evolution of molecular hydrogen

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evolution of molecular hydrogen ( evolution-molecular-hydrogen )

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Dixon et al. Medical Gas Research 2013, 3:10 Page 2 of 12 http://www.medicalgasresearch.com/content/3/1/10 Figure 1 The progress of hydrogen in history. A timeline of the history of molecular hydrogen [1-3]. According to the Hazardous Substances Data Bank, hy- drogen is also an odorless, tasteless, colorless gas [6]. As a result of its unique features hydrogen has many advantageous characteristics. One major advantage that hydrogen contains is its ability to diffuse through mem- branes and enter the cytosol. Hydrogen can also enter the mitochondria and nucleus. This is extremely favor- able since many known antioxidants lack the ability to target organelles and are not as effective in this manner. Molecular hydrogen is also believed to be advantageous in medical procedures since it is able to maneuver through the blood brain barrier. There also are few side effects involving hydrogen. It is proposed that few side effects occur, since it seems that hydrogen reacts with strong oxidants and its levels does not seem to interfere with cell signaling processes involving reactive oxygen species [2]. Out of the numerous observations evolved the applica- tions of hydrogen. In 1888, the Annals of Surgery had recorded one of the very publications linking hydrogen and medicine. At that point in time unnecessary lapa- rotomies were often performed since it was very difficult for surgeons to determine visceral injuries to the intes- tines and the stomach. It was also reported that a sur- geon was able to use hydrogen gas to insufflate the gastro-intestinal canal to accurately determine and lo- cate visceral injuries, avoiding unwarranted surgeries [3]. Modern uses Today, hydrogen is still very instrumental and can be found in an assortment of fashions concerning medicine and scientific research. One medicinal approach that employs hydrogen is the breath hydrogen test. The breath hydrogen test is performed by measuring the amount of hydrogen that is produced by intestinal bacteria that are constantly synthesizing hydrogen as a result of fermen- tation of unabsorbed carbohydrates [7]. The analysis of the results of the breath hydrogen test can serve as bio- markers and can be also used to compute oral-cecal trans- port, transit times, and overgrowth of bacteria. The breath hydrogen test is also used as biomarkers in clinical and scientific research ranging from biochemistry, dentistry, and physiology [5]. In 2007, Ohsawa et al., published “Hydrogen acts as a therapeutic antioxidant by selectively reducing cytotoxic oxygen radicals” in Nature Medicine. Ohsawa et al., re- ported that hydrogen is able to react with cytotoxic oxy- gen radicals and protect against oxidative damage. These conclusions were made based upon experiments obser- ving a rat model of focal ischemia and reperfusion. After ischemia was induced and reperfusion performed, it was observed that arterial blood contained elevated levels proportionate to the concentration of hydrogen that was inhaled. Also, it is suggested that the tissue was able to absorb hydrogen, since dissolved hydrogen was found at lower levels than the arterial blood. The study also sug- gests that hydrogen is able to prevent oxidative damage by reacting with the hydroxyl radical. This is important since the hydroxyl radical is believed to be the most dangerous oxygen species since there are no naturally occurring mechanisms to prevent its affects. As a result of the findings by Ohsawa et al., the convention of hydrogen has yet evolved. This publication has sparked many investigations concerning hydrogen as a selective

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