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For years, many suppliers have been proposing apparatuses that are capable of improving the quality of city water to transform it into truly potable water, even having therapeutic virtues.

Thus « Kangen water » is presented as a « water of youth » capable of detoxifying the body, strengthening the immune system, neutralising free radicals that cause disease and old age, reducing the acidity of the body, washing the intestines, ridding the blood vessels of cholesterol, etc. It is presented as a sort of panacea that is suitable for treatment of most diseases known to civilization. In this contradictory debate, the simple citizen is dumbfounded. Scientific analyses of hydrogen water have revealed that therapeutic possibilities have yet to be explored.

True to its principles, independent of any commercial activity, EAUTARCIE tries to find the cheapest and most efficient solutions. The purpose is hereby to obtain healthy drinking water for all, at the best possible price. Without claiming to the absolute truth, our scientific approach is pragmatic and comprehensible to all. The reader will find elements of reflection, whereas the specialist will find information that intends to generate a debate and expand our knowledge.

The text within this page was first published in French on

The text has been adapted and translated in English by André Leguerrier and was first published on this page: 2011-03-17

Last update: 2015-10-17

About Hydrogen Water or « Kangen Water »

Water treatment systems

Mains water providers find it increasingly difficult to supply quality drinking water. With the gradual deterioration of our water resources, water purification techniques tend to become more expensive. In this regard, it is helpful to recall the sixth principle of sustainable water management: « to adapt water quality to its end-use ». A person needs only a maximum of 5 litres of high quality drinking water per day. Other household needs don't require water of drinking quality: they mainly require soft water having little calcareous content. Resorting to apparatuses that improve the quality of tap water is simply an application of the aforementioned sixth principle. Such devices are increasingly being used and will likely continue to do so. The time is probably not far off when municipalities will also eventually accept the principles of sustainable management, and in order to curb spending, will invite distribution companies to provide safe water for general household use instead of actual drinking water(which is a truly unreasonable practice). In such an event, each household will be called upon to use a domestic water purification system for its drinking water.

When you only have city water at your disposal, often hard, overloaded with minerals, reverse osmosis filtration (RO) is deemed essential to obtain those 5 litres a day of biocompatible water, even if some do not recommend the consumption of RO water.

For one’s drinking water, not « potable » but better, « biocompatible », the public will come to resort to household water purification systems. Marketing for these devices is exploding. Yet their marketing and sales answer mainly to business goals, and not necessarily to consumers’ actual needs.

Here again, true to its principles, independent of any commercial activity, the EAUTARCIE website has set itself a goal to inform the public about the opportunities offered by these devices and help consumers choose the less expensive equipment that will meet their expectations.

Table water and therapeutic water

In the marketing « jungle », the first distinction to be made is between table water and therapeutic water. Both types of water meet different scientific criteria and especially different purposes. Generally speaking, water with medicinal properties is generally not appropriate as table water, considering its mineral content. On the other hand, even high quality table water cannot be considered as medicine, in the true sense of the word. At best, it can help prevent certain diseases.

Many of my correspondents request my opinion on the qualities of various water purification systems, and increasingly on those that produce « hydrogen water », better defined as hydrogen-rich water or hydrogenated water, a version of which is commercialized under the name « Kangen water », whereby water is produced by electrolysis of tap water or previously filtered water.

Kangen water: intensive marketing strategy

Looking at small demo movies on the qualities of Kangen Water [1], the reader lacking scientific knowledge will be quickly convinced of this water’s virtues. I will address this issue, but to start, I must point out that hydrogen water (sometimes called Kangen water) has a therapeutic end-purpose. It may not be appropriate to make it one’s table water. On the other hand, its therapeutic possibilities are currently (2015) under-exploited.

From the outset, the demo betrays a scientific error. Asserting that a solution is antioxidant just because the potential’s reading on the device is negative is a mistake. In fact, the reading is not the ORP (oxidation-reduction potential) in the electrochemical sense. The antioxidant aspect (if so) is, from a biological standpoint, linked to the water’s electron activity, which is chemically expressed as the activity of hydrogen [H2]. The ORP value is only the first of two factors that determine a solution’s antioxidant character, from a medical standpoint (the other is the pH). When comparing different water samples, the benchmark is chemically pure water, which is neutral from an acid-base standpoint (pH = 7) and indifferent (redox neutral) from the redox standpoint (rH2 = 28). Read more about the two ORP ambiguities.

How a hydrogen water device works

At Brussels’ Université Libre, Professor Marc Degrez, a hydro-metallurgy specialist, examined the characteristics of Kangen water in his laboratory. The video of his presentation explains in a very educational way (unfortunately only in French) the operation of this device. From biological and medical standpoints however, some reservations are to consider [1].

City water entering the unit must first be purified by filtration through a 0.01μ microfilter followed by a coral filter, then a bacteriostatic activated carbon filter and finally a tourmaline filter. The water’s pretreatment varies from one manufacturer to another. This filtration removes chlorine, bacteria, viruses, but also organic micropollutants, thus obviously improving the taste of water and culinary preparations [2]. This taste improvement is not due to electrolysis undergone thereafter.

When tap water is chemically correct (with a mineral content barely exceeding 500 mg/l) and corresponds to the chemical criteria of biocompatibility, a simple ceramic filter lined with a load of bacteriostatic activated carbon (with silver ions) is more than sufficient to get high quality drinking water. It's a relatively cheap but very effective solution. The purchase of a reverse osmosis unit like those sold for aquariums can also be suitable at an unbeatable price.

Then this pre-purified water undergoes electrolysis, in a two-compartment cell separated by a membrane that allows current to pass, but prevents mixing of water processed at the cathode and anode. At the cathode, alkaline water is formed, having a chemically reductive character. At the anode, we observe the formation of acidic and oxidative water. The first is recommended for drinking while the second, having disinfectant properties, can be used for personal hygiene or for the disinfection of belongings [3].

Yet, there are commercially available products just as effective and less expensive. It is nonetheless true that the acidic anode water is a byproduct of the preparation of (therapeutic) cathode water, and that it can obviously be used for these domestic purposes.

When city water does not contain enough minerals, these are added to facilitate electrolysis (in fact, to increase electrical conductivity). The nature of the minerals added is not specified, but we can reasonably assume that they are alkali metal salts or alkaline earth metals: sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. However the addition of the latter two increases the hardness of water. Considering that sodium chloride is the cheapest and most harmless electrolyte, chances are that the one used is sea salt. And yet, city water is sufficiently loaded with minerals to make unnecessary the addition of supporting electrolytes (i.e. minerals).

As the electrodes are made up of inert metals (e.g. platinum and titanium), we need not fear the dissolution of heavy metals by oxidation at the anode. At the cathode, in a reductive medium, a dissolution of the electrode is chemically impossible.

At the cathode: water with therapeutic properties

With a negative potential at the cathode, reduction occurs. The metal electrode provides electrons. We know that: supply of electrons = reduction; electron capture = oxidation.

For the electric current (or electron flow) to pass from the cathode to the anode, water found in the electrolytic cell must be able to conduct electricity. In water, the ions having positive electric charges (i.e. cations) migrate to the cathode, while those negatively charged (i.e. anions) move towards the anode [4].

Contrary to what some suggest or sometimes argue, the number of positive and negative charges are always absolutely identical in an aqueous solution (such as water). This is what chemists call a condition of electroneutrality. In fact, during electrolysis, the number of negative charges of initial water does not change. OH ions appear, but at the same time there are as many positive charges in the water. To speak of Kangen water as « ionized water » is incorrect from an electrochemical standpoint. One can also wonder if the negative charges are actually responsible for the deactivation of free radicals. Their number does not change during electrolysis. Why then link this to the appearance of hydroxide ions? If it were so, even a dilute solution of caustic soda (NaOH), providing a lot of OH ions, would have the same therapeutic properties attributed to Kangen water. This is clearly not the case. I find it hard to admit that it be the OH ions that disable free radicals.

Proponents of these devices often talk about « water ionization ». In fact, the simple dissolution of any electrolyte (mineral salt) in water produces cations and anions without this meaning ionization. It is an electrolytic dissociation. We will see that in the case of cathode water, it is more correct to speak of water « electronicization »: the concentration of negative charges is not increased, but it is rather the « electron activity » in water - or rather the activity of hydrogen [H2] that is increased. To define water that is produced by electrolysis, it is more exact to speak of « hydrogen water », or hydrogen-enriched water. The use of the term « ionized » is chemically incorrect. Proponents of the Kangen device remain discreet about the changes that occur in water as a result of the reductive action of the cathode. They just talk about the ORP (i.e. oxidation-reduction potential, or redox potential). Their focus is primarily centred on Kangen water’s alkalinity, which is a mistake, from a biological and medical perspective.

