Water Cluster Quackery

The junk science of structure-altered waters

On this page:

There are more than twenty commercial products on the market that purport to alter the structure of water in order to help maintain or restore health, youth, and vigor. At my age I would not mind re-aquiring some of these myself, but as a retired Chemistry professor and habitual imbiber of tap-water, it disturbs me to see crackpot chemistry, pseudoscientific mind-mush and outright lies used to promote these products to consumers whose lack of scientific training leaves them unprotected from this exploitation. This Web site is directed primarily to those who are concerned about their health, but who lack the technical background to distinguish science from pseudoscience when the two are closely intertwined. It is also recommended for teachers to use as resource material in courses about consumer protection, pseudoscience, or critical thinking.

In the rather long page below, I try to present a critical examination of some of the claims about the nature and action of these fictional structure-altered waters ("SAW") in the context of the science as I believe it is presently known and understood. It is my hope that readers will thus be better equipped to make their own decisions about the value of these products.

 

 

Water clusters: the science

Chemists have long recognized water as a substance having unusual and unique properties that one would not at first sight expect from a small molecule having the formula H2O. It is generally agreed that the special properties of water stem from the tendency of its molecules to associate, forming short-lived and ever-changing polymeric units that are sometimes described as "clusters". These clusters are more conceptual than physical in nature; they have no directly observable properties, and their transient existence (on the order of picoseconds) does not support an earlier view that water is a mixture of polymers (H2O)n  in which n  can have a variety of values. Instead, the currently favored model of water is one of a loosely-connected network that might best be described as one huge "cluster" whose internal connections are continually undergoing rearrangement.

For a quick refresher on modern science's view of water
and more on water clusters, see my
Gentle introduction to water and its structure .

The pseudoscience

Not sure of the difference from "science"? See What is pseudoscience?

What is this stuff, anyway?

The following themes seem to run through most of the pitches for structure-altered waters (SAWs):

  • This water represents a kind of pristine water that was once present on Earth before it became sullied and polluted by humans, and it is still present in our own bodies at birth, but it somehow becomes degraded as we age, and this is in fact a primary cause of physical aging and disease.
  • The clusters are somehow immune to the ravages of the thermal jostlings to which water molecules are normally subject, and are able to remain intact for weeks or years. They are also sometimes described as "beautiful, star-shaped molecules" and are often shown in pictures as what appear to be snowflakes.
  • The clusters are claimed to be essential for transporting water and wastes across cell membranes and for maintaining the structural integrity of proteins, DNA and other biomolecules. But it does more than just that: the Cellcore sales sites told us that when this water is consumed, "high frequency information is transmitted to proteins in the mouth, esophagus and gastrointestinal tract. These proteins amplify the information signal and send it in a cascading wave to other connected cell systems." Sounds impressive, but can anyone figure out what that actually means?
  • Although this elixir of life and youth has unfortunately vanished from Earth (it is found now only deep within glacial ice, in newborn babes and in a few "healing springs"), a "scientist" has found a way to re-create and bottle it for sale, usually as a concentrate which you are supposed to add to ordinary water.

Any uncertainty that the chemistry community may have about the nature and existence of water clusters is not apparently shared by the various "inventors" who have not only "discovered" these elusive creatures, but who claim findings that science has never even dreamed of! These promoters have spun their half-baked crackpot chemistry into various watery nostrums that they say are essential to your health and able to cure whatever-ails-you. These benificences are hawked to the more gullible of the general public, usually in the form of a "concentrate" that you can add to your drinking water— all for a $20-$50 charge on your credit card.

Some of these hucksters claim to make the water into clusters" that are larger, smaller, or hexagonal-shaped, allowing them to more readily promote "cellular hydration" and remove "toxins" from your body.

The fact is that none of these views has any significant support in the scientific communities of chemistry, biochemistry, or physiology, nor are they even considered worthy of debate. The only places you are likely to see these views advocated are in literature (and on Web sites) intended to promote the sale of these products to consumers in the notoriously credulous "alternative" health and "dietary supplement" market.

So, is there anything to all of this? Well, I certainly don't think so:

  • I have looked in the reputable (peer-reviewed) scientific literature for evidence that would support the claims regarding the structure or action of the various brands of SAW. So far, I have found none. If anyone can provide me with such a reference, I would be delighted to share it.
  • The SAW sales sites are full of absurd claims (about "beautiful star-shaped molecules", for example) that strike me as belonging more to the realm of mysticism than of science. Scientific terms are frequently used inappropriately and in contexts that I consider incorrect and often misleading.
  • Many of the statements pertaining specifically to chemistry and physiology that are adduced to support the claims fall quite outside the range of what I think most chemists, biochemists and physiologists would regard as credible science. The claims about "cellular resonance" have no scientific support and contribute nothing to what is presently known about cellular signal transduction.
  • The claims that these various structure-altered waters promote "cellular hydration" are not only unsupported by evidence, but are inconsistent with the known "one-molecule-at-a-time" mechanisms by which water is transported across cell walls. Some promoters quote the results of scientifically-dubious "bio-electric impedance analyzers" to demonstrate improved hydration; don't believe this junk science!
  • Several vendors claim that their SAW products can delay or reverse ageing. Such claims are untrue; there is no evidence that any type of dietary supplement or treatment can slow ageing.
  • All of the sales sites display the required disclaimer that the information they provide is "for educational purposes only", but the sales pitch is strongly directed toward the notoriously uncritical sports beverage and "alternative health" market. Most of the sites promise (without any credible supporting evidence) vague benefits such as "energizing the body", "empowering the natural healing process", or "enhancing toxin removal from cells". Some sites have referred to incredible numbers of clinical "case histories" purporting to support the effectiveness of their "technology" in treating ailments such as asthma, diabetes, hypertension, etc.

 

 

But we can actually see it!

Many of the SAW sites feature photographs of what are often misleadingly described as "molecules" of water of various states of purity, as captured by an electron microscope at 20,000x magnification. The following are typical and can be seen on many sales sites:

A "beautiful, star-shaped molecule of clustered water™."
Distilled water
("dead water" because its "memory" is lost.)
Tap water
(full of grunge, no doubt; yuckk!)
Chlorinated water
(burp!)

Well, if the water in your body is anything like the ideal shown at the top, then I have bad news: you are dead, and are no doubt residing in a deep-freeze! This is not a "molecule" at all, but an ice crystal, probably a snowflake. If the latter, then it will almost certainly be less pure than the one shown below it, since snowflakes, like raindrops, are built around a core of dirt. The fact is that these photos are not of water molecules and convey no information about the water. They are most likely the work of the showman, water-mystic and father of cluster-lore "Doctor" Masuro Emoto . More of Emoto's photos and pseudoscientific rubbish can be found at the Hado site. For even more far-out fantasy, see More Messages in Water or The Power of Prayer Made Visible.

Emoto's book "The Message from Water" contains photos of ice crystals from waters which have been exposed to

music, words spoken, words typed and taped to the glass containers, photographs and long-distance thought messages. Some of the photographs are amazing and all of them show a response from the water.

Many of the photos are quite nice, but the shapes of ice crystals are highly dependent on the conditions and rates of freezing, so Emoto's fanciful interpretations have no scientific validity.

 

Will water that is "clustered" or altered in structure make me feel better, younger, more vigorous, etc.?

Very likely, yes! Studies have shown that placebos can relieve the symptoms in about 40 percent of those who suffer from chronic ailments. They are probably even more effective for those who are inclined toward "alternative medicine" or the "wellness" industry. In other words, if you "believe" that something might help, it may well do so, and the more people are made to pay for it, the more eager they will be to have their beliefs confirmed. (Remember those Monty Python apartment towers that would remain standing only as long as the residents maintained their faith in them?)

