[01:19] What Got Dr. Pollack In This Specialty?
[07:09] The Importance of Water’s Function, Especially in Muscle Physiology
[14:34] How Water Gets Charged
[28:45] Is All Water the Same?
[36:11] Testing Generic Store-Bought Water
[44:11] End of Podcast
Ben: Hey, folks. It’s Ben Greenfield here. And today, we’re going to be talking about water. With me on the call is someone who has a PhD in Bioengineering and who is currently on faculty at the University of Washington, in the Department of Bioengineering. His name is Dr. Gerald Pollack, and his research teams are primarily in the area of systems and quantitative biology. And much of the research that he does is on aqueous solutions, on water, on storage potentials of water, on purification systems, and all sorts of things related to water. And since water is something that we are drinking every day, and showering in, and bathing in, and filtering and trying to use to enhance our health or enhance our performance, I thought that we should get Dr. Pollack on the call to talk about some of his expertise and ask him some of the important questions when it comes to water. So, Dr. Pollack thank you for coming on the call today.
Dr. Pollack: Hi, Ben. Happy to be with you and happy to answer any questions that you might have.
Ben: Well, let’s start here. In terms of you and your background in the field of water, what got you into this particular specialty in the first place?
Dr. Pollack: I was studying muscles mainly, which I guess is relevant to many of the people listening. So, let me give you a bit of background of the muscle contraction, the ideas about how muscle contracts or ideas that date, oh, maybe half a century back. We’re talking about the molecular mechanisms involving proteins, the proteins actin and myosin and such. There has been a theory that’s been around, if you look at any book or any textbook, you can see some very nice artistic drawings of those proteins that mechanistically do certain things. And the odd thing about that is that they leave out the water. And I must admit that I myself was guilty for many years of thinking about muscles as consisting of a few characteristic proteins that then develop the force and create the motion, but the water was absent. And if you think about how much water there is in muscle, or in the body for that matter, we all know it’s roughly two-thirds, of our volume is water. But if you think about what that means in terms of the number of molecules, the water molecule is really small, it’s a tiny molecule, and other molecules in our body are pretty large. You need a lot of water molecules to make up that two-thirds volume. And it turns out that, in fact, you, and I, and your listeners, 99% of our molecules are water molecules. I’m not sure if you’re aware of that. So, there’s a lot of water molecules and I thought, “Well, it’s really interesting because muscle consists of 99% water molecules, and yet every textbook eliminates or omits all those water molecules. How is it possible that the muscle proteins, apparently, could act in a vacuum?
Ben: I never even thought about that before. I mean, I’ve got textbooks lining my shelves of muscle function and anatomy, and actin and myosin fibers, and all these pictures. It never really struck me ’til you just said that, that you don’t see water in those diagrams.
Dr. Pollack: No, you don’t see water in those diagrams. And I think the reason is that, it used to be that when people thought about muscle, they thought about the water. In fact, the guy who was the head of the field by far was a real pioneer, this was 60, 70 years ago. His name is Albert Szent-Gyorgyi. Szent-Gyorgyi is national hero from Hungary. He discovered vitamin C. And Szent-Gyorgyi won the Nobel Prize, of course, and et cetera, and he was a kind of scientist’s scientist and he knew that water was central to everything. In fact, he thought that the contraction, he wrote this and I saw it only recently, he said, “The contraction of muscle is triggered by a destructuring of water.” So, he had the idea 60 or 70 years ago that the water inside the muscle was not just like water molecules in the glass that you might drink, but that water, since it most of it sat next to some actin or myosin protein, had a kind of impact of those proteins or it was ordered, and he knew that that was absolutely central.
