Skeptoid_Rebuttal

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					                         Rebuttal of skeptoid.com


Today we're going to take a scientific look at one of the latest
multilevel marketing fads:
Do you routinely refer to devices endorsed by the Japanese medical
establishment and used in Japanese hospitals for several decades as
'fads?'
Enagic is the only water ionizer machine that has these
endorsements, and provides the documentation for download on their
website.
http://www.itshealthywater.com/lealdragon/ (click on 'Certification')


I've seen other companies make claims of Korean FDA approval, but
the approval was for 'good manufacturing practices,' not for
recognition as a medical device as with Enagic. (Documents available
upon request.)


...healing water machines, devices costing thousands of dollars
claiming to ionize or alkalize your tap water, and claiming a dazzling
range of health and medical benefits. Sold under such names as
Kangen, Jupiter Science, KYK, and literally hundreds of others, these
machines do either nothing or almost nothing (beyond basic water
filtration),


Respectfully, Sir, you just said this would be a 'scientific look.' Why,
then, do you make such false statements? We can demonstrate tap
water with a pH of 7.5 and ORP of +350 going into our machine and
water with a pH of 9.5+ and ORP of -700 coming out of our machine.


How, Sir, can you say that this is 'nothing?'


Sir, this is NOT nothing.


This is SOMETHING.
 ...and none of what they may actually do has any plausible beneficial
purpose.
If you are speaking of the cheaply-made competitor machines on the
market that work out of the box but don't last, I might agree with
you. However, you have mentioned our company's trademark, Kangen
Water™, and therefore have lumped us in with the machines that do
little or nothing. The Enagic water ionizer machine is a certified
medical device in Japan, used in hundreds of hospitals, and the
subject of hundreds of clinical studies.


They are built around the central notion that regular water is so
harmful to the body that their price tags, as much as $6,000, are
actually justified. They are essentially water filters with some
additional electronics to perform electrolysis.


You speak as though the additional process of electrolysis is
insignificant.


It is the electrolysis that is the main function of our machine! May I
suggest that you get educated on what our machine does, before you
ridicule it?


Furthermore, why do you mention our $6000 machine? That is our
commercial unit, so its price is completely irrelevant to most
consumers.


They are sold with volumes of technical sounding babble that may
impress a non-scientific layperson, but to any chemist or medical
doctor, they are laughably meaningless (and in many cases, outright
wrong).


'Any' doctor or chemist? Let's test your theory. Why don't you ask
'any' of the 7000+ MDs who endorse the Enagic machine? Or Dr.
Hiromi Shinya, inventor of the colonoscope and recognized as one of
the top 10 physicians in the world? Or Dr. Horst Filtzer, inventor of the
cardiac stent? Or Ray Kurzweil, award-winning scientist? Any one of
these professionals has way more credentials, and understanding of
water ionizers, than you do, apparently.


Hmmm...if you are a scientific person, then why do you make the
following mistakes? (read on)


Here's a really quick coverage of the basics of the real science. The
pH scale goes from about 0 to 14. 7 is neutral pH. Lower numbers are
acidic, and higher numbers are alkaline. All aqueous solutions contain
some dissociated water molecules in the form of positive hydrogen
ions (H+) and negative hydroxide ions (OH-). When there are more
hydroxide ions, it's because the solution contains positively charged
metal ions like sodium, calcium or magnesium for those hydroxide
ions to bind to, thus making the solution alkaline. Conversely, when
there are more positive hydrogen ions, there needs to be some other
negatively charged ions, usually bicarbonate (HCO3-) and the solution
is thus acidic. Pure water has neither such chemicals in it, and so it
has neutral pH.


Surely you are not intending to convey that tap water is pure water?


The Enagic water ionizer machine is designed to operate on tap water.
Therefore, any discussion of pure water is entirely irrelevant to this
discussion. Why, then, do you mention pure water? Surely you aren't
intentionally being misleading or deceptive?


