Double Helix Water: More Magic Water Quackery

The beauty of pseudoscience as a marketing tool is that it is, for those not trained in the particular branch of real science being mimicked, almost indistinguishable from the real thing. Of course, many of the warning signs of quackery are often present, especially claims of revolutions or “paradigm shifts” that overturn well-established science, claims of a single cause or cure for many unrelated diseases, the presence of the Quack Miranda Warning, and naturally lots of testimonials with a conspicuous absence of real evidence published in legitimate scientific journals. But it is easy to see why the use (misuse, really) of scientific terminology, often by people with legitimate (though irrelevant) scientific degrees, can be quite convincing even if the idea or product being marketed is completely bogus.

Our latest example has all this and much, much more! Meet the revolution in veterinary medicine that is Double Helix Water! What is Double Helix Water? Here’s what the “inventors” and promoters of this product say:

Double Helix Water is solely ultra-pure H2O but we believe it is H2O in a hitherto undiscovered fundamental “phase”; not liquid, ice or vapor “phase” but a molecular solid phase even at room temperatures.…this “phase” may be the key to many of the body’s inherent healing properties thus explaining many of the mysteries of alternative health practices. They demonstrate through rigorous scientific experimentation that water can form a solid particle at room temperature. The discovery of this particle then, begins to unravel the mystery behind the differences between allopathic and homeopathic medicine as we know it.

Ahhh, so there is a connection with homeopathy, eh? Well, sort of. the promoters certainly claim their “discovery” explains the powerful effects of homeopathy (which they seem to take as a given, despite the strong, consistent evidence that homeopathy is no better than a placebo). However, there is no talk of the Law of Similars, Dilution and Sucussion, which are core theoretical concepts behind orthodox homeopathy, so one wonders exactly what the connection is beyond the absence of anything but water in this product and in homeopathic remedies. Despite this, the forward to the promoters’ book on their product states clearly that the “discovery” takes,

the concept of homeopathy into the twenty-first century…Their demonstration of microscopic clusters in water is groundbreaking and revolutionary! Their purification of water, with the atmospheric purity described, places homeopathy on a scientifically valid foundation that is equal at least to the discovery of atomic energy.

What Are the Claims?

On another site devoted to this product, the promoters first weasel out of any liability or fraud allegations by stating,

It is not a drug or a curative agent (medicine) in any respect. [We] are not medical doctors and we want all to know that we make no representations that this water treats or cures anything, period….let’s all be careful about how we introduce this discovery to the world: Do not make claims, please! This water does not “cure” cancer, does not “cure” diabetes—it does not cure anything. It is not a drug; it is not a medicine. It is simply water…

Disclaimer out of the way, they then merrily go on to say

It is our belief that this phase of water is a central agent in the arsenal of the body’s immune response….we theorize that these particles are the molecular basis for what Chinese Medicine has suggested for over two thousand years: that an electrical matrix surrounds the body and this electrical matrix is the senior dominating factor in all health issues….Therefore it is very feasible that we have found a material basis for the Chinese meridians.

Wait, I thought their “discovery” proved the scientific basis of homeopathy. So, it also proves the scientific basis behind Traditional Chinese Medicine? Wow! Anyway, on to more medical claims:

….have numerous MDs and scores of other healthcare professionals recommended this new phase of water to their clients, patients and family members for a healthy lifestyle? Absolutely. If one is a rational, sane individual and witnesses large numbers of people with many varied health problems experiencing remarkable changes in their wellness, something occurs deep inside oneself. It becomes more a crusade than a research line. And the people whose lives have been saved or changed greatly for the better want others to know what they think of this water—so the word spreads.

And not to leave out the important (and potentially lucrative?) veterinary sector, the promoters of Double Helix Water provide some additional endorsement on this site from a paragon of the holistic hodgepodge school of veterinary medicine, Dr. Deva Khalsa, who says:

I have found Double Helix to be a cutting edge product that works deeply to heal my canine and feline patients. I’ve found it helpful in cases of arthritis, autoimmune disease, cancer and diabetes along with other medical problems.

The folks marketing Double Helix Water, clearly have a philosophical agenda that goes beyond their claims of mere scientific interest in the nature of water, or even the possibly genuine belief that anecdotes and testimonials have really shown it to be useful. This is clear from the preface to their book, which contains a remarkable number of quack warning signs efficiently packaged in a small space:

 The Secret of Life has been the foundation of philosophy and medicine throughout history. The Chinese called it chi; the Japanese, qi; the Indians, prana; and Wilhelm Reich, orgone. Much of medicine before 1940 was rather pragmatic empirical practice with many errors. Since 1940 the bulk of modern medicine has been a takeover by the PharmacoMafia—my title for the pharmaceutical industry. Today Modern Medicine is at least the third leading cause of death in the United States (JAMA, July 2000). Drugs that have little justification and serious risks, called side effects, are added almost daily to the stream of offerings. Numerous brave souls question the current system, and yet it is THE SYSTEM rejecting and attacking viciously virtually every alternative.

Nothing as inspiring as an open-minded individual disinterestedly pursuing the greater good of all, eh? Well, perhaps not entirely open-minded philosophically, as this passage illustrates. What about disinterested? Well, let’s not forget that even though it’s “just water,” they aren’t exactly giving it away. Here’s the “bottom line” from one of their two official vendors, Dr. Khalsa:

One bottle of Double Helix Water™ (a three months supply) at an average usage price of $1.22 a day – $109.95

One bottle of Double Helix Water™ (a two months supply) at an average usage price of $1.33 a day – $79.99

Special Subscription Pricing Offer – Receive a three month supply every three months at an average usage price of $1.12 a day – $99.99

Who’s Behind It?

