Notice: Since this basic article was written several years ago, Dr. Flannagan and his products have fell on hard times with multi-million dollar lawsuits by his primary distribution organization(s) and claims of scientific fraud by organizations such as the University of California Wellness Letter, November 1999.
It is also reported that industrial corporations and Universities(who have radiochemists with extensive experience in structured water, have demonstrated that the atomic hydrogen claimed by Flannagan to be an active antioxidant of gigantic proportions, is unstable or cannot exist in unstructured water. If true, this may essentially invalidate much of Flannagan's research regarding his proprietary anti-oxidants.
His use of silicates to construct supposedly intense anti-oxidants as noted below seems to have scientific merit - the crux of the problem is how the antioxidants are delivered to the cells.
As with many participants in the functional water industry, the basic problems which seem to plague Flannagan and his research are the lack of peer-reviewed scientific data which can validate some of the claims being made for the variety of products he has developed and sold under a variety of trade names.
Flannagan has been loathe to publish information on his apparent discoveries for the benefit of the scientific community. Hence, it is difficult to bring his products forward with sufficient scientific substance to convince both his contemporaries and peers of the value of such developments.
Anecdotal data is always a good start on a project such as this where seemingly incredulous results are apparently found. In-vivo testing conducted in accordance with accepted protocols and standard instrumentation(however complicated) is how good and acceptable science progresses, whether in the fields of medicine, nutrition or elsewhere. Caveat Emptor.
Now, here is the information assembled prior to these recent incidents.
There are five(5) locations in the world where scientists have found a cloudy type drinking water which exhibits extraordinary physical characteristics and where the inhabitants reportedly live to be over 100 years of age, are in excellent health, have no cancer, no dental caries, are robust and have children in their old age.
Dr. Henri Coanda, a Romanian physicist with over 500 inventions to his credit, visited these interesting locations: a place called Hunzaland in the Karkorum Mountains just north of Pakistan in the Himalayas, the Vilcambamba in Ecuador, a high mountain valley in Georgia, Russia, another in Mongolia and the final one in Peru. Dr. Coanda was convinced that the water in these widely separated areas was a major factor in the healthfulness of the inhabitants.
For 40 years he labored to determine what was different about these waters and if they could be duplicated to produce the proverbial "fountain of youth". It turned out that the diets for the individuals in these areas was quite different, but the water appeared to be the same in all cases. However, these five waters had a different freezing point, a different boiling point, a different viscosity, a different surface tension and other variants from regular water.
As he was about to conclude his earthly journey, he passed his research notes on to a young man by the name of Patrick Flanagan and asked him to carry on the research to determine the composition of these waters and to see if the unique waters from these areas could be duplicated or reproduced in the laboratory and made available to the public.
Patrick Flanagan thus began a 30+ year investigation into Dr. Coanda's hypothesis that the Hunza water had a unique formulation. The now Dr. Flanagan(hon) and his wife Gael conducted an exhaustive set of experiments, using a wide variety of electronic and mechanical methods to attempt to duplicate the characteristics of the Hunza water.
All of these experiments failed until the Flanagans discovered that the Hunza water contained extraordinarily small, spherical minerals made from silica that possessed an unusually strong surface charge called "Zeta Potential".
"Zeta Potential" is well known in the physical sciences and colloidal chemistry,---providing the means whereby formulations of paint, cosmetics and a wide variety of materials are held in suspension by highly charged nano-sized particles which repel each other while in solution.
Unfortunately, few technologists in the fields of water, nutrition and cellular chemistry and biology understand the phenomena and mechanization of Zeta Potential and fewer still have produced nutrients or water products using this electrical characteristic.
The cloudy Hunza water investigated by Flanagan was then determined to be a "soup" of these infinitely small colloidal minerals, suspended in water by the strong Zeta Potential. Flanagan apparently duplicated this effect using extremely small silicate spheres, only a few nanometers in size.
The silicates formed a molecular "cage structure" into which he ultimately inserted hydrogen for his most recent product, Microhydrin. But, that's getting ahead of the story.
- Note: The entire subject of colloidal minerals has become very argumentative and highly profitable to a wide range of nutrition companies. Much disagreement exists between competing organizations as to composition, size, Zeta Potential(if any) and other parameters of these small materials. It is not our objective to sort all of this out in this section; only to point out that Flanagan's Microcluster Technology claims to utilize silicates which bond hydrogen at extremely small metric diameters.
