Various processed foods and beverages have been manufactured using deep seawater (DSW), desalted DSW (dDSW), and concentrated DSW in Japan. To confirm the safety of dDSW, we investigated hematologic and blood chemical effects of dDSW in mice. The dDSW and desalted surface seawater (dSSW) were diluted to 6.7%, 10%, and 20% with purified water. BALB/c mice were housed for 12 weeks, and administered the diluted dDSW, dSSW, or purified water as a control during the period. The results for dDSW were compared with those for dSSW and purified water. None of the groups of mice showed any clear abnormal growth or behavior; neither did any show signs of illness nor a single case of death during the 12 weeks study. We found no significant differences between the dDSW and control groups in terms of red blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, white blood cell count, and neutrophil counts, whereas white blood cell and lymphocyte counts were significantly higher in the 10% dSSW group at the end of 4 and 12 weeks than those in the control group. A significantly higher triglyceride level was detected only in the 6.7% dSSW group. Our results show no evidence of acute or subacute effects of diluted dDSW. Effects of diluted dDSW on hematologic and blood chemical values in mice are thought to be similar to those of purified water. This finding suggests that dDSW is as safe as purified water for drinking water.
Deep sea water (from a depth of more than 200 m) has cold temperature, abundant nutrients, and good water quality that is pathogen-free and stable. Basic research on the utilization of this water for fisheries in Japan began in 1976 and at present, deep-seawater pumping systems are established in Toyama and Kochi Prefectures and under construction in Shizuoka and Okinawa Prefectures. The research emphasis of many national organizations, prefectures, universities, and private companies is shifting from basic research to feasibility studies or practical applications of deep sea water. For example, in Kochi Prefecture, located in southern Japan, it was found that deep sea water is advantageous in the aquaculture of cold-water species. Current fisheries-related projects include:
• aquaculture (sea vegetables, fishes, shellfish, etc.)
• basic research on deep sea organisms
• restoration of sea grass habitats
A wide range of projects unrelated to fisheries that are utilizing deep sea water to develop new industries and contribute to local economies include:
• the food industry
• medical treatment facilities
• cooling water for power stations
• agriculture of cold climate vegetables
Future investigations should focus on further explorations of deep sea water attributes, a cascade system for using
deep sea water, reduction of costs, and potential environmental impacts.
Deep sea water intake improves skin symptoms and mineral imbalance and decreases serum IgE levels mad IgEinducing cytokines, IL-4, IL-13 and IL-18 in patients with atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome (AEDS), while distilled water intake fails to do so.
Magnesium (Mg) is involved in the regulation of immune responses. It has been reported that in Mg deficient rats, serum levels of substance P, histamine, interleukin-1 (IL-1), IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha were elevated. Mg deficiency also caused atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome (AEDS)-like symptoms in hairless rats.
We have previously reported that drinking of refined deep sea water that contains Mg as its main cation signigicantly reduces whole blood flow time and blood pressure in healthy volunteers. We have now studied the effect of drinking deep sea water on patients with AEDS.
D’Hérelle (1926) suggested that bacteriophages contribute to the self-purification process in natural waters, but ZoBell (1946) reported that they occurred sporadically and only in the littoral zone and concluded that there was insufficient evidence for bacteriophages to be considered of importance in limiting the bacterial population of the open ocean. Nevertheless, it was repeatedly stated in the literature (Carlucci and Pramer, 1959) that bacteriophages contribute to the rapid death and paucity of bacteria in sea water. Recent studies (Kriss and Rukina, 1947; Spencer, 1955) have shown that bacteriophages are not limited to the littoral zone but occur at points distant from land and at depths as great as 2000 meters. The bacteriophage isolated (1955) and studied (1957) by Spencer was active against several strains of the luminous marine bacterium Photobacterium phosphoreum. It caused lysis of host cells on sea water agar but not on tap water agar and appeared to be indigenous to the sea.
