Negative Charge and EZ Water
Interview with Dr. Gerald Pollack and Steve Loyd
Steve Loyd, CEO and Founder of NION Health, interviewed Dr. Gerald Pollack in his home in Seattle on September 20, 2023
Dr. Gerald Pollack
Dr. Gerald Pollack is a prominent bioengineer and biochemist known for his groundbreaking research in water science and cellular biology. He obtained his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and later became a professor at the University of Washington, where he currently serves as a professor of bioengineering.
Dr. Pollack gained international recognition for his work on the structure and properties of water, particularly the discovery of "exclusion zone" (EZ) water. His research has challenged conventional wisdom about the nature of water and its role in biological systems. EZ water is characterized by its unique molecular arrangement, negative charge, and potential implications for cellular health and function.
Apart from his scientific contributions, Dr. Pollack is a prolific author, having written several books, including "Cells, Gels, and the Engines of Life" and "The Fourth Phase of Water," which delve into the fascinating properties of water and their relevance to human health. He is a sought-after speaker and has presented his findings at numerous conferences and events worldwide.
Dr. Pollack's work has opened up new avenues for understanding the fundamental properties of water and its significance in biological processes. His interdisciplinary approach has bridged the gap between physics, chemistry, and biology, contributing to a deeper understanding of the intricate relationship between water and living organisms.
Definition of EZ Water:
EZ water, or "exclusion zone" water, is a term coined by Dr. Gerald Pollack, a bioengineer, to describe a distinct phase of water with unique properties. This type of water is structured differently from ordinary water and exhibits a higher viscosity, density, and negative charge. The "EZ" comes from the exclusion of solutes from this water, creating a more organized and structured arrangement of water molecules.
Key characteristics of EZ water include:
- Exclusion of Impurities: EZ water tends to exclude impurities, creating a more pure form of water with a higher degree of organization in its molecular structure.
- Negative Charge: This water carries a negative charge, which is thought to contribute to its unique properties and potential health benefits.
- Viscosity and Density: EZ water has been observed to have higher viscosity and density compared to regular water.
- Formation: It is believed to be produced by certain processes like exposure to light or contact with hydrophilic (water-attracting) surfaces, where water molecules become more ordered and structured.
While the research on EZ water is ongoing, proponents suggest that it may have health implications, including potential benefits for cellular function and hydration.
Excerpts of the interview with Steve Loyd and Dr. Gerald Pollack are below.
Steve Loyd: I think last time we talked, you mentioned Gilbert Ling's work on structured waters that you kind of built from and developed theories about how water forms a structured, almost liquid crystalline characteristic, that had a charge to it. Could you explain that a little bit more?"
Dr. Gerald H. Pollack: Gilbert Ling was a huge influence on me. Unfortunately, he passed two or three years ago. He reached the age of almost 100, he came very close. Gilbert spent most of his lifetime dealing with biological water, water in the cell. He had the idea, not just the idea, but the idea plus evidence that the water inside the cell was structured, was organized in some way, kind of like soldiers at attention. His idea came from the fact that a water molecule - you can think of the water molecule as a dipole, that is like a bean with a plus at one end and minus at the other end - you can imagine how with the pluses and minuses, the molecules could stack on one another, and that was a central idea. There's a lot of evidence to support it, and that's what inspired me, anyway, to get involved.
Continued… I started my career measuring electrical potentials and sets, maybe because my original education was in electrical engineering. So, electricity was interesting, and we stuck it in, and voila, we measured negative electrical potential. That set us off in a direction because, you know, if you start with water, which is neutral, and you see a big region that has a negative electrical charge, there must be another region that has a positive, right? And we found it. So, you've got the EZ or Exclusion Zone sitting – you have a gel here or some other material, and next to it, you have this Exclusion Zone that builds that has a negative charge, and the region beyond it has positive charge. That's a battery. Batteries contain energy.
