Brief History on Hydrogen

Ever wondered where the name “Hydrogen” was derived from? The name “Hydrogen” is derived from the Greek words “Hydro” (water) and “genes” (forming), as hydrogen is one of the two water forming elements. The French word “Hydrogene” was used to describe “hydrogen gas” and the name was coined by French scientist Antoine Lavoisier, who is also known as the Modern father of chemistry.

Though one of the very first publications linking Hydrogen and Medicine was issued in the 18th century, it was not until 2007 when a team of Japanese scientists led by I. Ohsawa et al discovered that Hydrogen gas when inhaled could act as a therapeutic antioxidant and protect the body cells from Free Radicals. The research and findings were first published in Nature Medicine (2007). The landmark publication sparked the interest in its potential health benefits worldwide and led to some breakthrough research. Since then, over 1,000 studies have been conducted on Hydrogen and its benefits for over 170 human diseases and essentially every organ of the human body.

In 2013, the Molecular Hydrogen Institute (MHI) was founded and established by Tyler LeBaron. MHI is the foremost authority on the science of molecular hydrogen and its main objectives are to advance, promote, educate and publicize hydrogen research, and maintain the integrity of hydrogen research and hydrogen products.

Molecular Hydrogen (H2) is a naturally occurring molecule consisting of two hydrogen atoms. Based on its composition of two atoms, it is the smallest and the most abundant molecule in the Universe. Being the smallest molecule allows hydrogen to penetrate through the human body cells and tissues, including the blood brain barrier.

Hydrogen is a colourless, odourless, non-toxic gas with a multitude of therapeutic benefits for human diseases. Amongst some of the benefits are as a powerful antioxidant (and selective anti-oxidation), anti-inflammation, anti-apoptosis (anti-cell death) and anti-allergy. There are various methods of using hydrogen ~ via ingestion, inhalation, injection, spraying onto the skin or absorbed through a bath.

What Is Molecular Hydrogen (H2) and
How Does It Work in My Body?

The Danger of Free Radicals

Free radicals are rogue molecules that have the ability to harass and even destroy other molecules in your cells by stealing electrons from innocent molecules, and cause instability in these molecules, then they become free radical themselves, disrupting other molecules in the vicinity. In this way, free radical can start a chain reaction in the body’s tissues, causing damage that can destroy the structure and function of cells in your tissues. This revolution of unmanaged free radicals in your tissues is known as oxidative stress.

Research has shown that if you allow these free radicals to get out of hand and cause oxidative stress, they will stimulate nociceptors and cause aches and pain. The presence of oxidative stress in myofascial tissues can easily generate an inflammatory response in muscles and joints. In chronic muscle and joint disorders, the presence of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress in your tissues is inseparable. Therefore, to correctly deal with chronic muscle and joint problems, it is a requirement to learn how to manage the metabolic factor of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.

By Greg Fors, in his book title, Why We Hurt: A Complete Physical & Spiritual Guide to Healing Your Chronic Pain.

Molecular Hydrogen a Potential “Novel” Antioxidant

Scientific studies have shown that molecular hydrogen has antioxidant properties which help to neutralise toxic free radicals which are responsible for premature aging. Dr. Shigeo Ohta and his team of researchers found that molecular hydrogen has high potential as a “novel” antioxidant owing to the unique properties of hydrogen.

Hydrogen as an antioxidant prevents oxidative stress and cell damage, but it does not interfere with the metabolic redox reactions or reactive oxygen species (ROS) that are required for cell signalling. There are no reported adverse effect from consuming hydrogen. Hydrogen suppresses chronic inflammation, which is known to accelerate aging. Hydrogen’s ability to rapidly diffuse into tissues and cells, including passing through the blood brain barrier, which most antioxidant compounds cannot, increases its neuroprotective effects.      

Source Of Anitioxidant
How are plant based antioxidants found in foods similar to Molecular Hydrogen?
  • They are both natural to the body.
  • They are both neither artificial nor synthetic.
  • They are both promoting wellness.

How is Molecular Hydrogen different to antioxidants in foods?

  • Molecular Hydrogen only scavenges the bad free radical.
  • Molecular Hydrogen leaves no waste product after neutralizing a free radical.
  • Molecular Hydrogen also increases our body’s own antioxidant systems.
  • Molecular Hydrogen also acts as a signalling molecule, thus having many other benefits.
  • Molecular Hydrogen is the smallest molecule, which can easily enter the cells. ( Note: H2 only weight 2g/mole vs vitamin C at 176.2 g/mole)
  • Molecular Hydrogen has no known toxic effects at high intakes.

Which gets rid of more free radicals: Vitamin C or Molecular Hydrogen?

Based on stoichiometry, one molecule of vitamin C can theoretically neutralize two free radicals, which is the same for Molecular Hydrogen. However, some of the used vitamin C molecules can be rejuvenated by the bodies and be used again, which is not the case with Molecular Hydrogen. On the other hand, Molecular Hydrogen can upregulate powerful antioxidant enzymes in the body, thus providing further protection, a function which vitamin C cannot do. Interestingly, vitamin C intake at high levels may actually prevent this upregulation from occurring.

Interview with Professor Shigeo Ohta, Nippon Medical School, Japan; Pioneer Researcher in the Field of Hydrogen as a Therapeutic Antioxidant by selectively reducing Cytotoxic Oxygen Radicals​

A discussion about therapeutic hydrogen gas between Tyler W. LeBaron, Executive Director of the Molecular Hydrogen Institute (MHI), and pioneer hydrogen researcher, Dr. Shigeo Ohta

COVID-19 Pathophysiology & the Rationale for why Molecular Hydrogen is being clinically investigated​

Update on information relating to the benefits of hydrogen for the coronavirus.

Electrolyzed–Reduced Water: Review I. Molecular Hydrogen Is the Exclusive Agent Responsible for the Therapeutic Effects ~ Tyler W. LeBaron, Randy Sharpe and Kinji Ohno International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2022)

Hydrogen: A Potential New Adjuvant Therapy for COVID-19 Patients ~ Fuxun Yang, Ruiming Yue, Xiaoxiu Luo,  Rongan Liu and Xiaobo Huang Frontiers in Pharmacology (2020)

TRPA1 receptor stimulation by hydrogen peroxide is critical to trigger hyperalgesia and inflammation in a model of acute gout ~ Gabriela Trevisan, Carin Hoffmeister, Mateus Fortes Rossato, et. al,
Free Radical Biology and Medicine (2014)

Drinking Molecular Hydrogen Water Is Beneficial to Cardiovascular Function in Diet-Induced Obesity Mice ~ Haruchika Masuda, Atsuko Sato, Kumiko Miyata, Tomoko Shizuno, Akira Oyamada, Kazuo Ishiwata, Yoshihiro Nakagawa and Takayuki Asahara Biology (2021)

Molecular hydrogen as an adjuvant therapy may be associated with increased oxygen saturation and improved exercise tolerance in a COVID-19 patient ~ Ram B. Singh, Ghazi Halabi, Ghizal Fatima, Richa H. Rai, Alexander T. Tarnava, Tyler W. LeBaron Clinical Case Reports (2021)

An H2-infused, nitric oxide-producing functional beverage as a neuroprotective agent for TBIs and concussions ~ Tyler W. LeBaron, Jason Kharman, Michael L. McCullough Journal of Integrative Neuroscience (2021)

Molecular hydrogen stimulates the gene expression of transcriptional coactivator PGC-1α to enhance fatty acid metabolism ~ Naomi Kamimura, Harumi Ichimiya, Katsuya Iuchi and Shigeo Ohta NPJ Aging and Mechanisms of Disease (2016)

Molecular Hydrogen Effectively Heals Alkali-Injured Cornea via Suppression of Oxidative Stress ~ Cestmir Cejka, Jan Kossl Barbora Hermankova Vladimir Holan and Jitka Cejkova Hindawi Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity (2017)

Molecular Hydrogen Attenuates Neuropathic Pain in Mice ~ Masanori Kawaguchi, Yasushi Satoh, Yukiko Otsubo, Tomiei Kazama PLOS One (2014)

Hydrogen therapy may help severely ill COVID-19 patients ~ Dr. Ananya Mandal, MD (2020)

