Objectives: To analyze the solutes leaching from glass containers into aqueous solutions, and to show that these solutes have enzyme activity stabilizing effects in very dilute solutions.
Methods: Enzyme assays with acetylcholine esterase were used to analyze serially succussed and diluted (SSD) solutions prepared in glass and plastic containers. Aqueous SSD preparations starting with various solutes, or water alone, were prepared under several conditions, and tested for their solute content and their ability to affect enzyme stability in dilute solution.
Results: We confirm that water acts to dissolve constituents from glass vials, and show that the solutes derived from the glass have effects on enzymes in the resultant solutions. Enzyme assays demonstrated that enzyme stability in purified and deionized water was enhanced in SSD solutions that were prepared in glass containers, but not those prepared in plastic. The increased enzyme stability could be mimicked in a dose-dependent manner by the addition of silicates to the purified, deionized water that enzymes were dissolved in. Elemental analyses of SSD water preparations made in glass vials showed that boron, silicon, and sodium were present at micromolar concentrations.
Conclusions: These results show that silicates and other solutes are present at micromolar levels in all glass-exposed solutions, whether pharmaceutical or homeopathic in nature. Even though silicates are known to have biological activity at higher concentrations, the silicate concentrations we measured in homeopathic preparations were too low to account for any purported in vivo efficacy, but could potentially influence in vitro biological assays reporting homeopathic effects.
Copyright 2009 The Faculty of Homeopathy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.