Essentially hydrogen is the “holy grail” of antioxidants/anti-inflammatories. From pain, to beauty treatments, to chronic diseases like autoimmune conditions and side effects of cancer treatment (and the cancer itself, in many cases) hydrogen is used all over east Asia for these reasons and more. Hydrogen gas was discovered in Japan in 2007 to act as an antioxidant/anti-inflammatory agent. While many drugs act as anti-inflammatories, such as steroids and NSAIDS, hydrogen is unique in that it does not affect the normal cellular respiration processes that cells depend on to maintain their functions. As such, while drugs have many side effects which compound at higher dosages, hydrogen gas has, according to research, almost no side effects. Hydrogen is the smallest molecule in the universe- as such it can penetrate every cell of every tissue in the body, and when treatment is ceased, it diffuses out of the body within 30 minutes. While hydrogen is administered, it is interacting with harmful free radicals (specifically the OH and ONOO radicals, for those curious), neutralizing their inflammatory effects immediately (1). The result is a near-immediate cessation of symptoms of inflammation. Patients with everything from Crohn’s to arthritis have reported immediate relief from hydrogen inhalation therapy, with relief lasting anywhere from days to weeks from just one hour-long session.
Is Hydrogen Safe?
Hydrogen has a very robust safety profile (2). Deep sea divers have been using a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen during dives for decades, and these concentrations are much higher than what is necessary for therapeutic effect. Studies out of Asia have determined it to be perfectly safe for adults, to the point that the national hospital medicine guidelines of China have mandated that hydrogen be used to treat all COVID-19 patients in Chinese hospitals, precisely because it ceases the inflammatory cascade that COVID-19 causes in peoples’ lungs and elsewhere in the body (3). Hundreds of thousands of people have tried hydrogen therapy, for medical reasons, youth and beauty treatments, and simple curiosity, and nobody has been injured or otherwise harmed.
Is there research showing it works?
There are literally thousands of research studies showing it is safe and effective for reducing inflammation in cells, animals, and humans. Clinical trials out of east Asia have shown amazing results in treating post-stroke patients, heart attack patients, even in boosting recovery from exercise in athletes. As mentioned above, COVID-19 patients in Chinese hospitals are routinely administered hydrogen gas as part of their standard of care, with fantastic results. Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis have been treated with hydrogen therapy alongside standard medical treatment, and the results showed great promise as a complementary therapy to reduce oxidative stress, which is the main driver of how RA damages bone and joint tissues in those affected by the disease (4). One of the most potentially groundbreaking therapeutic uses is in the treatment of brain injuries- research shows that it stops the inflammation responsible for most of the brain damage subsequent to head injuries (called “reperfusion injuries”), going so far as to preserve healthy brain function in animal models with induced ischemia injuries (5), which has translated well to real-world research on humans suffering from strokes (6).
Can I use hydrogen by myself?
Yes! Hydrogen is very easy to self-administer. All you need is a hydrogen gas generator, which runs off of distilled water and electricity. A nasal cannula is attached to the device which pumps low-concentration hydrogen gas (produced by electrolysis- the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen) to be inhaled by the patient. Hydrogen gas can be effective in low concentrations in as little as 30 minutes, but some people with severe illnesses use it for hours at a time.
Where can I try hydrogen to see if it works for me?
Our clinic is currently offering hydrogen gas inhalation therapy for all patients that want to try it as part of their treatment in the clinic. Simply visit our website below for more information on scheduling your visit!
Can I purchase a machine for myself?
Absolutely! The brand we have researched and found to be the safest and most effective is called Vital Reaction. While the company is based in Boulder, CO, their machines are manufactured in Japan to a very high standard, tested for safety and concentration of hydrogen (2-4% for the model we recommend for patients), and are built to last. While there are cheaper machines on the market, we cannot guarantee their safety. Many of those machines put out hydrogen at dangerous/flammable concentrations (such as 99% pure hydrogen), or are made from old welding machines repurposed for inhaling hydrogen. These cheaper machines can emit toxic carbon monoxide (CO), an odorless gas which displaces oxygen in cells, causing injuries to organs such as the heart and brain. Be careful! If the low price is too good to be true, it means the manufacturer is sacrificing YOUR safety for THEIR profits! While the lower prices may seem tempting, there is no price you can put on safety and your present and future health! Vital Reaction hydrogen generation machines can be purchased directly from their website (listed below), and if you use the discount code TWOTREES, you get 10% off hydrogen generator machines and 20% off supplies such as nasal cannula.
(1): Ge, L., Yang, M., Yang, N.-N., Yin, X.-X., & Song, W.-G. (2017, September 21). Molecular hydrogen: A preventive and therapeutic medical gas for various diseases. Oncotarget. Retrieved January 27, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5731988/
(2): Cole, Alexis R., et al. “Safety of Prolonged Inhalation of Hydrogen Gas in Air in Healthy Adults.” Critical Care Explorations, vol. 3, no. 10, 1 Oct. 2021, p. e543, journals.lww.com/ccejournal/Fulltext/2021/10000/Safety_of_Prolonged_Inhalation_of_Hydrogen_Gas_in.11.aspx, 10.1097/CCE.0000000000000543. Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.
(3): Guan, Wei-Jie, et al. “Hydrogen/Oxygen Mixed Gas Inhalation Improves Disease Severity and Dyspnea in Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 in a Recent Multicenter, Open-Label Clinical Trial.” Journal of Thoracic Disease, vol. 12, no. 6, June 2020, pp. 3448–3452, 10.21037/jtd-2020-057. Accessed 17 Aug. 2020.
(4): Ishibashi, Toru. “Molecular Hydrogen: New Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Related Diseases.” Current Pharmaceutical Design, vol. 19, no. 35, 1 Sept. 2013, pp. 6375–6381, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3788323/, 10.2174/13816128113199990507. Accessed 11 Dec. 2019.
(5): Ohta, Shigeo. “Will the Hydrogen Therapy Be Approved Shortly?” Annals of Translational Medicine, vol. 8, no. 6, 1 Mar. 2020, p. 264, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7186690/, 10.21037/atm.2020.03.70. Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.
(6): Ono, Hirohisa, et al. “Hydrogen Gas Inhalation Treatment in Acute Cerebral Infarction: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Study on Safety and Neuroprotection.” Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases: The Official Journal of National Stroke Association, vol. 26, no. 11, 1 Nov. 2017, pp. 2587–2594, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28669654/, 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2017.06.012. Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.