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evolution of molecular hydrogen

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Dixon et al. Medical Gas Research 2013, 3:10 http://www.medicalgasresearch.com/content/3/1/10 REVIEW The evolution of molecular hydrogen: a noteworthy potential therapy with clinical significance Brandon J Dixon1, Jiping Tang1 and John H Zhang1,2* Abstract MEDICAL GAS RESEARCH Open Access Studies on molecular hydrogen have evolved tremendously from its humble beginnings and have continued to change throughout the years. Hydrogen is extremely 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 is most commonly applied as a gas, water, saline, and can be applied in a variety of other mediums. There are also few side effects involving hydrogen, thus making hydrogen a perfect medical gas candidate for the convention of novel therapeutic strategies against cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, cancer, metabolic, and respiratory diseases and disorders. Although hydrogen appears to be faultless at times, there still are several deficiencies or snares that need to be investigated by future studies. This review article seeks to delve and comprehensively analyze the research and experiments that alludes to molecular hydrogen being a novel therapeutic treatment that medicine desperately needs. Keywords: Antioxidant, Cytoprotection, Hydrogen therapy, Mechanisms, Reactive oxygen species Introduction History Hydrogen has been shown to be an extremely useful element that has been used in a vast range of disciplines. Since its initial discovery, hydrogen has been effectively applied in a variety of combinations with other elements and different physical states. The role of hydrogen is constantly evolving from its humble beginnings in the chemistry field as a mysterious flammable gas, to its aeronautic applications in balloons, and its emerging role as a potential therapy in medicine (See Figure 1). The first documented discovery of hydrogen was by Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus in 1520. Paracelsus un- knowingly discovered a flammable gas by burning some metal with an acid and collecting the products (Royal Chemistry Society). After Paracelsus discovered this * Correspondence: johnhzhang3910@yahoo.com 1Department of Physiology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Risley Hall, Room 223, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA 2Department of Neurosurgery, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA, USA mysterious flammable gas, others replicated the process and began working with the gas. However, hydrogen gas never had an official or common name. It was not until 1783, that Lavoisier, who is often referred to as the modern father of chemistry, used the French word “hydrogene” to describe the gas (Royal Chemistry Society). The first applications of hydrogen were of the aero- nautical nature. In 1783, Frenchmen Jacques Charles created the first hydrogen balloon carrier. Since then and throughout time many other forms of hydrogen filled balloons would follow along with some success and disasters. One of the most infamous disasters in- volving hydrogen gas is the explosion of Hindenburg, a German passenger aircraft utilizing hydrogen gas [4]. Characteristics Hydrogen can be characterized as the lightest and most abundant chemical element. A large amount of hydro- gen is usually found in water and organic compounds, which causes free hydrogen to be rare on Earth [5]. © 2013 Dixon et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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