Bleach is a great disinfectant that is not lacking in practically any home. Such is its disinfection power that even some political leaders, such as Donald Trump, have even wondered if we could use it to fight diseases. After all, if it disinfects surfaces, why shouldn’t it disinfect our body? At the time, all this seemed very funny to us, but it is not far from the reality of some people. And it is that during the last decades the use of bleach substitutes, such as MMS or CDS, has gained great fame for the treatment of all kinds of diseases. Groups have even been created on platforms such as Telegram, in which patients with pathologies as serious as cancer exchange advice on these miraculous remedies.
The story of one of these Telegram groups was recently uncovered on Twitter by Luis Santamaría, a researcher at the Ibero-American Network for the Study of Sects (RIES). Through screenshots, he showed some messages that make anyone’s blood run cold. People with tumors are in very advanced stages asking how to take bleach. Because the MMS and the CDS do not stop being that. And it is important to tell. It is important to make it known because these people are not to blame for anything. They are only afraid of suffering and death, one of the most visceral and human fears that exist. Taking advantage of that fear to do business is inhumane and it is precisely what many naturists and gurus of these substances that cure everything do.
But what exactly are MMS and CDS? Why do we say that it is bleach if it is not the exact same substance that we use to clean? And, more importantly, what happens if a person with cancer or any other disease tries to take them? This and much more is what we are going to deal with in this article.
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Where did the MMS and the CDS come from?
Both MMS and CDS are actually different names for chlorine dioxide (ClO2). The term “ miracle mineral supplement ” (MMS) was coined in 2006 by Jim Humble, in his book The Miracle Mineral Solution of the 21st Century. According to both him and his followers, Humble was a NASA engineer, who came to work on some secret projects, also related to atomic bombs. Fed up with his work, he decided to turn his life around 180º to dedicate himself to mining. And that is how he is supposed to have discovered this great remedy.
It happened in 1996 when he was working in a mining prospection in search of gold in Guyana. Several of his companions fell seriously ill with malaria. He, not knowing what to do, opted to give them chlorine dioxide water. He carried this compound with him to disinfect the water they drank and thought, following the analogy of the former US president, that perhaps it disinfected them. And he did it. Shortly after they were all safe and sound.
Thus, supposedly, when he returned home he began to investigate different doses and formats in which chlorine dioxide could be administered. And MMS was born. But it didn’t just cure malaria. Suddenly he was so all-powerful that he could cure almost anything, infectious disease or not. There the analogy of disinfecting the body ceased to make sense, but inconsistencies never come alone. Almost in parallel, the CDS was also born, since they are basically the same, although the latter is a little less pure.
The bleach that we commonly use in our homes to clean is sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) dissolved in water. For this reason, the staunch defenders of MMS and the CDS say that it is a mistake to say that it is bleach. However, there are reasons to consider them as such. “There is no official definition of what a bleach is in the IUPAC, since it is a very broad term, and can encompass a large number of substances,” the chemistry professor explains to Hipertextual inorganic from the University of Cadiz Ginesa Blanco. “However, in a more generic way, a bleach would be a chemical substance that acts as a bleach and usually has biocidal and sterilizing capacity. For example, this is how it is defined in more general media, such as the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
It should be noted that IUPAC is the International Union of Applied Chemistry, a society in charge of developing the different standards for naming chemical products. Therefore, there is no official definition for bleach within these standards. Not one that claims that chlorine dioxide is bleach, nor one that rules out that it is. Yes, it corresponds to the definition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, since it meets all the requirements it mentions. Let’s not forget that in his story, real or not, Humble took him to disinfect the water.
On the other hand, Blanco refers to the relationship between the term bleach and the presence of chlorine in its formula:
“Usually, bleaches have been linked to the presence of chlorine. In fact, the first substance used as bleach was Cl2, although due to its danger (it is a highly corrosive gas), its direct use was ruled out as soon as an alternative was available. A classification that is usually used for this type of substance is based on the fact that it produces (or is) free chlorine, Cl2, does not produce it even if it contains chlorine atoms, or is totally free of chlorine in its composition”.
Chlorine dioxide, and thus CDS and MMS, would be included in those that contain chlorine, but do not produce it in reaction. In fact, according to a professor at the University of Cádiz, this is the reason why it is widely used. The fact that it does not generate gaseous chlorine is an advantage, but it also has disadvantages, such as the fact that it is a highly explosive gas that, for safety reasons, must be generated on site.
