#187: “Structured Water” with Dr. Gerald Pollack

June 30, 2017

Steam.  Water.  Ice.

That’s it, right?  The three classic phases of water are almost as familiar as water itself.  H20 is the first chemical formula most of us learn — and oftentimes the only one that many of us remember.  So is it conceivable that the substance we know so well has secrets not only hiding in plain sight, but also hiding inside every cell in our body?

Dr. Gerald Pollack thinks so.  For decades, he has been working to roll back the tide of what he considers disinterest and dogma stigmatizing the study of water.  His opponents, he says, are those who think that we already know everything worth knowing about water.

Dr. Pollack is the author of The Fourth Phase of Water (see our Bookshelf page) as well as speaker in TED talks from 2013 and 2016 on watery subjects.

Pollack’s research — following up and expanding upon the work of others like Gilbert Ling — has been trying to define the properties of water on the molecular borderlands where it rubs up against hydrophilic surfaces.  At such points of contact with “water friendly” surfaces, water molecules often shed their hydrogen ions and organize into orderly latices or “sheets” of molecules that can grow dozens, hundreds, and possibly millions of sheets thick.  (The exact thickness depends on the substance the water is touching, as well as temperature and pressure.)

These “Exclusion Zones” of orderly OH- molecules can “push” impurities out of their negatively-charged region, into the hydrogen-enriched water further from the surface.  Behavior like this might be responsible for many of water’s anomalous properties, including surface tension, capillary action, and the little-known fact that water’s density is greatest just above freezing — when it then turns course and loses density as ice crystals start to form.

Does “Structured Water” even need an asterisk?

If hydrophilic surfaces can cause “regular” water to phase-shift into a “fourth phase” of water (alternately called Structured Water, EZ water, and more) it stands to reason that the cells of living things contain a lot of the stuff.  By volume, our bodies are about two-thirds water, varying by age and body type.  But by molecular count, water holds a super-majority: well over 99% of our bodies’ molecules are water.  (With only three atoms each, water molecules are very, very small.)  The many hydrophilic compounds existing in our cells would, based on Dr. Pollack’s research, mean that fourth-phase water is not the exception inside living cells, but the rule.

Unfortunately, “structured water” seems to be biologically relevant, “all natural,” understudied, and poses no legal barriers-to-entry for people who might want to market products based on wishful thinking.  Dr. Pollack’s website contains the boldfaced disclaimer “Multiple companies producing water-based products use my picture to imply that we endorse their products…we have no formal association with any company.”  It’s a testament to the proliferation of structured water products that have emerged to fill the vacuum of public interest before a scientific consensus has emerged on what structured water truly means to biology.

The glass half-full.

The history of the study of water over the past three-quarters-century is a fascinating one — and somewhat tragic, the way Dr. Pollack tells it.  Could it really be that our most plentiful molecule has been ignored as a near-inert substance for decades?

What might we gain in useful knowledge if we researched all the promising hints that water sprinkles for us to find?

Episode #187 presents a turbulent mystery told by a scientific maverick, hinting that our glass of knowledge is (at most) only half-full.

Read Full Transcript
Show Notes
  • 00:00:26

    Episode Introduction: "Structured Water" with Dr. Gerald Pollack

  • 00:01:41

    This Week in Neuroscience: Intrauterine Light

  • 00:05:14

    Smarts Drug Smarts News + Updates

  • 00:06:17

    Water Fast Week 2017 News

  • 00:08:30

    Interview Lead-in: Water vs. Structured Water

  • 00:10:46

    Interview Begins

  • 00:12:50

    What Does It Mean For Water To Be Structured?

  • 00:14:11

    Where the 'EZ' in EZ Water came from?

  • 00:16:23

    Origin of Energy in Structured Water

  • 00:18:21

    EZ Water at the Bottom of the Ocean?

  • 00:20:33

    Is EZ Water Phase Temperature Independent?

  • 00:22:02

    Should I Start Drinking More EZ Water?

  • 00:23:56

    Greatest Source of EZ Water

  • 00:26:06

    Why has EZ Water only coming up as a topic now?

  • 00:28:35

    The Polywater Debacle

  • 00:31:15

    Does EZ Water have a half-life?

  • 00:32:33

    Water that is... Dry?

  • 00:34:35

    Interview Wrap-Up: Jesse's Take On Structured Water

  • 00:36:26

    Ruthless Listener Retention Gimmick: Older Dads = Higher Geek Index?

  • 00:39:18

    Episode Wrap-Up


  1. Richard says:

    Amazing to hear about the solid water crystal at the end of the interview. Really interesting stuff!

  2. Aristotle says:

    Hello Monseur,
    He mentioned in the podcast that one can test a water source for structured traits with a spectrometer. Any idea how this is done?
    Thank you so much. This is quite helpful.

  3. Roy says:

    Not to say that the physical chemistry of water is misunderstood, but I share in your super skeptical approach. Speculation as a dessert for science is a great analogy. This realm of science has yet to undergo rigorous testing and repeatable scientific studies from chemistry style in up to in vitro up to in vivo and even social studies – all building upon each other with tiny steps. What particularly riles up my skepticism is the promotion of spring water (or ionized water) and the EZ water crystal that sounds like the dry brittle polymer formed by drying out a cloud of scrapings which probably still contain the original polymer used in the experiment.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top