Double Helix Water

Guest Blog by Festival Nifty Fifty Speaker Joe Schwarcz PhD

Unfortunately chemistry is a mystery to many.  And that suits the hucksters just fine.  It sets the stage for cashing in on chemical ignorance by bamboozling people with scientific sounding balderdash.  Ignorance, though, is not total.  There is one molecular formula that people do tend to recognize and that is, good old H2O.  Then if you press them to name an important chemical in the body, chances are they will come up with DNA.  And they are likely to have some sort of mental picture of the double helix structure of DNA, since after all, it’s been widely featured in popular books, movies and TV shows.  You can hardly miss the huge model of DNA on the set of The “Big Bang Theory!”

Given that both water and DNA are generally recognized as essential to life, it comes as little surprise that bottles of “Double Helix Water” have appeared on the scene.  The label lists “pure water” as the only ingredient, but does feature a reference to a publication in a physics journal about “stable water clusters, followed by the disclaimer that “the company does not endorse claims or have scientific proof that stable water clusters are effective in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease.”  Obviously, though, the intent is to infer health claims.  Why else would the Double Helix website feature testimonials about improved energy, reduced pain, better sleep and improved mental clarity?  And why would a book by the dynamic duo who promote this water feature on its cover the question: “Could this discovery save your life?”  And why would that book have a series of pictures that purport to be infrared images of cancer patients before and after drinking double-helix water?  I have no idea where those pictures actually come from, but the implication is that this preposterous product has some sort of effect on cancer.

Dr. Schwarcz

Whatever the power of Double Helix water is, it must be potent.  Why?  Because the water has to be diluted to be used.  Imagine the nonsense of diluting water with water.  According to the instructions you just add three to four drops to a glass of distilled water and then drink two glasses a day.  The mumbo jumbo that explains how Double Helix water works is astounding.  Here’s a gem: “Stable Water Clusters found in Double Helix Water may act as the body’s fundamental building block; a foundation for self healing and protection from environmental toxins.  The water may help bypass blocked Meridians and allow Qi to flow again.”  And of course it may not.  Meridians are mythical channels through which the mythical Qi energy flows.

What about the notion that this “newly discovered phase of water can unravel the differences between allopathic and homeopathic medicine.”  Just what is this newly discovered phase of water?  A figment of the promoters’ imagination.  Water molecules do form associations with each other with the partial positive charge on the hydrogen atom being attracted to the negative charge on the oxygen.  At any given moment these associations may be described as a “cluster,” but they only have a transitory existence, on the order of picoseconds, before the molecules rearrange to another “cluster.”  These clusters have no observable properties and cannot be “stabilized.”  Needless to say they have nothing to do with any crackpot ideas of transporting toxins or building bridges over energy blockages.  All that you get for forking over about sixty dollars for fifteen milliliters of very ordinary water is a spectacular lesson in hucksterism.

It seems that it would be hard to outdo the double helix water malarkey, but “TC Energy Design” gives it a valiant try.  The real problem with water, you see, is that it is “weakened by flowing in straight pipes and by the unnatural high water pressure.”  That’s why before we drink it, it should be “energized and revitalized.”  “Consuming food and water of higher vibration supports you both consciously and unconsciously” and “vitalized water supports the purification processes of the body which is essential for health and well-being.”  And how do you get your water to vibrate properly?  Simplicity itself.  Just store it for three minutes in a carafe or glass created by Austrian composer Thomas Chochola, the “TC” of Energy Design.  This is no ordinary glassware.  Oh nooo.., it is balanced, harmonic glassware!  Chochola has managed to “convert his musical compositions into spatial dimensions using mathematical calculations.”

“The shape of the glassware,” we are told, “generates an energizing resonance pattern that restores the water within and improves the surrounding environment with subtle waves of harmonic resonance.”  Needless to say, “all dimensions are musically fine-tuned with one another and with a 6-wave primary structure they emit a major triad, which can be mathematically expressed as a relationship of 1:3:5:8.  These ratios can be observed in nature and stand in resonance to superordinate motion sequences in the cosmos.  The engagement of the TC shapes with biological naturally occurring factors can be physically described as a coherence phenomenon.”  It can also be described as incoherent poppycock.

The TC website even has a page pompously titled “The Science.”  Here we find pictures of “water crystals” before and after the water is stored in the magical carafe.  Never mind that there is no such thing as a water crystal.  There are of course ice crystals, but no water crystals.  The “biological valency” of the water also improves.  This, I learned, is a measurement system “used by many dowsers and geomants to locate the vitality of humans and food.”  Yup, geomants.  And what is a geomant?  One who practices a method of divination by interpreting markings on the ground or the patterns formed by tossing handfuls of soil, rocks or sand into the air.  If you don’t want to take the word of dowsers or geomants, how about the word of  a Japanese laboratory that claims to have observed a decrease in stress levels thirty minutes after drinking TC water.  I think I need to drink some of the stuff some because my stress level increases just by reading this nonsense.

Although the carafes designed by Thomas Chochola are pricey, a glass drinking straw created on the basis of “modern quantum physics as well as ancient insights into the natural flow of energy” is available for about twenty dollars.  Of course it “incorporates the principle of the vortex for an increase in energy level.”  Just imagine the astounding benefits of sucking double helix water through this straw!  Suckers are welcome to give it a shot.

To read more about Dr. Schwarcz and all of the USA Science & Engineering Nifty Fifty Speakers click here.

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Hello Joe,

I'm afraid you did not do very thorough research into Double Helix Water before you published your slam of this product.

We have had seven papers from the Water and Health Symposium we held this past January at Cal Tech published in a peer reviewed medical journal, you can view them at this link:,744ec0d724b3294…

I suggest you do more research before putting down something.

Kindest Regards,
Jon Knutson

By Jon Knutson (not verified) on 27 Aug 2013 #permalink

I found the article interesting although clearly vulnerable to a frequent criticism that "mainstream medicine doesn't 'get' it and refuses to consider outsider science." I was also interested to read the sole prior commenter mention "peer reviewed medical journal" and "Cal Tech" so I looked into that, too.

It would be more useful if the commenter had posted links to free PDFs of the published articles; then we might be able to read and judge them for ourselves. Otherwise they are expensive to purchase.

The "peer reviewed medical journal" seems to be the Forum on Immunopathological Diseases and Therapeutics, a quarterly publication where submissions of conference proceedings are reviewed by internal editors rather than outside reviewers. While the editors and editorial board seem to be of high quality and from varied institutions - this is no "house journal" - it has a short pedigree of less than 4 years.

The prior commenter also mentioned "Cal Tech" with the apparent intent of sharing in the halo effect from that institution. Actually, it seems the conference was held at The Athenaeum, the faculty club of the California Institute of Technology. The Athenaeum [] is rentable space for everything from social gatherings to weddings. While it is on the campus, I doubt a conference booked there accrues any real legitimacy beyond in the minds of the renters.

I'd like very much to read reports of clinical research into double helix water or stable water clusters published in established journals that use a clinical medicine model of outside peer review, preferring randomized controlled trials and medium-to-large sample sizes over case reports.

Please do submit those URLs.

By Rick Closson (not verified) on 31 Oct 2013 #permalink