Today’s MLM question is about Enagic’s Kangen Water. I first got an email about this back in late December of 2011. Due to the Christmas holiday, I missed the email. Since then I’ve steadily gotten questions about it every 6 months or so. Each time, I got a question, I thought I should write an article, but something came up and it got shuffled down the priority list. Recently, I got a pair of emails about it. Since people trust my analysis of MLMs, it makes sense to write about Enagic’s Kangen Water simply so that I don’t have to address emails individually. I can say, “Read the article. Leave a comment.”
My first stop to learning about Kangen Water was YouTube. Specifically I found this video:
The video starts off by giving credit to United States if you need treatment calling it “the gold standard.” It then goes on to say that we (United States citizens) are overfed and undernourished. While we may be overfed, we are actually more nourished than previous generations to the point that malnourishment maladies are virtually unheard of.
The video continues on to emphasize our overweight lifestyles. This is actually going to undermine their whole argument as Kangen Water does not help you lose weight. Thus the “fix” isn’t a new water, it’s the age-old diet and exercise.
The video then says that we pay more for prescription drugs than other countries. We do, but that’s due to politics. We subsidize the other countries cheaper drugs and their governments negotiate better rates while ours does not. It’s not that we need to take more medication because our health is poor… it’s that the price of each medicine is much, much more expensive due to politics.
According to the video, people in Japan weigh less than we do and live longer. Hey perhaps that’s a useful correlation! Sadly, no the video implies it is all due to the fact people in Japan drink Kangen Water. Again, drinking a specific type of water isn’t going to help you lose weight, so the conclusion makes no sense. It’s like saying that the US spending on science, space, and technology causes Suicides by hanging, strangulation and suffocation. Hey the graphs match up, so it must be true! (Hopefully the sarcasm came through there.)
The video then goes on with a few doctors (who are disclosed as working with Enagic) talk about things unrelated to Kangen Water such as nutrition. They talk about antioxidants hoping to capitalize on the media frenzy that they are good, when research continually shows that they don’t work and may even be bad for you.
Quite honestly, the promotional video got to be too much for me. It didn’t seem to have anyone who didn’t work for the company. These are not the people you want to listen to especially when they dance around the topic and pretend that a special type of water is more nutritious than any other. Yes water is a nutrient, but water is water as far nutrient quality goes.
The “Secret” of Kangen Water
So what really is Kangen Water? It’s a machine that “produce[s] ionized alkaline and acidic waters through electrolysis” (from their official website).
The idea seems to be drink the alkaline water. There are “experts” out there that suggest there’s some kind of health benefit to drinking alkaline water. In fact, that’s what the doctors in the video above were going towards.
I noticed they often tout famous technologist/futurist Ray Kurzweil. I love Ray Kurzweil. I have written papers about his work as a computer science student. I read his book that advocates alkaline water Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever and have even exchanged emails with him about it. One thing that I focused on is that doing the things in the book are expensive. Not everyone can take the reported 250 supplements he does every day. What I should have asked him is what kind of damage is it doing to the liver/kidneys to digest all those supplements?
Most importantly, he openly admits that he’s not a doctor and that’s not his field of expertise. It strikes me that this is a little like trusting Michael Jordan’s opinion on coding your iPhone application. Just because he’s famous and talented in one area, doesn’t necessarily mean it translates to another unrelated area.
More importantly there are a number of reputable sources explaining why alkaline water shouldn’t be on anyone’s health radar. One of the most famous is the very detailed anlaysis on chem1, by retired university-level chemistry teacher Stephen Lower. He gives his analysis because “Chemistry is my favorite subject, and I hate to see it misused to confuse, mislead or defraud the public” as stated on his website.
I actually received a Word document from a Kangen representative attempting to be rebut Lower’s analysis, but it was comical in how bad the arguments were. They focused on the fact that there are some spelling errors and the page’s web design is “GeoCities” in nature. Then it went on to list the numerous great accomplishments and awards of Kurzweil.
It summed up with, “Who would you believe?” Since you asked, if we are going to debate the topic of chemistry, I’ll take the chemistry teacher, Lower, on my side. If you want to have a discussion about artificial intelligence, I’ll take Kurzweil. In today’s discussion, chemistry and Lower win. People trying to mislead others with Kurzweil’s irrelevant to the topic’s accomplishments lose.
And then there are a couple of articles on alkaline water in Quackwatch. It’s also covered well in the Skeptic’s Dictionary. However, I’ve often seen many people refer to Brian Dunning’s Skeptoid article as one of the best ones. Here’s how it starts:
“Today we’re going to take a scientific look at one of the latest multilevel marketing fads: healing water machines, devices costing thousands of dollars claiming to ionize or alkalize your tap water, and claiming a dazzling range of health and medical benefits. Sold under such names as Kangen, Jupiter Science, KYK, and literally hundreds of others, these machines do either nothing or almost nothing (beyond basic water filtration), and none of what they may actually do has any plausible beneficial purpose. They are built around the central notion that regular water is so harmful to the body that their price tags, as much as $6,000, are actually justified. They are essentially water filters with some additional electronics to perform electrolysis. They are sold with volumes of technical sounding babble that may impress a non-scientific layperson, but to any chemist or medical doctor, they are laughably meaningless (and in many cases, outright wrong).”
The article goes into great detail explaining further why it’s a scam. What’s amazing is that he published the article 5 years ago and there are still people out there that buy the product.
I could probably find a few dozen more reputable sources, but at this point I think you get the picture. The independent scientists have weighed in and it appears that this water is quackery. Funny how Enagic’s paid scientists didn’t seem to come to this conclusion. Though they got lost focusing on generalities such as nutrition and not the specifics of Kangen Water.
Alkaline Water Criticism in the Media
Alkaline water has been roundly criticized in the media. Here are just a few of the examples and some quotes:
- McGill University
Title: Alkaline Water Nonsense
Subtitle: The words absurd, ridiculous, ludicrous, preposterous, comical, and farcical come to mind, but they still don’t quite seem to capture the extent of the mind-numbing nonsense. And what nonsense is that? ‘Ionized Alkaline Water!'”
- New York Times
Expert: “It’s all about marketing. There is no science to back it up.”
Other analysis: This article notes that companies funded several small studies seemingly for the purpose of marketing.
- Science Based Medicine
Subtitle: “Alkaline water is pure BS – there is no plausibility to the claims of any health benefits, and what evidence we have is negative. Its popularity grows despite this.”
- The Guardian
Key Quote: “While people have been touting the benefits of upping your alkaline levels for decades, Fenton says the belief is not supported by any scientific evidence. Fenton, who analyzed studies looking at the association of alkaline water with cancer treatment, notes that while ‘there are a few very poorly designed studies’ that suggest alkaline water confers health benefits, there is no rigorous evidence this is the case.’
What’s more, Fenton stresses, you simply can’t change the pH of your body by drinking alkaline water. ‘Your body regulates its [blood] pH in a very narrow range because all our enzymes are designed to work at pH 7.4. If our pH varied too much we wouldn’t survive.'”
Subtitle: “No, Alkaline Water Isn’t Making You Healthier – It is making your wallet lighter, though.”
Title: “What Even Is Alkaline Water and Is It Really Better Than Regular Water?”
This article included several experts that debunked alkaline in decent detail.
- Truth in Advertising
Truth in Advertising covers the class action lawsuits against the makers of alkaline water companies, citing an expert that says “It’s all about marketing. There is no science to back it up.”
This is just a sample of what I found in a couple of minutes of research. I’m sure there are many more examples. In my opinion it couldn’t be clearer that the experts have concluded that alkaline water is just marketing bunk.
Kangen Water Also Looks Like a Pyramid Scheme
Whenever I analyze MLMs and pyramid schemes, my “go to” source is the FTC. They are an unbiased source… and exist to help protect consumers… and we are all consumers, right? I can give you my thoughts/feelings on pyramid schemes, but I think we can agree that the FTC’s words carry significantly more weight, right?
So here is what the FTC says about MLMs and pyramid schemes:
“Not all multilevel marketing plans are legitimate. If the money you make is based on your sales to the public, it may be a legitimate multilevel marketing plan. If the money you make is based on the number of people you recruit and your sales to them, it’s not. It’s a pyramid scheme. Pyramid schemes are illegal, and the vast majority of participants lose money… Avoid any plan where the reward for recruiting new distributors is more than it is for selling products to the public. That’s a time-tested and traditional tip-off to a pyramid scheme.”
