Molecular Hydrogen Research Summary

In Vitro Studies, Animal Studies, Human Studies, Review Articles

For the past 10 years, over 500 peer-reviewed studies have reported the therapeutic benefits of molecular hydrogen (H2). H2 is gaining significant attention from the medical community as well as the scientific community. H2 is emerging as a therapeutic gas with a wide range of clinical applications.  
Although the exact mechanism of H2 remains elusive, the therapeutic potential of H2 has been attributed to its antioxidant properties, the modulation of cellular signal transduction, phosphorylation of certain proteins, and gene expression.
Among the studies, 40 of them investigated the effects of molecular hydrogen in human subjects. These clinical studies indicate that H2 can be beneficial for diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, athletic performance, mitochondrial disease, wound healing, poor circulation, and periodontal disease. H2 improves the quality of life for patients in dialysis, with chronic hepatitis B, and receiving radiotherapy for cancer.

The Latest

Molecular Hydrogen Protects Against Oxidative Stress-Induced SH-SY5Y Neuroblastoma Cell Death through the Process of Mitohormesis

Yayoi Murakami, Masafumi Ito, Ikuroh Ohsawa 
Published: May 3, 2017

Inhalation of molecular hydrogen (H2) gas ameliorates oxidative stress-induced acute injuries in the brain. Consumption of water nearly saturated with H2 also prevents chronic neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s disease in animal and clinical studies. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the remarkable effect of a small amount of H2 remain unclear. Here, we investigated the effect of H2 on mitochondria in cultured human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. H2 increased the mitochondrial membrane potential and the cellular ATP level, which were accompanied by a decrease in the reduced glutathione level and an increase in the superoxide level. Pretreatment with H2 suppressed H2O2-induced cell death, whereas post-treatment did not. Increases in the expression of anti-oxidative enzymes underlying the Nrf2 pathway in H2-treated cells indicated that mild stress caused by H2 induced increased resistance to exacerbated oxidative stress. We propose that H2 functions both as a radical scavenger and a mitohormetic effector against oxidative stress in cells.
Molecular Hydrogen Effectively Heals Alkali-Injured Cornea via Suppression of Oxidative Stress
Cestmir Cejka, Jan Kossl, Barbora Hermankova, Vladimir Holan, and Jitka Cejkova
Published: March 16, 2017

The aim of this study was to examine the effect of molecular hydrogen (H2) on the healing of alkali-injured cornea. The effects of the solution of H2 in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) or PBS alone topically applied on the alkali-injured rabbit cornea with 0.25 M NaOH were investigated using immunohistochemical and biochemical methods. Central corneal thickness taken as an index of corneal hydration was measured with an ultrasonic pachymeter. Results show that irrigation of the damaged eyes with H2 solution immediately after the injury and then within next five days renewed corneal transparency lost after the injury and reduced corneal hydration increased after the injury to physiological levels within ten days after the injury. In contrast, in injured corneas treated with PBS, the transparency of damaged corneas remained lost and corneal hydration elevated. Later results—on day 20 after the injury—showed that in alkali-injured corneas treated with H2 solution the expression of proinflammatory cytokines, peroxynitrite, detected by nitrotyrosine residues (NT), and malondialdehyde (MDA) expressions were very low or absent compared to PBS treated injured corneas, where NT and MDA expressions were present. In conclusion, H2 solution favorably influenced corneal healing after alkali injury via suppression of oxidative stress.
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