Interestingly, two of the promoters, David Gann and Dr. Shiu-Yin Lo appear to have a long history of selling dubious forms of magic water. Dr. Lo was Director of Research and Development for American Technologies Group (ATG) in the 1990s. He claimed to have discovered another form of structured water with elements called “IE crystals” in it, which was marketed in the form of a detergent-free cleaning product called a “laundry ball” and also an automobile engine performance enhancer called The Force. According to one source, these products were investigated by the Oregon Department of Justice and determined to be fraudulent, and the company paid a fine and eventually closed down. Affidavits from a an independent analytical laboratory and a professor of chemistry at the University of Oregon were submitted refuting the company’s claims about IE crystals, and the DOJ concluded that these claims were not supported and not consistent with appropriate scientific practices. David Gann was the Director of Marketing for ATG.

Dr. Norm Shealy, who wrote the preface to the marketing book about Double Helix Water, is a committed proponent of Hodgepodge Holism on the human side, including spiritual and prayer healing, hormones and all manner of supplements, energy medicine, and a wide variety of unproven and quack therapies. All three of these individuals obviously have lifelong personal, and financial, commitments to bogus medical therapies.

And there is the veterinary face of Double Helix Water, Dr. Deva Khalsa. From her web site, she subscribes to any and all forms of alternative therapy grouped, for no obvious reason, under the label “holistic.” Acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal therapies, chiropractic, applied kinesiology, prolotherapy, energy medicine, hair analysis, all sorts of supplements, and of course Double Helix Water. Dr. Khalsa will even consult and prescribe these remedies by phone, which is certainly a more convenient way of assessing your pet’s needs than a bothersome in-person visit or physical exam.

What About the Science?

So, what about this “scientific breakthrough”? Any chance it’s real? Well, not being an expert in physics or chemistry, despite some training in those fields, I can’t evaluate the underlying theory very extensively. Of course, neither can the doctors who believe in the remedy, despite their glowing testimonials and deep faith. Those of us who practice science-based medicine are sometimes at a disadvantage since we cannot as blithely dismiss the claims we haven’t investigated or understood thoroughly as easily as those who practice faith-based medicine can affirm them without investigating or understanding them. However, there are some with the appropriate expertise who do dismiss the claims about “structured water” in general, including a product previously “invented” and sold by one of the promoters of Double Helix water. Apart from the affidavits and analyses submitted in association with the fraud investigation of ATG, there is an entire web site devoted to structured water quackery, provided by a former professor of chemistry, Stephen Lower.  Apparently, there is an entire industry built around claims that manipulating the atomic or molecular properties of water can solve all your health problems. Dr. Lower mentions Dr. Lo’s claims about IE crystals and points out that the only scientific publication concerning these claims was in a journal, Physics Letters B, that does not require reporting the details of one’s methodology and has minimal peer review, so it is difficult to assess the quality or reliability of the data presented. The findings have been challenged on practical and theoretical bases both by Dr. Paul Engelking, the author of the affidavit in the ATG case (here) and by Steven Bittenson, a physicist who is actually a proponent of homeopathy (here). Another paper of Dr. Lo’s, on so-called “stable water clusters” and presented on the front page of the Double Helix Water website (here) is from the companion journal Physics Letters A. No other journal appears willing to publish Dr. Lo’s claims about water, which should be cause for some skepticism about them.

Dr. Lower provides lengthy discussions on his site of the science, and pseudoscience, behind “structured water,” and while my expertise only permits me to say with confidence that the medical claims for Double Helix Water are implausible and without any real evidence to support them, Dr. Lower cogently argues that the same is true of the underlying physics and chemistry claims made by the inventors of this wonder product.

So in essence we have a group of individuals dedicated not only to theories and practices which are improbable and not supported by solid evidence or accepted by mainstream science, but also with a long history of trying to make a living selling products based on these theories. The perfect storm of cognitive dissonance, philosophical bias, and financial self-interest to prevent any rational consideration on the part of the promoters that they might be mistaken. The result is yet another unproven and most likely thoroughly useless product sold to people who only want the best for their sick pets, and most often to those whose animal companions have serious medical problems for which highly effective real therapies don’t exist. Empty promises and false hope, for only $79.99-199.99 per bottle (plus shipping and handling).

This entry was posted in Miscellaneous CAVM. Bookmark the permalink.

142 Responses to Double Helix Water: More Magic Water Quackery

  1. Ojeronimo says:

    Strange how your response is based on a whole range of assumptions that were not contained in my original statement.

  2. skeptvet says:

    Such as?

    My response indicated your comment suggested an a priori bias. If that is not true, then perhaps you could provide some substantive response to demonstrate this? Other than that, my response was diected at focusing on the original content of the post, which was challenging the inappropriate use of theoretical science terminology in support of bogus medical interventions. I have yet to see anything of substance in your comments, merely implications. Have you anything direct or substantive to say?

  3. Pingback: Double Helix Water - Page 3 - Poodle Forum - Standard Poodle, Toy Poodle, Miniature Poodle Forum ALL Poodle owners too!

  4. Hemantha says:

    skeptvet, Yesterday I listened to New York’s non profit radio WBAI selling this crap to the poor old listeners – specifically targeting very vulnerable cancer patients and their families claiming that this can help cure cancer. Not only that they claim to cure so many different diseases, with strange disclaimers on the side to hide behind law enforcement.

    I have the recorded audio clip about 80% of it, I plan to send to FTC and Am. Cancer Society…. hopefully someone will take action. It is sad how people target the most vulnerable of our society with these fakery.

    Hemantha

  5. heri says:

    This is the kind of guy that beleives there is no cure for cancer, the world is still flat and the earth is only 6,000 years old.

  6. skeptvet says:

    Thank you very much for doing that. It is painfully difficult to get any action taken against charlatans who take advantage of the desperate, but the more people who report such activity the more likely something will be done about it!