Here are some interesting links on the placebo effect

 

In the following descriptions of the various products, text that is quoted verbatim from a sales Web page is indented, with any excisions noted. Portions of these text excerpts that I consider to be scientifically meaningless, absurd, incorrect, misleading, or for which no credible evidence is available, are written in "purple prose".

 

CellCore's crackpot chemistry

Until they thankfully disappeared in 2002, the main purveyor of a water alleging to be "clustered" was marketed with scientific-sounding flapdoodle that could be quite convincing to folks who don't have an unusually good command of chemistry. The "inventor", one Lee Lorenzen, even has two scientifically absurd patents on the process for making the stuff. One of the now-gone sales sites makes a series of unbelievable claims, many of which are shamelessly repeated by other cluster-quackery vendors. According to one of the sales sites,

The patented Template Induction Process was designed to creates rings of water (5, 6, and 7 membered rings) that are collapsed around organic complexes such as proteins, amino acids and other compounds. High frequency vibration is applied to the water-protein complex using the latest in ceramic and laser technology... The result is a semi-liquid crystal that resonates at a designed and predictable frequency. The specific frequencies of each crystalline Clustered Water™ solution is designed to be amplified by the cells and transferred through resonant paths to tissues in need of "tuning".

The hokum appears to be based on the simplistic notion that the molecular pattern of a substance (aloe vera, vitamin E, DNA and perhaps eye of newt or pixie-dust of whatever kind) can be "imprinted" into water which thereby acquires and retains a "memory" that is somehow able to confer the healing benefits of that substance onto the drinker. This is similar to the pseudoscientific concept of homeopathic remedies, except in the latter the imprinting substances are supposed to be those that produce symptoms of the malady to be corrected. (That's the nice thing about pseudoscience: you can bend it to support any interpretation you wish!)

Although the original Clustered Water™ has apparently evaporated, what appears to be the same nostrum is still offered by water quackery vendors who continue to dish out the same nonsense:

Claims made for the more recent brands Zunami (at the same Web address as a former Cellcore sales site), AquaKaire, and Vivo Water are very similar to those made for the old Cellcore product.

 

Cluster quackery clones

The number of consumers prepared to believe the unbelievable about Clustered Water™ has apparently been great enough to inspire a whole slew of hucksters to flog products that purport to offer similar benefits.

In order to avoid conflict with Cellcore's registered trademark, in the profiles of the products below I will substitute "CACA" in the appropriate places when quoting text from sources in which this term appears without the ™ symbol

 

Photonic Structured Water

This promotion combines much of the usual cluster-CACA bumpf with the weird vortex black-magic of Victor Schauberger to flog a new, higher-order snake oil on the science-challenged public. And this one incorporates biophotons to which they magical properties that have apparently eluded ligitimate science.  The heart of this device is their "Rainmaker Matrix"  in which a "toroidal vortex" contains

"Silica spheres are intentionally charged with beneficial electromagnetic frequencies during every step of the manufacturing process. Our production facility is located in a remote area of South Dakota, far removed from sources of material and energetic pollution. The silica spheres are treated with full-color LED lights in addition to subtle energy frequencies from marine plants and proteins using a scalar wave generator." [link]

Spiritually-inclined customers will be glad to know that "Greenfield Naturals strives to manufacture Water Structuring Units that reflect our sincere and simple intent to create water filled with light and love given to us by God and infused into the workings of each unit we create."

iQuackery: "ultra-hydrating super liquid"

It seemed inevitable that someone would latch on to the popularity of Apples' i-Everything, and here it is! The hypemeisters at Gia Wellness claim that their "i-H2O Activation System" transforms the chaotic jumble of H2O molecules in ordinary water into orderly rows, all prepared to sail right through the aquaporin channels and into your cells.

Not surprisingly, they offer no evidence for this, which is understandable because there is none; anyone who has passed high school Chemistry would find the idea that H2O molecules can be beat into single-file submission laughably absurd. Even worse, there would be no need for this nostrum anyway; the aquaporin channels that are built into our cells are exquisitely evolved to admit the waters one-by-one without any outside assistance.

An archived how-it-works Web page from a now-gone i-H2O site provides more absurd twaddle that pops the B.S.-meter and should deter all but the most hopelessly science-challanged from taking this promotion seriousy:

"A combination of magnets and an LED (Light Emitting Diode) excites the patented MRET® polymer, emitting a highly effective noise-field. The low frequency oscillations activate and change the water or liquids molecular structure into a highly intelligent, bio-available water or liquid. Coupled with BIOPRO’s proprietary ERT™ (Energy Resonance Technology), which imprints a vital subtle energy signature into the water."

For another example of Gia Wellness pseudoscience, check out the pendant that, worn around your neck, is supposed to provide bioenergetic energy-ehancement qualities and protect you from electromagnetic radiation.

HydraLies

This company employs "a dynamic process called LiquiLite™ "to manufacture a "structured water" product they call HydraH20 ™. Some of the fibs they feed us are classic Lorenzen-lore:

  • This method recreates the condition of the cell's water structure to be as it was when we were first born!
  • structured water molecules communicate important biochemical information and ... cell communication is impaired as we grow older.
  • Research has shown that the lack of this specific form of water is responsible for cellular aging. ... by the time we are 60 years old almost 3/4 of the water in the blood alone has actually disappeared!

 

THE Water bunk

Yes, it's not just any water, but The Water, an elixir that will transform your tap water into "purified, magnetically-charged water enhanced with a charge polarized linear structure." You are skeptical? See their pictures purporting to show how thin and scrawny blood cells are transformed into fat and happy ones only 15 minutes after consuming this snake oil! Among its other [literally] incredible attributes:

  • Our proprietary process increases the speed of the water molecule to inflate cells by instantly lining up the hydrogen molecules in a chain, plus to minus, in order to permit rapid entry into all cells...
  • Memory purity using magnetic induction- Both through known and proprietary technologies we liberate the information domains within the purified water matrix, initial research shows the possibility of removing disease and anti-biotic markers in water.
  • Molecule angle opening by using known technologies, now applied to water. In addition we can rearrange the hydroxyl ratio within the water depending upon the original untreated waters needs.

Anyone who falls for this pitch is in effect paying a $75/gallon fine for not knowing the basics of Chemistry!

Hexagon hucksters

An outfit flogging a kind of "hexagonal water" is purportedly

living water which resonates with the energetic vibrations of your body... it amplifies animates and perpetuates your own life force... it has beautiful crystal hexagonal formations even in its liquid form... it absorbs and retains more oxygen...

But the real difference here is that you don't have to buy an expensive liquid concentrate; their [even more expensive] "conversion device" consists of a set of filters that provide this snake-oil on tap. The most magical of these filters

is packed with bioceramic beads which emit Far Infrared Rays ... that vibrate and energize the water, mimicking what happens when natural spring water splashes over rocks and natural magnetic fields.

Complete bunk and nonsense, of course, and similar to the claims made for certain other products. Chemists will find especially hilarious their claim that

The lower the NMR reading, the smaller the clusters. Hexagon Water has a certified NMR reacing of only 42.3 Hz ... normal tap water and distilled water have readings of around 128 Hz

Prof. Paul Shin of California State U. - Northridge and an expert on NMR, has demolished this nonsense in a very readable article.

