Health Aspects of Calcium and Magnesium in Water.
Beginning about 50 years ago, numerous epidemiology studies in many countries concluded that populations consuming ‘hard water’ containing calcium and/or magnesium have a lower risk of certain types of cardiovascular disease. These studies have not always observed the ‘hard water’ benefit effect, but in 2004 a committee report to WHO concluded that, on balance, the benefits hypothesis was probably valid, especially for magnesium in drinking water. A more detailed scientific assessment of the benefits hypothesis is necessary before WHO can make a decision with respect to guidance on magnesium and calcium in drinking water.
- There is consensus that most of the world’s people are deficient in magnesium and calcium, resulting in vast numbers of deaths and debilitating illnesses worldwide.
- There seemed to be agreement that there are only two ways of delivering adequate dietary Ca and Mg to the global population, without requiring consumers to change their behaviors or habits:
- Dr. Ragnar Rylander made the important point that bicarbonate in water may improve the RETENTION of magnesium and calcium, and is therefore important.
- When both calcium and magnesium are deficient, heart attack, stroke, and osteoporosis may occur.
- When magnesium is adequate, but calcium is lacking, damage is not as extensive.
- When calcium is adequate, but magnesium is lacking, then the calcium may cause calcification of soft tissues like the heart and brain, causing strokes and heart attacks, and unwanted deposits on bones.
- So the balance between calcium and magnesium is important. Most researchers think the total dietary ratio of Ca/Mg should be between 2-to-1 and 1-to-1.
- The WHO may recommend in 2008 that beverages be fortified with 100 mg/L magnesium, and 100-200 mg/L calcium.