  7. Joe Dirte says:

    I’m here to tell you This Stuff Works! Everybody in the trailer park I live in is addicted to DHW. It cured my Blorbs in three days. My neighbors kids had the Krippin virus for years until I started giving them swigs of DHW. I heard it even cures Incuritis! When I read that folks think DHW ain’t the real deal, I figure they must have Brain Cloud which it just so happens to also cure.

  8. skeptvet says:

    Now there’s a compelling anecdote. 😉

  9. Jeff says:

    Has anybody tried it before denying It’s Worthiness ? Just wondering?

  10. Louis S. Bedrock says:

    Hemantha:

    I hope you will also send your recorded clips to the Corporation for
    Public Broadcasting and the FCC. I’ve already complained about WBAI’s shameless peddling of CDs and DVDs offering bogus cures for cancer, Jews running the
    international finance system, homeopathy, and astrology. If corpses could spin in their grave, LewHill’s corpse would certainly be doing so now. The Pacifica Network
    has fallen into the hands of charlatans, mountebanks, fools, and scoundrels.

    I’m amazed at the number of imbeciles who take “double helix” water seriously.
    Perhaps I shouldn’t be: A large number of Americans don’t accept evolution, believe in magic beings called “gods”, and think there is a heaven and a hell.

  11. skeptvet says:

    The question suggests you have missed the larger point of this blog, which is thatt “trying it” is a pretty near worthless way to judge whether something works. I haven’t tried bloodletting or planning my surgery schedule around the zodiac either, but I’m pretty sure those aren’t good ideas.

  12. Tempe says:

    Before one bashes the idea behind double helix water, one ought to consider that water may look to be very simple but may be full of complex mysteries.Try reading The Hidden Messages In Water. Maybe there is something to this treated water and maybe there isnt.Its probably safer than the water coming out of the tap! Perhaps if it has a healing effect on people, it might be that it acts as a placebo.In other words, people get better because their mind is influenced by the belief the water will heal. Can the same be said for water from Lourdes or other miraculous springs? If a product can get people to heal by using their own will power, why be quick to condemn who sell the water.And remember, it is their choice to buy the water and their money.Do they judge you on how you spend your money? I’d rather spend a few dollars on a product like this, then give hundreds to docters who cant figure out what I have or insult me by saying its in my head!

  13. skeptvet says:

    1. I have considered the issue of the complexity of water, and the best evidence suggetss it is not evidence for any beneficial health effects from this stuff. Your suggestion that my judgment is based on ignorance is just your own bias allowing you to dismiss opposing points of view.

    2. Placebo effects are quite misunderstood. They do not mean actually healing due to belief (aka mind over matter). They represent the belief that one is getting better when actually, by objective measures, the treatment isn’t actually generating true healing. In the case of purely subjective symptoms, such as pain or nausea, placebo effects can be considered “real” since there is no objective measure. But whether or not people believe in this stuff, it isn’t going to affect the health of their bodies.

    3. Selling a useless remedy, which anyone with any degree of scientific education ought to know is useless, is either dangerous ignorance or deliberate fraud. In either case, it deserves to be condmened.

  14. Gino Savina says:

    I find this discussion fascinating. I will say that based upon my own observations, Homeopathy does work, and by extension the principle upon which DH H2O is based. I tried it for the first time last night and the diarrhea I was suffering from for 2 days disappeared, More to come………….

  15. skeptvet says:

    “based upon my own observations” The most dangerous words in medicine…

  16. Gino Savina says:

    Dear skeptvet ; No…..it’s what’s called anecdotal evidence. Just because one cannot measure, see feel hear or touch a thing, does that mean it has no value? If one believes in god, can one see that god? Can one see a thought? If it wasn’t for technological advances in the world how could we see x-rays and other types of light that aren’t visible to the naked eye? Let’s not forget the world was once flat !! All we could see was the horizon, which surely meant we would fall of the edge once we got there! Doctors every day use “based upon my own observations”to formulate diagnoses, based upon their training. and you know what? If I have a disease and a placebo cures it……who cares? It’s just my body healing itself ! So you see, your response is actually “The most dangerous words in medicine…” Don’t reject what you haven’t experienced on a personal level. Try Homeopathy one day !

  17. skeptvet says:

    Let’s not forget the world was once flat !!

    No, let’s not forget the world was never flat. It was always round, we only concluded it was flat because we relied on anecdotal evidence and that’s how it looked to us. That’s why we need science!

    If I have a disease and a placebo cures it……who cares?

    Don’t reject what you haven’t experienced on a personal level
    I haven’t tried bloodletting or animal sacrifice personally, but I am confident they will not benefit my patients. Personal experience has been used to support every bad idea in medical history. And in ten thousand years, from the beginnings of agriculture to the 18th century, we made no significant imporvements in human health and longevity. Then in less than 300 years we have radically improved both. How? By not relying on personal eperience.

  18. Gino Savina says:

    But isn’t science personal experience? Observation?

  19. skeptvet says:

    Not at all. Science is a set of methods for systematically examiningideas in a way that compensates for the flaws in our perceptions and reasoning. Individual scientists are no less subject to bias and no less susceptible to these errors than anyone else. Science is a process that uses tools (like experimental study design, blinding, randomization, statitics, and so on) and the criticism and replication of results by a community to weed out the errors from the truth INSTEAD of relying on personal observation. Our observations are a great way to generate hypotheses but a lousy way to prove or disprove them.

  20. john says:

    I just heard this on the radio or part of it. They said something about fairly instant results for one that had tendinitis and so on.

