When it comes to Healthcare, hydrogen can do some amazing and remarkable things. Molecular Hydrogen (i.e. H2 gas) is gaining significant attention from academic researchers, medical doctors, scientists, and physicians around the world for its recently reported therapeutic potential. One of the earlier publications on hydrogen as a medical gas was in 1975, by Dole and colleagues from Baylor University and Texas A&M. They reported in the journal of Science that hyperbaric (8 atm) hydrogen therapy was effective at reducing melanoma tumours in mice. However, the interest in hydrogen therapy only recently began after 2007, when it was demonstrated that administration of hydrogen gas via inhalation (at levels below the flammability limit of 4.6%) or ingestion of an aqueous-solutions containing dissolved hydrogen, could also exert therapeutic biological effects. These findings suggest hydrogen has immediate medical and clinical applications.
Some Facts about Hydrogen Gas
For inhalation of hydrogen, a 2-4.6% hydrogen gas mixture is common because it is below the flammability level; however, some studies use 66.7% H2 and 33.3% O2, which is non-toxic and effective, but flammable. Inhalation of hydrogen reaches a peak plasma level (i.e. equilibrium based on Henry’s Law) in about 30 min, and upon cessation of inhalation the return to baseline occurs in about 60 min. 2 Please note that the manner in which hydrogen gas is dissolved in the water has an effect on its stability and rate of ex-solution (coming out of solution) and dissipation. Hydrogen gas can exist in water as fully dissolved gaseous solutes, colloidal and suspension forms, as well as large macro-bubbles that exit almost immediately. 1
Some Facts about Hydrogen Water
The concentration/solubility of hydrogen in water at standard ambient temperature and pressure (SATP) is 0.8 mM or 1.6 ppm (parts per million) (1.6 mg/L) For reference, conventional water (e.g. tap, filtered, bottled water, etc.) contains less than 0.0000002 ppm (parts per million) of H2, which is well below the therapeutic level. The concentration of 1.6 ppm is easily achieved by many methods, such as simply bubbling hydrogen gas into water. Because of molecular hydrogen’s low molar mass (i.e. 2.02 g/mol H2 vs. 176.12 g/mol vitamin C), there are more hydrogen molecules in a 1.6 mg dose of H2 than there are vitamin C molecules in a 100 mg dose of pure vitamin C (i.e. 1.6 mg H2 has 0.8 milli-moles of H2 vs 100 mg vitamin C has 0.57 milli-moles of vitamin C).
The half-life of hydrogen-rich water is shorter than other gaseous drinks (e.g.. carbonated or oxygenated water), but therapeutic levels can remain for a sufficiently long enough time for easy consumption. Ingestion of hydrogen-rich water results in a peak rise in plasma and breath concentration in 5-15 minutes in a dose-dependent manner. The rise in breath hydrogen is an indication that hydrogen diffuses through the submucosa and enters systemic circulation where it is expelled out the lungs. This increase in blood and breath concentration returns to baseline in 45-90 min depending on the ingested dosage.