Vitamins and minerals are an essential part of human functioning. Among those, Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is an essential nutrient that plays a critical role in the development and function of brain and nerve cells. A recent study conducted by SSG Hospital found that people who consume purified water through Reverse Osmosis (RO) are at a higher risk of developing a deficiency in this vitamin. The study showed that an RO system removes cobalt, an essential component of vitamin B12. This makes it an emerging risk factor for B12 deficiency.
As part of the study, 160 patients with B12 deficiency and 160 patients with B12 levels within the normal range were enrolled. Researchers led by Dr. Sangita V Patel from the Department of Community Medicine at Baroda Medical College carried out multivariate analysis to identify the risk factors for B12 deficiency using a logistic regression model.
The results showed that those who drank RO water had 3.61 times higher odds of developing vitamin B12 deficiency compared to those who did not. Vegetarians and people with an unnatural dark complexion are also at a higher risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency, the study found. There are three possible reasons why consuming demineralized water can lead to adverse health effects. First, the RO system removes cobalt, which is essential for the production of vitamin B12. Second, reduced absorption of vitamin B12 available in the diet due to low mineralized water leads to chronic atrophic gastritis. Finally, the RO system removes microorganisms responsible for endogenous production of vitamin B12 directly or indirectly.
The study also revealed that the longer the duration of RO water consumption, the higher the possibility of developing vitamin B12 deficiency. B12 deficiency can cause unnatural skin darkening and even hyperpigmentation. Therefore, it is important to ensure adequate intake of vitamin B12 through diet or supplements, especially for those who consume RO water or have risk factors for B12 deficiency.
How a Doulton Water Filter helps
Doulton Water Filters are highly efficient in retaining all the good minerals present in the water. Unlike a RO filter, Doulton filters do not de-mineralize water in the name of filtration. Moreover, Doulton’s ceramic microfilter shell is made from 100% naturally occurring raw materials. It also provides up to 99.99% filtration of bacteria, sediment and microplastics (based upon test dust challenge). Chlorine, limescale, organics, and heavy metals (including lead)** reduction is also provided by additional natural materials and media.
**Refer to individual product data sheets for specific claims