About this Author
DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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« HIV Therapies: A Thank-You | Main | Life With Arsenic: Who'd Have Thought? »

December 2, 2010

Amazing Stuff! Guess Where It's From. . .

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Posted by Derek

OK, let's try a game of "Identify the Author". No fair Googling - that'll call it right up. No, see if you can figure out on your own who believes this:

"Animal cells survive best in an alkaline environment with a blood pH of 7.35 to 7.45. Plant cells are the opposite; they prefer an acidic environment. As our bodies become increasingly acidic, some cells adapt through an internal evolutionary process and become more like plant cells. These abnormal plantlike cells have a high tendency to become cancer cells, which thrive in an acidic environment. So an important strategy for preventing or treating cancer is to maintain an alkaline environment in the body."

No, it's not our old friend Kevin Trudeau, although it sure does sound like him and the other "pH is destiny" people. The guy I'm writing about does indeed sell nutritional supplements, though, and has sold a device to make "alkaline water" at home. About that:

"Another issue concerns the infrastructure of water. Magnetic resonance imaging reveals that most tap water is organized into microclusters of about 12 water molecules each. In alkalinized water, the microclusters are reduced in size to only six molecules per cluster. This enhances the permability, solubility, and absorption of the water, thereby boosting its detoxification effects."

Great stuff! I'll bet you've never seen anything that enhances the solubility of water before. There are a lot of water hucksters out there, for sure, and these claims could be slapped on any of a thousand shady web sites and fit right in.

But that's not where I got them. This guy doesn't have any late-night infomercials, or at least not yet. I'll leave this post up for a while, then update it with the real source, and a few more comments. . .

Update: Here's the source, with more comments.

Comments (53) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Snake Oil


1. John Spevacek on December 2, 2010 12:07 PM writes...

At the very least, this sounds like an excellent reason to take up a carnivorous diet. ;)

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2. Chemjobber on December 2, 2010 12:14 PM writes...

Well, that's what you get when you have a computer science guy talking chemistry and biology. I'm sure that I'd sound just as dumb talking about quantum computing or some such thing.

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3. processchemist on December 2, 2010 12:19 PM writes...

The same guy that some time ago talked about our current capability to have a correct model of cerebellum in silico, right? A nanotech pumper too...

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4. partial agonist on December 2, 2010 12:30 PM writes...

Someone help... my cells are evolving into plantlike cells. Most of that I can live with, but the chlorophyll green skin tone is becoming socially stigmatizing. Surely there must be a $20 miracle bracelet I can buy to reverse the effects, right?

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5. pete on December 2, 2010 12:36 PM writes...

Wow, I never knew that about water clusters. I'm gonna sonicate my coffee to see if it helps me think straighter.

On the plus side, the pianos bearing said personality's name do sound gooder.

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6. Maks on December 2, 2010 12:40 PM writes...

@John Spevacek: Isn't a carnivore diet associated with lower urine pH?

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7. BFS on December 2, 2010 12:44 PM writes...

Al Gore?

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8. MoMo on December 2, 2010 12:51 PM writes...

Is it the guy from Sirtris, Westphal? It might as well be him. Hopefully, it will keep him from publishing Op-Eds in the Boston Globe.

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9. John Spevacek on December 2, 2010 12:54 PM writes...

@ Maks: I have no idea. I was just making fun of hte the point from the original site that said animals cells like the (borderline) alkaline conditions, and that the plant cells like the acidic conditions. I have no idea of those statements are true either. I'm just a polymer chemist.

My comment was all said in jest.

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10. Curious Wavefunction on December 2, 2010 12:58 PM writes...

-Magnetic resonance imaging reveals that most tap water is organized into microclusters of about 12 water molecules each

Actually that's not true. The most common clusters in 'normal' water are five and six membered rings. This has been observed both experimentally and theoretically.

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11. Pig Farmer on December 2, 2010 1:10 PM writes...

Sounds like it should be someone from Nativis, but I now know it isn't.
All I can say is, I'm amazed. I thought this guy was vaguely respectable. I would never have guessed.

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12. Jerck on December 2, 2010 1:16 PM writes...

Dr. Peter Kim ?

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13. cynical1 on December 2, 2010 1:36 PM writes...

Deepak Chopra? Sounds sufficiently ridiculous to have flowed from his mouth.

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14. Phil on December 2, 2010 1:59 PM writes...


Have you read the patent for Penta water too? They pick out the CO2 peak (the negative one) in an IR sample and call it proof that their super sonicated water is arranged in clusters of 5 molecules. It's brilliant!

