Life Ionizers: BS (Bad Science) Claims About H2


The alkaline water ionizer industry has always had a reputation for unethical business practices and misleading the public. One would think it would be difficult to choose the worst of the worst of the bad guys, but it is not because Life Ionizers has always resided at the bottom of the ugly barrel. I could provide lots of examples to validate my contention that Life Ionizers is a company to run (not walk) away from, but let’s move on.

While the majority of the alkaline water ionizer industry is trying to find a politically correct way of jumping onto the hydrogen bandwagon without apologizing for the billions of dollars it has bilked from customers over the last 15 years, leave it to Life Ionizers to attack the science behind molecular hydrogen (hydrogen gas) which has the backing of the scientific and medical communities that the alkaline water industry could never garner. Perhaps Life Ionizers and other alkaline water companies will eventually man-up and admit their mistakes by acknowledging that the alkaline water story is over, but until then, buyer beware.

I received two emails from readers directing me to a blog article on the Life Ionizer website claiming that hydrogen water was a hoax. You can see the article here:

I took a look at the article and the content is total BS (Bad Science of course, what did you think BS meant?) as it is full of faulty claims designed to discourage readers from getting involved in the hydrogen water industry. After reading the nonsense, I checked out the credentials of the author Leo McDevitt. Here is what I found on his Twitter account: Leo claims “he does it all” but perhaps he should stick to writing about mermaids and fire dancing and some of his other hobbies. I don’t know if Leo was instructed by Life Ionizers to make sh*t up, or if he undertook the article on his own, but he should definitely leave reporting about H2 to the people who take the time to learn the facts.

I’m not a scientist and I don’t pretend to be one, but I have found that spending a lot of time researching the science and then confirming the accuracy of the things I write with scientists before publishing saves a lot of embarrassment. The science guys love to debunk BS written by marketing people pretending to know what they are talking about.

False Claims Made By Life Ionizers About Hydrogen Gas

1) H2 can only be absorbed in your lungs – FALSE

The author states: “What they don’t tell you is that to get benefits from hydrogen, you must inhale it – because you can’t absorb hydrogen in your intestines. Because of this, if you drink hydrogen water, all that hydrogen comes back up as a burp.”

I would recommend that the author do his research before making embarrassing statements.

Hydrogen infused water passes from the stomach into the small intestine. The H2 from the water is absorbed from the small intestine into the bloodstream while most of the water is absorbed further along in the digestive system in the large intestine. The H2 travels to cells throughout the body via the blood. The small size of the H2 allows it to penetrate at a sub-cellular level and across the blood-brain barrier which makes it unique and extremely valuable as an antioxidant. H2 only reacts and neutralizes the most reactive and dangerous hydroxyl radical (unlike other antioxidants that neutralize the “good” free radicals that the body needs). When the H2 comes in contact with a hydroxyl radical, the H2 will neutralize it producing harmless water as a byproduct (which makes the H2 unique as other antioxidants must be removed from the body as they themselves become harmful when they donate their electrons). If the H2 doesn’t come in contact with any hydroxyl free radicals, it will eventually make its way back to the lungs and get expelled out of the body when you exhale, which is why H2 has never shown to have any negative side effects.

2) H2 machines are underpowered – FALSE

The author states: “to get hydrogen from water, you have to separate the hydrogen atoms from the oxygen atoms that make water. Separating those atoms takes lots of power, typically over 1,000 watts”

Talking about power (Watts) indicates the author doesn’t have a clue what he is talking about. The author is simply playing on the “power” games that the archaic alkaline water ionizer industry has been spinning for years. Increasing the amount of power used during electrolysis increases the size of the H2 bubbles being created at the cathode during electrolysis which greatly reduces the possibility of the H2 gas diffusing into the water. It doesn’t matter how much H2 you create if none of it is absorbed into the water because you drink the water, not the air.

The author’s claim that you need 1,000 Watts of power to separate water molecules into H+ and OH- is ridiculous. You can make lots of H2 by placing a simple 9 Volt battery into a glass of water. Here is a Youtube link to illustrate:

3) The H2 infused machines have the standard bidirectional ion exchange membrane, the type used in all alkaline water ionizers – FALSE

The HIM (Hydrogen Infusion Machines) units such as the HIM2 (above counter) or HIM3 (under counter) units (see: use a unidirectional Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) in the ionizing section of the water cell and they utilize a Hydrogen Diffusion Unit (HDU) in the 3rd part water cell that mixes the hydrogen gas created during electrolysis back into the water. That means the HIM’s provide drinking water that is actually infused with hydrogen as opposed to the machines created by Life Ionizer and other alkaline water ionizer companies that lose most if not all of the hydrogen created during electrolysis.