The take-away here for me is simple: “selling to public = good. recruiting salespeople = bad.” So when I see this video on their official website…
… I simply have to shake my head. They are clearly marketing a plan that demonstrates the money one person makes when they recruit a bunch of people who also recruit a bunch of people. It doesn’t look like it is about selling the product to the public at all.
More disturbingly, it depicts the results of one person having a team/pyramid of 32 people. Whenever I think about whether something is a pyramid scheme, I ask myself a few questions, “Does it make sense that everyone on Earth is able to recruit 32 people? If this company has 100,000 people in it today, will it have 3.2 million people next year (everyone able to recruit 32 people) and will it have 100 million the year after that (3.2 million people recruiting 32 people)?”
Herbalife is considered to be one of the largest MLMs and it is around 2 million people in nearly 100 countries. (And the FTC is investigating it as a pyramid scheme). Herbalife has been around for 30 years and it hasn’t gotten close to 100 million people.
Kangen Water has already been around for a number of years and it isn’t hasn’t gotten there either. The example that they are pitching simply isn’t a realistic depiction of what one could expect. It would be like a lottery putting up a video depicting how easy it is to win. At its core it is deceptive, because it is depicting an extremely rare and unlikely circumstance as being likely enough to be used as a typical example.
I could continue this article for thousands of more words, and perhaps will continue to update it over time. For example, I should add a section on the hexagonal water scam claims that are associated with Kangen Water. For now, I’ll let it stand as is because this scam already been well-covered by many of the links I referred to above.
Article published: July 25, 2014
Paul N says
Your brave. A lot of these mlm companies troll the internet and attack anyone who bad mouths their lively hood. But the word has to get out there. Lots of borderline products or services out there that are separating people from their hard earned money.
Lazy Man says
Yep, I’m one of the people they attack… on a somewhat regular basis. I try to stick to the facts and show where their marketing doesn’t make sense and point people toward unbiased reputable experts.
I view myself as a consumer advocate like Clark Howard, trying to help them make better use of their time and money.
I know that I’m late for this article but..
I would like to share my story here, just for sharing my thoughts and all. I came from a third world country and this type of scam is very common here.
So my boyfriend is involved in this MLM Marketing, he was first introduced to this machine, and he actually believed everything someone from this fraud team told him. So his mother bought this machine and they kept telling me about the benefits. I knew it from the start that this is definitely a scam. Claims like the water is ‘micro-clustered’, the water can heal your body, and other ridiculous claims are told. I can’t help but to argue with him sometimes, but now i just keep calm and avoid talking about it to safe our relationship. I tried to explain that this machine is just a machine that adds minerals to your water, of course the benefits that he got is from hydration. Someone from his team told him that to get maximum benefit from the water you must drink for like 10 litres. Even though, they claim that this water heals your body, I have never seen any changes from any of my boyfriend’s family members. All I got is their claims, it was all placebo effect. They just ‘feel’ like they really got healthy from drinking this water. I’m so sick of him telling me that Im not healthy because I don’t drink this water. I would not let my family get tricked by these scammers because I don’t want my parents to spend like 5000bucks for this crap. I really don’t know what to do with him. I can’t believe he is so gullible. What is worse is that he is starting to become like one of those scammers, sometimes he tried hard to look like he earned a lot of money from this fraud by uploading holiday pictures, to deceive people into thinking that he really earned a lot of money from this fraud, when he is not the one paying.The fact is he spent like 5000 dollars for this machine and by selling it to others, so far after 8 months he only got 800$ by trying so hard persuading aka scamming others. One might as well not join this scam business. I’m just hurted because he doesn’t believe anything I say about this water as he said his ‘team’ has so many proofs like doctor’s claim, ph meter, etc. You can search on the internet on how many ridiculous things they claim (Obama has this machine, Bill Gates invested in this machine, your body is acidic and MUST be alkaline, I was in Natural Sciences major(Senior High School) and I learnt Chemistry, at least I know this is totally false, and dozens of so called facts. I’m telling you this once again, no matter what claims or proofs they have, IT IS A FRAUD. This machine is just like other water ionizer machine, it simply adds ions to your water. People from third world country, if you’re reading this, try your best to not let your family and friends scammed by these people. They say things like they purely care about your health and later offer you business opportunities. This fraud team even open a showcase in my country, SHAMELESSLY IN A TECHNOLOGICAL INSTITUTION, I’m wondering why hasn’t even one of the student expose this scam, but in the showcase they didn’t claim their machine’s benefit but they focused on telling people that this is worth for investment, they showed proofs like a teenager who has a high rank(they have ranks in their MLM business) just in few months, and now he is earning $5000 per month, this is considered above average is my country, but in fact he is just sucking money from the lower ranks aka victims of his fraud. I’m not hating people who buy this machine, but it is purely my choice not to drink this water, I have the right to live my lifestyle. Live healthily by having the proper amount of nutrients, sleep enough, exercise regularly and drink enough of h2o. It doesn’t matter what kind of water, it is h2o, it has the same benefit.
Dennis Myers says
I agree with everything you have said. Although 6 months ago I bought a machine
For Less then $500 cash…Do I feel better, yes, because it got me drinking 5-6 QTS
Per day. What’s going to happen is all these people that are making decent money,
And there are some, the bottom is going to fall out. Money will start to get tighter
Which means financing will get harder. Enagic relays on the customers getting credit.
There are too many things that can bring enagic down. Less then 5% of ppl that buy
These machines are making money, the rest are sitting there with very expensive
Machines. There finding out that they can not sell them. Believe me the bubble will
sofie liu says
thanks for the post, heard kangen water from my cousin, your post make me think yes its scam
larry nygren says
Dear Lazy Man:
What an apt title! Do you have any idea who the Doctor pictured on this blog is, or what his credentials are? His name is Hiromi Shinya,M.D. and he is a highly respected, author and retired surgeon who invented modern colonoscopy and the surgical device (along with another Doctor) used to cauterize and clip polyps in the intestine which eliminated the need for risky and infection prone, open, abdominal surgery. He has written a number of best selling books. He taught and practiced medicine both in New York City and Japan for over thirty years and has an impeccable reputation. He refined and prescribed an alkaline diet for his patients and performed over 350,000 surgeries as a top Gastroenterologist. He also used and prescribed Kangen alkaline water for over thirty years and claims to have had no recurrence of cancer among his many thousands of patients. He is currently healthy and alive and still writing books. I would be willing to bet that you will never show this comment on your blog since you are THE Lazy Man and probably do not like to be contradicted nor challenged on your “due diligence” when rendering an “astute” comment on your website. Since you pictured Dr. Shinya, without bothering to find out who he is, or where he stands on the product/subject you are bashing, i suspect you really are a rather Lazy Man and possibly even a bit of a hypocrite?
Respectfully, Larry Nygren
Lazy Man says
Dear Larry Nygren,
If you’ve reviewed my site you’d know that I post and personally respond to those who opinions who do not agree with me. For example there are 6000 comments on my MonaVie article and over 3500 on my LifeVantage Protandim article.
Your argument about Mr Shinya is an appeal to authority fallacy. In other words, you don’t try to show clinical trials or other scientific proof that the product works. Instead you give me a biography of a supposed supporter.
We’ve seen in many cases that smart people make tremendously huge mistakes of opinion when they aren’t scientifically supported. For example, Linus Pauling is famous for having advocated vitamin C as a cure for cancer. We know, through extensive scientific study that it isn’t the case.
Now you say that Shinya performed over 350,000 surgeries. To put that in perspective, if he did 32 surgeries a day, for 365 days, over 30 years, he’d do 350,400. Let’s not begin to talk about how many 32 surgeries is a day. If he didn’t sleep for 30 years he’d still have to perform more than one every hour. Plus you say that he taught in New York and Japan. That’s a hell of commute while you are doing 32 surgeries a day without sleep for 30 years. However, if you have to take time out of the commute and surgeries to actually teach others… wow!
And on top of all that he’s written “a number of best selling books.” Again, he hasn’t slept in 30 years so that he can perform 32 surgeries every day without sleep or break of any kind (no weekends, no vacation). There’s the teaching career in two hemispheres.
That’s beyond belief on its own. However, on top that impossible workload you want to add that he’s had time to become a credible expert in alkaline water.
Sorry, but there’s no way your claims are possible. You failed to cite any sources to even indicate they are credible at all. You might as well be writing about Paul Bunyan and blue ox.
Please don’t be such a lazy man next time and cite your credible, unbiased sources as I have.
Finally, there’s no surgeon who has many thousands of cancer patients with “no recurrence.” That essentially saying that the guy can cure cancer. Sorry, but he’d be Time Man of the Year every year if that were true and scientifically validated.
As we’ve found with LifeVantage Protandim, sometimes credible doctors at the end of their career take the easy money as a paid endorser of the company.
P.S. Thanks for your complement the title of the article asking if Kangen Water is a scam. I try my best to give articles apt titles.
I agree with you Larry, I will believed and trust a Doctor and many achievements than a blogger who’s job is to give opinion. If you hear and see many Testimonial videos people benefiting on it, why do you have the right to say that it is a scam? Did you try the machine/water? I bet not yet right?so Why will you say that it is indeed a scam?Oh, don’t you worry, I am not a distributor.but I will try to find out and try the Product before I conclude anything that whatever this billion dollar company is sayin.
Lazy Man says
Yes, believe all the doctors and experts that I quoted in the media section. While the article is my opinion, I provide with you access plenty more other expert and qualified opinions. At the end of the day, there’s pretty much no one saying that there’s any science behind it working.
Remember, due to the placebo effect, you should never try a product to determine whether it works or not. It is not a valid test.
SHAdale said “I agree with you Larry…”
Really??? But Larry said that “Hiromi Shinya, M.D….taught and practiced medicine…for over thirty years and has…performed over 350,000 surgeries.”
That would equate to 32 surgeries a day, 7 days a week for 30 years, or in other words, more than one surgery every hour, 24 hours a day for 30 straight years – clearly an impossibility.
So whoever Larry might be (troll, auto-bot, run-of-the-mill idiot), your nod of agreement with his statement means you’re cut from the same cloth – consistent with all of the other Enagic advocates we’ve seen to date – a toxic idiot/predator.
Among Larry’s other moronic statements, which you nodded in agreement with, was this blatantly false (and illegal) predatory claim:
SHAdale said: “He [Shinya] also used and prescribed Kangen alkaline water for over thirty years and claims to have had no recurrence of cancer among his many thousands of patients.”
“Kangen alkaline water” doesn’t alleviate cancer. Even Enagic recognizes that such claims are unfounded and illegal, and admits that they are bogus:
“Enagic does NOT claim that Kangen Water or any of our products cure cancer or any medical issue. Any distributor found promoting these type of statements will be immediately terminated. Per our policies, no independent distributor may make any claim that the Company products are intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”
Of course that’s just lip service to distance themselves from liability and they won’t fire anyone for making these illegal claims, because they are the central pillar of the company’s business model, but the gist of their disclaimer is clear enough.
SHAdale said: “Why will you say that it is indeed a scam.”
Why? For all the many valid reasons outlined in the article and comments that hinge on basic knowledge, like chemistry and arithmetic, and commonsense. Also, from the fact that the people who promote Enagic make dazzlingly ridiculous claims that even a child could recognize as BS. Larry’s and your comments are a shining example of the sheer stupidity and illegality of Enagic’s BS snakeoil water scam. These are the kind of comments I’d expect from third-rate Eastern European troll-farmers-for-hire who can barely read or write in English.
SHAdale said: “Oh, don’t you worry, I am not a distributor but I will I will try to find out and try the Product (sic) before I conclude anything that whatever this billion dollar company is sayin.”
That’s rich! No you won’t. You’ll just keep trolling the internet spreading the same old brain-dead BS (like claiming out of the blue that Enagic is a billion dollar company) in an attempt to deceive people into joining Enagic’s F-tarded magic-water pyramid scheme, in which you obviously have a financial interest. Your attempt to portray yourself as an objective, informed, uninvolved party has failed miserably. How can you even look at yourself in the mirror? Shame on you!
Darryl Dasalla says
I’ve found that the majority who believe this product is a scam have not tried the product for more than a few days at best. Is this the same case with you? I personally am giving this water out for free to my entire community for as long as they choose, and have not asked anyone to buy. However, people are buying the product from me. Would you consider this a scam?
Lazy Man says
I pointed to the science to show it is a scam. If you are suggesting that someone try it, I suggest that you learn about the placebo effect. Some 30%+ of people will think a useless pill worked for them just on the power of suggestion.
So yes, giving it away and falsely suggesting that it may help with a medical condition will get to buy it. People have been buying snake oil for centuries. Yes, snake oil is still a scam.
Ms Brown's Daughter says
I have a machine in my house that I have used for the last 4 months and don’t feel any different. My close friend who is trying to get me to buy the machine has retorted that just because I don’t feel different doesn’t mean the water isn’t working. The first indication that something is bringing value to my body is that I will feel/look different. This happens from exercise and changing my diet, so why wouldn’t it happen from drinking Kangen water. I am not convinced and will continue to drink my filtered water from the refrigerator. It is what both my grandmothers are drinking and they are both 97 years old. I am just not convinced!
Larry Nygren says
It is human nature (unfortunately) to be extremely reluctant to acknowledge anything that we have previously rejected—-especially publically. It casts a negative light on one’s credibility (EGO) which is totally unacceptable to those with overblown egos. I have been drinking the water religiously for three years, without any dietary changes. My body has changed in several ways. I have lost twenty pounds, my prostate and urinary track issues (elevated PSA, difficulty with urination) have gradually disappeared, my skin looks like it belongs to a different person and my energy level has improved by a factor of about three or four. Along with those changes, there has been an obvious improvement in that vague” feeling of well being”.
I suspect that Lazy Man will have a much more scientific and believable explanation that has nothing to do with the only change in my lifestyle:
Enagic’s Kangen water.
Lazy Man says
If something is proven to be scientifically true, it is easy to acknowledge something that has previously been rejected. A brand of water does not enable a 20 pound weight loss. That flies in the face of everything we know about calories and exercise, which is extensive.
The most believable explanation is that you are likely a Kangen Water salesman not telling the truth.
Larry Nygren said: “It is human nature (unfortunately) to be extremely reluctant to acknowledge anything that we have previously rejected—-especially publically. It casts a negative light on one’s credibility (EGO) which is totally unacceptable to those with overblown egos. I have been drinking the water religiously for three years, without any dietary changes. My body has changed in several ways. I have lost twenty pounds, my prostate and urinary track issues (elevated PSA, difficulty with urination) have gradually disappeared, my skin looks like it belongs to a different person and my energy level has improved by a factor of about three or four.”
Huh? So what you are saying is that your unverifiable miracle claim about pyramid-scheme water fixing your prostate etc should compel us to say that we were wrong about Kangen, but pesky “human nature” and oversized egos prevent us from doing so? That’s almost as silly as the notion of Kangen’s idiot water have medical benefits.
Larry Nygren said: “I suspect that Lazy Man will have a much more scientific and believable explanation that has nothing to do with the only change in my lifestyle.”
Well, here’s the explanation — pyramid scheme water doesn’t cure prostate problems. Was that scientific enough?
Daryl Dasala said: “I’ve found that the majority who believe this product is a scam have not tried the product for more than a few days at best. Is this the same case with you? I personally am giving this water out for free to my entire community for as long as they choose, and have not asked anyone to buy. However, people are buying the product from me. Would you consider this a scam?”
I find that the majority of people who “believe” in Kangen are gullible suckers and will fall for just about any scam – like ? ?Quantum Scalar Energy? Pendants for example. Case in point (from Daryl’s Facebook page):
“I would like to show off my new ?#?QuantumScalarEnergy? Pendant. The design is based on a popular UFO Crop Circle (Sacred Geometry), packed with 3000-3500 negative ions, and the material is made from volcanic lava. Through my seemingly endless battle with my internal toxic mold invasion, my toughest battles have been with my paralyzing neck pains. I’ve been wearing this for two days and I must say, the healing is dramatically rapid. Not only is pain leaving my body, but I am also experiencing a less cluttered energy field as this pendant also holds the ability to block off harmful electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) emitting from the inescapable exposure of electronics. I’m thinking clearer and feeling great!”
Ha! It’s like a tinfoil hat you wear around your neck!
