This is the 3rd of a 4 Part series about the New Reality being faced by Enagic (Kangen) dealers:
Part 1 illuminates how Enagic’s Head Office has never let the truth get in the way of business, which set the tone for Enagic Dealer behavior over the years (http://www.waterfyi.com/water-ionizers/enagic-when-the-truth-is-bad-for-business-part-1/
Part 2 summarizes the feelings of anger and betrayal that Enagic Dealers are feeling towards the company (http://www.waterfyi.com/water-ionizers/enagic-dealers-are-angry-part-2-of-4/ )
Part 3 takes a deep dive into many of the Kangen Myths that have been presented as “facts” by Enagic Dealers over the years (http://www.waterfyi.com/water-ionizers/enagic-a-closer-look-at-kangen-myths-part-3-of-4/)
Part 4 sheds light on the response of the Enagic business leaders to the problems facing Enagic (http://www.waterfyi.com/featured/enagic-team-leaders-circle-the-wagons-part-4-of-4/
The recent revelations debunking a number of Kangen Myths by none other than Enagic’s own Head of Technology has created a lot of drama in Enagic Nation. When I decided to write a simple (and short) article about “Kangen Myths”, I put out the word to my contacts from the ionizer world requesting input. Wow. My Inbox filled up, and up, and up. Thanks to those who contributed – you know who you are.
As I began compiling information and trying to figure out how the heck I was going to put the mountain of information together, the electronic sky opened up and an anonymous deity (Neptune perhaps?) deigned to save me a ton of work. Somebody had already put a huge amount of effort into the following article on the subject. The article below covers far more information that I had at my disposal and in far greater detail that I would have included. If you are an Enagic Dealer without a conscience, you might want to skip this one because in the famous words of Ricky Riccardo: “Lucy, you got some splainin to do”
Myths and Facts about Enagic Distributor Claims
This is not an anti-Enagic article, but a document of simple clarification to debunk a number of myths. There are many inaccurate statements and claims that are repeatedly propagated by some Enagic distributors. For example, at one time it was widely propagated and asserted that Enagic is superior because they use “Transformers” as opposed to SMPS. There were numerous amounts of information vilifying SMPS and deifying transformers, even though it contradicted fundamental science. Later distributors found out that their Enagic machines also contained the once abhorred “SMPS”, and those claims simply vanished, as though they never existed. This is a common theme amongst many MLM companies in that they propagate myths until someone reveals the truth, but by that time they are already spreading two more myths. It would be impossible to expose and demystify all of the false claims disseminated by these distributors; however, below are a few of the myths that are most pervasive.
Medical Device Myths (1-4)
Popularity/recognition in Japan Myths (5-7)
Machine/electrode Myths (8-15)
Filtration and “special waters” Myths (16-21)
Enagic Company & KW Myths (22-25)
Medical Device Myths (1-4)
MYTH: The medical device approval of water ionizers means that doctors use it to treat and prevent diseases, as medical equipment similar to the use of a dialysis machine.
FACT: The medical device approval was granted in 1965 simply because it was found to help with various gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g. antacid, chronic diarrhea, etc.) under the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law. In reality the approval was to verify its safety, indeed dental flaws and bandages are also certified as medical devices. See also http://www.3aaa.gr.jp/english/alkali/hs.html.
MYTH: Enagic machines are the only water ionizers approved as medical devices in Japan.
FACT: All water ionizers in Japan and Korea are approved as medical devices. You cannot manufacture or sell an ionizer in Korea or Japan unless it is certified as a medical device. In fact, if a machine makes water above a pH of 8.5, it must be certified. So it is false that Enagic is the ONLY one. (see: http://www.3aaa.gr.jp/english/faq/qa.html#q1).
MYTH: The standards, criteria, and qualifications for a water ionizer to be classified as a medical device in Japan are significantly more stringent and rigorous than the standards in Korea.
FACT: The standards and criteria in Korea and Japan for a water ionizer to be a medical device are exactly the same. The Japanese standards are not better than or different from the Korean standards.
