FDA warns consumers to stop drinking sodium chlorite products

I just saw a social media post warning against drinking Miracle Mineral Solution. What is it, and why shouldn’t I drink it?

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Miracle Mineral Solution is a mixture of distilled water and sodium chlorite. It is sold online as a purported treatment for several diseases and conditions, according to the U. S. Food and Drug Administration.

But, instead of helping consumers, the product has sickened numerous people who’ve ingested it, the FDA said

As a result, the federal agency this week warned consumers to stop drinking the product, which is also known by several names including Miracle or Master Mineral Solution, Miracle Mineral Supplement, MMS, Chlorine Dioxide Protocol, and Water Purification Solution, according to the FDA.

“Some distributors are making false—and dangerous—claims that Miracle Mineral Supplement mixed with citric acid is an antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibacterial liquid that is a remedy for autism, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, flu, and other conditions,” the FDA said. “But the FDA is not aware of any research showing that these products are safe or effective for treating any illness.”

Although the agency first issued a warning against consuming these products in 2010, the warning was reissued this week after the FDA said it has received reports of consumers who have suffered from severe vomiting, severe diarrhea, life-threatening low blood pressure caused by dehydration, and acute liver failure after drinking these products.

“Drinking any of these chlorine dioxide products can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and symptoms of severe dehydration,” the FDA warned. “Some product labels claim that vomiting and diarrhea are common after ingesting the product. They even maintain that such reactions are evidence that the product is working. That claim is false.”

Of particular concern for the FDA is that the more concentrated the product is, the more severe the consumer’s reaction can be.

For example, “product directions instruct people to mix the sodium chlorite solution with a citric acid, such as lemon or lime juice, or another acid before drinking. In many instances, the sodium chlorite is sold with a citric acid ‘activator.’ When the acid is added, the mixture becomes chlorine dioxide, a powerful bleaching agent,” the FDA said.

“Sodium chlorite products are dangerous, and you and your family should not use them,” the FDA warned.

Chow Line is a service of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and its outreach and research arms, OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Send questions to Chow Line, c/o Tracy Turner, 364 W. Lane Ave., Suite B120, Columbus, OH 43201, or turner.490@osu.edu.

Editor: This column was reviewed by Jenny Lobb, educator, family and consumer sciences, OSU Extension.

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