Deuterium Water: Health Implications

Understanding deuterium, water, health, and the way they interact is important when you are focused on food-based nutrition. Water, the source of life, is essential for our optimal health, and levels of deuterium in our body’s water can have various health implications.

Are you familiar with the term deuterium? Granted, this is a bit more chemistry that I usually like to get into. However, it’s an important element that has a major impact on our health. Deuterium is a stable form of hydrogen, and it helps to form molecules inside of our cells.

This hydrogen isotope is twice as heavy and twice as big as a regular hydrogen atom, meaning it can change the way molecules that we think of as “water” look. In fact, all water on the planet includes some deuterium. 

In this article, I will give a very quick overview of what is deuterium, and more importantly, I will go over what factors impact how much you have in your body, and how to reduce it!

What is Deuterium?

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) explains that deuterium is an isotope of hydrogen. Its nucleus contains one proton and one neutron, rather than one proton like regular hydrogen. See a graphic here.

This makes deuterium denser than regular hydrogen, and it can also increase the weight of molecules and compounds. Therefore, you may see it referred to as “heavy hydrogen”.

When two deuteriums combine with oxygen is can create 2H20, also known as “heavy water”. You wouldn’t be able to differentiate heavy water by sight but it does affect the way that cells in your body function.

Deuterium in the Body

In our bodies, about 60% of our volume is water and 62% of our atoms are hydrogen. On average, 150 parts per million of our body mass is made up of deuterium. 

When it comes to our blood stream, deuterium occurs at six times the rate of calcium and three to six times the rate of glucose. Because they are already so abundant, if these levels exceed the average, our mitochondria can become dysfunctional.

Mitochondria are small organelles that our bodies are made of. Each cell has about a thousand mitochodria and we have around 35 trillion cells. When deuterium gets into our cells, it can destroy the mitochondria and cause a host of issues for our bodies.

Studies show that low levels of deuterium can lead to better health, while higher levels can cause a variety of health issues. 

Deuterium has been found to be an important factor in the development of certain cancers. It can mess with the cells’ genetic programming, leading to the growth of tumors. It can also interfere with the production of certain vitamins and minerals, as well as the body’s ability to absorb them.

The good news is that you can reduce your exposure to deuterium. This can be done by drinking more pure water, eating organic foods, and avoiding processed foods with additives and preservatives. Furthermore, taking supplements with deuterium-reducing properties can help your body to better absorb nutrients.

What Causes an Increase in Deuterium

In the last few decades, many diseases have increased in occurrence. This may be partially due to the changes in deuterium levels. Here are some factors that may cause an increase in deuterium levels in the body.

1. Water Quality

The quality and quantity of water we consume can play a role in deuterium levels. Many people don’t drink enough water, but it’s important to drink when you’re thirsty.

Depending on where you live, water can contain chlorine, pharmaceuticals and higher levels of deuterium. It’s best to keep deuterium levels in our bodies under 130 parts per million. 

2. Decrease in Fat Consumption

Not eating enough fat – or eating the wrong kind of fat – can also affect deuterium levels. We are still reaping the effects of years of “low-fat” and “non-fat” diet trends.

3. Lack of Sunlight

Lack of sunlight can also be an issue affecting deuterium levels in the body. Vitamin D is made up of D-hydrocholesterol and that has 44 hydrogens in it. If deuterium levels are high, some of those hydrogens will be replaced by deuterium ions.

Unfortunately, there are no enzymes that can convert this cholesterol into vitamin D, so sunlight is essential for the process. Low vitamin D can be a sign that there’s an excess of deuterium. 

4. Microbiome Dysbiosis

An imbalance of our microbiome can also lead to an increase of deuterium. Pathogens can grow when deuterium is present, leading to a number of chronic illnesses. (And if you’ve been around here for a while, you know that this is arguably the number one factor affecting our health).

Synthesis of peroxynitrite is another issue. High levels are associated with many diseases, as peroxynitrite has the capability to destroy mitochondrial function.

5. Environmental Exposures

Metal fortification in food, metals in imaging, injections, chemotherapy, supplements and other materials in our air and water can all affect deuterium chemistry.