The present report describes the occurrence, persistence, and activity of some bacteriophages in sea water.
This study compared the efficacy of mechanical nasal lavages with pressurized seawater versus nasal irrigations with saline plus benzododecinium (antiseptic) plus oleosorbate (mucolytic). Twenty patients agreed to participate in a randomized, single-blind clinical trial. All patients underwent endoscopic endonasal ethmoidectomy for nasal polyps. The packing was removed after 48 h and patients were asked to start the same day nasal lavages three times a day. Clinical evaluations were performed: (1) by weighing residual nasal crusts and secretions after 21 +/- 2 days; and (2) by using visual analogue scales to daily record symptom scores. Data are presented as mean +/- SEM. T-test statistics for two independent groups were applied. The mean residual crust and secretion weights were 1,756 +/- 688 mg and 1,033 +/- 422 mg in the pressurized seawater group, 932 +/- 414 mg and 1,222 +/- 435 mg in the antiseptic-mucolytic saline group. No statistical differences were found. Sample size calculations showed that 100 subjects in each group would be necessary to confirm a 700-mg reduction in residual crusts in the antiseptic/mucolytic saline group (power = 0.80; two-sided type-I error = 0.05). Daily symptom score curves were similar in both groups and allowed us to give a description of post-operative complaints. The role of antiseptic, mucolytic and mechanical lavages in preventing post-ethmoidectomy crust formation is discussed.
Recently, deep sea water (DSW) has started to receive much attention for therapeutic intervention in some lifestyle diseases. In this study, the anti-obesity and antidiabetic effects of DSW in ob/ob mice were investigated. The animals were randomly divided into two groups with six animals: control group received tap water; the experimental group was treated with DSW of hardness 1000 for 84 days. The body weight gain after 84 days in DSW-fed group was decreased by 7% compared to the control group. The plasma glucose levels in the DSW-fed mice were substantially reduced by 35.4%, as compared to control mice. The results of oral glucose tolerance test revealed that DSW-fed groups significantly increased the glucose disposal after 84 days. DSW increased plasma protein levels of adiponectin and decreased plasma protein levels of resistin, RBP4, and fatty acid binding protein. Moreover, GLUT4 and AMP-activated protein kinase levels in skeletal muscle tissue were increased while peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? and adiponectin were decreased in adipose tissue of DSW-fed mice. These results suggest that the antidiabetic and anti-obesity activities of DSW were mediated by modulating the expression of diabetes- and obesity-specific molecules. Taken together, these results provide a possibility that continuous intake of DSW can ameliorate obesity and diabetes.
Objective: To evaluate the potential of nasal isotonic saline application to prevent reappearance of cold and
flu in children during the winter.
Design: Prospective, multicenter, parallel-group, open, and randomized comparison.
Setting: Eight pediatric outpatient clinics.
Patients: A total of 401 children (aged 6-10 years) with uncomplicated cold or flu.
Interventions:Werandomly assigned patients to 2 treatment groups, one with just standard medication, the other with nasal wash with a modified seawater solution (Physiomer) plus standard medication, and observed them for
Conclusion: Children in the saline group showed faster resolution of some nasal symptoms during acute illness and less frequent reappearance of rhinitis subsequently.
The authors have recently shown that the transcription factor nuclear factor-B (NF-B) is a central mediator in the NaCl-mediated interleukin (IL)-;8 production by human airway epithelial cells. In this study, it was investigated whether Physiomer®, an isotonic sea water-derived solution commercialized for cleaning the nasal mucosa, impaired the chemokine IL-;8 expression and secretion by human respiratory epithelial cells compared with that obtained with an isotonic 9% NaCl solution.
