August 18, 2017

Deuterium-depleted water: What is it?

hydrogen vs deuteriumDeuterium is an isotope of hydrogen that contains a proton and a neutron in the nucleus of the atom. The extra neutron doubles the mass of the hydrogen atom.

It is well-known that due to its mass difference, deuterium (D) behaves differently from hydrogen in chemical reactions (called the isotope effect). In other words, deuterium can, in some ways, be considered as an independent element. When deuterium combines with oxygen, the resulting water is referred to as deuterium oxide or “heavy” water –D2O.  Semi-heavy water results when one atom of hydrogen and one atom of deuterium combine with oxygen: (HDO). Water made with deuterium tastes and looks the same but has numerous distinguishing characteristics. For example:

  • Normal water boils at 100° C;  heavy water boils at 101.4 °C

    heavy water

    Left: Ice in normal water; Right: Ice in Heavy water

  • Normal water freezes at 0° C;  heavy water freezes at 3.8° C.
  • Ice normally floats on the surface of water;  ice made with heavy water sinks.

Gilbert Lewis was the first to produce a pure sample of heavy water in the 1930s. He accurately predicted its toxic effects on living organisms. His experiments showed that while tobacco seeds placed in typical water sprouted over the course of two weeks, those placed in D2O did not sprout at all. Tobacco seeds in 50/50 D2O sprouted— slowly. Subsequent experiments on cell cultures and living organisms determined  that increasing the deuterium concentration of the water in an organism could disturb normal cell function. Higher concentrations were lethal. While all this was interesting, most scientists considered deuterium to be so scarce that the study of its biological effects were ignored until the 1990s.

Is deuterium really scarce?

On average, one out of every 6400 atoms of hydrogen is deuterium—the equivalent of one or two drops in a quart of water.  That might seem like a small proportion—until you consider the amount of hydrogen in living matter. One out of every 6400 atoms translates to a mass of deuterium five times greater than the mass of calcium in human blood.  When scientists began to look at deuterium from this perspective, they became more interested in its biological significance.

Deuterium and DNA

Although mainstream researchers have overlooked the long term effects of low-level deuterium, research indicates that deuterium is coupled with DNA mutation and subsequent DNA damage. Deuterium affects the shape of molecules, including the shape of enzymes—many of which are involved in DNA synthesis and repair. The presence of deuterium in these enzymes slows DNA replication, it causes errors in transcription, and it hinders DNA repair.

Deuterium also has an effect on biological processes through the mechanism of hydrogen bonding. The bonds created by deuterium are stronger than normal hydrogen bonds. Tighter deuterium bonding stiffens proteins and requires more energy to break during metabolic reactions. Hydrogen bonds play a major role in DNA structure and are responsible for its helical shape. The class of enzymes and proteins that play a role in DNA replication and repair make extensive use of hydrogen bonds—another reason deuterium has negative effects on DNA.

Deuterium also interferes with normal proton movement in any proton channel—including the channels involved in ATP (energy) production. Its presence causes the mechanism to “stutter”  reducing efficiency. With normal concentrations of deuterium, the “stutter” happens about once every 15 seconds in every proton channel. Multiplied by the millions of proton channels in a living organism, this approaches monumental proportions. Given these affects (and others), deuterium is now thought to play an important role in the progression of disease and aging.

Deuterium and Aging

The most widely accepted theory on aging supposes that the aging process is correlated with a gradual accumulation of errors in DNA.  According to Kirk Goodall, a senior member of the technical staff with NASA, the number of irreversible errors in the DNA sequence is directly influenced, by deuterium.  The lower the deuterium concentration, the lower the frequency of the irreversible errors in DNA structures.

Biological effects of deuterium-depleted water (DDW)

Since water is a major source of hydrogen, and since most living organisms are 50 – 75% water, scientists have begun to investigate the effects of deuterium-depleted water—water with a reduced amount of deuterium. Discoveries in the last fifteen years have been groundbreaking.   The biological effects of deuterium-depleted water (DDW), sometimes referred to as “light” water, have been highlighted in dozens of studies conducted on plants, animals and humans. Experiments on plants show a general increase in growth and productivity—up to 200%.  Experiments with chickens lead to a 50% decrease in mortality and a near doubling in egg production. Experiments with mice revealed increased life expectancy and an increase in sexual activity. Over ten years of research and clinical trials on humans in Hungary by Dr. Gábor Somlyai and his colleges have identified positive effects of DDW in treating diabetes and many types of cancer. His book, Defeating Cancer: The Biological Effect of Deuterium Depletion, chronicles the work. Not only does the consumption of DDW affect the progression of many diseases and metabolic disorders (including hypertension, obesity, and diabetes), according to research conducted in Russia, it also positively affects energy production and  immune function. A growing body of evidence shows DDW stimulates skin regeneration, reduces inflammation and slows aging. It also mitigates the damaging effects of radiation (nausea, pain, hair loss).

What is deuterium-depleted water?

All natural water contains deuterium. Most water contains about 150 ppm. Water with a concentration less than 140 ppm is considered deuterium-depleted. According to clinical work conducted in Hungary, Japan and Russia, even this seemingly small reduction in deuterium content can have a significant influence on a number of health parameters. Studies conducted with concentrations between 25 and 125 ppm –all show response.

