The popular skeptic website Snopes.com has a discussion thread on water ionizers that claims that water ionizers are “according to scientists” – whom Snopes fails to quote – are “medically baseless.” The brief article in Snopes then goes on to suggest that using a “commercially available home water filtration pitcher, and then boiling the water from it, will “double the protection” (the article doesn’t say from what) and “certainly not cost $1500 – $2000.”
The Medical Basis for Water Ionizers
The first claim Snopes makes is that there is no medical basis for alkaline water. A medical basis for any health treatment – including alkaline water – is established by medical research. There are about 40 studies that have been conducted on alkaline water, about 15 of those studies have used a water ionizer to make alkaline water. These studies could have easily been missed by Snopes.com because they use the chemist’s name for alkaline water – Electrolyzed Reduced Water. 11 health studies that use alkaline water from a water ionizer are listed at the bottom of this article
The Facts: Medical studies on alkaline water show that it does have an effect on health. Some studies have shown that alkaline water from a water ionizer will raise blood pH and urine pH, help the body expel heavy metals, and may even help with weight loss. There are other studies that show alkaline water improves hydration, improves digestive health, and may even protect the brain from oxidative damage. Much of the health research on alkaline water is preliminary, it needs to be confirmed by further research, but the research does exist. See for yourself, 11 studies that document health benefits from alkaline water made by a water ionizer are listed at the bottom of this article. Snopes is wrong, there are studies that document a medical basis for alkaline water from a water ionizer.
Does using a filter pitcher and then boiling the water from it make water safer?
The second claim that Snopes.com makes about water ionizers is that you can make water “safer” by filtering it with a filter pitcher and then boiling it. Snopes doesn’t say how this would make water safer.
The Facts: Boiling water does make it safer if the water has bacteria in it. However, if you are on city water, the chances that your water has bacteria in it are very slim. Tap water has been chlorinated since the late 1800s, and water chlorination is rightly regarded as one of the greatest advances in public health and safety. Before chlorination, it was common for people to become sickened by their tap water. Diseases like dysentery were common, chlorination stopped all that.
Boiling water does not remove any of the 2400 toxins that may be potentially in the water. To do that, you have to boil off the water and collect the steam. That process, called distillation, produces pure water. But boiling a pot of water does nothing otherwise to reduce contaminants in water. Pure water is completely pure, it has no minerals in it. According to the World Health Organization, for good health, you need minerals in the water. So drinking pure water isn’t a good idea.
Chlorine in water isn’t good for you, but it’s a simple matter to filter it out. Life water ionizers use patent-pending Vitamin C Ceramic Block filtration to filter the chlorine from water. Even if you are concerned about bacteria in water, you can get a Life Ionizer with a UV light system. UV light is an effective means of inactivating bacteria, viruses, and cysts in water. It’s used by large municipal treatment plants in places like Orange County, California. Snopes is wrong, boiling filtered water from a pitcher is unlikely to make it safer.
Would filtering and then boiling water be cheaper than buying a water ionizer?
The third claim that Snopes makes is that filtering and boiling water would be cheaper than buying a water ionizer. Snopes gives a cost for a water ionizer in the range of $1500 – $2500.
The Facts: It costs about 60 cents to boil a liter of water, and a person consumes about 4 liters of water per day for drinking and cooking. So the basic cost of boiling the water that you consume is about $2.40 per day. Multiply that by 365 days, and you get $876 per year to boil your drinking and cooking water. So for the first year, boiling water is cheaper. After two years, boiling water would cost you $1,752, which puts you in the price range of a water ionizer. So the only way Snopes could be right, is if you plan to live less than two years, because, after two years, the price of boiling water catches up to the price of a water ionizer. Snopes is mostly wrong, the cost of boiling water catches up to the price of a water ionizer in less than two years.
How come Snopes is so wrong about water ionizers?
When you read the discussion about water ionizers on Snopes, it becomes very clear that the person on Snopes doesn’t know much about water filtration. Boiling tap water doesn’t make it better for your health, and it’s energy intensive. You could almost give Snopes a pass on the medical claims, since the article never mentions electrolyzed reduced water. But ultimately, Snopes passes itself off as an authority, so errors of omission actually aren’t excusable.