Therapeutic potential of molecular hydrogen in ovarian cancer ~ Lei Shang, Fei Xie, Jiala Li, Yating Zhang, Mengyu Liu, Pengxiang Zhao, Xuemei Ma Tyler W. Lebaron Translational Cancer Research (2018)

The Effects of 24-Week, High-Concentration Hydrogen rich water on Body Composition, Blood Lipid and Inflammation Biomarkers in Men and Women with Metabolic Syndrome: A Randomized Controlled Trial ~ Tyler W LeBaron, Ram B Singh, Ghizal Fatima, Kumar Kartikey, Jagdish P Sharma, Sergej M Ostojic, Anna Gvozdjakova, Branislav Kura, Mami Noda, Viliam Mojto, Mohammad Arif Niaz, Jan SlezakDove Press journal: Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy (2020)

Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms Associated with Effects of Molecular Hydrogen in Cardiovascular and Central Nervous Systems ~ Miroslav Barancik, Branislav Kura, Tyler W. LeBaron, Roberto Bolli, Jozef Buday and Jan Slezak Antioxidants (2020)

Hydrogen inhibits the proliferation and migration of gastric cancer cells by modulating lncRNA MALAT1/miR-124-3p/ EZH2 axis ~ Baocheng Zhu, Hengguan Cui and Weiqiang Xu Cancer Cell Int (2021)

Oral hydrogen water prevents chronic allograft nephropathy in rats ~ Jon S. Cardinal, Jianghua Zhan, Yinna Wang, Ryujiro Sugimoto, Allan Tsung, Kenneth R. McCurry, Timothy R. Billiar and Atsunori Nakao International Society of Nephrology (2010)

Hydrogen Rich Water Attenuates Renal Injury and Fibrosis by Regulation Transforming Growth Factor-β Induced Sirt ~ Zhaoyu Xing, Wanma Pan, Jing Zhang, Xianlin Xu, Xuemei Zhang, Xiaozhou He, and Min Fan Biol. Pharm. Bull. (2017)

Intake of water with high levels of dissolved hydrogen (H2) suppresses ischemia-induced cardio-renal injury in Dahl salt-sensitive rats ~ Wan-Jun Zhu, Masaaki Nakayama, Takefumi Mori, Keisuke Nakayama, Junichiro Katoh, Yaeko Murata, Toshinobu Sato, Shigeru Kabayama, and Sadayoshi Ito Nephrol Dial Transplant (2011)

Hydrogen‐rich water reduces inflammatory responses and prevents apoptosis of peripheral blood cells in healthy adults: a randomized, double‐blind, controlled trial ~ Minju Sim, Chong‐Su Kim, Woo‐Jeong Shon, Young‐Kwan Lee, Eun Young Choi & Dong‐Mi Shin Scientific Reports | nature research (2020)

Molecular Hydrogen Therapy Ameliorates Organ Damage Induced by Sepsis ~ Yijun Zheng and Duming Zhu Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity (2016)

Disease models and human diseases for which beneficial effects of hydrogen have been documented ~ Edited June 10, 2019 (Ver. 2.7)

Organ preservation solution containing dissolved hydrogen gas from a hydrogen- absorbing alloy canister improves function of transplanted ischemic kidneys in miniature pigs ~ Eiji Kobayashi, Motoaki Sano PLOS (2019).

Selective protective effect of hydrogen water on free radical injury of athletes after high-intensity exercise. Yue-Peng Sun, Liang Sun Biomedical Research (2017)

Molecular hydrogen reduces acute exercise-induced inflammatory and oxidative stress statusJonatas E Nogueira, Patricia Passaglia, Clarissa M. D. Mota & Bruna Maitan Santos Free Radical Biology and Medicine (2018)

Molecular Hydrogen in Sports Medicine: New Therapeutic Perspectives S. M. Ostojic International Journal of Sports Medicine (2014)

Hydrogen gas: from clinical medicine to an emerging ergogenic molecule for sports athletes Tyler LeBaron, Ismail Laher, Branislav Kura, Jan Slezak Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology (2019)

