A quick Google search on the health benefits of hydrogen peroxide will boast its treatment for everything from healing ear infections to curing cancer. However, doctors warn that consuming high-concentration peroxide can be dangerous.

Using research from the National Poison Data System, doctors found serious ailments associated with ingesting peroxide, including seizures, strokes and heart attacks, and in the most severe cases, death. These complications occur because oxygen, which is released into the body from the peroxide, obstructs blood flow. The study can be found in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

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Researcher Dr. Benjamin W. Hatten, MD, MPH, and his team looked at 294 cases cases over a 10-year period. Hatten found that 41 people appeared to have suffered from blockages after drinking peroxide, with five deaths and 15 left permanently disabled, according to a release.

Most household hydrogen peroxide is only three to five percent concentrated, however, those sold by health stores can be over 10 percent, as the ones in this study.

There is no scientific evidence to support the health benefits of hydrogen peroxide, but that doesn’t stop devotees from touting its supposed healing power. Several of the people suffering from complications in Hatten’s research noted they took it for overall health and to have more energy. Many took the substance accidentally, thinking they were drinking water.

Often used as a supplement, doctors say high concentrations of peroxide can be deadly. Pixabay

"This product is meant to be used by the dropper and then diluted, yet we encountered many cases where it was stored at full strength in a clear vessel in the refrigerator," said Dr. Hatten. "This is a caustic liquid, and as with many poison prevention efforts, we recommend keeping this product in its original container and adding both child-resistant capping and a colorizing agent to reduce the possibility of accidental ingestion."

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However, Hatten cautions anyone from adding it to their daily list of supplements.

"Though touted by the alternative and complementary medicine communities as 'super water,' peroxide should not be ingested for any reason,” he says in a statement.

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