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Science Research Abstracts - Hydrogen-rich Water

Please note that in addition to the 4 scientific papers in which Dr. Hayashi is one of the authors there are additional studies done by other research doctors. Dr. Hidemitsu Hayashi is a cardiac surgeon, researcher and developer of the Hydrogen Producing Mineral Stick. He has practiced medicine since 1965.


Nine (9) published scientific papers reveal the role of active hydrogen in biological structure and function.


“Electrolyzed-Reduced Water Scavenges Active Oxygen Species and Protects DNA from Oxidative Damage”

Sanetaka Shirahata, Shirgeru Kabayama, Mariko Nakano, Takumi Miura, Kenichi Kusumoto, Miho Gotoh, Hidemitsu Hayashi, Kazumichi Otsubo, Shinkatsu Morisawa, and Yoshinori Katakura

Published in: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol. 234, No.1, May 8, 1997

(this paper is based on electrolyzed-reduced water, but later found that the Hydrogen Producing Mineral Stick was actually more effective because with the electrolyzed-reduced water the water must be consumed immediately as the hydrogen gas dissipates quickly.)



Active oxygen species or free radicals are considered to cause extensive oxidative damage to biological macromolecules, which brings about a variety of diseases as well as aging. The ideal scavenger for active oxygen should be 'active hydrogen'. 'Active hydrogen' can be produced in reduced water near the cathode during electrolysis of water. Reduced water exhibits high pH, low dissolved oxygen (DO), extremely high dissolved molecular hydrogen (DH), and extremely negative redox potential (RP) values. Strongly electrolyzed-reduced water, as well as ascorbic acid, (+)-catechin and tannic acid, completely scavenged O.-2 produced by the hypoxanthine-xanthine oxidase (HX-XOD) system in sodium phosphate buffer (pH 7.0). The superoxide dismutase (SOD)-like activity of reduced water is stable at 4 degrees C for over a month and was not lost even after neutralization, repeated freezing and melting, deflation with sonication, vigorous mixing, boiling, repeated filtration, or closed autoclaving, but was lost by opened autoclaving or by closed autoclaving in the presence of tungsten trioxide which efficiently adsorbs active atomic hydrogen. Water bubbled with hydrogen gas exhibited low DO, extremely high DH and extremely low RP values, as does reduced water, but it has no SOD-like activity. These results suggest that the SOD-like activity of reduced water is not due to the dissolved molecular hydrogen but due to the dissolved atomic hydrogen (active hydrogen). Although SOD accumulated H2O2 when added to the HX-XOD system, reduced water decreased the amount of H2O2 produced by XOD. Reduced water, as well as catalase and ascorbic acid, could directly scavenge H2O2. Reduce water suppresses single-strand breakage of DNA b active oxygen species produced by the Cu(II)-catalyzed oxidation of ascorbic acid in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting that reduced water can scavenge not only O2.- and H2O2, but also 1O2 and .OH.


Hydrogen acts as a therapeutic antioxidant by selectively reducing cytotoxic oxygen radicals”

Ikuroh Ohsawa, Masahiro Ishikawa, Kumiko Takahashi, Megumi Watanabe, Kiyomi Nishimaki, Kumi Yamagata, Ken-ichiro Katsura, Yasuo Katayama, Sadamitsu Asoh and Shigeo Ohta

Published in: Nature Medicine: Advance Online Publication, published on line May 7, 2007

Nature Publishing Group, http://www.nature.com/naturemedicine



Acute oxidative stress induced by ischemia-reperfusion or inflammation causes serious damage to tissues, and persistent oxidative stress is accepted as one of the causes of many common diseases including cancer. We show here that hydrogen (H2) has potential as an antioxidant in preventive and therapeutic applications. We induced acute oxidative stress in cultured cells by three independent methods. H2 selectively reduced the hydroxyl radical, the most cytotoxic of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and effectively protected cells; however, H2 did not react with other ROS, which possess physiological roles. We used an acute rat model in which oxidative stress damage was induced in the brain by focal ischemia and reperfusion. The inhalation of H2 gas markedly suppressed brain injury by buffering the effects of oxidative stress. Thus H2 can be used as an effective antioxidant therapy; owing to its ability to rapidly diffuse across membranes, it can reach and react with cytotoxic ROS and thus protect against oxidative damage.