4) Hydrogen machines are overpriced – FALSE

The author states: “These machines are in fact entry-level water ionizers that would sell at a discount price”

The scientific and medical communities have never backed the alkaline story while there are currently as many as 1,600 scientists working on hydrogen gas studies. To date, there have been approximately 700 research studies and review papers that have supported the health benefits of hydrogen gas. The small number of studies originally supporting the alkaline water theory have now been refuted as studies now show that benefits are found from hydrogen gas without the presence of alkalinity whereas the opposite is not true. Of course, the author of the article on the Life Ionizer website got this backwards. Here is a short summary from the website of a significant list of studies showing clearly that the health benefits claimed by the alkaline water ionizer industry are solely attributable to molecular hydrogen:

“It is now well-recognized that the primary agent responsible for the benefits is attributed to the dissolved molecular hydrogen gas. One leading ERW researcher from Kyushu University tested all the properties of ERW and the only one that exerted a therapeutic effect was the molecular hydrogen. This same observation was made by one of our advisors Dr. Lee from Korea who was a pioneer in ionized water research in the 1990s and now the leading Korean hydrogen scientist, as well as the the President of the Korean water society. He made the following statement:

About 17 years ago (1990’s) I began studying alkaline ionized water and published scientific articles on its antioxidant, anticancer, and anti-diabetic effects, but did not really understand why the water worked. It was difficult to believe. Upon further investigation I have now confirmed that the benefits from the alkaline ionized water are attributed to the hydrogen gas produced during electrolysis. The more I research and learn about hydrogen the more dedicated and passionate I become in educating and helping others.”

There are more studies that generate the same conclusion that hydrogen gas is solely attributable for the health benefits while alkaline water provides zero benefit including the recent study by Dr. Mami Noda which indicates hydrogen gas may be beneficial in the prevention of strokes which I recently wrote about.

What the evidence is telling us is that alkaline water ionizers are high priced water filters (and not very good water filters at that). Let’s compare the prices of the alkaline water ionizers offered by Life Ionizers with the price of my favorite HIM (the HIM3 by Brilliantz). The Life Ionizer MX13 under-counter unit sells for $3,997 and they have stated that they don’t believe in hydrogen water so perhaps their unit doesn’t produce hydrogen water. The Brilliantz HIM3 under-counter unit, which consistently produces 1.0 to 1.2 parts per million of hydrogen gas across virtually any potable (safe to drink) source water which is recognized by the scientific community as providing therapeutic health benefits sells for $2,000.

5) The hydroxyl ions make during electrolysis by alkaline water ionizers act as an antioxidant – FALSE

The author states: “The antioxidant potential of alkaline water comes from the hydroxyl ion, which is a negatively-charged particle made up of a hydrogen atom and an oxygen atom…..Hydroxyl ions have extra electrons. When confronted with an oxidant such as a free radical, antioxidants donate their electrons to the oxidant, which neutralizes it. By neutralizing the radical, an antioxidant prevents that radical from damaging your cells and DNA.”

To make sure that I was correct that Leo Mcdevitt was “wrong again”, I checked the Molecular Hydrogen Foundation website (written by a scientists for scientists) and here is what it says on the subject:

“hydroxides are reactive when discussing Acid/Base chemistry,but not as a biological antioxidant”.

It gets worse for the Life Ionizer claim as the website states further:

“Another thing to consider is what would happen if hydroxide (OH–) acted as an antioxidant and donated an electron? It would turn into the most cytotoxic oxygen radical: the hydroxyl radical (OHŸ.). Thus the reaction would produce a radical more reactive than the first one, which isn’t going to happen. Because it is clear that hydroxide is not an antioxidant, touting it as one is another reason why many ridicule the concept of ionized water.”

6) The author references the Hamasaki, Takeka and et al. study “Electrochemically reduced water exerts superior reactive oxygen species scavenging activity in HT1080 cells than the equivalent level of hydrogen-dissolved water.” from Plos One. 9 February 2017. Web 9 March 2017″ as proof of his belief that alkaline ionized water (aka Electrochemically reducer water or ERW) is superior to hydrogen gas.

As I mentioned before, I’m not a scientist, so I turned to one of my scientific mentors Tyler LeBaron for a comment. Here is what he had to say about the study:

“The study is very predictable. It is well known that platinum nano particles can be eluted by force-detachment upon electrode degradation. And these platinum nano particles have antioxidant activity all by themselves. This is clearly stated in the article. It’s like adding vitamin C to hydrogen water, and then comparing it directly to hydrogen water only. Of course the one with the hydrogen and the vitamin C will have more antioxidant activity than hydrogen only. Also the study was only in cell cultures not in animals or humans. There is doubt that when ERW is orally consumed that 1) we would absorb the platinum, and 2) that the concentration would be high enough, and 3) there is some early human data out of Japan that suggests that drinking water containing platinum nano particles may be toxic to the liver (which is why the Japanese gov. states the water should not exceed pH 10, as the higher pH correlates with greater electrode degradation resulting in more platinum particles. They also state in the study that the concentration would not likely be high enough for direct antioxidant activity. Anyways, it is a fine study, and very predictable as mentioned because they are basically adding another ingredient to the water.”

