Can tap water cause weight gain? When a friend visited me in my new home, she commented on the chlorine smell of the tap water. I hadn’t really noticed it, but she went on to warn me that chlorine can cause weight gain. I already have 20 pounds to lose—will my tap water make me even heavier?

It might. While the chlorine in tap water is meant to be a sanitizer, it also kills beneficial bacteria in the gut. With too little of these probiotics in the system, the bad bugs, particularly candida yeast, grow out of control. These critters trigger cravings for sweets and quick-digesting carbohydrates like white bread, which results in weight gain. Besides eating more plain unsweetened yogurt, which is rich in probiotics, I advise using a Doulton Ceramic Water Filter ($200 and up, from Uni Key Health. These models are a bit pricier than other water filters, but they’re more effective at reducing contaminants.

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