Fifty years ago, people didn't really think much about water.
Water was simply water; there were no variations.
Now, individuals are starting to realize that the kind of water you drink can impact the way your body works; both positively and negatively.
If you think about it, your body itself is approximately 75 percent water.
John Willard III is the grandson of one of the pioneers in the "structured water" movement.
His grandfather, Dr. Willard, started experimenting with water back in the 1960s. Ultimately, he realized the reaction he created, a sort of "catalyst," boosted the movement of platelets in the blood stream. In other words, it increased the efficiency of blood.
Since then, the Willard Water company was created.
What does John and his company think about things like filtered water and fluoride in the water?
In big cities, there can be any number of things in your tap water, so filtering is probably a good idea. If you're from a rural American city or town, it might not be as important.
In regards to fluoride, too much can be a bad thing. But, John also thinks it has been helpful in preventing gum disease and related tooth problems.
Listen in as John joins Lisa to discuss the evolution of water, what "structured water" is, and some of the concerns today's water presents.
RadioMD Presents: Naturally Savvy | Original Air Date: March 4, 2015
Hosts: Andrea Donsky, RHN & Lisa Davis
Guest: John Willard III
Whether you are new to the living healthy lifestyle or a healthy living veteran, this the place for the honest answers to your questions. Naturally Savvy with registered holistic nutritionist, Andrea Donsky and health journalist, Lisa Davis, on RadioMD.com.
LISA: Hi, I’m Lisa Davis. Andrea is off today.
If you’re wondering about how to enhance your water, because we all drink water, and if you’re not drinking enough water, you really should, but we have got John Willard here from Willard Water.
JOHN: Good morning, how are you doing?
LISA: I’m doing well. How are you?
JOHN: I’m doing fantastic. Thank you.
LISA: Well, that’s great. Well, I have a big glass of water with me right now and it’s so important to stay hydrated and, you know, there are a lot of things out there, aren’t there, about enhancing your water and getting enough vitamins and minerals. Tell us your thoughts on this and tell us the story about your grandfather.
JOHN: Absolutely. I think, personally, for me, I think it’s really quite fascinating to see how much the mindset toward water has really changed maybe in the last couple of decades or so. Certainly, 50 years ago, people thought, “Well, whatever I drink, whatever water I drink, whatever I put in my body really doesn’t make that big of a difference,” and I think that goes for the natural products industry as a whole. People didn’t really think in terms of supplements 50 years ago either, but we’re definitely in the middle of what I think is one of the golden ages of water development and certainly for companies like ours, the Dr. Willard’s water, that people are starting to realize that what we do with the water, the kind of water that we drink can absolutely affect the body’s ability to do a variety of different things.
LISA: And, your grandfather was a chemist. Tell us a little bit about him.
JOHN: Yes, my grandfather was a chemist. He was Dr. Willard. He got his PhD in chemistry from Perdue University and in the mid-1960’s, he began to play around with a solution. He was actually trying to develop a trace mineral water and I won’t bore you folks with all the details of what he was doing, but he was in the lab one day and he always just called it “dumb luck”. He was working on this trace mineral water and he starting adding a couple of other things to it and he realized when he added it to water and he began to drink it actually testing his blood cells for the effects of toxicity, he noticed it was boosting the movement of platelets in his bloodstream and that product, what he called “Catalyst”, eventually “Catalyst Additive” to water is today what we call Willard Water. But, my grandfather was, I really believe, one of the first, if not the first, to really start experimenting in how the water we consume affects the body and he began to do a lot of research throughout the late 60’s in conjunction with a biologist at Perdue by the name of Dr. T. W. Perry on his product and then he began to try it out on a variety of different things. He began to use it on plants, for example, and on some humans drinking it around the area and then he also was giving it to livestock in the area and he began to realize that what we were seeing was an increased efficiency in the bloodstream, in the water that was in the bloodstream and that was actually what seemed to be serving as a catalyst in the body. Eventually, 60 Minutes did a story on my grandpa in 1980 and I happen to believe that’s one of the things that really launched what we call today the structured water revolution.
LISA: Oh, structured water. That’s so interesting. How has it changed over the years?
JOHN: Well, I think, like I said, 50 years ago, people really didn’t think in terms of any difference in their water and most people don’t realize, when we talk about things like my grandfather talked about, altering the structure of the water by adding our Willard Water to it. People say, “Well, you can’t really alter the structure,” but, in fact, any time you add something to water—if you add Kool-Aid to water, it’s actually altering the structure of that water. So, what my grandfather was basically saying was, the liquids we consume can have a difference, can make a really big difference in our body’s ability to do a variety of different things. Keep in mind that our bodies are what? About 75% water. And so, the efficiency with which that water is moving throughout your body absolutely can affect a variety of different bodily functions and that was what my grandfather was basically saying.
