If You're Drinking This Bottled Water, Your Liver May Be in Danger, FDA Says

One company has recalled all of their bottled water products amid an investigation.

If there's one thing we all know about staying healthy, it's that drinking enough water every day is key. It's one of the best-for-you, risk-free things you could put in your body—but, based on a new report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), that all depends on what kind of water you're drinking. The agency just issued a warning and announced the recall of one brand of bottled water, due to its potential association with liver disease. Read on to find out if the water in your fridge is safe to drink and for more on this vital organ, If You Feel This at Night, You Need to Get Your Liver Checked, Doctors Say.

Real Water may have a potential link to liver disease.

FDA

Real Water bottled alkaline water has been potentially linked to non-viral hepatitis, a liver disease that causes inflammation. The FDA sent out a warning on March 16, detailing how the agency had learned about five cases of non-viral hepatitis—resulting in acute liver failure—affecting infants and young children in Nevada during November 2020. Additionally, additional people in the households with these children who drank Real Water reportedly experienced symptoms, but they were less severe, including "fever, vomiting nausea, loss of appetite, and fatigue," according to the FDA.

"All patients were reported to have consumed 'Real Water' brand alkaline water," the FDA noted. "The consumption of 'Real Water' brand alkaline water is the only common link identified between all of these cases to date."

In a statement, Frank Yiannas, deputy commissioner for food policy and response at the FDA, said that an investigation was ongoing, but noted that "epidemiological information currently indicates that this alkaline water product may be the cause of the illness." And for more ways you may be hurting your liver, If You're Taking Tylenol With This, Your Liver Is in Danger, Experts Say.

Real Water issued a voluntary recall on all of its products.

bottled water in grocery store
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Following the FDA's warning, owner Real Water, Inc. issued a "precautionary recall" of their bottled water, as noted in a FDA announcement on March 24. The company recalled all sizes of their bottled waters, including their 5-gallon home and office delivery bottles that are typically used with water coolers. Their bottled waters come in a blue rectangular bottle that has "Real Alkalized Water" printed on the label, while the 5-gallon home and office delivery bottles are blue with white labels. They also recalled their 4-oz. bottles of Real Water concentrate.

"The recall is the result of an investigation by the Southern Nevada Health District and the FDA after reported cases of non-viral hepatitis in or about November 2020 were suspected to be potentially linked to Real Water's 5-gallon Home and Office Delivery," the recall states. And for more food and drink-related recalls, If You're Eating This for Breakfast, Stop Immediately, FDA Says.

The FDA says anyone experiencing related symptoms of hepatitis should contact their doctor.

male sick illness at home and checking his body temperature using a thermometer and taking medicine with water on a bed
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According to the FDA, "symptoms of all types of hepatitis, including non-viral hepatitis are similar and can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay or gray-colored bowel movements, joint pain, yellow eyes, and jaundice."

In their original warning, the FDA recommended that anyone experiencing these symptoms "should contact their doctor," especially if they have come in contact with Real Water bottled alkaline water. And for more concerning symptoms, If This Body Part Hurts You at Night, See Your Doctor.

Anyone who still has Real Water at home should not drink it.

A young woman is separating wastes and pet bottles at home for recycling.
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The FDA recall announcement states that "consumers who may have recalled products should discard it immediately and not drink it." If you have a 5-gallon bottle, you should contact Real Water to have any remaining product picked up, while customers who have smaller bottles can return them to the place of purchase for a refund.

According to the FDA, Real Water was available for purchase at stores nationwide, as well as on Amazon. The 5-gallon containers were distributed through direct delivery to homes and offices in three different locations: the greater Las Vegas, Nevada area; central California coastal region (North of Los Angeles and South from Santa Barbara); and Phoenix, Arizona. And for more up-to-date news on the items in your home that could be posing a risk, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Several lawsuits have been filed against Real Water.

water dispenser
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As a result of the illnesses, at least two families are suing Real Water, Inc. One lawsuit was filed by a Las Vegas family who say they all suffered health complications from drinking the bottled water. Emely and Christopher Brian Wren and their 2-year-old son, Christopher Noah Wren, all got sick while their daughter who did not drink the water did not come down with any illness, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Another lawsuit was filed by a Nevada man who alleges the product resulted in him needing a liver transplant in September 2019, according to USA Today. "Defendants … sold their product as 'the healthiest drinking water today,'" attorneys Gustavo Ponce and Mona Amini said, representing one of the cases against the company. "In reality it has dangerous levels of toxins in it making it unsafe and dangerous to human life."

"We'd like to express our deepest sympathy and concern over the events that lead to the [FDA] inquiry," Real Water, Inc. President Brent A. Jones said in a video statement. "We started Real Water over 13 years ago with the intention to provide a healthy product that benefits and elevates people's lifestyles. We are deeply saddened to learn that anything otherwise could be the result." And for more recent warnings from the nation's leading food and drug agency, The FDA Just Issued a New Warning About These OTC Pain Meds.

Kali Coleman
Kali is an assistant editor at Best Life. Read more
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