Shhhh…I have a secret! Do you want me to tell you? There is something about fiber that you may not know. I’m willing to share this special secret with you, on this episode of H2Minutes.
People have been including fiber in their diets for years because of the health benefits it provides. Individuals with high intakes of dietary fiber appear to be at significantly lower risk for developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Dietary fiber is derived from the plant cell wall. It mainly includes cellulose, polysaccharides, starch, etc. Foods rich in fiber or indigestible carbohydrates are called pre-biotics and include fruits and vegetables, and some grains. Fiber feeds the micro anaerobic bacteria that live in the intestinal tract, called flora. Our bodies actually cannot digest or absorb fiber, so instead, it is fermented in the large intestine, which in turn breaks it down. The byproduct of this reaction is what can induce health benefits.
Now here’s the kicker. One of the byproducts of the fiber breakdown is H2! In fact, our bodies actually produce over a liter of H2 on a normal day. This is one of the reasons why we know H2 is natural and safe because H2 is not foreign to the body. With a healthy diet, our bodies can even produce large amounts of H2, as high as 10 liters a day! Science is actually discovering that H2 might play a vital role in why eating fiber-rich food is so healthy.
The reason we know that H2 is produced is that it can be measured as it exits the body via the lungs. Breath tests after eating fiber-rich foods have shown readings as high as 50 ppm of H2. We also know that since it is coming out of the lungs, it is being circulated through the blood. And if it is being circulated through the blood, then it is able to produce therapeutic benefits.
Let’s take a look at this research article, dated all the way back to 1988.
“The biological basis for the epidemiological association between high dietary fiber intakes and reduced disease incidence in Man is not fully understood.
It is proposed that molecular hydrogen, produced in quite large amounts as a by-product of colonic fermentation of dietary fiber and unabsorbed carbohydrates may play an important role.
Hydrogen in the tissues may act as a powerful reducing agent (antioxidant) of potentially damaging free radical species (e.g. singlet oxygen) and in so doing, along with other antioxidants would help in the control of these potentially damaging species and their known involvement in disease causation.”
And this was almost 30 years ago! I told you it was a secret! Not convinced?
Here is a study from 2012 that states:
“[Acarbose] may significantly restrict inflammation and alleviate clinical Ulcerative Colitis symptoms, improving the life quality of patients, and these benefits can be attributed at least in part to the abilities of acarbose to neutralize oxidative stress by increasing the production of H2 in the gastrointestinal tract.”
Still unsure? Here is another study where it says:
“Lactulose, a synthetic sugar not able to be digested and absorbed by human beings, is widely used to treat constipation and hepatic encephalopathy clinically.
Through fermentation by the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, lactulose can produce a considerable amount of hydrogen, which is protective against ischemic stroke as a unique antioxidant.
We propose that lactulose can induce the production of endogenous hydrogen that in turn reduces oxidative stress and ameliorate the stroke damage in human beings”.
Lactulose: an effective preventive and therapeutic option for ischemic stroke by production of hydrogen. Xiao Chen, Xiao Zhai, Zhimin Kang, and Xuejun Sunc. 2012
So what are your thoughts? Should this secret, be a secret anymore?
- Yogurt increases breath hydrogen: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11101474/
- Hydrogen production for prebiotic (carbohydrates): https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12947435/
- Hydrogen breath from turmeric: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19034660/
- Maintaining intestinal H2 balance; credit the colonic bacteria: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1551553/
- Lactulose increase H2, leading to nrf2 activation and neuroprotection: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S089158491300405X?via%3Dihub
- Dietary fibre and health: The role of hydrogen production: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0306987788900916
- Hydrogen from intestinal bacteria is protective for Concanavalin A-induced hepatitis: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19523450/
- Proof that H2 produce my bacteria is therapeutic: