Hydrogen water is a new buzzword floating around the health and wellness community. It can be confusing at first because it begs the question: Isn’t hydrogen already in the water? The answer to that question is, yes — all water molecules are made up of hydrogen and oxygen (H2O). However, the hydrogen atoms comprising the water molecule are bound to the oxygen atom within the water molecule itself and are not in a free form that is available to the human body. 1
So, what is hydrogen water? Hydrogen water or hydrogen-rich water is water enriched or infused with hydrogen gas (H2), also known as molecular hydrogen. 2 This means that hydrogen molecules or nano bubbles of molecular hydrogen are dissolved in the water, but do not actually bond with any of the water molecules.
Some may think this idea sounds strange or far-fetched; however, it is not. Most, if not all, people are very familiar with this concept. Have you ever heard of carbonated drinks? These drinks are enriched with CO2 (carbon dioxide gas) which gives these drinks their fizzy characteristic. 3
Carbonated beverages are extremely popular and widespread in our society. These drinks include soda, energy drinks, champagne, and carbonated water, to name a few. Most of these drinks do not possess any health benefits. 4 In fact, carbonated drinks that are high in sugar have been linked to the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes. 5 So, the idea of dissolving gas into our drinks is all around us and we are accustomed to it.
What is hydrogen gas?
Hydrogen gas is made up of two hydrogen atoms that are covalently bonded (shared electrons). This gas has a neutral charge and is the smallest and lightest gas in the universe. 6 These qualities make hydrogen gas extremely unique because it means H2 can get anywhere it wants to in your body, including passing the blood-brain barrier, and into subcellular compartments such as the mitochondria of your cells. Molecular hydrogen is also known as a therapeutic medical gas with amazing medical potential in the scientific literature. 7
Is hydrogen-rich water beneficial?
The short answer: absolutely, yes! Molecular hydrogen has been demonstrated to be therapeutic in more than 600 scientific studies for more than 170 human disease models. 8 This means molecular hydrogen has the therapeutic potential to help the vast majority of individuals today. Molecular hydrogen has the potential to help the person dealing with seasonal allergies and to the person facing cancer. 9 Molecular hydrogen is one of the newest and simplest ways an individual can take preventative measures in their health.
This is a short list of the potential therapeutic benefits for the human body that have been associated with H2 research:
- Selective antioxidant 10
- Anti-Inflammatory Effects 11
- Smallest, most bioavailable molecule 12
- Aids in Gene Expression and regulation of proteins 13
- Anti-Allergic Effects 14
- Anti-Cellular Death (anti-apoptotic) 15
- Increases Endogenous Antioxidants 16
- Anti-Diabetic Effects 17
- Anti-Cancer Effects 18
- Improve Cognitive Function 19
- Protects DNA & RNA 20
- Anti-Tumor Effect 21
Who can drink it?
One of the best parts about hydrogen water is that it has been shown to have a tremendous safety profile. This has been demonstrated in a few ways:
- Out of 600-plus scientific studies, H2 has shown no cytotoxic effects or cytotoxic by-products in the human body. 22
- We have a basal level of H2 in our blood stream at all times, around 1~5 micromolar or less. 23
- Humans can produce up to 10 liters of H2 a day with a good diet containing fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich foods. This is due to the production of H2 by our gut flora (gut bacteria). 24
- Another reason we know H2 is safe is because it has been used to ameliorate decompression sickness in deep sea diving since 1945. 25 The H2 concentration has been as high 98.87 percent H2 and 1.26 percent of O2, at 19.1 atm with minimal to no adverse or cytotoxic effects. 26 The United States military also has been using H2 for deep sea diving since the 60s. 27 Molecular hydrogen has been demonstrated to be extremely safe for the human body. 28
This information tells us that hydrogen-rich water is safe for consumption in all age groups, from children to adults, as a preventive beverage that has the potential to reduce oxidative stress and so much more. Everyone, including children, is exposed to oxidative stress, which has been linked to the pathogenesis of nearly all disease conditions, including cancer. 29 Consuming water infused with molecular hydrogen is exactly what our society needs to aid in the battle against degenerative diseases.
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
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