Hydrogen was an elusive gas for centuries, observed and produced by various chemical reactions without scientists having a full understanding of what it was. Scientists across many disciplines discovered the roles that hydrogen had—from nuclear fusion in the sun to the water that sustains organic life.
It wasn’t until the 1970s that the therapeutic potential of molecular hydrogen was discovered. It would take an additional 30 years for scientists to discover that molecular hydrogen acted as a selective antioxidant. After hydrogen’s role as a selective antioxidant was discovered, clinical applications to improve metabolic conditions greatly increased. There are currently hundreds of studies on molecular hydrogen available and studies continue to be published on how molecular hydrogen can improve health.
The first documented observationof hydrogen was by Swiss physician and alchemist Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus. He noted that when iron was treated with dilute sulfuric acid, gas was produced as a byproduct.
Théodore de Mayerne, a Swiss-born physician and chemist, repeated Paracelsus’s experiments. He discovered that the gas created by metal and acid reactions was a type of “flammable air.”
Though experiments with iron and acids had been completed earlier, Irish philosopher Robert Boyle rediscovered hydrogen production through his experiments. In his published work, he described the preparation and production of still unknown hydrogen gas.
Henry Cavendish, English chemist and physicist, discovered hydrogen as a chemical element. Cavendish was also the first person to determine the density of hydrogen relative to common air and water.
French chemist Antoine Lavoisier gave hydrogen its current name, derived from the Ancient Greek words “hudro” (water) and “genes” (born of). This was related to his research on the theory of combustion, and that water was a product of the combustion of hydrogen and oxygen.
Nicholas Senn, an American surgeon was one of the first to elucidate the applications of hydrogen to medicine. In the paper written by James E. Pilcher, Senn found that rectal inflation of hydrogen gas was effective in diagnosing gastrointestinal perforation.
American chemists Wendell Latimer and Worth Rodebush first described the existence of hydrogen bonds.
Dole et al. was one of the first scientific groups to discover the therapeutic effects of molecular hydrogen. They proposed that hydrogen could have antioxidant properties due to its ability to reduce skin tumors in mice with squamous cell carcinoma.
Inhalation of high-pressure molecular hydrogen was found to support parasite-induced liver inflammation in mice in a study by Gharib et al. Hydrogen appeared to help reduce inflammation partially by scavenging hydroxyl radicals.
Ohsawa et al. discovered molecular hydrogen had selective antioxidant properties against stroke and reoxygenation injury in rats. This discovery was the catalyst for subsequent studies for molecular hydrogen as an antioxidant therapy.
A study by Kajiyama et al. found that intake of 900mL/day of hydrogen rich water for 8 weeks may significantly help decrease LDL and free fatty acids, normalize oral glucose tolerance in some, and increase levels of adiponectin and extracellular-superoxide dismutase.
In a study by Itoh et al., oral intake of hydrogen water was found to affect cell signaling to help promote cell health and reduce inflammation in mice with induced arthritis.
Japanese-based company MiZ Company, Ltd. develops the first test reagent for hydrogen-rich water to determine the hydrogen content of water.
The first safety study on IV administration of hydrogen water in patients with acute cerebral ischemia was conducted by Nagatani et al.
Hong et al. were the first to confirm that molecular hydrogen had a neuroprotective effect in early brain injury following subarachnoid hemorrhage in an animal model.
A review of studies by Ichihara and colleagues suggests that molecular hydrogen has a dose-dependent relationship for providing health benefits.
A study by Iuchi et al. finds evidence that molecular hydrogen may help regulate gene expression and reduce the oxidation of phospholipids.
The International Hydrogen Standards Association is established for standardization and certification of hydrogen water products.
Molecular hydrogen ’s potential benefits for human health has been the subject of hundreds of studies. Hydrogen water as a health product may be new to consumers, but the evidence behind how it works in the body has been studied for a long time. With all of the potential health benefits, this is just the beginning for hydrogen supplements.
While there are many methods to produce hydrogen water to supplement hydrogen needs, factors such as the hydrogen content, methods used, safety, efficacy and cost are all crucial factors to consider when we evaluate which hydrogen supplement to choose. That is why we created CalerieHealth® Alpha Hope, a broadly-studied, safe and tested hydrogen water on market.
This page is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Individuals with health concerns or on medication should check with their health care practitioner before trying any new type of eating plan.