In common with many of the other bizarre water-wellness products, this one appears to originate in Korea where water scams seem to thrive. A product called Hexagonal Water and flogged at the falsehood-filled www.jesus-is-savior.com site appears to be a current version of {this now-disappeared site} in which we are informed that

Dr. Mu Shik Jhon, President of the Korean Academy of Science and Technology, and the Honorary Chair-Professor of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and a world authority in water research ... is the originator of the hexagonal water theory and has been actively disclosing its relationship with cancers and aging mechanism as well as possible healing effects. Professor Jhon says that here are three different shapes of water. One is hexagonal hook-shaped, another is pentagonal hook-shaped and still another hexagonal chain-shaped. Through his recent research, Professor Jhon confirmed that there are more hexagonal water around the normal protein than around cancerous protein.

It turns out that M-S Jhon (who died in 2004) was a for-real scientist and author of numerous research papers having to do with water— and none (that I have seen) containing any of this hokum. It's not the first time an otherwise reputable scientist has strayed out of his field of expertise and made a fool of himself (remember Linus Pauling and vitamin C?)

Looney tunes

Another bunch of hucksters elevate crackpot chemistry to new heights, invoking a kind of mysticism based on the far-right end of the periodic table:

We succeeded in adding the energy signatures of Argon, Krypton and Xenon to the formula... The energy from the very center of the inert gas atom is of several natures at once, providing aetheric energy, the same that is produced by the life force in the human body. This is the material that consciousness is made of. [link]

Wow! I had always wondered what consciousness is all about: mystery solved!

Upon closer examination, the Atma Molecule™ displays the geometry of a molecule that is capable of receiving and transmitting information perfectly within the cells. When you look at the shape of the water crystal from tap water it becomes painfully obvious that it will not be efficient at hydrating nor transmitting energy to other cells.

Yes, folks, this water is rechargeable! True to its name, this outfit offers a CD containing

healing alpha theta frequencies [that] you can use .. to stimulate your clustered water at home. Put a pair of earphones around your mixed gallon of clustered distilled water and play the CD .. delivering the healing frequencies back to the solution.

In case your CACA loses its fizz!

If you are really into the noble gases, be sure to check out the same company's handy electrical device which will

integrate all the platonic solid shapes that are located at the end of the periodic table of elements. We have encased the round, triangle, square, pentagon and hexagon shaped coils around quartz crystal tubes, and are using the geometric shapes to provide coherent energy fields while creating holographic forms to stimulate cellular levels... Combining personal frequencies, along with "Inert Noble Gases" and "Quartz Crystal Tubes", has made it possible for us to stimulate the subtle, 4th dimensional aether fields that surround our body. We are leaders in scalar wave technology, a technology that is working on the removal of emotional programs ("choice point energy"). All disease begins and ends in the aether fields.

It appears that the only mystery these clowns have failed to uncover is how to use commas properly.

DNA in a flash

By far the weirdest of the SAW sites is this one. It's difficult to do full justice to the pseudoscientific twaddle in the rambling description of their product. The basic idea seems to be that they alter the bond angle in H2O, releasing energy which is transmitted as u.v. light (!!!) to your DNA. According to the bizarre biochemistry espoused here, "DNA codes are transmitted to messenger RNA by the emission of mini ultraviolet light bursts. The mechanism for this ultraviolet light transmission of DNA codes are geometrically structured water molecules." But this snake oil seems to be aimed specifically at the "silent" DNA sequences that are far from being evolutionary detritus as conventional scientists believe; instead, they represent our future, unrealized potentials: "Encoded here is your life mission and the gifts and strengths to manifest all of who you are. [Our product] facilitates the awakening and replicating of this future DNA."

Flanagan's hydride-ion shenanigans

Instead of selling a water that is simply "clustered", several vendors offer nostrums based on "microclustered" particles of silica containing magnesium and potassium, rendered by "nanotechnology" into subcolloidal size. Like all oxide-containing colloids, these adsorb ions and to some extent alter the local structure the water immediately around them. In common with most of the wonky-water hucksters, they make much of the similarity to the colloids present in glacial waters which are widely claimed (without any credible evidence) to be responsible for the supposed longevity of certain mountain peoples such as the Hunza of Pakistan.

The really unique claim of these products, which they misleadingly refer to as "silica hydride", is that Flanagan has managed to entrap hydride ions within the colloids, conferring upon them extremely effective antioxidant properties. An article purporting to demonstrate the presence of H ions and their ability to exist in water was apparently submitted to the prestigious Journal of the American Chemical Society but, not surprisingly, has not been published by them. If anyone doubts that this ultimate antioxidant is present in this product, try drinking some of it; if your esophagus dissolves, then the H ions are likely there, all right!)

As far as I am aware, there is no credible clinical evidence that antioxidants, whether they be Vitamins C or E, or the many, much more expensive ones vigorously flogged by the alternative wellness industry, have any demonstrable benefit on human health or longevity.

There are hundreds of Web sites hawking these products. According to one such site, "Microclusters are powerful, tiny mineral clusters that energize virtually all nutrients with which they come into contact. These clusters act as microscopic transport vehicles, dramatically reducing the size of nutrients and delivering them directly into the cells." They seem especially strong on free-radical fighters: "One capsule of [our product] provides more electrons than a truck load of other antioxidants." (Chemistry students: what do you think about that?!)

See also my Flanagan debunk page, and the Flanagan Follies page at Canadian Quackery Watch, and this Wikipedia article.

If you know some chemistry, this Negative Hydrogen Ion Web site will be good for laughs.

M-Water weirdness

"M-Water" seems to cover a number of related products including M-Water® itself, also known as "Energized Vibrational Healing Water™", and "M-Power Aqua Technology™", all of which make claims that verge on the bizarre.

Several of "Dr." David Wheelers products (including M-Water) have attracted the atttention of the U.S. FDA which has sent this warning letter to him.

This site promotes a product called Primordial , which is supposed to be "structured" by means of something called "Platonic Solid Inversion Geometry" which

"creates a mixing of implosion and explosion so that energy and vibration are accessed (implosion) and then expressed (explosion). In the center of the vortex is zero point -- the field of all possibilities as the creative forces of the universe are tapped into as higher dimensional vibration and energy; and with the chaos created by the confrontation between clockwise (implosion) and counterclockwise (explosion) vortex spin via the way in which water folds on itself in Platonic Solid Inversion Geometry (Sacred Geometry in Motion™), the higher dimensional vibration and energy is accessed and manifested into the structure of the water molecule." [link]

Well, that certainly sounds impressive, but does anyone understand it? I cerainly don't! It seems to have somethng to do with energy:

"Because the stored energy is so high in M-Water this also means that the electrons around the proton of the oxygen atoms in M-Water must be in very orbits and at very high frequencies. When a person drinks M-Water or the water it is added to in small amounts the contact with the body starting immediately in the mouth this energy is transferred to the body." [link]

All this might impress science-naïve new-agers, who may also enjoy viewing images of M-Water-induced auras and Emoto-style photos, but anyone trained in chemistry or physiology will probably be howling with laughter by now. What health benefits does this nostrum offer? There are the usual vague claims associated with SAW's: Improved "cellular hydration", increased utilization of nutrients, improved detoxification, higher cellular oxygen levels, and "more perfect cell replication" [link]. But that's not all:

"Drinking M-Activated Water™ will help people control any addiction: tobacco addiction (nicotine addiction). over eating addictions (and all eating disorders), alcohol addiction, drug addiction (cocaine addiction, heroin addiction, amphetamine addiction, marijuana addiction), gambling addiction and sex addiction. In addiction many people are addicted to specific types of behavior that are related to expressing anger through violence, which can be resolved by drinking M-Activated Water™." [link]

Since I stick to ordinary tap water, I have no way of judging these claims, but they are certainly not supported by any credible science that I am aware of. The site does refer to various "clinical studies" which I have some difficulty taking seriously, owing both to their source and the fact that they are inadequately documented and have not been subjected to independent review by the scientific community. Claims that NMR line-width measurements demonstrate that M-Water is structured into smaller "clusters" are overdrawn, as another chemist-critic has pointed out in connection with a different product. They are also irrelevent; there is no reason to believe that the very weak and short-lived attractions between water molecules interfere with their single-file passage through cell walls.