What happens to alkaline water in the body

To make claims about the medical virtues of alkaline water is irrelevant from a physical standpoint. Water with a pH = 11 is equivalent to a solution containing 40 mg of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) per litre. The concentration of hydroxide ions OH is a thousandth of moles per litre. After absorption, this water reaches the stomach where gastric juices (mainly hydrochloric acid) maintain a pH of close to 2. This represents a concentration of about one hundredth of a mole per litre of H3O+. These ions then immediately neutralise the OH ions to form water, according to the following reaction:

H3O+ + OH 2 H2O

It's like a battle between two armies, where every soldier who kills an enemy soldier also dies. Here, the army of basic OH ions is facing an army of acidic H3O+ ions, but with a strength of one against ten. The human stomach produces about 2 litres of gastric juices per day. Even by absorbing 2 litres of alkaline water per day, the outcome inevitably means that basic OH ions quickly disappear by neutralisation, barely modifying the stomach's pH. This reaction is extremely fast. Thus thereafter, the basic character of water becomes inoperative in the small intestine. One wonders then how the absorption of alkaline water can « reduce » our body’s acidification, especially as this acidification would occur in our cells. Contrary to what some assert, if there is a change in the body’s acidification, it isn’t due to our drinking water’s alkalinity.

Soft drinks stand accused

Proponents of hydrogen water or Kangen water also claim that acidification in the blood, especially in intracellular fluids, is an unhealthy situation. The general opinion is that this acidification has its roots in stress, or perhaps in an inadequate diet. And yet, can we seriously blame all these drinks because they are acidic? On a website extolling the alkaline virtues of Kangen water, I saw that to neutralise the acidity of a single glass of soda, it takes 30 glasses of Kangen water. This is undoubtedly true (and again ...) in a chemist’s flask ... but one wonders what really happens in the human body. Is it really necessary to neutralise at all cost the (weak) acidity of a beverage, considering it enters an extremely acidic medium in the stomach? According to such logic, you would need to prohibit consuming fresh fruit and fruit juices, all very acid!

The acidity of soft drinks comes from carbon dioxide CO2 and possibly other acids (e.g. citric acid, ascorbic acid [vitamin C], etc.) added to adjust pH, which is at worst 3! In such a solution, there will be a thousandth of a mole of hydroxonium H3O+ ions per litre, opposed to gastric juices that contain ten times more. The change will be minimal: an added ion on every ten already present. Our body does not need alkaline water to « neutralise » a glass of carbonated water. Organic matter contained in the stomach destabilises, by heterogeneous catalysis, the carbonic acid H2CO3 in soft drinks, the acid separates spontaneously into water and carbon dioxide CO2 gas. We evacuate this by belching. This gassing is really beneficial for lazy stomachs, because the gastric bustle caused by the CO2 release stimulates digestion. Those suffering from gastric hyperacidity will take alkaline medicines more effective than Kangen water to combat the acidity. The real virtues of this water are to be found elsewhere.

Far from me to recommend the consumption of sweet or sweetened (i.e. sugar-free) soft drinks (n.b. doubts persist as to the harmlessness of artificial sweeteners), but demonizing soft drinks is not necessarily a scientific attitude either [5].

For fans of alternative medicine, it seems that people of blood group O would do well to regularly consume carbonated water, sweetened or not. This is also my case, as I must say that after a hearty meal, a glass of sparkling water (sweetened or not) makes me feel good! In alternative medicine, some also say that after a hot meal, it is rather recommended to drink a hot tea « so as not to extinguish the fire of digestion ». Leave that choice to each according to their own tastes and bodily reactions.

But back to the so disparaged issue of « acidification of the body ». What should we think? I even read the statement from a physician who claims that « all diseases arise from acidification », which is pretty surprising! In this regard, I mean to get the opinion of other doctors as well. Acidification is detectable at the cellular level, and especially at the arterial blood level. The elimination of acid in urine, for example, in no way pertains to the body’s acidification. A healthy man’s blood pH varies from 7.35 to 7.45. Now, blood’s pH as well as intra-and extra-cellular fluids’ pH (respectively at pH 7.2 and 7.4) are remarkably stable and vary only one tenth of a unit. Chemists say that these liquids are « buffered ». This buffer has chemical properties that are related, among others, to the amphoteric nature of bicarbonate HCO3 (or more precisely of acid-base couples CO32-/HCO3 and HCO3/H2CO3). It gives us an aqueous solution that reacts as a base vis-à-vis introduced acids, and as an acid vis-à-vis the bases. The lungs are remarkable in regulating this balance, by removing just the right amount of CO2. Excess acidity is also removed by the kidneys, as NH4+ ions, thus adding a safety margin to that balance. So changing the pH of the blood by the absorption of alkaline or acidic water seems rather difficult, even impossible. A diet comprised predominantly of meat can help. Unless I am proven otherwise, I stand to doubt the efficiency of absorbing alkaline water to compensate for acidity of metabolic origin.

According to recommendations from most dieticians, lemon is an « alkalizing » food. This goes also for lacto-fermented vegetables like sauerkraut. All fruit juices are acidic, some even quite acidic! Does this mean discouraging their consumption? Assimilating our body as if it were a chemist's flask in which you can just add alkaline water to reduce acidity is a vision that I find hard to share.

We can therefore assume, with little risk of error, that the acid-base properties of beverages and foods cannot have a decisive influence on the acidic or basic condition of our blood or tissues. If this were so, and if one accepted the claims of proponents of alkaline water, people living in regions where water sources and wells are truly alkaline should be much healthier than elsewhere. The hardness of water is often associated with a basic character. Given the dominance of the regions where water is naturally hard (e.g. containing too much calcium or magnesium), verification of this hypothesis would be easy.

Promotional experiments on « Kangen water »

You’ll find the same small demo movies on various websites, showing the benefits of alkaline water. Let us examine these.

Chlorine test on fruit and vegetables

This test aims to show that fruit and vegetables - even organic - « absorb » the chlorine in tap water. Chlorine « would then find its way in fruit/vegetables ». To prevent such absorption of chlorine, it is suggested that it is better to replace tap water by chlorine-free Kangen water [6].

We also decry the negative effects of chlorine in city water, but to remove it, a simple (and quite inexpensive) activated carbon filter is quite enough.

A few drops of chemical indicator are added to tap water, turning the water yellow in the presence of chlorine (Cl2). It’s suggested that chlorine-free water would otherwise remain colourless. In fact, this is a colour indicator that responds to the aqueous medium’s electron activity and does not specifically respond to chlorine Cl2. It rather indicates the state of oxidation of water due to chlorine, which appears as reduced electron activity [H2] or as an increase of rH2 = log [H2]. Next, by immersing an onion in chlorinated city water (« tap water »), the yellow colour indicator disappears, clearly revealing that chlorine is neutralised by the reductive character of the onion. I cannot agree with the conclusion drawn from this experiment. Fruit and vegetables don’t « absorb chlorine »: it’s rather their juices – always very chemically reductive – that reduce chlorine Cl2 into chloride Cl ions, as per the following reaction:

Cl2 + 2 e → 2 Cl

Yet, chloride ions are absolutely harmless, and instead of being « absorbed » by fruit/vegetables, they actually remain in the water. About this experience, it would be more accurate to say: « most fruit and vegetable juices, always reductive, deactivate chlorine in tap water. Kangen water, also reductive, does the same. » [7].

Reducing agents are electron donors. Dichlorine Cl2 is a powerful oxidant; it’s « hungry for electrons ». By absorbing the two electrons e provided by juice (as reductant), chlorine that is « packed » with electrons is transformed into chloride Cl ions carrying a negative charge (that of the absorbed electron). Chloride ions are also formed when dissolving table salt (sodium chloride or NaCl): NaCl → Na+ + Cl.

Acid-base or pH test

The purpose of this test is to show that Kangen water is alkaline - which is absolutely true. However, I feel a little uncomfortable when it is claimed that acidic waters like Perrier water and all soft drinks are harmful to health. It would be interesting to get a medical opinion and hear out these companies’ scientific advisors on the subject.

The acid-base indicator used for the demonstration turns blue in an alkaline medium and turns clear in an acidic medium. The more acidic is the medium, the more Kangen water must be added. In a soft drink, CO2 dissolved as carbonic acid H2CO3 is responsible for lowering the pH to 3. H2CO3 is a weak acid, so there is less than one thousandth mol/litre of acid H3O+ ions in such water. If Kangen water actually had a pH = 11, containing about one thousandth mol/litre of basic OH ions, the water should easily neutralise an equal volume of carbonated water, thus dyeing the solution blue. But in the present experiment the solution remains colourless. What is probable is that for this experiment, they used Kangen water with a pH weaker than 11. Either that or the soft drink was quite a bit more acidic.