To say that people who believe that Kangen is a scam have not tired the product is really just stating the obvious Daryl. If someone believes (accurately) that Kangen is scam, why would they bother trying it? It’s a BS MLM company that sells overpriced waters filters and a dismal so-called business opportunity, and does so using fraudulent pseudoscience and illegal therapeutic claims. When someone starts pitching this crap using typically meaningless non-scientific Kangen jargon like “hexagonal water” and claims that it can cure cancer and just about every other conceivable malady, it’s a warning signal that the person pitching it is woefully ignorant (or simply a con artist without a conscience). So yes, the obvious response would be to run in the other direction. Otherwise, it would be like taking candy from strangers. I don’t care how well-intentioned a naïve Kangen rep may be; if they lack the cognitive abilities to recognize Kangen as the scam it is, then they are a liability, and I’m sure not about to ingest anything they have to offer.
A friend of my girlfriend bought one of these units for about $5K. I did some research and found that Kangen makes no direct claims beyond the basic function claim that the unit puts out water of a desired pH. The people who sell these things, however, make all sorts of claims. I attended a free dinner held by one of these people at a local restaurant. The restaurateur claimed to have paid $20k for a larger unit. The fellow giving the sales pitch claimed that the unit put out alkaline “hexagonal water” which was the topic of one of the scientific papers, which has nothing to do with what the unit actually does (the unit has a calcium sulfite filter–calcium hydroxide on the alkaline side, sulfuric and hydrochloric acid on the acid side. The further pitch was that consuming alkaline water would prevent cancer. This referred to a paper from many years ago showing that tumors produce an acidic environment. Problem is, everything you eat is rendered pH neutral in the gut by a pancreatic secretion.
When asked what I thought, I voiced those facts, and saved at least two people from buying these units.
Lazy Man says
Yes, often these companies let “independent consultants” make the claims for them in an attempt to limit their legal liability. They present them with enough information to lead them in that direction and then let nature take its course.
Good article and thanks for writing about this MLM scam. At the moment this scam is currently invading my country and the sellers are actively promoting the health benefits of this miracle water and can be very hostile to people who questioned them. They said this Japanese technology must be true since hundreds of hospitals in Japan are using miracle Kangen water and giving them to their patients, allegedly. Now sellers here are encouraging people who already bought the machine from them to sell the water in water bottles! And people are buying!
now kangenwater machine has reached in india now people are getting attracted because claims made by distributor if it is so then by approaching ngo they can various patients.
May God help the people of India see the light of American greed expressed in thousands of MLM schemes using quack claims. The claims of Kangen Water are off the charts phony. And like most MLM products it is over priced in the extreme! Financing the damnable thing is very creative and would be laughable if the amount of money ripped off from gullible citizens was not so serious!
I beg you lovely citizens of India – save your precious rupees for things that really make you well!
I believe says
Can someone please explain the placebo effect on animals? My friend has this water and has his dog drinking the water who has joint problems since birth couldn’t walk to the corner without laying down. After a week of drinking the water this dog can now walk around not one but two blocks. I had a stroke 3 years ago the medicine they put me on for life iam no longer taking for the past 2 months now. We’ll see how long that will last. I’m not trying to get back on those meds because I believe that this water works. If you say placebo effect again I used the water as a blood thinner. Didn’t use to relieve my allergies or for my hemmroids but I’m relieved of that. Now I’m not saying it’s miracle water. I do believe your body is the real miracle. The water just allows your body to work the way is suppose to. To heal itself.
Lazy Man says
Here’s an example of a study showing the placebo effect in dogs: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19912522
Again, experts have weighed in that there’s no real science behind the water.
While the placebo effect can occur in animals, I wouldn’t attribute Ibelieve’s anecdotal claim about the reversal of a dog’s “joint problems” to a placebo effect from Kangen water. It’s more likely (a) attributable to gullibility or (b) pure BS.
Kangen easily tops the list as one of the all time stupidest MLM concepts ever foisted on the public.
Thankyou for all the comments about Kangen Water, needless to say we have see hundreds of people drink this water and get massive results and will not return to any other water.
This company has been in Japan for over 40 years and is a pioneer in water ionisers.
I personally have visited the factory and met the owner.one word “Inspirational”
Yes you can become a distributor ( Direct Sales )if you wish to promote this product and educate on the effects of the water because the water does have effects on people and animals.
Lazy man I think you are being a little hard on this product because the machine is far superior than the copy cat models in the market.
How long have you been in business Lazy Man ?
I am sure you make revenue from this website from certain means which I don’t need to unveil.
When you see or hear a company abuse a rival product, it sends a message your product has no credibility.
This it the reason Enagic do not mention about none other than their own products.
For anyone that wants to buy a Kangen Water machine from Enagic, do so in confidence because it the best machine in the market.
I agree with you Dani! I’ve helped at least 10 people in my family with acid reflux and other stomach problems as well as other health issues.
Lazy Man says
Xavi, please stop illegal health claims with MLM products.
The amount of brainwashing in pyramid schemes are hilarious. At the end of the day just don’t drink/limit yourself on sodas, juices, and sports drinks. You don’t need to buy a 5k+ unit to give you “better” water. I wish I thought of this scheme to trick rich people into buying “better” water. People that believe in Kangen are probably the same people that walked around showing off their VOSS bottles(which was another scam). The only good thing about these sheep buying Kangen is that they probably won’t buy bottled water anymore. Which in my opinion is the bigger issue. Stop buying any plastic bottled water. It will help our environment and from big companies draining our limited water supplies.
Thank you for the post as well as the comments. This was very entertaining to read both scientifically as well as socially. I understand the scientific limitations of the machine, the trap of pyramid schemes, and the science behind placebo effects. I’ve read the hype and talked to as many distributors as I could. My take: despite my skepticism, I tried the water and it has alleviated my acid reflux and upper GI track discomfort. Placebo or not ‘m in a better place. Is it worth $5,000? No but there are less expensive alternatives and I’m not talking about baking soda mixed with tap water. Will I sell these machines and make all the claims I’ve heard and read? No, I can only attest to what has worked for me. Good luck to anyone out there making false claims, hopefully it doesn’t come to bite you. As for those looking to buy the machines, you don’t need to get the $5k ones do your homework. If you feel that this is how you want to spend your hard earned money it’s your choice, just educate yourself first.
Sam said: “I tried the water and it has alleviated my acid reflux and upper GI track discomfort. Placebo or not ‘m in a better place.”
The issue is a simple matter of physical chemistry. Alkaline water does not have sufficient buffering capacity to alter the pH of the GI tract or to neutralize acid reflux. So if you experienced any apparent relief, it’s not from drinking alkaline water per se but just from drinking water; or it’s an observational error — e.g., placebo effect or regression to the mean.
I have been a Kangen Water distributor for three years, I never sold anything before this. After doing some extensive research on this 41 year old company with 23 offices in 18 countries, drinking the water myself and seeing the positive health benefits it has done for numerous people I know and love, I was sold. My two main questions to you is WHY WOULD THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT GIVE ENAGIC THE EXCLUSIVE LICENSE TO USE IT IN JAPANESE HOSPITALS AND CLINIC’S FOR 40 YEARS? Also you mention the Alkaline aspect of the water but not the Anti-Oxidant & Micro-Cluster properties of the water. I personally have 170 sales including 3 doctors & 4 nurses. No one has returned a machine and everyone enjoys the different uses of the water, including drinking, cleaning, disinfecting & beauty, which you didn’t mention either. I also haven’t had to buy or recycle any plastic bottles in three years, when you’re ready to get a machine, give me a call.
Lazy Man says
Usually when an MLM is in a lot of countries it is because they need to restart the pyramid scheme in a new country to make up for the drop in the previous country. It’s called “pop and drop”.
To answer the first question, I have no proof that the Japanese government did such a thing. Please cite a non-enagic, no enagic-distributor source to prove your claim. If true, a simple could be that a government official has a stake in the company. I don’t pretend to know about Japanese government politics and that is outside the range of this discussion. A better question would be, why hasn’t Enagic, in 40 YEARS, not gotten FDA approval for any health condition in the US? It doesn’t even seem like they’ve applied.
It’s been a long time since I wrote the article and I’m not going to re-read it now, but I believe finding that “micro-cluster” properties in water simply doesn’t scientifically exist. It’s like saying, “You didn’t address the micro-unicorns in my bloodstream.” Well if they don’t exist, I’m not going to address them.
