I recently read that Chinese scientists have come up with a way to make water healthier. They do this by removing the few molecules of heavy water (containing deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen) from normal water to make 'light water'.
Most water has very small amounts of heavy water in it, typically 150ppm, in drinking water, which is equivalent to a few drops for every cubic metre of normal water. Instead of 2 hydrogen atoms these heavy water molecules have 2 deuterium atoms.
Studies have also shown that this 'light water' can offer significant health benefits. Mice blasted with ionizing radiation had a higher chance of survival if they drank 'light water' as opposed to normal water. Plant also photosynthesize at a higher rate when 'light water' is used.
In 2008, light water was given as a treatment for terminal cancer patients, resulting in a significant lengthening of the lifespan of the patients.
The only current problem with light water is the cost of production. It is currently produced through the electrolysis of water and this requires a lot of power to produce only a little light water. The Chinese scientists are currently looking at ways to make the process more efficient, one way they are looking into is passing the water over a platinum catalyst. Using this method they have so far managed to reduce the D20 concentration to 125 ppm, so there is still some way to go to make very light water, but it does seem to be getting on its way.
However, there is the possibility that it could be used as a new type of bottled water, one that does actually have a health benefit that isn't subjective. If it can be mass produced it could also be used as mains water and so improve the health of the general population.
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