Oil dissolution test

Here, Kangen water is shown to emulsify - not « dissolve » - oils and fats. But the aim of the test is to show that Kangen water’s molecular clusters are smaller, so they penetrate better into body cells.

For this test, cherry tomatoes that have been treated with liposoluble pesticides (i.e. soluble in oils and fats) that are present on the fruit’s skin are placed in a glass. By washing the fruit in city tap water, pesticides are obviously not removed because they are insoluble in water.

By pouring a little olive oil in a glass, we see that city water does not mix with oil. On the other hand, strongly alkaline Kangen water immediately emulsifies the oil. There is obviously no « dissolution » involved, but only the formation of small oil bubbles coated with basic hydroxide ions, giving the water a milky appearance. The phenomenon called « emulsification » simply comes from the lowering of water’s surface tension due to its basic character. We are led to conclude that Kangen water can also be used to clean carpets. Personally, I think there are more efficient and less expensive commercial products for this use.

Thereafter, the test compares the effect of tomatoes immersed in tap water to those in Kangen water. The latter turns a pinkish yellow, thus leading the proponent to conclude that the yellow colour contains pesticides, and further, to assert that tomatoes and vegetables cooked in Kangen water will taste much better than those cooked in tap water.

In my opinion, further experiments are needed to prove this. The pinkish colour may also come from the tomato itself assailed by alkaline water. As for the taste of cooked vegetables, the assertion is true, not because of water’s alkalinity, but rather due to the purification process that city water underwent prior to electrolysis. Simple microfiltration (much less expensive than Kangen water) followed by activated carbon purification also improves dramatically the taste of water and vegetables that are cooked in it.

This experiment does not prove the fact (disputed by some scientists) that alkaline water has smaller clusters than neutral or acidic waters.

Tea infusion test

The purpose of this test is to show that Kangen water can penetrate more readily into plant cells to extract substances responsible for the colour of tea. We are led to conclude that this penetration - due to Kangen water’s finer structure - also takes place in a human body’s cells. The present experiment provides no evidence to that effect. Alkaline water actually has a less fragmented structure than that of acidic water. Its cohesion energy density (or internal pressure derived from the internal energy E with respect to the volume V: ∂E/∂V) is also lower, but as we saw earlier, alkaline water is neutralised in the stomach and its basic character is no longer evident in the small intestine.

To understand this experiment, you must know that the substances responsible for the colour of tea are actually acid-base indicators, but their colour also changes a bit depending on the redox properties of water. In an acidic or neutral medium, these indicators are weakly coloured or colourless; in a basic medium however, they take on an orange colour, more or less dark. The colour intensity depends essentially on the pH of water and not the « penetrating power » of its molecules.

The reader can go about an interesting experience. Prepare tea with almost neutral tap water. Pour tea into two identical glasses. In one, add a little lemon juice in the other a few drops of vinegar. In both cases, following acidification, there is a fading: the tea becomes pale yellow.

Redox potential (ORP) test

This test aims to show that Kangen water « is very high in antioxidants  ». A voltmeter is used, supposed to measure the « rate of oxidation » (?) or ORP of the water. According to the experimenter, when the ORP is positive, « the water is oxidative » when the value is negative, the water becomes « antioxidative ». And so, the browning of a cut apple is supposed to be a sign of oxidation. It is also noted that « vitamin C has an ORP of -50 » millivolts. Vitamin C (i.e. ascorbic acid) is indeed a reducing agent, which reduces the ORP value. This clearly shows that reductants have a negative ORP. « Green tea is at -100 », which would mean it is even more antioxidant than vitamin C. « Cod liver oil is at -200 », even more [8]. Here also I feel a bit uneasy when I hear that green tea with its ORP -100 would be « more reductive » than ascorbic acid with an ORP of only -50. The ORP value is proportional to the logarithm of the concentration. The reductive power thus can only be compared using equal concentrations. How then to calculate the « molar concentration » of a green tea or the juice of a lemon?

I have always been amazed to hear of ORP measurements in substances other than water-based ones. Cod liver oil does not conduct electricity. Direct measurement of ORP is therefore technically impossible. Such measurements taken outside an aqueous medium have no electrochemical significance. In the best case, we can emulsify such oils with alkaline water (precisely, since to emulsify, as in the oil dissolution test, you need alkaline water – with a negative ORP, without any antioxidant properties). In the emulsion, we mainly measure water’s ORP in contact with the emulsion particles. The measured value absolutely does not prove the reductive nature of the emulsified oil. It only measures the ORP derived from the alkaline character of the emulsifying water. Unless proved otherwise, properties such as water’s ORP are hardly changed by substances that are insoluble in water. We will see later that the ORP of alkaline solutions is still very low, even negative, even where those solutions have absolutely no reductive properties, even when they are « indifferent » or even « oxidative » from a redox perspective.

The situation is more complex than what is presented on this little video. Measuring the ORP does not reflect so simplistically the oxidative or reductive power of an aqueous solution. For a meaningful interpretation of potential measurements (as Equation (13) on the theory page), we must resort to the unitary theory of redox and acid-base reactions [9].

The unitary theory of redox and acid-base reactions is described in two publications: J. Orszagh, « Réactions d'oxydo-réduction et acido-basiques : Vers une approche théorique et expérimentale plus cohérente » (Redox and Acid-Base Reactions : Towards a More Coherent Theoretical and Experimental Approach), Sciences du Vivant, (Éditions Arys, Paris), volume 1, pages 23-34 (1990). and J. Orszagh, « L'eau en tant que système rédox » (Water as a Redox System) ibid. volume 2. pages 81-97 (1991). The theory is summarized in the next chapter.

The different mineral waters presented in the experiment are all slightly oxidative, indifferent or slightly reductive from a redox perspective. Thus their ORP mainly reflects their acidity or alkalinity, and to a lesser extent only, their « antioxidative » character. Their redox character is quantified by the rH2 value (fourth colum of the table) calculated from the pH and the measured ORP. Remember – when rH2 is less than 28, the water is antioxidant; when it is greater than 28, the water is oxidative – with respect to the reference state (or « benchmark »), namely chemically pure water.

A test on hydrogen water's antioxidant character

In a test carried out on a Hungarian website, Kangen water is shown as capable of neutralising a Betadine solution (an antiseptic solution containing iodine). This property comes from its oxidative character (by electron capture). By adding Kangen water, the initially brown solution becomes clear, revealing the disappearance of the oxidant. This is the only experiment presented on Kangen water that I deem to be convincing. You actually see an oxidant’s deactivation by reduction.

This property, and not the alkalinity, is the basis of the dramatic effects observed in the field of medical applications.

Comparing hydrogen water to mineral water

During the presentation of its « antioxidant » properties, Kangen water is often compared to commercially available mineral water. Commentators of those demo videos usually insist that acidic soft drinks and even water with a positive ORP are « harmful to one’s health because they are oxidative and cause the body’s acidification ».

Careful reading of the chapter on the unitary theory of redox and acid-base reactions will have you discover that:

In the following table, we have copied ORP measurements taken on various waters, including hydrogen water. The readings have been copied from the Aquarion website promoting Kangen water (consulted in February 2011). In the second last column, we’ve inserted the rH2 value, calculated from the pH and the ORP shown (after correction).

Comparative Electrochemical Properties of Commercially-sold Water
(compared to « Kangen » type water)
Water description pH ORP in mV
not corrected)
Water Character
Aquafina 5.35 +381 30.3 Oxidative
Arrowhead Spring Water 7.42 +275 30.9 Oxidative
Evian 7.64 +295 32.0 Oxidative
Fiji 7.60 +357 34.0 Oxidative
Smart Water 5.90 +305 29.9 Indifferent
Real Alkalized Water 7.90 -25 21.7 Reductive
Evamor 9.18 +174 31.0 Oxidative
Penta 5.27 +390 30.5 Oxidative
Essentia 9.26 +179 31.3 Oxidative
Alive Wellness Water 3.24 +415 27.3 Indifferent
Vitamin Water 3.34 +438 28.2 Indifferent
Dasani Plus 3.04 +290 22.6 Reductive
Vital Lifestyle Water 3.72 +426 28.6 Indifferent
Crystal Geyser Sparkling 5.72 +324 29.2 Indifferent
Perrier 5.53 +392 31.0 Oxidative
Aquarion Water Ionizer 10.5 -850 -1.0 Very reductive

Looking at the table’s ORP and rH2 values, we immediately see that conclusions based solely on the measured ORP differ from those based on a rigorous electrochemical calculation.