Charging these small spherical silicates with the surface Zeta Potential in the laboratory allowed these silicates to attach themselves to a variety of materials, including water molecules. (see related discussion of nano-sized materials).
Additionally, the high Zeta Potential assists in keeping the body's cells separate. Without adequate Zeta Potential in the bloodstream, cells ten to "clump together". This effect is known as a "coining" or Ruleaux Effect and can be observed using the technique of Dark Field Microscopy.
As cells absorb nutrients, the cells tend to become highly charged due to the strong, Zeta Potential on the material entering the cells. Like charges repel one another and thus the cells push apart from each other, providing more surface area for nutrients to be absorbed on cellular surfaces as well as providing more surface area for toxin release from the individual cells(metabolism byproducts).
When cells "clump" together, toxins tend to be constrained within the cells; the cells toxify and die prematurely; and the entire body begins to suffer.
Our heart, as it pumps blood through the various heart valves, creates a natural, Zeta Potential for the blood. In the absence of external free radicals, this natural phenomena in the heart is responsible for keeping our cells separate and blood flow normal. As blood passes through the various heart valves, it spins in a clockwise direction, creating a vortex and producing this natural Zeta Potential. This vortexial process can be observed in a wide range of fluid dynamics applications, including simple water flow through pipes.
This same fluid mechanics process is therefore used in the laboratory to produce strong Zeta Potentials on chemical polymers, paints, cosmetics as well as the silicate particulates used in Dr. Flanagan's and other water formulations on the market.
This "vortex" technology phenomena has been in use in many scientific areas for years and has also been used by a variety of water bottling and cosmetics firms to produce exotic materials with unusual bonding and "nutrient" characteristics.
Flanagan's Microclusters claimed to possess this strong Zeta Potential and his first, well-known product, Crystal Energy Water incorporates this phenomena as well as a reduced surface tension for more rapid and efficient absorption.
Reduction of surface tension is also well understood. Dr. William Tiller, Professor Emeritus of Material Sciences at Stanford University has shown that exposing water to certain electromagnetic field effects can produce a reduction in the surface tension of the water itself. Dr. Willard(Willard's water)produced the same effect using "catalysts" such as castor oil and sodium chloride.
Water with a high surface tension tends to be hydrophobic, forming droplets on surfaces such as a waxed car surface and resisting absorption. Water with lower surface tensions tend to be hydrophilic and "blend" with the surface materials. The reduced surface tension of water thus placed in the bloodstream allows it to be more like the low surface tension of body fluids and therefore is more easily absorbed into the body's cells.
Surface tension is normally measured using a sensitive meniscus device which when placed flat on the surface on the water and then slowly lifted will break free from the water surface at some specific force, measured in dynes per centimeter. Ordinary tap water has a surface tension of approximately 73 dynes/centimeter. Cellular water/plasma has an average surface tension of 45 dynes/centimeter.
Altering the surface tension of water via electromagnetic or other means has resulted in a wide variety of products described here and in other sections of the Web Site.
Thus was born the 33 step manufacturing process which led to products such as Crystal Energy, Micro clusters, Microhydrin and a number of related nutritional products which incorporate the features of the Micro cluster technology.
What sets Dr. Flanagan's product aside from other, highly-absorbent water-based products is the claim of super anti-oxidant characteristics which are introduced via the nano-sized, spherical silicates and associated negatively charged hydrogen molecules(and their attendant electrons).
Note: The University of California Wellness Newsletter(Nov. 1999) points to extensive free radical research conducted at the University of Louisiana Biodynamics Institute by Dr. William Pryor indicating that negatively charged hydrogen ions cannot exist in water. Either Flannagan is correct or the University of Louisiana is correct. Both cannot be right.
Techniques which measure rH(relative hydrogen) concentrations are useful in determining the presence of free electrons in a solution, thus available as anti-oxidants to offset excessive free-radical activities.
Microhydrin is claimed to incorporate extremely high levels of negative hydrogen ions and thus has an rH factor better(lower) than natural vitamin C.
Our body produces some free radicals on its own and these are required to maintain certain chemical balances in the body. Depositing an inordinatly high concentration of negative hydrogen ions(if they are indeed are possible to create) on the body may cause an unnecessary imbalance in body chemistry. Hence our caution below.Caution:
As with other "altered" water products(oxygen-enriched beverages, electrolyzed water, etc), care should be taken when using products such as Microhydrin and Crystal Energy. In each case(oxygenation, electrolyzed water, Microhydrin, etc), an attempt is being made to significantly alter the body's chemistry, an alteration(in the case at hand) claimed to be far beyond that which might be experienced when using naturally-available anti-oxidants such as vitamin C, selenium, naturally occurring oxygen levels, etc.