One unusual and interesting aspect of this site is the large amount of space devoted to dissing all the other altered-water products, including most of those described above. This strikes me as a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black!

To show that M-water is not your classic snake oil but is based on Solid Science, we are given a dose of what seems to me like watered-down superstring theory:

The M-Theory in physics establishes the scientific basis for vibration and energy that exist on higher dimensions, and is not a new age perspective at all. The M stands for the Mystery behind everything in the universe, which is Frequency. In the M-Theory, there is a mathematical understanding that an infinite array of frequencies on 11 dimensions give rise everything in the three dimensional universe that humans can perceive.

And if it is your goal to make our world a better one, you can do your part:

"By having more and more people drink Primordial M-Water® and M-Activated Water™ every day a transmission of the more underlying coherence in the water in people’s bodies will transfer to other people. Those who drink M-Water® every day will be helping other people heal through increasing coherence simply by being in close proximity."

In case you wonder what inspired this guy to develop this Wunderwasser, here are his own words:

"The Goddess of Light also revealed through her communications to me that water is the medium for transferring Divine Love Energy into the human body. Eventually I made the science connection with the ancient knowledge that the Goddess of Light shared with me about the Sacred Geometry pattern of the 4th Key and water to develop a spiritual technology to transform water." [link]

As the Romans used to say, caveat flapdoodle emptor.

Catalytic Willie

Yet another product ("Catalyst-altered water.. a more efficient form of water") is supposed to have been discovered accidentally by the late John Willard, a chemistry professor at the South Dakota School of Mines. It's hard to believe that a legitimate chem prof would promote such bunk.  This nostrum is supposed to "significantly increase[s] the body’s ability to fully absorb essential vitamins and nutrients."  (Why anyone would need a supplement to do what millions of years of evolution have already provided us is not addressed!)

"...the molecular structure of H2O is altered by a catalyst. As a result, the catalyst altered water ([CACA]) acts as a normalizer on all living things not in a healthy state. "

Maybe this guy could do it, but no other chemist has ever succeeded in altering the structure of a small molecule like H2O, and no evidence for this remarkable feat is offered. A previous version of this site contained a transcript of a fawning "60 minutes" interview with the old codger himself, who describes his woundrous "catalyst" as a "calcium magnesium polysilicate polymer with castor oil" (Yuk!)

The present site says the WIllard magic is based on a "micelle, an electrical charged colloidal particle". So far,  so good, but it goes on to make the the highly dubious claim that

The micelle is an extremely small, very high energy particle with a powerful negative magnetic field. 

One sales site extolls the many benefits of this elixir:

increased absorption and utilization of minerals and increased elimination of toxins... colon health and regularity .. arthritis, emphysema, digestive problems, migraines, back pain, diabetes, skin problems, burns,... stomach ulcers, and high blood pressure. Willard Water is also used to calm agressive animals and has shown wonderful results with greyhound racing dogs, quails, horses, birds, etc. In addition, cattle, quail, chickens and other animals that are given Willard Water to drink are plumper and more healthy.

It is recommended elsewhere as an antioxidant and for agricultural and veterinary applications. For an example of homespun American political gimcrackery at its best/worst, see the report of the House Subcommittee on Health and Long-term care hearing in South Dakota on July 7, 1980 (Comm. Pub. No. 96-240) in which Willard himself is interviewed.

Un-RealWater

These jokers falsely claim that ordinary water is "positively charged" and contains free radicals (absurd), and that their "Real Water E2 Technology" adds electrons to water (impossible) which improves cellular hydration by breaking up water clusters (nonsense). Don't believe anything you see on this snake-oil site!

Base Water BS

Misleading BS is what this site is all about — much the same as with all the other cluster hucksters. The emphasis is on improving "cellular hydration" by imparting mysterious "vibrations" to the water molecules which [as always] "take on six-sided snowflake shapes" that takes less energy to get pulled into your cells. They claim that a "double blind, placebo-controlled study" demonstrated that Base Weater is absorbed eight times more efficiently than the "EPA standard" (which, as far as I know, does not exist.) As usual, they offer no details, and there is absolutely no reason to believe this baloney.

Essence of Nonsense

A newcomer to the crowded cluster quackery scene, this product is presently (early 2006) represented on the Web primarily by stock-promotion sites that point to the loosely-regulated OTC Bulletin Board. The main pitch here is to promote the fiction that inadequate "cellular hydration" is the cause of all manner of widespread ills, whose relief can be achieved by the equally fictional "biomolecular clusters" in this nostrum.

"EON is engineered using proprietary technology that restructures the water into bio-molecular clusters, providing better cellular absorption while enhancing the body's oxygenation. By using a series of proprietary technologies, we can vibrate the clusters and break up the larger water clusters. The structured water is then locked into place through physical forces of vorticular motion and magnetic moments so the water clusters stabilize."

One of their Web pages shows the usual goofy Emoto-style photographs of water crystals, mixed in with irrelevant stuff from legitimate researchers in a context that can convey the misleading impression that they support the company's baseless claims. As if this were not enough, they say that the company plans to expand their line to include one that

"...will be a proton infused drink. The drink will deliver enhanced levels of hydrogen protons to the cells of the body. The protons will not only help control free radicals, but will be a source of the hydrogen atoms needed to promote proper metabolic processes within the cell. The proton infused water will put an excellent anti-aging product on the store shelves."

... which might sound impressive to many potential investors, but will evoke howls of laughter from anyone who has any competence in chemistry. All this is brought to you by a company whose CEO claims to have a degree in chemical engineering, which, if true, suggests that he must be fully aware of what he is really flogging.

Functional fiction

"Functional" waters and beverages are described in a long, tedious screed from a dealer in all kinds of water-weirdness. It appears to combine some of the old CellCore cluster silliness with various other qualities:

  • Water which has been exposed to and contains naturally occuring electromagnetic effects
  • Colloidal characteristics of dissolved or suspended materials which possess strongly charged surface chargeristics(e.g. Zeta Potential)
  • Low surface tension
  • Exceptionally strong bonding of naturally occurring gases(oxygen, carbon dioxide, etc.)
  • The presence of vortexial water movements which assist in bonding gasses, colloidals and electromagnetic effects to the source water; and
  • Unique "hexagonal clustering" characteristics which can be measured using conventional, accepted scientific instrumentation such as NMR.
  • The presence of specific ionic materials which serve to "make" or "break" beneficially structured water clusters.

Needless to say, none of this is to be believed!

Grander water weirdness

Most of the water-cluster hucksters peddle "concentrates" that you add to your drinking water in order to "cluster" or "uncluster" it (depending on which fable you prefer to believe.) Johann Grander is an Austrian inventor who claims to have found a way to "revitalize" water, changing its "inner structure" and returning "the water molecules to a highly ordered state, making the water more stable." (What "more stable" is supposed to mean is never made clear.) This transformation is supposed to be accomplished simply by exposing the piped water to an "information field" emanating from a sample of a perfected water that Grander prepares by an undisclosed method. Grander water treatment

involves a field effect generated by highly structured water ("information water") developed by Johann Grander... The information water passes structural information through its field to other liquids nearby. The water which passes near the information water takes on a new structure (is "revitalized").