“Supplementation of hydrogen-rich water improves lipid and glucose metabolism in patients with type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance”

Sizuo Kajiyama, Goji Hasegawa, Mai Asano, Hiroko Hosoda, michiaki Fukui, Naoto Nakamura, Jo Kitawaki, saeko Imai, Koji Nakano, Mitsuhiro Ohta, Tetsui Adachi, Hiroshi Obayashi, Toshikazu Yoshikawa

Published in: Science Direct; Nutrition Research 28 (2008) 137-143; Elsevier

Available online at www.sciencedirect.com : Nutrition Research www.elsevier.com/locate/nutres



Oxidative stress is recognized widely as being associated with various disorders including diabetes, hypertension, and atherosclerosis. It is well established that hydrogen has a reducing action. We therefore investigated the effects of hydrogen-rich water intake on lipid and glucose metabolism in patients with either type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). We performed a 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. Several biomarkers of oxidative stress, insulin resistance, and glucose metabolism, assessed by an oral glucose tolerance test, were evaluated at baseline and at 8 weeks. Intake of hydrogen-rich water was associated with significant decreases in the levels of modified low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (i.e., modifications that increase the net negative charge of LDL), small dense LDL, and urinary 8-isoprostanes by 15.5% (P < .01), 5.7% (P < .05), and 6.6% (P < .05), respectively. Hydrogen-rich water intake was also associated 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. In conclusion, these results suggest that supplementation with hydrogen-rich water may have a beneficial role in prevention of T2DM and insulin resistance.


“Consumption of Molecular Hydrogen Prevents the Stress-Induced Impairments in Hippocampus-Dependent Learning Tasks during Chronic Physical Restraint in Mice”

Kazufumi Nagata, Naomi Nakashima-Kamimura, Toshio Mikami, Ikuroh Ohsawa, Shigeo Ohta Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication 18 June 2008; doi:10.1038/npp.2008.95



We have reported that hydrogen (H2) acts as an efficient antioxidant by gaseous rapid diffusion. When water saturated with hydrogen (hydrogen water) was placed into the stomach of a rat, hydrogen was detected at several M level in blood. Because hydrogen gas is unsuitable for continuous consumption, we investigated using mice whether drinking hydrogen water ad libitum, instead of inhaling hydrogen gas, prevents cognitive impairment by reducing oxidative stress. Chronic physical restraint stress to mice enhanced levels of oxidative stress markers, malondialdehyde and 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal, in the brain, and impaired learning and memory, as judged by three different methods: passive avoidance learning, object recognition task, and the Morris water maze. Consumption of hydrogen water ad libitum throughout the whole period suppressed the increase in the oxidative stress markers and prevented cognitive impairment, as judged by all three methods, whereas hydrogen water did not improve cognitive ability when no stress was provided. Neural proliferation in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus was suppressed by restraint stress, as observed by 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine incorporation and Ki-67 immunostaining, proliferation markers. The consumption of hydrogen water ameliorated the reduced proliferation although the mechanistic link between the hydrogen-dependent changes in neurogenesis and cognitive impairments remains unclear. Thus, continuous consumption of hydrogen water reduces oxidative stress in the brain, and prevents the stress-induced decline in learning and memory caused by chronic physical restraint. Hydrogen water may be applicable for preventive use in cognitive or other neuronal disorders.


“Hydrogen in Drinking Water Reduces Dopaminergic Neuronal Loss in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine Mouse Model of Parkinson's Disease


Kyota Fujita1, Toshihiro Seike1, Noriko Yutsudo2, Mizuki Ohno2, Hidetaka Yamada2, Hiroo Yamaguchi2, Kunihiko Sakumi2, Yukiko Yamakawa1, Mizuho A. Kido3, Atsushi Takaki4, Toshihiko Katafuchi4, Yoshinori Tanaka5, Yusaku Nakabeppu2#, Mami Noda1#*

1 Laboratory of Pathophysiology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, 2 Division of Neurofunctional Genomics, Medical Institute of Bioregulation, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, 3 Department of Oral Anatomy and Cell Biology, Graduate School of Dental Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, 4 Department of Integrative Physiology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, 5 R&D Center, Home Appliances Manufacturing Business Unit, Panasonic Electric Works Co., Ltd., Osaka, Japan - PLoS ONE | www.plosone.org 1 September 2009 | Volume 4 | Issue 9 |


