The Science Behind Deuterium Depleted Water

Deuterium Science

In the 1960s, a team of Soviet scientists studied two populations in different parts of the world whose members lived to old age in a very healthful conditions. The living habits of both populations were different, including their diet, but they had one thing in common: both populations drank glacial water with a significantly lower than average deuterium concentration. This is interesting in light of the fact that the Hunza region in Pakistan has also been studied for years in an attempt to identify a reason(s) for  its long-lived, healthy population. Inhabitants of the Hunza Valley live to be in their 90s while maintaining an active lifestyle. This has always been attributed to their water (glacial). Everything about Hunza water has been studied over the years: mineral content, molecular structure, colloidal status, zeta potential, etc. but no one has considered the deuterium content of the water—until now. Hunza water is naturally deuterium depleted—estimated to be about 133 ppm deuterium. According to recent studies, this reduced deuterium concentration is enough to  make a difference in numerous health parameters. 

Organisms in various parts of the world tend to have deuterium concentrations comparable to the water in the area. However, both plants and animals maintain a lower deuterium concentration than the surrounding surface water. This  indicates that organisms have a preference for a deuterium-depleted status.

Research shows that consumption of DDW gradually reduces the deuterium concentration in the human body. Over a period of weeks and months, consumption of DDW allows the body to expel excess deuterium from the body. This could reduce the ongoing, adverse effects of deuterium (ie. DNA errors during replication and repair). At the same time, a number of health parameters may improve. Dr. Somlyai’s work in Hungary revealed that healthy cells respond well to reduced amounts of deuterium in water. However, cells with chromosomal mutations (cancer) are more sensitive to deuterium depletion. Cancer cells, particularly tumor cells, cannot adapt quickly resulting in tumor regression without any side effects on healthy cells. Dr. Somlyai and his colleagues also studied DDW for metabolic disorders—particularly diabetes—with favorable results. From another perspective, It makes sense that water with a reduced deuterium content may have the capacity to transmit information more clearly. The extra neutron may create a “pucker” in the liquid crystalline matrix that is involved with information storage and transfer.

Deuterium and DNA

Although mainstream researchers have overlooked the long term effects of low-level deuterium, research indicates that deuterium is coupled with DNA mutation and subsequent DNA damage. Deuterium affects the shape of molecules, including the shape of enzymes—many of which are involved in DNA synthesis and repair. The presence of deuterium in these enzymes slows DNA replication, it causes errors in transcription, and it hinders DNA repair.

Deuterium also has an effect on biological processes through the mechanism of hydrogen bonding.

The bonds created by deuterium are stronger than the normal hydrogen bonds they replace. Tighter deuterium bonding stiffens proteins and requires more energy to break during metabolic reactions. Hydrogen bonds play a major role in DNA structure and are responsible for its helical shape. The class of enzymes and proteins that play a role in DNA replication and repair make extensive use of hydrogen bonds—another reason deuterium has negative effects on DNA.

Deuterium also interferes with normal proton movement in any proton channel—including the channels involved in ATP (energy) production.

Its presence causes the mechanism to “stutter,”  reducing efficiency. With normal concentrations of deuterium, the “stutter” happens about once every 15 seconds in every proton channel. Multiplied by the millions of proton channels in a living organism, this approaches monumental proportions. Given these affects (and others), deuterium is now thought to play an important role in the progression of disease and aging.

Deuterium and Aging

The most widely accepted theory on aging supposes that the aging process is correlated with a gradual accumulation of errors in DNA.  According to Kirk Goodall, a senior member of the technical staff with NASA, the number of irreversible errors in the DNA sequence is directly influenced, by deuterium.  The lower the deuterium concentration, the lower the frequency of the irreversible errors in DNA structures.

Deuterium and Bioenergetics

The central importance of the TCA cycle in many biochemical pathways makes it a critical target for controlling cellular metabolism to prevent disease.

Metabolic water production in connection with mitochondrial matrix complex-IV function offers a novel mechanism to control deuterium content of cells via ketogenic substrate oxidation known to carry less deuterium from oils and fat.

It is proposed that metabolic water production in the mitochondrial matrix, upon ketogenic substrate oxidation, preserves health via low deuterium substrate shuttling from the TCA cycle for gluconeogenesis. For example, metabolic water controls the deuterium content of the nucleotide sugar deoxyribose from fatty acid chain shortening and redistribution of low-deuterium acetyl-CoA. These reactions involving hydrogen bonds control deuterium related oncoisotopic effects, which might be exploited in anti-cancer, anti-aging and anti-degenerative therapies and prevention. Consistent with the above, the effect of low deuterium (2H) in water has been shown to control cell proliferation in numerous biological systems in vitro and in vivo, as well as in human studies. The clinical effectiveness of deuterium depleted water (DDW) is well established. Complete or partial tumor regression has been established in mice xenografts with MDA-MB-231, MCF-7 human breast adenocarcinoma cells, and PC-3 human prostate tumor cells.

The anti-cancer effect of 2H-depletion has already been confirmed in a double-blind, randomized, 4-month-long, phase II clinical trial on prostate cancer, and the extended follow up suggests that 2H-depletion delays disease progression. DDW is a promising new integrative treatment modality in cancer and its prevention by lowering extra-mitochondrial deuterium loading into cellular DNA. Deuterium-depletion, in addition to conventional treatments, improves mean survival in lung cancer even in an advanced disease, complicated by distant brain metastases. In breast cancer patients DDW treatment, in combination with, or as an extension of, conventional therapies, significantly improved survival in advanced disease and was also effective in the prevention of recurrences in early stage breast cancer.

Deuterium, Mitochondria & the TCA Cycle

Infrared laser irradiation-induced increase in ATP production is the result of decreased interfacial water viscosity, which lubricates nano-indentations of the rapidly turning F1 subunit of ATP synthase in the mitochondrial matrix. To the contrary, increased viscosity by deuterium replacements in water decelerates the rapidly rotating (9000 RPM) F1 subunit of ATP synthase, seen as a dose dependent slide in energy production in muscle cells of beef heart. Therefore, the water pool of mitochondrial matrix, which prevails to 100% as interfacial water, is inherently sensitive to the deuterium content of nutrients being oxidized, which, in turn, determine matrix water’s deuterium content and viscosity as a biological lubricant.

Natural substrates low in deuterium exert direct control via decreasing matrix water’s deuterium content as the downstream bottleneck mechanism of all hydrogen transferring processes for oxidative phosphorylation in the coupled mitochondria. Therefore, deuterium depletion through metabolic water production in the mitochondrial matrix should be considered as the prime mechanism to regulate the tri-carboxylic acid cycle and consequently glycolysis, as well as all canonically connected anabolic and catabolic cellular processes to maintain cellular health. Defective mitochondria due to limited water production and deuterium depletion may be common central metabolic events during cancer development in the pancreas, as well as in other organs.


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  1. Jim

    will taking an atp supplement help alter the effects of deuterium ?

    1. John Hardgrave

      Jim the short answer is no.

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