Continued… I'd like to explore that more later in the conversation, but it seems to me that the human body at the cellular level, because it has this biological water, that has to be very fundamental, I guess, to our chemistry. Just the very fact of life at the cellular level, it couldn't be more fundamental. We're talking about this kind of water that fills your cells. And if you've got charged water that fills your cell, imagine your cell - cells are negatively charged, and this kind of water is negatively charged. And if you think about it, if you take a cell and you fill it with something that's negatively charged, of course, you stick an electrode in, you measure negative electrical potential, right? Now, these negative charges, all they do is repel. So, all they want to do is get away from one another; that tendency to disperse amounts to potential energy. So, the cell, by virtue of having this negatively charged water inside the cell, contains potential energy. And nature exploits this kind of energy. It doesn't just throw it away. So, it's really, really, critically important that cells are filled with this kind of water, and that water leads to negative electrical potential. That potential is a really potential energy, and we found uses for this in biology. I can go into that if you'd like, but this will distract us, I think, from the direction that... Well, in biology, we all age. We're not going to get away from that.
Steve Loyd: Yeah. But it seems as though this may have implications, though, in the aging process. Do you have any thoughts or observations about that?
Dr. Gerald H. Pollack: Yeah. So, as I said, this water builds next to hydrophilic surfaces. We know that. And inside the cell, there are lots of solids. There are proteins, nucleic acids, and their surfaces are mostly hydrophilic. And so, this water builds easily. As we age, you know, those proteins may undergo some kind of change. There are mutations that occur with aging, and some of those surfaces may be less able or even unable to build this kind of EZ water. So, you have less EZ water inside the cell. Now, EZ water, I would maintain, is critical for function. As we get older, if we have more and more of these mutations, we may have, as a consequence, less of EZ water inside the cell. And you need, in order for function to occur, for full function, the cell needs to be filled with EZ water. If it's missing EZ water, it impairs function.
Steve Loyd: You mentioned hydration too, and just as a thought experiment, since almost all of the oxygen that our body uses goes to our mitochondria so it can carry out its functions, and the output of the mitochondria is carbon dioxide and water, then would it seem to you that the health and vitality of our mitochondria actually may be associated somewhat with the production of EZ water?
Dr. Gerald H. Pollack: Well, I think so. The electrical potential inside mitochondria is like 200 millivolts or something like that, and all those membranes that exist inside the mitochondria are just the kinds of membranes that facilitate the buildup of hydrophilic surfaces, a buildup of EZ water. So, yes. Now, the way it works though, I think, it's not that the EZ water comes out of the mitochondria into the rest of the cell. I think it's the negative charge that does it. If you take ordinary water and pass negative charge into the water, you don't need any kind of hydrophilic surface. Ordinary liquid water, in the presence of electrons coming in, turns into EZ water. So, I think that's what the mitochondria do. They provide negative charge. Essentially, same result, but I think that could be the mechanism.
Steve Loyd: Thank you for that. And you worked for a long time in the muscle area. Do you have any thoughts or observations about EZ water and the link between structured water and the ability of muscles to do work?
Dr. Gerald H. Pollack: Yeah, I'm just thinking of the best way to present... Well, first of all, muscles are two-thirds water, essentially like all the others. If you do a molecular count and line up all the molecules inside the muscle, more than 99% are water molecules. So, it borders on arrogant to say that water doesn't do anything. Like, 99 out of 100 molecules don't do anything. If they're doing nothing, what in the world are they doing there? So, what are they doing? Interestingly, the prevailing theory of muscle contraction came from the late Sir Andrew Huxley, a Nobel laureate. In his model, there's no water; the proteins of the muscle are acting in a vacuum. But we found that the water, at least in the relaxed muscle, is structured, is EZ water. In the contracting muscle, it changes into ordinary water and then returns to EZ water when the muscle stops contracting. So, there is water, and the water is important. I can't describe in great detail the evidence for this, but one thing we found in multiple types of experiments is that when the muscle contracts, it contracts in little jerks and steps. I've argued that the water is playing an integral role, transitioning from EZ water to liquid water, giving you a step of contraction, stopping, and then a new region in the muscle structure undergoes that transition for another step. So, water is present in muscle, and it plays an integral role in muscle contraction.
Steve Loyd: That makes sense. And I'm assuming that the return of the EZ water to the muscle in the relaxed state, the period from relax to contraction to relaxed again, may be dependent on a number of factors that either speed or slow the regeneration of EZ water. Would you say that, for example, muscles might recover faster if you had infrared treatment?
