Rather than loading the nation’s water supplies with the neurotoxin fluoride, we’d be far better off if water policies dictated adding certain nutritional supplements to the water.

This is what a reasonable person could deduce from new research by a U.S. university.

Antioxidant herbs and vitamins helped reduce the harmful effects of water contaminants  in a new study performed with human cells.

The contaminant being studied, hexavalent chromium, is commonly produced by industrial processes, and was featured in the biographical movie Erin Brockovich.

Are antioxidants a magic pill?

In a study designed to find out whether antioxidants might prevent cell toxicity, researchers exposed two types of human cells to various concentrations of hexavalent chromium.

They observed toxic effects for both cell types at 200 parts per billion (ppb) or higher concentrations of hexavalent chromium. However, this toxicity could be blocked by vitamin C at 10 parts per million (ppm) or the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate at 15 (ppm).

Epigallocatechin gallate is the primary antioxidant found in green tea.

Federal data from U.S. drinking water tests show that hexavalent chromium contaminates water supplies for more than 200 million Americans. It is present to some extent in all 50 states.

The amount of hexavalent chromium that is considered safe for drinking water is now under review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“This is the first study to use human cells to test the effects of hexavalent chromium and protection by antioxidants,” said Tim Mayotte, an undergraduate student at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois, who performed the study.

Future water treatment might include antioxidants

“If the new findings are further validated and go on to clinical trials, it might be possible to treat at-risk water sources with antioxidants like vitamin C to lower the risk for cancer caused by hexavalent chromium.”

Mayotte presented the research at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting held April 6-9 in Orlando, Florida.

Additional antioxidant benefits were also observed by how they prevented DNA mutations.

While conducting related experiments the researchers saw DNA mutations in bacteria exposed to 20 ppb or more of hexavalent chromium. However, these mutations didn’t occur when the bacteria were also treated with 20 ppm of vitamin C.

The new findings reveal that an oxidative mechanism is likely responsible for the contaminant’s toxicity, which could be prevented by treating the water with antioxidants.

The researchers posited that these results could help improve water quality monitoring and regulation.

For a major antioxidant boost each day, consider Fruit & Veggie Plus from Optimal Health Systems. Each scoop of Fruit & Veggie Plus powder provides a whopping 20,000 antioxidant ORAC.

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Source: ScienceDaily.com.