Quantification of hydrogen production by intestinal bacteria that are specifically dysregulated in Parkinson’s disease

Oral administration of hydrogen water ameliorates Parkinson’s disease (PD) in rats, mice, and humans. We previously reported that the number of putative hydrogen-producing bacteria in intestinal microbiota is low in PD compared to controls. We also reported that the amount of hydrogen produced by ingestion of lactulose is low in PD patients. The decreased hydrogen production by intestinal microbiota may be associated with the development and progression of PD. We measured the amount of hydrogen production using gas chromatography by seven bacterial strains, which represented seven major intestinal bacterial groups/genera/species. Blautia coccoides and Clostridium leptum produced the largest amount of hydrogen. Escherichia coli and Bacteroides fragilis constituted the second group that produced hydrogen 34- to 93-fold lower than B. coccoides. Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum and Atopobium parvulum constituted the third group that produced hydrogen 559- to 2164-fold lower than B. coccoides. Lactobacillus casei produced no detectable hydrogen. Assuming that taxonomically neighboring strains have similar hydrogen production, we simulated hydrogen production using intestinal microbiota that we previously reported, and found that PD patients produce a 2.2-fold lower amount of intestinal hydrogen compared to controls. The lower amount of intestinal hydrogen production in PD was also simulated in cohorts of two other countries. The number of hydrogen-producing intestinal bacteria may be associated with the development and progression of PD. Further studies are required to prove its beneficial effect.