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Hydrogen has been on my mind a lot recently.

Now how often does someone say something like that?

This is my brain on the interworlds.

Note: There are many ‘formats’ of the table of elements — some beautiful and creative. But the most useful format on the web for basic info is the Dynamic Periodic Table.


It was a week or so ago, after stuff that resulted in the waxing on about tarot post (which I wrote later), when I suddenly felt my attention repeatedly turned to an interest I’ve had previously in using the table of elements as a source of archetypes. I believe that the elements are, like tarot, hugely powerful segments of energy of the universe. In this case, actually manifest in a way we can measure, rather conveniently.

One episode of StarGate – SG1 written by Robert C. Cooper) actually used the elements as language-basics (like letters or ideograms) which I thought was the most brilliant idea ever; surely this would be something every species would have in common.

The sun is my solar deity, the source of all life in my reality, so I thought maybe I should see what elements it was strongest in. (Granted I take all this with a grain of salt: our science is imperfect and incomplete.)

70% hydrogen
28% helium
1.5% carbon, nitrogen and oxygen
0.5% all other elements

What about the solar system at large? Hydrogen and helium, only a couple percent anything else (we think).

OK, what about earth as a body?

oxygen ~47% of the earth’s mass.
silicon ~28%
aluminum ~8%
iron ~5%
calcium ~4%
sodium ~3%
potassium ~3%
magnesium ~2%
All of the remaining elements together make up less than 1% of the earth’s mass.

Alright, what about the human body?

Almost 99% of the mass of the human body is made up of six elements:
Only about 0.85% is composed of another five elements:

A quote:

  • Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, the Hungarian Nobel Prize-winning biochemist who discovered Vitamin C, said that hydrogen rather than oxygen, is the fuel of life.
    Szent-Gyorgyi reported that the highest concentrations were found in the following tissues (listed in descending order proportional to amount of H-ion present):


Another quote:

  • Most of us have heard of the so-called Carbon Cycle in nature but it’s really a Hydrogen Cycle. Here’s how it works:
  • Plants take water and sunlight and break the water down into hydrogen and oxygen using sunlight and the hydrogen is used to make carbohydrates, lipids and proteins and the oxygen is emitted into the air and we breathe it.
  • We eat the plant material, and enzymes in the body called dehydrogenators remove the hydrogen from the food that the plant makes for us. We burn the hydrogen with oxygen and emit carbon dioxide into the air which the plant absorbs.
  • Carbohydrates are 1/3 carbon, 1/3 hydrogen and 1/3 oxygen. When the dehydrogenators release the hydrogen from the carbohydrates, it’s burned with oxygen to create energy (fuel) for the body and the carbon and oxygen form the carbon-dioxide which is breathed out of the body.

Out of curiosity, I looked up the dominant molecular format of a variety of basic “fundamental building blocks” of the body.

Proteins (all of them) which are fundamental for many things including muscles, are made up of carbon – oxygen – hydrogen – nitrogen.

Cholesterol, a steroid lipid, which is fundamental for many things including all hormones and much of the brain and all forms of cellular structure, is made up of carbon – hydrogen – oxygen.

Ribose, a sugar which the body uses to feed the heart muscle especially, is hydrogen – carbon – oxygen.

Hmmn, it’s starting to look like a pattern, isn’t it…


  • Resistant starch generates endogenous hydrogen in the gut.

I kept coming back to Hydrogen. It is the simplest, smallest element which is one reason why; and it’s so prevalent for another. I also felt like energies inside me were sort of pointing at it with emphasis and that was the correct focus to start with.

I was curious about why this focus was ‘pressing’ inside me, so I read a variety of basic science stuff about it.

I had been greatly focused in my talking to Mark about health around then, so I also wondered if there was any info about how hydrogen interacts with the body.  Aside from the ref to RS above, it seemed rather unlikely to me, since it’s a gas, as opposed to a mineral.

Wow. I was wrong.

It turns out this is a whole genre in both the regular and the alternative health worlds.

Who knew?? How obscure is that?

It turns out there’s a wide variety of ways to get hydrogen into your body. As a gas, of course, breathing it. As an infused-water, from nasal spraying to drinking to topically on skin. There’s probably others I don’t know about. And there’s surely some frequency range that would do it photonically, if that is a word. And there’s a few ways — fairly easily, although how much and keeping it there for how long is in question — to get it into water.