MYTH: In order to be certified as a medical device, many studies must be performed to verify the therapeutic value of the drinking water it produces. This may take at least 5 years.
FACT: There are no studies (e.g. human, animal, cells, etc.) to see if the water works. The machine is only evaluated to make sure it can produce water with an alkaline pH, and that it is safe to use (e.g. electronics, electrodes, etc. Also see above image)
Popularity/recognition in Japan Myths (5-7)
MYTH: “Everyone” in Japan (1 in 5 households) owns an Enagic machine. They are the largest and most well-known company in Japan.
FACT: Relatively few people in Japan have even heard of Enagic. A quick Google search in Japanese can reveal this. Furthermore, you can see the list of water ionizer companies here: http://www.3aaa.gr.jp/english/activity/ski.html and you will notice Enagic IS on the list, but hardly the most recognized brand. The most well-known company is likely Nihon-trim, which is purported to do about 59% of the water ionizer business in Japan. You can even call this organization and ask them for details about Enagic and their prevalence in the industry.
MYTH: “Everyone” in Japan has heard of Kangen Water® and routinely drinks it.
FACT: Many have heard of “kangen water” because in Japanese “kangen” simply means “reduced” water (electrolyzed reduced water). It has nothing to do with Enagic. It is not trademarked in Japan. The screenshot below shows the translation of “kangen water” (Kangen mizu) by Google Translate into Japanese. It shows the translation as “reduced water”. This is why other water ionizer companies in Japan also use kangen water (reduced water) – see: http://kangen-water.jp. It would be like an American company trademarking “reduced water” or “ionized water” in different countries.
MYTH: Enagic is a well-respected company in Japan amongst medical professionals and in the ionized water industry in Japan.
FACT: Enagic has gotten into trouble with the Japanese government for unethical business practices. At one time they were shut down for 9 months and unable to do any business (see: http://www.caa.go.jp/trade/pdf/100427kouhyou.pdf).
Machine/electrode Myths (8-15)
MYTH: Enagic has the best machine, and their technology cannot be replicated or improved upon by anyone.
FACT: Enagic does not have a single patent protecting the technology of the machine. (Their only patent is on the compensation plan). It is an old design developed by Toyo Metals (Toyo Aitex). There is nothing novel about the power supply, electrode material, electrolysis design, etc.
MYTH: Enagic has the thickest layers of platinum on their electrodes so that there is never any exposed titanium.
FACT: Platinum coatings are measured in microns (millionths of a meter). Excessive calcium buildup on plates can easily cause the platinum coating to de-bond, exposing the titanium substrate. Enagic does dipping (cladding) twice on their electrodes, which provides a thickness of 0.2 microns. Note: the thickness of platinum on ionizer electrodes range from 0.1 microns to 0.5 microns.
MYTH: Enagic dips their plates in platinum, which is more effective than spraying.
FACT: There is no inherent superiority in dipping plates vs. spraying plates. An improperly prepared substrate, or even minute amounts of contaminants, can produce a compromised platinum coating regardless of the application method. Regarding platinum coating thickness, dipping does not necessarily produce a thicker coating, as other contributing factors such as speed, applied voltage, and number of coats must also be considered. Electrospraying (electrodeposition) generally allows for a higher micron thickness, superior platinum adhesion and increased surface area due to the additional vertices. (For an in depth scientific discussion see article by Rao, C. R., et al http://fiesta.bren.ucsb.edu/~dturney/port/papers/2005_Rao.pdf) Also see the ASM handbook for non-ferrous alloys and special purpose materials http://products.asminternational.org/hbk/index.jsp. )
MYTH: Enagic uses large plates and high power because it requires a high power to split the water molecule.
FACT: It only requires 1.23 volts to split water. The efficient production of electrolysis is a function of current density, and more voltage is not necessarily better. Also note that a more efficient mesh design (if properly designed) reduces the power requirements for water electrolysis (see: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S001346861200713X).
MYTH: The Leveluk SD501 has a plate surface area of 490 square inches.
