Is Bad Water Causing Your Weight Gain?
By Dr. Roy M. Speiser
The notion of safe drinking water is a myth. The fact that your tap water gets a passing grade from the EPA doesn't mean it's safe—in fact, it's far from it. Unfortunately, our drinking water has become a repository for toxic waste. Agricultural run-off is flushing heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers into the environment, which then seep into our water supply. Industries also illegally dump chemicals into the ground and waterways.
Due to our country's rotting infrastructure, water suppliers have had to add more and more chlorine, resulting in higher levels of disinfection byproducts (DBPs). Disinfection byproducts, such as chloroform, have carcinogenic effects leading some to be EPA classified as Class B "probable carcinogens."
Based on research conducted between 2010 and 2015, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found nearly 50,000 American public water systems contaminated with hundreds of harmful chemicals, including arsenic, chloroform, drugs, and other toxins. Of the approximately 500 contaminants tested, they detected a whopping 267 in US drinking water supplies.
Fluoride Spells Bad News for Your Thyroid
Fluoride is a neurotoxin, an endocrine disruptor, and has no benefits for the body. Despite a mountain of evidence about its health-destroying effects, about 75 percent of the US population still receives fluoridated water. Most developed countries do not fluoridate their water—and for good reason! Fluoridated countries do not enjoy less tooth decay than non-fluoridated countries.
Fluoride can lead to weight gain and obesity by blocking the iodine receptors in your thyroid gland, which impedes your body's synthesis of thyroid hormone. Fluoride is such a potent suppressor of the thyroid that it was actually used to treat hyperthyroidism up until the 1950s!
Just like other halogens, fluoride can hasten the development of thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland), as well as autoimmune thyroiditis. Research to date suggests fluoride exposure may be driving up the prevalence of diabetes in this country. Fluoride exposure can also damage the brain. Babies exposed to fluoridated water in-utero via the mother, show grossly abnormal brain development. When it comes to crimes against your thyroid, fluoride does not act alone. Firm evidence exists that PCBs, phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), brominated flame retardants, and perfluorinated chemicals also damage the thyroid, and all of these are making their way into our tap water.
"Water Weight" Takes on a Whole New Meaning
When it comes to weight loss resistance, the estrogen-mimicking chemicals in your drinking water can really do a number on you. Estrogenic compounds are so notorious for causing weight gain that they're referred to as "obesogens." These compounds are ubiquitous today, including plastic products, processed foods, and drugs, such as antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and many other sources.
Atrazine is the second most commonly used herbicide in the US and one of the most prevalent in drinking water—one in six Americans are estimated to be drinking atrazinecontaminated water. Atrazine is linked to infertility, a variety of birth defects, several cancers (including ovarian and thyroid), mitochondrial dysfunction, and weight gain.
The Water Pollution Solution
If you want to achieve a healthy weight and avoid a thyroid slowdown, you simply cannot drink toxic water. Effective water filtration is critically important if you are challenged with any serious health condition.
In attempting to navigate the maze of misinformation, millions of consumers are buying filters that are entry-level or minimal filters, such as pourthrough pitchers and refrigerator or faucet filters. These devices are not capable of removing the wide array of contaminants found in today's drinking water. They may reduce small amounts of chlorine, lead, bad taste and odor, but when it comes to fluoride, parasites, heavy metals, chloramine, pharmaceuticals, and industrial chemicals, they are simply not up to the task.
The best protection requires a multi-barrier filtration system that can effectively eliminate even the smallest particles from your water. When it comes to water filters, there is no one-size-fits-all. Different contaminants require different filtration technologies. For example, THMs and pharmaceuticals are best removed by special carbons. Reverse osmosis is good for metals, but not effective for industrial chemicals. Ceramics are best for parasites, which chlorine does not kill.
The most effective system is a filtration tank on the main pipe containing different filtration materials to remove industrial chemicals, chlorine, DBPs, and start the process of removing heavy metals. If your water evaluation showed special contaminants, then specialized filters can be added.
The next step in the treatment chain is to add filtration at the sink, which removes additional contaminants such as fluoride, bacteria, parasites, heavy metals, and special toxins. In an apartment, a shower filter removes free chlorine—not the ammonia part, but the chlorine, which is a major factor in the formation of disinfection byproducts. A multi-stage system is so effective that by the time your water reaches the tap, the contaminants are essentially nondetectable.
When it comes to choosing a system, my advice is to purchase the best filter you can afford with the latest filtration technology for handling the more challenging contaminants, including fluoride. My favorite new technology is MetalgonTM, which utilizes a combination of top quality activated carbon; plus, other superior adsorbent materials, melded into a solid block with a dense, high-performance porous structure.
It's time we stop taking our water for granted! The water we drink today sets the stage for our health tomorrow. Chronic disease rates, as well as the obesity epidemic, suggest we are in dire need of a course correction. Without responsible and effective solutions, the cost of water will become prohibitively expensive to the average family, who will then end up paying the price with their health. You alone are the one who must safeguard your family's health by taking steps to improve the water quality in your home.