To electrolyze or ionize water, you must add some chemicals of one
type or the other.


FALSE. And I can prove it. Our machine works without any added
chemicals. Any Enagic distributor can demonstrate this live for you,
and countless videos are available on the internet. Tap water is NOT
'pure water.' Nothing is added to tap water when it is run thru the
Enagic water ionizer. Nothing.
May I suggest that you update your education on water ionization.


For a more complete discussion of this, I recommend a web page by
Stephen Lower, a chemist from Simon Fraser University.


Good. Please also include the rebuttal to Stephen's erroneous info.
Here it is, for your convenience:


http://watershed.net/debunker_rebuttal.aspx


It's written by one of our competitors. I think the machines this
rebuttal site sells are vastly inferior to the Enagic medical-grade
machines, and I can back that up tangibly. But I am including it
anyway, because it has some great info about ionized water in
general, and the falsities on the chem1 website. (Incidentally, why did
chem1 claim to post a link to the rebuttal, but then include a false
link? Are they afraid to post the real link to the actual rebuttal? How
about you? Do YOU have the courage to post this link?)


Make no mistake about it: Ionizing and alkalizing water machines are
a textbook example of inventing an imaginary problem


Surely you're not suggesting that cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc.
are imaginary problems?


...that needs to be solved with expensive pseudoscientific hardware.


Firstly, no one is making any medical claims here in the US. (Though
claims are indeed made in Japan, where the Enagic machine is
endorsed by The Ministry of Health and The Japanese Association for
the Prevention of Adult Diseases (7000+ MDs).)


Secondly, I have just explained to you that you are, quite simply,
WRONG that the water ionizer machine does NOTHING to water.
Demonstrable, measurable changes in the water take place, easily
proven with pH activator drops and an ORP meter which measures the
Oxidation Reduction Potential. Therefore, this is real science, NOT
pseudoscience.


It should come as no surprise that the most expensive of these
machines are usually sold through multilevel marketing: A one-two
punch that first takes advantage of a layperson's lack of scientific
expertise to interest them in the product, and then takes advantage
of their lack of business or mathematical expertise to convince them
that they're virtually guaranteed to become a millionaire through a
pyramid model.


Wrong again. Enagic's machines are the only machines are the market
that are medical-grade, and thus their top model is the most
expensive. But Enagic is NOT an MLM company. Enagic is a direct
sales company, and a member of the Direct Sellers Association. There
is no pyramid model and no guaranteed income claims are made.
Many of our distributors do become wealthy. This is America. We have
an honest business, selling a tangible product that helps people. We
earn income. Deal with it.


You want to do the math? Ok, here is the math. Please see the
accompanying article, Price Comparison for a full explanation of the
math.


The company making the most noise right now is Kangen.


The company is called ENAGIC. Kangen Water™ is their trademark.
And, actually, the company is not making noise; their CUSTOMERS
are making noise. Yessir, Brian, after the dramatic benefits I
experienced, I want to shout from the rooftops! You would too, if you
were to try our water yourself for a couple of months and see for
yourself!
They use the slogan "Change your water - change your life." Google
that phrase; 49 million results currently. It's a brilliant slogan;


Yes, it is, thank you very much. ;D


...everyone would like to change their life for the better, wouldn't it be
great if all it took was changing your water?


Yes, it would indeed be great! So simple! No one is saying that
exercise, diet, etc. aren't also important; however, changing your
drinking water is such a simple thing to do. Many people are willing to
do this who wouldn't make other lifestyle changes. And others, who
already have otherwise healthy lifestyles, often don't realize how
acidic and oxidizing their current drinking water is. Our bodies are at
least 70% water.


...I glance over some of these URLs: MyMiracleWater.com,
VeryHealthyWater.com, WaterMiracles.com, AlkalineWaterMiracle.info
— people selling easy answers to imaginary problems.