This is supposed to work the usual magic of preventing scale formation (and even removing existing scale), as well as reducing water surface tension, killing bacteria and even improving plant growth, and increasing the solubility of substances in water, although no convincing evidence for any of these wonders is reported. How does this process work? According to one now-disappeared sales site

The subject liquid/water to be treated is channeled in an optimized direction of flow along metal, hollow cylinders containing Grander's water concentrate (obtained from one of the world's largest fresh water underground aquifers high in the Austrian Alps, dated at 5000 years old, and enhanced by means of an electromagnetic process). As the subject water moves through the unit, the laminar (rectilinear) flow is divided into individual, turbulently moving partial streams which, with intensive intermixing, improves the mean retention of the bio-magnetic fields sourced by the water concentrate. As a result, an optimal interaction is achieved between the special fluid and the liquid to be treated. This process allows the tuning fork effect to occur (one vibrating tuning fork sharing its vibration when brought into proximity to a second tuning fork), changing the liquids specific set of waveform characteristics. The Grander Water acts as a template for relational and organizational structure. [link]

This is of course pure meaningless claptrap that is likely to appeal only to the most science-challenged, of which there are unfortunately far too many. The Grander site summarizes a number of "research reports" of dubious quality, but provides no quantitative performance data or references to the reputable scientific literature that would support any of their fantastic claims which have nevertheless fooled the Austrian government and a Russian scientific organization into awarding Mr. Grander medals for his "work".

According to this New Zealand Government Web page, a NZ court has fined a local dealer of "Grander Living Water Units" for making false claims resembling some of those quoted above.

Another company, based in Germany, makes what appears to be a similarly dubious product.

Magnetic mumbo-jumbo

Some Australian purveyors of wondrous waters until recently spun a tale of homeopathic hype to convince you that drinking ordinary water is downright dangerous:

No matter how well filtered or pure the water may appear to be, even after triple stage reverse osmosis or distillation, its electro-magnetic structure will retain the 'information' or frequency of every contaminant and electro-magnetic field it has been in contact with.  It is this principle which scientists believe explains the workings of  homeopathic medicine. When you drink this, seemingly pure, water your cells react as if it has just absorbed the apparently removed contaminants.  In fact the electro-magnetic 'spin resonance' of un-restructured water can actually rob your body of energy such that drinking 8 glasses of this water per day is no better than drinking one glass of Wellness water.

All unfounded made-in-Japan nonsense, of course, but they continue piling it higher:

[Our filter] is the only filter available on the market that is able to naturally restructure your water and strip it, like re-formatting a computer disc, of all the previous information.  This is achieved by using two special ceramic high-gauss magnets that are sandwiched between two layers of magnetite volcanic stone.  This energy field truly cleanses the water, unlike any other filter, and prepares it for the final stages of Micro-cluster restructuring and Antioxidant uptake. [link]

Yes, friends, this amazing filter not only cleanses and restructures the water, but it also possesses those all-important cancer-fighting antioxidant properties, it removes chlorine and heavy metals and has reduced surface tension; most important of all, it uses no chemicals!

Their current home page appears to be somewhat more constrained, while a typical U.S. sales site now peddles a diverse range of quackery.

Incredible water machine

This is a distillation device with a difference: instead of shrinking the molecules as some of the hucksters profiled on this page claim to do, this WunderStill enlarges them:

[Our] water molecule is LARGER with the same molecular weight as an ordinary water molecule and since the electrons kill viruses, they are using the water for proprietary medical applications. They also found the angle between the hydrogen atoms is 10 degrees greater, the viscosity is different and it has a beautiful crystalline structure at ROOM TEMPERATURE that is dodecahydronal (12planes).  The implications of [this] WATER MOLECULES™ are INCREDIBLE.

Yes, INCREDIBLE is a good way of describing the content of this nonsense-crammed page. Why are bigger H2Os better? The company offers the following outright lies:

Since OUR WATER'S MOLECULES are LARGER (as any lab will confirm), they HOLD MORE ELECTRONS...like it was when OXYGEN was at38% and rainwater was highly charged, potentially explaining the incredible ages mentioned in the BIBLE! THAT'S WHAT OUR PRODUCT DOES, nature's way! This is a MOMENTOUS BREAKTHROUGH  because ELECTRONS KILL VIRUSES (ordinary water doesn't have enough ELECTRONS), returns wells to purity, and expanded molecules STAY THAT WAY.

More shameless hype and erroneous nonsense of this kind can be found on the manufacturer's site (try clicking on the side-buttons labeled "wonders", "wisdom", etc. for more misinformation. For a detailed debunking of this hucksterhype, please see my JohnEllisBunk page.

Talya Water tattle-tails

"Through an electrically generated field of energy and a science known only to quantum physicists, the zero-point of magnetic energy waves interact with water and calibrate the atomic structure of passing H20, thus restoring bonding angles of Hydrogen and Oxygen to optimized structuring."  [link]

Well, to anyone who has studied quantum physics, this is hilarious nonsense. And these clowns are pikers; while the JohnEllis hucksters (see immediately above) claim to alter the bonding angle in water by 10°, Talya offers only "0.01 degree of change". But even this will be seen as an obvious falsehood by anyone who has passed high school chemistry; the H2O bond angle is determined solely by the properties of the H and O atoms, and is invariant at 104.5°. [4/2012]

Zaney and Zanier

It's not entirely clear whether this guy belongs to the clusters-are-good or clusters-are-bad school. A page at a now-defunct site said

Physicist and water researcher Loren Zanier spent years studying legitimate healing waters around the world and found that the one denominator common to ALL of these waters is a high degree of structuring. ..Using this water structuring technology in combination with his expertise in Resonant Field Theory

... which sounds something like the original Cellcore schtick— not at all surprising, given this statement in the Starlytes Specially Structured Water page:

Loren is the man that taught Lee Lorenzen the early versions of the technology. Lee was Loren's assistant and in the beginning was simply buying the concentrate from Loren, diluting it and putting his name on it. Developing interest in this innovative technology in the early days was very difficult. The science was in its infancy and the concept was hard to grasp. ... In spite of what you may have heard elsewhere, Loren wrote the original  Resonant Field Theory forty years ago at age thirteen.

Well, Mozart composed his first opera at age 12, but we'll let Lee and Loren duke it out to see who eventually gets credit for one of the goofier theories in aquatic pseudoscience. Anyway, it appears that Mr. Zanier is into waters both clustered and unclustered. A site flogging Hydrazen A.T. Ideally Structured Water tells us that Loren Zanier is

one of the world's leading water researchers [who] spent decades studying naturally occurring "healing" waters. Through his research, he was able to determine the main factors that contribute to the special properties of these waters. Among these factors are the presence of intense magnetic, electrical, and mechanical (sound) resonances, or vibrational energy fields, in the areas where "healing" waters exist.

Cellular hydration is a big thing at this site, and they offer up the usual bunk:

Research indicates that in liquid state, water molecules tend to cluster together into larger molecular structures (they do not exist simply as independent H2O molecules). If these structures are too large, they are not able to effectively penetrate the cell wall, compromising cell hydration, nutrient & oxygen delivery, toxin & waste removal (detoxification functions), and cellular communication.

