Water is an essential element of life. We need clean drinking water to stay alive, and use water in every facet of daily life, from food preparation to sanitation, to hygiene. The purity and safety of our drinking water supply are crucial to maintaining good health. 17% of the world’s population uses water from unprotected sources, 32% use water obtained from protected sources. And 51% use water provided by municipalities that are delivered to the home.

Hard water is a water-containing a large amount of calcium and magnesium ions. Hardness can also be caused by zinc, aluminum, strontium, barium, iron, and manganese. Sodium and potassium do not cause hardness because they are monovalent in nature. These divalent cations come together with the anions in water and form stable salts. Hardness can be classified into two types: carbonate and non-carbonate hardness.


Also, “About 1 in 8 people worldwide does not have access to safe potable water. Many of these people consume water that is considered “hard water” which may contribute to high disease rates. Such as cardiovascular problems, diabetes, reproductive failure, and so on,” studies show.

It is also proven that calcium and magnesium present in hard water. It may even help your body in a positive way. The problems associated with the hard water is due to other ions present in the hard water.

Studies show that hard water may affect health adversely. Due to its properties which can worsen the conditions of the following diseases:

Cardiovascular disease

several studies have proven that “drinking water with elevated calcium and magnesium. It can have benefits regarding lower mortality and lowering blood pressure associated with cardiovascular disease.”

Some other large-scale studies show that “an inverse relationship between the hardness of drinking-water and cardiovascular disease has been reported.”

While other small scale studies show that “The extent to which confounding variables, such as climatic, socioeconomic, or major risk factors, may account for the inverse relationship is unclear.”


“Nevertheless, in a number of studies, a weak inverse relationship reported after allowance made for climatic and socioeconomic factors and after major risk factors such as hypertension, smoking habits, and elevated serum lipids when taken into account.  Men reported an inverse relationship between hardness and cardiovascular disease. After allowing for climatic and certain social factors, but only up to about 170 mg of calcium carbonate.  A variety of hypotheses proposed to explain the possible inverse association.


However, none fully substantiated, nor a particular element found to be conclusively associated with cardiovascular disease. It may be correlated with a high level of magnesium in hard water, which has some anti-stress actions against coronary heart disease. In a study of regional differences in mortality in cardiovascular diseases in 76 municipalities in mid-Sweden, a considerable gradient found between the western areas with high mortality and soft water and the eastern areas with low mortality and hard water. The hardness of water defined as the sum of the content of calcium and magnesium shows a considerable influence on the differences in mortality compared to major risk factors.


The incidence of coronary heart disease varies widely in different geographical regions over the world and serious epidemiological studies carried out to identify variables that could explain this fact. The role of water hardness, widely investigated and evaluated for many years in several studies. where people discussed regional differences in cardiovascular disease.  Earlier studies have found positive correlations between water and dietary magnesium and calcium and blood pressure.


In Finland and South Africa, it was found that the incidence of death ascribed to ischemic heart disease is inversely correlated with the concentration of magnesium in drinking water and also in Swedish case-control study magnesium, and calcium in drinking water was associated with lower mortality from acute myocardial infarction in women but not with the total incidence.


 However, other studies could not confirm these findings,  conversely, in a study of magnesium in drinking water supplies and mortality from acute myocardial infarction in North-West England, there was likewise evidence of an association between magnesium and cardiovascular mortality. In a Swedish study, the skeletal muscle magnesium levels were significantly higher in persons living in an area with higher water magnesium. The concentration of magnesium in striated muscle, used as a marker to evaluate the ion content in the soft tissue.”


A recent Taiwanese study found that “the presence of calcium and magnesium in drinking water lowered morbidity/mortality rates with certain types of cancer, including gastric, colon, rectal, and pancreatic cancer mortality. Another study found a positive effect from high magnesium levels in lowering the risks for esophageal and ovarian cancer. “


Taiwanese scientists provided important researches in this field. In most of their studies, “the authors indicated a negative statistical association of various types of cancer morbidity/mortality with the hardness of water and calcium. In a review of these publications, it is worth noting the results concerning the possible association between the risk of gastric cancer and the levels of calcium and magnesium. Some studies suggest there was a significant protective effect of calcium intake. This came from drinking water on the risk of gastric cancer. Magnesium also exerted a protective effect against gastric cancer. But only for the group with the highest levels of magnesium exposure. In another matched case-control study, the authors found a possible association between the risk of colon cancer and hardness levels in drinking from municipal supplies in Japan. (obtained trend analyses showed an increasing odd ratio for cancer with decreasing hardness in drinking water).


