Why drinking bleach is a bad idea even if you're sick, according to scientists

Kiwi scientists are hailing YouTube's move to crack down on videos promoting bleach as a miracle cure for a wide range of conditions.

Millions had watched the clips, which claim chlorine dioxide drinks and enemas can treat and even reverse AIDS, malaria, cancer and autism.

But the New Zealand distributor of the substance, branded as 'Miracle Mineral Solution' (MMS), says "big pharma" owns YouTube, and is under instruction from "the New World Order" to suppress alternative therapies.

YouTube, the world's biggest video-sharing site, removed hundreds of videos promoting MMS following a Business Insider investigation

"Autistic children have to drink this up to 16 times a day then are subjected to six enemas of this bleach product daily, and the side effects are horrific," autistic rights campaigner Fiona O'Leary told the site.

MMS. Photo credit: USFDA

MMS, which forms chlorine dioxide when 'activated' with a substance like citric acid, is a very effective pathogen-killer - on that, scientists and proponents agree.

"Chlorine dioxide is used to treat drinking water precisely because it's so reactive - it kills bacteria and other microbes in water," University of Waikato senior lecturer of biological sciences Dr Alison Campbell told Newshub.

It's been linked to at least two deaths - one who was trying to ward off malaria whilst holidaying in the Pacific in 2010, and another who died of a perforated intestine in 2013. Dozens more have reportedly laid complaints to the US Federal Drug Administration about the substance.

MMS is distributed by "non-religious church" Genesis II. New Zealand representative Roger Blake told Newshub if chlorine dioxide works in water, there's no reason why it shouldn't also work in humans - after all, we're 70 percent water.

"What we're doing is nothing airy-fairy, snake oil," he said, going on to claim the side-effects some have reported - vomiting, nausea and rashes - only happen when people don't follow the instructions.

"If someone has disease in the body and you kill that disease too rapidly, you've got all this dead virus, bacteria material floating around the bloodstream which can't be filtered out by either the liver or kidneys by the rate that you've killed it, of course you're going to get a toxic overload. You're going to feel rotten."

He said there are no studies proving chlorine dioxide is bad for you. Dr Campbell said that's because it would be "rather unethical" to ask people to drink industrial-strength bleach.

"There are certainly animal tests that show it's harmful when taken internally," she said.

A booklet published by Genesis II.
A booklet published by Genesis II. Photo credit: Amazon/Genesis II

And rather than cure disease, it's likely to be incredibly harmful.

"Consuming it is likely to irritate the gut lining; apparently it can also damage haemoglobin, which can affect the blood's ability to transport oxygen... The vomiting and diarrhoea, which is also commonly reported, is more likely to be due to damage/irritation to the gut lining."

Blake - whose official title with Genesis II is 'bishop' - said autism-causing "toxins" are delivered into the bloodstream via vaccines. There is zero evidence to suggest this is true, with a recent meta-study finding no correlation between vaccines and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

"The biology of ASD is multifaceted and not fully understood," said Jessie Jacobsen, biologist at Minds for Minds, an autism research trust.

"There will not be a single 'solution' for ASD, but an integrated management approach (following an early and accurate diagnosis) based on international peer-reviewed literature."

The former doctor who first promoted the alleged link between autism and vaccines was later outed as a fraud.

Dr Campbell said there was a "strong genetic component" to autism that couldn't possibly be 'cured' by drinking bleach, and Blake's use of the word 'toxins' suggests it's total "quackery".

"One of the myths pushed by MMS sellers is that it's selective - they like to say that it kills off 'bad' bacteria and leaves the good ones alone. However, chlorine dioxide is unselective in its action."

University of Auckland microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles bluntly told Newshub that Blake and Genesis II were "spreading dangerous bullshit". 

Blake said he can't be sure customers haven't been lying to him, but he takes them at their word. He went on to bet Newshub $1000 we wouldn't report anything he said because we're "owned by big pharma" and "put out so many lies". He went on to praise conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who was recently kicked off YouTube, Facebook and other big social media sites.

"I've watched him for 10 years, and everything he says is pretty much on the nail," Blake insisted. "No lies in there. It's all facts the New World Order aren't happy with."

Alex Jones.
Alex Jones. Photo credit: Infowars

MedSafe has issued numerous warnings not to use MMS.

"Whilst sodium chlorite may be an effective disinfectant when used on household surfaces or for water purification, this is not the same as ingesting the product," it said in 2015. "In fact, these products produce chlorine dioxide which can cause serious harm to health when ingested."