Hydroxyl-radical scavenging activity of hydrogen does not significantly contribute to its biological function

Since Ohsawa et al. reported a biological antioxidant function of hydrogen in 2007, researchers have now shown it to exert protective effects in a wide range of human and animal disease models. Clinical observations and scientific arguments suggest that a selective scavenging property of H2 cannot adequately explain the beneficial effects of hydrogen. However, there is no experiment challenging the original published data, which suggested that molecular hydrogen dissolved in solution reacts with hydroxyl radicals in cell-free systems. Here we report that a hydrogen-saturated solution (0.6 mM) did not significantly reduce hydroxyl radicals in the Fenton system using 1 mM H2O2. We replicated the same condition as Ohsawa’s study (i.e. 5 μM H2O2), and observed a decrease in •OH radicals in both the H2-rich and N2-rich solutions, which may be caused by a decreased dissolved oxygen concentration. Finally, we determined the effect of hydrogen on a high-valence iron enzyme, horseradish peroxidase (HRP), and found that hydrogen could directly increase HRP activity in a dose-dependent manner. Overall, these results indicate that although H2 and •OH can react, the reaction rate is too low to have physiological function. The target of hydrogen is more complex, and its interaction with enzymes or other macro-molecules deserve more attention and in-depth study.

Different effects of hydrogen-rich water intake and hydrogen gas inhalation on gut microbiome and plasma metabolites of rats in health status

The potential for preventive and therapeutic applications of H2 have now been confirmed in various disease. However, the effects of H2 on health status have not been fully elucidated. Our previous study reported changes in the body weight and 13 serum biochemical parameters during the six-month hydrogen intervention. To obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the effects of long-term hydrogen consumption, the plasma metabolome and gut microbiota were investigated in this study. Compared with the control group, 14 and 10 differential metabolites (DMs) were identified in hydrogen-rich water (HRW) and hydrogen inhalation (HI) group, respectively. Pathway enrichment analysis showed that HRW intake mainly affected starch and sucrose metabolism, and DMs in HI group were mainly enriched in arginine biosynthesis. 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed that HRW intake induced significant changes in the structure of gut microbiota, while no marked bacterial community differences was observed in HI group. HRW intake mainly induced significant increase in the abundance of Lactobacillus, Ruminococcus, Clostridium XI, and decrease in Bacteroides. HI mainly induced decreased abundances of Blautia and Paraprevotella. The metabolic function was determined by metabolic cage analysis and showed that HI decreased the voluntary intake and excretions of rats, while HRW intake did not. The results of this study provide basic data for further research on hydrogen medicine. Determination of the effects of hydrogen intervention on microbiota profiles could also shed light on identification of mechanism underlying the biological effects of molecular hydrogen.

Long-term and daily use of molecular hydrogen induces reprogramming of liver metabolism in rats by modulating NADP/NADPH redox pathways

Molecular hydrogen (H2) has emerged as a new therapeutic option in several diseases and is widely adopted by healthy people. However, molecular data to support therapeutic functions attributed to the biological activities of H2 remain elusive. Here, using transcriptomic and metabolomic approaches coupled with biochemistry and micro-CT technics, we evaluated the effect of long-term (6 months) and daily use of H2 on liver function. Rats exposed 2 h daily to H2 either by drinking HRW (H2 dissolved in H2O) or by breathing 4% H2 gas showed reduced lipogenesis and enhanced lipolysis in the liver, which was associated with apparent loss of visceral fat and brown adipose tissue together with a reduced level of serum lipids. Both transcripts and metabolites enriched in H2-treated rats revealed alteration of amino acid metabolism pathways and activation of purine nucleotides and carbohydrate biosynthesis pathways. Analysis of the interaction network of genes and metabolites and correlation tests revealed that NADP is the central regulator of H2 induced metabolic alterations in the liver, which was further confirmed by an increase in the level of components of metabolic pathways that require NADP as substrate. Evidence of immune response regulation activity was also observed in response to exposure to H2. This work is the first to provide metabolomic and transcriptomic data to uncover molecular targets for the effect of prolonged molecular hydrogen treatment on liver metabolism.

Effects of long-term hydrogen intervention on the physiological function of rats

The potential therapeutic effects of molecular hydrogen (H2) have now been confirmed in various human and animal-disease models. However, the effects of H2 on the physiological function in a normal state have been largely neglected. Hydrogen-rich water (HRW) intake and hydrogen inhalation (HI) are the most common used methods for hydrogen administration, the difference in the effects between HRW intake and HI remains elusive. In the present study, the body weight and 13 serum biochemical parameters were monitored during the six-month hydrogen intervention, all these parameters were significantly altered by oral intake of HRW or HI. Among the 13 parameters, the most striking alterations induced by hydrogen treatment were observed in serum myocardial enzymes spectrum. The results also showed that the changes in these parameters occurred at different time points, and the alterations in most of the parameters were much more significant in HI than HRW. The results of this study provides the basic data for the mechanism research and application of molecular hydrogen in the future.