So, then, following him, a lot of people followed, and during the past 50 or 60 years, a lot of the research in biology has, you might say it’s a reductionist approach, it takes apart each component part and tries to boil it down to absolutely minimum components. So, we’re talking about molecules and sub molecular parts. So, what you’re doing is taking apart the whole structure. And when you take apart the whole structure, a lot of us tend to forget about the water because we’re looking at just that protein or part of a protein. And so, people gradually began to lose sight of the fact that muscles, that 99% of the molecules, they are water molecules. So, I think it’s a real mistake because the water molecules are really important. Anyway, you asked the question, and to answer your question specifically, it was basically the idea that how could you take the water away from a structure and try to understand how the structure operates without considering the possible role of water. So, that’s where I got started.
Ben: Right, right. Okay, that makes sense. I guess kind of a logical question from there is that when you got into beginning to study water and why water seems to be kind of left out of some of these equations and how water actually does interact, what did you find? I mean, I’ve seen that you’ve written books on water. I know you have a book coming out soon, you have another book called “Cells, Gels, and the Engines of Life”, and I know that in those books you highlight the importance of water and its absolute importance to cell biology. But what are some of the important things that you’ve found when it comes to water’s function, especially when it comes to things like muscle performance, or physiology, or contraction?
Dr. Pollack: Okay. Long question. So, let me answer that bit by bit. First of all, the book that you mentioned, the “Cells, Gels, and the Engines of Life” is now 10 years old. And that book, as you mentioned, describes the role of water in biology and cell biology, and basically in everything that your cell does. And the main conclusion in that book is that almost every basic function inside your cell, water plays an active role. In other words, the chemistry of water is well integrated into the chemistry of what happens inside every cell in your body. That was the main message. So, at the time, we knew that there was a lot of evidence, from mainly old evidence, that the water inside the cell was organized in some way. We think of water molecules as being randomly scattered about, moving very rapidly and having some sort of non-predictable random orientation. Well, in the cell, that’s not true. The water that’s sitting, if you can imagine a protein surface and water molecules near it, so what happens is that the charges on those protein surfaces organize the water molecules nearby so that they kind of stack up, and that stacking can extend pretty far. Inside the cell, it doesn’t really have to extend very far because the proteins are so close to each other that you actually have, the space, typically, between two nearby proteins is the equivalent of about seven water molecules. So, all the water, essentially, all the water inside your cell is near some charged protein or nucleic acid surface. So, almost all the water is lined up. So, it’s not like water in the glass where the water is bulk water. That’s random. We knew that, and the fact that the water molecules were lined up plays a key role in everything that your cells do.
Okay. So, the book was published. And a year or two later, we began to look for some new modern experimental evidence that bares on the nature of that kind of ordered water, and we were shocked. We came upon an observation that these water molecules could actually line up not by two or three layers next to a surface, but we could find examples of two or three million layers in the right situation. In other words, like a stack of bricks that went up to the size of a mile-high building or something like that, on, and on, and on, and on. It was just because of the experimental situation that we had that we could see it. So, of course, we became extremely interested. From an experimental point of view, it was a great advantage that we had so many of these molecules lined up because then we could study them easily. If you have only a few, it’s hard to study. But if you have a lot of them, then it’s easy to study. So, we had a lot of them. At first, people thought, “It’s impossible. It simply can’t be true because there’s a lot of random energy, random motions going on, and you could never expect anything to build that high.” But we studied it for a few years and it became clear that this was real, and then we began to look at it the properties of this stuff.
And so, we were continually amazed that in fact month by month, the odd thing, it’s not odd, but it’s rather interesting is that this ordered water, we actually call it exclusion zone water, or EZ water for short, because it excludes almost everything, just like ice, packed, the structure is very similar to ice. You have all these molecules lining up in some kind of almost crystalline arrangement and nothing fits into that lattice. Everything is excluded. No matter what you can think of, it’s excluded. So, that was the first, this EZ water. The second thing that we found is that it has charge. It’s not neutral. So, water molecules, you think of it as being neutral. But we found that the zone was charged. To form this zone, the water molecules not only gathered together, but they divided up into negative charge and positive charge. So, this region, this exclusion zone region had a negative charge, and all the water that was left beyond that had positive charge. So, it was like a battery, negative, positive.
