The Benefits of Hydrogen Water
We are always told to drink more water and the science is fairly emphatic. The best thing you can chug down for your health is pure, clean water. It is free of any sugars, salt and as long as it is properly filtered, devoid of the harmful chemicals that cause disease and age the cells
So if H20 is really that good for your health, boosting its hydrogen content would make it even better for you. That is what the advocates claim that it does and we have recently seen a huge surge in the demand for hydrogenated water along with an increase in manufacturers of ready-made drinks and machines that allow you to make your own at home.
Hydrogenated water is water in which hydrogen gas has been dissolved. Ready-made bottles (aluminum cans actually) sell for around $3 dollars a pop which is not a bad price if it means you are ensuring your good health but a little less attractive if the claims are not true. You can also add hydrogen to your drinking water by buying tablets that dissolve into the water and boost its hydrogen content.
A third option is to buy a machine to do it yourself but this will set you back a minimum of $1000.
Why Drink Hydrogenated Water?
Your water is unlikely to taste any different from your regular glass of water and it certainly will not taste any different but it may well deliver a variety of important health benefits.
Advocates claim that boosting the hydrogen in your water can increase energy, decrease inflammation, provide an antioxidant boost that can protect against disease, improve your skin’s health and prevent aging.
This potential list of benefits is impressive and if true, they out the high cost into a better perspective. Unfortunately, there is not a great deal of scientific evidence to justify the claims but that does not mean that they are not true.
Some studies have started to demonstrate that hydrogenated water does confer health benefits and there is plenty of anecdotal support.
How it Works
Why hydrogenated water is better for your health than standard drinking water is still something of a mystery. It is often marketed as a natural antioxidant or a recovery drink but even Dr. Richard Perricone, the man behind Dr. Perricone’s Hydrogenated Water admits that he does not know exactly how it works.
The research done so far suggests that it has a lot to do with the antioxidant nature of the water. The majority of the studies done so far have been conducted in Japan where hydrogenated water has been used for over 50 years. These studies indicate that hydrogen rich water derives most of its extra benefits because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions.
The Health Benefits of Hydrogenated Water
These are the main potential benefits of swapping your regular drinking water for water augmented with hydrogen
1) Antioxidant Properties
If you are unfamiliar with the role of antioxidants, these are some of the basics. Our bodies are bombarded daily with free radicals which damage the cells and lead to aging and disease. Free radical damage which is also called oxidative stress is caused by our normal body processes but also by diet, exposure to the sun and environmental pollutants.
Oxidative stress is at the very heart of almost all major disease including heart disease, cancer, dementia and premature aging. Antioxidants can help protect against this free radical damage and may even reverse the damage done to the cells.
Inflammation is another major cause of many chronic health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and brain disease. Research indicates that hydrogen can reduce both inflammation and oxidative stress meaning it can greatly enhance your health. In theory, adding hydrogen to water could protect you from a huge range of serious health issues ranging from diabetes and heart disease to cancer and Alzheimer’s.
Several in vitro and laboratory tests have looked at the anti-cancer potential of hydrogenated water. It is true that research is at a very early stage and we are a long way from confirming its benefits but early signs are certainly promising.
In one study published in 2010, researchers found that applying a hydrogen-rich solution to cancer cells could actually shrink the cells and inhibit their growth. (1)
Few studies have been done to examine the effects of hydrogenated water on cancer in humans but one study, in particular, suggests it can improve quality of life in people in the later stages of the disease. The study published in 2011 set out to examine whether hydrogenated water could improve the quality of life in patients undergoing radiotherapy for liver cancer.
49 patients undergoing radiotherapy for liver tumors were either given hydrogen water or a placebo for 6 weeks. The researchers found that consuming hydrogen water significantly improved the quality of life of these patients. According to researchers, hydrogen water reduced the biological response to oxidative stress caused by the radiation treatment. (2)
3) Brain Health
Drinking hydrogenated water may also protect the brain from damage caused by injury or the degenerative illnesses that occur with age.
Studies done on animals indicate that consuming water rich in hydrogen can protect against neurological damage following brain injury during stroke or surgery. (3) (4) Studies also show it can protect the brain from the oxidative damage that occurs naturally. (5)
4) Heart Health
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nature of hydrogenated water may also protect the heart from damage and disease. A number of animal studies indicate that hydrogen-rich substances can significantly increase your prospects of recovery following a heart attack or heart failure. Research shows that hydrogen saline solutions can help prevent further damage to the heart from oxidative stress and inflammation. (6) (7)
Inflammation lies at the heart of most diseases including serious disease ranging from arthritis to heart disease and dementia. The good news is that research shows hydrogen can attack inflammation.
In one study, researchers looked at the effects of hydrogen water on mice with inflammatory bowel disease. They found that the hydrogenated water helped reduce inflammation and even prevent other animals from getting the disease. (8)
Other studies have found that hydrogen water could ease lung inflammation which could benefit asthmatics while another found it helped relieve inflammation of the liver. (9) (10) There is also some evidence that hydrogen water treatment can slow down the progression of rheumatism. (11)
6) Fat Metabolism and Diabetes
Drinking hydrogenated water can also improve the metabolism of fat and glucose even for people who have type 2 diabetes. (12) In one study done on rats, researchers found that treatment with hydrogen had a beneficial effect on obesity, cholesterol levels, and fatty liver. (13)
7) Bone and Muscle Strength
Drinking hydrogen-rich water can also help to support strong muscles and bones. Research done on the benefits of hydrogen water suggests that the antioxidant nature of the water can help strengthen the bones and prevent bone loss which occurs when we age. (13)
Studies also show it can prevent a disease called osteopenia a similar condition to osteoporosis which occurs when the mineral and protein contents of your bones are reduced. (14)
Early research and anecdotal evidence seems to be positive and hydrogenated water may prove a very convenient and effective way of protecting you from a range of inflammatory conditions and oxidative stress. While some people may balk at the cost, it is certainly considerably cheaper than most medications and far safer to use.
Do you drink hydrogenated water and what are your thoughts on its benefits? Is it worth the cost or do you think its benefits have been exaggerated? Please let us know – we would be delighted to hear your thoughts.