With the coronavirus crisis, messages and alleged scientific studies defending the so-called Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) have one again spread and gone viral. This information has been circulating for years and now defends that this product is an alternative medicine that cures Covid-19. This is FALSE.
“We have the substance that is prohibited for medical use but not banned for sale as a disinfectant, which is MMS, activated sodium chlorite. With this substance the coronavirus is solved in few days”
“Chlorine dioxide should work because it oxidises the capsids of the viruses and the coronavirus has very prominent capsids [...] The solution we have with chlorine dioxide is obvious, it is a solution that has been working for years”
Andreas Ludwig Kalcker
These statements are from two of the advocates of the Miracle Mineral Solution who now falsely claim that MMS cures coronavirus. The videos where Pàmies and Kalcker maintain this have been removed by YouTube for "violating community guidelines", but despite being included in the report YouTube and social media content promoting products with alleged COVID-19 curative efficacy, which was produced by the Audiovisual Council of Catalonia (CAC in Spanish) in March, they continue to circulate on WhatsApp and Telegram. A few days ago you sent us a document in PDF and book format entitled Health of Possible, from 2013, signed by Andreas Ludwig Kalcker.
The World Health Organisation has clearly stated that there is not still a cure for coronavirus: “to date, no medicine has proven to prevent or cure this ailment. The WHO does not recommend self-medicating with any drug, including the antibiotics, to prevent or to cure Covid-19”.
Recognition of MMS worldwide
Ten years ago, in May 2010, the Spanish Medicines Agency withdrew MMS from the market: “The mentioned product has not been the object of previous evaluation and authorisation prior to commercialisation by Spanish Medicines Agency [...], and its presence on the market is illegal.” After some time, in October 2018, the Spanish government filed a complaint with the Public Prosecutor's Office due to the risk posed to the life and health of people by the sale or advertising of the Miracle Mineral Solution as a remedy for curing different pathologies. It was announced in the Senate by the then minister of Health, Consumption and Welfare, María Luisa Carcedo Roces. On that occasion, it was erroneously circulated that MMS was used to cure autism. For its part, the Generalitat included MMS in the list of medicines most frequently purchased on illegal websites.
Other countries have warned about the risks of MMS. In 2018, the Health Department of Canada (Health Canada) warned about the dangers of the Miracle Mineral Solution and so did the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which warned in August 2019 of the dangerous and potentially life-threatening side effects of MMS. Moreover, three months ago, the FDA sent a letter to a company that was marketing MMS as a prevention and treatment method for Covid-19 and explained that it had received "reports of individuals who had suffered serious adverse health effects after taking a chlorine dioxide product".
Positions have also been taken by:
- In Chile, the Health Public Institute
- In Bolivia, the Ministry of Health of the previous government and the current State Agency of Medicines and Health Technologies (AEGEMED in Spanish), despite the Senate approved its use against covid-19.
- In Argentina, the Ministry of Health.
- In Ecuador, the National Agency for Regulation, Control and Sanitary Surveillance.
- In the United Kingdom, the Food Standards Agency.
- In France, the National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Healthcare products
- In Austria, the Federal Office for Safety in Health Care
- In Germany, the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices
What is MMS?
The Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) is the name used to refer to the ACS, acidified sodium chlorite, a mixture of sodium chlorite, which is like a salt, and citric acid, one of the components of lemons and oranges. It is "a very simple and easy thing to do," explains Xavier Giménez, a chemist and science populariser at the UB, because the two substances used to make it are very easy to obtain. Citric acid is a natural substance, while sodium chlorite is dangerous by itself, in all concentrations except in very small doses. Another related substance, CDS, is chlorine dioxide solubilised in water. CDS and ACS are not identical, but they are related, since when ACS is prepared, chlorine dioxide is formed within the liquid mixture, specifically, chlorine dioxide is produced when sodium chlorite is acidified. These are two ways of preparing practically the same substance.
Why is MMS dangerous?
MMS is dangerous because it is a bleach. It is not a typical bleach (sodium hypochlorite) but is based on the use of chlorine as an oxidising agent. Chlorine dioxide has been used for more than 100 years to kill microbes, for example when you want to sterilise an operating room or a restaurant kitchen. "These agents are sterilising because they are so powerful that they destroy all known forms of life, not just bad microbes, but all human cells," adds Giménez. On a metal surface such as a kitchen, where there are only contaminating and harmful life forms, their use is not problematic, but in no case, says the expert, can they be a medicine.
A drug is a substance that is selective, acting against a pathogen or a very specific agent that causes an illness, but is essentially harmless to the rest of the body. In contrast, ACS is a biocide, that is, a substance that kills different forms of life; bio means life and cide means to kill. Maria Parelló, head of the Drug Information Centre of the Barcelona College of Pharmacists, adds that the potent oxidising action of sodium chlorite (ACS) "can produce side effects such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea". MMS, even in small doses, "does not provide any benefit and has risks", she concludes.
There are also people who take MMS as a prophylactic measure, because they believe it helps them stay healthy. "It is a slow-acting poison that, over the years, causes you to lose red blood cells at such a slow rate that you are not aware of it. This substance causes anaemia over the months, but it is such a slow effect that people cannot attribute it to the fact that they are taking it," says Giménez.
Who promotes MMS consumption?
As we pointed out, in Catalonia, the leading advocate of MMS is Josep Pàmies. A few months ago, the Council of Medical Colleges of Catalonia (CCMC in Catalan) denounced Pàmies for promoting the product MMS as a treatment for Covid-19 and the General Council of Medical Associations (CGCOM in Spanish), at state level, announced that it would appear as a private prosecutor in the procedure that had been initiated as a result of the CCMC's complaint. The Public Prosecutor’s Office closed the investigation, according to media reports.
At a global scale, it was Jim Humble who initially advocated and spread the use of this product. In Europe, the movement is represented by Andreas Kalcker, author of the book Health is Possible.
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