Dr. Pollack: Isn’t it? We thought that was really a cool observation, because nobody ever thinks about a battery in water.
Ben: Yeah. It’s different than what most of us learn even in just like high school chemistry or Chemistry 101. Water is kind of like a neutral H2O molecule. We don’t see that it stacks like that or has these type of charges that you’re describing to me.
Dr. Pollack: Yeah. Absolutely. What you learn in the textbook and what I learned in the textbook, as little as I learned, is much, so, this is really new stuff, Ben. It’s stuff that’s just coming out now. But if you think about charge separation, if you think about that, if you just look up in the sky in Seattle today, we’ve got cloudy skies and it always rains here. So, if you think about it and think about the sun during the lightning, in order to get lightning, you’re talking about potential differences or voltages of hundreds of thousands of volts. And those hundreds of thousands of volts, most of the discharges go between cloud and cloud. That’s about 80% of them. And so, it means that you have one clouds filled with water, basically clouds are water, and another glop of water somewhere else, and the potential difference between those two bodies of water builds up to hundreds of thousands of volts. That’s a very substantial battery of water. And we see batteries of water with charges separated and we’re talking about not hundreds of thousands of volts, but maybe less than one volt between, maybe a few tenths of a volt or something. So, it’s not so unusual just think about the battery with charge separation in water. You’re probably going to ask, Ben, “Well, where does the energy come from to give you this charge separation?” Or maybe you weren’t going to ask that. Were you? Okay. Doesn’t matter.
Ben: What I’m curious about is, yeah, how is water getting this charge and how is it stacking like that, I guess.
Dr. Pollack: Okay. So, let me tell you. The energy, here was the biggest surprise, the energy comes from light. Light. By light, I mean, in the scientific kind of conception of light, it’s not just the visible range of wavelengths of light, the ones we see, but extending more beyond in the ultraviolet region and the infrared region especially. So, we kind of call light any electromagnetic wave of any wavelength. But it doesn’t matter because visible light works, it builds this charge separation into red light, works even better. It builds this separation.
Ben: But isn’t it dark inside our muscles?
Dr. Pollack: It’s dark inside your muscles. However, the infrared energy is always there. Example, I mean this is free energy, it’s free for the taking. It’s always there. Have you ever seen a picture taken with an infrared camera? I’m not sure you…
Ben: Yeah. I think so. I think I have.
Dr. Pollack: So, in the dark, you can use it in sniper scopes if you want to shoot somebody…
Ben: It’s kind of like the night vision type of…
Dr. Pollack: Yeah, night vision. Yeah. So, if you turn off all the lights in your studio, or your room, whatever and turn on the infrared camera, you get a beautiful image, not only of you, but your equipment, and the walls, and the chairs. Everything is generating infrared. It’s almost impossible to get rid of it. It’s like a gift of nature, it’s always there. In order to get rid of it, you have to bring the temperature down to absolute zero, -273 degrees C. We’re not there. Scientists talk about “free energy”, but this is genuinely free energy. It’s there for the taking. So, with this energy, if you have this energy available, and it’s always available, that’s the energy that’s required for building this charge separation and building the ordering of water. So, you can’t get, it’s like your cell phone, you’ve got to plug it into the wall to get charged. Otherwise, it runs down. Well, it’s the same thing with this. You need energy. In order to build charge separation, build this battery charge separation, or build order, you need energy, and that’s where the energy comes from.
So, probably, you’re thinking, well, this is a real surprise. And it was for us. However, if you just think about it, you probably have a plant sitting right next to you right now. And where does the plant get its energy? Well, it gets its energy from light the same way as I’m suggesting to you that water gets its energy from light. So, the light comes into the plant, it builds chemical energy, which actually involves charge separation and water. That’s the first step of photosynthesis. So, you have the charge separation occurring in water. So, the light, I would say the word transduces, or the light is absorbed, and that energy from the absorption of light is, we say transduced into a different kind of energy, and that different kind of energy is the battery charge. It’s charging the battery, light is charging it. And then that energy is free to be used. See, that’s the key part. Just like the plant uses the chemical energy, the water uses the chemical energy too. And we can actually demonstrate in a glass of water that you think is just sort of sitting there and not doing anything, but, actually, it does a lot. Molecules inside the water are moving around ferociously and doing all kinds of things.
