,,Hydrogen does not extend the maximum age, but makes life healthier until it lasts.”
(Prof. Shigeo Ohta)

dr. Shigeo Ohta, PhD, Nippon, Medical School, Japan

Molecular hydrogen or double hydrogen is the lightest chemical element, a tasteless, odourless, flammable gas, the chemical formula of which is H2. It is rare on Earth in elemental form because hydrogen can easily form compounds with most elements; it is present in the water molecule and in most organic compounds. It plays a particularly important role in acid-base reactions and in proton transfer between molecules.

There is an increasing scientific interest in molecular hydrogen throughout the world. One of the earliest communications was born in 1975 where Dole and his staff (Baylor University) treated mice with hyperbaric (8 atm) hydrogen gas. They published their results in the Science journal, which proved that hyperbaric (8 atm) hydrogen therapy has beneficial effects in case of mouse melanoma. In the last 12 years, more than 500 scientific articles have been published on molecular hydrogen. In these reports, researchers present the physiological effects of hydrogen, and in addition to the results of animal studies, we can now read about the success of human applications as well.

Prof. Dr. Shigeo Ohta, often referred to as the” father of hydrogen “, and his colleagues presented their findings about molecular hydrogen in the Nature Medicine journal, and stated that it selectively neutralizes the explicitly damaging free radicals (hydroxyl radicals and peroxynitrite radicals), but does not react with other biologically important oxygen radicals (e.g. superoxide, nitric oxide, hydrogen peroxide). Reactive free radicals (ROS – reactive oxygen species), although short-lived, are highly reactive atoms and molecules. When destroyed, cellular membranes, cell organs (e.g. mitochondria) cause permanent changes in DNA structure and thus in their function. Their excessive presence may ultimately lead to cell degeneration and cell death. The article highlights that molecular hydrogen is not only a powerful antioxidant, but it is the only selective antioxidant among the free radicals known to date.

Molecular hydrogen research has also revealed other effects in the body, so we can find abundant literature about its role in the process of inflammation and the processes of energy production.

The current research of hydrogen as a master regulator, is targeted towards its gene regulatory function and its function as a signaling molecule.

The following figure shows which organs have been tested for the effects of molecular hydrogen.

Source: Ichihara et al (Medical Gas Research 2015)

Molecular hydrogen can be introduced into the body by inhalation of hydrogen-enriched air, or by drinking hydrogen-rich water. A new option is to use capsules and tablets containing hydrogen-generating minerals. In the scientific communications, you can read about the use of hydrogen-rich dialysis solution, hydrogen-rich saline infusion and a locally applicable hydrogen-rich medium such as bath, shower or packs.

Its advantage is that it penetrates quickly into the tissues, it is able to pass through the blood-brain barrier, the placenta, easily penetrates biological membranes and reaches intra-cellular spaces like the nucleus and the mitochondria.

Side effects should not be considered even in higher doses.

Molecular hydrogen research has opened up new and promising perspectives on the use of antioxidants.

Shigeo Ohta (Current Pharmaceutical Design Jul 2011).
Recent progress toward hydrogen medicine: potencial of molecular hydrogen for preventive and therapeutic applications

Ichihara et al (Medical Gas Research 2015. Oct.19.)
Beneficial biological effects and the underlying mechanisms of molecular hydrogen-comprehensive review of 321 original articles

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