Alkaline Water According to Dr Mercola

Back in May of 2010, Dr. Mercola published an article where he states that you should be drinking “living” water. He describes living water as water that is “structured in a way that is not well understood.” In that same article from 2010 he said “hopes to have more information about ‘structured’ water in the future”. Today it’s august 26th, 2015, more than five years later, and Dr. Mercola hasn’t provided any further information about ‘structured’ water – nor will he ever – because there is no such thing as structured water.


Dr. Mercola: America’s most popular snake oil salesman

Reality check: Dr. Mercola makes many claims about alkaline water in his article, none of which are backed by science.

Living water and other pseudoscientific nonsense

Living Water The concept of “living” water was started by Japanese author Dr. Masaru Emoto, who claimed to have found crystal-like formations within liquid water. He claimed that you could influence those crystalline shapes by your thoughts and words.  There is one small problem: Nobody has ever been able to reproduce Dr. Emoto’s water crystals, because in liquid form water does not crystallize.

Biophotonics Dr. Mercola goes on to praise ‘living’ water for it’s biophotonic energy, but the problem is, water doesn’t have any biophotonic energy. Biophotonics is the science of developing and using light and imaging technologies to study biological molecules, cells, and tissues. Scientists use specially designed lasers that can illuminate the insides of cells and organisms, so they can study them. Dr. Mercola claims that biophotons are the “smallest units of light” but that’s simply not true. Biophotons are extremely weak emissions of light that are given off by all living things. To emit biophotons, a thing must be actually alive. Water molecules are not alive, they don’t give off biophotons. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, biophotonics may have future applications in medicine, but there is currently no known use for biophotonics in medicine.

Reality check: Scientists reject Dr. Mercola’s theories about ‘living’ water and biophotonics.

Is the pH of alkaline water too high?

In his article, Dr. Mercola feigns concern over alkaline water’s pH. He suggests that alkaline water is useful for detoxing, but worries that drinking water with a pH of over 8 could be harmful over the long term. The Okinawa Centenarian Project says otherwise. It was a study of the longest-lived people in the world. Centenarians are people who live to be over 100 years old, and Okinawa has more centenarians than anyplace in the world. The pH of the drinking water in Okinawa is 10.

Reality check: The healthiest, longest-lived people in the world – the centenarians of Okinawa –  drink water with a pH of 10 every single day of their lives.

What Dr. Mercola got right (almost)

Dr. Mercola says “the research is clear” that highly (sic) alkaline water has a detrimental effect on plants and animals, and goes on to cite some studies on plants that show that alkaline water isn’t beneficial to plants. He even gives the right reason: Because too high of a pH causes nutrient lockout in plants. What he doesn’t mention is that plants and people have very different needs when it comes to nutrition.

Reality check: The ideal water pH range for plants is more acidic than the ideal pH range of water for people.

Dr. Mercola also states that living in water that is too alkaline can be harmful to fish, which is true. Anyone who has an aquarium knows that maintaining the water’s pH is essential for maintaining healthy fish. What he fails to consider is that people don’t live in water.

Reality check: People and fish are different, so they have different pH needs

Dr. Mercola also discusses alkaline water and it’s potential effects on tumors. He says that the scientific research on it is inconclusive – he’s right. There is not enough scientific evidence to draw conclusions, clinical trials are needed. What Dr. Mercola fails to mention is that there are studies on other health problems such as bone loss that are conclusive.

Reality check: There are over 40 studies that show health benefits from drinking alkaline water.

What 50 years of alkaline water consumption tells us

The Japanese Ministry of Health certified water ionizers as medical devices back in the 1960’s. Since then, people in Japan have been drinking alkaline water made by a water ionizer for health reasons. Currently, one out of every three Japanese homes has a water ionizer! This means that people have been drinking alkaline water made by a water ionizer for about 50 years. In that half of a century, there have been exactly zero reports of ill effects from alkaline water – and countless reports of alkaline water benefiting health.

Reality check: Doctors and people have been reporting that drinking alkaline water has positive health benefits for the last 50 years.

Dr. Mercola needs to leave science to the scientists

Dr. Mercola has made many claims about health publically. Dr. Mercola’s medical advice is dangerous, It has led to the FDA ordering Dr. Mercola to stop giving medical advice. His medical advice is dangerous and his grasp of science seems woefully inadequate. In short, Dr. Mercola needs to leave science to the scientists.

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