We even found we could insert a tube, just like a straw made of some polymeric material, you just put it, lay it in the water, and what you find is that the water will flow continuously through it, unendingly. It just keeps flowing, and flowing, and flowing. It’s kind of like taking one of your blood vessels and putting it in the water and finding that the blood just keeps flowing without a heart. So, that has energy to do this, just like a heart does it inside your blood vessels. And that energy, we’ve demonstrated, comes from light. So, the light is coming in and, if you will, pushing the water through the tube. So, this is one example of how the water takes this energy that comes in and transduces it into other kinds of energy. So, as you can guess, we’re excited about this finding and…
Ben: Yeah. And you’re seeing that actual water inside human body cells?
Dr. Pollack: Well, no. Now what I’m telling you is, all I’ve told you in the past few minutes involves experiments outside the body. But it applies certainly inside the body, there’s really not much difference. But we have a special chamber that we use and we take certain kinds of materials and we find this exclusion zone grows right next to these materials in the presence of infrared light or any kind of light, infrared is especially good. So, that’s why we’ve been able to see and get all the details that we’ve been able to get because we have this special preparation. But your question is quite appropriate. The question is, “Well, okay. So, what? You see this thing in a laboratory. What does that mean for you and for me?” That was your question, right?
Ben: Exactly. I mean, how does this manifest itself in terms of like our health or our performance when it comes to what you’re observing in laboratory conditions?
Dr. Pollack: Okay. So, that’s a deep question. It’s not a question that’s answerable in two sentences. Let me give a go at it. The first thing is that this easy water is a kind of structured water. I mean, it’s organized. It’s ordered in some way. And in the book that we mentioned, the “Cells, Gels, and the Engines of Life”, the main message of that book is this kind of ordered water is central to everything you do. So, in other words, what we now call EZ water, the same as ordered or structure of water 10 years ago, the water that now we know a lot of properties about it, is in your cells. So, every one of your cells is filled with this stuff. I’m not saying that 100% of the water in the cell is this kind of water, but it’s mostly ordered EZ water. It means if you, for example, want to find out how a muscle really works, you can take those same actin and myosin proteins that we all know about, but add the component that’s always been missing, and that is the EZ water. It means you’ve got, your muscle cell is filled with the proteins and this kind of water. So, immediately, one of the interesting features that comes to mind is, well, okay, well what does infrared energy, how does that affect your muscles?
Ben: Yeah. ‘Cause you see things like infrared saunas, and infrared wraps, and things of that nature actually being marketed to athletes and also in kind of like the health care sectors.
Dr. Pollack: And what generally is the result of using those?
Ben: Well, they’re designed for enhancing blood flow primarily. And in a few situations, at least from a little bit of what I’ve seen, a possible increase in growth hormone or speeding up the healing of injuries.
Dr. Pollack: Yeah. Okay. So, just think about all of what you just said. Speeding up blood flow is certainly a possibility, but I would suggest something more fundamental. It’s the same thing that you feel in a sauna or you would feel with infrared light, what I’ve been telling you is that this sort of stuff builds EZ water. So, inside your body, your cells are filled with EZ water, and I could imagine that a muscle that’s fatigued, or a muscle that’s injured, or a muscle that’s overworked, or whatever, that some of this EZ water has been depleted, the proteins are not functioning as well as they did earlier, and the energy is gone, and probably the EZ water is also depleted and diminished. In order to perform well, this EZ water needs to be raised back to its full compliment. You go to the doctor, the doctor always says drink water if you’re sick. Well, there’s something to that. It’s the water that is really important for function.