Normally, Snopes is a trustworthy source, it usually provides references to back up claims. But in this case, all three claims are made without reference to any evidence to support them. The fact is, Snopes can’t back any of the claims it makes about water ionizers, because all of the available evidence points the other way:
- There is a medical basis for the health effects of electrolyzed reduced water
- Filtering and boiling tap water is unlikely to make it any safer
- After 2 years, filtering and boiling water is more expensive than a water ionizer
Bottom Line: The Snopes article is wildly inaccurate, and makes a recommendation that is untrue and irresponsible. Snopes should revise or remove the article.
Need help avoiding water ionizer scams? Call us at 877-959-7977 and get the facts before you buy.
References – All these studies used alkaline water made by a water ionizer
Ostojic, Sergej, and Marko Stonanovic. “Hydrogen-Rich Water Affected Blood Alkalinity in Physically Active Men.” . Research in Sports Medicine: An International Journal, 06 Jan 2014. Web. 20 Feb 2014. <http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15438627.2013.852092>.
Lee, MY, YK Kim, and et al. “Electrolyzed-reduced water protects against oxidative
damage to DNA, RNA, and protein.” Springer Link. Humana Press, 01 Nov 2006. Web. 2 Jul 2013. <http://link.springer.com/article/10.1385/ABAB:135:2:133>.
Hiraoka, A, M Takemoto, and et al. “Studies on the Properties and Real Existence of
Aqueous Solution Systems that are Assumed to Have Antioxidant Activities by the Action of “Active Hydrogen.”Journal of Health Science. Journal of Health Science, 09 Jun 2004. Web. 2 Jul 2013. <http://sciencelinks.jp/j-east/article/200421/000020042104A0723444.php>.
Abraham, Guy, and Jorge Flebas. “The effect of daily consumption of 2 liters of
electrolyzed water for 2 months on body composition and several physiological parameters in four obese subjects: a preliminary report.” Highbeam Research. Original Internist, 01 Sep 2011. Web. 2 Jul 2013. <http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-269433201.html>.
Yan, H, , and et al. “The neuroprotective effects of electrolyzed reduced water and its model
water containing molecular hydrogen and Pt nanoparticles.” BMC Proceedings. Europeans Society for Animal Cell Technology, 22 Nov 2011. Web. 29 Oct 2013. <http://www.biomedcentral.com/1753-6561/5/S8/P69>.
Tsai, Chia-Fang, Yu-Wen Hsu, and et al. “Hepatoprotective effect of electrolyzed reduced
water against carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage in mice.” Sciencedirect. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 01 Aug 2009. Web. 7 Nov 2013. <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691509002464>.
[Tashiro, et al: “Digestion and Absorption” issued by the Japan Digestion and Absorption Academics Society Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 52-56
Koseki, M, Y Tanaka, and et al. “Effect of pH on the Taste of Alkaline Electrolyzed Water.” Wiley Online Library. Journal of Food Science, n.d. Web. 3 Jul 2013. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17995745
Vorobjeva, N.V.. “Selective stimulation of the growth of anaerobic microflora in the human intestinal tract by electrolyzed reducing water.” Medical Hypotheses. Elsevier, 14 Jun 2004. Web. 5 Jul 2013. <http://www.medical-hypotheses.com/article/S0306-9877(04)00489-X/abstract>.
Hanaoka, Kokichi, Sun Dongxu, and et al. “The mechanism of the enhanced antioxidant effects against superoxide anion radicals of reduced water produced by electrolysis.” Science Direct. Science Direct, 01 Jan 2004. Web. 5 Jul 2013. <https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301462203002497>.
Hanaoka, Kokichi. “Antioxidant effects of reduced water produced by electrolysis of sodium chloride solutions.” Springer Link. Journal of Applied Electrochemistry, n.d. Web. 5 Jul 2013. <http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1013825009701>.