As for any antioxidant properties, that’s just silly. By definition, water has oxygen. That said, research has shown that antioxidant supplements aren’t all that helpful.
It obviously doesn’t make any sense to write about the uses of water. If you don’t know how to use water, you shouldn’t have the money to waste on Kangen Water to begin with.
I haven’t had to buy or recycle any plastic bottles either. See How to Get Clean, Purified Water (at The Best Price).
Andy Le says
I’m strongly agree with you Gary. Just let them die slowly with cancer. Guys drink more Coke and burger. They will not live pass 65.
Lazy Man says
When did this article’s topic become “Coke and burger”? Why is there cancer talk in the comments of this article.
Why write about unrelated things? If someone says to you, “I don’t like Star Wars.”, do you respond with, “Pixy Stix have too much sugar”?
Please stick to the topic of the article. Unrelated comments are subject to deletion at my sole discretion. I view them as an attempt to change the subject.
I am curious where you got the idea that “THE JAPANESE GOVERNMENT GIVE [gave] ENAGIC THE EXCLUSIVE LICENSE TO USE IT IN JAPANESE HOSPITALS AND CLINIC’S FOR 40 YEARS”
Hello, I realize this post is old but I’m considering becoming a distributor. But I haven’t been contacted yet. I called the number at the end of the video. Can you tell me how long it takes for someone to contact me? Thanx for your response
Lazy Man says
Gina, you should know that 99% of people who get involved in MLM lose money. You’d be better off at the casino.
I have not bought the machine yet, but I had the opportunity to try the water for free for three weeks and I am skeptical about everything BUT I MUST SAY I always suffered painful cramps every month during my period and even before it came I knew it was about to come due to body annoyance. I did not wanted to believe this water would do anything HOWEVER it took my cramps away. In the past I used to drink licorice root tea to help my pain and would not do much, it would ease things as long as I kept drinking some more. BUT with this Kangen Water I see the difference. People who had not tried it themselves, they are given the opportunity to try it for free. Also they say the machine last 25 years at least. My bf knows these machines price makes sense because these ionic plates are made out of platinum and titanium and unlike other cheap machines this one won’t build up on mildew, it does need cleaning but won’t destroy the units or leave residue. My bf mother said she had acid reflux prior to visit us and pain on her legs. During the week she visited and we shared the water we were given, she said her acid reflux issue went away (I had no idea she had that issue cause I cooked with tomatoes all that week lol), also her pain on leg went away and I was told she used to snore very badly but even that stopped LOL
Lazy Man says
Water does not help with various medical conditions as you seem to imply here.
Your article is full of nonsense regarding Kangen water. I have a Kangen machine and can attest to the benefits. If you haven’t consumed the water, and felt the change in your body, you can’t criticize the water. Stop spreading lies !
Lazy Man says
Please specifically point out any nonsense so I can review and make corrections if necessary.
No Your MLM Product Doesn’t Work
Chad Herrella says
I was waiting for your article to include you trying the water for at least a week. The water has been a miracle for me and my relatives. I have been spraying the pH 6 water on my face and it is clearing my acne. I have stopped using my acne products and have not had any new acne. My nephews eczema is also disappearing. The main reason why I purchased the machine was for my father. A friend gave my father a few gallons of the water and for the first time my fathers blood glucose level dropped to normal (while taking his hypoglycemics). His blood glucose would always be in the 200’s. Also the water at room temp can make tea with tea bags without heating the water. This machine us aaving me $1600 a year on acne products and water bottles
Lazy Man says
I was waiting for your comment to recognize that trying MLM health products don’t work for the reasons cited here and also those cited here.
It simply isn’t logical. However, if you think a machine is saving you money on water bottles, logic passed you long ago.
how much does the machine cost? is it easy to hook up? I want to try it.
Hi, my sister wants us to buy this machine, but I am not convinced since I didn’t know it, the only material she’s giving us was the claims from You Tube videos of those people who are working with Enagic or those who purchased them.
I don’t have any idea about this “Kangen Thing” until I researched a little about it and came to your website. I am also skeptic about this since it is superb expensive and yet I can’t find any studies about this. I don’t know if this is worth a thousand bucks. They’re also claiming that this is therapeutic.
And to add, I asked my dear Japanese friend if the hospitals used it in JP, but she told me she haven’t seen any of such.
Thanks Lazy Man for your opinion/review. I don’t have a dog in this fight, I don’t have the product nor have I ever tried the water nor am I in this business.
What is most disturbing about your piece is you’ve not tried the water. How can anyone write an informed review about a product they’ve used? I tell my kids before they say they don’t like something (ie. food), they can’t say they don’t like it until they’ve tried it….I’ll say the same thing to you, Lazy man.
Lazy Man says
What is disturbing about your comment Roger is that it means that anyone can create a snake oil product and instantly sell it to 300 million people in the United States. If it was just $10, that’s $3 billion dollar in revenue on the basis of, “Just try it, once.” That’s a very silly concept, right?
When a company uses what appears to be fraudulent marketing, why would you even try their products? Are you going to try every product in GNC? There are probably thousands.
I sure hope you tell your kids to try jumping up a talk building to see if they like it. That’s bad advice.
If you want more reasons why this logic is flawed read, Health MLM Mind Scam: Just Try Our “Product X”!
Roger said: “What is most disturbing about your piece is you’ve not tried the water. How can anyone write an informed review about a product they’ve used? I tell my kids before they say they don’t like something (ie. food), they can’t say they don’t like it until they’ve tried it….I’ll say the same thing to you, Lazy man.”
WTF dude? Do you think we’ve never tasted filtered water before? A personal test is completely unnecessary.
Do you tell your kids they shouldn’t say say no when some stranger in a blacked-out panel van offers them candy? It’s roughly the same scenario as these crazy pyramid scheme hustlers who go around telling fairy tales about how their miraculous “hexagonal water” can cure cancer. This scam is offensively stupid.
Someone approached me with this stuff the other day. Wanted me to attend a “party” First thing I do is cover my wallet when I get invited to any product “party” MLM’s been around for ever and they all turn out to be scams. I have a well and a 5k tank but im not drinking the water, I have no idea whats in it so I go bottled. People claiming to be miraculously cured of cramps, blood sugar issues etc may be benefiting from actually drinking more water?? I mean if ya spend 5k on a device to make your water better you will probably drink more of it and for the most part it really is the only thing you should be drinking. And the guy that was extolling the virtues of this product looked like crap, Im in excellent health because I eat right and exercise a lot. I also don’t drink anything but water and coffee in the morning, I don’t take any medicines at all. This guy looked horrible, fat gut terrible complexion probably younger than me but he looked like he was going to keel over. At least look the part!
Nicholas Ferris says
There are plenty of alternative machines available with better specs and warranties with prices that are a fraction of the cost of a Kangen. MLM is a racket and the Kangen MLM is a very effective one. I recently attended a home demo and the BS was really heavy. Agents make claims without any evidence. I suppose they have little to worry about liability issues as who is going to go after them for a $5k machine? Kangen is on the other side of the Pacific in Japan.
These MLM schemes are rampant in Japan. I’ve seen people there buy “cures” for absolutely ridiculous prices, and happily so.
With that said, I do plan to buy an ionized as my experiences with Kangen, Jupiter and store-bought Essentia water have been very positive. Especially so when doing a deep cleanse.
Perhaps this will help. http://goo.gl/mc2VJS
I was skeptical of this Kangen water stuff, at first. My neighbor gave me water from his machine for a few months and I noticed a difference. But my experience may be unique. I suffer from gout and had to drink lots and lots of water, if I wanted to eat beef. After a few weeks of drinking this ‘snake oil’, i noticed i could eat beef more often with little or no side effects due to my condition. So I bought the machine, and now, I eat beef, whenever, if ever; so long as I keep drinking the water. If I switched back to bottled water, my gout would come back after a burger.
So the snake-oil-placebo-whatever you want to call it; works for me.
Lazy Man says
It’s fine to say “snake-oil-placebo-whatever you want to call it; works for me”, just be sure you aren’t claiming that Kangen Water is clinically effective – the definition of “what works”.
Your claim carries as much weight as someone saying that their lucky rabbit’s foot worked for them. Intelligent people know better.
One friend installed a Kangen machine as a demo since a month ago. Kangen water everyday, sadly none in my family nor i have seen any change.