So, it means if you apply infrared light, what you’re doing is, just the same as in the laboratory, you’re building back this EZ water. So, if you have an injury, then the infrared energy, whether it’s from a sauna, or from an infrared light, or whatever, it should be doing the same thing. It should be building up and restoring you back to your original pristine state. So, it’s the same with your brain, or muscles, or whatever, you go into a sauna, two hours later, or one hour later, or 15 minutes later, you feel great. And I think the effect of this is not just psychological. It’s actually physiological, that the energy that’s coming, the infrared energy that’s coming from all of this is having a major impact on the water inside your body. It’s restoring that depleted EZ water, or structured water, back to its original state.
Ben: So, it’s almost as though you’re initiating that charge that you’re talking about into the water, almost like restructuring it?
Dr. Pollack: Absolutely. Restructuring. You’re building it back up again. And when you build it back up again, this chart separation is basically potential energy. Batteries have potential energy and you use that potential energy. And so, it’s the same in the cell. The separation of charge, related to this water I’m suggesting to you, is really important. It’s electrical energy that your cell uses. Because all the reactions that go on in your cell involve charge, either negative charge or positive charge. Some reactions need negative charge for driving, some need positive charge, and all that charge is right there as a consequence of the charge separation that I’ve been talking about. I think that’s what these devices do. I mean we have no direct evidence for that, but I can surmise that that’s probably the case. But there’s also, just before I leave that point, inside your body, all the metabolic reactions are generating heat. Well, heat is similar to infrared energy. So, it means that the reactions themselves that occur in your body supply fuel. It’s not just heat wasted and radiated away. That energy is actually, or can be, again this conjecture, can be fuel that drives the build-up of structured water. It comes all the way around, and I think that provides some explanation.
So, muscles also, I just want to go back because we started muscles for so many years and one of the things is that nobody really understands what happens when you have a muscle knot. Why does it sometimes knot up. Although we were never studying athletes, although our focus was at that molecular level, we could see those knots forming, even isolated strands of muscle that we were studying. And now, I think I better understand that the infrared energy, what it can do, in plausibly removing those or helping to remove those knots, is it builds up the water structure, and the water structure is needed to bring the muscle back to its ordinary relaxed state so it can contract again. That knot is actually sort of fully contracted and you need to get away from the fully contracted state. The water inside that knot is just ordinary water. It needs to build back up to the structured EZ water, and infrared should help that. As should massage.
Dr. Pollack: Anyway, that’s a long answer to a short question.
Ben: Well, it seems to me like from what you describe so far in terms of the ability of water to both carry a charge and also form a structure within ourselves, like to me when I’m looking at this from, for me from like an athlete’s point of view, would be, “Okay. Well, there’s two different ways that this my might help me if I wanted to the water within my cells to be as structured or as charged as possible.” It sounds like, we just talked about how perhaps, huge extrapolation, but perhaps something like infrared or something like even exercise might have an effect at charging or structuring water. What about the actual water itself? Like the water were drinking, the water we’re showering in, et cetera. Is all water the same or are there things that you can do to water before you consume it or expose your body to it that might make it more likely to be charged, or structured, or whatever the case may be?
Dr. Pollack: Okay. Another really good question with an answer that is, lots to say about this. First of all, I’ve been studying water now for quite a few years, and waters differ. They’re not the same at all. Anybody who tells you that water is water, it’s just H2O and there ain’t nothing you can do about it to change it…
Ben: Yeah. I hear that a lot, actually.
Dr. Pollack: Yeah. Well, I’m sure you do. But the evidence, published evidence, evidence all over, well, I come back to our own work. The new book that will be coming out in a few months, actually a version is on my home page, my University of Washington home page, and anybody can freely download it if they’re interested. It’s not the final version, it’s a draft, but…
Ben: It’s your University of Washington page?
Dr. Pollack: Right. Yeah. I don’t have a URL off-hand, but it’s easy. There’s a button that says “New Book”, and if you click it, you can look at it. The final version should be ready in a few months. So, there are some changes. But it shows a 400-page book full of, my son’s the artist, he’s a great artist, and beautiful pictures and whatever, and I think clearly written, it shows that it is simply absolutely untrue that water is just H2O and that’s it. So many changes can occur in the water, especially in terms of this EZ water. Because even a glass of water that you have, that you drink, a certain fraction of it is almost certainly EZ water. So, if the fraction is almost zero, which is probably true in distilled water, that comes out of a [0:30:37] ______ and there’s ultra-pure, some of which we use in the laboratory, then you don’t have much of it. On the other hand, most waters are either sitting next to a surface or have molecules of some sort inside of them. And any surface, any surface of anything that’s dissolved or floating in the water creates this EZ structure. So, if you have a clean glass surface, for example, it’s going to create this structure. If you have some minerals in the water, they’re going to create this structure. And the amount of it is not yet clear because this really needs to be studied in a highly systematic way and it’s not been done. On the other hand, various people have been creating what they call “structured water”, or “ordered water”, or “energized water”, what have you.
Ben: Yeah. It seems like it’s a big industry. Like you see this stuff all over the place. Especially, like kind of like the health and fitness sector. Any expo I go to, there’s people trying, selling this stuff in bottles. It’s 10 times the price of a normal bottle of water, but it’s structured water or something of that nature.
Dr. Pollack: Right. I can’t give you anything definitive on this. I can only tell you that probably some of the people are charlatans. On the other hand, I know that some of the people are not charlatans and some of these waters have demonstrably altered features. I’ll just give you one example of a number of examples of different kinds of water that show altered properties. One of the waters I tested, we tested in the laboratory, it’s not available for the public, but I think it may be in the future, and it’s water that’s treated in a certain well-defined way and I think there’s a patent for it. We got some of that water, and then we brought it into the laboratory, and it sat around on my desk for about two months before I was able to get a student to check it out. And it showed there’s a kind of signature indication of this EZ water. So, even after sitting around for two months, we put it in a spectrometer to test for this water and it absolutely showed it really clearly. I was excited about it because the fellow who makes it says that his various friends and colleagues have experienced unimaginably good health since drinking it. And more interesting than that, certain patients with serious pathologies were actually cured.
So, he was telling me, and I actually examined hospital records, and that colleague of mine went to interview the patients, and this scoop is this, these are patients, there were a handful of them so far. The patients who had irreversible kidney disease, and they were about to go on dialysis, looking for a replacement kidney. So, they knew about this guy and they started drinking the water. So, the hospital records confirmed what my friend told me, that in 21 days, or three weeks after drinking the water, they couldn’t find any more pathology. It was reversed. I’m not sure, one would have to do serious objective tests with controls and what have you, but it seemed to me that there were two things, that this water had EZ in spades, it was full of EZ water, and the hospital records and interviews by somebody confirmed that there really was something going on there. So, that’s one example. And I’ve heard from various other people about their water, and some of them are actually, I know one who’s putting the structured water and making gels, and these gels have amazing skin healing properties that…
Ben: Like a topical gel that you put on your skin?
Dr. Pollack: Topical gel. Right. So, in and around, and I think that the studies absolutely need to be done objectively, comparatively, double-blind studies to make sure this is correct. But I’ve seen enough of it to suggest that such studies really would be worthwhile because there might be something really good it could be, plausibly, a kind of generic healer that could impact virtually almost anything in your body. If it’s really true that function depends on this EZ water, then it doesn’t matter what organ, you just want to restore this EZ water to its pristine state. And you can do this either by infrared, or light of various sorts. And another way is to actually drink some of this water. That’s hypothesis right now, and it would be great to test it. But I think there might be something there in the future.
Ben: Have you ever, in your lab, taken, you talked about how you put this stuff that somebody brought you into a spectrometer. Have you ever taken just like Aquafina or some kind of generic store-bought water and done the same thing and notice a difference between the two?