I did typical web searching, dominantly but not solely in pubmed, and came up with things like the following. This is just some of them and I didn’t even search for very long. Stuck mostly to the ones on humans, including controlled randomized double-blind placebo studies. I notice that more of this seems to be non-American than usual, perhaps because Hydrogen is not patentable. There were plenty of human studies though which is not always the case.

Supplementation of hydrogen-rich water improves lipid and glucose metabolism in patients with type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance.
Humans. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study in 30 patients with T2DM controlled by diet and exercise therapy and 6 patients with IGT. The patients consumed either 900 mL/d of hydrogen-rich pure water or 900 mL of placebo pure water for 8 weeks, with a 12-week washout period. Intake of hydrogen-rich water was associated with significant decreases in the levels of modified low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol… small dense LDL, and urinary 8-isoprostanes … with a trend of decreased serum concentrations of oxidized LDL and free fatty acids, and increased plasma levels of adiponectin and extracellular-superoxide dismutase. In 4 of 6 patients with IGT, intake of hydrogen-rich water normalized the oral glucose tolerance test.

Pilot study: Effects of drinking hydrogen-rich water on muscle fatigue caused by acute exercise in elite athletes.
Humans. Ten male soccer players aged 20.9?±?1.3?years old were subjected to exercise tests and blood sampling. Each subject was examined twice in a crossover double-blind manner … Adequate hydration with hydrogen-rich water pre-exercise reduced blood lactate levels and improved exercise-induced decline of muscle function.

Hydrogen-rich water affected blood alkalinity in physically active men.
Humans. This study was a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 52 presumably healthy physically active male volunteers. … These results support the hypothesis that HRW administration is safe and may have an alkalizing effect …

Hydrogen-rich water decreases serum LDL-cholesterol levels and improves HDL function in patients with potential metabolic syndrome.
Humans. … the effects of H2-rich water (0.9-1.0 l/day) on the content, composition, and biological activities of serum lipoproteins on 20 patients with potential metabolic syndrome. … Western blot analysis revealed a marked decrease of apolipoprotein (apo)B100 and apoE in serum. In addition, we found H2 significantly improved HDL functionality assessed in four independent ways, namely, i) protection against LDL oxidation, ii) inhibition of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-a-induced monocyte adhesion to endothelial cells, iii) stimulation of cholesterol efflux from macrophage foam cells, and iv) protection of endothelial cells from TNF-a-induced apoptosis. Further, we found consumption of H2-rich water resulted in an increase in antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase and a decrease in thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances in whole serum and LDL.

Effect of hydrogen-rich water on oxidative stress, liver function, and viral load in patients with chronic hepatitis B.
Humans. Sixty patients with CHB were randomly assigned into routine treatment group or hydrogen treatment group. … After treatment, the oxidative stress remained unchanged in routine treatment group, but markedly improved in hydrogen treatment group. The liver function was improved significantly and the HBV DNA reduced markedly after corresponding treatments.

Hydrogen water intake via tube-feeding for patients with pressure ulcer and its reconstructive effects on normal human skin cells in vitro.
Humans. The aim of this study is to clarify the clinical effectiveness on wound healing in patients with PU by hydrogen-dissolved water (HW) intake via tube-feeding (TF). Twenty-two severely hospitalized elderly Japanese patients … PU hospitalized days in EG were significantly shorter than in LG (113.3 days vs. 155.4 days, p?<!–?0.05), and the shortening rate was approximately 28.1%. Either in EG or in LG, the reducing changes (EG: 91.4%; LG: 48.6%) of wound size represented statistically significant difference versus before HW intake (p?<?0.05, p?<?0.001).

Pilot study of H2 therapy in Parkinson’s disease: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial.
Humans. placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group clinical pilot study, the authors assessed the efficacy of H2 -water in Japanese patients with levodopa-medicated PD. Participants drank 1,000 mL/day of H2-water or pseudo water for 48 weeks. … Despite the minimal number of patients and the short duration of the trial, the difference was significant … safe and well tolerated, and a significant improvement in total UPDRS scores for patients in the H2-water group

Effects of drinking hydrogen-rich water on the quality of life of patients treated with radiotherapy for liver tumors.
Humans. randomized, placebo-controlled study was performed to evaluate the effects of drinking hydrogen-rich water on 49 patients receiving radiotherapy for malignant liver tumors. 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.

