Snake Oil On Tap. The Ionized Water Scam.


Bob McCauley, CNC, MH

“Beware of false knowledge.  It is more dangerous than ignorance.”

~ George Bernard Shaw

My Video on the Quack Watchers.

I have been hearing for years what a scam Ionized Water is.  I have heard it called “snake oil on tap”, yet no one has ever called for them to be removed from the market.  Alkaline Water, Alkalized Water, Kangen Water, Miracle Water, Micro Water, Ion Water, Ionic Water, Electron Water, Electrolyzed Water: It’s all the same.  Water that has been electrolyzed is most commonly called Ionized Water.  And for some reason there is a great deal of opposition to it.  Recently Dr. J. Mercola denounced Ionized Water.  Dr. Andrew Weil has also found some excuse to dismiss ionized water.  In fact, he did it twice.  I am not a “believer” in Ionized Water anymore than I am a believer that the world is round and not flat.  To have a belief Ionized Water and its positive effects on the health of those who consume it is a fact and not a “belief”.  It is a fact what ionization does to the pH, ORP and structure of water it ionizes.  I don’t have faith that raw fruits and vegetables are healthy for us, I understand it as a fact.  The same is true for Ionized Water.  I wrote the book on it.

To be perfectly honest with you it boils my blood to hear, the healthiest substance we can possible consume, described as snake oil and a scam.  The main reason is because this kind of thinking plants doubt into the minds of so many people that it leads them to the decision never to purchase a Water Ionizer, never to drink Ionized Water, and never to make a part of their daily lives.  To me, Ionized Water is the bread of life.  I thrive on it.  As you will see below, none of the detractors of Ionized Water have ever consumed it or bothered to measure it’s pH or ORP.  If they did, they would find Ionized Water to be the healthiest substance we can consume.

I am considered a “crank” by some, which is aptly defined by Mark Twain as “a person with a new idea until it succeeds.” Without fail, there are those who attempt to debunk great advances in every scientific field and Ionized Water is no exception.  Continental plate tectonics was ridiculed when it was proposed by Alfred Wegene in 1912.  Now it’s established fact.  The same will be with Ionized Water.  It too will one day become established fact taught in every school. Debunkers suggest that the ionization of water simply isn’t possible.  One debunker states that Ionized Water should be dismissed simply because it is too good to be true.  Others state that ionization is impossible to verify when in fact its properties are demonstrated using scientific measuring devices such as pH and ORP meters because the changes that ionization produce are radical, immediate and measurable.

Debunkers contend that most new health technologies developed outside of the traditional medical establishment are worthless and have no value beyond their hype.  They claim that nearly every unusual invention that doesn’t easily fit into the framework of conventional thinking turns out to be yet another urban myth that needs to be debunked.  And if something that they have denounced turns out to have merit, not another word is ever said about it and the debunker’s web page is quietly removed.

What health debunkers do best is plant doubt in our minds when we are trying to search out the truth about breakthrough health devices.  It’s easy to be a skeptic.  It’s difficult to blaze trails and fly in the face of every conventional thought and precept science has established.  It’s hard to believe in something that you discover and want to be true when someone with a scientific background who claims to be an expert is soundly denouncing it.  It is even harder to believe in things that others are ridiculing.  Debunkers have a chilling effect on open debate because of the way they often scoff at the technologies they are challenging.  Their attack on new health technologies that have not been conducted, sanitized and approved by the medical establishment often extends to the promoter of the new invention.  They become the focus of derision much the way Galileo was when he claimed the Sun was the center of the Solar System, not the Earth.  Debunkers ridicule those who have found a new path, uncovered a new truth and consequentially have surpassed an old belief system.  The water ionizer is a prime example of this kind of attack that stifles progress.

We tend to accept the denunciations of the debunkers because we want to believe that we can’t be so easily fooled.  We want to deem ourselves too savvy to be deceived by promises that sound too good to be true.   We enjoy hearing that ideas and inventions that may sound a little weird, or too good to be true, could not possibly be true.  Debunkers want us to believe that life is too harsh for good things to be true.  Life is too difficult for something like Ionized Water to be healthy for us and possess the miraculous health properties it is said to have.  And since someone with a scientific background has claimed it to be a hoax, it must be one.  Thus, we doubt and dismiss it, exactly what debunkers want us to do.

Debunkers tend to be heavy on opinion and light on the facts.  And they often present their opinion as fact.  They are sometimes chemists or chemistry professors who understand book chemistry, but don’t seem to comprehend the simple chemistry of Ionized Water, that of charging water by creating negative ions       (-OH) and positive ions (+H).  Nor do they understand how these ions are created by the simple process of electrolysis then separated through a membrane.  It is not difficult to understand Ionized Water, but it is difficult for some to accept that something so simple can have such a profoundly beneficial effect on everything it comes in contact with, especially our health.

I don’t expect that debunkers will ever disappear.  Ironically, debunkers’ websites are a good resource for groundbreaking technologies since they tend to dismiss anything that might possibly work.

The notion of having people around to challenge the traditional conventions and new inventions is a good one because there is plenty of fraud in the world.  Debunkers, on the other hand, are often something different than those who expose charlatans.  Debunkers stand in front of progress by denouncing and ridiculing any radical new concept.  However, armchair investigations and conclusions drawn from them will never replace field testing and something debunkers almost never do is conduct their own legitimate scientific investigations.

Debunkers often ply their trade in order to protect the status quo and the safety it provides to those who are afraid of the future and the change that it inevitably brings.  Debunkers sometimes serve no other purpose than to confuse us regarding complex issues, which is especially disappointing and destructive when it comes to natural health.

When a radical scientific concept is first introduced, there is commonly resistance to it by the prevailing scientific community.  New ideas are generally ridiculed and derided because they make people uncomfortable.  Scientists don’t want to accept new ones because their life’s work is based on the foundation of these old ideas.  They become particularly defensive and resistant when the new ideas destroy, override or completely supersede the old ones.  Often, the members of the established scientific community must die off so the next generation can be raised with the new concept and accept it from the beginning without any unnecessary bias and hand-wringing about what they once embraced as the truth that has now been superseded by the next wave of scientific discovery.  With the coming of the next generation, the new concept will no longer be regarded as radical, but rather another stepping stone to understanding the whole truth about health, nature and the very essence of human existence.   The acceptance of Ionized Water is yet another stepping stone that cannot be ignored because it is a critical component of health.

A considerable amount of research has been conducted on the effects of Ionized Water, most of it by Japanese researchers, which should be no surprise since they have embraced the concept of water ionization more than anyone else  (Appendix 5: Scientific Studies).  All of the research done on Ionized Water has arrived at the same conclusion: Ionized Water benefits everything it comes in contact with as long as it’s used correctly.[i] Physical scientific measurements, not conjecture, demonstrate the properties of Ionized Water. With this hard evidence in front of us, there is no other conclusion to reach than to claim that the properties of Ionized Water are best described as simply miraculous.

The strong detoxification effects of Ionized Water alone are enough to demonstrate that it is not like any other water you will ever consume.   This is due to the small water-molecule cluster size.  How water molecules group together is another thing that debunkers claim can not happen, thus it is so much more quackery.  This conclusion is reached despite the fact that a substantial amount of scientific research has been done on water molecule clusters.[ii] Water-molecule cluster size is measured by using a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance device.  We can also determine the change in the surface tension of Ionized Water, which is measured in dynes.[iii] A lower surface tension demonstrates the existence of smaller water molecule clusters.[iv]

Debunkers do not accept the basic concept of positive and negative ions and how they affect human health.  If they did, they would understand how important it is that we put alkaline substances in our body. Those who would attack Ionized Water and claim it is a hoax do not understand the value of consuming substances that are negatively charged and possess negative ions.  By their own admission, those who debunk Ionized Water have never consumed it, claiming there is no need to because the concept of ionizing water is impossible to begin with.

Debunkers are part of a faux-intelligentsia that does not believe in field testing before they arrive at conclusions.  The truth is that field testing often reveals many things that formulas and theories written on paper could never have predicted.  Examine debunkers and their methods closely for they are self-appointed watchdogs.  The methods of debunkers are never based on scientific evidence, but rather their own personal interpretation of the science they are debunking.  Debunkers, more often than not, need themselves to be debunked.  This has never been truer than when it comes to the debunkers of Ionized Water.  They don’t understand the simple truth that ionizing water takes it to a level of health many times above that of conventional water.

Here are my Seven Components of Great Health.

[i] For instance, never consume Acid Ionized Water because it is an oxidant that contains free radicals.


[ii] “Theoretical Study of the 6 (H2O) Cluster,” C.J. Tsai and K.D. Jordan, Chemical Physics Letters 213, 181-88 (1993).

“Theoretical Study of Small Water Clusters: Low-Energy Fused Cubic Structures for (H2O)n, n=8, 12, 16 and 20,” C.J. Tsai and K.D. Jordan, Journal of Physical Chemistry 97, 5208-10 (1993).

This research is supported and validated by the National Science Foundation.

[iii] A dyne is an extremely small measurement of force. 100,000 dynes= 0.224 lbs of force.

[iv] “Water molecular arrangement at air/water interfaces probed by atomic force microscopy”,  by O. Teschke and E. F. de Souza. Chem. Phys. Lett. 403 (2005) 95-101. (b)

“Water molecule clusters measured at water/air interfaces using atomic force microscopy”, O. Teschke and E. F. de Souza, Phys. Chem. 7 (2005) 3856-3865.

About Bob McCauley

Bob McCauley, ND (Robert F., Jr.) was raised in Lansing, Michigan and attended Michigan State University (BA, 1980 in Journalism). He is a naturopathic doctor, Master Herbalist and a Certified Nutritional Consultant. He has traveled extensively, both domestically and abroad, visiting over 32 countries. He published Confessions of a Body Builder: Rejuvenating the Body with Spirulina, Chlorella, Raw Foods and Ionized Water (2000), Achieving Great Health (2005), The Miraculous Properties of Ionized Water, (2006) which is the only book on the market that exclusively addresses Ionized Water, Twelve (Fiction, 2007) and Honoring the Temple of God (2008). He considers himself a Naturalist, meaning he pursues health in the most natural way possible. He studies and promotes nature as the only way to true health. From 2002-2004 he hosted the radio program Achieving Great Health, which was heard by thousands of people each day. His guests included some of the most well-known and respected names in the natural health world. With the help of his father, Dr. Robert F. McCauley, Sr. (Doctorate in Environmental Engineering, MIT, 1953) they started Spartan Water Company in 1992, which sold vended water machines in supermarkets. Robert Jr. founded Spartan Enterprises, Inc. in 1993. He is a Certified Water Technician with the State of Michigan. He is also a Type II Public Water Supply Specialist and has the certifications of S-5 and D-5. The McCauley family has a long history in the water industry. Bob's father pioneered environmental issues regarding ground water and drinking water quality. He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1953 for his thesis on removing radioactive strontium from water. He earned his doctorate in Environmental Engineering in less than 2 years, one of the shortest doctoral studies in the history of MIT. He taught civil, sanitary and environmental engineering at Michigan State University for 18 years before retiring to run Wolverine Engineers & Surveyors of Mason, Michigan, for 17 years. His reputation throughout Michigan as a water quality expert was legendary. Bob worked for his father's company for 12 years learning the water business, which dealt primarily with municipalities, including water quality and sanitary sewer issues. After apprenticing with his father, Bob moved on to the bottled water business. He established greater Michigan's biggest selling bottled water: Michigan Mineral – Premium Natural Water. He was introduced to Ionized Water in 1995 and has done more to promote Ionized Water than anyone else in the industry. Bob often lectures and offers seminars on his Seven Component Natural Health Protocol . Bob is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and a Certified Master Herbalist. He is also a 3rd Degree Black Belt and Certified Instructor of Songahm Taekwondo (American Taekwondo Association).
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6 Responses to Snake Oil On Tap. The Ionized Water Scam.

  1. Mike says:

    Alkaline Water. You have heard a lot about it and you want to know if what is said about it is true or a bunch of hipe. A least those were my questions after my Doctor recommended that I should start drinking it. Go to my site for all of your answers. While the water is not the ware all be all medical cure, it is a step in the right direction of cleansing the body so that it can do it’s job of healing it’s self.
    The realistic fact is that people need to recognize the truth about Alkaline Water and all the benefits it will give you. We need to get the word out about Alkaline Water. The AMA and the Big Drug Companies do not want you to know the water really does work. They would be out of business if we all were healthy and did not need them any longer. The water really works. It cleanses the body of contaminants that we put in it by everyday living, floods your body with antioxidants that lets the body do its job of healing itself, and restores your natural wellness. For instance, this is how antioxidant are measured, the more negitive -mV the higher antioxidant level. Tap Water has positive +400 to +500mV, Wheat-Grass Juice has an negative O.R.P. (antioxidant) of -120mV. Which is good. Real fresh squeezed Orange Juice has a negative O.R.P. of -250mV. Which is better. The LIFE 7600 Ionizers TM can get over -800mV. in one glass. This is as close as we can ever hope to get to a Fountain of Youth. In addition, irrespective what Machine you buy, the alkaline water is going to help you feel better. Check it out for yourself and you make the call. Do You Want To Feel Good for a Change?

  2. John says:

    Your article on Cryptomonadales is very biased and misinformed.I get the powder from a supplier in Australia and having taken Sun Chlorella previously for many years I now find that cryptomoadales has given me much more energy.Also my blood sugar and cholesterol has been now lowered which spirulina and chlorella pyrendoisa sun Chlorella couldn’t do . I mix the powder in a natural fruit juice every day.I agree alkaline water is also very good for you.

  3. Lynn says:

    I have one question about the Kagan and other ‘alkaline water’ machines. If they don’t actually change the water, then why do PH test strips show a change? Are there chemicals in the unit that have to be replenished? My friend’s blood sugar dropped significantly after drinking 8 to 10 glasses of this 9.5 PH water a day. Would it have dropped anyway if all he did was drink 8 to 10 glasses of any water a day?


  4. Pingback: Website Claims Alkaline Ionized Water Kills - Offers No Proof | Bob McCauley's Blog

  5. another John says:

    The papers by Tsai and Jordan say nothing about the efficacy of consuming
    water that has hexagonal clumping, only that it is the lowest energy state
    of water. (You loose all of those symmetries when water is heated.)
    In fact these papers are irrelevant to your discussion of health benefits nor
    do they support the claims that alkalizing filtration has anything to do with
    water clumping.

    You can’t change the pH of water unless there is something other than water
    in solution. You can’t electrolyze water unless it has other chemicals in it.

    The claim that alkaline water is an anti-oxidant is false. Alkaline water contains
    an over abundance of hydroxyl ions, which are also free radicals.

    It doesn’t matter what you drink though, the stomach acids reset the pH to something
    around 2. Any lowering of the pH in the stomach causes the stomach to produce
    more acid to compensate. Hence the counter intuitive remedy for heartburn of taking
    a small amount of white vinegar before a meal.

    Most common “water ionization” systems employ a calcium sulfite filter.
    Calcium sulfite (Ca2SO3) has been used for years to neutralize chlorine in
    water. In an electrical cell it makes a weak solution of calcium hydroxide on the
    anode electrode and a weak solution of sulfurous acid on the acid side.
    The calcium sulfite filter also has the property of removing minerals from the water.

    The most dangerous con-artists are the ones who know nothing about science,
    believe in their product, and pay a lot of money for the product they are selling.

  6. Shawn says:

    Great article. So many people search the internet about alkalized water and come across false sites claiming it’s a scam. Of course it’s not, there’s just too many testimonials from people all across the world from drinking the water. It helped my step dad with his acid reflux, and heartburn, I notice dramatic improvements in clarity and energy levels. There’s no doubt in my mind those who oppose it have ever even tried the water.

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