What are the benefits of this product? According to "Certified Nutritional Microscopist" (is there really such a thing? Who does the certifying?) Robert Dursi who studied "changes in the live blood of patients drinking Hydrazen A.T", he observed

Dramatically Improved Cellular Hydration of Red Blood Cells, Improved Delivery of Nutrients to Red Blood Cells, Improved Detoxification Capabilities of the Body, Improved Viability of Neutrophils and Basophils (White Blood Cells), Lower Stress on the Kidneys and Liver, Enhanced Enzyme Activity [link]

Well, Mr. Dursi must have quite a remarkable microscope to see all of that!

Computer-clustered water

Our top rating for the dumbest water clustering scam of all goes to this one. How does it work? Why simply by "Divine Law for Physical Manifestation Through Spiritual Matrices and Dynamic Intent", and it's all implemented in a 14-Mb computer program. Actually, water-clustering is only one of its minor features; this software turns your computer into a machine that transmits your prayers directly to God! Basically, you just type your prayer into the window, optionally choose a "sacred geometric form" or a picture of a medicinal herb that reinforces your prayer's intent, press ENTER, and away you go!

your heart-felt prayer emits a coherent electromagnetic frequency (mathematical) signal to YahVah, which is recorded by the computer program as well. The computer, (as is obviously the case with God) first identifies this mathematically coherent (linear) record of your heart's intent (prayer). It does this by simply searching the environment for 30 feet surrounding the CPU to identify a coherent harmonic linear resonance pattern consistent with your typed prayer/intent. ... Next, this coherent mathematical sequence/signal is repeatedly sent out from the computer ... repeatedly thousands of times per second for as long as you like. This is accomplished through the use of a repeater module. This module pulses the coherent pattern out to an exit point on a mathematically formulated energy vortex. This proprietary mathematically formulated energy vortex operates on what has been termed "zero-point energy" so that it can continue to function optimally without robbing energy from your computer or you. ... Using this system, designed by God, your energy/prayer/intent typically returns very quickly and efficiently.

What if you don't wish to bother God, but merely want to cluster some water? Nothing could be easier:

instead of spending approximately $50 person, per month, by buying [CACA], [our product] has a pre-set [CACA] production program. Simply take a gallon of steam distilled water in a glass jar, click the [ CACA] function on the MIRACLE 6, set the timer, click start, and within minutes you have a gallon of fresh powerful [ CACA].

But there is more:

  • You can even rejuvenate your own DNA within minutes by replenishing the [CACA] within your own body!! This will add a "constitutional" hedge against disease and premature death.
  • You can take and transmit energy imprints from virtually anything and send it anywhere and to anyone. For example, if you wish to extract the energy from an herb, vitamin, or essential oil, and use it locally or remotely for healing, [our product] makes this easy.
  • Furthermore, if a person is exposed to anthrax, by programming the MIRACLE 6 to prevent infection or boost immunity, "Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." Since there is no disease in heaven, and all miracles are possible, guess what? You're protected.

I would love to know how many copies of this software have been sold! It's beyond my conception that even the most looney new-agers or religious nuts would bite on this one, but gullibility and stupidity apparently know no bounds.

Although the original site seems to have disappeared, various versions of this goofy product are still available; see Healthy World Distributing and Miracle 6 Software Giftshop .

Plasma-activated poppycock

Just about everything about Hydro Enterprises' Plasma-Activated Water sounds dubious:

It is supposed to have been discovered accidentally by a couple of expatriate Russian scientists who claim that the water they had been using to cool a radio-frequency-activated plasma discharge seemed to have marvelous health and restorative effects. Likely story! What would motivate scientists to do anything as dumb as drink the cooling water from their research equipment? As someone who spent several years working with water-cooled gas discharges, the thought certainly never occurred to me! And how could these guys, with no credentials in physiology or medicine, discover its miraculous health benefits so quickly?
The treatment method exposes the water to a combination of DC and radio-frequency sources that ionize a mixture of noble gas elements, causing them to emit light very much like in a neon sign. Pure unadulterated bunk! There is no way any of this could bring about any permanent change in water - any more than heating it in a microwave oven or shining light on it.
Clusters contained in tap water are destroyed and water becomes very active. Number of molecules in the cluster is decreasing from 10-24 to 1-3. There is no evidence for this and no reason to believe it. The idea is to make the water more absorbable, but we know that this is bunk.
Changes the pH, either raising or lowering it without adding anything to the water. [link] Nonsense; this would violate a major law of physics, the electroneutrality principle. See the Ionized Water Bunk site for more on this.
PAW reduces hardness by precipitating carbonates (but elsewhere they say that it helps dissolve mineral substances) There is no way the PAW process as they describe it could bring this about, and they offer no evidence to support these claims.
PAW contains less chlorine and harmful elements such as mercury, etc. Don't believe it! (One wonders where any such substances magically disappear to? But having already violated one law of physics, why not go for conservation of matter as well?)

One sales site for a brand known as jGO™ wetwater pH+™ is full of similar misinformation, to which they add some of the bunk about the benefits of altered pH (there are none) and (by implication) of oxygenation (there are none).

One of the major promotors of PAW is one Burton Danet (a psychologist with no obvious credentials in science or medicine.) On an effusive Web page, Danet dishes out the usual absurd hype designed to draw in the suckers:

PAW is monomolecular - There are no clusters - It has a "huge negative charge" and is a "solution to Wrold Problems" with "unimaginable benefits".

PAW is also apparently sold as Reiki-Water, leading to yet another brand of pseudoscientific quackery.

 

Water Wand weirdness

The WaterSecretsRevealed site is typical of those that appeal to science-ignorant seekers of new-age wisdom, and which flog some of the most goofy products imaginable. This Water Stir Rod is supposed to be a quick and simple way of "restructuring" water to enable it to more efficiently "hydrate" your body. It

acts like a tuning fork for water. . The device has a special blend of minerals inside which resonate and influence the resonance of the water molecules. . Your water now has a lower specific gravity and will work to hydrate your body much more effectively than normal water.

Hard to believe? Well, they cite a "clinical study" claiming that it can produce a "23.5% increase in hydration" [as measured by several highly dubious means] , and as an added bonus, a 9.4% increase in "oxygen saturation". And they invoke the "theories" of the noted (notorious?) wizards Emoto and Schauberger. But don't expect any of this to appear in a reputable scientific journal!

Revitalized Bio-Bunk

For all you people who believe that ordinary "purified water destroys the immune system and slows down the metabolism", this special "Bio-Active water" may be just the thing! It makes use of "the world's first Ani-Entropy generator" developed by Prof. V.M. Inushin of Kazakhstan, which turns the water into "a stable thermodynamically unbalanced system" called "Hydro Plasma" which you can assimilate with "less expenditures of free energy."

"Revitalized Bio-Active Water is neither acidic nor alkali because it's pure water, a neutral 7.4 Ph"

... which makes one wonder if any of these hucksters has ever passed high school chemistry! And as if this were not enough, the water produces crystals "having fundamental resonant vibrations" that do wonders for your body, and the site offers Kirlian photos of finger-auras to prove it! And of course you get all the standard benefits of smaller clusters, better communication between cells, etc. etc. Anyone dumb enough to swallow this garbage can also purchase the Anti-Entropy "Vacuum Neutralizer" for $100 which, when kept by one's side, "reduces possibility of car accidents by 30-40%" and "possibility of malignant growth in brain". Unfortunately, it doesn't protect you from stupidity.

Hydration by vibration, Idiocy with intention

This outfit has teamed up with the well-known showman-huckster Masuro Emoto to bring you the first “vibrationally charged, energy enhanced, interactive water". This elixir "promotes positive thinking" by "spread[ing] positive energy vibrations throughout the world," and will make you "resonate with the vibrational frequencies of Love and Perfect Health." These people want you to believe that merely labeling the bottle with words such as "love", "prosperity", or "perfect health" (along with "absolute 'Om') will "infuse" these qualitites into the water, and thus into you.

