See: snake oil
, or "alkaline
" water, often sold under brand names like Evamor
, is commonly found in your local health food store
, next to a million perfectly legitimate health products. It is marketed as an antioxidant
, because alkalines, having an excess of OH-
ions bind with free radicals
, or loose oxygen
atoms to produce harmless, hydrogen
That's right: eating acidic foods
is highly dangerous
, putting you at risk for cancer
and, according to some proponents of the substance, virtually every illness
known to man, including various bacterial infection
s (because bacteria thrive in acidic environments
, like unhealthy blood
). Drinking electrolytically alkaline water puts the OH- ions back in your blood, creating a buffer
against dangerous blood acids
So put those bananas
away! Hey! Get away from that grapefruit
! Oranges cause cancer! So you're thinking, now... wait: isn't vitamin C, that's ascorbic acid, one of the most potent antioxidants on the market? The seed of doubt is planted in your mind, but--oh, look, over there!
"How do I know that Ionized Alkaline Water is Good For You? I Am A Diagnosed Terminal Cancer Survivor . . . Ionized Alkaline Water Played A Vital Role In My Recovery!!!!!"
Cancer survivors all over have grown healthy by drinking ionized water! You wouldn't argue with a CANCER SURVIVOR
on an issue relating to cancer
... would you? I mean, sure, he followed his sentence with five exclamation points
, and capitalized
every word he wrote, but he's a cancer survivor
. He's untouchable
, man! If this guy says cancer is caused by deadly moon rays
, he's probably right.
This quote is, of course, part of an advertisement
for a line of water ionizers
that runs between $650 and $800 apiece (on sale, apparently--it ends tomorrow! hurry up, kids!). But what is a water ionizer?
Answers in this department are a little sketchy. First of all, they're Japanese
. That's good, right? Apparently water is forced through a chamber containing "five platinum
plates", which electrify your water! That's right, they... electrify
your water. This is apparently supposed to make your water alkaline in pH. Let's go over this, shall we?
- You put water into the ionizer.
- You press the buttons, and "select the pH level of your choice".
- Through the magic of electricity, the water comes out alkaline!
Needless to say, electrolysis doesn't work this way any more than your immune system
becomes invincible when you put magnets all over your body
. First of all, electrolysis does nothing
to pure water. From a chemist
's perspective, ionized water is a nonsense term. Impure water, which is what normal people drink and which is not necessarily unhealthy, can be electrolyzed to a very slight degree
, one essentially imperceptible on the pH scale because of the very mild concentrations of mineral in palatable
Let's put it this way: if your water has enough mineral
content to make the pH
change viewed through electrolysis
notable, it is almost certainly impure enough to be poisonous
In addition, electrolyzing water won't make it alkaline. It won't really do anything, in fact. Water "de-ionizers" on the market actually express similar effects through a similar process, though the only way to de-ionize water that I could imagine would be to add an oxygen molecule (through electrolysis, that is), turning it into H202
, a completely different and completely poisonous substance, when ingested.
Ionized water is also sometimes called "micro-water
", actually. This is because the process is supposed to make water molecules looser, or smaller, or whatever you can derive from the pseudoscientific babble
found on most proponent websites. The closest semi-logical statement that I can infer is that that these machines are supposed to reduce the surface
tension of your tap water by removing all those pesky hydrogen ions.
Virtually every aspect of water ionization reflects a serious inadequacy of knowledge on the part of its creators concerning the charge duality
of water, and screams "hoax
" at every turn.
Still more mysteriously
, it's not noted anywhere that any basic water you ingest is going to be neutralized immediately by the highly acidic conditions of a healthy human's stomach. If you want to make your stomach more alkaline, go right ahead! Take a Tums
, dummy. Hell, take five. You'll have the most alkaline stomach on the block. Of course, you won't be able to digest protein
Apparently, there are also companies that tout machines that will acidify your water. Gee, isn't that... useful? It is, however, supposed to resolve Hong Kong Foot. Whatever that is. (edit: Hong Kong Foot is the translation of the chinese phrase words for "athlete's foot", as I'm informed.)
Also, water can be purified through a process called deionization, which is totally different... also known as reverse osmosis, commonly used by large-scale water filtration plants. Thanks, yclept--knew I forgot to say something. Speaking of which, I should add that these ionizers aren't tooootally useless--some of them actually work like a $700 buzzing Brita filter, too. Nifty, huh?
Finally, whoever softlinked this to Your words are delicious and enticing, and I would save them all like love letters can join my fanclub for a nominal fee.