There's that phrase again, 'imaginary problems.' Why do you make
light of the very REAL health problems real people face? Have you
ever been in pain, Brian?


Let's look at the claims these sellers make. The successful MLM
companies generally dodge government regulators by making no
illegal claims themselves; instead, they allow those claims to be made
by their independent distributors: First charging them big dollars for
the privilege, and then burdening them with the risk of needing to
make untrue health claims in order to recoup their foolish investment.


Wow, those are some mighty inflammatory statements, Brian! But,
once again, you are simply WRONG. Enagic distributors typically GIVE
THE WATER AWAY FOR FREE.
Yup. That's right.


FREE.


Please correct your error, Brian. I will give you the benefit of the
doubt and assume that you just didn't know this little detail. But yes,
we do indeed GIVE THE WATER AWAY.


And, guess what? AFTER people have been drinking our water for
FREE for a few days or weeks, they often decide that they want a
machine for themselves!


Hmmmm...doesn't that make you the slightest bit curious as to WHY
this is?


We honestly don't twist anyone's arm, Brian.


Doesn't the 'scientist' in you have even a tiny bit of curiosity to see if
maybe, just maybe, those smart Japanese – you know, the ones who
gave us Toyota and Sony and are ranked #1 in the world according to
the World Health Organization for health and longevity (as compared
to the US at #38) – might, just MIGHT, actually have advanced
technology that we don't know about over here?


So I've looked over a lot of these independent web sites and come up
with what they generally say are the reasons you need to buy their
supposedly special water.
    Ionized water molecules form into hexagonal rings, which
    allow the water to be better absorbed by your body.

Water molecules in liquid water move about freely, there is no way
that a hexagonal arrangement could be formed or made stable.


Gosh, then are you saying that the Aisan researchers who have
conducted OVER 300 CLINICAL STUDIES ON HEXAGONAL WATER are
WRONG?


Brian, again I will give you the benefit of the doubt...I assume you
just did not KNOW. Here, for your education:


Please read The Water Puzzle and the Hexagonal Key by Dr. Mu Shik
Jhon


Stephen Lower is one of many chemists who have debunked this
completely made-up and chemically implausible claim. If you're
interested in the details, read his excellent web page "Water Cluster
Quackery". (YOU'LL FIND A LINK TO IT ON THE ONLINE TRANSCRIPT
OF THIS EPISODE.) Hexagonal arrangements of liquid molecules are
not a characteristic of ionization or of alkalinity. Such hexagonal
arrangements in water have never been observed or plausibly
theorized, and thus there is no way that it could have ever been
established that such water is better absorbed by your body — since it
doesn't exist.


It is true that hexagonal structure is a separate property, independent
of its other properties. (This is believed to be one of several
explanations as to why Kangen Water™ seems to elicit dramatic
results not observed with competitor machines.) Again I refer you to
Dr. Jhon's book, for your education.


The human body has never had a problem being hydrated by water,


This is a rather strange statement in light of the fact that chemically
treated tap water is a modern invention. Surely you are not implying
that modern tap water is chemically the same as the fresh water our
ancestors drank?


Please define 'hydrated.'


...so this particular claim is a perfect example of a pseudoscientific
solution to an imaginary problem.
    Kangen Water™ is ionized, which makes it alkaline.

Pure water actually cannot be electrolyzed and dissociated into ions to
any appreciable degree, it's not electrically conductive enough.


This is irrelevant, since the Enagic water ionizer uses tap water, and
tap water is NOT 'pure water!'


Surely you knew that? Now who's trying to take advantage of lay-
people's ignorance about water chemistry?


You need to have a significant amount of minerals and impurities in
order for it to be electrolyzed,


Minerals, yes. Impurities, NO. Surely you aren't seriously suggesting
that impurities are necessary for ionization? Are you blatantly trying
to be slanderous and deceptive?


which is why Kangen and its competitors also take your money for
packets of mineral salt additives that you need to add to your water
to make your machine do anything.


