What is Molecular Hydrogen or H2?
Hydrogen occupies the first position on the Periodic Table of Elements and so is the lightest, smallest and simplest element consisting of one electron and one proton. It is estimated that 90% of the visible universe is composed of hydrogen and that hydrogen is present in nearly all the molecules in living things.
Hydrogen exists primarily in the diatomic form as molecular hydrogen (H2) gas. It is colorless, odorless, non-metallic, and tasteless. The single hydrogen atom - atomic hydrogen (H) is neutral and has an unpaired electron. It is extremely unstable. When atomic hydrogen is produced via electrolysis (as with a water ionizer) it immediately reacts with another hydrogen atom to form the more stable molecular hydrogen.
Healing waters around the world – including Nordenau Germany; Tlacote, Mexico; Hit Tenryosui, Japan - contain molecular hydrogen at low levels. The presence of H2 in these waters could be from bacteria and algae producing hydrogen gas, or from the water reacting with alkali-earth metals.
H2 is the subject of an increasing number of scientific research studies and articles. A massive - and growing - number of peer-reviewed articles have been published in scientific journals showing therapeutic effect in over 170 disease conditions. Benefits include antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, improved glucose metabolism, stimulation of energy metabolism, athletic performance and recovery, protection against brain trauma & cognitive disorders, and positive impacts on many age-related conditions and symptoms. Some scientific papers refer to electrolytically produced water (ionized water) as hydrogen-rich water.
Why H2 Works
H2 easily penetrates everything and creates energy.
H2 is the smallest, lightest element. It reaches every cell and organ in the body. Because of its small size and the fact it has a high lipid solubility, H2 can easily diffuse into the mitochondria and other subcellular components. We all know we need oxygen to survive, but few know that hydrogen is the fundamental fuel. Mitochondria are our cells' power plants. Inside the mitochondria, oxygen burns hydrogen releasing energy - in the form of ATP - that runs our bodies!
H2 is a powerful antioxidant.
Much of the ground breaking research focused on H2 as a antioxidant. It has the unique and powerful ability to target and neutralize the damaging reactive oxygen molecules (free radicals) that are toxic to the cells 1, while leaving biologically useful radicals unharmed. Thus, H2 protects DNA, RNA and cellular proteins from oxidative stress 2. This has led some researchers to call it the master antioxidant.
H2 activates your body's own powerful enzymes.
Research shows H2 also enhances the effect of the body’s antioxidant enzymes – glutathione, superoxide dismutase, catalase - and proteins that protect the cells3 .
H2 can favorably alter cell metabolism, signaling and gene expression.
Research has also revealed that H2 can alter cell signaling4, cell metabolism5, and gene expression6. This leads to anti-inflammatory effects, anti-allergic effects, and anti-apoptotic (anti-cell death) effects 7.
How to Get the Benefits of H2
You can breathe H2 gas, you can assimilate H2 rich saline intravenously, use it as eye drops, you can bathe in it, you can put it on your skin, you can increase the production of H2 in vivo by intestinal bacteria, or you can drink H2-rich water. Which method is best? Early research suggests that the most effective - and easiest - approach is to drink H2-rich water. H2-rich water can be produced using electrolysis, magnesium, or bubbling H2 gas into water.
Water ionizers produce H2 rich water through electrolysis. This is the same method used to produce molecular hydrogen gas for energy. Our H2 Series ionizers with H2 Infusion Technology are capable of producing levels of H2 saturated water far greater than the level of H2 found in the healing waters of the world and greater than typically produced by other water ionizers.
1) DOLE, M., WILSON, F. R. & FIFE, W. P. (1975). Hyperbaric hydrogen therapy: a possible treatment for cancer. Science 190, 152-4.
2) LEE, M. Y., KIM, Y. K., RYOO, K. K., LEE, Y. B. & PARK, E. J. (2006). Electrolyzed-reduced water protects against oxidative damage to DNA, RNA, and protein. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 135, 133-44.
3) SUN, H. Chen, L. Zhou, W. Hu, L. Li, L. Tu, Q. Chang, Y. Liu, Q. Sun, X. Wu, M. Wang, H. (2011). The protective role of hydrogen-rich saline in experimental liver injury in mice. Journal of Hepatology 54, (3) 471-80
4) ITOH, T., FUJITA, Y., ITO, M., MASUDA, A., OHNO, K., ICHIHARA, M., KOJIMA, T., NOZAWA, Y. & ITO, M. (2009). Molecular hydrogen suppresses FcepsilonRI-mediated signal transduction and prevents degranulation of mast cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 389, 651-6.
5) KAMIMURA, N., NISHIMAKI, K., OHSAWA, I. & OHTA, S. (2011). Molecular Hydrogen Improves Obesity and Diabetes by Inducing Hepatic FGF21 and Stimulating Energy Metabolism in db/db Mice. Obesity.
6) NAKAI, Y., SATO, B., USHIAMA, S., OKADA, S., ABE, K. & ARAI, S. (2011). Hepatic oxidoreduction-related genes are upregulated by administration of hydrogen-saturated drinking water. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry 75, 774-6.
7) DIXON, B. J., TANG, J. & ZHANG, J. H. (2013). The evolution of molecular hydrogen: a noteworthy potential therapy with clinical significance. Med Gas Res 3, 10.
Nobel Prize Nominee, Dr. GARTH NICOLSON on the Safety & Health Benefits of Hydrogen Water.