Is Reverse Osmosis Water Good or Bad for Kidneys?

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The growing popularity of reverse osmosis as a method for purifying water has brought some controversial discussions to the spotlight.

While many people are aware that drinking purified water is beneficial for one’s health, there have been some concerns about the specific impact of reverse osmosis water on kidneys.

Let’s take a closer look!

Key Takeaways

  • Reverse osmosis water is not bad for your kidneys.
  • In fact, reverse osmosis water can be good for your kidneys if you are prone to developing liver stones, as it contains fewer minerals.

Is Reverse Osmosis Water Bad for Kidneys?

First of all, is reverse osmosis water bad for kidneys? No, reverse osmosis water is not bad for kidneys.

For your kidneys, water is water. They cannot differentiate between reverse osmosis water and regular water, and they don’t really have any preference one way or another.

The important thing here is to make sure that you stay hydrated and visit the bathroom regularly. As long as you drink enough water and take frequent bathroom breaks, your kidneys should remain in a good state. This is irrelevant of whether you’re drinking reverse osmosis water or not.

Is Reverse Osmosis Water Good for Your Kidneys?

Reverse osmosis water can actually be good for your kidneys in the long run. That’s because it strips out all minerals that are naturally contained in water. Those minerals can contribute to kidney stones, a problem that troubles many people as they grow older. You should also remember that we consume those minerals from many other sources, not just from water.

Kidney stones

That said, if your diet already lacks minerals like calcium and magnesium, switching to RO water could worsen the situation. That’s why the WHO recommends reintroducing calcium and magnesium into demineralized water

Myths About the Effects of Reverse Osmosis Water on Health

As with anything popular, several myths have been going around regarding the effects of reverse osmosis water on people’s health. It’s important to obtain your information from verified sources instead of sticking to strange websites that are trying to push outrageous claims for their own benefit. Here are some of the things you might hear about reverse osmosis and its impact on health.

RO Water Is Unhealthy Because It Lacks Minerals

Yes, it’s true that reverse osmosis water doesn’t have the minerals normally contained in regular unfiltered water. It’s also true that those minerals are beneficial to your health in regular amounts. This doesn’t mean that reverse osmosis water is inherently unhealthy, though. It just means that you would need to make up for the imbalance in your diet through other means, for example by taking supplements. Or, as mentioned before, you remineralize your RO water before you consume it.

Also, the lack of minerals can actually be seen as a good thing. It lowers your risk of developing kidney stones and allows you to more precisely control the balance of your diet.

RO Water Attacks Your Body

There is a strange claim going around that reverse osmosis water “attacks” your body in some way. This is complete nonsense. Trying to trace the origins of the rumor, it seems like it all started as a misunderstanding related to the fact that reverse osmosis – the process – removes minerals from water as it gets purified.

It seems that some people get confused by that statement. While it’s true that low-mineral water can increase the elimination of salt ions from the body via urination, it does not attack the body doing so.

The WHO Has Warned Against RO Water

You might also hear some people claiming that the World Health Organization has issued a warning against reverse osmosis water. And yet, if you try to find it, you will come up empty handed. There is absolutely no such statement ever published by the WHO. Sadly, this hasn’t stopped some websites from parroting the idea and trying to spread misinformation.

What Is RO Water? How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?

Now that we’ve gone over some of the myths related to the effect of reverse osmosis on your body, let’s take a look at the process itself. Reverse osmosis is one of the most effective methods for purifying water, and it’s widely used all over the world, both domestically and in industrial settings.

Mechanically, it’s a very simple process. It all comes down to a thin, semipermeable membrane with very fine pores. Those pores are so small that only water molecules can pass through them, and pretty much nothing else. Reverse osmosis involves pushing water through that membrane at a high level of pressure. As a result, water molecules make it to the other end of the membrane, while everything else gets left behind. The contaminants get mixed with the reject water stream and are removed. This is a highly efficient process which leaves practically no contaminants and is very cost effective. It also has relatively low maintenance requirements when used in a domestic setting.

If you have any thoughts about the question, is RO water good or bad for kidneys, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

About the Author Gene Fitzgerald

Gene Fitzgerald is one of the founders of BOS and currently head of content creation. She has 8+ years of experience as a water treatment specialist under her belt making her our senior scientist. Outside of BOS, Gene loves reading books on philosophy & social issues, making music, and hiking.
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