??? Please do not lump Enagic in with the cheap competitors. Enagic
does NOT add anything to the machine to produce alkaline drinking
water.


Again, you mislead. Is this from ignorance or intention?


Do this, and your water will become chemically alkaline with a cargo
of dissolved metallic ions in solution. Basically, your $6,000 Kangen
machine, when used with the provided chemicals,


Brian, you have crossed the line into slander! There are NO chemicals
added to the Enagic machine to produce alkaline drinking water. And,
why do you choose to mention ONLY the price of our commercial unit?
Our household units range in price from $1280 thru $3980.


...is a way to accomplish the same thing as making a weak Clorox
bleach solution. To chemists, the term "ionized water" is meaningless.


Do you mean chemists who have never bothered to update their
education? 'Chemists' like you and your good pal Mr. Chem1? This is
amusing. The blatant errors in both your websites indicate that you're
either not really chemists, or you are being intentionally deceptive.
Which is it?


    Alkaline water promotes healthy weight loss, and boosts the
    immune system.

Two scientific-sounding medical claims, both too vague to be testable.
"Immune system boosting" is medically meaningless, which is
something we'll delve into in greater depth in a future episode.
Basically, you can't be healthier than healthy; and a healthy immune
system is a delicate balance between attacking foreign bodies and
attacking your own healthy tissue. "Boosting" it, if such were possible,
would cause your own healthy tissue to be attacked. This is called an
autoimmune diease, such as lupus. It's not something you want.
Alkaline water has never been shown to have any such effect.


Evidently you mistake the absence of a diagnosed disease for health.


    Alkaline water is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals
    and slows the aging process.

We've discussed the whole phenomenon of antioxidants before too, in
Skeptoid #86 about antioxidant fruit juices. Although oxidation does
contribute to some age-related diseases, consuming antioxidants does
not affect normal aging. Even if they did, you wouldn't get them from
alkalized water: When water is alkalized, it contains hypochlorites,
which are oxidizing agents.
Wow, Brian! I am astounded and appalled at your blatant ignorance!
Why are you writing an article about something you know so little
about?


If you knew anything about the Enagic water ionizer, or if you had
ever bothered to watch one in action on a video, you would know that
the hydrochlorities come out the ACID HOSE, NOT the alkaline hose!!!


So, either you are truly uninformed about our machine, or you DO
know the difference and are being intentionally misleading.


Which is it?


Basically, the opposite of what is claimed.
    Drinking alkaline water reduces the acidity in your body and
    restores it to a healthy alkaline state. It is well known in the
    medical community that an overly acidic body is the root of
    many common diseases, such as obesity, osteoporosis,
    diabetes, high blood-pressure and more.

This is absolutely false. Your body's acidity is not, in any way, affected
by the pH of what you eat or drink.


Right. Just like your car's performance is not, in any way, affected by
the type of gas you put in the tank. C'mon, Brian, use a little common
sense here!


Eating alkaline food stimulates production of acidic digestive enzymes,
and eating acidic foods causes the stomach to produce fewer acids.
Your body's primary mechanism for the control of pH is the exhalation
of carbon dioxide, which governs the amount of carbonic acid in the
blood.


You confuse BLOOD pH with BODY pH.
The blood maintains its pH within the acceptable range, at the
expense of the rest of the body's organs and tissues. You are using
the standard deceptive ploy of focusing on blood pH when what we
are discussing is the pH of the rest of the body, which is indeed
directly affected by the pH of the foods and drinks we consume. Easily
demonstrable, Brian. Go get yourself some pH test strips and test
your urine or saliva. Then quit drinking sodas and start drinking
Kangen Water™, and see what happens. I challenge you!


Nor has there ever been any plausible research that shows any
connection between these diseases and body acidity, this also appears
to be completely made up.


FALSE. Dr. Otto Warburg won the Nobel Prize for such research back
in 1931.


