Everything You Need To Know About Molecular Hydrogen
Molecular Hydrogen - A Revolution in Health, Anti-Aging, and Performance
At trusii, we've dedicated our company to maximizing the benefits of this remarkable molecule and providing it to our clients in the more user-friendly ways possible. Throughout this page, we'll share with you all the necessary information you need about molecular hydrogen, and more specifically, hydrogen water.
What is Molecular Hydrogen?
Molecular hydrogen (H2) is a tasteless and odorless medical-grade gas consisting of two bonded hydrogen atoms.
Hydrogen is one of the building blocks of life and is one of the most abundant molecules in the universe. In fact, molecular hydrogen not only played a central role in the origins of the universe but in the formation of life itself. Hydrogen was a significant molecule present at the genesis of life and also was involved with the evolution of eukaryotes approximately 1.6-2.1 billion years ago (living beings that contained cells housing a nucleus). In other words, it's not surprising that H2 has such profound health benefits!
Understanding Free Radicals, Antioxidants, and Oxidative Stress
Oxygen plays a necessary and yet potentially destructive role in life processes.
In order to truly understand the benefits of molecular hydrogen in the body, there are some key concepts to understand first: free radicals, oxidative stress, and antioxidants.
We'll define the terms below:
What are Free Radicals?
On a constant basis, oxygen in your body is splitting into single atoms with unpaired electrons. Electrons like to be in pairs, with each electron spinning in the opposite direction, so these atoms with unpaired electrons, called “free radicals,” scavenge other atoms in the body to steal other electrons to become a pair. The danger is that once free radicals are formed, the creates a chain reaction that destabilizes other molecules, causes damage to cells, proteins, and DNA. The chain reaction may also alter cell membranes, affecting what molecules can enter and exit cells, and may even change the structure of certain lipids (fats) which may make them more likely to become trapped in an artery.
Free radicals have been connected to human diseases including cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and more. They may also be linked to premature aging, as some scientists have even defined aging as the “gradual accumulation of free radical damage.”
Free radicals are generated via the food that we eat, medication we take, air we breathe, and even the water we drink, along with alcohol, tobacco, pesticides, and air pollutants.
Free radicals are also generated via exercise, but this isn’t an excuse to skip the gym. Regular exercise has actually been shown to build up antioxidant defenses. However, out of shape and infrequent exercisers who partake in intense physical activity may create oxidative stress.
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants, in simplest terms, are molecules that fight free radicals in the body. In our own bodies, we have antioxidant defenses - pathways that produce antioxidants to fight the damage from the free radicals mentioned above. We also need to get antioxidants from food, which are mostly found in plant-based, whole foods. Antioxidant supplements have been more and more popular in recent years.
What is Oxidative Stress?
Oxidative stress occurs when there is an overwhelming amount of free radicals and cellular damage for the body to cope with. A multitude of studies over the last few decades have suggested that oxidative stress may play a central role in the development of many chronic conditions, such as macular degeneration, cardiovascular disease, emphysema, certain cancers, arthritis, lupus, and more.
The Problem With Antioxidant Supplements
Many people might think, based on a simple understanding of free radicals and antioxidants, that more antioxidants are better. However, high doses of supplemental antioxidants have actually been connected to INCREASED disease risk in many cases. The problem is that supplemental antioxidants can soak up free radicals like sponges, indiscriminately attacking free radicals wherever they find them. But not ALL free radicals are bad. And in fact, some key free radicals, in balanced amounts, are actually essential for healthy cells and healthy bodies.
Now that we're caught up on these key concepts, let's dive into where hydrogen comes into play:
How Does Hydrogen Water Work?
Molecular hydrogen does a wide variety of things in the body, but you can break them down into 3 key processes:
1. Hydrogen Acts As A "Selective Antioxidant"
Hydrogen scavenges only the most toxic and damaging free radicals/oxidants (sources of inflammation, DNA damage, fatigue, and chronic disease) while avoiding those free radicals which are essential to the body.
H2 effectively works to reduce excessive oxidative stress ONLY under conditions leading to the destruction and damage of our cells.
And as the smallest molecule in the universe, H2 can easily penetrate any cell membrane, including brain cells, neutralizing certain free radicals INSIDE the cells that other antioxidants are unable to reach.
2. Hydrogen turns on your body’s own antioxidants, naturally boosting the immune system.
For example, H2 activates the NRF2 pathway, the body’s own self-defense system against free radicals, but only when there is an assault (such as a toxin or an injury).
H2 naturally boosts the body’s immune system, preventing the onset of numerous diseases and conditions.
H2 also has the capacity to REDUCE and PREVENT the formation of some toxic free radicals in the first place!
3. Hydrogen improves cell signaling
(the communication between cells).
For example, H2 has been shown to downregulate the expression of proinflammatory cytokines, which are involved with promoting systemic inflammation and are the key element in the oft-discussed "cytokine storm."
Additionally, H2 not only improves mitochondrial function (energy supply) and protects it from oxidative stress...
It actually increases the supply of mitochondria (by activating a protein called PGC-1a, leading to dramatically enhanced energy production).
How to Get The Health Benefits of H2
While hydrogen might be simple and abundant, it's actually rarely found in it's molecular form on earth, since it's so light and escapes gravity's pull. However, there are a number of ways to create molecular hydrogen and harness its potential benefits in the body.
Hydrogen Inhalation - Just like oxygen, hydrogen may be inhaled through a nasal cannula, and even inhaled in a hyperbaric chamber.
Hydrogen-Infused Water - The most efficient way to consume H2 is infused into drinking water. There are ready-to-drink hydrogen beverages (typically very low concentration), hydrogen-producing dissolving tablets, and hydrogen generators all available on the market. At trusii, we decided to focus on the generators to provide our clients with a never-ending supply of this amazing molecule.
Hydrogen Skin Care Products - it is also effective if applied to the skin (via soaking in H2-infused baths or infused into skin care products.
Research on Molecular Hydrogen
To date, there are over 1,000 peer-reviewed studies on human and animal disease models that have strongly suggested hydrogen has immense therapeutic potential. Let's examing some of these studies, including the history of the scientific community's excitement over therapeutic hydrogen.
Hydrogen's Scientific Origins
Hydrogen gas has been gaining significant attention from scientific researchers since 2007, but there are studies on the potential health benefits of hydrogen dating back much earlier than that.
In 1975, researchers from Baylor University and Texas A&M reported in the journal Science that hyperbaric hydrogen treatment was effective for reducing tumors in mice.
The 2007 study that started the significant scientific momentum of studying hydrogen as a therapeutic gas was conducted by Dr. Ohta in Japan and published in Nature Medicine. The study reported that inhalation of 2%-4% molecular hydrogen gas had a significant positive impact in a rat model of ischemia-reperfusion injury. They noticed that hydrogen seemed to react with toxic oxygen radicals, but didn't react with other beneficial radical oxygen species such as nitric oxide, hydrogen peroxide, and superoxide.