About molecular hydrogen
Molecular hydrogen has been in use for more than 40 years in experimental and clinical medicine, and the past decade was characterized by outstanding discoveries with regard to the beneficial effects of this simple molecule.
It was discovered that molecular hydrogen has multiple functions in the human body, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, antioxidant, buffer and regulatory roles.
Over 70 experimental disease models and 13 clinical trials have confirmed the beneficial effects of hydrogen, especially in diseases with severe oxidative stress, such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cerebral infarction, rheumatoid arthritis or neurodegenerative diseases.
It appears that molecular hydrogen has the ability to selectively neutralize toxic molecules (free radicals) on the injured or damaged areas, and the low molecular weight allows a rapid and deep penetration of hydrogen into tissue spaces and cell organelles of the affected tissue, which are otherwise inaccessible.
Although this scientific field is still in its infancy, recent research studies have shown no significant side effects of molecular hydrogen so far.
Molecular hydrogen can be taken in several ways – through inhalation of hydrogen gas, intake of oral solutions (hydrogen-enriched water), intravenous or intraperitoneal injection of hydrogen, or direct application in the form of eye drops, bath solutions or gel formulations (to be applied in the form of bandages and packagings).
With regard to toxicity, molecular hydrogen has an advantage – it is not cytotoxic even at high concentrations.
In the recent years, the effects of molecular hydrogen have been actively researched in the areas of medicine dealing with the locomotor system – from orthopedics and sports medicine to rheumatology and physical medicine.
It appears that molecular hydrogen can influence the reduction of the so-called secondary injury, which results from severe oxidative stress in diseases and acute injuries of the locomotor system.
Prof. Dr. Sci. Med. Sergej M. Ostojić
Center for Health, Exercise and Sports Science, Belgrade