"Vortex" structured water: Excellospheres to the rescue!

This product has nothing to do with vortexes, which are themselves the basis for all sorts of goofy schemes. Excellospheres "are plastic spheres containing particles of noble elements in a liquid media." When placed in drinking water they

"function as a broadcast antenna creating a highly charged electro–magnetic field when placed in liquids which then attracts free electrons from air and water around the spheres. These high-energy electrons are then transferred to water." [link]

The resulting water "has a higher resonance energy than ordinary water". They also say that it has a higher surface tension than regular water, making it more readily absorbable. (This is curious; most of the nostrums that promise improved hydration claim to do so by reducing the surface tension, which makes more sense, even if it not true...) But nothing about this product is to be believed anyway— including photos of freezing water not cracking a beaker, blood cells of dubious origin, and claims about "soft" clinical trials. And for pure scientific-sounding nonesense, see this technical description that invokes superconductor energy gaps, bosons-by-Cooper pairing, and Bose-Einstein condensates.

Ultimate Water nonsense

Another purveyor of goofy vortex technology, Ultimate Water flogs a "Utopic Structured Water Unit" "Fluidmachine" employs

Specially tuned geometry [that] creates an energy environment for water to structure itself. This gives water a lower surface tension and better hydrating properties. This geometric technology breaks up large low-energy water molecule clusters into smaller high energy clusters. This systematic treatment eliminates negative energy patterns (sometimes called the memory of water) and redefines the water's natural healthy energy pattern. Structured water allows us to imprint through the DNA and RNA the knowledge of its secret blue print and help one to become balanced in the universe.

All this from an inventor with no apparent credentials in physical sciences— but hey, he has a PhD from California's [apparently non-existent] "Science of Mind College".

Clusters with chi to the constipation crowd

Here's a "Chi Energy Water" that is marketed to those who are under the delusion that "detoxification" is the key to health. In addition to the usual baseless claims such as

"High dissolving power of energy water binds to the waste toxins in our body and flushes them out through urination, perspiration, and others",

these hucksters offer to the real suckers an "Energy Tumbler" that purports to magically transform ordinary water into "energy water".

Penta panacea

This manufacturer uses ultrasound to produce a water they claim "to have 30 percent smaller molecular water clusters." Until 2005 they cited several "Research Studies" (no longer available on the Web), all of Russian origin and mostly unpublished. The published studies are in my opinion not very convincing and I doubt that they would have passed muster in a more mainstream, not-for-profit journal (I would appreciate comments from other physical chemists who are more conversant with spectroscopic studies on water than I am.) Since there has up to now been no convincing evidence that the structure of water can be permanently altered through physical means, I would expect these papers to initiate considerable interest in the chemistry community if the work is taken seriously by other physical chemists who study water. Until there is evidence of this, I remain extremely skeptical about them. The company Web site also states that "Penta has a higher boiling point than normal water", but they don't quote a number. They cite various in-vitro studies on such topics as DNA damage, cell survivability and dissolution of certain kidney stone deposits to convey the impression that this water may have some health benefits, including the claim, common to all "structured" waters, of improved "hydration" ("13.4% increase"of the body. In my opinion, there no scientific support for such an extrapolation.

As is not uncommon, some of the distributer's sites contain even more hype:

Like many great scientific breakthroughs, ... [sic] [the inventors] discovered this water by accident. During an experiment in 1996 to remove dissolved solids from water, they discovered that their test water maintained its micro-clustered molecular state, which, under all previous scientific testing, only happened for short, unsustainable periods of time. But the [the] water stayed in its microclustered state, which allows it to hydrate cells more effectively and efficiently, thereby relieving dehydration, removing toxins and energizing the body faster. ...At first, they tested Penta™ on plants. They discovered that test seeds would germinate in half the time as the control seeds. In addition, the Penta™ plants’ growth was significantly accelerated. [They] knew they had something extraordinary on their hands [I would have washed it off!] They conducted small-scale field tests that confirmed that[it] hydrates the human body faster than any other water. (now-withdrawn BottledWaterWeb page.)

Among the numerous unsupported health-related claims at the above site is this one:

Superior antioxidant, binding and neutralizing the ions of free-radicals, combating aging and stress

... in which the idea that an oxygenated water can act as an antioxidant will be especially amusing to anyone who has passed high-school chemistry, which these people have apparently not.

A recently-issued U.S. Patent 6521248 describes the way in which this product is presumably made by subjecting water to rapid variations in pressure that are supposed to create gas bubbles that break up the water structure and create a "plasma" of negative ions that confer antioxidant properties. All erroneous nonsense, of course!

For more detailed comments on this product, please see the Penta Water Pseudoscience page

Aqua-Phonyonics

The same outfit has launched a much classier-looking site that pitches the same garbage in the guise of high-tech biomedical research.

Some other takes on Penta:

James Randi shares some of his thoughts on this product

Steve's PentaBunk page

Guardian's "Bad Science" column: Penta backs out of Randi challenge

Wikipedia article on Penta Water

"The top and highest technology in the 21 century"

An earlier version of this site flogs a product invented by a Korean "doctor" who claims to have "2 PHD degrees in Molecule Correction Medical Science and Physical science at University of Honolulu." He appears to have stumbled on a new thermodynamic theory of disease:

It was discovered that the control of Entropy is a must for a healthy condition of our body. ... The reason for the modern disease is that abnormal cells are developed inside of our body mainly due to environmental factors, which increases "Entropy". ... Entropy kills normal healthy cells and makes them abnormal. ... Meals produce and maintain our body temperature at 36.5 and then the result is excrement (excreta). ... Once Entropy is expanded, this kind of useless and harmful excrement is always produced. ...The more Entropy expands, the more we have diseases and die sooner.

How can all this be corrected? Ordinary H2O is not good enough; you need this nostrum which is supposed to have the the chemical formula H30.OH! —which the developer, perhaps having been away from Chemistry for a while, writes as H30.OH. Anyone who has completed a high school Chemistry course will recognize this as a hydronium-hydroxide ion pair. The poor guy is likely unable to appreciate the delicious irony that the decomposition of this ion-pair was found to be the fastest chemical reaction ever observed in work that won Manfred Eigen the 1967 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Unless you can drink this within 0.000000000001 second of when it was made, forget about it! Anyway, having dazzled us with his command of chemistry, the doctor shares his medical expertise:

The water we drink penetrates into the cell of our body through cell membrane. At the time the water goes into the cell, the structure of water, H2O, is changed to H30.OH. ... If the abnormal moleculular structure of water in the cell is replaced with the normal one, then adult diseases like cancers and tumors will disappear accordingly.

Lest you doubt any of this, consider that:

Metal goes rust in water, but metal does not go rust in our body. This means a metal goes rust in H20 water, but not rust in H30.OH water because Entropy cannot expand in the H30.OH water. RNA can deliver the information of DNA to the cells successfully if the cell maintains the balance between + and = of the cell and has enough H30.OH water in the cell.

Although they don't explicitly say so, one can presume that this water somehow restores this H30.OH to the body. According to another page at this site, it will:

Improve the regeneration of cells ... facilitate excretion, digestion and inhalation .. [provide] Growth acceleration: vegetables and flowers ... Strengthen immune system ... Prevention from harmful ion: Food poisoning, tumor on the eyelid ... Neutralization of poison and/or detoxification: neutralize chemicals ... Facilitate metabolism and synthesis of 300 million enzymes ... Deliver all the information coming to and from DNA.