Dr. Pollack: No. We haven’t done that. We have plans to do it. I’m not sure that I would necessarily take the store-bought waters, but they would certainly be possible as controls. But in order to do this properly, you really need to do an extensive series of tests, to do it right. You won’t really get anywhere if you take one water, put it in the spectrometer, and wave a flag and say, “Hey! This stuff looks pretty good because it has EZ water.” It’s got to be done systematically. It has to be done with multiple waters. In fact, what we have planned is, if we can get the funding for it, that’s the big issue, to do a proper job is to look at pathological animal models. For example, some people have claimed that tumors are reversed by this kind of water. So, what we would like to do is to take mice bearing tumors and give, do control and experimental tests, give each group of mice different kinds of water that they drink over an extended period of time and then examine to see whether there’s a difference in the tumors after given amounts of time. So, it sounds simple, but it’s actually quite extensive and expensive to carry out those studies properly. And we do the same with kidney disease, and we do the same with diabetes, and so on and see if there is a kind of generic healing effect of certain types of water, and then check those waters to see if they really contain EZ water or maybe there’s something else that’s even more important than that. We don’t know for sure.
Ben: Right. Now for people who want to kind of look into this a little bit more, when you’re saying EZ water, like have you written about it in literature at all? Are you literally, is it like “E” like elephant, “Z” like Zebra water, or is that how you’re pronouncing it?
Dr. Pollack: Right. EZ, exclusion zone, EZ.
Ben: Exclusion zone water.
Dr. Pollack: Elephant-Zebra. It’s so-called “EZ” to pronounce. EZ? Right? So, it kind of [0:38:16] ______. It’s not a good name and I’m sorry, but someone suggested it about six or seven years ago, when we were getting started with it, and the name stuck because it’s, well, “EZ” to… yeah. So, we have many papers that we’ve published in the literature to describe the properties of this kind of water, but I think your listeners might not have such easy access or interest in scientific details. That’s the reason for this book.
Ben: Well, I’ll certainly link to your website. But what you’re suggesting, it sounds to me like, is that if water can carry enhanced structure and carry this charge that you’re noting in the exclusion zone water, that it may, although it still needs to be looked at in studies, that it may affect the health of an organ, or the health of a cell, or the health of muscle tissue that contains that water?
Dr. Pollack: Absolutely. Right on. You got it. I think that’s a distinct, absolutely distinct possibility.
Ben: Yeah. I think it’s one of those things where you can see so many people right now jumping on the bandwagon and trying to market stuff like this. But I think that you’re right, that I mean what we really need are studies that compare one form of water to another form of water. Like you say, take mice with tumors and see how they respond to water that has a higher amount of this exclusion zone going on. Yeah, there’s just so much work that still needs to be done, huh?
Dr. Pollack: Yeah. Absolutely. The problem is that the people who make the water have financial incentive in suggesting that their water’s great. Everybody knows that. So, there’s huge skepticism out there, skepticism from that point of view, along with what we learned in the chemistry book, that water is H2O and there’s nothing you can do about that. That’s all. Period. That’s all there is. So, those are the two important factors. And that’s why I think it would be really important if some, you might say, neutral group or a group that has no financial interest in any of this, but has experience dealing with water. And it doesn’t have to be us, it could be any group, although I think we’ve done a lot of work that sort of puts us at the center of this. Someone needs to do it. We actually applied to the National Institutes of Health to get some money in a fairly and ambitious proposal, but it didn’t get very far. I’m not sure of the reasons, but well, 90% of grant proposals are rejected, or don’t get funded because of competition and such. But I think, in part, it needs to have somebody who, you might say, believes in the possibility that this might be true and is not convinced that there’s no such thing but H2O, that’s all there is. And no matter how many studies you do, you’ll never find anything different. It needs to be someone who’s, or a group of people whose mind is open enough to be interested in carrying out such studies. Eventually, I think we’ll get our money and go ahead and do this. It just needs substantial funding in order for it to be carried out. But I think, potentially, depending on how the results turn out, it could be a real breakthrough.
