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  • Gut Flora and Tap Water?

    Hi everybody,
    I read on a paleo blog recently that chlorination in tap water can harm healthy gut flora. Has this claim been researched? If not, does anyone have opinions on its likely accuracy?
    Thanks!

  • #2
    There doesn't seem to have been any research done on it, so it seems like speculation right now. Intuitively, I'd think that gut bacteria live in a pretty harsh environment so would be sturdy enough to stand a bit of chlorine.

    On balance, I think I'd rather take the risk of harming my gut flora than contracting typhoid or cholera.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by NewlyPrimed View Post
      Hi everybody,
      I read on a paleo blog recently that chlorination in tap water can harm healthy gut flora. Has this claim been researched? If not, does anyone have opinions on its likely accuracy?
      Thanks!
      The chlorine found in tap water is essentially lethal anyway. Ditch it altogether and drink filtered water packed with REAL minerals and take a strong probiotic to restore healthy gut flora. Simple!

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      • #4
        Hi,
        Thanks for the replies. What is invovled with filtering chlorine from water? Will a charcoal filter do the job?

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        • #5
          I'm glad I got some good well water. No chlorine or fluoride worries.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by NewlyPrimed View Post
            Hi,
            Thanks for the replies. What is invovled with filtering chlorine from water? Will a charcoal filter do the job?
            Depends on the chlorine involved. Good info here about Chlorine.

            A reverse osmosis system eliminates most if not all, but can be pricey and requires more maintenance. I used one for years until it broke and started leaking all the time. Now I have a Watts system with 3 snap in cartridges (Amazon.com) and it seems to get rid of most of the chlorine, at least I can't smell it anymore.

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            • #7
              We use pitchers in the fridgerator. We fill them up and let them sit (open topped) in the fridge over-night before drinking the water in them. This has the effect of removing the chlorine flavor from the water. I've done no scientific testing, other than to compare a glass that came straight from the tap, with one that came from an overnight chilled pitcher. I can taste a difference.
              Began Primal Living: 25 Sep 2012
              Starting Weight: 82kg (180 lbs) - Lost 30 lbs since going Primal!

              "I do not eat enough carbs to justify eating low-fat."
              "Have some bread with your bread, pasta, bread, and HFCS." - Unicorn
              "I also walk my dog twice a day now instead of paying someone else to do it." - IronGirl
              "Tell me you're not weak minded enough to be outsmarted by a donut?" - not on the rug


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              • #8
                Chlorine (mostly?) evaporates from an open container in 24 hours. The time I forgot to let the water sit out, the goldfish died.
                Age 55, post-menopausal, primal since August '12 with some dairy, lots of seafood, following PHD and the 5 Leptin Rules. Taking ThyroGold, eating RS and zero wheat with great results. My Primal Journal

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                • #9
                  fishy fishy fishy fish

                  fishy fishy fish - YouTube
                  What have you done today to make you feel Proud?

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                  • #10
                    Thanks everyone.

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                    • #11
                      I don't think chlorinated water effects our gut flora much, but chlorinated water may be much more harmful in other ways, on a large scale:

                      Should auld acquaintance be forgot...


                      However, this new insight does not explain why allergies and autoimmune diseases are on the rise nearly everywhere in the developed world. Because their prevalence has increased markedly over a relatively short period of time, the underlying cause cannot be attributed to the slow pace of evolution—rather, external, environmental causes are most likely. Hygiene seemed to be a likely culprit; after all, our move to chlorinated water, cleaner air, modern sanitation and improved personal hygiene happened at about the right time. Yet it is not clear how this affects immunity. “The first question is, is microbial exposure important for a balanced immune system, and then the second question is, if reduced microbial exposure is important, what types of microbial exposure and why has it changed?” asked Sally Bloomfield, an honorary professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, and co-author of a recent report from the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene (IFH) that reviews the hygiene hypothesis (Stanwellsmith & Bloomfield, 2004). According to Bloomfield, “There's a whole load of things that could have altered the way in which we interact with microbes.”
                      I think chlorinated water just adds to the misery of our over-sterilzed lives. As someone else pointed out, I'd take chlorinated water over water containing an infectious disease, and in that respect, chlorinated water has undoubtedly saved many lives. But I would never want to have to drink it every day living in a place that I had access to unchlorinated water or the luxury of de-chlorinating it as many others have mentioned.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tatertot View Post
                        I don't think chlorinated water effects our gut flora much, but chlorinated water may be much more harmful in other ways, on a large scale:

                        Should auld acquaintance be forgot...


