The benefits of drinking water are well known. We need a good amount of it in order to survive. However, there are questions about how much is enough. Do you get enough from your water?
Water is considered a healthy part of a balanced diet, but do we really need to consume so much? Is it possible to receive significant health benefits from the consumption of just a small amount of water every day? Scientists have developed a concept called “Molecular Hydrogen” (MH), which essentially refers to the ability of certain molecules to act as an antioxidant. An antioxidant is any substance that increases the rate of absorption or use of nutrients.
In contrast, if the molecule has a high surface area and/or is “attached” to another molecule, then it is considered more of an “associate” antioxidant. As an antioxidant, most of what it does is absorb the oxygen molecules that are present. As far as the human body is concerned, this is not healthful unless there is an adequate supply of oxygen. So, does the consumption of hydrogen water provide healthful benefits? The answer is: maybe.
There are a few different types of antioxidants. One is “free radical”, which is associated with aging, chronic inflammation and aging-related diseases like cancer. The other type of antioxidant is the “mitochondria antioxidant”, which fights against the oxidative stress caused by free radicals. A recent study showed that the addition of h2O to the body increases the activity of both the “mitochondria antioxidant” and the “oxidative stress antioxidant”. Thereby, researchers concluded, “The ingestion of h2O may represent a novel and powerful intervention to reduce chronic oxidative stress and its associated health problems such as atherosclerosis and age-related cognitive impairment”.
But do those findings hold true for all h2-rich water? Not necessarily. For one thing, the study only included eight subjects who were treated with h2O in a clinical trial. If we assume that the subjects studied were healthy, they would have all undergone something called “pleating” of the antioxidant status. This would include the addition of a certain amount of antioxidants to the body through diet, supplements and even medical therapy.
Another study performed in Spain compared two groups of HIV infected patients. The first group was given a supplement consisting of h2-rich water, while the other was not. The HIV infected patients who took the antioxidant significantly benefited from the treatment (which also included an anti-viral compound). However, the researchers didn’t find enough evidence to suggest that the antioxidants can prevent HIV infection.
A third study found that plasma antioxidant levels were higher in subjects who drank a large quantity of water rich in antioxidants compared to those who did not. The researchers suggested that the increased antioxidant capacity could be due to the consumption of a large quantity of water rich in hydrogen-rich water or from a high level of physical activity. Physical activity is known to boost physical activity and the consumption of hydrogen-rich water may help promote higher physical activity.
Overall, the researchers are suggesting that the intake of large amounts of hw can potentially provide many healthy adults with a number of benefits. But, the specific beneficial effects depend upon the specific individual’s lifestyle. So, it is important for individuals to consult with their physician before taking any type of antioxidant supplementation. Further research is necessary to determine the optimal daily dosages and the most effective way to integrate antioxidants into the everyday lifestyle.
Another group of scientists has examined the relationship between antioxidant supplementation and immune function in HIV-infected persons. They examined whether antioxidant supplementation decreased the severity of progression of HIV in HIV-infected individuals. The results showed that there was a significant improvement in the survival of HIV-infected individuals when they were given a placebo instead of h2-water. These results indicate that oxidative stress plays a role in the progression of AIDS.
The final group of scientists examined the effect of rosacea on biological antioxidant capacity. Rosacea is a chronic facial skin disease characterized by flushing, pimples, pa pules, and pustules. It is believed that the increased facial redness and irritation resulting from rosacea is caused by increased oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can result from exposure to environmental factors like cigarette smoke, vehicle exhaust, UV light, and sunburn. A significant increase in cellular oxidation due to the presence of increased free radicals may contribute to the development of this facial skin disease.
There are several theories concerning the biological mechanism underlying the link between stress and DNA damage. One of the major theories postulated is that the increased level of cellular DNA damage caused by the oxidative stress leads to the development of stress-related psychological illnesses (i.e., anxiety, depression, etc.). However, there is no direct evidence to support this hypothesis. It is believed that some or all of these psychological disorders may also be associated with DNA damage as well. Hence, further research is needed to establish the role of oxidative stress in determining the relationship between DNA damage and various diseases.