Dennis Myers says
Was introduced to Kagan water 6 months ago. Customer brought by water for 3 weeks.
In that time I did a lot of reserch, so many pros and cons I lost tract. Ended up buying a
Machine on Amazon for $514. Still running strong and tech support was great. Did notice
That my blood pressure came down quite abit. Asked my GP about it and was told that
All the water I was drinking was acting as a blood thinner. I’m 74 and was lucky to drink
A glass of water per day. Overall did the Ionizer help, I doubt it. What it did do was start me
Drinking over a gallon per day…I do believe my water is better for me than tap water or
Bottled water. I feel a lot better since I started drinking more water. Better then 80% of
The population not hydrated.
Lazy Man says
Dennis, if you are concerned about hydration, I recommend getting a SodaStream for a fraction of the price. (You don’t need to make soda with it.) I also have a water filter that attaches to my sink that was very cheap. It was a Pur brand available about Home Depot.
Ok. Maybe I can put my 2 cents in this. There’s 3 parts to this discussion: (1) Whether the specific unit “Kangen Water” actually does what it says it does, (2) whether Alkaline Water actually is healthy for you, (3) whether the Kangen Water Compensation plan is an illegal MLM or a legal MLM.
(1) Whether Kangen Water actually does what it says.
I find it difficult to NOT believe the Kangen Water Machine’s don’t do what it says because I’ve seen with my own eyes the demonstrations they’ve done AND have performed those demonstrations myself with my own unit. The pH levels of most to all waters except for tap water and Kangen water was above 7.0pH or above. This was tested using a pH tester. Yellow to red = below 7.0pH (acidic) and purple/dark purple =above 7.0pH (alkalinic). I’ve also did the tea bag experiment myself. In room temp tap water, no tea was steeped. In room temp Kangen Water (9.5), it steeped immediately. I tried this several times with the same tea bag, and the results were the same. Also, I think a very powerful testimony is when the 11.5pH water emulsifies with the oil. I tried normal water and 9.5 water and it just separated, but when I tried the 11.5pH, it emulsified with the oil. Just that and that alone proves that the unit actually does what it claims to do.
(2) I’m no scientist and I’m not about to go to a study on this. What I’ve heard people say that can confuse people is that Alkaline Water can heal cancer. But even allies of Alkaline Water will say that it is not Alkaline Water that heals BUT that is allows the body to heal itself. NOW, I know there’s a whole ordeal about a Placebo effect. I simply can’t bring myself to believe in a Placebo effect in animals, dogs specifically, in the above mentioned comment. Placebo effects are extremely dependent on the EXPECTATION and KNOWLEDGE of a given “medicine”. Dogs are not capable of this unfortunately. But anyways, though maybe not the best source, Doctor Oz had a whole episode dedicated to the benefits of an alkaline based body. He had a doctor on as well to explain. Go check it out.
(3) So the questions is not whether it’s pyramid scheme or not (since goods are actually exchange) but whether this is an illegal MLM or a legal MLM. Enagic (the company name) provides compensations to those who sell the system. I’m not much of a business person so I’m not going to talk too much about this. I might just dig myself a whole I never meant to dig. Let’s be real, when you look at it, it “looks” like a pyramid scheme or a scam. Though, as we all can agree on, looks can be deceiving, and in the context of this article, I would say it could easily deceive us into believing it’s wrong. Enagic is a company all about “referrals”. The checks they send you are “thank you checks” or compensation checks. They are checks for your work, but checks for your referral. When you sell a unit, you’re not recruiting that person. In fact, it could end with them. I think you’re assumption (lazyman) that the product doesn’t actually do anything is what makes you believe it is an illegal MLM, but it isn’t. The customer buying the product itself is goal. It truly is about selling the product to people through the positive testimony of the owners.
Lazy Man, please let me know what you think about what I just said. I’m trying to get clarification myself. Thanks.
Lazy Man says
It’s been nearly a couple of years since I looked into this, so excuse my memory if it’s mistaken on any of this.
1) What did you see with your own eyes and what is the specific claim that you are saying the Kangen Water Machine does? We need to be on the same page so we know we are talking about the same thing.
As far as pH levels of water go, the point was made in the article and/or future comments that there’s no real health benefit. So we might be able to agree that the machine alters pH levels, but then have to agree that that the science has determined it is useful (which it hasn’t). Finally, we’d have to have a talk about whether the usefulness is worth the money. For example, we might generally agree a carrot is healthy. We hopefully can agree that spending $100 for a carrot is not generally a great use of your health budget.
I don’t see the time of tea steeping to answer any of the above.
2) Allowing the “body to heal itself” is a sign of quackery. It’s spelled out here: http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/quacksell.html. Sorry that you can’t get yourself to believe in the placebo effect in dogs… even though the study shows it. Yes, Dr. Oz is probably the worst source as he had to go in front of a congressional hearing to explain why he was pitching stuff that he knows doesn’t work (to use the politician’s words). So let’s just pretend that alkaline water fits into that category until you find a source that is truthful and honest. Read more here: Let’s Discuss the Dr. Oz Scam
3) Pyramid schemes can happen when goods are exchanged. The FTC shut down Vemma which was using energy drinks to hide its pyramid scheme. It did the same for Fortune Hi-Tech Marketing which was selling DishTV service.
So to be clear, the question of whether any MLM is a pyramid scheme is still on the table. I have yet to find one MLM that is proven not to be one. When you say, “Let’s be real, when you look at it, it ‘looks’ like a pyramid scheme or a scam” I suggest you trust your gut. They could easily sell the product in Wal-Mart. Why set up a system that has been associated with pyramid schemes and make it look like a pyramid scheme (your own words).
If Enagic is compensating based on referrals, then a single level commission structure is a proper way of doing that without a pyramid scheme.
Mitchy said, “I think you’re assumption (lazyman) that the product doesn’t actually do anything is what makes you believe it is an illegal MLM, but it isn’t.”
None of that statement is actually true. I didn’t suggest that it doesn’t do anything (see above), but even products that do things (energy drinks, DishTV) have been shown to be pyramid schemes. I’m not sure why you choose to conflate the two very different issues.
Thank you for responding after such a long time writing this article.
What I have seen with my own eyes are the actual properties the Kangen water system claims to hold: lots of antioxidants, ability to alter pH, and Micro-Clustering. The demonstration I’ve seen for anti-oxidants is that they took a device that had a rod that went into the water and showed you immediately the level of antioxidants. They tested it on multiple kinds of water and the numbers showed it to be true. Kangen Water had an abundance of antioxidants. The demonstration for the pH levels was through the pH tester that I mentioned in the last comment. The last property, micro-clustering, (which is good because the water is absorbed into your body a lot quicker, hydrating you much much faster and doesn’t give you that bloated feeling allowing you to drink more water) was demonstrated by putting one tea bag in room temp tap water. Nothing happens (as nothing should). He then placed the same tea bag in room temp Kangen Water and the tea immediately steeped. He did the same test with the same tea bag multiple times and it happened every time. I did this test myself with my own water and it did exactly as the demonstration did.
I think the question of whether Alkaline Water has health benefits is a huge question. There is research being done on Alkaline Water at the University of San Francisco: “’The real problem is one of alkaline deficiency, more than one of too much acid,’ states Anthony Sebastian, M.D., of the University of California, San Francisco.” (From https://healthnaturally.me/2009/05/21/kids-ph/). I think we have to look at it at a deficiency stand point. This is what I’ve learned from reading. Many Americans are extremely acidic because of their diet (not enough Greens or Alkaline making foods). The body takes from Alkaline reserves to balance out our pH, but there’s only so much our body can do till it runs out of those reserves. That’s what our Kidney does for us. When those reserves run low, our body just becomes more acidic and our body can’t function properly. (If you’re low on ANYTHING, your body can’t function properly) But, if you replenish your body with Alkaline making food, then your body will be able to balance itself out again, replenish the alkaline reserves, and work the way it’s intended to work.
It’s interesting because I could say that just plain water allows your body to function the way it’s meant to, and you would agree. So I wouldn’t immediately discredit my statement as a quakery statement without first establishing whether it’s true or not. In the above paragraph, I think I made a strong argument with Anthony Sebastian M.D.