We must emphasize that the ORP of a water that is gradually made alkaline (with sodium hydroxide for example) decreases linearly with pH. However, during this operation, rH2 remains constant! The redox properties are not modified by sodium hydroxide. The decreasing ORP value absolutely does not signify an increasing antioxidant character. From Equation (14) on the theory webpage, one draws:

E = (rH2 – 2pH)/33.8                 [Volt]

Equation (2) clearly shows that the E value (or ORP) diminishes as the pH increases. It is therefore not surprising that alkaline waters, even when they are not reductive, have a very low and even negative potential E (or ORP). This low value has no bearing on the « antioxidant » character.

Similarly, acidic water (low pH), even indifferent (rH2 = 28), will have a high potential E, yet will not necessarily be oxidative. When the ORP is low, water can become reductive despite the acidity. A good example is « Dasani Plus » water with a pH = 3.4 and an ORP = +290 mV (uncorrected value). Despite this, its rH2 = 22.6, which ranks the water in the « strong antioxidant » class.

The opposite example is « Evamor » alkaline water with a pH = 9.18 and an ORP = +174 (lower than that of « Dasani Plus »). In spite of its alkalinity and its low ORP, this water is still oxidative, with an rH2 = 31. This is the mean rH2 value found in chlorinated city water. This character is even more pronounced in the case of « Essentia ».

Water from the « Aquarion Water Ionizer », with a pH = 10.5 and an ORP = -850mV obviously beats all records with its reductive (antioxidant) character. Its calculated rH2 is -1! In principle, a negative value for the rH2 has no physical significance. It may be a slight measurement error, or else the sign of a thermodynamically unstable solution. A negative value for the rH2 may imply hydrogen activity exceeding one unit. We obviously don’t exclude the possible existence of thermodynamically unstable aqueous solutions with a very high electron activity issuing from an electrolytic cell. But the existence of such solutions must still be confirmed by further experiments.

Once you exclude ORP measurements as a means to evaluate the antioxidant character of an aqueous solution, the therapeutic possibilities of hydrogen water should be examined on the basis of the activity of hydrogen [H2], or more specifically its logarithm: rH2 = log [H2]. The thermodynamic activity of hydrogen in an aqueous solution is also determined by the form that dissolved hydrogen takes in the water. To this end, let’s examine what happens at the cathode and anode in an electrolytic cell.

What happens at the cathode

Hydrogen water (for therapeutic use) is formed in an electrolytic cell at the cathode.

For a better understanding of what follows, one should at least first look over the chapter on the Unitary theory of acid-base and oxidation-reduction reactions.

The cathode is an inert metal electrode capable of supplying electrons, made of platinum and/or titanium [10] or another barely oxidizable metal. It carries a negative electrical charge that attracts cations (ions with one or more positive charges), hence the name « cathode ».

On the basis of the redox properties of the Pt/PtO couple, we know that metallic platinum does not oxidize at all in a solution having an rH2 of less than 33. At the cathode, the metal remains unassailable. Fears of « heavy metal » dissolution during electrolysis are unfounded. At the anode however, once the rH2 exceeds 33, the electrode can theoretically become altered. Fortunately, manufacturers do not recommend consuming oxidized water obtained at the anode.

Formation of a strongly alkaline solution

In terms of cations, tap water mostly contains calcium and sodium, and in lesser amounts magnesium and potassium. These are alkaline metals (also called earth alkali) that have a high affinity to water. Their ions: Na+, Ca2+, K+ and Mg2+ are attracted to the cathode where they discharge to form the corresponding metals: Na, Ca, K and Mg. These metals, however, can not be deposited on the electrode, because they react immediately with water and go back into solution

Na + H2O → NaOH+ H
Ca + 2 H2O → Ca(OH)2 + 2 H form the corresponding hydroxides NaOH (i.e. caustic soda) and Ca(OH)2 (i.e. slaked lime). The same go for potassium and magnesium. And so called « nascent hydrogen » is formed at the same time: a neutral hydrogen H atom possessing an unpaired electron. This is a kind of « free radical » that cannot exist alone in water, no more so than a H+ proton.

Active hydrogen in hydrogenated water

For the hydrogen atom formed at the cathode, there are – theoretically – two possibilities:

In reality, both situations co-exist: one will observe outgassing of hydrogen H2, but also the formation of the stabilised form of nascent hydrogen

At room temperature, hydrogen solubility in water is 0.0214 vol/vol, hence its activity [H2]=10-3 mole/litre which would theoretically correspond to rH2=3. Now compare this value to that measured in strong Kangen water with a pH = 11.5, a potential ORP of -650 mV (corrected value with respect to the standard hydrogen electrode; in fact, the uncorrected value - that seen on the measuring instrument - is 850 mV).

With this data, you can calculate the rH2 using the following formula:

rH2 = 33.85(ORP) + 2 pH = 33.8 x(-0.650) + 2x11.5 = 1

The value of rH2=1 or [H2]=0.1 means that in strong Kangen water, hydrogen activity is 100 times greater than its natural solubility. It is clear that active hydrogen present in the water does not come from the simple dissolution of hydrogen H2* formed. For active hydrogen, we must acknowledge the existence of another process, henceforth unknown, in order for it to remain in solution. The question can be asked: how can a metal electrode electrically detect the presence of neutral molecules (i.e. without electric charge) such as dissolved H2 in water? Observations are conclusive: even simple sparging of gaseous hydrogen immediately lowers the ORP that is measured. This phenomenon is not possible without the occurrence of an ion form carrying a negative electric charge, which can lower the electrode’s potential. The issue is what anionic form of hydrogen is likely to lower the ORP? [11]

The anionic form of hydrogen H- (hydride ion) or its hydrolysed form H3O (hydranion) lowers the potential of a metal electrode immersed in the solution. Similarly the cationic form of hydrogen H+ increases the potential. This is what is observed when acidifying the solution.

One can then observe that the discovery of hydrogen water, i.e. which is hydrogenated by electrolysis, will lead to other discoveries in the field of fundamental electrochemistry. The considerations further developed are only working hypotheses that need to be confirmed by further experiments, but also by quantum mechanical calculations [12].

Notice to theorists: one should therefore integrate the Schrödinger equation and calculate the wave functions of electrons contained in the molecular structures proposed below, such as hydranion H3O (or others to suggest).

Can alkaline water stabilise active hydrogen?

The experimental fact that is based on the comparison of rH2 measured in Kangen water, and that which is calculated from hydrogen solubility in water, are only indirect experimental evidence to the existence of structures that stabilise nascent hydrogen. To my knowledge, Kangen water has never been the object of a theoretical study (using quantum mechanics) on the molecular structures that may be present.

Here is one hypothesis that could be put forth:

Two « nascent » hydrogen atoms form an excited molecule H2* (the asterisk (*) symbol indicates the unstable [or « excited »] character of an ion) which, in an alkaline medium, is easily polarized by a hydroxide OH ion’s electrostatic field. The OH ion captures a proton H+ to become water: in fact, there is a great affinity between OH ions and protons H+. This leaves a hydrogen H anion (that some call « hydride ») having a negative electrical charge.

H2* + OH → H2O + H

In fact, two electrons of this ion are placed on an orbital 1s, which is thereby complete (i.e. has the stable electron configuration of helium): the electrons are paired (unparallel spins). Because of an electrostatic unbalance, the hydrogen nucleus is unable to « hold » a second electron. Dipolar water molecules with their positive charge located on the two hydrogen ions, thus attract the unstable anion to form a new ion I would call « hydranion »: H3O [13] (or a hydrolysed hydride H ion). The additional electrical charge of the hydrogen anion is therefore seeking a relaxation structure. In a larger whole (H3O being greater than H), its energy is better distributed, which stabilises the configuration. In terms of quantum mechanics, this constitutes the stabilisation of a particle (hydrogen’s added electron, responsible for the negative charge) enclosed in a bigger « box » (a molecular structure). Through hydrogen bonds, this electron becomes even more stable within bigger ephemeral polymer structures that are ever present in water. Experimental fact proves the existence of this active electron, but linked to a larger molecular structure, since the potential drops to a value incompatible with hydrogen’s solubility. Strictly speaking, we cannot even consider hydranion as an autonomous ion. It cannot exist without water’s polymer structure to stabilise its energy. From an electrochemical standpoint, this shows up as a greater electron activity (i.e. low rH2) than what is calculated with respect to hydrogen’s solubility in water.

The fundamental question that should be asked: why does the potential of a platinum electrode decrease following the spargine of hydrogen in water? The answer is the materialization of a hydrogen anion carrying a negative charge.

