September 14, 2006

Mineral water that 'kills cancer cells'

Scottish mineral water 'kills cancer cells'

The water of life – or “uisge beatha” in Gaelic - is a euphemism for whisky, but another Highland drink has been shown to have a more valid claim to the title.

Balmoral Castle
The water, sourced from near Balmoral Castle, has been said to possess healing qualities since 1760

A mineral water taken from wells near the Queen’s Balmoral Castle can help to slow the spread of cancer, according to scientists.

Tests on Deeside Mineral Water suggest that it inhibits the growth of certain cancerous cells and kills other diseased cells.

Researchers from the department of biochemistry at the University of Maribor in Slovenia, placed diseased cells in the water for 10 days then compared them with cells which had been left in laboratory-grade water.

They found that the Scottish product inhibited the growth of colon cancer cells 62.5 per cent faster than ordinary water, and also encouraged the growth of healthy cells.

In another test, it killed 35 per cent of liver cancer cells, 21 per cent of cervical cancer cells and 6.5 per cent of skin cancer cells.

The water, which has been said to possess healing qualities since 1760, was shown in earlier studies to reduce inflammation in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Martin Simpson, managing director of Deeside Water, said the water was a natural anti-oxidant and had a low mineral content.

But he warned it was not a miracle cure, adding: “It is not a replacement for any treatment, but we hope it may complement medical therapies and also make a positive contribution towards a healthy diet, as naturally functional water with benefits for all.

“Water is our largest single source of daily nutrition and the basis of health, so the quality of the water we drink has a profound effect on our well-being, particularly in the longer term.”

Special properties were first attributed to the water, which comes from the Pannanich Wells near the village of Ballater and is filtered through granite, when a woman claimed in the 18th century that it had cured her of scrofula, a once common infection acquired by drinking milk from cattle with tuberculosis.

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