But this is no ordinary snake-oil; according to their list of "testimonials", this magical water is a handy remedy for any number of life's little problems that we all face from time to time:

Cleansing out dusts and mites - Stomach ache - Sprained ankle - Itching in anus - Piles - Athlete's foot - Corn on the foot - Gloomy and dim eyes - Hang-over - Decayed tooth - Get rid of roaches

All these wonders come to us from "a typical networking company and won an award of Faithful Tax Filing Prize from the Korean Govt." An American "clinic", run by a guy who claims to hold "a PhD in Nutritional Philosophy, and a Doctorate in Homeopathic Acupuncture, offers a cleaned-up version of this site that limits itself to the usual water-cluster hype.

Cluster your own water magnetically!

A Canadian company peddles the ADR-4 Energy Stimulator which consists of a

ceramic disc on which are mounted magnetic elements of precisely defined dimensions and magnetic intensities. ... Also placed on the disc are two elements made of a special metal alloy and a glass vial containing the 'programming' solution. The programming solution is a liquid that carries an healing energetic influence similar to the concept of homeopathy. [link]

Its mode of action purportedly consists in modification of the cluster structure of water and of water's 'energy memory', which makes water more healthy for the living organism. The resulting structure of water is somewhat similar to that produced by water magnetisers which create water of hexagonal structure.

In order to "energize" your food or beverage, you simply place it on top of the disk for a few minutes. Nothing could be simpler, except maybe the suckers who fall for this!

Panguitch poppycock

Panguitch, UT is a sadly dying town near Bryce Canyon that desperately needs some economic revitalization, but perhaps not at the expense of having its good name associated with absurdities like this plug for "Panguitch water":

" This special water averages .4 nanometer in particle size so YOU CAN be optimally hydrated at all times. (100% bioavailablity to the body versus 3-5% of tap water or other filtered waters on the market today) Drinking only about 24 ounces a day of this water will comfortably and thoroughly hydrate you." [link]

One that got away: the strange saga of "IE-Structured Water"

2010 Update: Dr. Lo is back again! A recent paper:

Shui Yin Lo, Xu Geng, David Gann: Evidence for the existence of stable-water-clusters at room temperature and normal pressure. Physics Letters A, Volume 373, Issue 42, 12 October 2009, Pages 3872-3876 (pdf copy available here)

claims that by evaporating thin films of dilute salt solutions under ultra-clean conditions, he can form large aggregates of water ("clusters" which exhibit a polar character. So far, so good — although it will be interesting to see if anyone can replicate his results. But given his association with ATG and its dubious reputation, one can be forgiven for being highly skeptical about the health claims he makes for what he calls "double helix water", based on his interpretation of infrared thermography of the body and Chinese traditional medicine. At the present [Nov 2010], the only thing he appears to be flogging is his book Double-Helix Water.

I have made reference in this site to "the reputable scientific literature", meaning generally those scientific journals that only publish articles that have been "peer-reviewed" by persons the Editor believes to be knowledgeable in the field and who have no connection with the author. This usually works reasonably well, but not always.

In 1996, a physics journal published a paper by Shui-Yin Lo and others entitled Physical properties of water with IE structures. According to this article, "stable rigid structures (called IE structures which stands for ice formed under electric field) can be formed from water molecules at room temperature and normal pressure." The authors go on to report the results of various measurements on this water (dielectric constant, conductivity, etc.) Because this was a "letters" journal intended for rapid publication of new results, no details of the experiments were given, and peer-review, if it occurred at all, must have been cursory at best. As is commonly done, experimental details and other background information were referenced as "submitted for publication", but I have not been able to locate any subsequent article.

Lo's affiliation was given as a university in China, as well as a California company, American Technologies Group (ATG). ATG was apparently marketing a device called "The Force" that was purported to increase gas mileage and improve engine performance when placed in the air intake system of an automotive engine. The active ingredient of this product was supposed to be "IE crystals", which the company described as "a new form of ice stable at room temperatures." This obvious fraud attracted the attention of the Oregon Attorney General's office, which brought action against ATG as is described in detail in the OAG's Financial FraudWeb site.

Dr. Lo is also associated with the Quantum Research Health Institute in California.

What went wrong here? It appears that the journal that published Lo's paper is a rather middling one, which is a polite way of saying that it attracts a disproportionate number of papers that did not or could not pass muster elsewhere. This should stand as an object lesson to those who bleat on about how the "scientific establishment" suppresses the work of those who challenge its paradigms. It does no such thing, of course. It merely tries to keep third-rate work from polluting the collective knowledge base.

For a more in-depth account of this now-thankfully-failed scam, see Dave Touretzky's informative page. See also his "unauthorized biography" of Dr. Lo. Lo, like the late Dr. Mu Shik Jhon (profiled above), is, according to his resumé, a recognized scientist with numerous legitimate publications, who has apparently been dabbling in snake oil. Dr. Lo is also apparently behind one of those magical "laundry balls"; see here for a skeptical assessment.

Starchamber Hypercharged Water Hype

The "Starchamber" purports to "collect free energy flowing through space". This outfit offers numerous goofy products, such as vials of magical water "designed to release the stored energy of our water vortexes and transmit it directly to the auric field through the vial."

These living energy spheres, created in the pure water by this purely organic process,
using no electricity, are inserted into the subatomic energy structure of absolutely pure
distilled water. The water is transformed into "living particles of rotating light", according to
[a falsely named] "water physics researcher for Los Alamos National Laboratories, and
associate to Dr. Bill Tiller, Professor Emetrius [sic], Stanford Physics Dept."

References

There is a short article on CACA in the January 2001 Bulletin of the North Texas Sceptics.

Martin Chaplin's Water Structure and Properties site is a scientifically sound, well laid-out collection of articles on water and its structure which I highly recommend. One of these pages has some interesting information and links relating to water clusters, "polywater", and CACA.

Much of the nonsense surrounding structure-altered waters is similar to that associated with the much older (and widely popular) form of quackery known as homeopathy: NCAHF paper. - Saul Green talk at Harvard - Much has been made of the experiments made by the late Jacques Benveniste suggesting that water is capable of retaining some kind of "memory", but according to this summary, no one has been able to convincingly replicate his work.

For science teachers: see Using pseudoscience as a teaching aid for some interesting ways to make use of pseudoscience sites, and some chemistry-related examples.

Quackery sites worth a visit:
National Council Against Health Fraud  -  QuackWatch  - The Quackery Files - CultureJammers pseudoscience - Worldwide Scam Network - How to spot a quack - Quackery information links - Alternative Medicine$ The Multi-billion $ Fraud!
U.S. Federal Trade Commision: index page - Dietary supplement advertising rules - File-a-complaint
U.S. Federal Drug Administration Consumers Page -

Some goofy writings on water: Biomagnetism and water (Y. Ohno and H. Reminick), Structured water as an alternative medicine (J. Bender), The Power of Water (J. Manning), Water: Essential to Existence (D. Stewart and D. Routledge).

Wiccan water. Water apparently plays a role in Wiccan ritual; a now-defunct site had an amusing bit about "sun water, moon water, crystal water, water rituals... Call forth the Magick of the Spirit of Water to fill your home. May the Water that flows through you bring blessings to this family." ... which brings us to

Urine Therapy - another form of magical water quackery; a typical site is Shirley's Wellness Cafe (I don't think I will be dining there soon!) At the jesus-diet.com site presided over by a "Naturopathic Urine Therapist (the initials say it all!) we were informed that "Jesus drank urine." (Ah, sweet breath!).

Water as a hazardous substance:  Ban DHMO