It has been shown that molecular hydrogen (H2) acts as a therapeutic antioxidant and suppresses brain injury by buffering the effects of oxidative stress. Chronic oxidative stress causes neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD). Here, we show that drinking H2-containing water significantly reduced the loss of dopaminergic neurons in PD model mice using both acute and chronic administration of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyri‚Äčdine (MPTP). The concentration-dependency of H2 showed that H2 as low as 0.08 ppm had almost the same effect as saturated H2 water (1.5 ppm). MPTP-induced accumulation of cellular 8-oxoguanine (8-oxoG), a marker of DNA damage, and 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE), a marker of lipid peroxidation were significantly decreased in the nigro-striatal dopaminergic pathway in mice drinking H2-containing water, whereas production of superoxide (O2) detected by intravascular injection of dihydroethidium (DHE) was not reduced significantly. Our results indicated that low concentration of H2 in drinking water can reduce oxidative stress in the brain. Thus, drinking H2-containing water may be useful in daily life to prevent or minimize the risk of life style-related oxidative stress and neurodegeneration.


Consumption of hydrogen water prevents atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E knockout mice

Ikuroh Ohsawaa, b, Kiyomi Nishimakia, Kumi Yamagataa, Masahiro Ishikawaa and Shigeo Ohtaa,


aDepartment of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Institute of Development and Aging Sciences, Nippon Medical School, 1-396 Kosugi-cho, Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa 211-8533, Japan

bThe Center of Molecular Hydrogen Medicine, Institute of Development and Aging Sciences, Nippon Medical School, Kawasaki 211-8533, Japan



Received 16 October 2008.  Available online 6 November 2008.



Oxidative stress is implicated in atherogenesis; however most clinical trials with dietary antioxidants failed to show marked success in preventing atherosclerotic diseases. We have found that hydrogen (dihydrogen; H2) acts as an effective antioxidant to reduce oxidative stress [I. Ohsawa, M. Ishikawa, K. Takahashi, M. Watanabe, K. Nishimaki, K. Yamagata, K. Katsura, Y. Katayama, S, Asoh, S. Ohta, Hydrogen acts as a therapeutic antioxidant by selectively reducing cytotoxic oxygen radicals, Nat. Med. 13 (2007) 688–694]. Here, we investigated whether drinking H2-dissolved water at a saturated level (H2–water) ad libitum prevents arteriosclerosis using an apolipoprotein E knockout mouse (apoE−/−), a model of the spontaneous development of atherosclerosis. ApoE−/− mice drank H2–water ad libitum from 2 to 6 month old throughout the whole period. Atherosclerotic lesions were significantly reduced by ad libitum drinking of H2–water (p = 0.0069) as judged by Oil-Red-O staining series of sections of aorta. The oxidative stress level of aorta was decreased. Accumulation of macrophages in atherosclerotic lesions was confirmed. Thus, consumption of H2-dissolved water has the potential to prevent arteriosclerosis.


Molecular hydrogen alleviates nephrotoxicity induced by an anti-cancer drug cisplatin without compromising anti-tumor activity in mice


Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology, Volume 64, Number 4 / September, 2009, Friday, January 16, 2009


Naomi Nakashima-Kamimura1, Takashi Mori3, Ikuroh Ohsawa1, 2, Sadamitsu Asoh1 and Shigeo Ohta



Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Institute of Development and Aging Sciences, Nippon Medical School, Kawasaki Kanagawa, 211-8533, Japan



The Center of Molecular Hydrogen Medicine, Institute of Development and Aging Sciences, Nippon Medical School, Kawasaki Kanagawa, 211-8533, Japan



Institute of Medical Science, Saitama Medical Center/University, Kawagoe Saitama, 350-8550, Japan


Received: 24 September 2008  Accepted: 30 December 2008  Published online:

16 January 2009



Purpose  Cisplatin is a widely used anti-cancer drug in the treatment of a wide range of tumors; however, its application is limited by nephrotoxicity, which is affected by oxidative stress. We have reported that molecular hydrogen (H2) acts as an efficient antioxidant (Ohsawa et al. in Nat Med 13:688–694, 2007). Here we show that hydrogen efficiently mitigates the side effects of cisplatin by reducing oxidative stress.


Methods  Mice were administered cisplatin followed by inhaling hydrogen gas (1% H2 in air). Furthermore, instead of inhaling hydrogen gas, we examined whether drinking water containing hydrogen (hydrogen water; 0.8 mM H2 in water) is applicable by examining oxidative stress, mortality, and body-weight loss. Nephrotoxicity was assessed by morphological changes, serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels.


