducted surveys such as the ANIBES study have the potential to yield rich contextual value data that can emphasize the need to undertake appropriate health and nutrition policies to increase the total water intake at the population level promoting a healthy Mediterranean hydration pattern.
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Epidemiological studies have demonstrated inconsistent associations between drinking water magnesium levels and risk of mortality from coronary heart disease (CHD); thus, a meta-analysis was performed to assess the association between them. Relevant studies were searched by the databases of Cochrane, EMBASE, PubMed and Web of Knowledge. Pooled relative risks (RR) with their 95% CI were calculated to assess this association using a random-effects model. Finally, nine articles with 10 studies involving 77,821 CHD cases were used in this study. Our results revealed an inverse association between drinking water magnesium level and CHD mortality (RR = 0.89, 95% CI = 0.79-0.99, I2 = 70.6). Nine of the 10 studies came from Europe, and the association was significant between drinking water magnesium level and the risk of CHD mortality (RR = 0.83, 95% CI = 0.69-0.98). In conclusion, drinking water magnesium level was significantly inversely associated with CHD mortality.
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Purpose: The present placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial aimed to investigate whether a natural mineral water rich in magnesium sulphate and sodium sulphate (Donat Mg) may help to improve bowel function. Methods: A total of 106 otherwise healthy subjects with functional constipation were randomly assigned to consume 300 or 500 mL of a natural mineral water as compared to placebo water, over a course of 6 weeks. The 300-mL arms were terminated due to the results of a planned interim analysis. Subjects documented the complete spontaneous bowel movements, spontaneous and overall bowel movements/week, stool consistency, gastrointestinal symptoms and general well-being in a diary. Change in the number of complete spontaneous bowel movements was defined as the primary outcome. Results: For the 75 subjects in the 500-mL arms, the change in the number of complete spontaneous bowel movements per week tended to be higher in the active group when compared to placebo after 6 weeks (T2 = 1.8; p value = 0.036; one-sided). The mean number of spontaneous bowel movements significantly increased over the course of the study, with significant differences between study arms considering the whole study time (F test = 4.743; p time × group = 0.010, 2-sided). Stool consistency of spontaneous bowel movements (p < 0.001) and the subjectively perceived symptoms concerning constipation (p = 0.005) improved significantly with the natural mineral water as compared to placebo. Conclusions: The daily consumption of a natural mineral water rich in magnesium sulphate and sodium sulphate improved bowel movement frequency and stool consistency in subjects with functional constipation. Moreover, the subjects' health-related quality of life improved. Clinical trial registration: EudraCT No 2012-005130-11.
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Sulphate is an obligate nutrient for healthy growth and development. Sulphate conjugation (sulphonation) of proteoglycans maintains the structure and function of tissues. Sulphonation also regulates the bioactivity of steroids, thyroid hormone, bile acids, catecholamines and cholecystokinin, and detoxifies certain xenobiotics and pharmacological drugs. In adults and children, sulphate is obtained from the diet and from the intracellular metabolism of sulphur-containing amino acids. Dietary sulphate intake can vary greatly and is dependent on the type of food consumed and source of drinking water. Once ingested, sulphate is absorbed into circulation where its level is maintained at approximately 300 μmol/L, making sulphate the fourth most abundant anion in plasma. In pregnant women, circulating sulphate concentrations increase by twofold with levels peaking in late gestation. This increased sulphataemia, which is mediated by up-regulation of sulphate reabsorption in the maternal kidneys, provides a reservoir of sulphate to meet the gestational needs of the developing foetus. The foetus has negligible capacity to generate sulphate and thereby, is completely reliant on sulphate supply from the maternal circulation. Maternal hyposulphataemia leads to foetal sulphate deficiency and late gestational foetal death in mice. In humans, reduced sulphonation capacity has been linked to skeletal dysplasias, ranging from the mildest form, multiple epiphyseal dysplasia, to achondrogenesis Type IB, which results in severe skeletal underdevelopment and death in utero or shortly after birth. Despite being essential for numerous cellular and metabolic functions, the nutrient sulphate is largely unappreciated in clinical settings. This article will review the physiological roles and regulation of sulphate during pregnancy, with a particular focus on animal models of disturbed sulphate homeostasis and links to human pathophysiology.
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To compare the effects of 2 drinking waters containing similar calcium (Ca) concentration in order to analyze the role of ions other than Ca on bone metabolism. These mineral drinking-waters differed by their mineral composition primarily concerning the concentration of bicarbonate (HCO3-), high in the HB, and sulfate, high in HS water. Of 60 included women, 39 completed the study. Patients were randomly assigned to an intake of 1 liter per day of mineral water HB or HS for 28 d, followed by cross-over to the alternative drinking-water for a further 28 d. At baseline and after each period of one month, Ca metabolism parameters, acid-base status, and bone remodeling markers were measured. Changes in Ca metabolism were significant in the HB group where the ionized Ca increased and the PTH decreased. Serum pH showed a similar increase whatever the used drinking water compared to baseline. In the HB group, significant increase in urine pH, and significant decrease in AT-HCO3- and NH4+ were observed. Bone resorption markers, urinary CTx/Cr, Pyr/Cr, and D-Pyr/Cr, significantly decreased in the HB group compared to baseline, and were not significantly modified in the HS group. These results showed a beneficial effect of the bicarbonaterich HB water on bone metabolism. This may account for a better bioavailability of the Ca, a greater alkalinization, and a larger decrease in PTH level secondary to a higher ionized Ca level. The higher content of silica in HB water may have also participated to the positive action on bone balance that was observed. In this short term study, these data underlined the potential role of the mineral drinking water composition on bone metabolism.
Background: Calcium intake in North America remains substantially below recommended amounts. Bottled waters high in calcium could help close that gap. Objectives: The objectives were to summarize and integrate published absorbability and biodynamic data concerning high-calcium mineral waters and to combine these data with hitherto unpublished analyses from my laboratory. Design: The usual library database was searched. The absorbability of calcium from a high-mineral water labeled with tracer quantities of ⁴⁵Ca was measured in human volunteers as a part of an otherwise low-calcium test meal. Published reports that used differing load sizes and meal conditions were harmonized by making corrections based on published calcium absorbability data. Results: All the high-calcium mineral waters had absorbabilities equal to milk calcium or slightly better. When tested, all produced biodynamic responses indicative of absorption of appreciable quantities of calcium (ie, increased urinary calcium, decreased serum parathyroid hormone, decreased bone resorption biomarkers, and protection of bone mass). Conclusion: High-calcium mineral waters could provide useful quantities of bioavailable calcium.