Primary human bronchial gland (HBG) epithelial cells were incubated either in Physiomer® or in a NaCl 9% solution and activated either with 20 ng·mL–1 tumour necrosis factor-;, or IL-;1ß, respectively. Physiomer® significantly reduced the IL-;8 protein release in basal and activated HBGcells in comparison with that obtained with the 9% NaCl solution. In contrast to the effects of Physiomer® observed on restingHBG cells, Physiomer® did not significantly reduce the level of phosphorylation of the NF-B inhibitor protein IB or the steady-state IL-;8 messenger ribonucleic acid levels in activated HBG cells, suggesting that Physiomer® would have a post-transcriptional effect on IL-;8 expression in activated HBG cells. The authors conclude that Physiomer® is potentially useful in the reduction of airway mucosal inflammation.
The evolution of marine microbes over billions of years predicts that the composition of microbial communities should be much greater than the published estimates of a few thousand distinct kinds of microbes per liter of seawater. By adopting a massively parallel tag sequencing strategy, we show that bacterial communities of deep water masses of the North Atlantic and diffuse flow hydrothermal vents are one to two orders of magnitude more complex than previously reported for any microbial environment. A relatively small number of different populations dominate all samples, but thousands of low-abundance populations account for most of the observed phylogenetic diversity. This ‘‘rare biosphere’’
is very ancient and may represent a nearly inexhaustible source of genomic innovation. Members of the rare biosphere are highly divergent from each other and, at different times in earth’s history, may have had a profound impact on shaping planetary processes.
1. Research on laboratory rats confirmed that drinking sea-water when dehydrated, was not beneficial and caused impaired renal function.
2. When the concentration of sea-water in the drinking water is gradually increased there is a gradual increase in water uptake and corresponding urine excretion.
3. At 50% sea-water the maximum uptake and excretion is reached. Following this there is a decline in appetite, water uptake and urine secretion.
4. When on 100% sea-water, the creatinine clearances were greater than on tap water, while urine/plasma osmolalities (U/P) averaged 7. The only higher U /P was found in animals drinking sea-water when dehydrated, i.e. a U/P of 11.
5. The urea metabolism appears to be suited to either the need to conserve body water, up to 50% sea-water, or to guarantee an adequate urine production, from 50% sea-water to pure sea-water.
6. It is suggested that when a man is stranded at sea it is not advisable to drink all the fresh water and then be compelled to drink sea-water when dehydrated.
7. It is better to slowly increase the sea-water uptake. This will prolong the time before sea-water needs to be drunk and result in only minor metabolic changes. Return to fresh water will be followed by an immediate return to normal homeostasis.
When normal rabbits were administered various samples of deep-sea water, their biochemical values changed within normal limits, and no differences from distilled water administration (control) group levels were observed. Furthermore, no histopathological changes were observed in internal organs on the 28th day after administration.
The serum total cholesterol (T-Cho) and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-Cho) levels of normal rabbits fed with a 1% cholesterol-containing diet simultaneously administered deep-sea water (desalinated water, hardness 28, 300, and 1200) increased with time up to about 1500 mg/dl. However, the degrees of increase were smaller than those of the control group, which received distilled water. Furthermore, when prepared hyperlipemia rabbits were administered deep-sea water (desalinated water, hardness 28, 300, and 1200), there were no significant changes in aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-Cho), or triglyceride (TG) levels. On the other hand, T-Cho and LDL-Cho levels were reduced when the rabbits were changed to normal food, and the degree of reduction was more than that of the control group. In the liver and main artery bow, as the hardness of the deep-sea water increased, the accumulation of lipid and permeation of macrophages was reduced. This result was well in agreement with the results of the T-Cho and LDL-Cho levels. From these results, it is clear that deep-sea water controls the increase of serum lipid values (T-Cho and LDL-Cho) of cholesterol-fed rabbits, and promotes the reduction of serum lipid hyperlipemia rabbits. The minerals in deep-sea water greatly influence this effect.
