I recently had the opportunity to visit a booth for double helix water at a congress where it was being promoted as a possible therapeutic intervention for autism. The exhibitors argued that water exists in clusters much like polymers (note: you can visit their web site at http://doublehelixwater.com/faqs). The discoverers of double helix water claim this is a fourth phase of matter, the others being vapor, liquid and solid. They also claim that clusters of water molecules are produced as the bonds between hydrogen and oxygen are shortened through special processing techniques performed by their commercial company. Drinking this ultra pure water is said to promote cellular hydration and help eliminate toxins.
It is interesting that most of the descriptions for double helix water are hidden behind scientific terminology that read like gibberish to somebody with a high school education. Besides the more common states of matter observable in everyday life, others exist under extreme conditions (e.g., plasma, Bose-Einstein condensates). None of these states include double helix water clusters. Contrary to what is advertised in their brochures, molecules of liquid turn into a gas when they acquire enough kinetic energy to overcome their intermolecular forces of attraction. A shrinkage of the bond distance going from liquids to gas and finally to double helix water is nonsensical.
People have been trying to sell different types of water miracle cures for ages. It seems that all of these products have been discovered by solitary geniuses that are persecuted by the medical establishment (Note: Think of Andrew Wakefield, see: https://corticalchauvinism.com/2014/05/26/amdrew-wakefield-mass-delusions-and-consipiracy-theories/). The company provides proof of their discovery in photomicrographs of something that is really not water. They also promote their product by claiming changes in studies using thermography.
In a recent conference I was able to participate in a thermography test where I partook in a baseline examination, drank a glassful of double helix water, and then had another thermogram done after 20 minutes of rest. While waiting for the follow up thermogram the salespeople applied some type of cream at certain points of my face and neck region. In this context changes in thermography are most likely due to both rest and the application of cream rather than to any intrinsic value of their product. I later sat with an individual who interpreted the results of the study. She found in the thermogram all of the problems I had provided her in a fake medical history.
It is interesting to note that the web site for the company has a disclaimer stating the lack of available evidence to promote double helix water for treatment of any condition (“Double Helix Water® does not endorse claims or have scientific proof that Stable Water Clusters are effective in the cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease. Stable Water Clusters have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”) Still the web site as well as the booth personnel made a direct pitch regarding the efficacy of their product in this condition. The web site (as of 6/15/14) states that:” While autism mainly resides in the brain, new research shows that the disorder may be related to gastrointestinal imbalances. Dr. Lo’s study suggests that by using Double Helix Water to remove blockages along the gastrointestinal—or yang—meridians, energy in the body can flow more freely, allowing the body to help reduce some of the effects of autism.” Furthermore, the booth personnel proclaimed the anti-inflammatory properties of their product as a putative mechanism of action for benefits in autism.
The original developer of the cell cluster quackery was apparently Lee Lorenzen whose company and claims apparently disappeared in 2002 (see: http://www.chem1.com/CQ/clusqk.html). The same ridiculous claims have been taken over the years by a number of imitators: “photic structured water”, “i-H20 Activation System”, “HydraH20, “The Water”, and many others (see http://www.chem1.com/CQ/clusqk.html).
Figure: We are living in the golden age of quackery. Predators are imposing themselves upon desperate individuals. Do not fall prey to them.
Although most people will readily recognize the pseudoscience, many parents of autistic individuals are desperate enough to try anything. As stated in a recent blog (The Voyage: Family, learning, life and autism): “This is a ridiculous con but some parents of autistic children will fall for it. It disgusts me that the people behind these companies are so lacking in standards, morals and ethics that they prey on people at a vulnerable point in their lives” (http://thefamilyvoyage.blogspot.com/2013/06/double-helix-water-autism-quackery.html).