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Posted on Mon, 27 Mar 17

Mineral-rich water improves bowel function

Drinking water rich in minerals such as magnesium improved bowel function in people with functional constipation within just 6-weeks. 

Naturally mineral-rich water has been used to improve bowel function for several years, with previous reports generally suggesting it may be useful for treating constipation [1-5]. This benefit may be due to high concentrations of magnesium and sulfate, which are both known to improve regularity.

To test the purported effects of mineral-rich water a group of adults with functional constipation were enrolled in a clinical trial in which participants received either 500ml of mineral-rich water (derived from a spring in Rogaska Slatina, Slovenia), or a “placebo” water (low mineral drinking water) [5]. 

The mineral water provided 800 mg sodium, 500 mg magnesium, 185 mg calcium, 1000 mg sulphate, and 3800 mg hydrogen carbonate per 500ml. 

Those drinking 500ml of the mineral-rich water daily had an improvement in the number of bowel movements, stool consistency and symptoms concerning constipation. Overall the number of bowel movements per week more than tripled over the course of the study. And there was no statistical difference in side-effects between the mineral water group and placebo group. 

Magnesium rich mineral water appears to be an effective way to improve bowel function in people with constipation. And previous studies suggest mineral water providing as little as around 120 mg magnesium as sulfate per day may be effective [1]. 

“The observed results support the postulation that a mineral water naturally rich in magnesium sulphate and sodium sulphate may be considered as a first line of recommendation for subjects with less frequent bowel movements or harder stool in order to maintain a normal defecation.,” commented the study investigators. “This in turn may help to reduce gastrointestinal discomfort and the development of diseases frequently associated with constipation. Finally, this might improve the health-related quality of life and subsequently reduce the economic burden on healthcare resources.”

References: 

  1. Dupont C, Campagne A, Constant F. Efficacy and safety of a magnesium sulfate-rich natural mineral water for patients with functional constipation. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014
  2. Constant F, Morali A, Arnaud MJ, et al. Treatment of idiopathic constipation in infants: comparative and randomized study of twa mineral waters (60 cases) J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1999;28(5):551. 
  3. Gasbarrini G, Candelli M, Graziosetto RG, et al. Evaluation of thermal water in patients with functional dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome accompanying constipation. World J Gastroenterol. 2006;12(16):2556–2562
  4. Heizer WD, Sandler RS, Seal E, et al. Intestinal effects of sulfate in drinking water on normal human subjects. Dig Dis Sci. 1997;42(5):1055–106 
  5. Naumann J, Sadaghiani C, Alt F, et al. Effects of Sulfate-Rich Mineral Water on Functional Constipation: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study. Forsch Komplementmed. 2016;23(6):356-363.
  6. Bothe G, Coh A, Auinger A. Efficacy and safety of a natural mineral water rich in magnesium and sulphate for bowel function: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Eur J Nutr. 2017 Mar;56(2):491-499.

Tags: Water, Mineral Water, Magnesium, Digestive Health, , Constipation

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