They also invoke plasma to explain how normal water is converted to microclustered water.

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15. David Formerly Known as a Chemist on December 2, 2010 2:04 PM writes...

Arm & Hammer, who wants to sell you more baking soda. "It's for more than de-stinking your fridge".

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16. Anon on December 2, 2010 2:31 PM writes...

How about this:

"Hydrosomes- a new class of designer drugs: -
The humble and painstaking research works undertaken by the author on these lines, conducted admittedly within the gravest of infrastructural and material limitations, have led to the final stage of developing a new technique of non-invasive molecular manipulation of biochemical interactions in the living organisms. This new technique, called “ Hydrosome Therapy”, involves the introduction of a new class of fabricated selective molecular binding agents, tentatively named “Hydrosome”. Hydrosome are three-dimensional poly-molecular formations of water (H2O) molecules that can be synthesized in any desired configurational pattern by a special process of molecular imprinting developed by the author. Hydrosomes can be tailor-made to suit any molecular target site in the living organism. Hydrosomes thus processed can be used as very potent molecular tools for intervening in the biochemical processes by selective binding of desired target molecules." -K.C. Chandran Nambiar (

Let's imprint drugs on water and drink! Awesome!

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17. john on December 2, 2010 2:43 PM writes...

has this person been endorsed by Oprah? Looking for a hint here

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18. Chemjobber on December 2, 2010 2:45 PM writes...

#17: Glenn Reynolds (if you know who he is...) wouldn't be happy.

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19. startup on December 2, 2010 2:53 PM writes...

Andrew Witty? Andrew Grove?

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20. Will on December 2, 2010 3:03 PM writes...

How can this stuff be marketed? Forget all the sciency goobly gook, the real name of this stuff is hydric acid! It can actually be very dangerous! If over-consumed, it can lead to distension and even death! It can be vaporized into a potentially dangerous gas under conditions found in almost all environments. Hydric acid has been implicated in the accidental deaths of many, including small children!

Industrial factories have been using (unregulated) this acid for decades, carelessly dumping it into our natural streams and rivers, or letting it escape unchecked into the atmosphere.

I demand the FDA immediately review the so called merits of this acid, and weigh its potential benefits against the risks that it poses to us all. We owe it to the children and the future

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21. Will on December 2, 2010 3:05 PM writes...

I forgot to mention that it's also been found in almost all tumors and diseased tissue. Although the exact correlation has yet to be determined, we cannot overlook this frightening fact

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22. Lacerta Bio on December 2, 2010 3:18 PM writes...

Enhances the solubility of water...that's funny.

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23. schmerck on December 2, 2010 3:19 PM writes...

That's very funny, "Peter Kim?"

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24. ty on December 2, 2010 3:24 PM writes...

Second paragraph sounds like the Pentawater people. But they believe water can be broken down into clusters of 5 (not 6), and can therefore permeate cell membranes to hydrate cells better.

This stuff was for sale all over Southern California.

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25. Annette on December 2, 2010 3:28 PM writes...

Found the answer through a Google search, but I won't give it away. But if one wanted alkaline water, would simple baking soda do the trick?

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26. coprolite on December 2, 2010 3:44 PM writes...

It's clearly my favorite Batman villain Poison Ivy.

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27. JasonP on December 2, 2010 3:53 PM writes...

Ya I feel like we have neglected Nativis. I wonder how they are doing, and if their ground breaking research has been published as promised. This is about the three month mark isn't it Derek?

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28. Phil on December 2, 2010 3:56 PM writes...


And several generic versions of "Microclustered" water have appeared elsewhere. Trader Joe's has their own brand, as does Sunflower Market (the CO version of TJ's). It's all the same garbage.

I had the fortune to have had a coworker forward me the patent information (when I had access to patents through my company) and I read most of the "scientific evidence" and "clinical trials." I highly recommend it, it's a great read.

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29. anon on December 2, 2010 3:56 PM writes...

pH is destiny?

Here's what I say to that:


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30. anon on December 2, 2010 3:58 PM writes...

pH is destiny?

Here's what I say to that:


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31. ben on December 2, 2010 3:59 PM writes...

I even read his book.. sheds a bad light on the whole LE movement. Though the new book is free of pseudo-science, or so i heard..

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32. zack on December 2, 2010 4:04 PM writes...

i would be curious to hear what people think about this,

it seems beyond impossible that arsenic could substitute for phosphorus in every biomolecule of a living organism. but i don't know anything about arsenic chemistry.

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33. Pig Farmer on December 2, 2010 4:40 PM writes...

