A New Chapter in the Hydrogen revolution

bertmiddleton watermattersBert Middleton, AKA The Gout Killer asked me to write a chapter for a new book by health guru Peter Greenlaw introducing molecular hydrogen.

Here’s your sneak preview.

Studies on molecular hydrogen have expanded greatly in the last seven years. This most common element seems to have been ignored simply because it is common. Yet hydrogen is extremely unique. It is capable of acting at the cellular level. And now the 350+ studies are showing a huge range of therapeutic effects, one has to wonder why any real volume of research only happened after one study was published in the prestigious science journal, ‘Nature’. The reluctant conclusion is that a prestige journal is a necessity for good science to be recognized.

Unique Qualities of H2
Hydrogen’s unique qualities include an unsurpassed ability to cross the blood brain barrier, to enter the mitochondria, and even to enter the cell nucleus. This penetrative ability comes simply from its position as the world’s smallest element. It passes through almost all materials. And when it gets there, studies show it has powerful antioxidant, anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory, and cytoprotective properties beneficial to the cell. Getting hydrogen into the body is not difficult for those with the right media. It can enter the body as a gas, in water, in saline, and a variety of other mediums. Side effects are few and far between, especially when compared to conventional drugs. Hydrogen is a perfect candidate for  therapeutic strategies for cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, cancer, metabolic, respiratory diseases and disorders.

The Rat.. or the Man?
Is the world ready for hydrogen therapy? And if not, why not? Hydrogen has one big problem: it can be administered in so many low cost ways that it is not attracting the attention of ‘Big Pharma’ because the profit they expect from conventional drugs isn’t possible with hydrogen. Beyond this, it’s true that more human studies are needed. The majority of the 350+ studies published so far are rat studies. So anyone deciding to adopt a hydrogen therapy at this stage has to decide whether the sheer volume of positive results of these rat studies equates to a smaller number of human studies.

As always, we as non-medically trained individuals find ourselves ‘all at sea’ with ‘deep science’. We tend to choose our health strategy on either what the doctor says, or when a doctor isn’t involved, on price – usually assuming that something more expensive is better. In summary we become ‘fair game’ for smart marketers who actually make more money from us not because their product is better, but because we think it is better because it is more expensive. So a warning is required; there are expensive ways to obtain hydrogen and economical ways, and the expensive ways are not necessarily the best!

What sort of Hydrogen are we talking about?
We also need, at this stage, to define what we mean when we talk about hydrogen, for many people ask the obvious question; isn’t water loaded with hydrogen? Yes, it is, but it is bound to an oxygen atom and hence unavailable. The hydrogen we are discussing is generally referred to as molecular hydrogen, meaning one molecule of only hydrogen, or diatomic hydrogen, meaning two atoms bound together. This form of hydrogen has relative stability. A single atom of hydrogen will seem to unite with many other atoms and molecules as so is termed ’unstable’, whereas the H2 form of molecular hydrogen remains intact even as it passes through the body.

There are other unsolved mysteries, and in the words of biochemist and molecular hydrogen Institute founder Tyler LeBaron, the person who discovers exactly how molecular hydrogen delivers its many benefits will earn a Nobel Prize. One utterly baffling mystery is that a healthy gut produces massive 10-15 litres of H2 every day, and yet dosages of infinitely smaller amounts orally or intravenously suddenly have these many observed health effects.

The question is – do we wait until the problem is solved, documented and Nobel Prize awarded, or do we perform our own albeit limited investigation of H2 and make our own decision? The answer will, I suspect, lie in how needy we may be for relief from a health condition. Over years of advising people on their health, there appears to be a very real relationship between pain of disease and willingness to try new health technologies! In the case of hydrogen this is unfortunate because the disease prevention possibilities of H2 seem to be quite profound, especially in its unique antioxidant ability, its anti-inflammation capability and its cell signaling ability.

Hydrogen: A Different Form of Antioxidant
Most antioxidants are more like bombs than lasers. They blast every form of free radical indiscriminately. There are two problems with this that are seldom reported. One problem is that we have a whole range of ‘good’ free radicals whose job is to clean up the debris of normal metabolism. Without them we become our own garbage dump. So ‘bombing’ our free radicals is a bit like what we hear of so often from the battlefront: death from friendly fire.
molecular hydrogen is more like a laser. Because of its infinitely smaller size, it penetrates where no ordinary antioxidant can enter – right into the cell itself, even into the mitochondria. Researchers at the prestigious Karolinska Institute in Sweden has even observed DNA repairs under the influence of H2.
There is a further advantage to H2 compared to other antioxidants. H2 reacts with free radicals in a process of uniting, the result of which is H2O: water. Other antioxidants have attracted some bad press in recent years for their tendency to create a new form of free radical as a result of their ‘bombing’ approach to free radicals. This new free radical therefore propagates the original problem, even though the first free radical has been neutralised. It’s what the military may call ‘collateral damage’.

Supporting Rather than Intervening.
It seems that most modern drugs are based on the theory that they have the power to force the body to work in a way that, though unnatural, aids healing. The recent Statin debacle was a great example of this where a drug with apparently excellent credentials in the form of clinical testing was proven to be carcinogenic. Unexpected side effects reported by Mayo Clinic include muscle pain damage, liver damage, digestive problems, rashes, flushes, increased blood pressure and diabetes risk, and neurology problems including memory loss, forgetfulness and confusion.
molecular hydrogen has been studied in depth for its anti-inflammatory capability but it’s important to understand that H2 itself is not an anti-inflammatory agent. Rather, it somehow (no-one yet knows how) supports the body’s anti-inflammatory system, making it more efficient. Given that inflammation has been linking as a precursor to a host of common disease modalities, the preventative and maintenance role of a regular H2 regimen seems obvious.

