Molecular hydrogen is a medical gas that has been the subject of medical research for longer than you may have thought.
The first publication linking molecular hydrogen and medicinal properties dates to 1798. 1 Nearly 100 years later, in 1888, there was another publication, The Annals of Surgery, that referenced Dr. Nicolas Senn, who was using molecular hydrogen for medical applications. 2, 3, 4 This slow progression of research proceeded with brief but powerful glimpses of molecular hydrogen’s medical potential.
In 1975, an impressive study demonstrated that hyperbaric molecular hydrogen therapy could be a possible treatment for cancer. In this study, the researchers showed that exposing mice with skin cancer (tumors) to 2.5 percent oxygen (O2) and 97.5 hydrogen (H2) for two weeks produced a dramatic and significant regression of the mice tumors. Here is a quote from the study:
“After a first 10-day period of exposure of the mice to the hydrogen-oxygen therapy it was found qualitatively (i) that the tumors had turned black, (ii) that some had dropped off, (iii) that some seemed to have shrunk at their base and to be in the process of being ‘pinched off,’ and (iv) that the mice appeared to suffer no deleterious consequences.” 5
Still, considering this amazing discovery, molecular hydrogen was believed by the scientific and medical community to be a biologically inert gas (meaning “having little to no effect in the human body”). This way of thinking by the scientific and medical community was flipped on its head in 2007 when a groundbreaking study demonstrated that molecular hydrogen is a selective antioxidant that neutralizes only the cytotoxic free radicals. The study was published in the prestigious Journal of Nature Medicine. 6 The study showed that molecular hydrogen neutralizes the hydroxyl radical (OH*), the most cytotoxic free radical in existence, one that the human body has no natural defenses against, and converts it into the water.
Since 2007, medical research on molecular hydrogen has exploded proving this gas has remarkable medical potential
Research studies and reviews
The evolution of molecular hydrogen: a noteworthy potential therapy with clinical significance
“Hydrogen has marked therapeutic potential to help with the top 8 fatality-causing diseases listed by the CDC.” 7
Molecular hydrogen: a therapeutic antioxidant and beyond
“Overall, the impact of molecular hydrogen in medicine is extraordinary. The non-toxic and rapid intracellular diffusion features of this biological gas ensure the feasibility and readiness for its clinical translation.” 8
Molecular hydrogen as a novel antioxidant: Overview of the advantages of hydrogen for medical applications
“Recent publications revealed that, in addition to the direct neutralization of highly reactive oxidants, H2 indirectly reduces oxidative stress by regulating the expression of various genes. Moreover, by regulating gene expression, H2 functions as an anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, and antiapoptotic molecule, and stimulates energy metabolism. In addition to growing evidence obtained by model animal experiments, extensive clinical examinations were performed or are under way. Since most drugs act on their specific targets, H2 seems to differ from conventional pharmaceutical drugs. Owing to its great efficacy and lack of adverse effects, H2 has potential for clinical applications for many diseases.” 9
Understanding the basic effects
Molecular hydrogen is a selective antioxidant 10
Molecular hydrogen appears to be a selective antioxidant. Molecular hydrogen appears to also reduce a powerful oxidant, Peroxynitrite (ONOO-). This would mean that Molecular Hydrogen has the potential to protect our DNA/RNA and proteins from damage (oxidative stress). Importantly, it does this while not perturbing cellular homeostasis; H2 does not neutralize beneficial free radicals (NO, H2O2, etc) necessary for the body to function properly.
Molecular hydrogen is a Nrf2 activator 11
Molecular hydrogen appears to stimulate the production of endogenous antioxidants via the Nrf2 Pathway, meaning it up-regulates the body’s own antioxidant system. This results in the production of more protective enzymes (antioxidants) such as glutathione, catalase, and superoxide dismutase. These antioxidants are powerful and aid in the reduction of excessive ROS and oxidative-stress within the body, which have been linked to nearly all human diseases.11.5
Molecular hydrogen is a signaling molecule/gene regulator 12
Molecular hydrogen appears to be a novel signaling molecule that participates in gene expression, cell modulation, and protein regulation. This means H2 can alter cellular signaling pathways resulting in benefits far beyond its antioxidant function. Research has demonstrated that molecular hydrogen can regulate inflammatory cytokines, hormones, proteins, and much more. Because of these properties, molecular hydrogen has the potential to give anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-cell death effects.
Research shows molecular hydrogen has the potential to exhibits these effects:
- Anti-Inflammatory Effects 13
- Smallest, most bioavailable molecule in existence 14
- Selective antioxidant 15
- Participates in Gene Expression 16
- Anti-Allergic Effects 17
- Anti-Cellular Death 18
- Anti-Aging 19
- Reduces aches and pains 20
- Protective to skin 21
- Cardioprotective 22
- Increases Metabolism 23
- Increases Body’s Antioxidants (Nrf2 activator) 24
- Decreases Muscle Fatigue 25
- Reduces Lactate Levels 26
- Anti-Diabetic Effects (type 1 and 2) Type 1, 27 Type 2, 28
- Anticancer 29
- Improves Cognitive Function 30
- Protects DNA & RNA 31
- Anti-Tumor Effects 32
- Cytotoxic Protection 33
- Neuroprotective 34
- Radiation Protection 35
- With zero toxic effects 36
Based on scientific studies/evidence, hydrogen gas therapy has the potential to benefit:
Alzheimer’s 37, arthritis 38, rheumatoid arthritis 39, Type 1 diabetes 40, Type 2 diabetes 41, Parkinson’s 42, COPD 43, asthma 44, heart disease 45, kidney disease 46, stroke 47, cancer 48, tumors 49, ALS 50, dementia 51, psoriasis 52, dermatitis 53, IBS 54, hemorrhagic shock 55, Crohn’s 56, fatty liver disease 57, liver cirrhosis 58, pancreatitis 59, cardiac arrest 60, neuropathy 61, Multiple Sclerosis 62, Hepatitis B 63, atherosclerosis 64, cataracts 65, hypertension 66, gum disease 67, traumatic brain injury 68, sepsis 69, subarachnoid hemorrhage (aneurysms) 70, infant lung disease 71, metabolic syndrome 72, lymphoma 73, retinitis 74, painful bladder syndrome 75, osteosclerosis 76, osteoarthritis 77, osteoporosis 78, glaucoma 79, pulmonary hypertension 80, pulmonary fibrosis 81, autism 82, depression 83, bipolar disorder 84, anxiety 85, schizophrenia 86, inflammation 87, muscle fatigue 88, increased ATP production 89, soft tissue injuries 90, pain 91, wounds 92, burns 93, seasonal allergies 94, autoimmune disorders 95, insulin resistance 96, hearing loss 97, ulcers 98, radiation damage 99, sleep apnea 100, to name just a few as there are studies on over 170 human disease models
Molecular hydrogen’s therapeutic potential is enormous and the research is still in its infancy. It’s not every day that a therapeutic agent like this comes along with this much scientific backing and medical potential. On top of that, one of the most effective ways of consuming it is dissolved into the life-giving solvent: water.
To learn more about molecular hydrogen or hydrogen water’s potential health benefits and to see supporting scientific research visit: