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The raw water trend: Why experts aren’t buying in

By Jillian MacMath, AccuWeather staff writer
January 18, 2018, 10:10:14 AM EST

Last year, cryotherapy and charcoal ice cream were the latest wellness crazes. But 2018 may just be the year of raw water, a health trend convincing people to dig deep into their pockets to buy an untreated version of what comes from the tap.

Marketers of raw water say skipping the water treatment process makes the product better for your health, as naturally occurring probiotics, electrolytes and silica are not filtered out.

Raw water also ditches tap water additives like chloramine, a disinfectant, and flouride, which is said to reduce tooth decay.

Live Water, a California-based raw water distributor, says they spent years searching for the optimal source before finding it in Opal Spring in Madras, Oregon.

They claim drinking water from this source leads to better oxygenation of cells, enables super effective detoxification and can even reverse the aging process.

But, if you want to reap the benefits, it will set you back $16 for 2.5 gallons, plus $22 for the reusable jug.

While the price tag makes it more costly than gasoline, some believe it's a small price to pay for a host of potential benefits.

That is, if they are legitimate.

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According to experts, however, consuming raw water may have more adverse effects than beneficial ones.

Unfiltered water can contain various contaminants, such as chemicals, pesticides, bacteria and parasites.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), ingesting them can cause serious health issues, including gastrointestinal illness, reproductive problems and even neurological disorders.

"We’ve spent generations of science and effort to try and protect people from drinking raw water,” Val Curtis, professor of Hygiene and director of the Environmental Health Group at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine told the Telegraph.

“It seems extraordinary that people want to go back to medieval times, when millions of people died from infections that were carried by it,” Curtis said.

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