Effects of alkaline-electrolyzed and hydrogen-rich water, in a high-fat-diet nonalcoholic fatty liver disease mouse model

AIM To identify the effect of hydrogen-rich water (HRW) and electrolyzed-alkaline water (EAW) on high-fat-induced non-alcoholic fatty acid disease in mice. METHODS Mice were divided into four groups: (1) Regular diet (RD)/regular water (RW); (2) high-fat diet (HFD)/RW; (3) RD/EAW; and (4) HFD/EAW. Weight and body composition were measured. After twelve weeks, animals were sacrificed, and livers were processed for histology and reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. A similar experiment was performed using HRW to determine the influence and importance of molecular hydrogen (H2) in EAW. Finally, we compared the response of hepatocytes isolated from mice drinking HRW or RW to palmitate overload. RESULTS EAW had several properties important to the study: (1) pH = 11; (2) oxidation-reduction potential of -495 mV; and (3) H2 = 0.2 mg/L. However, in contrast to other studies, there were no differences between the groups drinking EAW or RW in either the RD or HFD groups. We hypothesized that the null result was due to low H2 concentrations. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of RW and low and high HRW concentrations (L-HRW = 0.3 mg H2/L and H-HRW = 0.8 mg H2/L, respectively) in mice fed an HFD. Compared to RW and L-HRW, H-HRW resulted in a lower increase in fat mass (46% vs 61%), an increase in lean body mass (42% vs 28%), and a decrease in hepatic lipid accumulation (P < 0.01). Lastly, exposure of hepatocytes isolated from mice drinking H-HRW to palmitate overload demonstrated a protective effect from H2 by reducing hepatocyte lipid accumulation in comparison to mice drinking regular water. CONCLUSION H2 is the therapeutic agent in electrolyzed-alkaline water and attenuates HFD-induced nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in mice.