Our observations on this subject, coming after some hands-on experience in this area, including being President & CEO of an altered water company, is that these products tend to produce little or no noticeable benefit for individuals who maintain a healthy lifestyle through regular exercise and prudent eating habits. The operative word here is "benefit". A determination of detrimental effects cannot be made with high reliability.
There has been one notable exception, however. When certain individuals use products listed above, we have noted that some experience persistent headaches, some at migrane levels. Proponents of these products would possibly point to these conditions occuring due to some sort of "cleansing" activity being produced by the product. Again, this is an anecdotal response and not one based on controlled in-vivo testing activities.
Our bodies have the ability to naturally produce anti-oxidants such as negative hydrogen by the interaction of various enzymes with carbohydrates. Since carbohydrates are part oxygen, hydrogen and carbon, the hydrogen is released via enzymatic reaction to form ATP which in turn fights free radicals.
Proper metabolism of carbohydrates is thus important for naturally battling free radicals.
A healthy body's ability to cope with both normal and abnormal exposure to external contaminants such as free radicals, while maintaining a balanced intake of naturally-available anti-oxidants is therefore quite amazing.
For the individual seeking medical assistance via these types of products, we suggest that those individuals whose physiological condition is questionable, tenuous or which may require periodic medical attention should consult their physician before embarking on a regimen of altered water products of any type.
In the above case, powerful anti oxidants may represent an "overkill" for individuals who are battling a malady which requires medical attention. Simply adopting the philosophy that
"...if a small amount of something(oxygen, hydrogen, hydroxyl ions, anti-oxidants, etc.) is good, then a larger amount is better"
may not be the best approach to self-medication.
Simply because a given product claims to be hundreds of times more powerful than remedies available through natural sources does not necessarily mean that that product is one which should be indiscriminately applied to an unknown physiological condition.
An analogy might be that of taking the most powerful drug(anesthesia, depressant, etc) one could find simply because of claims that it is the "most powerful". Even in the orthodox and responsible alternative medical communities, such approaches to self-medication are considered unwise at best.
So, does that mean that products such as Microhydrin, Crystal Energy, Aqua Resonance, oxygenated beverages, electrolyzed water and others should be avoided? Perhaps and perhaps not. It means that one should have some sort of mechanism or medical tool to determine whether or not altered water products such as Microhydrin, electrolyzed or oxygen-enriched water can be helpful to a given individual.
A medical doctor certainly would not proceed with internal surgery unless preliminary x-rays and other tests indicate that such surgery is required. Similarly, professional, complementary medical practitioners would not proceed with drastic antidotes to un-defined medical conditions, particularly if the antidote is claimed to be extremely powerful in nature.
Fortunately, for both the orthodox and complementary medical professions, such analytical tools are now becoming available on a widespread basis. Such pre-treatment analyses are necessary to assist in defining not only the malady, but to assist in the definition of probable antidotes and their dosage.
These two analytical tools give a "static" and "dynamic" indication of the condition of both the chemistry and cellular activities in the body. With BTA and Dark Field Microscope data, one can determine whether or not altered water products(as well as other nutrients) are needed and in what dosage.
We believe that by using such analytical tools, both the current condition of the body as well as the recommended nutritional components can be identified with high confidence. This is far better(and healthier) than simply ingesting any type of high-powered anti-oxidant, electrolyzed or oxygen-enriched beverage or other nutrient on an indiscriminant basis.
If you are distributing(or are considering distributing) such products, remember that you are basically practicing medicine without a license, considering that you are providing products which are intended to dramatically alter the unknown chemistry and cellular activities of your customers with extremely powerful antidotes.
There is certainly nothing wrong with desiring to distribute healthy products. However, we believe it is in the best interest of both the distributor and the customer/client to initially have some sort of diagnosis, possibly using the techniques described above, to determine whether or not such products are necessary and sufficient to provide the desired results. It would indeed be tragic if the "cure" ended up creating more problems that originally existed.
This is precisely why the medical community as a whole does not look with favor on "open-ended", "self-medicating" procedures, or why they have refused to endorse any of the functional/structured/altered water products and technology described in this section.
It is certainly something to think about.