Hydrogen-rich water for improvements of mood, anxiety, and autonomic nerve function in daily life Kei Mizuno, Akihiro T. Sasaki, Kyoko Ebisu, Kanako Tajima, Osami Kajimoto, Junzo Nojima, Hirohiko Kuratsune, Hiroshi Hori, Yasuyoshi Watanabe Medical Gas Research (2018)

Effects of drinking hydrogen-rich water on muscle fatigue caused by acute exercise in elite athletes Medicine ~ Kosuke Aoki, Atsunori Nakao, Takako Adachi, Yasushi Matsui and Shumpei Miyakawa. Medical Gas Research (2012)

Clinical Effects of Hydrogen Administration: From Animal and Human Diseases to Exercise Medicine ~ Garth L. Nicolson and Shigeo Ohta. International Journal of Clinical Medicine (2016).

Hydrogen acts as a Therapeutic Antioxidant by selectively reducing cytotoxic oxygen radicals ~ S.Ohta et al, Nippon Medical School, Japan. Nature Medicine  (2007).

Recent advances in Hydrogen research as a therapeutic medical gas ~ T. Kawamura et al. Free Radical Research (2010).

Molecular Hydrogen: New antioxidant and anti-inflammatory therapy for rheumatoid arthritis and related diseases ~ T. Ishibashi, Haradoi Hospital, Japan. Current Pharmaceutical Design (2013).

Hydrogen: another gas with Therapeutic Potential ~ James F. George and Anupam Agarwal. Kidney International (2010).

Molecular Hydrogen as an Emerging Candidate for Preventing Alzheimer's Disease ~ Shigeo Ohta and Takashi Asada. Int. J Alzheimers & Neuro Disorder 2018

Molecular Hydrogen improves Obesity and Diabetes by inducing hepatic FGF21 and stimulating energy metabolism in mice ~ Kamimura N1, Nishimaki K, Ohsawa I, Ohta S. NCBI US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

Recent Advances in Hydrogen Research as a Therapeutic Medical Gas ~ Chien Sheng Huang, Tomohiro Kawamura, Yoshiya Toyoda, Atsunori Nakao. Free Radical Research (2010).

Recent Progress Toward Hydrogen Medicine: Potential of Molecular Hydrogen for Preventive and Therapeutic Applications ~ Shigeo Ohta. Current Pharmaceutical Design (2011).

Therapeutic efficacy of infused Molecular Hydrogen in saline on Rheumatoid Arthritis ~ Toru Ishibashi. International Immunopharmacology Journal (2014)

Beneficial Effects of Hydrogen-Rich Saline on Early Burn-Wound Progression in Rats ~ Song Xue Guo, Yun Yun Jin, Quan Fang, Chuan Gang You, Xin Gang Wang, Xin Lei Hu, Chun-Mao Han. PLOS ONE (2015).

Can Hydrogen retard the progression of Osteoarthritis ~ Ding Li and WanChun Wang. African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology Vol. 6(5), 2012.

Molecular Hydrogen: An overview of its Neurobiological effects and Therapeutic potential for Bipolar disorder and Schizophrenia ~ Ahmad Ghanizadeh and Micheal Berk. Medical Gas Research (2013).

Hydrogen Gas in Cancer Treatment ~ Sai Li, Rongrong Liao, Xiaoyan Sheng, Xiaojun Luo, Xin Zhang, Xiaomin Wen, Jin Zhou and Kang Peng frontiers in Oncology

Hydrogen – Therapeutic Potential in Wellness and Medicine ~ M. Lemaire & F. Barbier Journal of Aging Research & Clinical Practice

Diagnosis and Treatment Protocol for Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia, the 7th Trial Edition ~ National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China, 2020-03-05 [WHO Translation]

Drinking hydrogen water enhances endurance and relieves psychometric fatigue: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study ~ Toshio Mikami, Kohei Tano, Hosung Lee, Hyowon Lee, Jonghyuk Park, Fumiaki Ohta, Tyler W. LeBaron, Shigeo Ohta. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology

Hydrogen therapy for Covid-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) ~ Medium

A novel functional beverage for COVID-19 and other conditions: Hypothesis and preliminary data, increased blood flow, and wound healing ~ LeBaron TW, McCullough ML and Ruppman Sr KH. Journal of Translational Science