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Mineral Water Derived From Deep-Sea Water Could Have Health Benefits

Mineral Water Derived From Deep-Sea Water Could Have Health Benefits

Mineral Water Derived From Deep-Sea Water Could Have Health Benefits

Mineral Water Derived From Deep-Sea Water Could Have Health Benefits

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Deep-sea water (DSW) is a treasure trove of minerals such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which we require for important functions. Drinking DSW-derived mineral water could have numerous health benefits. With this in mind, scientists from Shibaura Institute of Technology further explored the biological effects of DSW extract-added water in obese mice, in a recent study. They also determined what hardness of the water could have the biggest positive impact on health. 

The oceans have helped sustain life on Earth for billions of years and will likely continue to do so far into the future. Oceans have an abundance of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and copper, which are essential nutrients for living organisms. In Japan, deep-sea water (or DSW) is commonly used for drinking, cosmetic purposes, and as seasoning. Recent evidence indicates that DSW has numerous health benefits. However, the exact mechanism behind these benefits is not known. 

It is also difficult to compare mineral water sources like DSW since they have different hardnesses, which is a term for the amount of minerals in the water. Drinking water of a high hardness could be dangerous to humans. Now, a team of scientists, led by Professor Koji Fukui of Shibaura Institute of Technology (SIT) and including Yugo Kato, Ph.D., from SIT, Mr. Hirotsugu Takenaka from Dydo-Takenaka Beverage Co., Ltd., and Masahiro Kohno, Ph.D., from SIT, explored the biological effects of DSW in obese mice. They also determined which hardness of DSW was most beneficial. The team’s findings were published on 25 April, 2022, in Volume 14, Issue 9 of the journal nutrients.

First, the researchers prepared DSW extract-added water of different levels of hardness (200, 300, and 500) from DSW taken off the coast of Muroto city, Kochi Prefecture. They then administered the DSW extract-added water to obese mice over two months and evaluated if it had any effect on their cognitive and coordinative functions and also on their blood and biochemical parameters. These mice were compared with control mice that were fed the same high-fat diet, but no DSW extract-added water. The effect of DSW on cognitive and coordinative functions was evaluated by using various tasks. To determine the mechanism of cognitive improvement in the tests, the expression of neurotrophic factors and their receptors in the brain was evaluated. Quantitative analysis was conducted using spectroscopy.

“Although we did not observe an anti-obesity effect for any hardness level in the obese mice, the cognitive and coordinative functions of each DSW extract-added water-treated group were significantly improved compared to the control mice,” says Prof. Fukui. Treatment with DSW extract-added water significantly increased hippocampal NGF secretion in the obese mice. 

Additionally, serum parameters like blood urea nitrogen, inorganic phosphorus, amylase, and glucose were decreased in the DSW extract-added water group compared to the control group, indicating a positive impact on renal function. A qualitative analysis of DSW extract-added water at a hardness level of 300 revealed higher concentrations of potassium and magnesium (11 and 7 times that of filtered tap water, respectively). Interestingly, sodium levels for water at this hardness level were found to be lower. “It is important to keep sodium ion concentrations low when concentrating DSW. It is well known that high sodium levels are a high-risk factor for diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular risk,” states Prof. Fukui.

The researchers’ findings provide new insights on the amount of mineral nutrients safe for chronic intake through drinking water. When asked about the broader applications of this research, Prof. Fukui surmises: “A continued intake of beverages containing moderate mineral levels may help maintain proper health. It may reduce the risk of developing various age-related illnesses, such as renal disease, high blood pressure, cognition and coordination abilities, and lipid metabolism disorders.”

Reference: Fukui K, Suzuki Y, Kato Y, Takeuchi N, Takenaka H, Kohno M. Effect of Extract-Added Water Derived from Deep-Sea Water with Different Hardness on Cognitive Function, Motor Ability and Serum Indexes of Obese Mice. Nutrients. 2022;14(9):1794. doi:10.3390/nu14091794

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