Written and Edited by Leigh Haugh
Translate by Paola Bolaffio
Water delivers to each cell the exact ingredients the cell requires and carries away the end or elimination products of its life-sustaining reactions. Therefore, bodily fluids serve as the transport vehicle for all the nutrients and wastes. Without water, cells, tissues, and organs die quickly. Simply put, body functions cease without this element and the host body cannot survive.
One of the primary reasons why water is the body’s essential nutrient is that it serves as a nearly universal solvent. It dissolves amino acids, glucose, minerals, and many other substances needed by the cells. Moreover, fatty substances can travel freely in the blood and lymph systems because they are uniquely packaged within water-soluble proteins.
The element also serves as the body’s cleansing agent. Small molecules, such as nitrogen, and their end products generated during protein metabolism dissolve within the blood and must be removed before they build up to toxic concentrations within the body. The kidneys act as filters for these waste products and excrete them, mixed with water, as urine. When the kidneys become diseased, as can happen in diabetes and other disorders, toxins can build up to life-threatening levels.
Lubricant and Cushion
Water molecules resist being forced together. Thanks to their van der Waals forces, which are forces of attraction and/or repulsion between molecules or parts of the same molecule, the element can act as a lubricant and cushion for the joints. Moreover, it also acts as a shock absorber for vital tissues, such as the spinal cord. Furthermore, the fluid that fills the eye acts a cushion to keep an optimal pressure on the retina and lens. Similarly, a fetus is cushioned against shock by the bag of amniotic fluid in the mother’s uterus. Also among its vital functions, water acts as a lubricant for the respiratory tract, digestive tract, and all tissues that are moistened via mucus.
Another important function of the element within the human body is its ability to help maintain body temperature. Sweat, and the water within that bodily fluid, acts as the body’s coolant. Heat is produced as a byproduct of energy metabolism and can build up to dangerously high levels within the human body. To rid itself of this excess heat, the body routes its blood supply through the capillaries just under the skin. At the same time, the skin secretes sweat and its by-product evaporates. When water is converted to vapor, it requires energy. Therefore, as sweat evaporates, heat energy dissipates, cooling the skin as well as the underlying blood. The cooled blood then flows back to cool the body’s core. Sweat evaporates continuously from the skin, usually in slight amounts that go unnoticed.