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Molecular Hydrogen

I bring you something different altogether for you this month from my usual dietary diatribes and Covid 19 speculations. I have been seeing more and more articles come up about the use of molecular hydrogen to improve your health and thought I would give you an early heads up. Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe. It makes up 2/3 of the oceans . For that matter 55% of the atoms in your body are hydrogen.

New interest in hydrogen came out of Japan in 2007 where a mitochondrial researcher was looking for ways to minimize the build up of the toxic compounds generated by energy production. This researcher found that by using molecular hydrogen he got SELECTIVE reduction in the free radicals. From there an explosion of interest has occurred and of course is readily available on the internet.

Mitochondria are the power generators for almost all of the cells in your body. They produce energy but also produce as a by product reactive hydrogen species. These are oxidants and you can look anywhere and see the interest in antioxidants has grown exponentially. Hydrogen can directly work with the ROS (reactive hydrogen species) as well as independently activate autophagy, the body’s clean- house mechanism. Hydrogen chemically acts to diminish inflammation as well. If you do the research there is an alphabet soup of pathways that are activated by hydrogen.

Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, is so small that it can penetrate into every cell in your body. It can penetrate through glass, plastic and many substances so it has no difficulty going through even your bulk. It’s inert and it’s safe. Interestingly enough you produce your own hydrogen or at least the bugs in your gut do….daily. A diet high in fiber feeds the bugs that produce the hydrogen but you can ingest extra hydrogen for extra benefit.

After drinking a glass of hydrogen water it can circulate through the body in about 10 minutes. It is excreted through the lungs in about an hour but its effects on DNA repair and downstream benefits last a day. Various studies have been done and continue to be done to be regarding hydrogen benefits. It’s available in a gas form as an inhaled agent and hydrogen baths and hydrogen water. You can dissolve about 1.5 parts per million into water. Practically speaking there are three commercially available ways to make hydrogen water. You can buy a water alkalizing machine that also hydrogenates, you can buy a hydrogen generating “stick” you put into a container of water or you can buy elemental magnesium tabs that generate hydrogen when you put them in water. Until recently you really had no way of knowing if there was actual hydrogen in the water but test strips and solutions have become available.

Hydrogen water therapy is being used and explored to treat Parkinson’s disease as well as brain ischemia, that is, stroke and heart ischemia, that is, heart attacks. Most of this research is being conducted outside of the confines of the United States but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s inferior.

I am going to try the tablets and see if I feel differently or if any of my labs improve. If you see me, ask about my experience and I will gladly update you. Below are some references for you from a wide variety of sources. Migraines? Chronic Fatigue? Since there are no real dangers of molecular hydrogen at these concentrations you really have little to lose. Until next month …get well and stay well.




Dr. Barry