There must have been some major flaws in that study with the dogs. The idea of the Placebo effect in humans is simply whether you can will yourself to be healthy (psychologically). Dog’s don’t have the same capacity to think like us, let alone, have expectation of health benefits of pills. I would say the study was flawed and a placebo in a dog is impossible UNLESS they’ve associated taking “a pill” with the reduction of whatever symptom they have. The guy who mentioned the dog being able to walk after drinking the water sounds like an extremely legitimate case. The dog always drinks water (i’m sure) so has no expectation for better health or anything.
Again, I’m not well-versed in this topic, but the product itself is the end goal. Many of the people who buy it just want to product and not be a part of the compensation plan BUT find it a great bonus for themselves if someone were to buy it through them. When you buy a system, you don’t have to sell meaning there really is no recruitment process. You can also buy it on their website if you want and no one gets a compensation. This shows you it is a legal system of marketing. Enagic is a 43 year old company (which tells you alot) and the history behind why they run things the way they do is because they sold 300,000 units in their first month just by word of mouth. So they continued that model and used the money that would have been for advertisements and put it into the compensation plan.
You can determine a legal MLM if a customer can buy a product without being recruited into a program of any sort. That is the case for Kangen water. Also, everyone who buys one is a consumer.
Check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUWmgsgMkPU
I think he gives a very good description of a legal vs. an illegal MLM.
Here’s also a book you might want to consider reading.
Alkalize or Die by Dr. Theodore A Baroody
Please let me know what you think.
Lazy Man says
You’ve seen antioxidants in water? Which ones in a particular? It’s possible that the device with the rod does not measure antioxidants. Are you familiar with how that device works? Even so, it turns out that antioxidants don’t appear to be helpful.
Seeing tea steep is not evidence of micro-clusters. It’s a test showing that tea is steeping. It is worth noting that water clusters have not been proven experimentally, so how can you see something that scientists haven’t been able to prove exists?
From what I’ve read there isn’t nearly enough alkalinity in water to cause a change in the body. It’s like throwing an orange into the ocean and calling it orange juice. And again, there’s not any clear evidence that it will help.
Have you read this information on Kangen Water from Science Based Medicine?
Yes you can say that water allows your body to function the way it is supposed to. We can say that oxygen does as well. This isn’t useful stuff.
There is more information about placebo effects in animals here. It’s a good read. My take-away is that there’s a caregiver effect where people think it’s helping. Maybe that’s why people are reporting it helped. In any case, it could be that the dog just got better on his own or that the story is fabricated. In any case, this is irrelevant and not related to Kangen Water.
You can not determine a legal MLM if a customer can buy a product without being recruited into a program of any sort. I could by Vemma Verve without being recruited. Herbalife has been around 30 years and in the last couple of years every regulatory agency you can imagine has said they are looking into it. For more than 30 years, regulatory agencies have largely looked the other way, because they don’t want to spend their annual budgets on prosecuting a single pyramid scheme in a court of law. They have a lot of other fish to fry.
That video by Lou Abbott is not an authoritative source on pyramid schemes. The FTC is a better source. A former FTC economist on Truth in Advertising is definitely a much better source.
I will probably have to put my arguments about Kangen Water being an illegal MLM aside. I would have to say that by looking at the whole structure, it can’t be illegal since no one is being lied to nor is money being unfairly taken. Maybe you can show me how this is just a “scheme” for top executives to make money by almost doing nothing and giving almost nothing. There are inherent wrongs in a pyramid scheme and I can’t see what is wrong with the structure that Enagic has set in place for it’s customers.
Now, onto the good stuff. I think that your disposition towards this product is extremely biased. You’re assuming that everything that is demonstrated is scammed in some way. That’s a problem right there. We can’t have a fair discussion if you’re simply going to tell me everything I’ve seen is untrue. I can do the same thing about your sources and just say I win. Why is it difficult to believe that the machine actually fills the water with Antioxidants? If it does, here’s why it would be helpful –> http://articles.mercola.com/antioxidants.aspx I can’t verify that the device used actually was for antioxidants, but then I wonder, if it’s not a device that reads antioxidant levels, then what was it reading? Why were the numbers so high under Kangen Water yet so low for all the other waters?
About tea steeping, what would you say is the reason the tea steeped in the Kangen Water but not the tap water? The kind of structure hasn’t been experimentally proven, but there’s obviously a molecular structure to water. Please explain to me the tea steeping phenomenon.
You didn’t respond to the pH demonstration of the water, so please respond.
“From what I’ve read there isn’t nearly enough alkalinity in water to cause a change in the body. ”
Not sure what you are referring to hear. Tap water is 7.0 pH and most of not some rare bottled water is below 7.0pH. If there’s enough alkaline in water, then yes, it could cause change in the body. What it does is simply replenish alkaline reserves and to allows the body to balance it’s pH level back to the desired 7.0pH to 7.4pH. The pH test demonstration proved that Kangen water has an abundance of Alkalinity. Your analogy of the orange in the ocean fails as a legitimate analogy. The body is the ocean and water is an orange? How can you say 2 gallons of 8.5 pH water is an orange and our bodies are an ocean? You can clearly see the difference if you pit the analogy side-by-side with the reality it’s meant to represent.
Dr. Crislip already lost credibility to me when he said that Kangen water is just “plain old water”. I think I’ve already proven the opposite above. His whole article takes a very sarcastic tone to it as well. Not a very good approach as a “respected” doctor. I continued to read the rest and it just sounds like he didn’t do enough research. In fact, he’s just going by what he hears about the product and not actual hands on studies. He’s a horrible source.
All I meant by saying “water allows your body to function the way it is supposed to” was me simply saying that you can’t say my statement “alkaline water helps your body work the way it’s meant to work” is a “quakery” statement. I wasn’t stating a fact. I’m basically saying it’s fallacious of you to assume my statement to be false before testing what it actually claims.
Regarding the placebo effect, it sounds like you believe it went back to the human that took care of the dogs. The caregivers are what affect the outcome then, not the dogs. I could agree with that, but it doesn’t help your case. The story about the dog being able to walk twice around a neighborhood is absolutely relevant to Kangen Water because the dog drank the water. If the dog drank the water and was able to do something it wasn’t able to before the water, then, by simple logic, the water helped. Sure, we don’t know the whole story, but you can’t simply discredit the story because it goes against what you believe. That’s a horrible way to go.
Lazy Man says
You said it can’t be illegal since no one is being lied to nor is money being unfairly taken. I think that you contradict the first part of the statement. You have written about micro-clusters that scientists can’t seem to create in a lab. You have talked about the body healing itself, which is unrelated scientifically to alkaline water. It seems to me that you’ve been lied to, but just don’t want to do the research to see it.
Yes, I’m assuming that your demonstration is scammed because you are talking about things (again micro-clusters) that scientists can not create. I’m going to trust a salesman steeping tea over the all the world’s scientists? How does tea steeping show micro-clusters? It may so something is different, but how do you conclude that it is micro-clusters?
You really don’t want to refer to Mercola.com for anything reputable… 9 Reasons to Completely Ignore Joseph Mercola. There are many more articles showing why the site is quackery.
I did respond to the pH demonstration of water. However, more importantly I don’t care about the pH in water since it isn’t shown to be helpful. It is caring about eating red jelly beans or yellow jelly beans… it simply isn’t shown to be scientifically important despite what some people say to make a quick buck off of their books.
When someone is presented with quackery (as Dr. Crislip was) a sarcastic tone is necessary. It’s annoying to him that he’d even have to spend his time explaining this stuff. I’m not a doctor and it’s annoying to me that I have to explain this stuff. People don’t do hands-on studies when they feel it has no scientific basis to begin with. Don’t fault Dr. Crislip for that. Where are Kangen Water’s large-scale clinical trials that the water helps with medical conditions.
Mitchy said, “I’m basically saying it’s fallacious of you to assume my statement to be false before testing what it actually claims.”
Let’s say that I claim to have a talking unicorn in my garage. I decide to sell the urine of this talking unicorn telling people it will benefit them greatly. You’d be justified in calling me a quack without actually testing the unicorn urine. The burden of proof would be on me showing that talking unicorn urine really is helpful with clinical trials. Until I’ve done that, you could make great points that talking unicorns are not known to exist (like water clusters!).
The burden of proof is on you to show Kangen Water works in that scientifically controled environment. Then scientists will take the claims seriously to put their time to disprove it.
