VOLUME 2 - NUMBER 2 - 2022

Mineral water as food for bone: an overview


  • Barbara Pampaloni, Maria Luisa Brandi
  • Concise reviews, 48-55
  • Full text PDF

  • Water is a primary asset and contributes significantly to human health. Although water requirements vary from person to person, an intake of 1.5-2 L per day is known to guarantee proper hydration, and is essential to maintaining the body’s water balance.

    Water for human use includes “water” (treated or not) intended to be drinkable, used for the preparation of food and drinks, and for other domestic uses, and “natural mineral water”, meaning waters that “originate from an aquifer or from a groundwater basin, which flow from one or more natural or reamed (perforated) springs and which have specific hygienic characteristics and, possibly, health properties”.

    According to European legislation (Directive 2009/54/EC), mineral waters can be classified on the basis of analysis of their main chemical-physical characteristics. Natural mineral waters can also be classified into many categories on the basis of their mineral composition and principal component. Natural mineral waters are known to have many beneficial (and non-beneficial) effects on human health and several studies have explored their properties and their role in different physiological and pathological conditions.

    Despite concerns about possible negative effects due to the plasticizers and/or endocrine disruptors that may be present in bottled mineral waters, their consumption is widespread.

    Calcium-rich mineral waters (calcium content >150 mg/L) supply excellent amounts of highly bioavailable calcium and are a very useful way of taking in calcium regularly and in a well distributed way throughout the day, without experiencing side effects; they therefore contribute to the achievement of the recommended intakes. Mineral waters can also be used as supplements to reduce the risk of deficiency of other micronutrients important for bone health such as boron, strontium and fluoride. Finally, gut microbiota is emerging as a key player in bone turnover regulation due to its ability to modulate the immune system, controlling inflammation and also influencing calcium absorption and vitamin D levels. Intestinal dysbiosis may promote bone mass loss in older people and after menopause.

    For this reason, the maintenance of a healthy and efficient intestinal microbiota is considered fundamental in the management of skeletal pathologies, both to prevent them and to support possible drug therapies.

  • KEY WORDS: Natural mineral waters, calcium, magnesium, boron, strontium, fluoride, bone health.