One of the facts that turn them into bleach and in turn makes them dangerous is that they are very oxidizing
In any case, with technicalities or not, if it is so alert that it is bleach, it is not due to inconveniences of the RAE. It is because its consumption is as dangerous as that of the bleach that we have at home. If no one takes a shot of household disinfectant, neither should they with MMS or CDS. And in this, again, the key is in the chemistry. “Usually the bleaching and biocidal capacity are linked to the fact that bleaches are usually strongly oxidizing compounds, although it is not necessary,” says Blanco. “There are also substances that can be classified as bleaches and are reducing agents .”
An oxidizing substance is one that oxidizes another by reacting with it. This means that it strips electrons from its atoms. The reducing substance, on the other hand, does the opposite, giving it electrons.
Be that as it may, this is an unhealthy imbalance for our cells. In the case of chlorine dioxide, it is much more oxidizing than sodium hypochlorite, which we commonly call bleach. We spend our lives talking about the danger of free radicals since their oxidative capacity plays a key role in cell aging. And also in the appearance of diseases such as cancer. If we see this as something harmful, what can be beneficial about drinking a chemical compound famous for its great oxidizing capacity? That’s the problem with MMS and CDS being bleached.
Telegram as a speaker of misinformation
Science in general and medicine, in particular, have a great advantage that they can save our lives. But also the inconvenience that sometimes they can’t. It’s sad but it’s true. There are diseases for which medicine has not yet found a cure. Or, if it has, it doesn’t succeed 100% of the time. For this reason, sometimes human beings prefer to cling to certainties. To something that promises us salvation above all things. That makes us move away from science, even from truth and coherence. But what does it matter if with it we lengthen our existence?
It is a most normal reaction, the result of desperation. But unfortunately, it is also a pretext that many heartless people throughout history have taken advantage of, launching remedies that promise the impossible. And among them, of course, are the MMS and the CDS.
There are those who offer it for pure business. But also those who firmly believe in its effectiveness. It often happens as with homeopathy or Bach flowers. Is it a matter of faith? If you take a few drops of MMS with breakfast for years and rarely get sick, you may put it down to that. Not because you exercise, don’t smoke, eat a proper diet, and have good genetics. In that case, you will possibly begin to spread it, first among your closest people. But later also through loudspeakers such as the Telegram group that Luis Santamaría talks about on his Twitter account.
As the expert they had explained to this medium, it is a group with more than 5,500 members. In this, the consumption of CDS and MMS is recommended specifically for cancer. However, he recalls that there are many more generalized groups of this type, aimed at any condition. He specifically mentions one with 40,700 people, another with 30,800, another with 13,500, and another with 13,300. Even so, as Santamaría rightly emphasizes, all of them “respond to a small part of this reality ”.
Businesses that feed on fear
As we have already seen, the search for certainties when our health is in danger is very human. It makes us vulnerable and it is a situation that peddlers take advantage of. And this, in the case of cancer patients, is very common.
“Many of them go through complex and sometimes long treatments, with severe side effects and all, to a greater or lesser extent, face uncertainty and the various threats that a disease such as cancer represents,” says an expert psychologist. in psycho-oncology and palliative care from the Cantabria Cancer Association. “Not only in terms of health but, for example, in relation to work, the economy, sexuality, social life … Threats that extend in one way or another, frequently, to the family.”
“It is not difficult for the person to seek or try alleged alternatives that promise certainties and miraculous solutions that are also often within reach of a simple click on the internet”
For this reason, the expert adds that “it is not difficult for the person to search for or try alleged alternatives that promise certainties and miraculous solutions that are also often within reach of a simple click on the internet.”
It is a tangible vulnerability. You can see it, it’s very clear, and that’s why people who promote pseudo therapies like MMS or CDS know that they can be good customers. “ They take advantage of the vulnerability and that is petty”, sentences Mediavilla. “Some of these people may believe that the product, technique, or therapy they are selling is adequate, but that does not absolve them of guilt. It is not enough to believe, that there must be evidence, control, and security and no one should offer a remedy that does not meet these criteria.