FACT: This is how the “490 square inch” figure is calculated: since each plate is claimed to be 5” x 7”, and there are 7 plates with a total of 14 sides (or faces), 5” x 7” x 14 faces = 490 in2. But, while each plate is claimed to be 5” x 7”, after disassembling the chamber it can be seen that the actual plate surface area is closer to 3” x 5.375”. Therefore, the surface area of each plate face is 16.125 in2, not 35 in2. It should also be noted that the two outside faces of the outer cathodes should not be included in the total surface area because they have no opposing electrodes, and therefore do not participate in electrolysis. A more accurate measurement of the total combined anode & cathode surface area is: 16.125 in2 x 12 faces = 193.5 in2, 96.75 in2 for the cathodes and 96.75 in2 for the anodes.
MYTH: Enagic uses solid electrodes because they are superior to mesh electrodes.
FACT: There is a lot of misinformation regarding solid and mesh plates. There is misinformation on the content and also on the images shown. Here are a couple of things to consider. A mesh design for electrolysis of water is well known in all other industries to be the most effective. Mass production of hydrogen gas, generation of hypochlorous acid, or even sodium hydroxide all use and focus on a mesh type design because it is far more efficient then solid/flat electrodes. See article “Electrolysis Electrodes” for an in-depth comparative analysis of both types of electrodes. Of course solid electrodes still work very well and there is nothing wrong with using them. As long as the pH and ORP are increased, then nothing else really matters. Perhaps the reason that Enagic does not use mesh is because they would be infringing upon patented technology by doing so, and solid can still be an effective method.
MYTH: The reason that Enagic’s machines cost so much is because they use so much more platinum than other design technologies, which significantly increases the cost.
FACT: The Enagic machine actually has less platinum than other competitors (two layers vs. five layers, 0.2 micron thickness vs. 0.5 micron). Moreover, Enagic USA purchases the machine from Osaka between $400-$800 dollars, which is the same price that the “competitors” purchase from their manufacturer. Enagic just marks it up $1,000 more than any other company.
MYTH: Pressing the 9.5 button, or any button (i.e. 2.5, 6.0, 7.0, 8.5, 9.0, 9.5, 11.5) gives you the specific water pH that is denoted on the button.
FACT: The different buttons only increase or decrease the amount of power (electricity) sent to the plates. It is not a calibrated function which provides the specific pH value denoted on the button. Depending on source water pH, mineral levels, and flow rate, the “9.5 setting” can give an actual pH of as low as 8 or as high as 12. The lower pH would be from low mineral water with high flow rate, and the higher pH would be from high mineral water and slow flow rate.
Filtration and “special water” Myths (16-21)
MYTH: Other water ionizer companies add minerals in their filters to boost ORP, but Enagic does not.
FACT: Many filters for water ionizers, including Enagic’s, contain calcium sulfite (also spelled sulphite), which is used to help remove chlorine. As a result, calcium ions (Ca2+) and sulfite ions (SO32-) are released into the water and contribute in a beneficial way to the water’s conductivity and can improve electrolysis performance. Enagic ionizers also have a specific port called the “calcium port” to allow for the addition of calcium (in the form of calcium glycerophosphate) for those with low levels of calcium in their source water. Thus, Enagic is just as “guilty” as others of adding minerals to the water either through the filter or by an external port
Additionally, some have suggested that filters which contain tourmaline release minerals into the water to boost the ORP, but that is absolutely not the case. That gem does not release any minerals into the water.
MYTH: The Leveluk SD501’s main filter is a high-quality water filter certified by the Water Quality Association.
FACT: The Enagic HG-N filter is composed of granular activated charcoal and includes 20 grams of calcium sulfite. The HG-N filter is certified under the following WQA standards:
NSF/ANSI 42- “Drinking Water Treatment Units, Aesthetic Effects”
NSF/ANSI 372- “Drinking Water System Components, Lead Content Scheme”
“Aesthetic Effects” refers to a filter’s ability to remove chlorine and sediment.