The caregiver outcome does support my case. It shows that people may have influenced the dog with extra encouragement. We can simply discredit the story the same way we’d discredit a story of something else that is simply not believable… we have no proof that it ever happened. Have you seen how much healthier my dog is since he started drinking talking unicorn urine? It’s amazing… and don’t you dare discourage my story.
Charles Farley says
The local Kangen water guru in Waco is a goofball con man who shows up in every scam that does not involve Real Work. He has somehow managed to get himself associated with a real estate company, bills himself as an agent but has no license and has never handled a property transaction,
Well i gave a restaurant owner the water, and forwarded him links of your articles, especially this one. I told him that reading this article would take 45 minutes, including comments.
He bought the machine, and he loves sharing the water and sharing this article link.
Sharing your article just speed up my sharing-water-to-purchase ratio.
What I tell them? The company uses mlm model and this article is calling the water a scam snake oil sorts.
Instead of me praying they wont bump onto this article, then I thought why not I just show him this article upfront before he finds it himself? They buy the machine!
In the end of the day, I dont know whats going on. All I know is I tell them to google “kangen water scam” – it was initially an experiment to see what happens when they drink the kangen water and me telling them that this watwr is claimed to be a scam.
Results? I made commission.
We all can build whatever narratives we want to justify anything. Unintended consequences well exploited.
I dont know whats going on but they are telling positives changes in their whatever conditions they have, and me making money. But I may continue doing this, share the water from my machine and tell them its a scam – go google it, your page appears first top. Last week I have done this with 5 friends, and 4 have bought it and the other one is waiting for his retirement money.
Lazy Man says
Thanks for sharing my site, kangentrader. As long as people have the information, they can throw away their money however they’d like.
At least you are selling product, which appears to be a step up from the typical recruiting MLM/pyramid scheme.
I can tell you what’s going on. It’s the same thing that happened with MonaVie juice when everyone was claiming that it cured cancer. It didn’t actually happen and people were making money off the claims like yours saying, “I don’t know what’s going on…” Even the inventor came out to say that it was BS:
This is the thing that happens with every kind MLM snakeoil health product.
This is basically how I made sales,
1) Perform my water demo test.
2) Share them the water.
3) Share them links;
Is Kangen Water a scam
This guys take on hydrogen or Kangen Water
Enagic’s Factory Tour
, and lastly
Dr Michael Donaldson’s Kangen Water presentation
Yes, I gave them those links to consume and tell them in advance to avoid any placebo experience when drinking this water.
They bought the machine. I’m more relieved and satisfied knowing that they paid premium price (everything in life has a premium price) after reading all those information. My caveat emptor to my prospects.
Lazy Man says
You also told them that they can’t avoid the placebo effect, right? Just making sure you are being honest in your sales.
Not everything in life has a premium price. I’ve put ten years and 2000 articles online for no price at all to readers.
I’d never heard of this stuff until a neighbor posted on a social site about how it’s changed his life. He was offering free jugs of it out of his garage. Sounds really enticing….. I’m guessing it’s about as reputable as magnetic wristbands, copper laced athletic clothing, and magnetized water. Such a waste of money. And not only that, I wouldn’t have cared much about it, but when you start bring up claims that it’ll help cure cancer, diabetes, and other diseases/ailments, you’re really crossing a line. People who have those issues are likely be more susceptible to scammers who offer false hope at a HIGH price. Their money could be much better spent on actual, scientific based solutions and products. It’s sad to see people taking advantage of others and honestly not even realize they’re (the salesperson that is) being scammed themselves…. Which is why illegal MLM scams are so destructive, like this Kangen water scheme.
Would love to get into the science of this but that’s way too long of a story that’s been told elsewhere, and very well I might add (best on the chem1 website that was linked in the article, there’s also some YouTube videos of people explaining the science around this topic). Although my degree in Chemical Engineering isn’t as scientific based as a pure chemistry degree, I feel I was taught enough of the basics in chemistry/physics this is pure, 100%, unadulterated SNAKE OIL.
Good post and running thread of comments here, by the way.
I went to a presentation of that company selling that Kangen water here in Vancouver, BC. Canada. I knew it was a scam as soon as I heard the guy say the water came from a machine they were pouring the water out of… I may not be a rocket scientist, but, I know bullshit when I hear it.
Carlos Herrera says
I know someone who’s not a distributor but drinks the water. They love it. Something to think about….All water go through some type of filtering system. Some natural some man made. Not all water is good for you but I see no reason to down a company that’s clearly producing results. Just because the item is pricey and the choose to use a marketing system to do so doesn’t make it a scam.
Lazy Man says
However, maybe if they invent some water structure that doesn’t exist and suggest that it helps with medical conditions without sufficient scientific proof (as defined by the FDA requirement), it could be a scam?
I just want to make sure you aren’t picking out two things and making a conclusion based on that.
J. E. Walker says
This individual is a Kangen Water scam distributor He asks what roll Hydrogen Gas Plays in Kangen Water. This genous doesn’t realize that water consists of one part hydrogen and two parts oxygen. Hydrogen Dioxide. Not only does it play a significant role in Kangen Water but it is a sine que non in WATER Itself. A flim-flam man should study up on the key elements of his scam. He posts this on a Kangen local face book page.
May 28, 2014 · Waco, TX, United States ·
Does Enagic have anything yet about the role of Hydrogen gas in Kangen Water?
What is your opinion after watching this. Is there a way you can explain it?
Lazy Man says
Local news affiliates are known for publishing puff pieces involving MLM products making outrageous claims. People are encouraged by potential health cures and they score big ratings. There were a bunch of ones on MonaVie juice 7-8 years ago before it went out of business and was exposed for being expensive flavored water.
Do a search on YouTube and you’ll see a number of similarly financially-biased representative of the companies making health claims. In this case the person mentioned losing his allergy to cats which appears to be a violation of the FDA laws of marketing products with an unapproved medical claim. The local news affiliate should have pointed that out at a minimum.
Since there are hundreds (maybe thousands?) of local news affiliates nationwide. It isn’t a surprise that these pieces sneak through. Which chemistry expert did they interview to validate the claims are actually useful in the body? Did you even read the article I wrote and the sources I cited?
I commented before and thought I was wasting my time but I thought I would share with you my experiences.
The Anti-Oxidant level that you can get with this water is absolutely amazing. I bought my own ORP reader through Amazon and the results were the same, hence, REAL change in the water.
Second, the Alkalinity of the water is legitimate. The PH test is real. I’m mentioning this ONLY to prove the machine does what it says it does. BUT I was even watching a health show talking about the benefits of Alkaline Water. You should drink a cup of the 11.5 and tell me that when you poop 5 times in one day that that’s all a placebo effect.
Have you tried some for yourself LazyMan? Drink the 9.5PH water for a day and tell us what happened to your body. It would be a great way to prove the product wrong.
Lazy Man says
Did you try putting a drop of bleach into the water and testing it? As this website says: “So buying a “water ionizer” is a very expensive way of obtaining a solution that is essentially the same as diluted laundry bleach. But would you want to drink this ‘eau de Clorox’? Don’t try this at home!”
Pretty sure that I don’t want to poop 5x a day. Are you suggesting that there’s some fiber content to the water added by the ionizer? It sounds like you are as we known that fiber helps with pooping.
Rather than prove the product wrong, I’ll wait for the company to prove the product right to the FDA by getting approved for whatever medical conditions it can help with. Otherwise, I’d be spending my money on all sorts of quack products. I don’t have the time and money to try every product at a GNC for example.
You know what’s ironic about your answer? Tap water goes through Chlorinization regulated by the Government, so the tap water we drink is already “Chlorinated”. What your source was referring to though when it mentions “eau de Clorox” was the acidic side to the ionization which you should NOT drink. It’s the extreme end of the ionization process. They don’t definitely don’t recommend you drink it and I sure as hell would not buy a machine JUST for that purpose.
I’m suggesting that High Alkaline Level water will cause your body to detox. There are no fibers in the water, but I’ve tried the 11.5 water and so did two of my cousins. (We only took sips) and we were pooping our pants that day. Haha. There are multiple things that can cause you to poop more, not just fiber so I don’t know why you brought that up as the only reason.
Sure, you can wait for the FDA to approve it. But multiple medical experts AGREE that many people have LOW Alkaline reserves and acidic PH levels which contribute to sickness and diseases. They all recommend high Alkaline producing diets.
Lazy Man says
I think Vogel hit the nail on the head. You don’t appear to understand t