Monday, September 12, 2011

Kangen Water

This scam has actually been going on for a while, but has really picked up steam in the last year or so. Kangen water is a Japanese device said to purify, ionize, break down and alkalize water. Now aside from the purification part, why would anyone want to do these things? Well, information is being spread around saying that the more alkaline water you drink, the healthier you will be. The fact is, one cannot change their body PH by ingesting anything. If by some chance you did manage to change your body PH to what these people would have you believe is best, you'd suffer from metabolic alkalosis and likely die. Your body PH is strictly regulated in a number of ways, the most obvious being the venting of carbon dioxide by exhelation. Not only that, but the second you consume alkaline water, it is nutralized by the acid in your stomach.

Ionization through the process of electrolysis is the next thing this device claims to do, but there has been no scientific evidence that this will do anything beneficial for the people who use it. From air ionizers to water ionizers, it's the get well buzz word of the past five years, and like all these other claims, is based on utter horse shit.

Another feature in the long list of things this device claims to do is break up water cluster to "improve cellular hydration". The thing is, your body actually has a mechanistic that already does this. This device claims that the ingestion of clustered water leads to dehydration, due to the fact(lie) that your body cannot properly absorb clustered water.

Here's the real kicker, this device has a price tag of around $4300 USD. Why you ask? Surely the parts must be really expensive. Nope. You could likely build this yourself for around $400. Then it must be the tech, right? Nope. Since this machine is just an over priced filtering device, the tech is not very expensive, and has been around for ages. The real reason this device sells for the price of a used car is because it has its roots in MLM. That's right, the minion selling this to you is at the bottom of a pile of useless, greedy fucks who get a commission every time their subordinates sell one of these false hope machines.

Another thing they flaunt about like a badge of honor is that the machine is fully endorsed by the Japanese government. These claims that "water ionizers are approved for use in Japanese hospitals" are misleading: these "approvals" merely attest to the machines' safety — that they will not electrocute you! My understanding is that the Japanese Health Ministry is highly critical of therapeutic claims made for alkaline water.

Here are a few facts I dug up that blow almost all the claims of this device out of the water (No pun intended):

  • "Ionized water" is nothing more than sales fiction; the term is meaningless to anyone who actually knows what they're talking about.
  • Pure water (that is, water containing no dissolved ions) is too unconductive to undergo significant electrolysis by "water ionizer" devices.
  • Pure water can never be alkaline or acidic, nor can it be made so by electrolysis. Alkaline water must contain metallic ions of some kind — most commonly, sodium, calcium or magnesium.
  • The idea that one must consume alkaline water to neutralize the effects of acidic foods is ridiculous; we get rid of excess acid by exhaling carbon dioxide.
  • If you do drink alkaline water, its alkalinity is quickly removed by the highly acidic gastric fluid in the stomach.
  • Uptake of water occurs mainly in the intestine, not in the stomach. But when stomach contents enter the intestine, they are neutralized and made alkaline by the pancreatic secretions — so all the water you drink eventually becomes alkaline anyway.
  • The claims about the health benefits of drinking alkaline water are not supported by credible scientific evidence.
  • "Ionized"/alkaline water is falsely claimed to be an anti-oxidant. It is actually an oxidizing agent, as can be seen by its ability to decolorize iodine.
  • There is nothing wrong with drinking slightly acidic waters such as rainwater. "Body pH" is a meaningless concept; different parts of the body (and even of individual cells) can have widely different pH values. The pH of drinking water has zero effect on that of the blood or of the body's cells.
  • If you really want to de-acidify your stomach (at the possible cost of interfering with protein digestion), why spend hundreds of dollars for an electrolysis device when you can take calcium-magnesium pills, Alka-Seltzer or Milk of Magnesia?
  • Electrolysis devices are generally worthless for treating water for health enhancement, removal of common impurities, disinfection, and scale control. Claims that "ionized" waters are antioxidants are untrue; hypochlorites (present in most such waters) are in fact oxidizing agents.
It seems likely that these machines actually add substances to the water in order to make it either alkaline or acidic, because as one of the facts above points out, "pure" water can only be neutral.

A friend of mine tried to turn me on to this contraption a month or so back. I tried it out for a while and wasn't too thrilled. I discovered all this information about the scam through hunting around online, but only after wading though heaps of propaganda, blind testimonies, and endorsements by their brainwashed patrons.

She showed me a DVD full of retardedly absurd claims. One couple claimed the water cured their son of Autism (and in only two days). Another person claimed it cured his terminal cancer. The funny thing about these claims is that they are not made by the company, they just publish the testimonies of their "enlightened" customers, which leaves it protected under free speech.

I saw my friend earlier tonight, and asked if she had read the information I sent her to warn her of her impending loss of money. She said that she was really enjoying her device, and had already decided to buy one of the top models and recommend it to all her friends. I told her about what the info I found boiled down to, but she said she didn't want to hear it, which essentially translates to "I don't want facts to get in the way of my ignorance".

If you think game console fanboys are bad, be thankful you've never encountered one of these tools. These fuckers come out of the woodwork and hiss and spit and claim you're a heretic for not accepting this miracle. Most of the sites I visited were laden with comments by these true believers. Logic really doesn't seem to be prevalent in these people.

I realize that everyone needs a little hope, especially the sick, but false hope does nothing, and when it's false hope at the price of a small fortune, then I say tar and feather these motherfuckers!

Will drinking this water make you feel better? Probably. The placebo effect is quite strong in the ignorant, even more so when trying to justify their purchase of a $4000 water filter.

Skeptic Blog


  1. Pure water can never be alkaline or acidic, nor can it be made so by electrolysis.
    Alkaline water must contain metallic ions of some kind — most commonly, sodium, calcium or magnesium.

    That's probably one of the twisted points that the machine's company is making their claim on.
    It's true that all of those metallic ions are present in this 'alkaline' water but they are also present in other water. Like normal tap water which I know as hard water because calcium and magnesium ions are the main ingredients for sturdy, strong bones.

    So the company just kind of took that hard water idea and switched its name with 'alkaline' water without really knowing what they were talking about lol

    "Ionized"/alkaline water is falsely claimed to be an anti-oxidant. It is actually an oxidizing agent, as can be seen by its ability to decolorize iodine.

    Second stupid point. No shyt this 'alkaline' water or hard water is oxidizing. That's why metallic stuff will rust when water from the tap is left on the metal for long periods of time.
    This is also the reason why most laboratories clean metal equipment with deionized water so that it doesn't rust.

    That's one crazy company. Have they been sued yet by anybody?

  2. Not that I've heard of, but on the Chem 1 page that I referenced it said "According to a New Zealand Government Web page, a NZ court has fined a local dealer of "Grander Living Water Units" for making false claims resembling some of those quoted above."

    I'm sure Kangen will get theirs some day.