“Lead Content Scheme” certifies that the unit’s wetted components do not contribute lead to the drinking water. Contrary to what is often claimed, this does NOT certify that the filter removes lead or other heavy metals from the source water to which the unit is connected. The HG-N filter is very similar in performance to a “Brita” type activated charcoal filter one might purchase at a local home improvement store. Also, just because a filter receives the WQA certification, this does not necessarily mean it is better than another filter. It may only mean that one company paid a ≈ $2,500 dollar certification fee while another company did not.
MYTH: An important benefit of the Enagic machine is its extremely fast flow rate of up to 2 gallons per minute, allowing you to make lots of clean Kangen water.
FACT: Although the flow-rate can be 2 gallons per minute the resultant water at this flow rate may not have a high alkaline pH, or high negative ORP and thus have no benefit. Furthermore, it is difficult to achieve adequate filtration or chlorine removal with such a miniscule amount of water/filter contact time.
MYTH: The Enagic machines produce “Beauty Water”, which is great for the skin and completely chemical free.
FACT: Because the skin prefers an acidic pH, water in the pH range of 4 to 6 is a good choice for washing, etc. Unfortunately, the beauty water can contain chlorine, often at significant levels, which can irritate and cause dryness in the skin. The reason for this can be found by analyzing the process of electrolysis. Although the main filter does remove any chlorine contained in the municipal tap water, chlorine can be re-introduced into the acid water by the oxidation of chloride ions (Cl-) at the positive anode during electrolysis (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolysis_of_water). Because the “beauty water” is produced at the anode, if the source water contains chloride ions, those ions will be oxidized resulting in chlorine which CANNOT be removed by the filter. The user should always test their “beauty water” for chlorine before using it on their skin.
MYTH: The strong alkaline water (“11.5”) removes pesticides from vegetables, and when you soak them you can see the pesticides coming off because the water changes color.
FACT: Because the skins of vegetables contain anthocyanins (natural pH indicators), placing them into a high pH water causes the anthocyanins to dissolve into the water and change color similar to the way pH drops work. This will occur to differing degrees and with different colors depending on the type of vegetable. Some are even genetically engineered to have higher levels of anthocyanins to improve their appearance on store shelves. The color is due to the anthocyanins, not pesticides, which are generally clear.
MYTH: The 2.5 pH “strong acid water” produced by Enagic ionizers is a “chemical-free” cleaner and sanitizer.
FACT: While it is thought that the low pH is responsible for killing pathogens, the compound which actually performs the sanitizing is a form of chlorine called hypochlorous acid (HOCl). HOCl is produced when chlorine gas (Cl2), produced at the anode during electrolysis, combines with water (Cl2 + H2O => HOCl + HCl). But, while the ability to produce a low pH is touted as plus, as you can see from the graph below, at a pH of 2.5, chlorine exists almost entirely in the form of chlorine gas, NOT hypochlorous acid.
This explains why the 2.5 water usually has such a strong chlorine smell, which many marketers and distributors claim is an indication of how well the water will work as a sanitizer and disinfectant. In fact, the ideal pH to maximize chlorine in the form of HOCl is between 5 and 7. HOCl water at this pH does not have a strong chlorine odor because most of the chlorine gas has been converted to HOCl.
Enagic Company & KW Myths (22-25)
MYTH:Many Enagic distributors falsely claim that because Enagic was founded in 1974, that there are SD501 Enagic machines that have been around for 20-40 years and are still working.
Fact: According the official Enagic website: http://www.enagic.com/enagic_history.php it was in 1974 that: “Sony’s specialty trading operation, the precursor of Enagic, began operations in Okinawa, Japan.”
Also from the website it is seen that Enagic was not authorized by the Japanese government to make water ionizers until 13 years later (1987). Enagic USA started in 2003, which is when the SD501 was first developed and then sold in the USA in 2004.
Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare authorizes the Enagic Osaka factory as a medical equipment manufacturer. Many other water ionizers have been around much longer than those from Enagic or even longer than those from Toyo Aitex who makes Enagic machines. (see also the court transcripts below:
MYTH: The Enagic machines are exclusive to only Enagic and not private labeled for other companies.