“ Similar epidemiological trends were also achieved. These were for the relations between hardness levels in drinking water and the risk of rectal cancer and pancreatic cancer mortality. However, the researchers did not find any association with magnesium levels.

One of the strongest epidemiological evidence of the significant protective effect of magnesium intake from the drinking water. Indeed it was that gave for the risk for esophageal cancer and ovarian cancer.

 Unfortunately, these authors did not find any results pertaining to the similar trend between drinking-water magnesium and liver cancer. The first strong evidence concerning the possible ecological relation between exposure to water magnesium and hepatic cancer was reported in Eastern Europe.”

Cerebrovascular Mortality

Some reports show that “there is a significant protective effect of magnesium intake in lowering stroke risk. Magnesium is proven to lower blood pressure, which is believed to also decrease the mortality risk and incidence of stroke. Magnesium deficiency can cause vasodilation increasing blood pressure by restricting blood flow. We receive most of our magnesium through food sources, but still may be deficient. Drinking hard water can increase dietary magnesium and provide health benefits.”


Some reports suggest “there is a significant protective effect of magnesium intake from the drinking on the risk of cerebrovascular disease. Despite their inherent limitations, studies on the ecological correlation between mortality and environmental exposures have been used widely to generate or discredit epidemiological hypotheses. Dietary calcium is the main source of calcium intake. Epidemiological studies show that dietary calcium inversely associates itself with blood pressure. With much of the epidemiological literature suggesting a relationship between dietary calcium and blood pressure, it would seem reasonable to expect that intake of dietary calcium could reduce the risk of cardiovascular events, such as stroke that are commonly associated with hypertension.  


However, controlling for magnesium levels eliminates the perceived effect of calcium levels on cerebrovascular mortality. In the general population, the major proportion of magnesium intake is through food, and a smaller proportion is through drinking. For individuals with borderline magnesium deficiency, waterborne magnesium can make an important contribution to their total intake. In addition, the loss of magnesium from food lowers when people cook food in magnesium-rich water. Magnesium in water can also play a critical role because of its high bioavailability. Magnesium in water appears as hydrated ions, which absorbs more easily than magnesium in food.


The contribution of water magnesium among persons who drink water with high magnesium levels could be crucial in the prevention of magnesium deficiency. The significant association between mortality from cerebrovascular disease and the levels of magnesium in drinking, supported by the knowledge of the functions of magnesium. Magnesium is an enzyme (Na+/K+ ATPase) activator and regulates cellular energy metabolism, vascular tone, and cell membrane ion transport. A lack of magnesium leads to a decrease in the concentration of intracellular potassium and an increase in calcium levels.


Magnesium deficiency may increase the contractility of blood vessels. Magnesium causes vasodilation by stimulation of endothelial prostacyclin release and in vivo, prevents vasoconstriction of the intracranial vessels after experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage. In addition, fear of cerebrovascular disease should not deter anyone from drinking with low magnesium levels. In conclusion, the results of the present study show that there is a significant protective effect of magnesium intake from drinking on the risk of cerebrovascular disease. This is an important finding for the Taiwan water industry and human health risk assessment”

Alzheimer’s Disease

“ While a direct correlation between consumption of aluminum and Alzheimer’s has not been proven, studies have shown a higher incidence of the disease in water districts with a high level of dissolved aluminum in the drinking.”

• Diabetes

“ Hard water is often indicative of higher levels of magnesium. ATP-related enzymes and channels regulating insulin action are dependent on magnesium. People find low magnesium levels in non-diabetic subjects with metabolic disorders as well as being a common feature in type-2 diabetics. Recent evidence suggests that subclinical magnesium levels may precipitate a diabetic state.”

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