The excitement surrounding molecular hydrogen/hydrogen water and its medical/scientific research is full-blown in Asia (Japan, Korea, China). Since in 2010, the hydrogen industry (relating to hydrogen products or hydrogen water devices) was a zero-dollar industry.
Now in 2017, this industry is estimated to be close to $1 billion. 1 The hydrogen industry has absolutely exploded in the light of the promising scientific research about molecular hydrogen and it administration methods.
First, let’s look at how molecular hydrogen has been administered in research studies. Then we’ll look at convenient ways for individuals to consume molecular hydrogen daily.
Administration methods seen in scientific studies 2
Drinking Hydrogen-Rich Water (produced by multiple methods)
- Hydrogen-rich water is water infused with molecular hydrogen. In research studies, it has been demonstrated that hydrogen infused water containing a dissolved hydrogen concentration of 0.5-1.6 ppm+ can be therapeutic for human consumption. 3
- Hydrogen inhalation uses the process of water electrolysis to produce molecular hydrogen and then mixes the hydrogen gas (H2) with oxygen (O2). Most of these devices keep the hydrogen concentration under 4 percent. This ensures the safety of the person receiving treatment, as molecular hydrogen is noncombustible under 4 percent. The application of molecular hydrogen via inhalation has shown great benefit in the scientific literature, as it allows larger amounts of H2 gas to enter the bloodstream to be readily distributed throughout the body.
Hydrogen Saline (via intravenous drip i.e. IV)
- This method of administration has yielded great results within the scientific literature and will most likely be seen used in a clinical and medical setting, such as hospitals.
Drinking ERW (Electrolyzed Reduced Water)
- ERW is hydrogen water generated using the process of electrolysis. This method produces water with an alkaline pH as a by-product due to the hydrogen gas production. 4
- Hydrogen baths are used mainly for topical purposes to administer molecular hydrogen to the body via the skin. Since molecular hydrogen has the highest diffusion rate out of any molecule it is perfect for topical application. Research studies have demonstrated this method to be therapeutic for multiple skin disorders. 5,6
Hydrogen Saline Eye Drops
- Molecular hydrogen appears to be therapeutic for multiple eye diseases (cataract, glaucoma, etc). This method enhances saline solution for the eye with molecular hydrogen. This method is simple and practical for researching molecular hydrogen’s therapeutic effect for the eye. 7
Intraperitoneal Injection (IP injection)
- Hydrogen Intraperitoneal injection or Hydrogen-rich IP injection is when a hydrogen infused solution is injected into the peritoneum (abdominal cavity). Typically, this solution is hydrogen saline. This method is applied more towards animals in animal studies than humans in human studies.
Convenient ways to consume molecular hydrogen
Molecular hydrogen has recently been approved by the FDA as a supplement that can be dissolved in water and safe to consume. 8 This is one of the first signs that hydrogen water is about to make a major “splash.” The market for hydrogen products is small but growing, as hydrogen water awareness grows and individuals start to understand what hydrogen water really is and the potential it carries. I have no doubt molecular hydrogen/hydrogen water is and will become more mainstream. As for now, there are limited but effective options and technologies individuals can look into to start their own journey with hydrogen-rich water. Let take a brief overview of some technologies:
Hydrogen Water Generators
- HIM (Hydrogen Infusion Machines) 9 — these home units use a special membrane called a Nafion membrane or PEM (proton exchange membrane). The units are specifically designed for producing and dissolving molecular hydrogen into highly-filtered water.
- H2 Portable Units (HIMs or ERW) — portable water bottles that produce and dissolve H2 into drinking water. These devices can generate neutral pH or alkaline pH hydrogen-rich water depending on the type. They are convenient and can produce hydrogen-rich water within 5 to 10 mins.
- Water Ionizers (ERW) 10 — these devices produce alkaline hydrogen water. Water ionizers are not optimally designed for producing hydrogen drinking water. These devices were originally designed for and intended to produce alkaline water, not for dissolving molecular hydrogen into drinking water effectively.
- Hydrogen Tablets 11 — use elemental magnesium to produce molecular hydrogen. These metals are called alkali metals; they naturally react with water to produce molecular hydrogen. These tablets can be ingested or dropped into water to produce hydrogen rich water. They are a great way of producing higher concentrations of dissolved hydrogen in water, or to drink hydrogen water on the go.
- Hydrogen Sticks 12 — these are like hydrogen tablets, they utilize elemental magnesium to produce molecular hydrogen in drinking water. However, hydrogen magnesium sticks need consistent maintenance to ensure its ability to produce the therapeutic concentration of dissolved molecular hydrogen in water.
- There are a few companies that offers a quality hydrogen inhalation device. These devices allow individuals to breath molecular hydrogen through a nasal cannula.
Not all hydrogen water devices are created equal
One must remember not all hydrogen water products are created equal. Different technologies can offer higher dissolved hydrogen concentrations and have better build quality. The object is the find an effective means of obtaining great filtered hydrogen-rich water with minimal maintenance that will help you reach the hydrogen milligram mark that appears to be therapeutic in human studies, which is 1-3 milligram a day. 13
Here is a simple formula to help you understand how much hydrogen water to drink per day:
Molecular hydrogen dissolved into water is measured in parts per million (or mg/L). 14
- Hydrogen water measuring at 0.5 ppm in 33 oz. or 1 liter is equal to 0.5 mg of H2.
- Hydrogen water measuring at 1 ppm in 33 oz. or 1 liter is equal to 1 mg of H2.
- Hydrogen water measuring at 2 ppm in 33 oz. or 1 liter is equal to 2 mg of H2.
This simple knowledge is a key element to help you determine which type of hydrogen water device will help you reach your daily molecular hydrogen intake goals. The best part about all of this is you can consume one of the world’s greatest antioxidant while hydrating.
To learn more about molecular hydrogen or hydrogen water’s potential health benefits and to see supporting scientific research visit:
- National Institute of Health: NIH.gov
- Scientific non-profit organization for molecular hydrogen: molecularhydrogenfoundation.org