Hydroxyl Ion vs. Hydroxyl Radical
Written By: Peter L. Kopko
There is some very alarming bad science being written about ionizer machines in general. It is being written by otherwise health-conscious individuals and already being quoted in other health-related books. The leaders of this misinformation are Dr. True Ott and Dr. Gabriel Cousins. Dr. Cousins is a medical doctor and a long time proponent and supporter of eating foods in their natural state: raw . Both individuals have written books that claim ionizers produce the hydroxyl radical , an extremely toxic “free radical.”
Let me be perfectly clear: they do not ! And I challenge anyone to prove otherwise. Water, H2 0, dissociates into (H) hydrogen and (OH-) hydroxyl ions , not radicals. Water ionizers produce hydroxyl ions not radicals . People mistakenly continue to refer to the hydroxyl ion as the hydroxyl radical . By definition, this is incorrect. In any chemistry text on the planet, the hydroxyl radical will be defined as OH(neutral) not OH -. They are not the same chemical. Pluses and minuses in chemistry mean everything. In this case it is the difference between something that is good for you and a toxic substance.
This is not an issue of ideology but basic chemistry. The hydroxyl radical and the hydroxyl ion only have the word hydroxyl in common. An ion and a radical are not the same thing. At best these individuals are misinformed and have a parochial understanding of what is referred to as reactive oxygen species chemistry . At worst they are promoters of poorly researched science and should be careful about offering their opinions.
Let’s first define what a radical actually is. The standard definition is: any atom, molecule or ion that has one or more unpaired electrons in it’s orbit. A radical can have a net charge of negative, positive or no net charge (neutral). The term radical is synonymous with the term free radical . It is this very fact of the unpaired electron, that drives the free radical to do its damage. A free radical is always looking for that “other electron” to become paired again. A free radical will inevitably take another atom, molecule or ion for that electron. The entity that was used is damaged and in fact becomes a free radical itself because it now needs to replace the electron that was taken! This is how free radicals do their damage.
Now that we know what a free radical is, lets talk a little about the hydroxyl radical . Hydroxyl radicals are extremely damaging to living tissues, probably only rivaled by the superoxide anion. Hydroxyl radicals are formed by exposing water to ionizing radiation (atomic fallout).
This is what makes water poisonous, like if it has been exposed to an atomic blast. Even if you wanted to, an ionizer machine that produces alkaline water, could not produce hydroxyl radicals. It does not have anywhere near the power to do so. Furthermore it is a fact of science that ionizer machines produce hydroxyl ions not hydroxyl radicals. There is a big difference. Are these individuals confused by the word “ionizing?” Is a water alkalinizing machine similar to atomic blast? That would be laughable; the water would be radioactive!
Chemical texts draw a clear distinction between what is called a hydroxyl radical and the hydroxyl ion. They are not the same. The point being, once again, is that a radical by definition has one or more unpaired electrons. The hydroxyl ion (OH-) does not have any unpaired electrons and is not a radical. Please note the following from a biomedical website:
• superoxide anion
• peroxide (hydrogen peroxide)
• hydroxyl radical
*****The structure of these radicals is shown in the figure below, along with the notation used to denote them. Note the difference between hydroxyl radical and hydroxyl ion, which is not a radical.
You can clearly see that OH- is not a radical. It has no unpaired electrons.
Through the ionization process, like electrolysis, two streams of water are created from the anode and cathode. On one side you have H+ and acidic water and on the other side, alkaline water, OH- hydroxyl ions and alkaline minerals like calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, etc.
We at LIFE Ionizers™ are sincerely concerned with helping people attain excellent health. I personally have been drinking this water for several years now and have experienced great benefits. I have helped many patients acquire this technology and they have great benefits from using this water. The Japanese have also used this water for over 40 years, and with great benefits. This water does not contain the harmful hydroxyl radical. I hope that Dr.’s Ott and Cousins will consider the aforementioned information and possibly retract any incorrect statements they’ve made.
Peter L. Kopko