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Ion-free water for human consumption?

Depree, Jonathan A depreej at lincoln.ac.nz
Thu Oct 17 09:48:33 EST 1996

In article <325fb141.306398054 at news.onramp.net> fjm at onramp.net (Fred McCall) writes:
>From: fjm at onramp.net (Fred McCall)
>Subject: Re: Ion-free water for human consumption?
>Date: Sat, 12 Oct 1996 15:28:31 GMT

>cbenson at CSWNET.COM (H.C. Benson) wrote:

>:My interest is in deuterium oxide which contaminates all terrestrial
>:water supplies at a ratio ranging from 1:5000 to 1:7000.  

>Our water is contaminated with water?  Oh, my!

>:It is a puzzle 
>:to me why so little research has been done on the deleterious effects of 
>:exposure to these concentrations over the human lifespan.

>There is no difference in chemical behaviour between the two, so why
>would you expect any biological effects at all?

I used to think that too, but when I was a biochem student I remember covering 
this issue in one of our weekly lab meetings. Biochemists often study enzyme 
action using proton NMR (magnetic resonance). This may involve replacing 
many of the hydrogens in the substrate with deuteriums, or at least conducting 
the reaction in D2O. The professor assured me that this does cause a 
significant change in the rate of reation.
D2O may be chemically the same as H2O, but in the confined space of an enzyme 
active site there is a difference.

Mind you, I doubt that the trace amounts of D2O in water will have any effect, 
I suspect that if the reaction doesn't favour D2O then H2O will crowd it out 
in nearly all cases.

Jonathan Depree,
Lincoln University, P.O. Box 84, Canterbury, New Zealand.

Socrates was a famous Greek Teacher who went around giving
people advice. They killed him.   (school history howler)

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