My recent jaunt through one of America's great natural treasures was desecrated by snake oil.
A day trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park included a stop at a restaurant in Cherokee, N.C., the unfortunately touristy town in the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians reservation. Here, the hulking Harrah's Casino rises up in an incongruous heap among the majestic mountains of the park. Had we not been hungry, we would have sped right through and back to nature. But stop we did, and while waiting to place my order I spotted a "Free Edition" of "Healthy Living News." Couldn't resist.
The "news" was exclusively concerning "Alkaline Antioxidant Water," the one true cure for all diseases of man and beast. Here's a testimonial from Sam, who, in just four months of drinking this stuff daily, lost over 30 pounds, six inches off his waist and came off of 6 prescription drugs. Gout and acid reflux disappeared too. Bill was told he had Stage 4 throat cancer. After "massive doses of chemotherapy and radiation," his doctors were pleased with the results, his tumor not having "grown anymore," but they told him there was "nothing left that they could do" so they "sent me home to die." That same month, Bill starting drinking Alkaline Antioxidant Water. HIs mouth sores were gone within 48 hours. Seven months later, the doctors were "in awe of my progress." No more cancer. (One wonders why he was scheduled for this checkup if they doctors "sent him home to die.") Donna defeated Type 2 diabetes. While on diabetes medication, she started drinking AAW and her blood glucose level became normal and she was able to get off medication. Chris gave Alkaline Antioxidant Water to her 8-year-old "German Shepherd dog" (so described, I assume, in case we might think Chris has a human shepherd from Germany). The dog started acting like a puppy again. But that's nothing. Brenda overcame diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, acid reflux and constipation without the need for medications. There are more stories, but we'll leave it there.
In case these compelling testimonials might not be convincing enough, actual MDs, a DVM and a PhD weigh in on the benefits of Alkaline Antioxidant Water. Here's Marianne W. Rosen, MD, a board certified dermatologist, who thinks AAW "assists the body in achieving optimal health." And who wouldn't want "optimal health," whatever that is. Tim McKnight, MD, a family doctor, is a big fan. In fact, he wrote a whole book about the stuff. According to Dr. McKnight,
Alkaline Antioxidant Water complies with natural law and beautifully demonstrates the principles of harmony, order, and interdependence.
Which is about as meaningless a word salad one could cram into a single sentence of modest length. Dr. McKnight further informs us that
Research can be found to support the benefits and healing that can occur when the water is used topically and internally. Studies also report a possible role in the treatment of infections, diabetes, kidney disease, skin cancer, asthma, neurological disorders, and more.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, Dr. McKnight does not tell us where this research can be found.
The alleged benefits of AAW are that it reduces the acidity of the body caused by exposure to "toxins" from such sources as stress, sugar-laden drinks and acidic waters, by making the body more alkaline. Proponents also claim that a water deionizer removes impurities from tap water and gives your water "powerful antioxidant properties."
Healthy Living News doesn't tell us about a specific product. Readers are simply told to call Todd and Lisa for more information. (According to their area code, Todd and Lisa are in Colorado.) I didn't call, but I did find out that "
Enagic has pioneered the way of continuous Kangen Water® generating systems. Since 1974, Enagic has specialized in providing in-home, alkaline water ionization technologies.
These "in-home, alkaline
What is this ionized water? Pure snake-oil. (But I'll bet you already guessed that.) No less authorities than SFSBM's own Drs.
So there you have it: a multi-level marketing operation selling quack machine, all wrapped up in the guise of "Healthy Living News." It is all the more galling that someone is preying on the Cherokee Tribe with these false promises of a quick and effortless avenue to better health.
It is unfortunate that the quack-friendly American regulatory system can only play catch-up here. Not a lot can be done, even at that. These snake oil salesmen and their quack devices could be reported to the