Results  Inhalation of hydrogen gas improved mortality and body-weight loss caused by cisplatin, and alleviated nephrotoxicity. Hydrogen was detected in blood when hydrogen water was placed in the stomach of a rat. Consuming hydrogen water ad libitum also reduced oxidative stress, mortality, and body-weight loss induced by cisplatin in mice. Hydrogen water improved metamorphosis accompanying decreased apoptosis in the kidney, and nephrotoxicity as assessed by serum creatinine and BUN levels. Despite its protective effects against cisplatin-induced toxicity, hydrogen did not impair anti-tumor activity of cisplatin against cancer cell lines in vitro and tumor-bearing mice in vivo.


Conclusion  Hydrogen has potential for improving the quality of life of patients during chemotherapy by efficiently mitigating the side effects of cisplatin.


Molecular hydrogen is protective against 6-hydroxydopamine-induced nigrostriatal degeneration in a rat model of Parkinson's disease.


Fu Y, Ito M, Fujita Y, Ito M, Ichihara M, Masuda A, Suzuki Y, Maesawa S, Kajita Y, Hirayama M, Ohsawa I, Ohta S, Ohno K.


Division of Neurogenetics, Center for Neurological Diseases and Cancer, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan.


Molecular hydrogen serves as an antioxidant that reduces hydroxyl radicals, but not the other reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. In the past year, molecular hydrogen has been reported to prevent or ameliorate eight diseases in rodents and one in human associated with oxidative stress. In Parkinson's disease, mitochondrial dysfunction and the associated oxidative stress are major causes of dopaminergic cell loss in the substantia nigra. We examined effects of approximately 50%-saturated molecular hydrogen in drinking water before or after the stereotactic surgery on 6-hydroxydopamine-induced nigrostrital degeneration in a rat model of Parkinson's disease. Methamphetamine-induced behavioral analysis showed that molecular hydrogen prevented both the development and progression of the nigrostrital degeneration. Tyrosine hydroxylase staining of the substantia nigra and striatum also demonstrated that pre- and post-treatment with hydrogen prevented the dopaminergic cell loss. Our studies suggest that hydrogen water is likely able to retard the development and progression of Parkinson's disease.


Rapid Diffusion of Hydrogen Protects the Retina: Administration to the Eye of Hydrogen-Containing Saline in Retinal Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury


Hideaki Oharazawa,1 Tsutomu Igarashi,2 Takashi Yokota,3 Hiroaki Fujii,4 Hisaharu Suzuki,5 Mitsuru Machide,6 Hiroshi Takahashi,7 Shigeo Ohta,8 and Ikuroh Ohsawa9

1Department of Ophthalmology, Musashikosugi Hospital, Nippon Medical School, Kawasaki, Japan 2Department of Ophthalmology, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan 3Department of Molecular Biology, Institute of Development and Aging Sciences, Nippon Medical School, Kawasaki, Japan 4Department of Ophthalmology, Musashikosugi Hospital, Nippon Medical School, Kawasaki, Japan 5Department of Ophthalmology, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan 6The Center of Molecular Hydrogen Medicine, Institute of Development and Aging Sciences, Nippon Medical School, Kawasaki, Japan 7Department of Ophthalmology, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan 8Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Institute of Development and Aging Sciences, Nippon Medical School, Kawasaki, Japan 9The Center of Molecular Hydrogen Medicine, Institute of Development and Aging Sciences, Nippon Medical School, Kawasaki, Japan Correspondence: Ikuroh Ohsawa, Email: iohsawa@nms.ac.jp



PURPOSE. Retinal ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury by transientelevation of intraocular pressure (IOP) is known to induce neuronaldamage through the generation of reactive oxygen species. Previousstudies indicate that molecular hydrogen (H2) is an efficientantioxidant gas that selectively reduces the hydroxyl radical( OH) and suppresses oxidative stress-induced injury inseveral organs. This study was conducted to explore the neuroprotectiveeffect of H2-loaded eye drops on retinal I/R injury.


RESULTS. When H2-loaded eye drops were continuously administered,H2 concentration in the vitreous body immediately increasedand I/R-induced OH level decreased. The drops reduced the numberof retinal apoptotic and oxidative stress marker-positive cells,and prevented retinalthinning with an accompanying activation of Müller glia,astrocytes, and microglia. The drops improved the recovery ofretinal thickness by >70%.


CONCLUSIONS. H2 has no known toxic effects on the human body.Thus, our study suggests that H2-loaded eye drops will be ahighly useful neuroprotective and anti-oxidative therapeutictreatment for acute retinal I/R injury.


