Hydrogen has been reported to have neuron protective effects due to its antioxidant properties, but the effects of hydrogen on cognitive impairment due to senescence-related brain alterations and the underlying mechanisms have not been characterized. In this study, we investigated the efficacies of drinking hydrogen water for prevention of spatial memory decline and age-related brain alterations using senescence-accelerated prone mouse 8 (SAMP8), which exhibits early aging syndromes including declining learning ability and memory. However, treatment with hydrogen water for 30 days prevented age-related declines in cognitive ability seen in SAMP8 as assessed by a water maze test and was associated with increased brain serotonin levels and elevated serum antioxidant activity. In addition, drinking hydrogen water for 18 weeks inhibited neurodegeneration in hippocampus, while marked loss of neurons was noted in control, aged brains of mice receiving regular water. On the basis of our results, hydrogen water merits further investigation for possible therapeutic/preventative use for age-related cognitive disorders.
Background: Cancer patients receiving radiotherapy often experience fatigue and impaired quality of life (QOL). Many side effects of radiotherapy are believed to be associated with increased oxidative stress and inflammation due to the generation of reactive oxygen species during radiotherapy. Hydrogen can be administered as a therapeutic medical gas, has antioxidant properties, and reduces inflammation in tissues. This study examined whether hydrogen treatment, in the form of hydrogen-supplemented water, improved QOL in patients receiving radiotherapy. Methods: A randomized, placebo-controlled study was performed to evaluate the effects of drinking hydrogen-rich water on 49 patients receiving radiotherapy for malignant liver tumors. Hydrogen-rich water was produced by placing a metallic magnesium stick into drinking water (final hydrogen concentration; 0.55~0.65 mM). The Korean version of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer’s QLQ-C30 instrument was used to evaluate global health status and QOL. The concentration of derivatives of reactive oxidative metabolites and biological antioxidant power in the peripheral blood were assessed. Results: The consumption of hydrogen-rich water for 6 weeks reduced reactive oxygen metabolites in the blood and maintained blood oxidation potential. QOL scores during radiotherapy were significantly improved in patients treated with hydrogen-rich water compared to patients receiving placebo water. There was no difference in tumor response to radiotherapy between the two groups. Conclusions: Daily consumption of hydrogen-rich water is a potentially novel, therapeutic strategy for improving QOL after radiation exposure. Consumption of hydrogen-rich water reduces the biological reaction to radiation-induced oxidative stress without compromising anti-tumor effects.