But, of course, there are also sellers who know that what they promote is not harmless. “They are people who perfectly understand the context of the patient’s vulnerability and who perversely and spuriously use their empathy for their own interests, most of the time purely economic.”
And that is something that we can see in groups like the ones Santamaría tells about. Many times it is the patients themselves who advise each other, confident that it will really work. Others, on the other hand, appear people who promote themselves as naturists or practitioners of other pseudo-therapies, pontificating on the subject. And, of course, giving a false sense of reliability. “I have been able to see the self-promotion of people who practice naturopathy, homeopathy, magnetic therapy, acupuncture, ozone therapy, Bach flowers, etc.”, exemplifies the specialist in sects.
In addition, he says that in these groups it is common to find people who defend pseudo therapies or currents that deny the very existence of cancer, such as biodecoding. In short, these Telegram groups are harmful on many levels. And it is something that can be seen in text messages such as “my mother was diagnosed with cancer in the bile ducts, is there a protocol for this?” Or “I have cancer, I’ve had two surgeries, I’m about to finish radiotherapy…could I be a candidate for CDS?”
Bleach is very dangerous for cancer patients
CDS and MMS are usually taken in very low doses. Basically, that’s why consumers don’t die outright. Even so, it is still dangerous for anyone. It especially affects the stomach and can cause vomiting and diarrhea that, if continued over time, can be very serious. However, many advocates of their use sell them as a sign that all is well. They ensure that the body is cleansing itself. This is an atrocity, especially considering that some websites on the subject recommend taking it every 15-30 minutes in patients with chronic diseases.
But that is not all. In studies with monkeys, chlorine dioxide has been shown to affect the function of the thyroid gland. And also reduce the levels of T4 lymphocytes, which are key cells in the functioning of the immune system.
The effects of consuming chlorine dioxide can be confused with side effects of cancer treatment, causing variations in the dose
All this shows how serious it can be for cancer patients to get carried away by their consumption. The most serious thing would be for them to stop chemotherapy, convinced that miraculous remedies will be more effective. Fortunately, at least in the Telegram groups that Santamaría has seen, he has not found anyone recommending this. However, they point out that medical oncology treatments can be somewhat complementary, placing MMS as the main treatment. Sometimes, they treat medicine in a derogatory manner, with comments such as “I take CDS daily to dissolve what the Social Security doctors call metastasis”.
But chlorine dioxide is dangerous for cancer patients even if chemotherapy is continued. “MMS and CDS can produce serious adverse effects, such as diarrhea and vomiting, which can be confused with adverse effects of oncological treatments and lead to dose reduction, treatment delays and even suspension of the same,” the head of the section of medical oncology at the Virgen Macarena Hospital in Seville, David Vicente Baz. “In addition, we do not know the interactions they may have with cancer drugs, many of them with a very specific range of safety.”
In fact, the oncologist recalls that cancer patients “should consult with their doctor and pharmacist about all the products they take, even if they may seem harmless to them.” And it is that, according to him, some interactions can even be fatal.
Miguel Mediavilla has also commented on this aspect. “Patients should flee from any practice or remedy that does not appear in the portfolio of services of the National Health System ”, He warns. “In case of doubt, you should consult with the oncologist or with our association, for example, through the INFOCÁNCER telephone number, 900 100 036”.
What do we do if a family member with cancer falls into pseudoscience?
Sometimes it may be the cancer patient’s own environment that advises them to turn to pseudo therapies such as MMS. But what do we do if the opposite happens? How can we explain to our loved one that what he is holding on to is not going to help him?
For Mediavilla it is very important to be assertive with this person, “warn them about the dangers of the pseudo therapy in question and ask them to consult with their oncologist, nursing professional or psycho-oncologist.” Or they can also ask for help from specialized associations. At this point, he cites the association he works for, as well as the Association to Protect the Sick from Pseudoscientific Therapies. In those places, they can help us handle the situation with the necessary tact.
“Let us bear in mind that many of these pseudo-therapies have sectarian behavior and tend to cause the person to separate from their family environment. In this sense, it is essential not to reinforce these approaches, much less stimulate them. But, at the same time, show ourselves close to the person, foster mutual trust from assertiveness, and show ourselves willing to accompany him to seek solutions within the margins of evidence-based medicine or recognized associations”.
That can be an infallible weapon to defeat pseudosciences. Against fear brokers, the support of those closest to you can be vital.