    They also talked about this having bee studied for 10 years and so on. You’d think that in 10 years, what with testimonials and whatever, there’d have come to light case histories and so on that would provide some proof that it could then be scrutinized in whatever way was necessary to separate it from snake oil.

    I don’t understand when people talk about criticism and that such and such was shunned by the medical community when IF there was some actual experience by let’s say hundreds or even 50 people on a consistent basis for a specific aliment that was healed, wouldn’t that lead to some formal investigation as to its validity?

  21. skeptvet says:

    I absolutely agree. Anything that really is a miracle cure is relatively easy to prove in clinical trials, and there is a clear profit motive for doing so since acceptance by the medical community would dramatically increase sales. Unfortunately, there is rarely any consequences for exaggerating, or outright lying, about a treatment being tested or proven scientifically.

  22. “buyer beware”!
    From mortgages, to pharmaceuticals, to beauty aids, to cancer treatments, to double-helix water.
    Nothing like capitalism.

  23. Dan says:

    It is just really amazing how people argue over things on this site and many others about things they themselves do not fully understand either. Every argument I have seen goes back on the laurels of “it claims this, he/she said that” and other similar comments. Just goes to show you though, how little “BELIEF” people ‘CHOOSE” to have in anything they are not familiar with to any level. Maybe DHW is a the miracle, maybe it isn’t. I use it myself and have seen noticeable benefits. That said, I take other things as well and it could be from using them, or not. Maybe, just maybe, it is the power of the human mind and the BELEIF within that is taking whatever placebo I decide to use and healing me from within as the so called placebo passes through. Who has the right to take that belief and hope away from anyone !!! Nobody does. That is the crime overall. There is more about the human body that we don’t know and in this life time will never know than any top notch doctor or scientist will ever admit and as long as their is the concept of “MONEY” behind it, we never will be able to be totally sure one way or the other. People should be allowed to make their own decisions, research what they want and then move ahead. If you have absolute scientific proof that something does not work and you did the test yourself and can provide the summation of such. Go for it, put up your research, but if all you are doing is quoting someone else and most of you are in one way shape, form or another, you need to sit down and go learn a whole lot more before you start giving out advice of any kind because all you are doing is hurting others. Whether is works or not, you are harming the belief system a given person has over something and if you for just 5 minutes start to understand how the human body works at the energy level and from that level, that is all we are is energy, maybe then will you even partly be qualified to make a comment, but until then, leave people their beliefs because in the end, that is what really cures anything is belief and the power of the human mind. Don’t believe me, that’s fine! Tell you what, do you think as smart as the smart scientist is in the world, he or she has the ability with their conscious mind to control even one of, let alone all of the involuntary actions the human body has? (blinking, heart rate, circulation, nervous system, digestion, evacuation and more) If you think “YES” you ar sorely mistaken and you would be dead in 5 minutes a very painful death. Every involuntary function is controlled by the sub conscious mind which for most people is way beyond comprehension, but for those who learn how to use it, even 1% of it, they go on in life to discover amazing things, accomplish amazing things and become top people in their fields. Still don’t believe me… great. I want you to think all day today, all kinds of negative thoughts, free choice on what… just do it. Tell me how you feel at days end, but really take the test on yourself. Then tomorrow, if you still can, I want you think all kinds of happy thoughts and see how you feel at days end. the power of THOUGHT is the most powerful force on earth and it starts with belief! So if a person truly believes DHW works, and it helps them to a cure, who is anyone else to say it doesn’t work? It worked for them. It all starts with a belief though.

    Have a nice day and to those who wish to discredit my words within… Enjoy yourselves you cannot change my beliefs! But have a nice life trying… To those who wish to embrace them, follow your own heart, your own higher self and what your own mind tells you, then act on it, you will be much happier in the end. You already have the power if you choose to believe that you do. Remember, “DO or DO NOT, there is no try”

  24. skeptvet says:

    Wow, what a rant! Liberal use of ALL CAPS and an absence of paragraph breaks are classic signs of emotionally charged and information free screeds. Still, I’ll answer a few points (not that I think there’s any hope you’ll listen to any voice but your own, but just so others don’t get the impression that I think what you’ve said makes any sense at all).

    Everyone is free to believe what they want. But while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, they aren’t entitled to their own facts. Some things are true, some things are false, and there are plenty of things we don’t know. However, belief doesn’t make things true, and belief itself isn’t evidence that the thing you believe is true. If this were the case, then everything everyone has ever believed is equally true (in which case you’re in big trouble for not sacrificing to Zeus this month). Or, some things are true and others aren’t. There’s no arrogance in making a good faith effort to figure out which is which. The arrogance is in assuming that your belief itself is enough and that any criticism of it can only be motivated by greed, ignorance, fear, or something else you can comfortably dismiss without having to examine your own beliefs honestly.

    Everyone is free to make their own choices. And they should be free to explore all the information available in doing so. You would appear to only want the information put out there by people selling this stuff to be available, and you seem to object to any information that is critical. So it is you who wants to take away people’s freedom by denying them the chance to hear all opinions and information and make up their own mind. Claiming I’m interfering with free choice and then telling me to shut up because I don’t agree with you is simple hypocrisy.

    You seriously think no one should have an opinion unless they’ve done all the scientific research themselves? And you never believe anything until you’ve done all the formal scientific analysis by yourself? You never take information from others? BS. What you are really saying here is that until I’ve seen the light as you have my opinion is worthless. And if I did try the snake oil and decided it didn’t work, you’d just dismiss that as a function of my biased perspective. So basically, you reject anything that suggests you might be worng and accept only sources of information that agree with you. It’s called “confirmation bias,” and you have provided a fine example.