When sparging (i.e. bubbling) hydrogen gas in water, the rH2 of the solution decreases concurrently to the dissolution of neutral H2 molecules. In the absence of electrolysis, one might assume that H2 hydrogen gas dissolved in water would be responsible for the lowering of the ORP. As mentioned above, the decrease in potential of a platinum electrode can only occur by the adsorption of additional negative charges on the measuring electrode (platinum electrode, whose potential is measured with respect to the reference electrode Ag/ACl). The adsorption of electrically neutral molecules like H2 cannot influence the measured potential. The dramatic decrease in the potential (ORP) is attributable to the anion formation – in this case H3O – which would form in water even without electrolysis, through the following reaction:

H3O+ + 2 H2O H3O+ + H3O

Once hydroxonium H3O+ ions appear, another reaction occurs instantly:

H3O+ + OH → 2 H2O H

...that stabilises the pH through the consumption of OH ions. The only observed effect is the lowering of the potential due to the appearance of hydranions H3O. Moreover, this fact also proves the physicochemical reality of the concept of rH2. The potential is lowered by both the OH ions and the hydranions. In both cases the measured ORP decreases, but only the hydrogen activity, manifested by hydranions, modifies the redox properties of a solution.

Despite the similarity, « hydranion » H3O should not be confused with « hydroxonium » H3O+. On the other hand, to say that H « hydride » exists in an aqueous solution seems to me unjust. The hydrogen atom’s nucleus is not capable of holding two electrons in a 1s orbital near the nucleus, even if the second electron forms the electron configuration of helium. I don’t deny that this ion is formed during electrolysis, but without a stabilisation mechanism, its lifespan would likely not exceed one picosecond.

In such a solution, despite the increase in the concentration of H2 ions, the pH does not increase (experimental fact). The reason is simple: the reduction of the concentration of OH hydroxide ions is compensated by the appearance of hydranion, which however lowers the ORP. There is a compensation effect. To summarize: the decrease in ORP during the sparging of hydrogen gas H2 is regulated by the equilibrium constant (to be measured experimentally) of the reaction H2 + 2H2O H3O+ + H3O where [H2] is the solubility of gaseous hydrogen and [H3O] is the hydrogen activity calculated from the measured ORP.

In terms of geometrical structure, hydranion H3O is formed by σ (i.e. sigma)-type bonds between the water's central oxygen atom and the hydrogen atom that is formed at the cathode. There still remains a pair of non-bonding electrons on the oxygen. According to Gillespie’s VSEPR theory, this corresponds to a triangular base pyramid molecular shape. Indeed, one of H hydride’s two electrons forms a σ bond with an unpaired oxygen electron. The other hydride H electron and the last unpaired oxygen electron form a pair moving on a non-bonding orbital. Around the oxygen, this non-bonding orbital is located at the top of the trigonal pyramid shape. Thus, the four electron pairs around the oxygen (three binding and one non-binding) form a tetrahedron shaped structure whose centre is the oxygen atom. The H3O molecule (or more accurately the ion) has an identical structure to that of the ammonia molecule NH3. Here again, the central nitrogen has a pair of non-bonding electrons at the top of a trigonal pyramid shape. Thus, hydranion is also a Lewis type base. The difference between NH3 and H3O lies in the fact that oxygen has one valence electron more than nitrogen, which conveys an overall negative electrical charge to the H3O whole.

In the event that this structure’s viability should be confirmed by quantum mechanical calculations, this would provide an explanation as to the dramatic increase of electron activity in hydrogenated water obtained at the cathode. The decrease of rH2 (experimental fact) can make the entire aqueous solution unstable from a thermodynamical standpoint, once you achieve (or even exceed) the thermodynamic stability of water (rH2 = 0). We have good reason to think that a thermodynamically unstable water will have remarkable biological (i.e. medicinal) properties. With the hydranion, the field of medicine now disposes of a powerful means to modify the electrochemical properties of liquids, even inside body cells.

To regain equilibrium, this solution must generate molecular hydrogen H2. The question is: what is H3O hydranion’s average lifespan? According to observations, the decrease in hydrogen water’s reductive properties, and thus hydranion deactivation, takes several hours. Hydranion disappearance most likely takes place following a first order exponential decay [14]. So to take advantage of hydrogen water’s antioxidant properties, it is better to drink it soon after it's been prepared.

To establish this rate law, we measured the increase in ORP of hydrogen water, as soon as it had been prepared, against time t. Based on these measurements, we established an empirical relationship that allows the calculation of ORP of hydrogen water at any time after it has been prepared. For our measurement, we used hydrogen water produced by a Korean-made unit called « Lourdes ». After 40 minutes of hydrogenation, the ORP value (uncorrected) was at –780 mV. For the first 45 hours following hydrogenation, the ORP increased linearly with time, as per the empirical equation: ORP = kt + (ORP)0, where k is the deactivation rate constant and (ORP)0 is the initial ORP value at the end of hydrogenation.

In our experiment, k = 18.6/hour and the initial (ORP)0 was -780 mV. In this case, the empirical equation is: ORP = 18.6 t - 780 [time t is expressed in hours; the ORP is obtained in millivolts]. Note: after 40 minutes of hydrogenation, the initial pH 6.3 of the water hardly changed. The pH remained constant during deactivation too.

With this linear empirical relationship, one can calculate the decrease in ORP of any neutral hydrogen neutral water (pH between 6 and 8), obtained with a batch-operating apparatus such as the « Lourdes » unit. The initial ORP value (ORP)0 must obviously be measured in each case. The value of the deactivation rate constant k does not depend on the degree of hydrogenation, but probably on the pH. Since hydranions become stable in an alkaline medium, the constant k will probably be smaller for alkaline hydrogen water (derived from the continuous flow devices of the KANGEN type). This hypothesis must obviously be verified experimentally.

Take the example of hydrogen water whose ORP at the end of hydrogenation is (ORP)0 = -580 mV. What will then be its ORP after 12 hours of rest? In this case: ORP = 18.6 t - 580. So after 12 hours: ORP = -357 mV = 18.6x12-580. If this water had a pH = 7.2, for example, its initial rH2 = 33.8x (-0.58 + 0.2) = 1.56 + 2x7.2, will increase to 33.8x (-0.357+ 0.2) +2x7.2 = 9.10. Note: the term (-0.58 + 0.2) is none other than the corrected value of the ORP read on the measuring instrument, with the potential of the reference electrode Ag/AgCl being +200 mV = 0.2 Volt.

Chemically, hydranion H3O is a truly efficient « killer of free radicals ». It is responsible for hydrogen water’s extremely high electron activity (i.e. very low rH2).

Applying the name « ionized water » to hydrogen water is incorrect as this doesn’t reflect the physical reality. During electrolysis, the number of negative and positive ions does not change. However, the solution acquires a high electron activity, thus gaining electrons available to deactivate free radicals. It is therefore more accurate to speak of « electronicized » water, now commonly known as hydrogenated water, or more simply, hydrogen water. « Hydrogenation » is consistent with the processes at work. Its efficiency is tied to the high hydrogen [H2] activity, which is transposed into a low value for rH2 = log [H2] .

From a thermodynamic point of view, the deactivation of free radicals by hydranion comes from an unstable solution’s energy (e.g. negative Gibbs energy ΔG°298 for the process) that tends towards equilibrium. This is the real secret of hydrogen water. In this sense, it is fundamentally different from all aqueous solutions that have a low rH2 value, obtained by the presence of reductive enzymes (e.g. Algother, Mycothers, Ferments de vie, etc..), as well as from fruit juices and lacto-fermented foods.

« Active-H » or stabilised hydranion

We have seen that the existence of hydranion is linked to one or possibly several molecular structures in an environment that stands outside the realm of the thermodynamic existence of aqueous solutions. Its activity is specifically related to this state of imbalance, called « metastable ». The « force » enabling its action to disable free radicals is the reduction of a solution’s Gibbs energy ΔG°298 (i.e. free enthalpy) to regain its balance.

One of the key questions is whether or not such a metastable state can exist outside of an aqueous medium. You currently find solid supplements on the market called « Active-H » or « Microhydrin® » which, when in contact with water, are said to generate hydranions. Said product has been the object in France of a misleading commercial practice offence.

Beware of scams! The fact that most of the scientific world does not use the concept of rH2 opens the door to fraud in such fields as food supplements and drugs that are claimed to « fight off free radicals ». Indeed, any alkaline product dissolved in water lowers the ORP; this fact then leads to the interpretation that water is an environment in which free radicals would be « neutralised ». In fact, under Equation (13), the addition of an alkali, while increasing pH, causes a decrease in the ORP without changing the redox properties. The addition of a reducing agent, which lowers the rH2, does not imply an effective fight against free radicals. If this were so, any wine would be medicine against free radicals.

Based on what we've highlighted on hydranion formation in an electrolytic cell, one could propose manufacturing a drug that retains the qualities of strong Kangen water, in solid form. One « side effect » of such a drug would be its alkaline character. That is why we prefer to stick with hydrogenated water that has a pH close to neutral.

The Bio-Electronics theory of Vincent

Free radicals: cause of effect of disease?