LISA: Well, let’s talk a little bit about filtered water and why it’s so important. What’s your opinion on this, John? Do you have any recommendations? Because my 10-year-old daughter does not like the water we have and I have a water filter, but maybe it’s not high-powered enough, but I don’t know. She’s like, “This water tastes like toes.”
JOHN: I honestly think you can argue it both ways and I think my grandfather did. Now, my grandfather always used distilled water when he added Willard Water to it because he felt like it was important to have what he called a “blank slate” when you were dealing with water. But, I also think that there are a lot of, especially where I’m from in South Dakota, there are a lot of naturally occurring minerals that come into the water that we drink. So, when you’re filtering that out, you’re also filtering out those minerals. So, I think the argument can be made both ways.
LISA: Oh, I see. Now, what about people that say that, you know, if you live in the city then you have to be careful because of all the chlorine content in your water and then you have other people say, like my father-in-law is always like, “Oh, our town does a great job. You don’t need that filter. What are you doing? They take all the impurities out.” I’m like, “How do you know?”
JOHN: I don’t think you do, to be quite honest. I mean, it’s…
LISA: I’m thinking that after I asked.
JOHN: Yes. I don’t think you do. I certainly think, in some places, absolutely. I mean, geeze, some of the testing they’re seeing in places like New York and L.A. and in other big cities, it’s not just the fluoride in the water, it’s a variety of different things. I mean, they’re finding traces of drugs in the water now. You know, people dumping their pills down the drain or whatever that ends up in the city’s water supply. So, yes, I do think there’s a very legitimate argument to be made to filter the water in places like that. Here in South Dakota, we don’t have as much of a problem with those things and I think in a lot of rural American communities, they probably don’t have those problems.
LISA: John, what do you think about the fluoridation? You have the people who are against it and the people who are in favor of it. Where do you stand?
JOHN: Honestly, I’m generally more in favor of it, but I think that there’s always a situation where you can get too much of it and that goes with just about anything that we drink or `anything that we eat. There’s a possibility you can get too much of it, but I think that there’s also the opportunity that if there’s the obvious fact that our teeth are much better than a lot of other developed countries and that we have a much lower incidence of gum disease and what not. What people tend to forget is that can actually kill you. I mean, gum disease can cause a variety of different problems for you. Just like we see that in dogs. They always tell us, you know, you have to watch your dog and you have to brush your dog’s teeth because the gum disease can lead to a variety of different ailments. It’s the same thing with human beings and so, once again, I tend to be a on the fence a little bit on that. I’m still alive and kicking and one thing we also forget about here in developed nations is that we have the luxury of having these arguments because we’re living to our 90’s. In a lot of underdeveloped countries, of course they’re living until their 30’s and so, I tend to take all of that with a grain of salt.
LISA: Yes. That is a good way to think about it. Now, John, another thing, too, as I notice that a lot of these water enhancers are colored. Now, hopefully, most of them are not artificially colored, but what do you say about that? You know, people just find water boring. That’s not what Willard Water’s about. It’s not about whether it’s boring or not, it’s about adding more nutrition.
JOHN: It’s not even necessarily about adding more nutrition. It’s about adding more effectiveness to the water and, once again, we actually do have two different Willard Water products. We have a Willard Water product that does add trace minerals to the water and that goes back to what my grandfather really believed in. What he was trying to do was develop a high-density, trace mineral water. So he believed in that, but the product that we call the “Clear” is basically nothing more than a catalyst when it’s added to the water. It is somehow, and we still don’t know, after 40 years of science at the University of British Columbia; University of Washington; University of Central Florida; obviously, Perdue; South Dakota School of Business & Technology, the list goes on and on of all these people who’ve done research on this and we still don’t understand why it’s doing what it’s doing. We can replicate the effects in the human body; we can replicate the effects on cells; we can replicate the effects on plants. But, what we can’t figure out is why it’s doing it. Certainly, we understand that the way we’re consuming this water is having an impact and, as I said, I think my grandpa was a little bit ahead of his time on that.
LISA: Well, he sounds like he was an incredible man, but I’m such a fan of 60 Minutes and especially in the 80’s. You know, before we had the internet and you could find out everything, everywhere, I always found that so interesting.
John, tell us how we can learn more about you and Willard Water.
JOHN: Sure. We have, I think, a great website. It’s DrWillard.com or they can call us directly. We also have a great customer service staff here. It’s 888-379-4552.
LISA: Terrific. John, it’s been great having you on.
I want to thank you all for listening. You can like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @YourRadioMD and @Naturally_Savvy.
Have a great day and stay well.