                        I think chlorinated water just adds to the misery of our over-sterilzed lives. As someone else pointed out, I'd take chlorinated water over water containing an infectious disease, and in that respect, chlorinated water has undoubtedly saved many lives. But I would never want to have to drink it every day living in a place that I had access to unchlorinated water or the luxury of de-chlorinating it as many others have mentioned.

                        Hi Tatertot,
                        That is a really interesting quote. Thanks so much for sharing your perspective. Food allergies/sensitivities and autoimmune issues have caused me huge grief over the years. I have been on the Paleo Autoimmune diet for close to a year now. To date, it is the only thing that has given me real relief. I wonder if getting chlorine out of my water may be a giant step towards getting my system back to a healthy state. At times I think the 21st Century wants to kill me with processed food, sedentary white collar work, etc. Now I can add chlorine to the list of hazards.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NewlyPrimed View Post
                          Hi everybody,
                          I read on a paleo blog recently that chlorination in tap water can harm healthy gut flora. Has this claim been researched? If not, does anyone have opinions on its likely accuracy?
                          Thanks!
                          That's a heck of a thing to post about during the centenary of the First World War! First poison gas used in warfare -- Apr 22, 1915:

                          Germans introduce poison gas — History.com This Day in History — 4/22/1915


                          As to your question -- yes, I think there is this and some other worries. For example, there are worries that chlorine and the other more reactive halogens could be displacing iodine in the body. Sounds plausible: unprecedented levels of other halogens in the environment could part of the explanation for the enormous rise in thyroid problems. That together with the relative dearth of iodine in most modern diets, including probably most paleo diets -- the level found in Mediteranean-type diets would be more optimal.

                          I think you mention filtering your tap water later in the thread.

                          I do, but according to the naturopath David Getoff, doing this but showering in chlorinated water is swallowing a camel and straining at a gnat. He's probably right: there's an awful lot of water flowing past you in a shower; and the chlorine would get vaporised owing to the heat and so breathed in. Besides, the skin seems to be far more capable of absorbtion than people have previously thought -- hence the saying "don't put anything on your skin you wouldn't put in your mouth".

                          It's certainly worth looking into, athough I confess I haven't got round to it. It's one of the areas Getoff specialises in. I daresay you can't "take all this to the bank" but he's put a lot of work in and what he says sounds plausible to me. I tend to fight shy of going in chlorinated swimming pools after listening to his talk with Ben Greenfield. The sea may not always be particularly clean, but it's perhaps a safer bet and it's on my doorstep. This will fetch you a few links:


                          https://www.google.com/search?q=davi...=ssl&oq=&gs_l=


                          Really, water companies ought to sterilise with ozone instead. That would be safer. They would only need to add a little chlorine then -- for this reason:

                          Do the larger municipal water treatment plants that use ozone also use chlorine?

                          Yes, they do add a small chlorine residual after ozonation. This is done to prevent the possibility of the water picking up bacteria in the lengthy distribution piping required in larger municipal water supplies, since the dissolved ozone will revert to oxygen before distribution.
                          Ozone Water Purification Systems - Frequently Asked Questions, Facts, Information

                          Just how many water companies are now using ozone I don't know. Perhaps it's an area where legislation is needed? I'm reminded of the issues with mercury-silver amalgam fillings. They're bad enough in all conscience, but it's taken legislation to ban them in some countries -- dentists just didn't choose to change their methods or buy new equipment.

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                          • #14
                            I generally drink bottled water, since the chlorinated/fluoridated tap I have makes awful tea and I need to buy spring water anyways. I have to shower in it, though.

                            M.

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