Natural deuterium depletion

Since evaporation favors hydrogen over the heavier deuterium, water vapor is lower in deuterium. (Deuterium evaporates last and condenses first.)  In areas where there is a greater degree of evaporation (equator and deserts) the deuterium content of the surface water is high. On the other hand, where there is less evaporation (polar regions and mountains) the deuterium concentration of the surface water is lower. Natural deuterium concentration depends on a number of factors:

  • Temperature/Season— Water in cold climates contains less deuterium than water in warmer climates. Winter precipitation contains less deuterium than summer precipitation.
  • Water source (fresh vs. ocean)—Oceans contain more deuterium than fresh water. The deuterium concentration in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean remains fairly constant at 156 ppm. Polar oceans have a much lower concentration.
  • Altitude—Water at high altitudes has less deuterium. Water from the Rocky mountains in Western United States has been measured with 136 ppm deuterium.
  • Distance from coastline—Heavier water precipitates first so the surface water along western coastlines contains more deuterium than inland areas.
  • Distance from the equator—Equatorial waters contain more deuterium than water at the poles. Water from Antarctic ice measures 90 ppm deuterium and water beneath the Sahara desert measure 180 ppm deuterium.

Organisms in various parts of the world tend to have deuterium concentrations comparable to the water in the area. However, both plants and animals maintain a lower deuterium concentration than the surrounding surface water. This indicates that organisms have a preference for a deuterium-depleted status. In fact, the water produced in the body (referred to as metabolic water) is deuterium depleted.

Why drink deuterium-depleted water (DDW) ?

Research shows that consumption of DDW gradually reduces the deuterium concentration in the human body. Over a period of weeks and months, consumption of DDW supports the body’s natural ability to expel excessive deuterium. This could reduce the ongoing, adverse effects of deuterium (ie. DNA errors during replication and repair). At the same time, a number of health parameters may improve.  Dr. Somlyai’s work in Hungary revealed that healthy cells respond well to reduced amounts of deuterium in water. However, cells with chromosomal mutations (cancer) are more sensitive to deuterium depletion. Cancer cells, particularly tumor cells, cannot adapt quickly resulting in tumor regression without any side effects on healthy cells.  Somlyia and his colleagues also studied DDW for metabolic disorders—particularly diabetes—with favorable results. From another perspective, It makes sense that water with a reduced deuterium content may have the capacity to transmit information more clearly. The extra neutron may create a “pucker” in the liquid crystalline matrix that is involved with information storage and transfer.

Where to get DDW

qlariviaIn Hungary and Romania, where DDW has been researched in clinical trials for many years, (and where it is an accepted treatment for cancer) bottled DDW is widely available.  But in the U.S. there is currently no one producing DDW with a significantly reduced concentration. You can buy deuterium-depleted water with approximately 2 ppm from chemical stores but the cost is prohibitive at $100.00 for 100 ml. A product called Qlarivia, with an exceptionally low deuterium concentration (25 ppm) is now available. Although it is expensive, the authors of Dancing with Water have found it to be exceptional. In their experience, one cup on a daily basis (when structured and refined by methods advocated in the book, has provided numerous benefits.  The results of 3 case studies where participants drank 1 cup of 25 ppm deuterium-depleted water for 4 months, were presented at the International Conference on the Physics, Chemistry and Biology of Water in Bulgaria 2016. Watch the video below. Note: The audio on the first 5 minutes of the video is not good due to a poor Skype connection but after that point the audio is better.


An international patent search reveals that DDW is being incorporated in a variety of food preparations, including beer and soy sauce, for the purpose of improving health. It is also being used in the formulation of skin care products with success on many skin conditions. You can use DDW in your tea, soups and other food preparations. It can also be incorporated in a variety of  homemade personal care products.

First International Symposium on Deuterium Depletion

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  1. Appreciating the time and effort you put into your site and
    in depth information you present. It’s great to come across a
    blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed material.
    Wonderful read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS
    feeds to my Google account.

  2. Gedeon Rok says:

    There was the 3rd International Congress on Deuterium Depletion in 2015

  3. Fascinating information thank you. What do you think of the electric hydrogen makers on the market? There seems to be an abundance of them. I am not sure how they work but get the impression that they split the water molecule into oxygen and hydrogen.

    If we were supposed to consume more hydrogen would nature not have added more to the air or a different ration in our water supply?

  4. Guillermo Buitron says:

    Would anyone know where in USA I can have water tested for determining deuterium levels? Thanks in advance. Giermo

  5. I noticed the section “How to make your own DDW” is deleted. Why?

    • In our continued work with Deuterium-depleted water, we have found that the degree to which water can be depleted often depends on the minerals in the water (influencing hydrogen/deuterium bond strength) We had the water tested by a certified lab in Eastern Europe where they have more experience with this kind of testing and found that the process we originally posted removed very little deuterium when minerals were present, so since the process was so involved, we felt it was not worth people’s time. We have been exploring a product that we might be able to make available with 25 ppm. We will keep the community posted.

  6. MJ Pangman’s reply dated August 2, 2016 stated, “We have been exploring a product that we might be able to make available with 25 ppm. We will keep the community posted.” Has there been any progress in this exploration?

  7. We have had a lot of inquiries about the John Ellis machine which is supposed to produce deuterium-depleted water. (Some people even have the impression that this machine makes deuterium-free water. At this time, it is nearly impossible to produce deuterium-free water, that’s why the literature always refers to deuterium-depleted water). Please read the Ellis material carefully. At the writing of this post, we have not been able to find the LEVEL of deuterium depletion that this machine is supposed to produce. Technically, any water that is below 140 ppm COULD be referred to as “deuterium-depleted” although therapeutic levels are much lower. In the obvious absence of accurate measurements of deuterium, we are hesitant to make any comments about this machine,or the water it makes.

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