For lack of validated data on the therapeutic properties of hydrogen water, we are left to speculate on its medical applications. For this, we must rely on the Bioelectronics theory of Louis-Claude Vincent, which did have some success in the 1960s and 1970s but was unfortunately unrecognized by the medical world. One cause for this lies in the disregard of the concept of rH2 by the field of electrochemistry.

Important! The considerations herein on the medical applications of hydrogen water are based on BEV, the Bioelectronics theory of Vincent. Not being a doctor, I can only explain hydrogen water’s characteristics, especially in terms of chemistry and electrochemistry. It is up to doctors to test the effects of such water on various pathologies. It is helpful to know that so far, no side effects have been reported on consumption of hydrogen water. In the worst case, there will be a lack of effects.

Facts show that before and at the advent of cancer, free radicals are always detectable in a person’s blood. These are electrically neutral molecular formations that possess an unpaired electron on a molecular orbital of σ-type (pronounced « sigma »). The Vincent diagram reveals which type of medium is conducive to the advent of cancer and viral diseases: alkaline and oxidized (Note: the expression « le terrain biologique humain » on the diagram is defined as a predisposition to specific medical disorders, also called diathesis). The bioelectronic coordinates (i.e. pH, rH2 and resistivity ρ [pronounced « rho »] or conductivity κ [pronounced « kappa »]) of a cancer patient’s blood is therefore an oxidized medium where free radicals tend to be chemically stabilised, for lack of active electrons. Changing the bioelectronic terrain (or the diathesis) by lowering the rH2 (or increasing electronic activity) automatically creates an environment in which free radicals are deactivated. It is pertinent to note that all foods recommended for cancer prevention (lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits) have a very low rH2.

Linus Pauling and Albert Szent-Györgyi (two Nobel prizes) also discovered the anticancer properties of vitamin C, which they recommended be taken in high amounts. Since they were not familiar with the concepts of rH2 and bioelectronics, they attributed the anticancer effect to the vitamin C molecule itself, while in fact, the effect is only tied to Vitamin C’s reductive properties (low rH2).

Now, about free radicals, chances are that their presence is not the cause of the disease, but only an indicator, revealing that the body’s diathesis is conducive to the development of cancer. According to Daniel Pinon, a French researcher in the field of BEV (as quoted by Roger Castell), the rH2 of the body (especially that of blood measured « in vivo », therefore no Heparin [an anticoagulant] added to the blood test) regulates ion ratios in blood, such as Na+/K+ and Mg2+/Ca2+. The ratios, in turn, determine the electric potentials in the cells. Abnormal potentials (microscopically visible on cell sections when stained with a redox indicator) cause disturbances in cell division that is the origin of cancer. So to focus on free radicals may give these undue importance, which may sidetrack the discussion towards addressing a simple manifestation of the disease, not its root cause. Medical bioelectronics attacks the cause. For example, nowadays, we try to destroy reputedly pathogenic viruses with drugs. In BEV medicine however, we modify the body’s diathesis (i.e. the bioelectronic coordinates of blood) in order to make it impossible for viruses to multiply. In the first case, we fight against something. In the second case, we help the body resolve the problem.

Knowing this, you can wonder about chemotherapy. Still according to Daniel Pinon, all chemotherapy drugs are oxidants. Besides their devastating side effects, they destroy cancer cells, thereby modifying the body’s bioelectronic coordinates towards oxidative cancerous diathesis, i.e. making the body more vulnerable to cancer. The therapeutic modification of a person’s bioelectronic coordinates (especially by lowering the rH2) is the solution, at least theoretically, for the control of several diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, multiple sclerosis and all viral diseases, maybe others too... However, BEV medicine has so far not had a truly effective drug to use for lowering blood’s rH2. Hydrogen water, with an rH2 value of zero, or even negative, is a medical opening towards inexpensive and innovative health care, without known side effects. The problem is that neither doctors nor biologists who study hydrogen water know anything of medical bioelectronics. Ignorant of the concept of rH2, they can only « grope » for explanations. They lack a fundamental tool to accurately assess the « antioxidant » properties of our body fluids (such as blood, urine, saliva or intercellular fluids) and of therapeutic waters. As seen above, an interpretation based on the measurement of ORP can lead to errors. Now we will see the therapeutic possibilities of water formed in the anode and cathode compartments of an electrolytic cell.

Chemical reactions at the anode

Making active bleach

The anions that carry negative charges in the electrolytic cell are mainly chlorides, carbonates and sulphates. Given the redox properties of the Cl/Cl2 couple, the chlorides are the ones that will most easily be oxidized at the anode, as per the reaction:

Cl - e → Cl *

The Cl chloride ion thereby yields its electron at the anode, thus turning into « nascent » chlorine Cl*, an extremely active form of chlorine. Nascent chlorine is a highly reactive free radical having an unpaired electron. Its activity is tied to its tendency to pick up an extra electron to become a Cl chloride ion whose electronic configuration as an extremely stable octet (= 4 electron pairs) is identical to that of argon. Two Cl * radicals can combine to give Cl2* chlorine, as per the following reaction:

2 Cl * → Cl2*

NB The asterisk * indicates the « excited » state of the molecule. Thanks to its high reactivity, chlorine shifts the H3O+/OH equilibrium by consuming OH ions, through the following reaction:

Cl2 + 2OH → Cl+ ClO + H2O

Hypochlorite ClO ions combined with sodium ions that are ever present in city tap water form sodium hypochlorite NaClO, which is none other than bleach (also manufactured by means of electrolysis). With the dissolution of chlorine and the formation of hypochlorite ions, the water becomes increasingly acidic through the consumption of OH ions. We can now understand the antiseptic and acidic properties of water formed at the anode.

De-electronicization at the anode

However, it is not merely a dilute solution of bleach. Other reactions take place at the anode, such as the oxidation (removal of electrons) of hydroxide ions:

H2O + OH - 2 e → H3O+ + O:*

...that profoundly alter the properties of water, which could be called « de-electronicized water ». Indeed, nascent oxygen O:* is a free radical, with two unpaired electrons in the valence shell (denoted by « : » in the formula). It is a highly reactive form of oxygen, responsible for the very low electronic activity of water that contains them. Although two atoms of nascent oxygen may combine to give gaseous oxygen (appearance of oxygen bubbles is observed at the anode) as per reaction 2O:* → O2, there remains enough in solution to increase water’s rH2. Say rH2 is about 28 at the start of electrolysis; when at the cathode, rH2 goes down to 0, then at the anode, the rO2 = -log[O2] also becomes 0, thanks to the release of oxygen (where oxygen activity is unitary, [O2] = 1). Therefore, by virtue of Equation (8):

2rH2 + rO2 = 84

...the rH2 of water at the anode can reach 42. This is the upper limit of thermodynamic stability of water with oxygen release.

One can easily obtain experimental proof of these reactions by comparing the rH2 of the anode water with that of a non-electrolysed water containing the same amount of sodium hypochlorite.

So, alongside the formation of sodium hypochlorite, the « electron-hungry » anode also attracts hydroxide ions. Their oxidation triggers a « de-electronicization » process of the water, resulting in a dramatic increase of oxygen activity. In fact, « nascent oxygen » at the anode can take two forms:

H2O + OH - e → H3O+ + O:*


OH - e → HO·*

Thus, the two forms are O:* and HO·*. Remember that « nascent » oxygen O:* has two unpaired electrons; therefore, it is very reactive. Two O:* give rise to an O2 molecule, whereby gaseous oxygen is released. Meanwhile, HO·* is a free radical which also has an unpaired electron. Two of these free radicals can also come together to give birth to excited hydrogen peroxide:

2 HO·* → H2O2*

The remarkable oxidative property of anode water thus obtained is attributable to the mixture of hypochlorite and active hydrogen peroxide ions. The question is how to know the true activity of oxygen[O2]. The answer can only be obtained by measuring the anode water’s ORP, or more precisely, its rH2.

In its normal state, hydrogen peroxide spontaneously decomposes into water and dioxygen: 2H2O2 → 2H2O + O2. However, gaseous oxygen formed from electrolytically-produced excited hydrogen peroxide is likely to have a higher thermodynamic activity than that of gaseous oxygen that is simply dissolved in water [15].

On this matter in 1989, we performed various laboratory experiments, measuring the rH2 of water that was saturated with oxygen gas, under different conditions. Oxygen’s solubility in water at 25° is [O2] = 8,26 mg/l = 2,6.10-4 mole/litre. By equating the solubility to the activity, oxygen-saturated water’s rO2 should be 3.6, which corresponds to a rH2 = (84-3.6)/2 = 40,2! In the lab, while saturating chemically pure water with oxygen at a pressure of one bar, the rH2 never exceeds 29. Gaseous oxygen that is dissolved in water is therefore completely inactive. What is even more surprising is that the addition of an acid (HCl) or base (NaOH) – meaning a pH change – doesn’t alter oxygen-saturated water’s rH2 (no more so than for oxygen-free water).

