Voice of researchers




北川 良亲农学博士







Cell permeability is key

On every cell membrane there is a passage of water called "aquaporin" which regulates the amount of water passed through the cell.

Aquaporin is a kind of protein discovered by Dr. Peter Agre in the United States in 1992, and this discovery led him to win the Novel Prize in chemistry in 2003.

Aquaporin has a narrow hole in the center, approximately 0.3 nanometers wide (one nanometer is one billions of a meter), where only water is selected to permeate. It is known that individuals become ill when the count of aquaporin becomes low or when its function begins to decline.

Professor Kitagawa investigated various kinds of water and their permeability through aquaporin and found that depending on the type of mineral water, there were some that passed through the aquaporin easily, and some that did not. Among them, when Professor Kitagawa found that “Hita Tenryou Sui” had a higher aquaporin permeability than other mineral waters, he studied the mysterious nature of the Hita Tenryou Sui in detail and presented the results to the American Biochemical and Biophysical Communications journal, “BBRC.”

Water, which easily enters and exits cells, activates intracellular metabolism and enhances cell vitality. It is thought that this also activates NK cells (natural killer cells) that first attack abnormal cells such as cancer cells and virus-infected cells.

It is not yet known why Hita Tenryou Sui is so permeable through aquaporin. The path of water through our bodies as well as aquaporin still require much more attention for clarification.