Hydrogen-Rich Water Ameliorates Metabolic Disorder via Modifying Gut Microbiota in Impaired Fasting Glucose Patients: A Randomized Controlled Study

Objective: Molecular hydrogen (H2) exhibits antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects, and has shown benefits in glucose and lipid metabolism in certain animal metabolic disorder models. However, the potential benefits of H2 treatment in individuals with impaired fasting glucose (IFG) has seldom been studied. This randomized controlled study (RCT) aims to investigate the effects of hydrogen-rich water (HRW) on IFG subjects and explore the underlying mechanism involved. Methods: Seventy-three patients with IFG were enrolled in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study. These patients were assigned to receive either 1000 mL per day of HRW or placebo pure water (no H2 infusion) for a duration of eight weeks. Metabolic parameters and fecal gut microbiota were assessed at baseline (week 0) and at week 8. A combined analysis of metabolomics and intestinal microbiota was conducted to investigate the correlation between the effect of H2 on the metabolisms and the diversity of intestinal flora in the IGF patients. Results: Both pure water and HRW demonstrated a significant reduction in fasting blood glucose in IFG patients, with a significant difference between pure water and HRW after eight weeks. Among IFG patients with abnormal pre-experimental fatty liver, 62.5% (10/16) in the HRW group and 31.6% (6/19) in the pure water group achieved remission. Furthermore, 16S RNA analysis revealed HRW-modified gut microbiota dysbiosis in the fecal samples of IGF patients. Through Pearson correlation analysis, the differential gut microbiota obtained by 16S analysis was found to be highly correlated with nine metabolites. Conclusion: H2 slightly improved metabolic abnormalities and gut microbiota dysbiosis, providing a novel target and theoretical basis for the prevention and treatment of blood glucose regulation in patients with IFG.