Hydrogen’s Cellular Suport

Every single action/reaction in the body involves cell signaling. Cell signaling is the body’s way of one molecule or group of molecules telling another molecule or group that they need to do something. It’s a highly sophisticated and subtle internal ‘internet’ with signal at the rate of millions per second. One result of excess free radicals and inflammation is that cell signaling suffers. Another one of molecular hydrogen’s mysterious properties is its ability to supercharge cell signaling. Given that a vast number of cell signals are related to maintenance of optimum metabolism, this is a quite profound health support possibility.

Hydrogen’s other observed abilities.
Top of the list is anti-apoptosis, or anti-cell death. It appears that when unnatural cell death is happening, H2 exerts an inhibitory effect.

Detoxification is perhaps the most overused word in the vocabulary of the alternative health practitioner and is applied seemingly in an indiscriminate manner to every new herb, plant or pill. If we delve into what it really means, we can more accurately use the word cytoprotection, meaning a process by which chemical (or otherwise) compounds provide protection to cells against harmful agents. Detoxification in the marketplace seems to imply that we should become toxic and then but a detox pill, herb or diet regime. Studies showing the cytoprotective abilities of H2 demonstrate that there is a better way; to allow H2 to protect the parts of the body that may become toxic.

Further Studies, Further gains.
It seems that every time as new study is published, a new potential benefit is unearthed. There are now over 60 disease-specific studies of H2 including Alzheimers’ heart disease, cancer, autism and even radiation damage.
Autism studies carried out so far underline the interrelationship between oxidative stress and autism, and conclude that due to H2’s unique and selective antioxidant ability, it may be valuable as another tool for autism sufferers. As with most of the studies, it’s early days and we hope that more definitive data is forthcoming.

From this basic summary it’s not hard to conclude that we are at the cusp of what may be called a ‘Hydrogen Revolution’. That this infinitely small inert gas, already abundant in our bodies, could exert such powerful and wide ranging effects appears almost surreal. And yet all the studies are public for anyone caring to learn. Biochemist Tyler LeBaron’s website ‘www.molecularhydrogeninstitute.com continually updates with the latest studies and discussions.

So let’s assume for the moment that you want to try molecular hydrogen. There are ample stories from happy users of the effects on their health. In fact the effects that have been reported for so-called water ionizers’, is actually the effect of H2. Water ionizer makers are still coming to grips with the fact that they have been misinforming customers for mover 15 years, telling them that benefits of drinking their water was a result of ‘microclustering’ (now fully debunked) and alkalinity. There are some bright lights in the large array of ionizer vendors and makers. In Japan, the largest electronic water ionizer company has converted its latest model to show the amount of H2 in the output water. One other longstanding industry player, AlkaWay, has broken away from the electrolysis model with a magnesium-based hydrogen infusing water filter. They have also seriously upgraded the quality of filtration in their UltraStream unit to cope with the many new contaminants now in municipal water nationwide. American filter technology is streets ahead of the rest of the planet in coping with these emerging problem contaminants, and AlkaWay also broke the mould with the first American made hydrogen system.

Other Ways
Water seems to be the most effective vehicle mfor intake of molecular hydrogen, but other methods are emerging. A number of companies are working hard to come up with a better tablet-based method. Again, magnesium is used for its ease of hydrogen production when immersed in water.

While there are no actual studies of optimum dosage, all indications from users show that a higher single dose is far more effective than smaller ‘trickle’ dosing. Jenny suffered for many years from three swollen discs, finally and reluctantly considering an operation. As an ex-nurse she had full knowledge that operation give temporary relief at best. She opted to try a H2 tablet, beginning with one tablet three times a day – to no effect. She gradually increased dosage to 3 tablets a day and within 48 hours all of her pain disappeared. She is now on a ‘maintenance dosage of 2 tablets once a day.

It’s pretty clear that dosage can be measured in how many millitres or parts per million in water we take in. One tablet has been tested at 0.5ppm, so Jenny’s 3 tablets gave her a dosage almost equal to the maximum hydrogen one can infuse into water of 1.6ppm (at one atmosphere pressure). There have, as of writing, only been two water ionizers tested for H2 output. The Enagic SD501 sells for around $4000 and at normal flow rate, was tested and shown to output 0.3ppm. A quick calculation shows that you would need to drink at least 5 litres to get the same effect as the 3 tablets. The UltraStream from AlkaWay has also been tested and shown to deliver 1.1ppm, almost 4 times that of the SD501 at normal flow rate, yet it sells for just $499, an eighth of the price of the SD501.

There are other tablets coming onto the market that use a capped water bottle to compress the H2 as it is generated and these have been tested to give over 2ppm in a small water bottle. Inhalation does not appear to be nearly as e3ffective, and of course may also be dangerous. Hydrogen after all, when mixed with oxygen, is a powerful force if ignited. In water and pill form it never has the chance to mix with oxygen.

As with every new health strategy there are many early adopters’ who are already enjoying the benefits of H2. For every early adaptor there are a thousand people who will await ‘official’ news of the safety of H2. The pity of this is that H2 will never become so mainstream that we will see widespread approvals and official recognition simply because, as mentioned earlier, there is no money to be made by the companies that perform the large scale studies required by the authorities for certification. This article is not the place to comment on the fairly obvious interdependency between big pharma a big government, so I leave you to draw your own conclusions, choose whether a little study of the hydrogen revolution is worth your time, and whether you believe what what you read is compelling enough to join the revolution.