    When criticism generates such anger, it is usually because the thing being criticised isn’t a belief based on reason and facts but an article of faith accepted because of a need to believe. If I challenged your answer to a math problem, you wouldn’t be so freaked out. But apparently I’ve challenged your religion here, and your beliefs are necessary to feeling like you can understand and control your world and keep the bad things at bay. Fair enough, but then let everyone be clear that this is faith, not science. Historically, faith has done a lousy job of curing disease, and science has been pretty good at it, so while you’re free to believe what you want, others are free to disagree no matter how much it upsets you.

  25. zyrcona says:

    If you want to ‘BELIEVE’ that unicorns exist, there is nothing wrong with that, and no-one is going to try to stop you. It’s when you start breeding unicorn foals to sell to other people that certain criteria need to be met surrounding their measurable existence by objective standards. Your entitlement to swing your ‘FAITH’ ends at the tip of my ‘NOSE’.

  26. v.t. says:

    Dan, please explain what more there is to “fully understand” double helix water, or for that matter, any other CAM subject material that Skeptvet has carefully examined (for your benefit, I might add).

    A person belief, or anecdote does not prove something works, particularly when that something is based only on a dubious claim without one shred of evidence to back it up.

  27. megan Smith says:

    The nurse practitioner overseeing my medications was trying to get me to try this. Now she must have had as much or more chem than I did – but even a year of college chem was enough to provide me with all the info I need to determine that the claims being made appear to violate the laws of matter.

    As for the placebo effect – if one can heal oneself merely by belief then I am all for that. But why do i need to believe in a $2 bottle of water to heal myself? Why not skip that step and get right to belief bit – which is free? (I do believe that attitude affects our health, ask anyone with any stress-related ailments.) I’d rather we spent our money studying that connection than shelling it out to pseudo-scientists.

    And also after reading the “science” behind this magic water – what does that say? I mean seriously, what DOES it say? I am a well-read, literate person, I have a solid grounding in chemistry and biology, I often read science for fun -and I can’t extract the actual science from their statements. I suspect there is very little if any actual science there.

  28. Yana says:

    I can say from personal experience that this product works. I had terrible eczema breakout on my hand and after using Double Helix Water cream topically and taking the water internally, eczema cleared within two days. I am very in tune with my body regardless of what any skeptic may claim and I know beyond the shadow of any doubt that it was indeed this product that caused a healing breakthrough for me. Before you make any erroneous assumptions – no I don’t work for the company and am not affiliated with them in any way.

    As far as your rudeness and allegations, Skeptvet, I would recommend you educate yourself further before making wild accusations and elaborate judgments. There are plenty of “miraculous” products that work on new energy principles and are very effective. Just because you don’t understand how something works DOES NOT mean it’s quackery. Having arrogant, narrow minded individuals like you influence people who are sick and tired of archaic Western medicine and are looking for true solutions is appalling to observe. A person who is closed minded and uneducated in the subject discussed should probably abstain from bashing it if any humility is present. There truly are none as blind as those who choose not to see.

  29. skeptvet says:

    I can say from personal experience that this product works

    Any claim that starts this way is a testimonial of faith, which basically says “Believe it because I said so!” And the idea that doubting such claims is somehow rude is itself a signs of great arrogance. Are you so perfect that your experiences cannot be doubted?

    As for educated, the fact that you believe something doesn’t mean it is true or that you are wise. You are welcome to believe whatever you wish, but you have not earned he right to tell the rest of us what to believe, and the fact that you offer no facts or arguments to challenge even a single one of my specific objections to the claims for this product show that you have neither facts nor logic behind you, merely belief.

  30. v.t. says:

    “…archaic western medicine…”

    Forgive me for having laughed so hard I spit my coffee. Alties always are good for a good chuckle!

  31. Norman Toler says:

    It is amazing how the “medical establishment” tends to consistently resort the Saul Alisnky approach of using sneering ridicule for anything that may invade their lebenstraum when a idea, invention, or alternative approach challenges their paradigm.
    Consider what happened to Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis and his “germ theory’, Dr.Rene Laennec and the stethoscope and Dr. Linus Pauling and vitamin C. All of them were roundly rejected and mocked by their peers because they dared to think outside of the box. Furthermore, I still remember doctors, back in the 1950’s, touting the health benefits of smoking. The ads were rampant in magazines such as Life and Look.
    There are somethings that work, like prayer, faith and perchance Double Helix Water that do not necessarily fit into a test tube in a lab. Somethings work just because they work. But until Big Pharma bestows it’s blessing upon something it is labeled as quackery. Well considering their track record of dealing with diseases like cancer (collecting donations since I was in school back in 1955 and probably before that) maybe their labeling something as quackery may not always be a bad thing.

  32. skeptvet says:

    Yes, science is a critical process that attacks radical new ideas. And those that are true, including all that you cited, win by virtue of generating the evidence to prove they are true. People also mocked the idea of Helicobacter causing ulcers, and the folks who came up with the idea lived to get the Nobel prize for it. Unfortunately, most crazy ideas turn out to be crazy, fail to generate real evidence, and then are justly forgotten. Until magic water has something more than blind faith to support it, it doesn’t deserve any credence. If you are honestly suggesting we should trust our health to something just because you believe in it, and that we should ignore the lack of a coherent theory or scientific evidence because you have faith that it’s true, then it is you who are burdened with arrogance.

  33. Norman Toler says:

    You have conv.eniently missed my point. First of all there was NO scientific evidence offered when these ideas were posited by the individuals mentioned above. In fact you mention arrogance on my part, those individuals were excoriated by the arrogance of so the called scientists of their day. Second, I never said that anyone should trust themselves to anything just because I believe in it. I am suggesting that not every alternative approach to treating disease fits the current myopic paradigm of “establishment allopathic protocols” because those protocols are sometimes tainted with the influence of large pharmaceutical concerns bent on protecting their turf (market share). It is amazing how much you sound like those aforementioned critics with your use of pejoratives such as “crazy” and “quackery”. As I said before sometimes things work because they work in spite of the fact that “scientist” don’t have neat little formulae or explanations.

