Water Ionizers – Truth, Myth, or Scam
Water ionizer filters are being produced in Japan and Korea and are being marketed in the United States through different channels including network marketing. These are expensive machines that use the process of electrolysis to make an alkaline stream of water. The claims are that the alkaline stream possesses near miraculous properties. The water itself is called miracle water, microwater, cluster water, or structured water. It’s touted as being able to reverse aging, prevent or heal cancer, solve problems with digestion, mal-absorption, chronic constipation and diarreha, and even reduce blood pressure and heal heart disease.
- Water Ionizer Operation
These filters typically sit on a countertop and plug into an electrical outlet. They use a plastic hose with a diverter valve to direct water from your faucet into the filter and a second hose that takes the bad, acid water into the drain. Once the water enters the appliance it goes through a pre-filter that’s usually just a simple charcoal filter, then through a chamber fitted with electrodes coated with some kind of inert metal like platinum. In the chamber the water is subjected to electrolysis. Positively charged particles known as “cations” are attracted to the negative electrode, segregated, and dispensed as “alkaline” water. Negatively charged particles known as “anions” are attracted to the positive electrode, segregated, and dispensed as “acidic” water. Some models also feature a UV light to disinfect the stream of alkaline water before it is dispensed. It’s important to note that it’s not actually the water molecules that are made alkaline. The electrolysis process just separates the compounds dissolved in the water according to whether they possess a positive or negative charge.
Product names include MicroWater, Life Ionizer, Gold Fox, The Alkalizer, KYK, Kangen, Alkablue, Ionizer Plus, Akai, Nikon, Jupiter, and Living Waters.
The basic claim is that these ionizing filters produce an alkaline stream of water and that the alkaline water is unusually healthy for the body for at least three main reasons:
- Alkaline water helps neutralize excessive acidic wastes produced by modern diets that are too high in foods that create an acid pH in the body.
- The water that undergoes the process of electrolysis hydrates the body more efficiently because “clusters of water molecules are smaller” than water not treated by such systems.
- The electrolysis process creates water with an improved redox potential and that makes it a beneficial antioxidant. And,further, electrolysis with one of these machines is the only way to achieve this benefit.
What is extremely disturbing is that the alkaline stream of water is claimed to be able to prevent or cure diseases like cancer by balancing the body’s pH. In fact, these units actually concentrate dangerous ions in the water that are known to cause cancer. Cancer victims may bee lured into buying the $1,000 to $4,500 filters, but not only do the filters not help, they actually may harm a recovering cancer patient.
It is important to know that NO INDEPENDENT RESEARCH BASED VERIFICATION FROM ANY REPUTABLE ORGANIZATION for any of the claims of these products is available. The so-caled ”verification” comes from questionable testimonials of individuals who claim to be doctors who are the heads of some high sounding Japanese or Korean organization. Typically, these organizations have no serious professional standing. They appear to be made up by the people manufacturing or marketing these filters who know that their customers are unlikely to try to call Japan to verify these claims. What is certain is that any doctor promoting these things is so ignorant of biochemistry they shouldn’t be practicing medicine.
Water ionizers are the latest snake oil in water treatment. They capitalize on misinformation and hype to get people to pay large amounts of money for what amounts to a very poor water treatment device. Unfortunately, many unsophisticated people are taken in by this scam, partly by the many miraculous promises made regarding health benefits, and partly because of the lure of making a lot of money if one becomes a part of the multi-level marketing scheme used to sell most of these things. Consumers will definitely do better by ignoring the lure of miracle water and purchasing a water filtration system that is backed by solid science.
Contrary to all the hype, it is physiologically impossible to alter the pH of the blood, blood plasma, lymphatic fluid, or tissues of the body. These things are very tightly controlled by the body and no amount of alkaline water you can drink will change that. All you will do is change the pH of your urine, and the pH of your urine has nothing at all to do with the pH anywhere else in your body.
WARNING: THIS IS MOST IMPORTANT
If you have cancer, if you are recovering from cancer, or if you are otherwise at risk for cancer, avoid water ionizers like the plague. Water ionizers concentrate certain cancer causing ions in the product water for the same reason they concentrate calcium and magnesium in the water. Why, because those substances have the electrical charge that causes them to go into the so-called alkaline stream. And to make matters worse, the carcinogenic substances are increased in concentration.
Bottom Line: Purify your water, eat organic, don't smoke and avoid air pollution!