Hydrogen-rich electrolyzed warm water represses wrinkle formation against UVA ray together with type-I collagen production and oxidative-stress diminishment in fibroblasts and cell-injury prevention in keratinocytes.
Humans. Tiny. No control. Six Japanese subjects were enrolled in a trial of HW-bathing (DH, 0.2-0.4 ppm) every day for 3 months. HW-bathing significantly improved wrinkle in four subjects on the back of neck on 90th day as compared to 0 day.

Dose-dependent inhibition of gastric injury by hydrogen in alkaline electrolyzed drinking water.
Rats. We attempted to identify the dose-response relationship of hydrogen in alkaline electrolyzed drinking water through the aspirin induced gastric injury model. … hydrogen-rich alkaline water was obtained by adding H2 to electrolyzed water at one atmosphere pressure. After 2 weeks of drinking … Hydrogen is effective in relieving the gastric injury induced by aspirin-HCl, and the inhibitory effect is dose-dependent. The reason behind this may be that hydrogen-rich water directly interacted with the target tissue, while the hydrogen concentration in blood was buffered by liver glycogen, evoking a suppressed dose-response effect.

Molecular hydrogen in drinking water protects against neurodegenerative changes induced by traumatic brain injury.
Mice. … reversed CCI-induced edema by about half, completely blocked pathological tau expression, accentuated an early increase seen in several cytokines but attenuated that increase by day 7, reversed changes seen in the protein levels of aquaporin-4, HIF-1, MMP-2, and MMP-9, but not for amyloid beta peptide 1-40 or 1-42. Treatment with mHW also reversed the increase seen 4 h after CCI in gene expression related to oxidation/carbohydrate metabolism, cytokine release, leukocyte or cell migration, cytokine transport, ATP and nucleotide binding. Finally, we found that mHW preserved or increased ATP levels and propose a new mechanism for mHW, that of ATP production through the Jagendorf reaction. These results show that molecular hydrogen given in drinking water reverses many of the sequelae of CCI and suggests that it could be an easily administered, highly effective treatment for TBI.

Beneficial effects of gaseous hydrogen sulfide in hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injury.
In hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injury, gaseous H2 S treatment is highly protective, substantially reducing necrosis, apoptosis and inflammation.

Molecular Hydrogen Improves Obesity and Diabetes by Inducing Hepatic FGF21 and Stimulating Energy Metabolism in db/db Mice
Mice. Recent extensive studies have revealed that molecular hydrogen (H2) has great potential for improving oxidative stress-related diseases by inhaling H2 gas, injecting saline with dissolved H2, or drinking water with dissolved H2 (H2-water); however, little is known about the dynamic movement of H2 in a body. First, we show that hepatic glycogen accumulates H2 after oral administration of H2-water, explaining why consumption of even a small amount of H2 over a short span time efficiently improves various disease models… Next, we examined the benefit of ad libitum drinking H2-water to type 2 diabetes using db/db obesity model mice lacking the functional leptin receptor. Drinking H2-water reduced hepatic oxidative stress, and significantly alleviated fatty liver in db/db mice as well as high fat-diet-induced fatty liver in wild-type mice. Long-term drinking H2-water significantly controlled fat and body weights, despite no increase in consumption of diet and water. Moreover, drinking H2-water decreased levels of plasma glucose, insulin, and triglyceride, the effect of which on hyperglycemia was similar to diet restriction. … H2 stimulated energy metabolism as measured by oxygen consumption.

Inhalation of hydrogen gas suppresses hepatic injury caused by ischemia/reperfusion through reducing oxidative stress
…molecular hydrogen has great potential for selectively reducing cytotoxic reactive oxygen species, such as hydroxyl radicals, and that inhalation of hydrogen gas decreases cerebral infarction volume by reducing oxidative stress…Here we show that the inhalation of hydrogen gas is applicable for hepatic injury caused by ischemia/reperfusion, using mice. In contrast, helium gas showed no protective effect, suggesting that the protective effect by hydrogen gas is specific.

Protective effects of hydrogen enriched saline on liver ischemia reperfusion injury by reducing oxidative stress and HMGB1 release
…Hydrogen treatment was recently associated with down-regulation of the expression of HMGB1 and pro-inflammatory cytokines during sepsis and myocardial IRI,…Hydrogen enriched saline treatment significantly attenuated the severity of liver injury induced by ischemia-reperfusion. The treatment group showed reduced serum ALT activity and markers of lipid peroxidation and post ischemia reperfusion histological changes were reduced. Hydrogen enriched saline treatment inhibited HMGB1 expression and release, reflecting a reduced local and systemic inflammatory response to hepatic ischemia reperfusion.