  34. skeptvet says:

    Postmodernist nonsense. It’s not about “competing paradigms,” it’s about proving your claims with evidence. If something “works,” it should be posisble to show it works through scientific evidence. If it is not possible to do this, then a claim that it “works” is unjustified by anything other than faith. And when it comes to medicine, faith is a lousy way to make decisions, one which has failed abysmally for thousands of years. The burden of proof is always on the one making a claim about the world. If you think Double Helix Water has medicinal value, it’s not my job to prove you wrogn, it’s your job to generate the evidence to show you’re right. If you can do so, then your claim will be taken seriously. If not, then it can be legitimately dismissed.

  35. naturally skeptical says:

    Well, I don’t know if it works or not, but if this double-helix water has been studied for 10 years or so and people have been buying and using this stuff for a period of at least a month or more and they haven’t experienced any benefits from using it, then I would think these people would post negative results somewhere so people could view both pros and cons. I’ve used and seen reviews for products that have “scientific studies” backing them and there have been quite a few reviews that were negative for these products and I myself have had adverse reactions to some of those products and some products had to be taken off the market. There are all kinds of drugs on the market that have been backed by “scientific studies” that are used in the treatment of hypertension, diabetes, depression, acid reflux, and high cholesterol that have had adverse effects on some and have even been the cause of death to a few. I think it’s safe to say that even if something has “scientific backing” it would still be prudent to proceed with caution, yeah?!

  36. skeptvet says:

    1. “Scientific studies” is a broad term for all kinds of different levels of evidence, from in vitro experiments all the way up to clinical trials. It is easy to find studies that one can argue support or undermine a particular claim. The devil is in the details. And no one is arguing that clinical research perfectly identifies all possible harm or benefit from every possible therapy. Only that the more and better quality research we have, the more accurately we can make decisions about what will or will not be helpful.

    In this case, there are no clinical trials and there are no proof-of-concept studies that give any hint this product might have a medical benefit. There are some chemistry experiments that give us information about a variety of conformations of water molecules, but this really has little to do with whether or not this stuff is good for your health. It’s like doing an x-ray crystalllography study on a rock showing it has iron atoms in it and then claiming eating the rock will cure anemia. Sounds like a logical connection, but isn’t really.

    2. Anecdotes are unreliable in themselves, and assessing how many positive and how many negative anecdotes people spontaneously put up on the internet is even more unreliable. This isn’t a good way to decide if claims about a healthcare product are true. Clinical trial research is a better way, and so far for this product there isn’t any.

  37. Dr. No-No says:

    What an interesting discussion. I cannot help feeling that the materialists here are repressing an unconscious desire to be free of an evidence-based life. On the other hand, perhaps some of the more open-minded right brain types are projecting an unconscious need to bring a little more scientific method to their lives. Otherwise, I can’t figure out what all the passion is about. And, yes, Skepvet you too are quite passionate. Though I do not wish this on anyone, I imagine that many opinions and positions may dramatically shift when faced with the possibility of death. Oh, via personal experience, I see this all the time:)

  38. skeptvet says:

    Well, presumably passion comes from a sense that the truth matters and that the suffering caused by faulty understanding is avoidable and unecessary. For my own part, I care about the welfare of my patients and my objections to people selling useless or harmful therapies for pets is not only an abstract intellectual one. Certainly, I believe disagreements should be substantive and civil, and there is no need to personalize them. But that doesn’t mean there is no place for a serious committment to one’s position or a deeply felt objection to dangerous ideas.

  39. Dr. No-No says:

    Passion may come “from a sense that the truth matters.” Or, passion in part, comes “from a sense that that the truth matters.” I agree with the word “presumably.” With respect to the conversation, about DHW, it seems to me that the discussion is about the nature of truth. My intention is not to turn this into a philosophical discussion, but I think philosophy somehow underlies the quackery issue. The inventor of DHW is a physicist, I believe. In light of the clash between classical Newtonian physics and more recent quantum dynamics, it seems pretty appropriate that all of this confusion has surfaced. For science is predicated, in part, on a theory of matter. Only, now, the nature of matter itself seems to be under scrutiny. I am referring to the unraveling of Democritus’ theory of the atom as the base particle of all matter. Additionally, I sense that the various contributors to the dialogue here are all basing their arguments on unspoken predetermined personal truths. For example, the notion that “faulty understanding is avoidable and unnecessary” is axiomatic but not necessarily “true.” It can be argued that faulty understanding is the very engine of human psychological growth. In general, I certainly respect your commitment to vetting dangerous ideas. I just can’t seem to shake myself from the idea that the danger here may reside with the way we are taught to think. DHW exists as the perfect battleground for a thought conflict. And, to your point, I can see why products that take advantage of this are dangerous. But, again, perhaps the danger born at the hands of charlatans also works against suffering in a way. Otherwise, your blog would not exist and this discussion would never have taken place. And I for one have valued this experience. I guess what I’m saying is that physical and mental well-being generally involves the successful containment of tensions of opposites.

  40. skeptvet says:

    I’m happy to have a discussion of philosophy. I think epistemology is a key feature in the conflict between science-based medicine and many varieties of alternative medicine. That is actually the subject of a recent article I would encourage you to look at:

    McKenzie BA. Is complementary and alternative medicine compatible with evidence-based medicine? J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2012 Aug 15;241(4):421-6
    http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2012/08/can-complementary-and-alternative-medicine-be-evidence-based/

    A couple of points:

    1. The existence of new theories and debate within the domain of physics about the nature of matter makes it theoretically possible that unconventional therapies predicated on unconventional understandings of the nature of matter could be effective. It does not, however, legitimate justifying specific interventions and theories only by general reference to the fact that not everything is known or settles about the nature of matter. Uncertainty doesn’t justify simply claiming whatever we like and asserting that it could be true if what we think we know about reality now turns out to be incomplete or inaccurate. That effectively disallows any judgment of any idea based on current knowledge, which makes the whole enterprise of science or seeking knowledge pointless.

