What better time of year to take an anti-oxidant – free radical damage from naughty foods, BBQ’s and over eating, too much alcohol, staying up late, air travel, too much sun … the list goes on.
No doubt you are all well aware of the importance of antioxidants and the significant role they play in protecting your overall health and preventing diseases. You may not be aware though that hydrogen is fast gaining recognition as a powerful neutralizer of hydroxyl radicals and due to its small size can pass into cells in the brain and body where other antioxidants cannot.
Molecular hydrogen is gaining significant attention from medical doctors, physicians and academic researchers around the world for its recently reported therapeutic potential 1. There is over 500 peer-reviewed articles on the medical effects of hydrogen. These publications and researchers suggest that hydrogen has therapeutic potential in over 170 different human and animal disease models, and in essentially every organ of the human body. Also hydrogen doesn’t interfere with chemo-therapy so is fast becoming a popular choice for patients undergoing chemo-therapy or radiation therapy.
Molecular Hydrogen Enhances:
Free radicals are unstable ions that are produced inside our cells during normal metabolism. The hydroxyl radical is a dangerous free radical made up of hydrogen and oxygen (• HO). Hydroxyl radicals can cause significant oxidative stress damage to our cells. Molecular hydrogen can neutralize the hydroxyl radical by donating a hydrogen atom to a hydroxyl radical. When the hydroxyl radical is neutralized by coming in contact with molecular hydrogen, there is an antioxidant effect. Hydroxyl radicals neutralized by molecular hydrogen convert to water leaving no other by products to metabolise and hydrate the cells.
The production of ATP in the mitochondria also results in the production of hydroxyl free radicals causing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is the single most common cause of mitochondrial failure so adequate amounts of hydrogen ensures not only enhanced energy but also protection of the mitochondria and increased cellular hydration 3.
Oxidative stress causes inflammation, and inflammation in turn causes more oxidative stress. By ‘breaking the cycle’ and decreasing systemic free radical levels hydrogen becomes integral to decreasing inflammation therefore supporting better management of many disease states by the body.
Improved Insulin Sensitivity
Research has shown favourable results with molecular hydrogen supplementation in patients with Type II Diabetes (T2DM). Supplementation of hydrogen in patients with T2DM as well as Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT) showed significantly decreased levels of oxidized LDL and free fatty acids, as well as increased levels of plasma adiponectin and superoxide dismutase. In 60% of patients with IGT, hydrogen intake normalized the oral glucose tolerance test inferring molecular hydrogen plays a crucially supportive role in glucose metabolism where ever impairment is being experienced.
NrF2 is known to function as a defence system against oxidative stress and various toxins by inducing various genes including HO-1. Molecular hydrogen via its regulation of NrF2 triggers the body’s own genes to switch on defence against oxidative stress and other toxic sources including heavy metals.