How would you like to improve your athletic performance, increase the production of ATP, and upregulate your body’s own endogenous antioxidants? Breathing in molecular hydrogen or drinking hydrogen-rich water is an innovative way to improve your health. Let’s talk about the therapeutic benefits of molecular hydrogen.
Disclaimer: This article is strictly for informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice.
The H2 Hydrogen System from Promolife is ideal for producing high-quality hydrogen steam for inhalation, and for creating hydrogen-rich water via a bubbling system. Molecular hydrogen has many benefits, one of which is to improve athletic performance and endurance via passive diffusion, whereby hydrogen reaches compartments within the cell to protect RNA and DNA from damage.
Cellular proteins, mitochondria and cell membranes are also protected. Hydrogen reduces cytotoxic radicals without affecting beneficial signaling pathways, while maintaining redox homeostasis or maintenance of the interior milieu to prevent disease. Hydrogen also activates the Nrf2 pathway, Another benefit is the reduction of pro-inflammatory mediators and the upregulation of endogenous antioxidants.
What Is Hydrogen?
H2 is a colorless, odorless gas found in trace amounts in the air, and is composed of two atoms of hydrogen bonded together. It consists of two protons and two electrons, has a neutral charge, and is the smallest known element. Hydrogen was originally thought to be physiologically inert and nonfunctional in mammalian cells, however studies have now confirmed and demonstrated that hydrogen reacts with biological substrates, making it a beneficial gas with broad applications, including the reduction of pain and inflammation.
Due to its small molecular makeup and bioavailability, hydrogen is able to penetrate cell membranes to enter the cells and organelles, including the nucleus and mitochondria. It can also penetrate the blood brain barrier, unlike other antioxidants, making it applicable for neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s, dementia, cognitive impairments, and stroke.
H2 has a molecular weight of 2. To put this in perspective, vitamin C has a molecular weight of 176 and vitamin E a molecular weight of 431. Hydrogen neutralizes harmful free radicals, turning them into water, where they can easily be eliminated from the body. This passive diffusion of molecular hydrogen into the cells and tissues is not associated with any negative side effects or toxic byproducts.
Hydrogen Is An Antioxidant
Hydrogen has antioxidant properties, which protect cells from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress and inflammation are the top two fundamental elements that degrade health. Hydrogen has a balancing effect on both factors. Impressively, over 1,000 publications have demonstrated that hydrogen has a beneficial potential in ameliorating over 170 human and animal diseases.
Molecular hydrogen is a potent antioxidant and exhibits cytoprotective effects due to its superior penetration of cell membranes, its ability to reach subcellular compartments within the cell via rapid intracellular diffusion, and its capability of selectively scavenging deleterious free radicals, including the infamous hydroxyl radical. Hydrogen is superior to other antioxidants because of this selective ability, along with its strong reductive activity. It has been found to be non-toxic even in high concentrations.
H2 is safe to drink when infused in water or inhaled in low concentrations. Hydrogen-rich saline is also injected intravenously. It can be used both preventatively and therapeutically, it is not only an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, but also regulates various gene expressions, stimulates energy metabolism, and has anti-allergy and anti-apoptotic effects.
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Benefits Of Molecular Hydrogen
Free Radicals And Reactive Oxygen Species
Molecular hydrogen has been found to play a significant role in preventing chronic pain through the removal of reactive oxygen species (ROS), the neutralization of free radicals, and by mitigating inflammation. Reactive oxygen species are free radicals, molecules with one or more unpaired electrons. They are primary signaling molecules that play a key role in the progression of inflammatory disorders. Free radicals are the natural byproducts of biological processes in the body like metabolism.
ROS cause pain by stimulating C fibers in the somatic nervous system. C fibers are a class of afferent nerve fibers within the somatic sensory system that convey input signals from the periphery of the body to the central nervous system. When reactive oxygen species are removed, C fibers are no longer stimulated. This lack of stimulation correlates to a reduction in pain.
Oxidative stress, which is an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals in the body, occurs when the production of ROS exceeds their elimination. This imbalance causes inflammation and damages tissues and cells. Uncontrolled free radicals neutralize themselves by damaging cell membranes, proteins, and DNA, causing significant cytotoxic damage. Antioxidants are so crucial because they’re able to neutralize free radicals by donating their own electrons. This neutralization stops a domino-effect chain reaction that damages and destroys cells.
Oxidative Stress And Inflammation
Excessive oxidative stress accelerates the aging process, and is a key contributor to the development of many disease states, including cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that molecular hydrogen may prevent or retard the progression of chronic inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis. The swelling, redness, pain, and loss of function associated with inflammation are indicative of what’s taking place on a cellular level.
In 2007, molecular hydrogen was found to have selective antioxidant properties, meaning it targets only harmful reactive oxygen species implicated in pain and inflammation, without neutralizing first line defense antioxidants and antioxidant enzymes, such as nitric oxide, hydrogen peroxide, superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione. In this way, hydrogen acts as an anti-inflammatory by neutralizing toxic free radicals solely, without affecting beneficial ROS. Compare this to other anti-inflammatories, that have been found to work only in the short term, due to their effect on both damaging and beneficial ROS.
Recent studies show that inhaling or orally-ingesting hydrogen has therapeutic effects on neurological diseases. Hydrogen-saturated water was found to improve glucose and lipid metabolism in people with impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes, making hydrogen therapy beneficial for people with metabolic syndrome. Molecular hydrogen can also help athletes and exercise enthusiasts recover from the oxidative stress and muscle soreness caused by intense and prolonged physical activity. It’s interesting to note that 2-4% of the oxygen we breathe turns into reactive oxygen species.
