Science

WARNING: “Miracle Mineral Solution” is *not* safe for human consumption

This so-called miracle tonic, marketed as a ‘treatment’ for myriad health conditions, has the FDA worried.

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Billed as a treatment for myriad health problems, Miracle Mineral Solution is no miracle. In August of 2019, the United States Food and Drug Administration issued a stark warning to consumers: stop drinking it NOW.

The tonic, or MMS as it is commonly known, is composed of between 22.4 - 28 percent sodium chloride, which is used as a cleaning agent and to purify water. It is ‘activated’ using hydrochloric acid — which produces chlorine dioxide. Chlorine dioxide is bleach. The user then drinks, bathes in, or gives themselves an enema with said bleach.

This is #25 on Inverse’s 25 most WTF science stories of 2019

According to the FDA, drinking chlorine dioxide “can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and symptoms of severe dehydration.” It can also cause liver failure. The agency notes that two of these effects — vomiting and diarrhea — are even encouraged by MMS proponents, as they apparently show that it’s working. “That claim is false,” the agency said.

Why, you might ask, would someone do this to themselves? To understand that, look to MMS’s strange, quasi-religious history. The brew owes its popularity to former scientologist Jim Humble, whose experience in health care extends to having worked in a health food shop once. Humble championed it in a 2006 self-published book. Now, he is the de-facto head of the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing. The Church, among other things, promotes “good health for mankind,” offers “protection” for its followers from vaccines and x-rays, and, to top it all off, uses MMS as its “sacrament.”

MMS, Humble claims, essentially washes the body clean of any toxins and poisons, allowing it to then heal itself of a hodge-podge of health conditions — cancer, autism, malaria, acid reflux, liver disease… the list goes on.

Stephen Barrett, a former psychologist who now runs the watchdog website Quackwatch, told Inverse at the time that part of the issue is that “there’s a tug of war between the ability to have a society with freedom of speech and the ability to protect people.”

But while MMS proponents are vocal, there is no evidence for any of these claims, the FDA says. Still, the ingredients for MMS are widely available, and anti-vaxxers and other conspiracy-minded groups continue to tout its many benefits online.

As 2019 draws to a close, Inverse is counting down the 25 science stories from this year that made us say “WTF.” Some are incredible, some are icky, and some are just plain strange. This has been #25. Read the original article here.

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