The aim of this study was to investigate if the combined effect of diluted seawater and ripening can improve the beneficial nutritional properties of tomato fruits from an antioxidant point of view. To reach the goal, different tomato cultivars and breeding lines, genetically modified for ripening, were investigated, and analysis of NADPH and NADP+ as well as of the main antioxidants such as ascorbic acid, lipoic acid, and tocopherols was performed at two ripening stages. The research was conducted on berries of the following genotypes of tomato: cv. Jama, Gimar wild type, Gimar gf, and Gimar nor. The mutant gf is a typical “stay green” mutant, characterized by an incomplete loss of chlorophyll; the nor mutation is characterized by a reduced biosynthesis of ethylene and carotenoids. Both ripening and salinity induced an oxidative stress, and the sensitivity to salt treatment was genotype-dependent. The genotypes cv. Jama and Gimar gf line showed increases in ascorbic acid, lipoic acid, and R-tocopherol during both ripening and salt treatment whereas total ascorbate and tocopherols decreased in the berries from salt-treated plants of Gimar wild type. Ripening also determined decreases in ascorbate and tocopherol amounts in the Gimar nor line where a positive effect of ripening and salinity was observed.
Ingestion of seawater, whether voluntaryl or accidental, and its clinical sequelae have not been amply reported in the literature. Although seawater ingestion has been directly observed in animal drowning experiments and is believed to occur during human drowning, it has not been reported to play a significant role in producing serum electrolyte abnormalities in neardrowning victims. Because of the high concentration of sodium in seawater (approximately 350 to 500 mmol per liter), ingestion of this fluid and subsequent absorption of electrolytes can lead to hypernatremia. This condition is caused not only by the addition to the body of proportionately more sodium than water, but by water loss from solute diuresis or osmotic diarrhea.
The near-drowning patient whose case is reported in this paper experienced unusual circumstances as the result of a shipwreck during the height of a hurricane; the patient’s immersion and involuntary seawater ingestion led to the development of severe hypematremia. This case is interesting not only because of the patient’s harrowing ordeal, but also because it illustrates the physiologic changes and clinical symptoms that can occur in a victim of near-drowning when significant quantities of seawater are ingested rather than aspirated. To my knowledge, the patient’s serum sodium levels are the highest reported in the literature on near-drowning.
The recent development of the chemical speciation of trace metals in seawater is described. The speciation studies reveal that metal ion complexation is one of the most important processes in seawater; especially, most bioactive trace metals, such as Fe(III) and Cu, exist as complexes with ligands in dissolved organic matter. The organic ligands in seawater are characterized with metal ions selected by the HSAB concept. A strong organic ligand, which originates from marine microorganisms, is classified as a hard base including carboxylates. The free organic ligand concentrations in seawater are buffered by complexation with excess amounts of Ca and Mg in seawater. The chemical equilibrium model suggested that the concentrations of bioactive free metal ions are at an optimal level to activities of marine microorganisms. For chemical speciation, it is important to have a better understanding of the ecological roles of trace metals in seawater.
Dissolved organic matter in oceanic waters was investigated in terms ofthe interaction with copper. Three classes of organic ligands, namely, L1, L2 and LN that were concentrated by repeated rounds oflyophilization and dialysis, were distinguished from each other by differences in their complexing abilities for copper. Ligands L1 and L2 appeared to be assigned to the group ofweak ligands in the literature. The conditional stability constant of ligand LN for Cu(II) was extremely high and was comparable to that ofEDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid).
Two types of ligands that were similar to weak ligands L1 and L2, were extracted directly from seawater using immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography (IMAC). lMAC gave a new insight in that the weak ligands were a mixture of at least two types of different organo-chemicalligands and that their dynamics might be active in the water column.
