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Is Tap Water Bad For Gut Health?

Video Transcript:

Welcome back to our channel at Oswald Digestive Clinic.

We realize that maintaining good gut health is going to be optimal for our overall health.

And one thing that we talk about a lot is making sure you're hydrated.

And so with that, does that just mean drinking tap water or is it better to have filtered water today?

I'm going to answer the question, is tap water bad for gut health?

Is Tap Water Bad For Gut Health?

Now, our digestive system plays a vital role in our health, everything from absorbing our nutrients to eliminating waste properly and to even supporting our immune function.

So it might not be so wildly crazy to think about what we're drinking and how that implication of tap water might be compromising our gut health.

So today I'm going to explore the composition of tap water, the contaminants that might be in the water, as well as the connection to tap water and our gut health.

And then finally give you some practical tips on ways to make your tap water just a little bit better to drink.

My name is Marcie Vaske and I'm a functional medicine nutritionist with Oswald Digestive Clinic.

And if you are interested in making an initial appointment, I'm going to link our website scheduling page here.

Or if you're the kind of person who likes to do things and just learn more on their own, I'll also link our free guide, which is 5 Ways to Improve your Gut Health, Here.

Where does tap water come from?

So before we can really understand how tap water might be hindering our gut health, it's important to understand where does tap water really come from?

And we know that it comes from our lakes, it comes from rivers, it comes from water reservoirs, and of course, this water is all going through a filtration system, which ties to take out most of the contaminants.

Tap Water Contamination

But even though it goes through a pretty rigorous system, some of those chemicals or contaminants are still left behind and sometimes the chemicals or the minerals that are in the tap water are too high of a content that may be impacting our gut health.

Now, some of these potential contaminants that might still remain in our water even after it has been filtered, can really disrupt the balance of our very delicate microbiome.

And one such concern is going to be heavy metals, so things like lead and copper when these, they actually get leached from the pipes that our water is running through.

And so even like I mentioned, it goes through that filtering process. It's still going through these pipes, and so sometimes the lead content might be too high as well as the copper leading to gut issues.

And those gut issues could be anything from just some gastrointestinal pain to diarrhea to bloating.

Now as well. Another issue is going to be any kind of herbicide or pesticide that's been sprayed on crops throughout all of, especially in farmland country, they're going to have a lot more of that going on.

Is tap water bad for you and your gut health?

And so those pesticides can get into our water supply and of course, doing a lot of disruption to our gut microbiome.

Again, reducing our gut health and creating symptoms of the sort of the same things, bloating or gas or just a breakdown of our good microbiome.

And so the integrity of our intestinal tract is also broken down.

Now in addition to the heavy metals or pesticides that might be in our water, we do know that chlorine is also used and chlorine is been used to be a really good disinfectant, basically for our water to break down or to kill off bacteria or viruses.

And it does a good job, but it also could do a pretty good job in your gut, meaning that it can really easily disrupt our microbiome, which is made up of trillions of flora in our digestive system.

And this chlorine can actually damage our flora or reduce it leading to more digestive issues.

And again, when we have a disrupted gut, we might experience some of the symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, but also remember that our immune system is harbored in our intestinal tract and therefore, if our microbiome is hindered, so is our immune system.

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Now, of course, at Oswald Digestive Clinic, I see a lot of individuals with gut issues, and a lot of times they're coming in wondering, why do I have this going on in the first place?

And sometimes what we don't think about is, is it your tap water?

Is your tap water too high in chlorine?

Is it containing too much lead or other disturbing chemicals such as pesticides?

And so this video is to help you just have another perspective because as I've talked about, those contaminants can oftentimes disrupt our microbiome, which then creates a lot of gastrointestinal issues and in some research has been found to even be a trigger for irritable bowel syndrome.

So I would challenge you or urge you to pay attention to your tap water.

Where is it sourced from and understanding could that be a problem?

Is that something that's creating more of an issue or even a trigger for your GI issues?

And so what can you do about it? Right?

Drinking water healthy - water filters

We're always trying to find some solutions to our problems, and the first thing you can do is get a filter to help filter out excess heavy metals or the excess chlorine as well as the pesticides.

And you want to be sure that whatever filter you do get, you're looking to make sure that it actually does those things, and that should be listed pretty clearly on the packaging.

In addition to maybe getting a filter for your tap water, you can also pay attention to the plumbing in your home and making sure that you're taking care of that plumbing so that there isn't any extra lead or copper being leached into it, or heavy metals in general, being leached into your water coming out of your faucet.

Now, if you're pretty sure that tap water is creating a problem or you just want to take all kinds of precautions, an alternative to tap water would be looking into spring water or even mineral water.

And these are going to be oftentimes labeled on the packaging.

But again, do your research and make sure that the brand that you're purchasing is truly what it says it is, because we all know that sometimes marketing can go a long way.

So just dig in a little bit. And if you're going to put the expense into purchasing a spring water or a mineral water for your everyday water, then you want to make sure you're getting what you're paying for.

Is tap water clean?: Other ways to maintain good health!

Now, of course, if you don't have an option to get a filter for your water tap or to purchase spring or mineral water, then what can you do?

Because you kind of left to the devices of whatever the tap water is giving you.

And so top things to just kind of help keep your gut in the best shape it can be would be to make sure you're eating a whole foods diet.

Whole foods diet that's rich in fiber.

Those fibers are going to help to promote short chain fatty acid production in our digestive system, which just keeps a healthier integrity of your gut.

In addition to that, you can eat higher fermented foods. So things like yogurts or sauerkraut, kimchi or miso, they all have a higher amount of probiotic in them.

So even though you might be ingesting tap water, that's kind of breaking down that good gut microbiome, having some probiotic within your day or a few times a week to really help support a better balance of your flora would be an easy thing to do.

And of course, we always talk about managing your stress because we know that chronic stress can definitely break down our digestive system creating even more issues.

And so thinking of ways to get outside for a nice walk on these nice new spring days that are coming up, or even doing some meditation or just basically finding a way that feels good to you to relax and de-stress.

Lastly, if you want to be testing for what is in your water, you can easily purchase water filtration kits that can help give you an idea of what your water is made up of.

And regularly doing this because we know that there's always different things getting into our water even as it's been filtered through a municipal water site. Just watching out for yourself, watching out for your gut.

And so I hope this helped give you a little bit more information about how tap water can really be a negative to your digestive system, how to keep your gut healthy, and ways to improve your own tap water. Thanks for watching.

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If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic.  We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.

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Or you can just start by downloading our FREE GUIDE: 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE GUT HEALTH  

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