This is a classic case of using simplistic terminology to sell a product
to the scientifically illiterate.


Are we expected to consider you, Brian, scientifically literate? When I
have just pointed out NUMEROUS FLAWS in your own article?


    Alkaline water detoxifies and cleanses your colon. Without it,
    mucoid plaque clogs your bowels and contributes to many
    diseases.

The dreaded mucoid plaque again! Mucoid plaque is an invention by
the purveyors of colon cleansing products, it has never actually been
observed in medical science. Since it doesn't exist, it's impossible to say
whether it would be affected by an alkaline diet.


Then what is that stuff in those colons? Evidently you haven't seen
the 'before' and 'after' colonoscopies.
Please take a few minutes and watch this short video. It has Dr.
Shinya, inventor of the colonoscope, and shows before and after
colonoscopies with dramatic healing of colon tissue after just a few
months! With a variety of colon diseases.

http://yourbodyiswater.info/members/p1d3/lealdragon/movies.html   (click on
'colon therapy')


Digestive enzymes neutralize the pH of whatever you eat by the time
it gets to your bowels anyway, so it's hard to imagine what science
might possibly support a claim such as this.


That presupposes that the body is producing digestive enzymes as it
should. How many people do you know who have digestive
problems?


It always blows my mind when seemingly 'scientific' people cite
textbook responses about how the body is supposed to function, but
seem to neglect the obvious: that most people are NOT perfectly
healthy! Most people have a plethora of health complaints and
routinely take many pharmaceuticals just to make it thru the day.
Hardly textbook bodily functioning!


For a complete discussion of how Kangen Water™ works in the
digestive system, please see Change Your Water Change Your Life! By
Dr. Dave Carpenter, pages 11-24. Excerpts available by email upon
request.


    Kangen Water™ is an anti-bacterial cleanser. Kills 99% of
    bacteria on contact. Spray it on your throat to prevent a cold.

Fascinating. They also promote Kangen Water™ to aquarium owners
because of its amazing power to support bacteria. The fact is that
some bacteria are affected by pH, and some are not. Most thrive in a
particular range, but relatively few bacteria are affected by the small
1 or 2 point difference between tap water and water that has been
treated with Kangen mineral salt additives.
<sigh> Brian, seriously, PLEASE educate yourself about the difference
between alkaline Kangen Water™ (8.5-9.5 pH for drinking, NO
SALT!!!), strong alkaline Kangen Water™ (11.5 pH, for removing
pesticides and for cleaning, NOT for drinking!), and strong acidic
water (2.5 pH for killing bacteria, NOT for drinking!).


BTW, who cares if salt is added to the strong acidic water? What's the
big deal about that anyway, since it is NOT FOR DRINKING?


Oh, and did I mention that the 2.5 strong acidic water is...NOT FOR
DRINKING?


It is blatantly deceptive to imply that 'salt additives' or 'chemicals' are
added to our drinking water. A simple demonstration of our machine,
available online or live, will show that NO SALT or chemicals are EVER
added to our alkaline drinking water! So WHY do you and other so-
called 'scientists' keep talking about it? Surely you cannot be THAT
ignorant! Therefore, I have no other choice but to assume that the
deception is intentional!


So then, the real question becomes: WHY believe anything you, Brian,
or your good buddy Mr. Chem1, have to say, when you have
demonstrated clear intentions of deception? (Either that, or you really
are just very ignorant, but the end result is the same: you simply are
not qualified to comment on ionized water.)


Your good buddy, Mr. Chem1, argues that the pH of water cannot be
changed. He is correct. However, if he had bothered to learn even the
basics of how our machine operates, he would know that we are not
changing the pH of the water, but separating the water. WHY do you
people expect us to accept you as scientific authorities when you don't
even understand the BASICS of how our machine works? (Or, are
being intentionally deceptive.)


It could be argued that sellers are simply saying whatever they think
their target market wants to hear.
    Acidic water, like that from your tap, is harmful.