Deep-sea water is rich in minerals, e.g., Mg, Ca, and K which have been considered to be associated with prevention of cardiovascular disease. We investigated the effect of deep-sea water on cardiovascular hemodynamics in Kurosawa and Kusanagi-Hypercholesterolemic (KHC) rabbits. Deep-sea water was pumped in the offing of Cape Muroto in Japan and the mineral constituents were refined to a degree of hardness of 1000. Twenty four 4-month-old KHC rabbits were given refined deep-sea water (n=12) and tap water (n=12) for 6 months. Pressure and flow waves at the ascending aorta were recorded under pentobarbital anesthesia. Systolic, diastolic, pulse and mean arterial pressures and total peripheral resistance were significantly lower in the deep-sea water group than in the control group. There were no significant differences in changes in serum lipid levels, plasma renin and angiotensin converting enzyme activities and electrolyte levels except for Mg2+ after the feeding of the water between the two groups. A slight increase in serum Mg2+ level in the deep-sea water group may not account for the inhibition of mild hypertension. From our results, we conclude that deep-sea water could improve cardiovascular hemodynamics, even though the factors which affect the blood pressure are still unknown.
This study investigated the effect of saline load and inadequate feed intake on some of the adaptive physiological responses in female sheep and camels, raised under semi-arid conditions. The experiment comprised five consecutive periods, P1–P5, of 40 days each, during which levels of both energy and protein were gradually decreased by increasing the roughage portion in the diet. Sheep and camels were divided into three groups according to the type of drinking water; namely a fresh water (F) group (280 parts per million total dissolved salts; ppm TDS), low saline (LS) group (7650 ppm TDS) and high saline (HS) group (13,535 ppm TDS). Saline water was obtained by diluting seawater with tap water.
In sheep, live body weights (BWs) decreased significantly (p < 0.01) with decreasing nutrient intake, with average final loss equal to 8.4%. Plasma glucose decreased with decreasing protein intake, but as energy intake increased the effect of protein shortage disappeared. Also plasma glucose levels in sheep decreased from a level of 3.51 mmol/l in the F group to 2.89 mmol/l in the HS group. Concentrations of liver enzymes aspartate aminotransaminase (AST) and alanine aminotransaminase (ALT) in sheep increased in plasma in relation to saline load especially at low nutritional level. The activity of the acetylcholine esterase enzyme (AChE) in its three sites; blood, red blood cells and plasma was depressed significantly by both saline load and decreased feed intake. At the P2 period, salinity depressed acetylcholine in its three sites to 60–67% in the HS group as compared to the control. The depression during the P5 period reached 41–54%. Extracellular fluids (ECFs), interstitial fluids (ISF), plasma volume (PV) and blood volume (BV) in the ewes decreased (p < 0.05) by increasing salinity concentration. Decreasing feed intake lowered ECF, ISF and BV from the P2 period.
In camels, live BWs decreased insignificantly by decreasing feed intake with a final BW loss of 1.9%. Plasma glucose was not affected by salinity. Protein deficiencies had no effect on plasma AST of camels, but both salinity and low level of nutrient intake affected the concentration of enzyme ALT. Nutrient shortages and saline load affected activity of AChE at the P4 and P5 periods. The inhibition of the enzyme activity during P5 due to high salinity treatment reached 91% in blood, 63% in RBCs and 50% in plasma as compared to the control group. Body fluid compartments of camels were not affected by salinity, only by reduced feed intake. The results indicated better tolerance of camels than sheep to both saline load and feed shortage.
© 2002 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.
In the area of deep-sea water suction technology, Furukawa Electric has built an excellent track record of laying eleven deep-sea water suction pipes in seven locations since its first domestic laying in Muroto City, Kochi Prefecture in 1988. During this time, we have introduced various improvements in the laying method as well as in the design of material structures including suction pipes, thereby making it possible to manufacture and install the suction pipes up to 280 mm in diameter, 680 m in laying depth, and 7200 m in pipe length
Objectives: Deep seawater (DSW) utilization technology has been developed for the fields of medicine and health, among others. To clarify the health effects of DSW as compared with surface seawater (SSW) or tap water (TW), we investigated the changes of immune cell distribution of the peripheral blood, or subjective judgment scores, after hot water bathing.