Fact: There are a number of machines that are identical to the Enagic product line such as the IE-900: http://www.a2owater.com/product_list.asp?CateID=10, also available here: http://www.microwaterman.com/Microwater/IE-900_Microwater_Ionizer.htm
As well as these other machines imported by Sanastec: https://www.thinkalkaline.com/product_details.php?id=MTM=&item=pro. These machines retail for $1,000 less than Enagic sells them for. See picture below:
Actually Enagic used to (or still does) get their machines through Sanastec. This can be verified on this website, which has the “Supplier” listed as Sanastec and the “Customer” listed as Enagic: https://panjiva.com/Sanastec-Inc/1241496.
Enagic is simply a distributor for the Toyo Aitex factory, which merged together in Oct. 2001 (see: http://www.enagic.com/enagic_history.php).
Here is another company that carries the same ionizers as Enagic, but with a different label: Planbee: http://planbee.co.jp
MYTH: Enagic has a large robust research and development team of PhD scientists who are industry leaders.
FACT: There are actually only 8 people in the R&D team and the head individual has no college degree or science background. See the below excerpts from the Vollara vs. Enagic lawsuit.
MYTH: There are many scientific studies that show that Kangen Water® is beneficial.
FACT: There are a number of studies on ionized water (i.e. “electrolyzed reduced water” that demonstrate positive effects. However, none of these were done with an Enagic water ionizer. In fact, not a single published scientific paper has ever used an Enagic machine, but rather other water ionizers.
MYTH: Dr. Horst Filtzer believes and endorses only water ionizers from Enagic because they are superior to other water ionizers.
FACT: Dr. Filtzer has declared that the Enagic water ionizers do not provide water of any greater benefit than other water ionizers. And the reason that he mentions Enagic (Kangen Water®) is because he gets paid $5,000 dollars a month to do so. See the below excerpts from the Vollara vs. Enagic lawsuit.
The above facts are important to be considered as they prevent people from being misled. There is no reason for anyone to buy a product based off of faulty information. There should be enough merits to the product that it can be sold on those things alone. Perhaps the high price of the machine helps account for why so many distributors feel inclined to promote these and other falsehoods. Agreeably if it were true, for example, that the Enagic machines were the only approved medical devices (meaning the only one proven to work), or that all other machines were just “knock-offs” that add chemicals to the filter to increase pH, and if those things were true and that was the reason that Horst Filtzer endorses Enagic, then it makes for a rather compelling story as to why one should spend $4-$5k on a machine.
Concise summary of points
Medical approval for water ionizers is only for gastrointestinal issues
All water ionizers in Japan and Korea must be certified as medical devices
Japanese and Korean standards for approval are the same
Kangen water just means ionized water in Japan. It has nothing to do with Enagic. See Google translate and also: http://kangen-water.jp
Not a single published scientific study has used the Enagic machines
Enagic machines do not have any patents to protect their technology, as it is not novel
Mesh electrodes are an efficient electrode design for numerous reasons
Enagic does not have more platinum than their competitors
Just because the pH button says “9.5” or any other value does NOT mean that is the pH you are getting. It could be pH 8-12 depending on source water and flow
Enagic is not a highly respected company in Japan, in fact they are in trouble: http://www.caa.go.jp/trade/pdf/100427kouhyou.pdf
Enagic adds 20 grams of calcium sulfite to the filter, which boosts both ORP and pH
Enagic machines are have not been out for 20-40 years as claimed.
There are a number of companies that sell the same machines as Enagic for much less
Enagic only has a small R&D team with very little science understanding
Horst Filtzer declared that he only promotes “Kangen Water®” because he is paid to, but believes other ionized water is just as good.
“Beauty Water” may contain high levels of chlorine and should be tested prior to using on the skin.
The 2.5 is not a “chemical-free” sanitizer, but contains a form of chlorine called hypochlorous acid which kills pathogens.