A local woman is the brains behind a new innovation in packaged water and those who drink it claim to see real improvements to their well-being.
Gail Levy is co-founder and CEO of HFactor, a specially formulated water advertised as having odorless and tasteless molecular hydrogen gas bonds in it, giving it an extra boost of energy-making compounds that benefit the body.
The product sells for $3 and soon will be available in grocery and convenience stores, Levy said, though the product has been around for about a year. Levy claims studies show that hydrogen-infused water improves athletic performance, skin conditions, reduces allergies, inflammation, headaches, migraines, lactic acid buildup and that its health benefits are limitless. Hers is the first hydrogen-rich water in the U.S. and it’s based right outside of Philly, in Gladwyne.
“As you know, we’re supposed to be drinking eight glasses of water a day, and if you drink just two ofHFactor, I think you’ll see over a very short period of time, some incredible benefits,” Levy told Metro during a recent interview.
Levyhas a background in fashion and has designed hard goods like tabletops and home and office décor for Martha Stewart, Katie Brown, Jaclyn Smith and Christopher Lowell, among others. She launched HFactor nationally online around Christmastime and says Internet sales have skyrocketed. The water comes in a recyclable aluminum package as opposed to a plastic bottle, thus giving it a low carbon footprint.
Robin Cormier, 58, lives in Exton and has been drinking HFactor for about a year. She suffers from fibromyalgia and said that when she doesn’t drink one HFactor a day, she notices her symptoms are considerably worse.
“There are days when nothing’s going to help, but it does ease my symptoms tremendously,” said Cormier.
“A more amazing story is my mom, who is 93, had a scratch on her leg. It turned into this horrible bacterial infection and she ended up in the hospital for the three days. When she got home, she was weak and could hardly walk. She drank the HFactor and the next day it was amazing. The scab healed over. It did something to her cellular makeup.”
On her website and in interviews, Levy is careful in using a Food and Drug Administration disclaimer and in discussing “potential” health benefits, as HFactor has not been analyzed by the FDA.
A spokeswoman for the FDA said she could not comment on a specific product without the opportunity for full review.
“In general, food product labels, including bottled water labels, must be truthful and not misleading to the consumer,” Lauren Kotwicki, press officer for the FDA, wrote in an e-mail.
“If the claim describes the effects of a substance on the structure or function of the body, the claim must be truthful and not misleading and be derived from the nutritional value of the substance.”
Eighty-seven-year old Stan Bazilian of Elkins Park has also been drinking HFactor for roughly a year.
“When you’re 87, your energy starts to go down a little bit,” he laughed.
“But that doesn’t happen anymore. I went with my daughter to zumba. I did a whole hour of zumba,” he said.
“It’s an extra helping of hydrogen,” said Levy.