Purified water can kill you

Can you drink distilled water?

The chemistry teacher had warned us: "Never drink distilled water!" A miserable death with stomach bleeding and bursting cells would be imminent if we had the idea to take a sip from the squirt bottle.

Our health-conscious neighbor, on the other hand, was probably missing from chemistry class. He recently ordered a distiller and now swears by the detoxifying effect of the salt-free water. So what now?

It is correct that cells can burst through so-called osmosis, because their cell membranes are semi-permeable. That is, only water molecules get through; Salts or sugar molecules are too large for passive transport through the membrane pores. Now, however, water flows into the cells in an effort to balance the higher salt and sugar concentration inside with the concentration outside the cell. If the concentration gradient is large, so much water sometimes collects in the cells that the cell boundary finally gives way: the cell bursts.

Ultimately, our blood cells fared no differently, but we would have to hang on to a drip with distilled water.

However, drinking it is far less serious. Because through the stomach acid and the food ingested, chemically pure water is mixed again with minerals so that our cells do not even come into contact with it. This means that even tea or coffee brewed with distilled water, which some people swear by its fine aroma, poses no danger.

Some people even see "aqua destillata" as a health product, as it contains no harmful substances such as lead, nitrates and pesticides and is supposed to purify the body. The German Nutrition Society - and most of the scientists with it - warn against the exclusive use of distilled water. This is because the distillate removes potassium and sodium ions from the cells in the long term, especially in the case of a one-sided diet, and thus upsets the body's electrolyte balance.