Children in Nevada, USA, fell sick with acute liver failure after drinking alkaline water from the brand ‘Real Water.’
In November 2020, five children ended up hospitalized after drinking alkaline water. They had suffered from acute non-viral hepatitis that resulted in acute liver failure. Moreover, six additional people reported symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. All children had belonged to different households.
Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. It is often categorized into viral and non-viral causes. Acute non-viral hepatitis is caused by autoimmune conditions, consumption of alcohol, and exposure to toxins such as chemicals or certain drugs. Symptoms are the same as that of viral hepatitis. This includes jaundice (yellowing of the skin), nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, dark-coloured urine, and clay-coloured stools. In some cases, inflammation of the liver can cause scarring and result in liver failure. Acute liver failure presents with additional symptoms such as pain in the upper right abdomen, abdominal swelling, confusion, and tremors. This life-threatening condition can develop suddenly, but timely treatment can help reverse it. However, in some cases, a liver transplant is the only treatment.
The hospitalized children have recovered since then.
FDA Issues Warning
Soon after the incident, the Southern Nevada Health District and FDA began an investigation into the cases with a possible link to drinking alkaline water. The only common link found was the consumption of water from the brand ‘Real Water’. However, it is still unclear as to how the water may have caused hepatitis in people.
‘Real Water’ markets itself as the best water available infused with negative ions. Water normally has a pH of 7, while real water has a pH of 9. In the past, scientists have linked drinking alkaline water to multiple health benefits, such as reduction in gastric reflux disease. However, there’s a lack of scientific evidence supporting such claims.
FDA investigates source of NON-VIRAL HEPATITIS CASES. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/fda-brief/fda-brief-fda-investigates-source-non-viral-hepatitis-cases-possibly-linked-bottled-alkaline-water