Whatever you may have heard about sodium chlorite’s supposed health benefits, it’s important to recognize that it’s a dangerous substance that should never be taken internally.

Sodium chlorite — also referred to as chlorous acid, sodium salt textone, and Miracle Mineral Solution — is composed of sodium (Na), chlorine (Cl), and oxygen (O2).

Many claims have been made for its use as a health supplement. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that it’s a dangerous, potentially life threatening chemical that should never be swallowed.

Don’t confuse sodium chlorite with sodium chloride.

Sodium chloride (NaCl) is also called table salt. Sodium chloride is used for many things, but it’s typically thought of as a seasoning and food preservative. Sodium chlorite (NaClO2) is typically found in an industrial setting as a bleach and a disinfectant.

Sodium chlorite is marketed to both consumers and industries for various uses.

Some consumer uses of sodium chlorite include:

  • water treatment and purification
  • surface cleaner for areas of food preparation
  • antimicrobial treatment for food, especially seafood

Larger concentrations of sodium chlorite are commonly used for industrial purposes, such as:

  • bleaching and stripping of textiles, pulp, and paper
  • sterilizing agent used in water treatment plants

Sodium chlorite has been promoted as a health supplement and a treatment for various illnesses, such as:

While there are anecdotal reports from people who claim to have experienced medical relief by ingesting sodium chlorite solutions, there’s no reliable scientific evidence showing a benefit.

The FDA issued a warning in 2019 to not drink sodium chlorite products, stating they are dangerous.

Despite the lack of evidence supporting the use of sodium chlorite as a medication, some continue to support this chemical as a form of alternative medicine.

Of these supporters, people with ALS — also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease — report the most positive benefits from sodium chlorite.

ALS is a rare neurological disease that progressively leads to:

Eventually this condition can shut down vital parts of the body. Only about 10 percent of people with this condition live for longer than 10 years following diagnosis.

People with ALS who use sodium chlorite report positive benefits, including:

  • increased muscle activity
  • clearer speech
  • slowed rate of ALS progression
  • improved flexibility
  • improved motor functions, balance, and speed of movement

Sodium chlorite received approval in the European Union as an “orphan drug” in the treatment of ALS. These drugs are usually used for rare conditions and don’t always require proven safety and effectiveness.

A 2022 study found macrophage-targeted sodium chlorite (NP001) slowed the progression of ALS. However, another 2022 study showed more mixed results. More research is needed to confirm these possible benefits.

Ingesting sodium chlorite as a form of alternative medicine for extended periods of time or in larger dosages is unsafe and can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

In addition to these symptoms, there are more serious health problems that healthcare providers warn may result from use of this chemical, such as:

In high concentrations, sodium chlorite is typically used as a bleach and a disinfectant.

Direct exposure to this chemical can result in:

Sodium chlorite has proven industrial uses, but the FDA states clearly that you should not ingest it as a medical treatment or for any other reasons.

Small doses may be safe, but ingesting larger doses could be dangerous and lead to severe symptoms, burns, and health complications.