Article exerpt from: http://www.luminet.net/~wenonah/riddick/prosch12.htm
By Gus J. Prosch, Jr., M.D.
There are twelve "good health" practices and topics that need discussion and / or clarification to give you a crystal clear understanding of why you should incorporate them in your overall lifestyle. There is considerable confusion and false information that has been given out by various individuals and self interest groups concerning these subjects. Most of the confusion and incorrect fallacies have been spewed out to the general public in order for their perpetrators to make a profit on some "health product" they are selling to an unsuspecting public. My desire and goal here is to bring you the truth, the facts, the "Proven Knowledge" to help you have the opportunity to use this truth to achieve better health &emdash; and I'm not trying to sell you any product or service. I just want you and your family to be healthy and Avoid Sickness. You may not be able to apply all of these principles to your lifestyles, but you will have the truth at your fingertips to use if you so desire. Again, IT'S UP TO YOU! I sincerely hope you put this information to good use.
The average person drinks nearly six times their body weight in water each year. In our bodies, water is absolutely vital for life. Our health becomes critical if we lose only 10% of our body water and death is certain if we lose 20%. Of our body weight, approximately 70% is water. Even our bones contain over 30% water. Our drinking water, beverages, and foods we eat are the sources of water for our bodies. Every cell in our body must have water or it dies. Water bathes the cells in our body and provides the medium or means of transportation for all metabolic elements, which are food nutrients and body chemicals such as hormones, enzymes, vitamins, oxygen and minerals. In these cells, there are literally thousands of chemical reactions taking place at all times to use the food and water we take into our bodies to produce our energy. These processes taking place in the cells are generally referred to as "metabolism". Water is actually produced during these processes. These metabolic elements in the body fluids (primarily water) are constantly flowing in and out of our body cells, and waste products flow out of the body cells into the lymphatic system where they are returned to the blood circulation system and then carried to the kidneys for disposal. The heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of this blood plasma through about 70,000 miles of blood vessels in our bodies each day, sometimes at the rate of 40 miles per hour. Actually about a quart of water flows through our kidneys every minute. The kidneys are continually filtering out the waste products from the blood, and these products are excreted in the urine.
All body cells have a membrane or sac, which completely surrounds the cells. The body water constantly bathing the cells is vital to maintain a delicate acid-alkali (base) chemical and physical balance between the cells and all body organs. This delicate balance that must be maintained is referred to as homeostasis, and must be maintained or we will die. If we don't have enough water intake, our body metabolism is depressed and when our metabolism slows down, our food has a tendency to turn into fat and we become much more fatigued.
Water is essential to moisten the delicate membranes in our nose, throat, bronchial and breathing tubes, so that oxygen is brought to our blood and carbon dioxide (a waste product) excreted. Water must be available to lubricate our joints, as well as allowing absorption of our food nutrients in our digestive tract. Without adequate water, one will see constipation. Waste products and toxins are increased in the blood and are carried to the liver, which puts additional stress on the liver. These accumulated waste products and toxins depress the function of most of our glands. Water is vital in regulating our body temperature. Water is needed for our muscles to function properly and to maintain the right tone in our muscles. Adequate water prevents wrinkling and sagging of our skin (and is needed to inflate that thing between a boy's legs).
It is extremely important that our body maintains a proper equilibrium between the intake and output of body water. This is called water balance. Our water intake comes from the fluids we drink (48%), from the solids we eat (40%), and from the metabolic processes taking place in the body (12%). The output water losses are from the kidneys (56%), skin (20%), lungs (20%), bowels or intestines (4%), and a small amount from tears. Proper water balance must be maintained by having the water intake equal the water output.
The water in the body is distributed in two main compartments. Water outside the cells is called extracellular water, and the water inside the cells is called intracellular. Intracellular water (about 9 gallons) makes up 50% of our total body weight and extracellular water (about 4 gallons) makes up 20%. The extracellular water is further divided into the water around the cells (interstitial, 10-11 quarts) and the blood plasma (intravascular, 34 quarts).
When we think about fluid retention, we are primarily concerned with the extracellular water, the water stored in the tissue spaces between the cells and water in the blood plasma. The chemical sodium chloride (plain table salt) plays a very important part in determining whether fluid is retained or not. The concentration or sodium in the blood is carefully regulated by various hormones and chemical reactions in the body. When we take in too much salt, the kidneys begin to excrete more sodium in the urine in an effort to bring the delicately balanced sodium concentration back to normal. Sodium holds onto water and with excess sodium in our bodies, we become thirsty. When we then drink water, the sodium concentration is diluted and a delicate balance returns. When a person has swelling in the tissues, it generally means they have too much sodium in their body and in order to get rid of this sodium, we must make more water in our kidneys. To do this, we must make more urine; the best way to make more urine is to drink more water. This is the main way to get rid of any fluid retention without the use of drugs. This sounds paradoxical, but it is true: You must drink more water to get rid of water. If you have fluid retention, drinking less water will not help, but may aggravate it. If you have fluid retention, drinking more water will not worsen it, but help cure it.
