H2 - Hydrogen to Your Health!

August 01, 2016

H2 - Hydrogen to Your Health!


 Reference: Nature Medicine

 Elemental hydrogen is 75% of the universe, so it's not actually very rare. But on planet earth it's so light that as a gas, it evaporates and escapes off into space. In our atmosphere, it's rare. Attached to other chemicals, like oxygen, however, and it's abundant. Note, water is H2O. Earth has a lot of water. And all life has hydrogen bound up in carbohydrates. It's the "hydrate" part of carbs. 

 Now, we are discovering that the gas, H2 is actually a pretty dynamic and interesting compound. Oxidative stress is a major part of many illnesses. When you have excess free radicals or ROS (reactive oxygen species) you get all sorts of damage from them. A dangerous sequence of events involves the production of O2- as leakage from the Krebs cycle of making energy. That gets converted into hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) by superoxide dismutase. 

Glutathione's job is to convert that back into harmless water but excess H2O- converts iron and copper into their "reduced forms" which react with peroxide (H2O2) to make the hydroxyl atom, OH-. That's a lot of chemistry you don't need to memorize (except for the quiz). You do need to know that OH- is a wicked and dangerous oxidant. Your cells actually use a bit of peroxide to help kill bacteria. NO (nitrous oxide, another oxidant) is an important regulator of artery stretchiness. So you need a delicate balance of oxidants and antioxidants. 

But there is no safe place of OH-. And this is where H2 comes it. It combines with it and neutralizes it, turning it into harmless water. It sounds complicated, but its implications are almost bigger than you can imagine. H2 selectively reduces OH-. Having it around could be very useful. The question is, how to get hold of it and where might it actually work. That's what this review article details. A variety of experimentally induced forms of OH-, the dangerous hydroxyl molecule were produced and then H2 was added. Voila, it neutralized it brilliantly. It was demonstrated that it efficiently diffuses into cell nuclei and mitochondria and does so without damaging or altering the good ROS that your body uses to manage arterial stretching and immune response. 

 There are beginning to be research studies showing that it works in humans in a variety of situations. Metabolic syndrome, (combination of being too fat, too much sugar, too many lipids, high blood pressure, etc) is favorably affected in all venues with elemental H2. It helps folks getting radiation therapy to recover from the bad side effects of radiation therapy. But it also makes 5-FU work better in colon cancer patients getting it for colon cancer. Folks who have sports-related soft tissue injuries recover much faster. Peak exercise increases with hydrogen-rich water. These are just early studies but they suggest a pretty broad library of beneficial effects, all of which congregate around the mechanism of helping reduce runaway oxidation. This is cool! 

 WWW. What will work for me?   I'm ordering a bunch of the stuff for my office and I'm going to try it on folks. Radiation therapy, sports injuries, chemotherapy, metabolic syndrome, arterial disease might all be sensible candidates. If I get injured on my running, I'm going to give it a try. 

 Pop Quiz

1. Hydrogen is not commonly available on planet earth. T or F?                    Answer:  Trick question. In it's free form, that's right. It's not in the atmosphere. It weighs so little it flies off into space. But it's abundant on earth. It is chemically the key ingredient in making energy storage in either carbs or fats when attached to carbon. It is the other half of water. So, in combination form, it is abundant. 

2.  ‪In its free form as a gas, dissolved in water, it soaks up strong oxidants in our bodies. T or F?             Answer:      That's it in a nutshell. Remember that and you got it right. ‪

3.  Our bodies use oxidants to kill bacteria, stretch arteries and lots of important physiological functions. T or F?                       Answer:  True. We do need them in balance. ‪

4.   Early research shows that Hydrogen enriched water helps folks get better faster from the side effects of radiation therapy. T or F?                  Answer:  We need this! 

 ‪5. Soft tissue sprains and strains from sports and daily living get better faster too with hydrogen enriched water.  T or F?                      Answer: Yup. Hope you don't need it, but it's there if you do.