Dr. Gerald H. Pollack: Sure, absolutely. That's a good point. I haven't thought about that, but isn't it true that certain clinicians will apply heat?
Steve Loyd: True, that's right. Heat is essentially the same as infrared.
Dr. Gerald H. Pollack: Yeah. Muscles, if you overdo it, will be contracted, and it's hard to relax them. To relax them, you need to rebuild EZ water, the energy-requiring part of the cycle. If you're depleted, it's hard to rebuild, hard to return it to EZ water, and therefore, your muscles remain contracted.
Steve Loyd: Thank you very much. That was very enlightening. In part, because of triathletes that I've seen, they jump out of the water, jump onto their bike, and then they get a muscle cramp.
Dr. Gerald H. Pollack: Yeah, sure. They've used up all their energy to get to that one point, and now they're ready to go again, but they haven't quite recovered.
Steve Loyd: That's interesting. And sometimes, there may be methods to encourage that recovery.
Dr. Gerald H. Pollack: I think heat would actually help, and I would also imagine that a negative charge in some way, whether it's food or other things, would also help.
Steve Loyd: You know, negative charge is interesting. From food, there was a researcher named Nordstrom, a Swedish scientist and president of the Nobel committee. He took cancer cells, stuck an electrode in the middle of the tumor, passed electrons into it, and the tumors recovered. It was controversial, but it makes sense to me because passing electrons builds EZ water, and if EZ water is the problem, then adding negative charge should tend to reverse it. This is an area that absolutely is in desperate need of follow-up.
Steve Loyd: That's very interesting. Another area that is interesting to us because we covered bioelectricity and muscle and cells—the brain uses an enormous amount of our energy, even though it's a relatively small part of our body. Do you have any thoughts about EZ water, brain function, and the ability to maintain mood or even thought processes?
Dr. Gerald H. Pollack: It's not a profound thought; brain cells operate like every other cell in the body. The evidence we have is that nerve cells, just like muscle cells or secretory cells or any cells, need EZ water. If you don't have enough EZ water, you're not thinking very well. When you're tired, your thoughts become fuzzy. There is a part here that we've always been thinking about the brain as neurons; they create synapses and something happens. But it seems there's something more subtle going on, too. The electromotive potential within the cells themselves denotes the healthiness of the cells and their ability to carry out their basic functions of providing synapses. Critically important. I mentioned that in cancer cells, the very low magnitude of the electrical potential is the same in other cells, like pathological kidney cells. Pathology is associated with a dearth of EZ water, and to reverse the pathologies, you have to add EZ water—in other words, hydrate the cell. Hydration is critical.
Steve Loyd: I couldn't agree with you more, and the fact that we are able to get this negative charge that actually seems to improve our ability to maintain quality structured water within ourselves is really part of the message. Other ways to get this negative charge, whether it's sunlight, in the Northwest, we got a nice day today, so we do have some cloud breaks. And you mentioned electrical potential; I think even alkaline food sources would be useful.
I did want to get back to something else, yeah. We talked about ways to improve your negative charge, if you would, or your EZ water. I suspect there's a lot of things in life that deplete our EZ water. Do you have any observations about that?
Dr. Gerald H. Pollack: Well, yeah, I think I do, but I didn't complete the story because I was deviating into Tran and his stuff. But if you connect yourself electrically to the Earth, you're connecting yourself electrically to a source of practically infinite negative charge. Negative charge seeps into your body, builds EZ water, and you feel good. We are finding a lot of benefit to that. Just this weekend, I was on the beach in California, enjoying my feet in the sand. If you're aware of it, you can actually feel good, recognize that there's a goodness to the feeling. It's not like a caffeine high or that kind of business. It's just a flowing, good feeling.
Steve Loyd: I understand you had a similar experience when you were quite young.
Dr. Gerald H. Pollack: Oh yeah, I got buried in the sand right near the water in moist sand. I remember so little from the time that I was a child, but I remember this distinctly because my friends who buried me said, "Well, it's time to go. The tide's coming in. It's time to go home." And I just didn't want to get unburied. I was buried up to my neck. It felt so good, so good that it stood out from every other feeling that I had. That's why I remember it. So yeah, you're basically in wet sand, a good conductor. You're connecting yourself. The same thing if you bathe in the ocean, also a good conductor, you know. Same thing if you immerse yourself in mud baths, as in Japan, and waterfalls would similarly be the same sort of way to feel the connector.
