• This false treatment, which does not have any type of scientific support, suggests the ingestion of a compound similar to bleach

The College of Physicians of Barcelona (COMB) has disqualified the Benedictine nun Teresa Forcades for 18 months for her defense of what is known as ‘bleach therapy’. This false treatment, which does not have any type of scientific support, suggests the intake of sodium chlorite (a compound bleach-like and used in industrial processes such as the manufacture of paper or water disinfection) to treat a wide range of infections and diseases. The scientific and medical community recalls that there is no solid evidence to support the medical properties of this compound, but there is Reasons to alert of their health risks.

Sodium chlorite (NaClO2) has been promoted for years by various gurus of pseudo-therapies under the name of ‘Miracle Mineral Solution’ (or MMS, for its acronym in English). The chemical formula of this compound is very similar to that of bleach (sodium hypochlorite, NaClO). The promoters of this pseudotherapy advocate its use as a multipurpose cure for different conditions, be they viral, bacterial or of any other nature despite the fact that, according to scientists and doctors, there is no evidence to support its usefulness.

Sodium chlorite is used in the industry for the manufacture of paper and the disinfection of water

In 2018, for example, the farmer Josep Pàmies and the Puerto Rican chemist Gregorio Placeres launched a conference to promote the use of ‘bleach therapy’ to treat autism. In other events too its use was promoted as a cure for cancer, leukemia and even covid-19. The promotion of this false therapy alerted the health and administrative authorities from the outset. The Generalitat imposed a fine of 600,000 euros on Pàmies for promoting this compound and opened several more files to investigate the diffusion that was given to it. The Ministry of Health, for its part, filed a complaint with the State Attorney General’s Office for the «publicity and promotion» that some gurus they were doing this pseudotherapy.

dangerous symptoms

He use of sodium chlorite for medicinal purposes was banned by the Spanish Medicines Agency in 2010. First, because the intake of this toxic substance can cause symptoms ranging from abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea my poisoning until graves kidney failure. And secondly, because there are no scientific studies that support its safety and efficacy. Not even in minimal doses. The health authorities also recall the danger of supplying these toxic substances to people in a particularly vulnerable state of health, such as young children, the elderly and sick people.

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Another of the great dangers of sodium chlorite is that, unlike a traditional medicine, its formula is not endorsed by any entity. As this newspaper revealed, this toxic compound is sold clandestinely in herbalists and online pages. It is also traded privately through WhatsApp and Facebook groups. Its defenders even prepare it at home from a mixture and subsequent dilution of sodium chlorite with an acid such as lemon (something that, as scientists remember, carries even more risks because the mixture of these substances can lead to even more harmful products).

Ingestion of this compound can cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and kidney failure.

Medical associations also point to a further danger in the use of ‘bleach therapy’. As various Spanish medical associations have repeatedly highlighted, the promotion of pseudotherapies can divert patients from actual treatments and backed by science. «The promotion of curative treatments without any scientific basis nor guarantee of safety causes uncertainty, bewilderment and insecurity for patients and family members living with diseases», highlights the Consell de Col·legis de Metges de Catalunya (CCMC) in a statement issued on the issue.