Professor Adam Carey, Professor of Nutrition at Leeds Metropolitan University, writing in The Sunday Mail on 28th March 2010, has suggested that drinking tap water can make us fat.
Professor Carey thinks that the chemicals used during the cleaning process to deliver 'fresh' clean tap water may have an adverse effect and promote the accumulation of body fat by altering the normal hormal activity in the body.
Professor Carey explains that the purification process water goes through before it pours freely from our taps is good at eradicating potenitally harmful microorganisms and micro-bateria. However, he highlights the fact that the water filtration system doesn't remove all the 60,000 chemicals put into the water during the cleansing process.
Amongst the chemicals used in this process is oestrogen - the female hormone that drives puberity in women. Oestrogen also promotes fat storage within the body. While the male hormone testosterone promotes the development of lean muscle tissue and a leaner physique, oestrogen acts in the opposite way, promoting the storage of body fat rather than lean muscle mass. If oestrogen is indeed prevalent in tap water, then this may contribute to the development of higher levels of body fat in tap water drinkers.
Not only that but drinking oestrogen-filled water may increase maybe contributing to the fertility crisis gripping the UK, where 1 in 6 couples have difficulties becoming pregnant.
Professor Carey suggests the best way to remove fat promoting oestrogen from tap water is to use a reverse osmosis purification filter that is fitted to the water pipes in the kitchen, stressing that normal water filters won't fully do the job and drinking bottled water has its own health realted issues due to its storage in plastic bottles that, over time, erode into the water.