Pectin and high-amylose maize starch increase caecal hydrogen production and relieve hepatic ischaemia–reperfusion injury in rats
Rats. In conclusion, we found that Pec or HAS, which enhance H2 generation in the large intestine, alleviated hepatic IR injury.

Drinking Hydrogen Water Ameliorated Cognitive Impairment in Senescence-Accelerated Mice
Mice. 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

Molecular hydrogen affected signal transduction and degranulation of mast cells
Mic. We found that oral intake of hydrogen-rich water abolishes an immediate-type allergic reaction in mice.

— note: it reduced ALLERGIC reaction

Therapeutic potential of molecular hydrogen for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia
Therefore, it is hypothesized that administration of hydrogen molecule may have potential as a novel therapy for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other concurrent disorders characterized by oxidative, inflammatory and apoptotic dysregulation.

Hydrogen Improves Glycemic Control in Type1 Diabetic Animal Model by Promoting Glucose Uptake into Skeletal Muscle
Our study demonstrates that H2 exerts metabolic effects similar to those of insulin and may be a novel therapeutic alternative to insulin in type 1 diabetes mellitus that can be administered orally.

Hydrogen therapy may be a novel and effective treatment for COPD

Suppressive Effect of High Hydrogen Generating High Amylose Cornstarch on Subacute Hepatic Ischemia-reperfusion Injury in Rats
Rats. We examined whether feeding high hydrogen generating resistant starch could suppress subacute hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury. Rats were fed a control diet with or without 20% high amylose cornstarch (HAS) supplementation for 14 days. … Portal hydrogen concentration was higher in the HAS group compared with the control group. Increased plasma alanine and aspartate aminotransferase activities due to ischemia-reperfusion treatment tended to decrease, and a significant reduction was observed by HAS feeding when compared with the control group.


According to a scientific study, drinking hydrogen rich water for 8 weeks resulted in a 39% increase in the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) and a 43% decrease in thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) in urine (TBARS are a measure of the oxidized and damaged fats in your body). Additionally, an 8% increase in high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol and a 13% decrease in total cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol was observed from baseline to week 4. If you want to boost your SOD levels by 40%, $75 for a 6-month supply is a bargain compared to the cost of supplements that would accomplish the same thing over the same time period. And improving your HDL/LDL ratio by 13% by merely drinking water every day seems like an easy way to improve that statistic (though I am no fan of the cholesterol scam…)


Hydrogen is unique since it has the capability to act at the cellular level. Hydrogen is qualified to cross the blood brain barrier, to enter the mitochondria, and even has the ability to translocate to the nucleus under certain conditions. Once in these ideal locations of the cell, previous studies have shown that hydrogen exerts antioxidant, anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory, and cytoprotective properties that are beneficial to the cell.


Hydrogen … [inhibited] nitric oxide production in macrophages, resulting in decreased inflammation in Type I allergies. The exact molecules that hydrogen is binding to and modulating are unknown, but it is possible to narrow down and determine specific sites. It was confirmed that hydrogen was able to modulate signal transduction, which suggests that hydrogen is a signal modulator. … Shi et al. has also proposed that molecular hydrogen may be able to affect signal transduction by interacting with metalloproteins, since metal ions can be a possible binding site for hydrogen.


Domoki et al. are among the first to ever demonstrate the effectiveness of hydrogen supplemented room air ventilation as a therapeutic agent after perinatal asphyxia in a piglet animal model. Treatment with hydrogen supplemented room air ventilation was able to preserve cerbrovascular reactivity and be instrumental in protecting neurons. Which lead to the conclusion that hydrogen supplemented room air can provide early neuroprotection after asphyxia, further studies are needed in order to identify the full capabilities of neuroprotection


All these results seem to indicate that hydrogen rich mediums; especially hydrogen rich saline may be an effective treatment for lower respiratory and lung associated diseases by preventing the accumulation of ROS and pro-inflammatory cytokines. Wang et al., concludes that although the results are very promising, the time-course analysis and a thorough mechanism of molecular hydrogen affects on pulmonary hypertension and subsequently all pulmonary or pulmonary associated diseases are necessary to determine whether or not hydrogen rich saline has preventative or even therapeutic effects


Since heart disease is the number one cause of death in America it is imperative to have treatments against the disease. Although the results involving hydrogen and the heart have been positive in animal models, there still has not been any clinical trials or hints of movement toward clinical trials in the near future despite promising results.

