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A Common Sense Approach to Ionized, Oxygenated, and Magnetized Water

Foreword
Companies are completely free to make any unsubstantiated claims they wish, except for specific health claims - which would then place them under FDA jurisdiction where they would be required to prove their claims scientifically. Bearing this in mind, read the promotions for Altered Water products very, very carefully. You will find that the companies describe various health conditions in great detail, and then attribute the condition (sometimes accurately) to a lack of water, to polluted water, to insufficient oxygen, etc. However, they never link their specific water treatment process directly to solving the stated health problem - except in the most general, unverifiable way. They say for example, "drinking enough water is critical to your health", or "drinking our water will reduce stress and give you more energy." Both reasonable statements, priming the reader for the upcoming whoppers, which of course will come in the form of testimonials. There are no regulations in place to ensure that testimonials are truthful, accurate, or even that they come from real, living human beings. There will be, however, a complete lack of substantiated scientific evidence to back up those claims that make their product special. Some good questions to ask: what was the variable measured in the test group? What happened to the control group? Was the test repeated? What happened in the second and third trials? Were there any negative side effects? Acceptable evidence would be experimental results published in journal articles that have been reviewed by other scientists to make certain the experiments were carried out (and interpreted) correctly and without bias.

Oxygenated water
There is no way for your body to get O2 (usable oxygen) from water by drinking it, unless you have a set of gills in your digestive tract. Any O2 in "oxygenated" water will either be belched out, or passed from the other end - much in the same way the CO2 in beer and soda is handled. If you want to get more oxygen in your system, then take up Tai Chi breathing exercises, or move to a lower elevation where the air is thicker. Only buy this product if you like the taste, or you're still young enough to enjoy passing gas.

Alkaline Water
The acid in your stomach is the first line of defense against food borne illnesses. Weaken its acidity and you will effectively weaken your immune system. Fortunately for your immune system, alkaline water (pH 8) is 10-100 times less effective at neutralizing acid than Tums (pH 10+), and will have virtually no effect. Purveyors of this product in particular use the extreme multipliers of the logarithmic pH scale, and the fact that a pH rating of anything other than perfectly neutral (pH 7.0) gets labeled as acidic or alkaline to prey on the unwary. For example they will jump up and own pointing at water produced by reverse osmosis and call it acid. RO water typically has a pH of 6.8, so technically its acidic, but its 2-3 times less acidic than mother's breast milk, which has a pH of 6.5, and that's ok to drink. Is orange juice healthy to drink? It has a pH or 3.0, making it 10,000 times more acidic than RO water. Get the point? Alkaline water -- also known as mineral water -- tastes great, and makes great coffee and you should buy alkaline water products on that basis.

See Water Sciences Section pH for more information on alkaline water and pH.

Ionized Water
There are two types of products which fall under this category, and only one is mysterious.
When water comes in contact with minerals, the water dissolves the minerals, and becomes mineral water. This process can also be described as ionization. Water can be ionized with calcium, magesium, salt, lead, arsenic and so on. Nothing mysterious here.
The other type of water ionizer uses advertising language that conjures up images of futuristic light rays transforming the water into something greater. The truth is running an electric current through impure water can ionize (charge) it, but once the water leaves the presence of the electric current the ionization is gone. Water will not hold an electrical charge. It has no capacitance. Pure water, the kind you should drink, is an insulator, and will neither carry, nor hold an electric charge. That's why it's used in car batteries. The only thing this product will do is waste electricity.

Magnetized Water
Pure water cannot be magnetized. For something to become magnetized it needs to be a ferromagnetic element or posses a substantial amount of ferromagnetic materials in its composition. (Ferromagnetic materials have unpaired electrons in the atom, and then a non-random orientation of atoms in the material, so the atoms' individual contributions don't cancel. The free H+ and OH- in water cancels out.) Water containing enough iron, nickel, neodymium, etc. to be able to become magnetized is known as toxic waste sludge. These people would have better luck selling a magnetized T-bone streak!

Micro-Clusters
Re-aligned H2O molecules can be seen in 3 different forms - water, ice, and steam. If the water micro-cluster machine they are trying to sell you is an icemaker, and its purported health benefits are slightly reduced swelling when applied topically to bumps and bruises, then it sounds like an honest deal. If they tell you that re-arranged water from their Ponce de Leon brand purifier will kill malignant cancer cells, then keep on going to the next booth.

Common Sense Bottom Line
If these people could demonstrate half of their claims to be true, then they would have been awarded the noble prize for chemistry, biology and physics. They also would have sold their patents to GE or Pfizer for huge piles of money, who in turn would sell these products to you for billions through Wal-Mart.

Cavet Emptor - Let the buyer beware.

--always talk to your physician before changing your diet or health regimen.

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