Don't know what Molecular Hydrogen (H2) (also known as 'hydrogen gas') is and why it's important to your health and vitality?
Check out our previous article where we talked about the Benefits of Molecular Hydrogen and in more detail.
Here's a summary of therapeutic benefits of molecular hydrogen based on over 500 peer reviewed studies:
Cell protective and anti-ageing
Converts cell damaging free radicals into water
Helps the body lower oxidative stress
Helps lower cholesterol levels
Protects against radiation damage
Helps with reducing glucose intolerance
Stimulates energy metabolism to prevent weight gain
Supports cognitive function
May help prevent erectile dysfunction
May help prevent age related decline in cognitive capacity
Decreases lactate (lactic acid) build up during exercise
Supports skin health
In the same article we also talked about four ways of getting hydrogen into our body, including our own H2 factory in our gut and the importance of fibre rich foods, drinking water with dissolved H2, breathing in/inhaling H2 and skin absorption.
How is Molecular Hydrogen (H2) created in water (H2O)?
First of all, it's important to understand that there needs to be a chemistry reaction in water to produce H2. To make as simple as possible, a single water molecule (H2O) is made of two gases - hydrogen and oxygen. Together they form a liquid. So what we're really aiming for when we want to create molecular hydrogen is separating that liquid back into its gas form - H2 and O.
Is drinking/bathing in hydrogen-rich water or breathing in H2 natural?
Is it something Nature intended? The answer is: Absolutely.
Previously we've covered what's happening in the gut when we eat fibre rich foods and how H2 is produced in our innate H2 factory - the gut.
Looking at the world around us, we can also find H2 is produced in some of the natural waters. There are several places around the globe that researchers confirmed as “healing” or “curative” waters. These contain dissolved hydrogen gas (H2). We can specifically name Nordenau, Germany; Tlacote, Mexico; and Hita Tenryosui, Japan.
According to Molecular Hydrogen Foundation, the existence of H2 in these springs could be a result of water reacting with alkali-earth metals (e.g. magnesium), or from molecular hydrogen gas-producing bacteria and algae.
Two ways of producing hydrogen
Let's talk about how we can mimic this process and make it so we don't have to travel all the way to Japan, Mexico or Germany to personally benefit from the therapeutic potential of hydrogen.
Water containing dissolved molecular hydrogen/hydrogen gas is called "hydrogen-rich" or "hydrogen-enriched" water.
1. Reaction with Elemental Magnesium
If we add elemental magnesium in its reactive state to water, it will create a catalytic reaction and separate a certain number of water molecules. Again, what is created is hydrogen gas and oxygen gas.
Based on this very mechanism, Synergy Science's developed hydrogen tablets and hydrogen drops, so people can enjoy drinking H2 water when travelling. Others may use magnesium sticks, achieving the same result.
We'll discuss the pros and cons of each of these in an upcoming blog post.
Electrolysis is a process of using electrical current through electrodes in water to create the separation of H2 and O (again, we're talking a certain number of molecules).
It was discovered in 1800 by Anthony Carlisle and William Nicholson and is now may years and developments later, it's also the primary method of mass-producing hydrogen gas for energy.
The most commonly used name for an electrolysis unit used for drinking water is "an ioniser' or "electrolytic water technology". A term widely used for water produced by an ioniser "ionised water". The more correct term would be "electrolysed reduced water" or "electrolysed oxidising water".
An example of the same technology applied in reverse, mainly in industrial applications, are "hydrogen fuel cells".
Conductivity of water: the importance of minerals
Electrolysis is only effective when a certain level of minerals (electrolytes) are present in water (ideally above 100 parts per million = ppm). These minerals help carry the electrical current.
What if there are no minerals in source water?
Some source waters may have naturally very low mineral content (such as in Scotland; in Edinburgh only 25ppm). Others lack minerals completely due to filtration methods such as reverse osmosis or distillation.
In low or no mineral water the "classical" electrolysis where titanium/platinum coated plates are used aren't sufficient for H2 production, unless the manufacturer has developed and tested an effective remineralisation filter which goes into the unit before electrolysis takes place.
Proton Exchange Membrane
An alternative solution to no or low water conductivity is a slightly different type of electrolysis called "proton exchange membrane". Using polymer membranes instead of titanium/platinum, it has the ability to donate electrolytes to water. In other words, they basically add conductivity to water and in that process produce H2. The type of water unit which uses this mechanism is called a hydrogen infusion unit.
Inhalation of H2 / Bubbling H2 into water
Even a hydrogen gas inhalation machine uses electrolysis. The difference is that H2 gas is being harvested so that it can run through a cannula to the nose instead of dissolving it in water. The same process is used for devices which bubble hydrogen gas back into water under pressure. Some of the H2 running through a cannula into water will get dissolved there.
H2 is neutral!
Many times we hear people talk about positive and negative charges, but the reality is: molecular hydrogen, also called di-atomic Hydrogen, or H2 is neutral.
What if H2 wasn't neutral? The answer is simple: it wouldn't get into the cells of the body and it wouldn't be able to react and reach hydroxyl radicals in the cell's mitochondria = our energy factory. It's because of its neutrality that it can combine with cell damaging hydroxyl radicals. That's what makes it so special.
Watch my video with Paul Barattiero covering the topic of molecular hydrogen/hydrogen gas production:
Want to find out more about molecular hydrogen and hyrogen-rich water and how you can create it in your kitchen?
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Disclaimer: Our aim is to share the above information to help you feel more empowered, make more useful choices, to encourage you to focus on prevention and solutions to stay healthy and increase your resilience and joy of living. This article is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.