Anti-inflammatory Effects

Hydrogen water, characterised by the dissolution of molecular hydrogen (H2) in water, has emerged as a subject of scientific interest for its potential anti-inflammatory benefits. The premise is grounded in the molecular hydrogen's selective antioxidant properties, enabling it to neutralise harmful free radicals like hydroxyl radicals and peroxynitrite without disrupting beneficial reactive species. This selective antioxidant capacity is pivotal, considering the nuanced role of oxidative stress and inflammation in human health and disease.

Scientific literature elucidates the mechanism of action of molecular hydrogen as a mild reducing agent that can permeate biological membranes, reaching intracellular sites to exert its effects. This characteristic facilitates its potential in reducing oxidative stress, a known contributor to inflammatory pathways. Studies have shown that H2 can modulate signal transduction and gene expression, influencing inflammatory cytokine production and thus exhibiting anti-inflammatory effects.

Clinical and preclinical studies have investigated the efficacy of hydrogen water in various models of inflammation-driven conditions. For example, in models of chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and metabolic syndrome, consumption of hydrogen-rich water was associated with reduced markers of inflammation and oxidative stress. Furthermore, in the context of exercise-induced oxidative stress and inflammation, hydrogen water has shown potential in enhancing recovery and reducing muscle fatigue in athletes by decreasing lactate levels and inflammatory markers post-exercise.

Despite promising findings, the body of research on hydrogen water and its anti-inflammatory benefits remains in its nascent stages. The variability in study designs, including differences in hydrogen concentration, duration of intake, and the health status of subjects, poses challenges in drawing definitive conclusions. Moreover, the mechanisms through which molecular hydrogen exerts its anti-inflammatory effects are not fully elucidated, warranting further molecular and clinical investigations.

Comparatively, traditional anti-inflammatory interventions, ranging from pharmacological treatments to dietary modifications, have well-established mechanisms of action and documented efficacy. The exploration of hydrogen water as an anti-inflammatory agent adds an innovative dimension to this field, potentially offering a complementary approach with a unique mechanism of action.


  1. Ohta, S. (2011). Recent Progress Toward Hydrogen Medicine: Potential of Molecular Hydrogen for Preventive and Therapeutic Applications. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, 15(2), 453-461. This review discusses the potential mechanisms and therapeutic applications of molecular hydrogen in medicine, highlighting its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

  2. LeBaron, T.W., Larson, A.J., Ohta, S., Mikami, T., Barlow, J., Newson, B., & Jackson, R.A. (2019). Acute Supplementation with Hydrogen-Rich Water Improves Endurance Performance and Reduces Inflammatory Markers in Elite Athletes. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 44(4), 414-422. This study investigates the effects of hydrogen-rich water on endurance performance and inflammation in elite athletes, showing positive outcomes in reducing lactate levels and markers of inflammation.

  3. Nakao, A., Toyoda, Y., Sharma, P., Evans, M., & Guthrie, N. (2010). Effectiveness of Hydrogen Rich Water on Antioxidant Status of Subjects with Potential Metabolic Syndrome—An Open Label Pilot Study. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, 46(2), 140-149. This pilot study examines the impact of drinking hydrogen-rich water on antioxidant status and metabolic syndrome markers, indicating potential anti-inflammatory benefits.

  4. Fukuda, K., Asoh, S., Ishikawa, M., Yamamoto, Y., Ohsawa, I., & Ohta, S. (2007). Inhalation of Hydrogen Gas Suppresses Hepatic Injury Caused by Ischemia/Reperfusion through Reducing Oxidative Stress. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 361(3), 670-674. This article explores the protective effects of hydrogen gas on liver injury by reducing oxidative stress, offering insights into its anti-inflammatory properties.

  5. Ito, M., Ibi, T., Sahashi, K., Ichihara, M., & Ohno, K. (2011). Open-label Trial and Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Crossover Trial of Hydrogen-enriched Water for Mitochondrial and Inflammatory Myopathies. Medical Gas Research, 1(1), 24. This clinical trial assesses the efficacy of hydrogen-enriched water on mitochondrial and inflammatory myopathies, demonstrating its potential to improve muscle function and reduce inflammation.

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