Glyphosate, a substance sprayed on crops as a desiccant, can also interfere with deuterium pathways. Glyphosate can impede the production of neurotransmitters, vitamins B2 and B3, NAD and FAD, which are all essential for mitochondria to function properly.

Exposure to electromagnetic fields can also change the rate of deuterium in our bodies. 

6. Genetics

Genetic variations can also be a factor. If some of the hydrogens in our bodies are replaced with deuterium, our bodies will express these changes. 

What is Deuterium Depletion?

So what is deuterium depletion? We need some deuterium, but not too much. Thankfully our body has a mechanism for deuterium depletion (reducing deuterium in the body).

The processes of glycolysis and the TCA cycle (tricarboxylic acid cycle, also called the citric acid cycle or Krebs cycle) are important for the transfer of deuterium with hydrogen. When those processes are running smoothly, the exchange works properly. Glycolysis can break down deuterium found in glucose and amino acids.

Our bodies, however, don’t have a way to get deuterium out of fat molecules. If we eat animal fat that comes from animals that weren’t grown sustainably and naturally, the fat will contain deuterium and our bodies won’t be able to process it. 

Fortunately, our bodies expel excess deuterium through urine, stool and breathing, our natural detoxification processes. This helps our bodies maintain the perfect deuterium levels.

High deuterium levels have been found in those with chronic illnesses, inflammation, and dysregulated glucose. You can see the levels of deuterium in organic acid tests. 

How to Lower Deuterium Levels

Now that you understand how the current toxicity in our environment is affecting deuterium levels in your body, you may want to know how to lower or deplete deuterium levels. As always, it’s back to basics: real food, real sun, plus added support for those that need it.

1. Nutrition

A natural ketogenic diet with organ meats is ideal. I would argue that the GAPS diet, even in the non-ketogenic version would probably help!

Fasting and intermittent fasting can help boost the production of our own water. Remember, that fasting is highly bioindividual, so talk to your pracitioner about whether it is right for you.

2. Sunlight

Sunlight and infrared light can also help produce metabolic water in the body, helping to break down deuterium bonds and create a better inter-fascial water communication between cells.

I highly suggest my clients to get sunlight first thing in the morning, so you can take advantage of the natural red light of the sunrise, both for circadian rhythm balancing, and for increasing your EZ water.

3. Supplements

Cannabanoids can help cross the blood-brain barrier and produce metabolic water in the brain.

Herbs and spices can also help speed up the production of water. Add these frequently to your meals!

Deuterium-depleted water can also help. If we drink water that has lower levels of deuterium, it gets into the cytocell where glycolysis takes place and deuterium levels can be reduced quickly. Consuming deuterium-depleted water can help improve life expectancy. 

I first heard about deuterium depletion from Dr. Jack Kruse, so if you want to really optimize this, I would find a podcast or go to his resources to learn more.

Deuterium and the GAPS Diet

One of the reasons the GAPS diet works so well for a variety of conditions is because it is a diet naturally low in deuterium. The foods with the highest deuterium content are generally grains and certain fruits.

Eliminating grains entirely makes GAPS a low deuterium diet. The additional instruction to limit fruit intake further enhances this.

Deuterium Depleted Water Vs Structured Water

Structured water and deuterium-depleted water are two different things. Deuterium-depleted water has gone through multiple distillation processes to get the lighter water. The water still needs to be energized within the body to be properly structured. 

In Sum

Overall, deuterium has a significant impact on our health, and taking simple steps to reduce exposure can help us to stay healthy and strong. Understanding the importance of this element is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Ultimately, understanding the importance of deuterium levels and ways to help lower them can be a great tool in improving our overall health. By making sure we’re drinking the right type of water, limiting exposure to metals, chemicals, and other substances, and eating a healthy diet, we can help our bodies stay healthy and out of danger.

If you’re ready to get a personalized plan to address your health goals and concerns, book a call and let’s chat about how we can make a plan that is just for you!


Boros, L. G., D’Agostino, D. P., Katz, H. E., Roth, J. P., Meuillet, E. J., & Somlyai, G. (2016). Submolecular regulation of cell transformation by deuterium depleting water exchange reactions in the tricarboxylic acid substrate cycle. Medical hypotheses, 87, 69–74. (2020). What is Deutenomics? Retrieved from

IAEA (2020). What is Deuterium? Retrieved from

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