They say you should drink water to relieve your liver – but not that water.
Real Water founder Brent Jones apologized to clients on Thursday after the federal government linked the company’s flagship product to liver failure and non-viral hepatitis.
Bottled water is advertised as “alkalized water infused with negative ions,” and the company claimed that its higher pH improves hydration in consumers and that negative ions “are the invisible healer.”
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In a video posted to the company’s website, Jones said management “would like to express our deep sympathy and concern” about the adverse effects of the product and said the findings of a Food and Drug Administration investigation warranted a “personal” response.
“We launched Real Water over 13 years ago with the intention of providing a healthy product that benefits and improves people’s lifestyles,” he said. “We are deeply saddened to learn that anything else could result.”
He also said the company was cooperating with the FDA and was undergoing an independent assessment of its water quality – the results of which were posted on its website.
“You should never worry about the safety of any of our products,” he said. “I personally want to apologize to all of our customers and assure you that the lessons learned from this will further improve the brand.”
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Over the weekend, the FDA urged consumers and businesses to stop drinking, selling, and serving the product.
On Wednesday, Real Water announced a voluntary recall of its product, saying it “could be linked to cases of non-viral hepatitis”.
The FDA has listed symptoms to watch out for as fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay or gray stools, joint pain, yellow eyes and jaundice. Anyone who has drunk the product and suffers from it is advised to contact a physician.
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The FDA and Nevada health officials have launched an investigation into Real Water after at least five children were hospitalized with liver failure after drinking the product. Some of their relatives have also exhibited symptoms, authorities said.
Real Water had promoted its alkaline pH level and negative ions as carriers of a number of health benefits.
And the company’s website proudly displayed photographs of celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Courteney Cox, and Miley Cyrus carrying bottles.