Therefore, the study quoted by McDevitt is meaningless in the context for which it was used as a reference. Perhaps the author thought the title of the study would fool people into thinking alkaline water offers health benefits that exceed the benefits of hydrogen gas, but that is not what the study is about. If the author had taken the time to understand the study, he most definitely would not have used it in the presentation of his argument.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse for Life Ionizer

The author Life Ionizer finishes his article up with a summary statement trying to condemn hydrogen water:

“H2 infused water ionizers do make water with health benefits, but it’s not because of the H2 in the water they produce. They offer health benefits because they make ionized alkaline water with antioxidant hydroxyl ions in it, just like regular water ionizers…H2 infused water ionizers are just weak, overpriced, water ionizers. If you want the health benefits of antioxidant alkaline water, your best bet is to buy a powerful ionizer with large plates. Ionizers with lots of power are able to put more antioxidant hydroxyl ions into the water you drink, so you get extra antioxidant benefits from it. LIFE Ionizers have 400 up to 800 watts of power and large plates so they can give you the highest antioxidant benefit in every glass of pH balanced alkaline water you drink – we guarantee it.”

I can’t think of a politically correct way to end this slaughter. I wrote this article to nip this type of alkaline industry nonsense in the bud. The alkaline water ionizer industry has a long history of spinning BS until they believe it is true. Hopefully Leo McDevitt will do his homework in the future or I will have to take him to the woodshed again….I guarantee it.

2 Responses to Life Ionizers: BS (Bad Science) Claims About H2

  1. After re-reading this I went to the article on the website where his proof resides and I looked up Molecular Hydrogen water and found several articles that back the MHwater benefits.

    Molecular Hydrogen in Drinking Water Protects against Neurodegenerative Changes Induced by Traumatic Brain Injury
    Molecular hydrogen protects against oxidative stress-induced SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell death through the process of mitohormesis

    As well as a few others. I just think it is funny for some to direct you to a site to disprove H2 benefits, but there are more articles to promote it…..
    Mr. McDevitt isn’t too bright is he?


    • Hi Robert:

      Given Mr. McDevitt’s wide range of interests, I have no doubt whatsoever that he has little if any interest in molecular hydrogen. Most of us have to earn money to pay for things in life. I have zero doubt that Life Ionizers presented Mr. McDevitt with an opportunity to make a few bucks by writing a slam piece on H2. Instead of doing his research, it appears Mr. McDevitt “Googled” molecular hydrogen and picked a few headlines of studies that could be misinterpreted as being negative if you don’t actually read and understand what the studies are saying. When there are hundreds and hundreds of studies to choose from, it isn’t difficult to find a couple of titles that could imply something negative if your perspective is to disparage a topic. When you understand that most of the articles were written about H2 are written by people who don’t use English as a first language, it becomes even easier to selectively choose articles that might imply something negative in the title. However, as I pointed out in my article and you (thank you for doing this) followed up, the articles that Mr. McDevitt referenced don’t help his cause at all.

      I think that one of the keys to success in life is asking the right questions as opposed to simply asking questions. Instead of asking: “Why did Mr. McDevitt write the article?” the right questions should be:

      1) Why would Life Ionizers hire Mr. McDevitt to write a negative article on H2?
      2) Why wouldn’t Life Ionizers check the copy for accuracy before publishing it on their blog?

      The most likely answers to 1) would be:

      a) Life Ionizers is struggling mightily like all of the other alkaline water ionizer companies because people now understand that the alkaline water story is a hoax. Perhaps Life Ionizers decided to attempt to cast doubt on the real science in the hope that their fake science story will continue to fool some of the people some of the time.
      b) Perhaps Life Ionizer machines don’t produce any H2 at all or the amount of H2 infused back into the water during the electrolysis process for their machines is so marginal that it makes Life Ionizer machines look inferior to the other alkaline water ionizers that are already massively inferior to HIM’s (Hydrogen Infusion Machines) at producing H2 rich water
      c) Maybe Life Ionizers didn’t think I (or anyone else) would fact check their BS (Bad Science) story

      The likely answers to 2) would be:

      a) Life Ionizers doesn’t know the truth
      b) Life Ionizers doesn’t care about the truth
      c) Life Ionizers didn’t think anyone would bother to fact check

      I have no idea if Mr. McDevitt is bright or not. It appears that he took the opportunity to earn a paycheck and wrote a few lines on a topic presented to him with instructions to create something negative.

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