With what we have established above, we can provide a new and more rigorous definition for aerobiosis and anaerobiosis. To learn more, we should therefore measure the ORP and pH of the water obtained at the anode. As to its acidity, this can be estimated. When you obtain alkaline water with a pH=11.5 at the cathode, chances are that the pH at the anode is between 3.5 and 4, based on the charge equilibrium in both electrolytic cells, presuming initial water was neutral (i.e. pH=7). To estimate the oxygen activity of, let’s assume a pH=4, which corresponds to a pOH=10. By reducing the pH from 7 to 4, the anode has thus oxidized about one thousandth of moles/litre of hydroxide ions. In these conditions, 5.10-4 mole of active oxygen O2* per litre has been formed. The lower limit for rO2 is therefore 3.3. Based on Equation (8) from the unitary theory webpage, rH2’s upper limit will therefore be rH2 = (84-3.3)/2 = 40.35. This value is almost identical to that calculated from the solubility of oxygen in water (rH2=40.2), which confirms that the activity of oxygen formed at the cathode has nothing to do with the dissolution of gaseous oxygen from outside. This fact challenges the classical definition of aerobiosis tied to the presence of oxygen O2. It would be fairer to say that in an aerobic environment, the rH2 is simply greater than 28. This definition is more stringent and also easier to measure. Below 28, the medium in anaerobic.

Even without ORP measurements, it can be supposed within good approximation that all the oxygen dissolved in anode water is in active (excited) form. It is therefore quite legitimate to speak of « active bleach ». Considering the term « hydrogenated water » for water obtained at the cathode, the term « oxygenated water » could be used for water obtained at the anode (not to be confused with the diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide H2O2 that was used at the time to bleach hair).

The water produced at the anode is likely to have a rH2 well above that of bleach of equal concentration in sodium hypochlorite. Anode water will be the more oxidative, the more it was alkaline at the start.

Oxygenated water or « Kaqun water »

The water obtained at the anode is somewhat like water that is « saturated with oxygen », growingly known as « Kaqun water » This is a water whose oxygen saturation is obtained through an undisclosed and patented process. What we know is that the saturation is obtained by means of electrolysis. In this sense, its manufacture is probably similar to that of hydrogenated water, but the emphasis is on active oxygen formed at the anode.

It seems that the water to be treated passes repeatedly and respectively through the anode and cathode compartments. With this trick, there is a mixture of anode and cathode water. Oxygen being less active than hydrogen, the resulting mixture will still frankly have an antioxidative character (i.e. a rH2 well below 28), despite the presence of active oxygen. In freshly prepared « Kaqun water », we actually measured rather low rH2 values. In bottled « Kaqun water » (for drinking), we measured values varying between 11 and 17. As for the water for therapeutic baths, the rH2 was close to 20.

« Kaqun water » represents another extremely interesting application of water treatment by electrolysis. Its therapeutic effect is significant when used externally (when bathing). We do not have data about its therapeutic effects when used internally. According to some testimonies, the stimulating effect of oxygen has been observed.

Two types of electrolysis devices to hydrogenate water

Evidently, electrolysis profoundly alters the electrochemical and biological properties of water. Through various technical tricks, modifications can be directed in different directions, as revealed by the manufacture of « Kaqun » water where the anode and cathode waters are mixed. The onus is mainly put on the differences in active oxygen and hydrogen that are formed.

As for devices focusing on hydrogen and the antioxidant character, there are two schools, up to now:

« Kangen »-type devices

In these devices, the water is only passing through the two compartments between the electrodes. The anode and cathode cells are separated by a membrane that allows current to flow but stops the passage of ions. The rapid passage of water also makes it impossible for ion exchanges to take place. This results in an alkaline and highly antioxidant water on the cathode side, while on the anode side, you essentially obtain a « by-product »: an acidic and strongly oxidative water.

Hydrogenated water, while antioxidant is alkaline to varying degrees. The pH can rise to above 10, or even 11, while the ORP can drop to -800 mV. This corresponds to hydrogen activity represented as rH2=33,8(-0,8+0,2)+2.11=1,72. Compare this with the performance of batch-type devices, in following section.

Proponents of these devices emphasize the alkaline character of the water obtained, « conducive to neutralise the body’s acidification ». The antioxidant character is also mentioned, but only evaluated on the basis of the value of the uncorrected ORP.

Batch-type electrolysis devices

The electrolysis procedure starts by filling a jug with the water to be hydrogenated. Electrodes in the form of grids are installed horizontally and separated by a semipermeable membrane. The cathode is placed above the anode. The water to be hydrogenated in the jug is in permanent contact with the cathode, while the anode compartment below is filled with water having an electrical conductivity of 150 to 200 µS/cm (pronounced microSiemens per centimetre). For water to be hydrogenated, it is best to use filtered rainwater or water obtained by reverse osmosis, having an electrical conductivity of less than 50 µS/cm.

With this device, the acid ions H+ formed at the anode can easily pass through the membrane to the cathode compartment where they react with hydroxide ions OH formed at the cathode. Thus there is neutralisation. Following hydrogenation, the pH of the water hardly changes. You thus obtain neutral water. The hydrogenation rates in a « Lourdes »-type device are presented in the following table.

Water Hydrogenation Rates
(in a « Lourdes » type apparatus)

ORP in mV
(not corrected)
E in Volt
pH rH2
0 + 250 + 0.450 6.30 + 27.81
10 - 400 - 0.200 6.33 + 5.90
20 - 628 - 0.428 6.29 - 1.89
30 - 745 - 0.545 6.39 - 5.64
40 - 757 - 0.557 6.41 - 6.00
Measurements taken on water supplied by a «Lourdes»-type device, after 2 months of continuous use.
E = ORP + 0,2 [Volt]; where 0.2 volts is the potential of the reference electrode.
rH2 = 33,8E + 2pH.

When comparing the two types of devices, we find that « Kangen » devices produce alkaline water with a rH2 that can fall near zero. The « Lourdes » devices produce neutral water, with very high hydrogen activity (with a rH2 that can even become negative). Clearly, devices like « Lourdes » provide water that is much more antioxidant than the « Kangen » device, through the neutralisation of water at the cathode. The manufacturer of another batch-type device proposes hydrogenation within 3 minutes. Kangen water’s alkaline character diminishes its antioxidant effectiveness, when compared to a hydrogen water that is neutral.

In fact, during electrolysis, thanks to the neutralisation of OH ions, you obtain high hydrogen [H2] activity within the cathode compartment; the process can move out of the thermodynamic stability domain for aqueous solutions, whereby the release of gaseous hydrogen is indicative of water’s decomposition. In fact, the lower limit of water’s stability lies at rH2 = 0. Below this value (i.e. negative rH2 values), water will spontaneously decompose into gaseous hydrogen H2. The upper limit of stability occurs in the anode compartment where the rH2 can rise above water’s stability limit of rH2 = 42. There, one observes the release of gaseous oxygen.

Probable physiological effects from hydrogen water

Water obtained at the anode of « Kangen »-type devices

Manufacturers of « Kangen » type devices do not recommend anode water for drinking, but only for disinfecting and for external use.

Water obtained at the cathode

According to BEV, hydrogen water’s high electron activity makes it much more effective to correct the « bioelectronic terrain » (i.e. the body’s diathesis) than with drugs used hitherto in BEV medicine. Watching videos of colonoscopies performed on patients who have undergone Kangen water therapy, one is impressed by the efficiency of such water. For this, the hydranions H3O seem not to have been destabilised by the neutralisation of hydrogen water’s alkalinity by gastric juices. This situation is all the most likely that in the small intestine, bile sends the fluids back in a basic (alkaline) medium that stabilises hydranion. The hydranions’ passage in the bloodstream thus becomes immediate and direct, with stunning effects. Of course, this is conditioned by the validity of BEV, which yet remains to be proved from a medical standpoint.

Due to hydrogen water’s alkalinity, doctors who practice BEV do not seem interested in said water. In the field of medical bioelectronics, Louis-Claude Vincent’s assertion that the consumption of alkaline water can impair health has become a sort of dogma. Doctors do not seem to realize that during hydrogenation, hydrogen water obtained with a « Lourdes »-type device does not change the water’s pH. Thus by using slightly acidic water, one can obtain a highly antioxidative water without the « downside » of alkalinity. With a negative rH2, we are in the presence of thermodynamically unstable water (in a metastable state) that could have quite amazing therapeutic properties, far exceeding the efficiency of the usual bioelectronic medicinal drugs. BEV medicine possesses a valuable measuring instrument: the medical bio-electronimeter.

