No, Drinking Bleach Will Not Cure Cancer or Autism, FDA Warns

A dangerous new health fad has been debunked by the Food and Drug Administration, but some are surprised it even needed to be. A slew of new products have emerged containing chlorine dioxide and other bleach-like solutions, claiming to be cures for everything from autism to cancer, HIV and AIDS. The FDA says that this is not true.

Regulators at the FDA issued an official warning for these products on Monday. They specifically called out products like the Miracle Solution, Mineral Solution, Miracle Mineral Supplement, MMS or simply Chlorine Dioxide Protocol. None of these products or others like them have been approved by the FDA, the administration says.

It adds that, despite what people may be seeing on social media, there is no evidence that these products can treat any illnesses, from the life-threatening to the mundane. Other ailments that have been associated with these solutions include hepatitis and the flu, though autism is one of the main claims. The FDA says that these solutions are too damaging by themselves to be worth taking.

"The solution, when mixed, develops into a dangerous bleach which has caused serious and potentially life-threatening side effects," the warning states.

“Ingesting these products is the same as drinking bleach,” added FDA acting Commissioner Ned Sharpless. “Consumers should not use these products, and parents should not give these products to their children for any reason.”

In the meantime, Sharpless said that the FDA "will continue to track those selling this dangerous product and take appropriate enforcement actions" to stop them. He even suggested that some vendors may "attempt to evade FDA regulations" and will be punished for that crime as well.

"Our top priority is to protect the public from products that place their health at risk," Sharpless said, "and we will send a strong and clear message that these products have the potential to cause serious harm.”

The product is comprised of distilled water mixed with sodium chlorite. Customers are instructed to mix it with a citric acid "activator" before taking it, which is sometimes provided or sometimes sold separately. Normal lemon juice serves this purpose. The resulting mixture is chlorine dioxide, a powerful bleaching agent that the FDA says is absolutely not safe to consume.

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Already, the agency has received reports of the ill effects of these products, ranging from uncomfortable to severe. Extreme vomiting, diarrhea and life-threateningly low blood pressure are among the top concerns, and over time dehydration and acute liver failure become possibilities as well. Vendors claim that the product is "antimicrobial, antiviral and antibacterial," but the FDA says otherwise.

"The FDA is not aware of any scientific evidence supporting the safety or effectiveness of MMS products," the warning says. "Consumers who have experienced an adverse health effect after ingesting this product should seek immediate medical attention."

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