You may be asking at this point, why not take a diuretic? Diuretics only cause water to leave the body in an abnormal and often dangerous manner. Besides, the water loss is only temporary. The body learns to depend on diuretics like many people are habituated to laxatives, when over a period of time they have had to increase the strength of the laxative for it to be effective. They must then depend on laxatives. I don't want this to happen to you.
From the above discussion, you can easily understand that water is the key to all bodily functions: digestion, assimilation, circulation, elimination, lubrication, and temperature control and other important factors. Because of this, I'm sure you can understand that the purity and quality of the water you drink is vital to your body's well being. Another very important point that few people stop to think about, is that the Earth does not make any new water. In fact, only one percent of the Earth's water is suitable for drinking. The other 99% is either ice or unusable salty water.
More and more, every day throughout our nation, magazines, television, and newspapers warn about the dangers of drinking polluted water, and many of the pollutants in the drinking water are tasteless, odorless, and colorless, but they are dissolved in the water. Unfortunately, for many generations, the oceans, rivers, and ground waters, have been a catch-all for waste products. The main sources of these waste products are AGRICULTURAL (fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, arsenic, nitrates), INDUSTRIAL ( heavy metals, chemicals, solvents, mercury, organic waste, lead, rust, asbestos, dioxin, phenolics), and MAN MADE (detergents, dissolved solids, sewage, algae, viruses, fungus, parasites, bacteria, hydrocarbons, chlorine). You should easily be able to see the seriousness of this problem when you stop to consider that over 66,000 chemicals are used in the United States and 45,000 pesticides are on the market. I saw in a recent issue of Sierra Magazine, an article which reported that of 1,200 different ingredients found in pesticides that are labeled "inert", only 300 are considered "safe", 100 are known to be dangerous and the risk for the remaining 800 are "unknown". The seriousness becomes even more apparent when one realizes that there are over 19,000 hazardous waste dumps, 95,000 landfills, tens of thousands of reservoirs, or pits that contain liquid waste, and millions of underground storage tanks and septic tanks. There are over three and a half billion gallons of liquid waste created each and every day, which potentially can pollute our water supply ( And the military is disposing of many toxic materials by burning or just burying them ).
It's quite obvious that Big Brother knows the danger of this polluted water in our society and wants to keep us ignorant of this fact. Would you believe that recent legislative action has made it illegal to claim that any municipally treated water is detrimental to your health? Can you believe this? A 1988 Report states, "Nationwide, 2,110 organic and inorganic contaminants have been identified in drinking water at various levels by Federal Land State Survey programs since the Safe Drinking Water Act was passed in 1974. Of these, the vast majority, nearly 2,090 of the over 2,100 contaminants are organic chemicals." This report presents a national portrait of the real drinking water contamination crisis that local, state, and federal officials have been unwilling or unable to manage. The Environmental Protection Agency only tests for 33 contaminants, and if the standards for these are met, the water is considered safe. What about all the contaminants not tested for? Another factor is that, some of the most hazardous contaminants like asbestos,lead and copper usually enter the water after leaving the water treatment plants. Also, not realized by most people, is that the majority of water treatment facilities use aluminum sulfate to precipitate the cloudiness in our drinking water, and according to Colloidal Chemistry Laws, 3&endash;4 parts per million ( milligrams per liter ) of this aluminum will cause severe coagulation in our blood. Therefore, since many contaminants are not even tested for and others enter the drinking water after treatment, we all are potentially at great risk from these very harmful substances. The only way you can protect yourself is to drink distilled water, or reverse osmosis filtered water. I am recommending this for all my patients. In the rest of this paper, I will refer to distilled or reverse osmosis filtered water as "pure" water.
To attain the best of health, it is essential that we all use "pure" water in our drinks of all types. I recommend that all my patients bring a sample of their water to the Clinic where I can check the dissolved solids found in the water. By law, I can only show you what is in the water, but I cannot tell you that the water is bad for your health if it is water that has been treated by a municipality. When most patients see what comes out of their water, I don't have to say anything because it is obvious that there is pollution present. Now, what are your options that you can follow to ensure that you get "Pure" water for your family.
You could buy a reverse osmosis filtering water system for use at your home and this is probably the cheapest in the long run. If you are going to buy a system, make sure that it works. A good reverse osmosis filtering system will remove these potentially dangerous colloids. Of course, the ideal water purification system will have 4 stages of purification. First should be a prefilter that removes all particles smaller than a red blood cell, and this protects the remaining cartridges and extends their lifetime. Stage 2 should be a granular activated carbon filter that removes chlorine as well as taste and odor causing compounds commonly found in water supplies. Stage 3 would include a reverse osmosis unit, which really removes all the cations from metals, salts, and large organic molecules. And finally, the fourth stage should have a prolonged contact carbon filter to remove the chloramines, chlorophenols, and other organic chemicals.
No matter what type of water you use, whether it is reverse osmosis (RO) filtered water, distilled water, well water or municipally treated water, it is very important that you drink at least three quarts of water each day.
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Thank you, Dr. Prosch