Only through verifications done with a bio-electronimeter [16] can one provide irrefutable evidence of the hydranions’ passage in the blood. The therapeutic effects observed with Kangen water could then be confirmed. This will most likely be so. With hydrogen water, the practitioner possesses a powerful and simple means to help correct his patient’s « bioelectronic terrain ». But beware: the passage of H3O ions can, in some instances, depress the rH2 value below the safe level. In the interest of research, and to avoid unwanted side effects, hydrogen water therapy should best be closely monitored with bioelectronic measurements of blood, taken in vivo.

… i.e. direct in vivo measurements of the bioelectronic coordinates of a patient’s blood. The Belgian company CONSORT is the only one to market a laboratory bio-electronimeter whose embedded software automatically calculates and displays the bioelectronic coordinates after the unitary theory of redox and acid-base reactions that was passed on to the company by the Université de Mons. The MED-TRONIK company has taken over CONSORT’s electronic subsidiary and has manufactured medical bio-electronimeters.

Healing with hydrogen water

Fortunately, the practitioner can adequately dose the amount of H3O to be administered: enough to correct the « bioelectronic terrain », but not too much that could plunge it into a potentially dangerous reductive zone. For this, the electrolysis device can be adjusted to produce a more or less reductive water. Medical practice will quickly show the safety limits for hydrogen water’s use. Fortunately, up to now, no unwanted side-effect has been reported, even after consumption of heavily hydrogenated water.

There are many areas where hydrogen water can be successful in the treatment of disease. Without having made clinical observations, we are limited to formulating hypotheses that obviously represent promising pathways for medical research.

Each individual reacts differently to the degradation of his « bioelectronic terrain », depending on his genetic disposition. A great variety of pathological reactions are possible, from susceptibility to viral diseases, to disruption of calcium and magnesium absorption, to the onset of multiple sclerosis, etc.

Chances are that weakly hydrogenated water will become a powerful means of preventing all types of cancer. However, its dosage should always be done under medical supervision.

Assuming Daniel Pinon’s hypothesis on the regulation of Na+/K+ and Mg2+/Ca2+ equilibria through blood’s rH2, a too high dosage of hydranion H3O may in turn, disrupt magnesium’s absorption. Here too, correct measurements are required.

Viral diseases

The Vincent diagram shows that the potential for an explosive development of viruses is located in a highly oxidized and alkaline range of human diathesis (« le terrain biologique humain » on the diagram, defined as a predisposition to specific medical disorders). It would seem that blood’s rH2 gradually tends towards this range with prolonged consumption of sterilized, disinfected or pasteurized foods, the use of chlorinated water (even used externally) and the administration of vaccines. Bioelectronic measurements in fact show that in the final stages of disease of a cancer patient, the blood’s bioelectronic coordinates are identical to that of city tap water disinfected with chlorine.

In the treatment of influenza (i.e. a viral illness), everyone acknowledges the effectiveness of vitamin C. And yet, ascorbic acid is a powerful reducing agent. Vitamin C’s favourable effect in the treatment of viral diseases and also in cancer prevention simply comes from its reductive nature, lowering the rH2. Taking slow-dissolution vitamin C in conjunction with hydrogen water multiplies its effectiveness in treating cancer.

It should also be noted that all fruit juices are reductive to varying degrees (while also being acidic!). « Acidification of the body » is not the cause of many diseases, but rather seems to be their consequence. The key lies in the alteration of the body’s bioelectronic coordinates, towards the oxidant range. Acidification is only a side effect. Nobody denies « the alkalizing effect » of very acidic, yet strongly reductive lacto-fermented vegetables. This action, when simply compared to that from fruit juices, is enhanced by enzymes that can « survive » the stomach’s acidity. In the small intestine, these enzymes become active, and lower the blood's rH2. Yet this action, while being more effective than vitamin C or fruit juices, remains low compared to that of hydrogen water.

The focus should not go on killing viruses, but rather on changing the blood’s electrochemical properties to make viral multiplication impossible. Vaccination is heavy artillery that destroys everything, with « collateral damage ». Modifying the « bioelectronic terrain » suppresses a condition that is vital for viruses to multiply. These may enter the body, but they cannot multiply in a reductive terrain. Don’t forget that rH2‘s range for « perfect health » is between 21 and 24. Under such conditions, viruses (and even probably HIV) are simply inoperative.

Hydrogen water and medicine

While not a universal remedy, hydrogen water and even its byproduct, anode water that is oxidative and acid, have their place in medical practice. Given their potential side effects, they should be used under medical supervision.

To put to use all of hydrogen water’s possibilities, the concepts of medical bioelectronics should be widely disseminated in the medical community. Indeed, medical overview of this water’s use can be done using a medical bio-electronimeter, which should be a standard apparatus in clinical laboratories.

Bioelectronics open new perspectives towards medical research for treating a range of serious diseases. Advantages of hydrogen water are its relative safety of use as well as its relatively inexpensive cost when compared to conventional drugs. One could legitimately come to think that its relatively low cost may in fact constitute an obstacle to wider use, in the face of an all-powerful pharmaceutical industry. Biolelectronic measurements using medical bioelectronimeters will reveal the presence of serious maladies (thrombosis, multiple sclerosis, cancer, etc.) in their latent or very early stages, before current conventional medical analyses can do so. Clinical observations could be undertaken directly by hospitals and clinics, and even by physicians in private practice. There lies a unexpected field of development for preventive medicine.

As to the curricula in medical schools, expansion to include the art of healing applications in electrochemistry and thermodynamics opens new horizons in medical research. To this end, medical and pharmaceutical faculties should teach the unitary theory of redox and acid-base reactions. We are only at the beginning of a very promising series of discoveries.

The electrolysis apparatus that produces hydrogen water obviously has a place in medical offices, in all pharmacies but also in hospitals and clinics. Just as it is possible to loan orthopaedic equipment for extended periods through health insurance, the same should be possible with electrolysis devices for patients whose treatment requires a prolonged therapy using hydrogen water.

Medical bioelectronics and hydrogenated water

Louis-Claude Vincent was categorical in advising against the consumption of alkaline water. This assertion, taken literally, has conditioned the medical practitioners of bioelectronics. They sometimes have difficulty accepting that alkaline water can be good for one’s health – or at least harmless. In Vincent’s time, hydrogen water was unknown. It would be a mistake to amalgamate therapeutic water and table water. Vincent was absolutely right to advise against regular consumption of alkaline water, especially at a pH above 8 or even 8.5. This water is generally hard (containing calcareous compounds) or it contains basic electrolytes such as sodium hydroxide, lime or magnesia. Conversely, naturally acidic water is always very soft (with little calcareous content) and its acidity is often linked to silica colloids. These colloids are real homeopathic medicines that stimulate calcium absorption. In cases of osteoporosis, drinking hard water (containing lots of calcium) is useless. It would be better to drink water containing colloidal silica, or even better, horsetail tea, which contains even more [17].

According to Daniel Pinon’s hypothesis (based on Louis Kervran’s theory of biological transmutations), the transformation Si14 + C6 → Ca20, even in minute traces, would catalyse calcium assimilation. It is not the making of calcium from silica and carbon, but is rather the catalytic effect of calcium ions obtained by biological transmutation.

You mustn’t be too much of a purist in bioelectronics either. Discouraging the consumption of water with a weakly alkaline pH is just as unreasonable as demonizing acidic water and soft drinks.

There is another point that appears as a kind of dogma among bioelectronics practitioners, by which it is impossible to lower blood’s rH2 below the value corresponding to « perfect health ». This statement finds its origin in bioelectronic measurements performed on healthy individuals. Treatments to correct the « bioelectronic terrain » (or diathesis) have always been done with substances which, when dissolved in water, produced a solution with a low rH2, without these solutions ever exceeding the limit of thermodynamic stability in aqueous solutions. With hydrogen water, things have changed. At too high dosages, it may alter the « bioelectronic terrain » towards too low values of rH2 that may revive long forgotten diseases (bubonic plague and leprosy, among others). NB: The most effective remedy to prevent a person’s bioelectronic state from attaining low rH2 values would appear to be the use of Kaqun water containing active oxygen.

So the effects of active hydrogen and oxygen obtained by electrolysis would beautifully complement the arts of healing, especially in the prevention of disease. They constitute simple electrochemical and thermodynamic applications that should be better taught in schools of medicine and pharmacy.


Hydrogen water formed at the cathode is a highly reductive water (i.e. an antioxidant) whose therapeutic applications extend well beyond what its proponents have reported. Better knowledge of medical bioelectronics opens prospects that would excite the most daring physicians. Those who have practiced medical bioelectronics for the past 50 years have never had such powerful medicine (i.e. hydrogen water) at their disposal, to modify what they call « a patient’s bioelectronic terrain ».


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