Hydrogen has also been found to activate the Nrf2 pathway, a transcription factor that regulates inflammation and free radicals via the body’s antioxidant system. In fact, H2 helps the body maintain its own antioxidants. Nuclear Factor Erythroid 2-Related Factor (Nrf2) is an internal protection system, or a thermostat of sorts, that defends against aging, oxidative stress, and the resulting damage. Nrf2 protects against free radicals by regulating, controlling, and maintaining oxidative stress in the cells.
Excessive oxidative stress damages and destroys cells, and is implicated in neurodegeneration, cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Oxidative stress is caused by poor eating habits, nutrient deficiencies, lack of movement or excessive exercise, inadequate sleep, toxicity, pollution, emotional issues and trauma. Because we don’t have control over all these areas in our lives, we need a system (enter the Nrf2 pathway) that can protect and correct oxidative stress.
Nrf2 And Oxidative Stress
The Nrf2 pathway is activated in response to high levels of oxidative stress. Nrf2 binds with DNA, signaling the cells to produce protective molecules to defend themselves, while also eliminating toxicity that damages cells and impedes their function. In this way, the pathway normalizes cellular function, while minimizing the negative effects of oxidative stress.
Eating a diet rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, and flavonoids can boost the activity of Nrf2. Berries, dark chocolate, citrus fruit, turmeric, herbs, and green tea are all good sources. There are also compounds that enhance the activity of Nrf2, including hydroquinone, carotenoids, and curcumin. Hydrogen tablets are a great way to harness the magical properties of hydrogen.
Interestingly, molecular hydrogen has been found to have a similar neutralizing effect on free radicals. Just as hydrogen is a selective ROS scavenger, it’s also a selective Nrf2 activator. This means it is only activated in times of need, which prevents the side effects associated with prolonged activation. This underscores the fact that life is a delicate balance between the chemical reactions of oxidation, the loss of an election, and reduction, the gaining of an electron.
Benefits Of Inhaling Hydrogen and Drinking Hydrogen-Rich Water
- Improves athletic performance
- Protects proteins, mitochondria and cell membranes
- Reduces cytotoxic free radicals
- Maintains redox homeostasis
- Activates the Nrf2 pathway to produce antioxidants
- Upregulates endogenous antioxidants
- Protects DNA and RNA
- Decreases pro-inflammatory mediators
- Improves oxidant production
- Provides hormetic benefits
- Maintains mitochondrial membrane potential
- Increases ATP production
What The System Includes
Below is what is included in Promolife’s H2 Hydrogen System:
1. H2 hydrogen machine
2. H2 inhalation tubing and humidifier
3. Water drain tubing
4. H2 bubbler tubing
5. Water bubbling straw
6. Power cord
The dimensions of the unit are 14.5″ x 10.5″ x 16.5.” Plates are made of titanium and DuPont platinum with SPE coated membranes. Total unit weight is 27 pounds. The max output of the H2 system is 570 ml/m, although this may vary based on temperature and altitude.
The system produces 99.99% pure H2, with a run time of two hours, and power consumption of 160 watts. The water reservoir is 1.8 liters. It’s recommended to use distilled water only. Promolife offers a one-year warranty on the system.
Can you see the benefits of molecular hydrogen, and why it’s such a hot topic in the health arena? It mitigates pain and inflammation by removing reactive oxygen species and neutralizing free radicals.
By activating the Nrf2 pathway, it further reduces free radicals and inflammation via the body’s antioxidant system. Promolife’s H2 hydrogen inhalation and drinking system takes the complexity out of harnessing all of the benefits hydrogen has to offer.
Have you heard of using hydrogen therapeutically for health? Let me know in the comments:)
(1) Promolife: H2 Hydrogen Inhalation and Drinking System
(2) Hindawi – Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity: Oxidative Stress and Inflammation: What Polyphenols Can Do for Us?
(3) Medical News Today: How does oxidative stress affect the body?
(4) US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Antioxidants & Redox Signaling: Reactive Oxygen Species in Inflammation and Tissue Injury
(5) Vital Reaction: Hydrogen Rich Water Prevents Central Sensitization
(6) US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Molecular hydrogen decelerates rheumatoid arthritis progression through inhibition of oxidative stress
(7) US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: NADPH Oxidase-Derived ROS Induced by Chronic Intermittent Hypoxia Mediates Hypersensitivity of Lung Vagal C Fibers in Rats
(8) US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Molecular hydrogen: a preventive and therapeutic medical gas for various diseases
(9) PubMed.gov – National Library of Medicine – National Center for Biotechnology Information: Hydrogen as a selective antioxidant: a review of clinical and experimental studies
(10) Vital Reaction: NRF2 Explained (In Human Terms)
(11) Cognitive Vitality: Molecular Hydrogen
(12) Science Direct: Molecular hydrogen as a preventive and therapeutic medical gas: initiation, development and potential of hydrogen medicine
(13) Science Direct: First line defence antioxidants-superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX): Their fundamental role in the entire antioxidant defence grid
(14) Scientific Reports: Hydrogen peroxide-activatable antioxidant prodrug as a targeted therapeutic agent for ischemia-reperfusion injury
(15) The Ozone Spa: Hydrogen Inhalation for Health and Fitness
(16) Live Science: What Are Free Radicals?
(17) US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Molecular hydrogen: a therapeutic antioxidant and beyond