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weight gain? Answered

This is just one of those strange things that flashed through my mind when I read the other question on Deuterium.
Since its just water, and I don't remember ever reading that it is harmful to drink it, I was made to wonder:

If a person were to drink enough deuterium over a period of time to replace all the regular water in their body with heavy water, just how much weight would they gain?

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Jack A Lopez

Best Answer 3 years ago

If you want to read about heavy water being harmful to drink, you could read the Wikipedia article on heavy water, specifically the section titled, "Effect on Animals", here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_water#Effect_o...

That paragraph mentions sterility at 25% deuteration, and death at %50 deuteration, for rats. So it looks like it's kind of toxic, at least at doses large enough to produce noticeable ( a few percent) weight gain.

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icengJack A Lopez

Answer 3 years ago

There are many molecules in our bodies that use hydrogen bonds.

The question is how these hydrogen atoms are procured ?

Are they inhaled or split from water intake ?

The final concern is if that extra neutron affects the way hydrogen bonds to make necessary molecules ?

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Jack A Lopeziceng

Answer 3 years ago

Hydrogen atoms seem to have the ability to sort of switch places, from one molecule to another, just from those two molecules approaching each other, close enough for this to happen. This doesn't happen for every kind of molecule containing hydrogen, but it does happen for some of them, including D2O.

I imagine this happening much the same way briefcases get swapped at busy train stations in spy thriller movies.

For example, Heavy Water molecule, DOD, is walking through the train station. Then she pauses for a moment, and sets one of her Ds on the ground. Phenol molecule, standing nearby, sets one of his Hs on the ground. Then, totally by mistake, Heavy Water picks up Phenol's H, becoming DOH, not even noticing this in the rush to catch her train. Meanwhile, Phenol picks up the D, and he gets changed too. The overall reaction for this is:

D2O + C6H5OH = DOH + C6H5OD

Sounds crazy, but this sort of atom exchange really happens. The example reaction I mention, is the same one given in the intro to the Wikipedia article on "Isotopic labeling", here,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotopic_labeling


Also worth noting, the atom's location in the molecule, is part of what influences the likelihood of this exchange process. For some reason, for the phenol molecule, only the hydrogen in the OH group is vulnerable to being exchanged.

The point of telling you this story, is that water, H2O, does not have to be an explicit reactant in the metabolism of particular biomolecule that is part of a cell, in order for that biomolecule to be vulnerable to having some of its Hs exchanged for Ds.

I think there is the possibility the exchange could happen just from those molecules being in contact with heavy water.

Besides, there were some scientists who cleverly replaced the water their lab rats usually drink, with heavy water, (Similar to old TV commercial where they replaced people's brewed coffee with instant coffee, and "Uh....Wow! Really? It tastes just like fresh brewed..."), and the rats got sick and died. So the D2O was doing something to them, something bad. Sorry I haven't found the full article, but they'll give me the first page for free, here:
https://dx.doi.org/10.1111%2Fj.1749-6632.1960.tb39...

Final link is to that old SNL skit with Chris Farley, proving that switching people's coffee on them isn't always trouble free either. ;-)

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VygerJack A Lopez

Answer 3 years ago

So, except for the expense, it would be a fantastic way to poison someone as testing for high levels of heavy water would be something that would never be done. They died from drinking water. And any left over could be poured down the drain and be untraceable.

I should write a script for CSI.

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iceng

3 years ago

Besides the fact you are already fractionally consuming "heavy water"..

We are an "ugly bag of water" to quote an alien trek description of you and me.

We are really only 60% water. Adding an extra neutron to each hydrogen atom in the body including H bonds with other atoms besides O2 is beyond my chem ability.

Maybe some one knows how to do that.

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Vygericeng

Answer 3 years ago

I remember that one, it was one of the better ones, the crystalline life form commenting on the make up of people. It is an interesting observation, "a bag of water" not unlike soup.

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icengiceng

Answer 3 years ago

Here is a fun fact... Heavy water Ice sinks in ordinary water.

Water weighs about 1 gm/cm and deuturium water weighs about 1.1 gm/cm which is 10% more, then assuming you are 80% water, 80% of 10% is 8%

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Wired_Mistbravoechonovember1

Answer 3 years ago

+1

now just for the fun of it....

Assuming you would die at 50% concentration, (as Jack said) divide that in half = 3.5%

Assuming you weigh 200lbs,

(200 / (100%) *3.5 ) + 200 = 207 lbs?

Now we just need a Nutritionist to Calculate how much weight you would loose from ur health going downhill :P