I think The Singularity must have penetrated his skull and emptied its entire contents into the 11th dimension. Or something.
Anyway, all credibility gone as far as I'm concerned. Just goes to show that a high IQ is no substitute for a good dose of Common Sense.

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34. anon the II on December 2, 2010 4:54 PM writes...

I originally suspected Arnold Goldstein, commenter #7 from your recent Sirtris blog. He seemed mighty off the wall. But, without looking, I think Pig Farmer has it right.

I'm old enough to remember polywater from the late '60's. It wasn't why I became a scientist. I did it for the money.

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35. Phil on December 2, 2010 5:06 PM writes...


I haven't read the article, but I saw from the abstract that arsenate replaces phosphate in nearly every biomolecule in the bacterium. It must have drastically modified enzymes that can use ATAs rather than ATP. Weird. Very weird.

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36. BoredChemist on December 2, 2010 5:22 PM writes...

Has this person been possessed by the ghost of Linus Pauling?

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37. EC on December 2, 2010 5:27 PM writes...

It has been 6 months since Nativis. I wonder if they have tested whether the molecular structure of water which is more bioavailable is better or worse for carrying the drug's photon field.

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38. Dosser on December 2, 2010 5:54 PM writes...

Is it Stuart schreiber?

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39. Pete on December 2, 2010 6:12 PM writes...

A script-writer for the X-files?

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40. R7 on December 2, 2010 8:07 PM writes...

While this is clearly nonsense, the presence of tetrahedral clusters of 5 water molecules in liquid water is well documented.

Here for example is a popular article discussing evidence from Stanford Synchrotron Lightsource supporting the presence of such clusters and also hinting at some other configurations also being present:

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41. befuddled on December 2, 2010 8:27 PM writes...

Wow. I gave into temptation and googled.

Just goes to show that raw intelligence is not a sure defense against nonsense.

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42. Rock on December 2, 2010 8:37 PM writes...

"Magnetic resonance imaging reveals that most tap water is organized into microclusters of about 12 water molecules each. In alkalinized water, the microclusters are reduced in size to only six molecules per cluster."

Hmmmm....only a two fold improvement. Off to the lab to make monomeric water. Imagine how cleansing that will be?

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43. OldLabRat on December 2, 2010 10:46 PM writes...

Thanks for the chuckle. The authors must need to buy a new boat or something as the source was copyrighted in 2004. Perhaps this is a sign of a recovering economy.

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44. gippgig on December 3, 2010 12:24 AM writes...

There is some evidence that a more alkaline diet does have benefits (Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 87 662, J. Clin. Endocr. Metab. 82 254 (this seems to have a worrisome math error), Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 40 623) but this has nothing to do with cancer & just used sodium or potassium bicarbonate supplements rather than doing nonsensical things with water.

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45. Anon on December 3, 2010 7:50 AM writes...

Come on guys its all "neowater" these day (Sounds like the do-coop folks)

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46. chemist on December 3, 2010 8:15 AM writes...

@20.Will World wide production of this potentially toxic substance should be halted until the FDA has thoughly established its safety, lest we all perish

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47. partial agonist on December 3, 2010 8:46 AM writes...

I googled it too... and one thing that comes up on the google search is their book, selling on Amazon. There are 20 comments, with a 5 star average! Everyone loves it! Sheeshh.....

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48. cancer_man on December 3, 2010 10:49 AM writes...

Actually, there was at least one reviewer who wrote not to take the water part seriouly.

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49. Mike on December 3, 2010 4:26 PM writes...

Alkaline Water. Some people are afraid of the truth and others don't want you to know the truth. It’s a lot like our government. The more that they are afraid of what you have to say the more they try to tear you down. 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?

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50. jeff hoffman on December 11, 2010 4:07 AM writes...

Roughly 160 cc per hour of 0.1 normal HCl is secreted into the gastric lumen hourly and ultimately neutralized by bicarbonate in pancreatic juice. Gastric juice acid secretion can be effectively down regulated for hours on end by proton pump inhibitors, a process far more effective at modifying luminal acidity than the consumption of alkaline water. Go ahead and take a guess as to how many cc's of bicarbonate are secreted into the intestional lumen daily (it's in liters). Take a TUMS and be done with ingesting alkaline needs to no long term effect. Alkaline water use would be like spitting into the turbulent seas of acid/base that our intestinal lumens are exposed to 24/7. Funny gobbledegook being marketed there.

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51. Anonymous on December 15, 2010 2:06 AM writes...

It's amazing how much energy people have put into trying to debunk alkaline water when they have absolutely no idea what they're talking about. Try it for 30 days and see if it makes a difference.

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