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Posted March 18, 2021

Don't Drink Real Water Alkaline Water, FDA Warns After Reports of Liver Illness

On March 16, 2021, the FDA warned consumers not to drink or use Real Water bottled alkaline water while it investigates reports of hepatitis associated with the product.

The agency is investigating five cases of acute non-viral hepatitis that occurred after drinking Real Water. Each case resulted in acute liver failure in infants and young children from four different homes, and additional people in the households have reported less severe symptoms, such as fever, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite and fatigue. The cases were reported to the Southern Nevada Health District in November 2020, and the only known link has been consumption of Real Water, owned by the Mesa, Arizona company Real Water Inc.

Symptoms of hepatitis include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay or gray-colored bowel movements, joint pain, yellow eyes and jaundice. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact their doctor.

The FDA advised consumers, restaurants and retailers not to consume, cook with, sell or serve Real Water alkaline water until more information is known about the cause of the illnesses. The agency stated: "We are working to determine how the alkaline water may be related to the illnesses. Although the investigation is ongoing, epidemiologic information currently indicates that this alkaline water product may be the cause of the illnesses. We will provide additional updates as more information becomes available."

The FDA's recent update on the investigation provides photos of Real Water and the following details:

Products include but are not limited to: 5-gallon containers (sold through home delivery/subscription), bottles (sold on-line and in stores), and the "Real Water" concentrate (sold on-line)."

The 5-gallon containers are delivered to homes in the following areas, according to the firm's website:

  • Honolulu, HI through Aloha Water
  • Orange County, CA through Paradise Bottling Company
  • St. George, UT through Real Water Southern Utah
  • Tucson, AZ through Aqua Pure
  • Ventura and Santa Barbara, CA through Real Water Gold Coast

Additionally, according to the firm's website, Real Water is sold in 1 gallon, 500 mL (16.9oz.), 1 liter, and 1.5 liter plastic bottles and in a 750 mL glass bottle.

Alkaline water is sometimes promoted to reduce upset stomach, indigestion and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) (for more about this condition see ConsumerLab's answer to the question: Is it true that low-carb or Mediterranean diets help for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?

For more information, use the link below.

FDA In Brief: FDA Investigates Source of Non-Viral Hepatitis Cases Possibly Linked to Bottled Alkaline Water

See related warnings:

Energy Drink Linked to Case of Acute Hepatitis

Green Tea from Tea Bags Linked to Acute Hepatitis

FDA Warns Consumers Not to Use OxyElite Pro As It Investigates Link With Hepatitis

Hepatitis Associated with Herbal Supplement Containing Artemisinin