— why am I not surprised. Can you patent hydrogen? NO?


Qian et al., who have investigated the cardioprotective properties of hydrogen by pre-treating mice with hydrogen rich water prior to irradiation. The results were pleasing, 90% of the mice without hydrogen rich water pretreatment died, while 80% of the mice with hydrogen treatment lived after 13 days post-radiation.


As for the dosage and dosage duration, a universal standard concentration has not been created, since the effectiveness of hydrogen seems to vary by animal model. However, numerous experiments have been published with promising results from various concentrations of hydrogen administered either via gas, saline, or water.

The safety of hydrogen has also been explored and documented. The effects of excess accumulation has been reported and speculated to be negligible. It has also been discovered that hydrogen poses no risks for explosion or flammability at concentrations less than 4.7 percent of air.


Since we published the first paper in Nature Medicine, effects of hydrogen have been reported in more than 38 diseases, physiological states and clinical tests in leading biological/medical journals. Based on this cumulative knowledge, the beneficial biological effects of hydrogen have been confirmed. There are several ways to intake or consume hydrogen, including inhaling hydrogen gas, drinking hydrogen-dissolved water, taking a hydrogen bath, injecting hydrogen-dissolved saline, dropping hydrogen-dissolved saline into the eyes, and increasing the production of intestinal hydrogen by bacteria. Hydrogen has many advantages for therapeutic and preventive applications, and shows not only anti-oxidative stress effects, but also has various anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects. Preliminary clinical trials show that drinking hydrogen-dissolved water seems to improve the pathology of mitochondrial disorders. Hydrogen has biological benefits toward preventive and therapeutic applications; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying the marked effects of small amounts of hydrogen remain elusive.

So, you get the idea. That mind you is the official side. Then there’s the whole alternative health side.

As it turns out, the famous (infamous?) Patrick Flanagan developed a specialty way of ‘getting hydrogen into water’ that according to some, nobody else has replicated yet. I think he was the or one of the first. According to others selling forms of ‘getting magnesium into water’ that are not quite his approach, it doesn’t make any difference if done his way versus some other. So, who knows. Still others sell ‘magnesium sticks’ for this (drop in water bottle). They’re all chemical reactions. If you have insane amounts of money there are actual hydrogen bubblers, which go by the groovier term ‘water alkalyzers’ and things like that.

Regardless of approach, it is getting hydrogen into water and sealing it (opening only to drink), so the gas doesn’t just bubble out again. The process of doing this will ‘naturally’ increase the pH of a substance (making it more alkaline). That is not the goal, merely a side-effect some are happy about and others make the primary sell point.

This should not be confused with hydrogen peroxide stuff, note. Different thing.

Ways of getting it into water:

Flanagan’s “negatively charged hydrogen ions bound to silica” is under names like MegaHydrate and HydrogenBoost, about 50 cents a tablet ($30 for 60). A different approach to same thing: Purative Active H2 uses magnesium and a different less specialized bonding (but for some reason it’s a little more expensive, like $45 for 60 tablets, allegedly it results in ‘more’ hydrogen in the water). Both of those when you drop them in water, undergo a catalytic effect, so you watch them like an alka-seltzer but not nearly as impressive a fizz.

The Molecular Hydro Pen ($25) and the Hydrogen Rich Water Stick (from $7 to $70 depending on what you buy) is a physical stick you (repeatedly, but it wears down) drop in a bottle. (Not to be confused with hydrogen sticks used for starting fires.) 

Then there’s other ways to get hydrogen into water, such as  the Vitalizer Plus Hexagonal Oxygen Water Maker (a mere $500) or the Lourdes Hydrogen Water Generator for a mere $1000. They look like water pitchers or coffee makers. Those also claim things like micro-clustering of water (a whole ‘nuther controversial topic of its own). Mostly those push the ‘alkaline’ effect for sales.

As you might expect, various of these come with a long list of sworn testimonials, followed by a few that say no effect and one or two raving about how it’s all pseudoscience fraud. Par for the course in the supplement field, even if you’re talking about a vitamin, let alone anything more obscure.

After all that, I decided on my initial sequence for archmeds on elements, and set up a proper category for it here on the blog. Now it’s just a matter of actually getting to the meditation series, of course.