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Q: Structured Water ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: Structured Water
Category: Science > Chemistry
Asked by: randymorgan-ga
List Price: $8.00
Posted: 17 Nov 2006 10:29 PST
Expires: 17 Dec 2006 10:29 PST
Question ID: 783593
In the best selling book "Fantastic Voyage" author Ray Kurzweil
recommneds drinking alkaline water with a pH between 9.5 and 10. On
page 48 of "Fantastic Voyage" he goes on to say that "most tap water
is organized into microclusters of about 12 molecules each.  In
alkalinized water, the microlclusters are reduced in size to only six
molecules per cluster.  This enhances the permeability, solubility,
and absorption of the water, thereby boosting its detoxification

When I took chemistry in college I don't remember hearing anything
about water having a microstructure, other than hydrogen bonding
between adjacent water molecules. Especially not a structure that was
strong enough to persist even after someone drank a glass of it, and
result in increased absorption and "detoxification".

Is there any truth to the statement I quoted, or is it in the same
category as the stories found in supermarket tabloid newspapers?
Subject: Re: Structured Water
Answered By: sublime1-ga on 17 Nov 2006 14:03 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars

As much as I admire the revolutionary mind of Ray Kurzweil
(I am the happy owner of two of the Kurzweil Synthesizers
he developed in collaboration with Stevie Wonder), I'm 
afraid that this time, he's as confused as many others.

According to the discussion on this page by Stephen Lower,
"retired Chemistry professor and habitual imbiber of tap-water":

"It is generally agreed that the special properties of water
 stem from the tendency of its molecules to associate, forming
 short-lived and ever-changing polymeric units that are
 sometimes described as "clusters". These clusters are more
 conceptual than physical in nature; they have no directly
 observable properties, and their transient existence (on
 the order of picoseconds) does not support an earlier view
 that water is a mixture of polymers (H2O)n in which n can
 have a variety of values. Instead, the currently favored
 model of water is one of a loosely-connected network that
 might best be described as one huge "cluster" whose internal
 connections are continually undergoing rearrangement."
Much more on the page:

A picosecond is one-trillionth of a second - hardly the
lifespan of a bond sufficient to present a problem with 
absorption through the walls of the intestine, or to 
provide clustering that can be measured by any instrument,
as the professor points out later.

For more on the true nature of the structure of water,
see his page here:

So, yes, it's in the same category as the stories found
in supermarket tabloid newspapers, in that both written
and disseminated for the purpose of making a lot of money,
and, as is often the case, when pseudo-scientific 'facts'
are given enough exposure, even intelligent people like
Ray Kurzweil can fall into the stream and be carried


You might want to examine the works of Hidemitsu HAYASHI,
M.D., Water Institute,? and Munenori KAWAMURA, M.D., Kyowa
Medical Clinic, found on these pages:

Reduced Water For Prevention Of Diseases

Clinical Applications Of Electrolyzed-Reduced Water

Clinical Improvement Obtained From The Intake Of Reduced Water

Active Hydrogen Water Saves Mankind

These articles discuss the merits of 'hydrogen-rich' or 'redox'
or 'reduced oxygen' water obtained from electrolysis, which is
higher in PH and alkaline (10.3 vs 7.5). The authors seem to
have taken a more scientific approach in examining the effects
of the water, and they note:

"My hypothesis was born from the clinical observation study in
 our clinic. : Since May ?85 we have confirmed thousands of
 clinical improvements, obtained solely by exchanging drinking
 (as well as cooking water) from tap water to reduced water
 (tab.1). Those improvements were very exciting and some of them
 were considered to be miraculous at that time, when Shirahata?s
 paper was not yet submitted."

They now market a device which can produce hydrogen-rich water
when carried in a plastic water bottle:

"Hydrogen-Rich Water is also referred to as active hydrogen water,
 alkaline water, alkaline ion water, antioxidant alkaline water,
 reduced water, alkaline ionized water, alkali-ion water, all of
 which are created by electrolyzed reduced water appliances.