    Specific claims must be justified by specific relevant evidence. While I am no physicist, the notions of reality DHW is based on are not broadly accepted among physicists, and the claims made for DHW go well beyond anything justified by theoretical musings about how reality may not be perfectly described by current models which are.

    2. “faulty understanding is avoidable and unnecessary” is axiomatic but not necessarily “true.””
    That’s actually a bit of a misquote. What I said was, “the suffering caused by faulty understanding is avoidable and unnecessary.” Not knowing the truth is, of course, a prerequistite for discovering the truth. However, imagining that you know the truth on flimsy grounds and then selling a medical intervention that does harm is unecessary and avoidable when there are better, established epistemological processes by which one can more rigorously test one’s understanding before applying it to the treatment of the sick.

    3. I’m glad you feel that my blog, and this discussion, is of value. Again, though, I wouldn’t count that as balancing the harm done by medical therapies that are not adequately vetted for safety and efficacy. “physical and mental well-being generally involves the successful containment of tensions of opposites.” This is also axiomatic but not necessarily true. It is an a priori assumption which, in this context, seems to suggest that the harm done by quack remedies is somehow mitigated by a mystical balance of opposing forces that leads to personal growth. I remain unconvinced.

  41. Voice of Reason says:

    I came across this site in my process of due diligence before ordering. The last time I came across such an out cry against something like this; it was a product now supported by the Canadian Government as an over the counter aid against cancer. The product’s name is Essiac. Yet, the US government still does not support it and still insists it is quackery. I do not know if this product is garbage or not. But, I can not help but wonder just like I did with Essiac which I took and still take for my skin cancer (it really works) that even with someone getting people together to put false testimonies up on a site like Amazon that if it was garbage the negative reviews would clearly outway the positive ones over time. It just makes me wonder!

  42. skeptvet says:

    Well, the first issue is whether the fact that past therapies which have been viewed critically or skeptically and then turned out to have value is a reason to be less skeptical or critical of this or other new ideas. I would argue it does not. Skepticism and a call for high-quality evidence to back up claims is a necessary part of separating the true from the false, the safe and effective from the useless and dangerous. Thos things which pass this test and turn out to truly be safe and effective are only proven to be so by virtue of having been challenged. And let’s not forget that the vast majority of suggested therapies, both conventional and alterative, fail and are forgotten, so the exceptions are less appropriate for establiising a rule than the usual cases.

    As far as essiac, the fact that the Canadian government allows it to be identified as safe and effective is,, frankly, pretty useless. They do the same for homeopathy, which is unquestionably ineffective, and many other such therapies. The decision how to regulate something is based on politics, not science, and if people wan something, even if it isn’t actually good for them, politicians are generally obliged to let them have it. That’s how democracy works, for better and for worse.

    In any case, the evidence for and against Doble Helix water is what it is, and how other unrelated rpoducts have been judged in the past isn’t really relevant to the truth about this.

  43. Radarvision says:

    I have enjoyed reading all of the above comments with great interest on the diversification of attitude and passion. I think that some people like to be “mismatchers” because they enjoy the fired up response their comments solicit.

    Nuf-said on that mmmmm. I have personally been taking the Double Helix Water in various quantities per gallon of distilled water to check for myself how it can improve my health. As well the cream rubbed into numerous spots of concern on my body.
    I think the product is wonderful from the results I have obtained!!!!

    I have an expression – “Do it and see what YOU get. Keep what works and exchange the rest”. If you follow this format in anything – meds, exercise, etc etc you will over time come up with YOUR personal perfect recipe for whatever goal or accomplishment you are seeking. We are all individuals and should be allowed to have fun exploring our unique and wonderful opportunities of life, living for as long as we are on earth. Share our thoughts with each other – I think it great to learn about other peoples evaluations and how and why they come up with them. Yes it all goes back to “Live and let Live”. I don’t push anyone into my thinking or beliefs and do not like others to cram down my throat their way is the only way. No just give me another glass of the wonderful Double Helix Water. Afterall when the body is truly healthy it is 70% water. That comment along should give us a clue about the value of good quality water and perhaps why we should be open to all of its potential.

    Taking samples of water before and after praying and checking the crystal formation was most fastinating to explore. Also the effect of music on the patterns. Let’s all have fun with life and keep our inner child entertained and happy with being adventurous. If there are others that like to think as we do then that is how people Team Up. Like attracts like. I honor that and give everyone an opportunity to enjoy their beliefs with as many who choose to follow that way of thinking. I speak my thoughts and find others like minded and so we get to play and enjoy life in our way.

    I developed a serious rash on my chest area after skin cancer surgery in 2005. I spent lots of money on all kinds of creams, sprays etc etc. I now have only 10% left to clear in just using the topical cream 1-2 times per day and drinking the water 4 oz 1-3 times per day. Why the fluctuation in daily dosing – because I play the typical human that does their best to follow protocol – to add a challenge to the outcome and I so love it to find that doing so creates wonderful results. I have also taken the time to be very disciplined and ultra structured to equally experience the even greater results. Aaahh looking at both sides of the coin and appreciating each for what it provides.

    Hopefully many with be adventurous, curious and indulge outside the box to see what greatness and solution this Double Helix Water and creams can provide for their life and health condition. You will never know for sure unless you “Do It and see what you get. Keep what works and exchange the rest”. Nothing ventured – nothing gained. I am so very grateful to have had my prayers answered with this wonderful Double Helix Water.

