Reverse osmosis benefits
Reverse osmosis filtering has been proven to have some seriously positive health benefits.
Helps reduce sodium intake
In homes that use water softeners to remove minerals from hard water, the ion exchange process that softeners use will leave you with water that’s fine for cleaning, bathing, and laundry — but not great for drinking. Basically, most water softeners replace hard minerals with sodium thus leading to a salty water taste. Using a reverse osmosis water filter enables you to enjoy the benefits of softer water without the added sodium and accompanying salty taste.
Helps prevent dementia
A classic example is this study which found that dialysis patients could prevent dementia (a comorbidity that occurred in 18 out of 258 patients) by simply using an RO filter. With no other treatment, scientists were able to improve the condition in 7 out of 9 previously exposed patients and prevent dementia in those whose water was treated from the start of the study.
Helps prevent gastrointestinal illness
Another study tracked the gastrointestinal health of 1400 families and found 14% more gastrointestinal illness in families drinking tap water than in those who were drinking water purified with reverse osmosis. The study noted that “14-40% of gastrointestinal illnesses are attributable to tap water meeting current standards and that the water distribution system appears to be partly responsible for these illnesses.”
The best reverse osmosis water filter
The best RO filters will have carefully engineered membranes that stand up to daily use. They filter for even the smallest particles and include additional steps to ensure that the water it provides is both clean and healthy.
It’s important to do the research necessary to know how many contaminants an RO water filter truly removes. The simple saying “don’t believe everything you read on the internet” goes a long way. Look for certifications like WQA, NSF, and IAPMO. A reverse osmosis system should pass NSF/ANSI Standards including Standards 42, 53, 58, and 401 – read more about NSF standards here.
Consumer RO filtration systems generally do a good job of stripping out harmful contaminants, chemicals, minerals, and salt, but in the process, also strip the water of essential minerals. There is some disagreement on this issue, with some health experts stating that the amount of minerals in water is negligible anyway, so RO systems are a great option. However, the venerable World Health Organization and many other health experts have stated that water is an important source of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron, especially for people in developing countries. The best water filter system is one that removes all the harmful particulates while remineralizing the water. That assures that it not only tastes great but has the health benefits that essential minerals provide.