Highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide, also known as food grade hydrogen peroxide, has been touted by some in the alternative medicine community as a natural cure for many ailments. However, a study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine found that ingesting the solution has no known health benefits, and may actually be harmful to your health.
A research team led by Dr. Benjamin Hatten at the University of Colorado School of Medicine determined that drinking improperly diluted hydrogen peroxide may cause a wide range of symptoms including altered mental states, difficulty breathing, heart attack and stroke.
The solution can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke by creating air embolisms within the vasculature, according to Hatten.
“oxygen bubbles from the peroxide can enter the bloodstream and block off blood flow to the brain or heart,” he said. “Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (the same therapy scuba divers receive who develop the bends from rising to the surface of the water to quickly) can be helpful in treating air embolisms but only when medical attention is sought soon after ingestion.”
Food grade hydrogen peroxide has a concentration of 30-40%, which is much stronger than the 3-5% contained in the brown bottle hydrogen peroxide you find at the drugstore.
Many alternative medicine health retailers promote highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide as “super water,” suggesting that mixing small amounts in water hyper-oxygenates the water, which could theoretically benefit your health.
However, the researchers concluded that highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide should never be ingested, even when diluted, due the potential health complications. The study also highlighted the importance of labeling high concentration hydrogen peroxide when kept in pantries and refrigerators since the solution’s clear color can lead it to be confused with water.
Source: Science Daily