Methods: Ten healthy young men were immersed for 10 min in DSW, SSW and TW heated to 42°C. Blood samples were collected before bathing, immediately after bathing and 60 min after bathing. Total and differential numbers of leucocytes and lymphocyte subsets (CD3, CD4, CD8, CD19, CD16, and CD56) were examined using an automated hematology analyzer and a flow cytometer, respectively. The subjective judgment scores were obtained by an oral comprehension test.
Results: Since the pre-bathing leukocyte count in the TW group was significantly different from those in the DSW and SSW groups, we excluded the findings of TW bathing from consideration. In hot DSW bathing, CD8-lymphocytes increased significantly immediately after bathing (p<0.05), in contrast to hot SSW bathing, in which no significant changes were detected in the lymphocyte subsets. Additionally, there were no significant changes between repeated measurements in the subjective judgment scores, though the score of thermal sensation in SSW bathing showed a significantly higher value immediately after bathing than before bathing (p<0.01).
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that increased CD8-lymphocytes in hot DSW bathing may improve human immune function as well as hot springs do, as compared with SSW bathing. Although hot DSW bathing may have the ability to change human immune cell distribution, well-designed studies are needed to clarify the health effects including not only DSW and SSW but also TW.
Using surface and deep seawater collected in the sea area of Muroto Cape (Kochi, Japan), desalinated drinking samples of about 1200 hardness were prepared and examined for the effects on the prevention of atherosclerosis in dietary induced hyperlipidemia rabbits. The plasma LDL cholesterol level was lower in the deep seawater group than in the surface seawater group. GPx activity was significantly higher in the deep seawater group than in the control group, while there was no difference between the surface seawater and control groups. The level of LPO was also significantly lower in the deep seawater group than in the control group. The Sudan IV lipid stained area ratio on the inner surface of the aorta was significantly lower in the deep seawater groups than in the control group, while there was no difference between the surface seawater and control groups. The oil red O stained cross section of the aorta in the control and surface seawater administration group foam cells had accumulated to form thick layers, while in the deep seawater administration group, the degree of their accumulation was very low. These results suggested that the deep seawater was useful for the prevention of hyperlipidemia and arteriosclerosis compared to the surface seawater, and it was found that reduction of the LDL cholesterol level and enhancement of GPx activity were involved in its effects.
Deep-sea water intake reduces allergic skin responses and serum levels of total IgE, Japanese cedar pollen-specific IgE, interleukin (IL)-4, IL-6, IL-13, and IL-18 in patients with allergic rhinitis, while distilled water intake fails to do so.
Dr. Gordon Sato is a former Editor-in-Chief of In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology, President of the Tissue Culture Association (now Society for In Vitro Biology), and Director of the W. Alton Jones Cell Science Center (now Adirondack Biomedical Center). He began pilot experiments on the Manzanar Project at test sites in the Salton Sea while a Professor of Biology at the University of California, San Diego and continued the project in the laboratory at the Cell Center in Lake Placid, NY and at Eritrean test sites during their war of independence. Since 1994, he spends up to 10 mo. per yr in Eritrea where he directs the Manzanar Project and trains young Eritrean scientists in the field in the area of what he refers to as «low-tech biotech.» The name of the Manzanar Project was inspired by the camp in California where Dr. Sato and his family were interned during World War II.
En Colombia y América latina se ha iniciado recientemente el uso nutricional y terapéutico del agua de mar natural, por su contenido de minerales y oligoelementos, práctica ya reconocida en Europa desde hace más de un siglo. Objetivo: evaluar la posible toxicidad del agua de mar de Coveñas (costa atlántica colombiana). Materiales y métodos: se incubaron células humanas en agua de mar recogida en Coveñas para determinar fragilidad osmótica de eritrocitos, viabilidad celular y daño en el ADN de linfocitos (ensayo cometa); además, se determinó su capacidad antioxidante. Resultados: los eritrocitos en agua de mar presentaron hemólisis significativamente mayor respecto a la observada en amortiguador PBS hipertónico de concentración similar (4,3 y 2,8% respectivamente, P = 0,00001); sin embargo, la diferencia de los promedios fue muy pequeña. La viabilidad celular de los linfocitos en agua de mar fue de 95%, similar a la observada en PBS isotónico. Dicha agua de mar tampoco produjo daño en el ADN de linfocitos humanos, según los resultados de los promedios del momento de Olive del ensayo cometa. Tampoco presentó actividad antioxidante ni prooxidante. Conclusiones: según estos ensayos, el agua de mar obtenida en Coveñas presentó bioseguridad para el consumo humano; sin embargo, se deberá evaluar en el futuro la toxicidad de su componente orgánico concentrado y la genotoxicidad en personas que la consuman.