Additional comment on above article by Dr. Shirahata:

Dr.Sanetaka Shirahata

Graduate school of Genetic Resources Technology, Kyushu University, 6-10-1 Hakozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan.


It has long been established that reactive oxygen species (ROS) cause many typesof damage to biomolecules and cellular structures, that, in turn result in the development of a variety of pathologic states such as diabetes, cancer and aging. Reduced water is defined as anti-oxidative water produced by reduction of water. Electrolyzed reduced water (ERW) has been demonstrated to be hydrogen-rich water and can scavenge ROS in vitro (Shirahata et al., 1997). The reduction of proton in water to active hydrogen (atomic hydrogen, hydrogen radical) that can scavenge ROS is very easily caused by a weak current, compared to oxidation of hydroxyl ion to oxygen molecule. Activation of water by magnetic field, collision, minerals etc. will also produce reduced water containing active hydrogen and/or hydrogen molecule. Several natural waters such as Hita Tenryosui water drawn from deep underground in Hita city in Japan, Nordenau water in Germany and Tlacote water in Mexico are known to alleviate various diseases. We have developed a sensitive method by which we can detect active hydrogen existing in reduced water, and have demonstrated that not only ERW but also natural reduced waters described above contain active hydrogen and scavenge ROS in cultured cells. ROS is known to cause reduction of glucose uptake by inhibiting the insulin-signaling pathway in cultured cells. Reduced water scavenged intracellular ROS and stimulated glucose uptake in the presence or absence of insulin in both rat L6 skeletal muscle cells and mouse 3T3/L1 adipocytes. This insulin-like activity of reduced water was inhibited by wortmannin that is specific inhibitor of PI-3 kinase, a key molecule in insulin signaling pathways. Reduced water protected insulin-responsive cells from sugar toxicity and improved the damaged sugar tolerance of type 2 diabetes model mice, suggesting that reduced water may improve insulin-independent diabetes mellitus. Cancer cells are generally exposed to high oxidative stress. Reduced water cause impaired tumor phenotypes of human cancer cells, such as reduced growth rate, morphological changes, reduced colony formation ability in soft agar, passage number-dependent telomere shortening, reduced binding abilities of telomere binding proteins and suppressed metastasis. Reduced water suppressed the growth of cancer cells transplanted into mice, demonstrating their anti-cancer effects in vivo. Reduced water will be applicable to not only medicine but also food industries, agriculture, and manufacturing industries.

Shirahata, S. et al.: Electrolyzed reduced water scavenges active oxygen species and protects DNA from oxidative damage. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 234, 269174, 1997.


Electrolyzed-reduced water protects against oxidative damage to DNA, RNA, and protein

Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology Volume 135, Number 2 / November, 2006

Mi Young Lee, Yoon Kyoung Kim1, Kun Kul Ryoo2, Yoon Bae Lee2 and Eun Ju Park3

(1) Department of Genetic Engineering, Soonchunhyang University, Asan, 336-600 Chungnam, Korea

(2) Division of Material and Chemical Engineering, Soonchunhyang University, Asan, 336-600 Chungnam, Korea

(3) Department of Food and Nutritional Science, Kyungnam University, 631-701 Masan, Korea

Received: 27 October 2005  Revised: 8 February 2006  Accepted: 14 February 2006  



The generation of reactive oxygen species is thought to cause extensive oxidative damage to various biomolecules such as DNA, RNA, and protein. In this study, the preventive, suppressive, and protective effects of in vitro supplementation with electrolyzed-reduced water on H2O2-induced DNA damage in human lymphocytes were examined using a comet assay. Pretreatment, cotreatment, and posttreatment with electrolyzed-reduced water enhanced human lymphocyte resistance to the DNA strand breaks induced by H2O2 in vitro. Moreover, electrolyzed-reduced water was much more effective than diethylpyrocarbonate-treated water in preventing total RNA degradation at 4 and 25°C. In addition, electrolyzed-reduced water completely prevented the oxidative cleavage of horseradish peroxidase, as determined using sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gels. Enhancement of the antioxidant activity of ascorbic acid dissolved in electrolyzed-reduced water was about threefold that of ascorbic acid dissolved in nonelectrolyzed deionized water, as measured by a xanthine-xanthine oxidase superoxide scavenging assay system, suggesting an inhibitory effect of electrolyzed-reduced water on the oxidation of ascorbic acid.