Ben: Interesting. Cool. Well, I know that we’ve kind of just scratched the surface in terms of of geeking out on water, but what I’m going to do is I’m going to link, for those of you listening in, to Dr. Pollack’s website over at the University of Washington faculty page, where you can kind of see some of the stuff that’s going to be, did you say you have a title for your upcoming book?
Dr. Pollack: I didn’t tell you, but finally we arrived at a title. It’s called “The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor”. I think this is the fourth phase of water. It’s in between liquid and solid. And someone suggested, a prominent physical chemist a hundred years ago that there is a fourth phase of water because there was so much evidence at that time, a hundred years ago, that the interface when certain solids meet water, actually hydrophilic solids, that is water loving solids, which most are, that the water changes and there’s something different about that region, there’s some phase, some area that’s different. And there’s enough of it to suggest that it’s a different phase of water. We all learned that water was solid, liquid, vapor. This might be equivalent or might be a fourth phase of water.
Ben: I’m going to have to go back and take Chemistry 101.
Dr. Pollack: No, no, no. Don’t take chemistry because you won’t learn this.
Ben: Well, this hits mainstream. So, I’ll link to your website so people can read about that a little bit more and also link to this other book that you wrote in the past, although it sounds like your newer book is probably going to be a little more comprehensive. And for those of you listening in who have more questions, feel free to leave them in the show notes to this podcast episode over at bengreenfieldfitness.com. I know that we always get lots of questions about water and I’ve talked before about water filters and things of that nature, and I think that’s just verifies what Dr. Pollack has told us today, just verifies that not all water is the same and there’s some pretty cool things that he is observing in his lab that I think we’re probably just scratching the surface of. So, Dr. Pollack, thank you for your time today and for coming on the call.
Dr. Pollack: My pleasure. I really enjoyed it. Take care! Okay.
A few weeks ago I tweeted about a fasting low carb diet:
Today I talked to guy who hammers through 6hr workouts after 24hr fasts & figured out how 2 do it without bonking. Want me 2 interview him?
– Ben Greenfield (@bengreenfield) August 9, 2012
I received multiple responses of “Yes!”.
The guy I mentioned in that tweet was Peter Attia, who has been on my show before in the episode “Is It Possible To Be Extremely Active and Eat A Low Carbohydrate Diet?”.
As promised, I got him on to talk about how to turn yourself into a fat burning machine by fasting for 24 hours and then going out and doing a monster workout (without bonking), and in today’s interview with Peter, I ask him:
-Do you stay in ketogenesis all the time?
-When you do something like fast for 24 hours, then go on a long bike ride, what exactly are you trying to achieve?
-What do you actually take on or before a long ketogenic training session? Any calories at all, or just some kind of supplements?
-What do you think is the ideal protocol for someone during a workout in which they want to maintain as high an intensity as possible, but also burn fatty acids as a primary fuel?
-Do you think there could be potential side effects of this approach, such as a decreased metabolic rate, lower thyroid, immune system deficits, or anything like that?
A few resources Peter and I discuss in this interview are (and by the way, sorry about my ice crunching habit, my mic sensitivity was turned up way higher than I thought!):
-Abbott Diabetes Care ketone monitor – This is the device Peter uses for checking his glucose and beta-hydroxybutyrate (B-OHB) levels (those are his ketones).
-UCAN SuperStarch – a corn based starch fueling product with very low release of insulin and extremely stable blood sugar compared to other gels, sports drinks, powders or bars.
If you enjoyed this episode, you should also tune into our other water episodes:
-Earlier this year, in an interview with Dr. David Getoff, entitled “How To Reduce The Risk From Swimming in Chlorinated Pools and Drinking Chlorinated Water.” (and we also discuss water filters in that episode).
-Before that, we had a podcast that asked: Are You Getting Scammed By Alkaline Water, Ionized Water, Magnetic Water, Oxygenated Water or Structured Water?