The most common source of acidic water is the cleanest and most
natural of all: normal rainwater, with a pH of about 5.6. Most tap
water is within a point of 7, which is neutral, so your tap water is
probably already more alkaline than clean rainwater. Are you still
convinced that this is so dangerous that you need to drop two to six
thousand dollars on a machine that any chemist or nutritionist will tell
you has no credible benefit?


Evidently you have not been keeping up with the news.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wS7mfq43GrY
(If this link is no longer active, then do a youtube search for CNN -
Drugs on Tap Water.)


http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/02/05/tap-water-toxins-
is-your-water-trying-to-kill-you.aspx




There is one possible use for water if it could be made heavily
alkaline, and that's to treat heartburn in the esophagus. But it
wouldn't be anywhere near as effective as, for example, a single
Tums tablet.


And you know this...HOW? Have you done a double-blind test
comparing the efficacy of Tums and alkaline water?


And, are you seriously suggesting that we believe YOU when you say
our water has no valid use, instead of the Japanese medical
establishment, who endorses our machine for treatment of medical
conditions?


Actually, I can speak from experience...my own severe acid reflux
disappeared, yes, disappeared, when I started drinking Kangen
Water™. So did my constipation, IBS symptoms, heart palpitations,
and insomnia...as well as my dog's debilitating joint pain. You'll say
that's just anecdotal, of course...but I don't care. That's my story and
it really happened!


However, water so treated would have to be so laden with salts that it
would be virtually undrinkable.


WOW, Brian, where do you GET this salt nonsense??? THERE IS NO
SALT ADDED TO ENAGIC'S ALKALINE DRINKING WATER.


NONE.


NADA.


NO SALT!!!


Oh, btw, did I mention that...NO SALT is added to Kangen Water™?


For more on this, see Skeptoid #128 for a discussion of treating gastric
reflux.
Please, everyone: Before you invest money in a Kangen machine or
any similar competitive machine, or in becoming a distributor for
them, do two things. First, ask a chemist to review their scientific
claims;


A chemist as smart as you?


...and second, ask a doctor about the medical claims.


Now that's the smartest thing you've said in this entire article!
Here, you can start with Dr. Hiromi Shinya, inventor of the
colonoscope and recognized as one of the top 10 best physicians in
the WORLD. Dr. Shinya says in his book, The Enzyme Factor, that
Kangen Water™ is crucially important to preventing cancer and other
diseases.


Or Dr. Horst Filtzer, inventor of the cardiac stent.


Or, if you prefer, you can ask any one of the 7000+ MDs who endorse
the Enagic water ionizer machine as a medical treatment for the
prevention of diseases.


Maybe you'll find that I'm wrong


Yes, Bran, quite simply, you are indeed wrong. On many counts.


and the multilevel marketing people


Enagic is a direct sales company, NOT an MLM company.


have discovered whole new branches of chemistry and medicine
heretofore unknown to science.


Brian, again you have your facts wrong. You imply that MLM
companies invented water ionizer technology. They didn't. The
technology was invented by the Russians in the 1950s and perfected
by the Japanese. Are you now accusing the Japanese researchers of
being ignorant of chemistry and science?


Or maybe you'll find that they're simply another spin-the-wheel-and-
invent-a-new-age-pseudoscience trying to separate you from your
money with fantastic technobabble and glamorous personal
testimonials, and just maybe you'll save those thousands of dollars.
Brian Dunning
Brian, I will prove to you that no one is asking you to spend any $$. If
there is an Enagic distributor in your area, we can arrange for you to
have FREE water to try. Yes, FREE.
Brian, a true scientist does not let preconceived biases pollute his
thinking. You clearly have prejudices which have precluded you from
truly getting educated about water ionizer technology. Again, I prefer
to give you the benefit of the doubt. Please get educated and update
your website. Show some integrity.


Best wishes,


Monica Leal
Independent Enagic Distributor

				
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