 The biggest problem for electrolyzed reduced water is that (a)
 when you drink such reduced water, all of the active hydrogen
 (H - one atom of hydrogen) in water will be evaporated, and
 even molecular hydrogen (H2) in water will diminish rapidly.
 We know this, since we measured all samples [of] water with
 our H & H2 Detector. 

 Another problem is that you cannot carry an electrolyzed reduced
 water appliance whenever you go out. When you carry reduced water,
 then molecular hydrogen in reduced water will be reduced rapidly.
 That is the reason why we need to carry our portable plastic
 mineral water bottle with a 'Active Hydrogen Water Generator H-01'
 in it all the time..."

It should also be noted that nowhere in their articles do they talk
about clusters or microclusters. This language has been added by
companies such as RPA Biotech, who claim to have found a way to
stabilize ionized water, and have added the claim that the process
changes the structure of the water:

"Electrolysis restructures the water: The process of electrolysis,
 breaks water into smaller units which can penetrate cells much
 more efficiently than normal water. (Most tap water and bottled
 water is made of large conglomerates - large groupings of
 unstructured water molecules which are too large to move
 efficiently into the cells of the body. Before it can be
 assimilated, it must be broken into units small enough to
 penetrate the cells - a time - consuming and energy consuming
 process). EO water is structured water which penetrates the
 cells at a much faster rate for better nutrient absorption and
 more efficient waste removal. Smaller water units also have a
 positive effect on the efficiency of the metabolic processes."

Hayashi and Kawamura make no such claims. What they do say is
that you can measure the hydogen concentration of the water in
which their device is placed, and that hydrogen-rich water has
visibly different qualities than tapwater, which they demonstrate
by the way it holds salad oil in suspension. See the bottom of
this page:

They don't sell the product from their website, but offer
distributorships. They don't seem to have had much attention,
as their site counter only registers 7000+ visits. Nevertheless,
they seem to be talking about an alkaline water with a high Ph
which does provide some benefits, though microclusters are not
an aspect of those benefits.

A search on PubMed for "ionized water" will produce other
research on the topic:

...such as 'Antibacterial effect of electrolyzed water on oral
bacteria', by Lee SH and Choi BK:

"The electrolyzed tap water (called Puri-water) was put in contact
 with five major periodontopathogens or toothbrushes contaminated
 with these bacteria for 30 sec. In addition, Puri-water was used
 as a mouthwash for 30 sec in 16 subjects and the antibacterial
 effect on salivary bacteria was evaluated. Puri-water significantly
 reduced the growth of all periodontopathogens in culture and on
 toothbrushes, and that of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria in saliva,
 when compared to the effect of tap water."

So it's clear that such water has antibacterial properties.

I think this makes things perfectly clear, along with 
the information in the links provided in comments, but
if you have any questions, please post a Request for


Additional information may be found from an exploration of
the links resulting from the Google searches outlined below.

Searches done, via Google:

water microclusters

"electrolyzed water" cluster
randymorgan-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Thanks.  Well researched answer.

Subject: Re: Structured Water
From: pinkfreud-ga on 17 Nov 2006 10:33 PST
There is an amazing amount of pseudoscientific quackery regarding water.

This may be of interest:
Subject: Re: Structured Water
From: till-ga on 17 Nov 2006 10:36 PST
As a chemist I am sure that this is nonsense - at least from the
scientific point of view.

Subject: Re: Structured Water
From: markvmd-ga on 17 Nov 2006 11:21 PST
If you want to drink pure water, buy distilled.

The funniest thing I saw recently was a middle-aged woman buying
vitamins and discussing the health advantages of them with the
checkout clerk. The woman then unloaded the purchases in her car...
and lit a cigarette.
Subject: Re: Structured Water
From: leapinglizard-ga on 30 Dec 2006 11:25 PST
James Randi, the noted magician and debunker of paranormal claims, has
written about this business with the clustered water.

James Randi Educational Foundation: Newsletter: March 28, 2003

Clustered water is about as real as the hydrogen-fizz beverage Glug.

Instrument of Joy: Drink More Glug

In fact, bottled water of any kind is not necessarily better than
municipal tap water.

FDA Consumer Magazine: Bottled Water: Better Than the Tap?

Natural Resources Defense Council: Tap Water Quality and Safety


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