Steve Loyd: Well, yeah, I think it's a little bit different, but waterfalls, I think you're exposing yourself to moist air, to water droplets that are scattered, and these water droplets have a net negative charge.
Dr. Gerald H. Pollack: Sure, yeah. Another way, by the way, I know your question was positive charge, but hyperbaric oxygen therapy is actually another.
Steve Loyd: Oh, interesting.
Dr. Gerald H. Pollack: Yeah, well, yeah, I mean, that's not as accessible as some of the others, but we found, you know, hyperbaric means high oxygen, high pressure, right? We studied high oxygen, and we studied high pressure, and what each of them do to EZ water. They both build EZ water. So, if you immerse yourself into a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, which, you know, is not maybe so easy to do, but if you have access to one, it builds EZ water in your body, and that's why it's powerfully effective for so many different syndromes.
Steve Loyd: Okay, that makes great sense to me. Well, I think it makes sense. Okay, then, so you're talking now about positive charge.
Dr. Gerald H. Pollack: So, I've been noticing in the last week or so when the clouds are beginning to descend, sometimes you see gray clouds. The clouds are negatively charged. And if there's a cloud just above the Earth, it induces, you know, by Faraday induction, the negative cloud induces positive charge on the Earth, just locally, just the cloud. That's been confirmed; people measure. So, the Earth is normally negatively charged, but if you're just underneath a gray cloud, it's a simple concept, right? You got a negative charge here, and here's the Earth. It's going to pull the positive charge up near the surface, you know, because it attracts the positive charge. It's not complicated.
And I've been noticing that on days when the clouds come, that my eyes begin to start burning, and I'm not feeling quite as energetic as I do when the sun shines, which has been doing for the past three months or so relentlessly. So, yeah, Seattle, as you know, Northwest, we enjoy the summers, the summer sunshine. So, that's maybe one example, inducing positive charge, not feeling quite so good. And I think a lot of people feel that. I remember some experiences driving in my car with the clouds up above, feeling out of sorts, tired. And suddenly, the sun comes through and suddenly I feel better, you know.
Steve Loyd: So, yeah. I think that positive charge is a problem for us. And well, then presumably, foods that are highly acidic or whatever carry a positive charge. Would you also feel that's a cautionary note?
Dr. Gerald H. Pollack: Well, I have no expertise in that, but at least theoretically. So, you know, most vegetables, if you think about it, they've got EZ water inside. That's why, you know, if you squeeze out the EZ water by juicing, you're basically drinking low, high pH, negatively charged water, EZ water, directly into your body. And that's why it seems to be so effective in reversing pathologies. So, raw foods, on one hand, would be a good source of EZ water, presumably. Well, heavily processed foods, probably not. I think that's probably true, although, again, I've not studied it. It's just speculation.
But I think most foods, most fresh foods, would contain negative charge because the plants are, you know, or animal cells filled with EZ water, sure, sure, negative charge. So, in fact, here is a speculation. I don't know about you or your particular experience, but for a lot of people, you know, if you're feeling really tired and let's say you're taking some sugar, how long does it take before you feel a little bit of energy again?
Steve Loyd: Pretty quick, yeah.
Dr. Gerald H. Pollack: Yeah, pretty quick, right? The digestive system would take at least 30 minutes for all that to go through, be digested, and get... but you feel it in a few minutes. Most people, you know, 5 minutes is enough to begin feeling it. So what's going on? Do you really bypass all of the digestive system, you know, the stomach, small intestine, into the blood, etc., into the tissues? And it's possible that it's the negative charge that we extract from the food. You know, we think the food needs to be processed. Interesting. And eventually, we get ATP. But this is something beyond that. And this is not an original speculation, but it came from none other than the father of modern biochemistry, Albert Szent-Györgyi. You know, Nobel laureate, discovered vitamin C and such. And, you know, Nobelists, among Nobelists, a really astounding scientist. And he said the same thing. He said there's something beyond the usual digestive system because you can feel the surge of energy very soon after you start eating. And I think what that is, is negative charge.
Watch the video to hear the entire interview.