El agua de mar natural se utiliza en algunos países iberoamericanos como elemento nutritivo y terapéutico, y en los países desarrollados se usa como complemento nutricional de forma refinada y comercial. Los estudios de ingesta de agua de mar tratada muestran que no hay toxicidad; sin embargo, el uso de agua cercana a las playas representa un riesgo para la salud debido a la polución de los centros urbanos. En este estudio se emplearon linfocitos humanos y la electroforesis de células individuales (ensayo cometa), para comparar la genotoxicidad de un extracto orgánico de agua de mar tomada de la orilla respecto a muestras obtenidas mar adentro en el pequeño municipio de Coveñas-Sucre, Colombia, que vierte sus aguas domésticas directamente al mar o a pozos sépticos. Se observa genotoxicidad a 37 ºC pero no a 4 ºC, este efecto es dependiente de la concentración del extracto (p<0.0001), del sitio de muestreo (p=0.0026) y de la interacción de estos dos factores (p=0.0001). La muestra orgánica que presenta menor genotoxicidad es la de mar adentro. La citotoxicidad del extracto orgánico de agua de mar es muy baja comparada con la obtenida de muestras del acueducto de Medellín (Colombia).
Grupos de personas en algunos países iberoamericanos ingirieren agua de mar natural como agua mineromedicinal. El propósito de este estudio es evaluar la posible toxicidad por ingesta de agua de mar natural durante cinco meses en un grupo de pacientes con gastritis; mediante un estudio de intervención sin grupo control en 32 adultos. Ningún paciente empeora su condición con respecto a variables clínicas evaluadas, pero si mejoran de la epigastralgia, excepto una que termina sintomática; a pesar de este resultado, no se presentaron cambios en el estudio anatomopatológico de la gastritis, ni en la presencia de Helicobacter pylori.
El peso y la presión arterial se mantienen estables. El magnesio sérico presenta un aumento significativo (1.65±0.28 contra 1.91±0.44 mg/dL, p=0.0167). Se presentan aumentos significativos de las cifras de eritrocitos (4.6±0.4 contra 4.9±0.4 M/µL, p=0.000001), hematocrito (39.2±4.0 contra 40.9±3.9%, p=0.0059), bilirrubina directa (0.079±0.067 contra 0.122±0.103 mg/dL, p=0.0153); y transaminasa AST (17.4±6.9 contra 22.6±7.4 U/L, p=0.0026). Se observa un aumento leve pero significativo en la genotoxicidad de linfocitos, mediante ensayo cometa (Momento de Olive 0.78 contra 1.98, p=0.0005). En conclusión, no se presenta toxicidad por la ingesta de agua de mar, dado que los cambios en las variables sanguíneas están dentro de los intervalos de normalidad y pueden indicar un mayor recambio celular; por el contrario se observa mejoría de la epigastralgia y otros síntomas; no obstante, es importante evaluar variables hematológicas y hepáticas en individuos que estén ingiriendo el agua de mar por más de un año.