    Death and chemical poisoning can happen in an instant – I have experienced both during the past 17 years and have allowed myself to be open, vulnerable to explore many possibilities and so happy I journeyed with God to recovering from a very serious Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that began July 4th, 1995. This Double Helix Water is another piece of my recovery puzzle and I am sure their will be more to explore. Yes – it is how we choose and with what attitude we allow the Journey of Life and all of its wonderment to unfold. For in the end I can pass on with a smile and say I enjoyed the ride with great joy in the “been there and done that”. If along the way I share my experiences and thereby enhance someone elses life I will be happy to have left this planet a better place than when I arrived. To help Humanity and Advance Science and the Arts might be a place to check out for all to contribute their abilities, knowledge, gifts we all have. Take advantage of Playground Earth – mmmmm Do It and See What You Get – Keep What Works and Exchange the Rest – and Share so Others May Benefit !!!! Yes and No are equal – feel free to choose your unique and special Journey thru the University of Life.

    I’ll share a drink to that – my choice – Double Helix Water because there may be some magic in the last drop – aaahhh

  44. Robert Johnson says:

    I am not a philosopher, nor am I a scientist. I do know this that pharmaceutical companies are experiencing a profit loss due to more natural remedies replacing prescription based drugs. (I am not saying this water is a remedy) I also know that you (skeptvet) stated that you have a little scientific background, yet you claim this to be scientifically based discussion. I have a little scientific background also, in jr high we learned the science behind making ice cream and I must say it left a tasty impression. Point being, you have made a biased opinion on something without any evidence one way or another as to whether the product does or does not have any benefits. That is very unscientific in my opinion. You also are constantly referring to “your patients ” I click on your name to see who you really are and it goes to a veterinary site and your name and background are no where to be found. This makes me conclude that your patients would have a difficult time relaying any positive or negative results a product would have on them other than a tail wag or maybe a gentle purr. Pharmaceutical companies are doing everything they can to stop natural medicines because they seem to be making people better without side effects, where with pharmaceuticals they give you 1 pill to cover the symptoms you are having, and then another to cover the side effects of that one. That’s called residual income and it makes me wonder who are you really trying to help here by stating your biased unscientific opinion, the consumer, or the companies?
    Just to make it clear, I do not work for DHW or anyone affiliated. I do not know whether it works or not. I was just researching it when I came across this site. Ive seen a couple of testimonies that it has worked for them, and I have seen a lot more opinions that is is a scam without evidence to back it up.
    20 years ago or less, I could imagine this blog on stem cell research and cures, or DNA new discoveries are being made all the time, who is to say this discovery about the water is factual or not until a “real” scientist disproves it.

  45. skeptvet says:

    Loads of nonsense here. As to who I am and my background, that is addressed in the FAQ. You seem to want to make the discussion about me, but it is a discussion about DHW and the claims made for it.

    You don’t actually address any scientific questions or provide any evidence either way, you simply offer some cnspiracy theory assertions about the pharmaceutical industry. True or not (and you provide no evidence), they have nothing to do with the scientific plausibility or the complete lack of evidence to support the claims being made by the promoters of this prodct. And you seem to think that we should assume so-called natural remedies are safe and effective until science disproves this. The burden of proof is always properly on the person claiming something, not on everyone else. So if DHW works despite the nonsensical theory behind it, it is up to the promoters to provide real evidence for this. Until then, the appropriate position is that it is unproven, and that given how ridiculous the underlying theory is it is unlikely to be useful.

  46. v.t. says:

    Robert Johnson said: “I do know this that pharmaceutical companies are experiencing a profit loss due to more natural remedies replacing prescription based drugs. ”

    That was your first mistake….surely you understand “natural remedies” do not actually replace real medicine, right?

  47. mairiam says:

    I wonder if skeptvet has taken the time to view the DHW videos that are available on you tube ? I feel that watching these might give him a better basis for comment. Another suggestion would be to check out The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton and The Molecules of Emotion by Candace Pert M.D. I am a naturopath and homeopath with an interest in energetics and cellular resonance and find the subject of structured water fascinating and worthy of serious thought and attention.

  48. Deavman says:

    To Skepvet.
    I have read all comments and your responses and I really can’t help and wonder how you are able to maintain your composure in face of such obvious delusion or at least utter wishful thinking. I feel also sadness when reading the posts of most of the commenters and not able to understand how they are not able to see the fraudulent intentions of all those so-called alternative medicine peddlers.
    I wish you well, and hope that at least one person will be swayed and wil stay away from the quacks, thus making itall worth it

  49. skeptvet says:

    Thanks for the feedback. Despite all the accusations to the contrary, the only purpose of this blog is to help people make fully informed decisions, so I don’t get too worked up over people who get angry about having their beliefs challenged.

  50. David Clark says:

    I could be wrong, but if I recall Gann and Yin Lo are not themselves making any claims about their product. The thermographs show that ‘something ‘ positive is happening as a result of ingesting the DHW, ostensibly allowing the meridans to open up and allow natural healing and reduction of inflammation (proven by the thermographs). They try to describe what they ‘think’ is happening. When I read the website and listened to David Gann’s video they left me with the impression that they had a ton of valid science about DHW, but it would be a leap of faith/trial and error to see what the product could possibly do for any particular individual. I did not go away feeling that they were hard-selling their product. Things that are invisible, like the body’s accupucture meridians were not proven by science for thousands of years, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. The same for EMFs, we now know after a century of science that they do affect our bodies. Science isn’t always timely for our benefit. These guys may be on to something…..or maybe not, however, let’s not be so hard on them since be their own admissions they are not shoving this down our throats!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.