We talk a lot about how safe hypochlorous acid is over here at Hypo Source. After all, it's non-toxic, pet-friendly, organic, and produced by your own white blood cells. But what happens if you drink hypochlorous acid? And if so, how much is considered safe?
The research on intentional ingestion of hypochlorous acid is limited, possibly due to the fact that there doesn't seem to be a real reason for drinking hypochlorous. However, it has been tested in many studies as an oral rinse in dental applications. While this isn't the same as drinking large quantities of hypochlorous, it does show that some small oral ingestion is generally harmless. Hypochlorous is highly effective as an oral care solution, particularly in controlling the growth of periodontal bacteria such as S. mutans and P. gingivalis. Its antimicrobial and antifungal properties offer a safer solution to oral care than chlorhexidine or chlorine bleach, two other commonly used solutions with harmful side effects. Hypochlorous levels as high as 500 ppm have been tested as a mouthwash on human subjects with no deleterious effects.
The only peer-reviewed study which focused specifically on drinking hypochlorous acid (as opposed to a mouthwash) was conducted on mice. Their drinking water was replaced with 5ppm hypochlorous for 12 weeks and various health markers were assessed. The experiment concluded there were no harmful effects to the mice after sustained ingestion of hypochlorous acid.
Of course, we already know that chlorine is safe for human ingestion at low levels, as it is the primary means of water purification throughout the world. Conversely, we also know that high levels of chlorine, such as those found within bleach, can be lethal. Hypochlorous generally has a lower ppm than bleach, and thus the possibility of chlorine toxicity is greatly reduced. Non-peer reviewed studies have tested the ingestion of 5ppm free available chlorine in humans and observed no harmful effects. If accidental ingestion of HOCl occurs at a higher ppm level, the likelihood of harmful side effects is very low.
Now, just because it is probably not harmful to drink hypochlorous doesn't mean you should. Your body already naturally produces hypochlorous as part of the immune system response, and there isn't enough scientific research to show compelling health benefits for the daily consumption of hypochlorous. So stick to using hypochlorous acid in all the other ways it's intended: as a skincare product, mouthwash, produce sanitizer, disinfectant, eyedrop, and wound healer.
Interested in purchasing a machine to make your own hypochlorous acid? Click here to shop our latest product, the Hypo 7.5 mid-sized hypochlorous acid generator.
Castillo, D. M., Castillo, Y., Delgadillo, N. A., Neuta, Y., Jola, J., Calderón, J. L., & Lafaurie, G. I. (2015). Viability and Effects on Bacterial Proteins by Oral Rinses with Hypochlorous Acid as Active Ingredient. Brazilian Dental Journal, 26, 519–524. https://doi.org/10.1590/0103-6440201300388
Lubbers, J. R., Chauan, S., & Bianchine, J. R. (1982). Controlled clinical evaluations of chlorine dioxide, chlorite and chlorate in man. Environmental Health Perspectives, 46, 57–62. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.824657