La rinitis alérgica (RA) y las infecciones del tracto respiratorio superior están entre las enfermedades más frecuentes en la población general; y aunque no son graves, afectan a la sociedad en general, en términos de la pérdida de días de trabajo, ausentismo escolar, abuso de antibióticos, descongestinantes y otros fármacos, que se compran en tiendas y supermercados. El grupo de población más afectado por estas enfermedades son los niños, con una prevalencia cercana al 32% en los países desarrollados. El lavado nasal con solución salina (SS) es una estrategia recomendada por la OMS para el tratamiento de la RA, con ventajas como: riesgo mínimo para el paciente, reducción del uso de medicamentos, es barata, es efectiva y de fácil aplicación por parte del paciente. El agua de mar (AM) natural microfiltrada y obtenida en alta mar se viene utilizando como agua mineromedicinal en el tratamiento de varias enfermedades que afectan la piel, el sistema digestivo y el respiratorio, tal como se observa en publicaciones científicas recientes; una de las cuales utiliza AM refinada y comercial en el tratamiento de la rinitis alérgica. Sus propiedades terapéuticas se explican por el alto contenido de sales de Na, Mg, Ca y K; además de contener cerca de 90 oligoelementos en cantidades traza; principalmente en forma orgánica. En la Facultad de Medicina de la UdeA se han realizado, por parte del grupo A.MAR, cinco investigaciones sobre la bioseguridad y propiedades terapéuticas y nutritivas del AM; lo que ha permitido el montaje de una planta de tratamiento y envasado, con fines sociales. ¿El AM, por su composición, presentará mayores beneficios en el tratamiento de la rinitis alérgica que la SS preparada con NaCl?
El agua de mar refinada aparece en la literatura científica reciente como una potencial ayuda terapéutica en el tratamiento de varias enfermedades en humanos y animales por su contenido de minerales y oligoelementos. En Colombia, Nicaragua y España se utiliza de forma natural por recogida de la orilla e ingesta; sin embargo, esto puede representar un riesgo para la salud por los problemas de contaminación microbiológica y química. Los tratamientos de control microbiano del agua de mar permiten mejorar su calidad microbiológica.
Objetivo: comparar la eficiencia de tres métodos de control microbiano: microfiltración, exposición solar y cuarentena. Metodología: se recolectaron 30 muestras de agua de mar en recipientes de polietileno de alta densidad con capacidad de 20 litros, en tres lugares diferentes de la costa atlántica colombiana.
Resultados: de 30 muestras recolectadas, 15 resultaron con enterobacterias como E. coli y bacterias halófilas como Vibrio y Aeromonas. La microfiltración a través de cerámica de 0,5 ?m produce una desinfección de 100% de las muestras, mientras que la cuarentena por cinco meses y la desinfección solar son efectivas en 66 y 21% respectivamente. Esta última requiere de ciertas condiciones climáticas para alcanzar la desinfección y solo permite el manejo de pequeños volúmenes.
Discusión: Respecto de la contaminación química en ciertos lugares, que no es controlable por los métodos de desinfección, se recomienda recoger el agua en altamar, en lugares limpios, y realizar la microfiltración.
La búsqueda de alternativas complementarias, como la ingestión de agua de mar (AM) se explica en parte por la crisis en los servicios de atención en salud, que no resuelven integralmente los problemas, ni tienen la cobertura suficiente; además, las condiciones de pobreza y los efectos tóxicos de los medicamentos. Desde el punto de vista de la salud, las poblaciones y las personas no permanecen estáticas en el tiempo sino que se despliegan y se repliegan en movimientos continuos de búsqueda de bienestar. El uso del AM como complemento nutricional y medicinal es un fenómeno reemergente en los países desarrollados, y en algunos de América latina, con el apoyo de la Fundación española Aquamarisque ha implementado los dispensarios marinos. Existen estudios en ciencias básicas biomédicas sobre el AM, pero no se conocen investigaciones cualitativas que recojan el punto de vista de los usuarios. Como parte de la integralidad en el abordaje de los fenómenos relacionados con el bienestar de los seres humanos, se encuentran las esferas subjetiva, humana, social y cultural. En esta última se sitúa el presente trabajo, en el campo de la antropología médica