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GOT POTASSIUM?

Fred Liers PhD potassium minerals pH AdjustGot potassium? You heard me right. Po-tass-i-um.

Well, no—you probably don’t get enough—and you’re not alone. Fewer than 2% of people do.

Experts say 4,700 milligrams (4.7 grams) of potassium is the minimum daily intake required for health and to reduce risk of chronic disease.

Yet, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) reports the average potassium intake for Americans is 2,640 milligrams (2.6 g) daily. This low intake remains unchanged over decades! Most people get less than half the amount of potassium needed to meet “adequate” or minimum levels.

Given essential roles played by potassium in the body, and the known health benefits it confers, almost everyone — including you — can benefit from additional potassium. From where will it come?

That is to say, will the average person really meet recommended potassium intake from diet alone? I’m a huge advocate for increasing intake of dietary potassium, but long-term evidence suggests the answer is “no.” Supplementing with certain forms of potassium can be an effective adjunct to dietary intake.

It therefore can be highly beneficial to take a potassium-containing formula like pH Adjust, which provides potassium bicarbonate that boosts potassium levels and powerfully alkalinizes the body.

Bananas provide potassium (400–800 mg), but not if you don’t eat them!

THE “NEGLECTED” MINERAL?

For years, a parade of minerals—calcium, magnesium, zinc, iodine, and yes, sodium—have drawn attention from health professionals, consumers, and the media. Whither potassium?

Yet despite compelling scientific studies, articles, and books, potassium has not “caught on” among doctors, consumers, or health aficionados. Nevertheless, knowledgeable health professionals and a small number of health-consious individuals have known of its importance for decades and longer.

Potassium has become known as the “forgotten” or “neglected” mineral. It’s time to revisit what we thought we knew…or never knew. It’s time to recognize potassium as “first among equals” in the pantheon of macrominerals.

If you think you know potassium, prepare to think again.

POTASSIUM FACTS

A review from Nutrition 101…and some things you may not know:

The symbol for potassium is “K” in the periodic table. It is one of seven essential macrominerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, chloride, and sulfur.

POTASSIUM BASICS:

• Regulates fluid balance in the body by means of the sodium-potassium pump (Na+/K+ pump)

• Controls electrical activity of cardiac muscle (heart) and other muscles

• Counters the effects of sodium and thereby maintains proper blood pressure

• Maintains proper acid-base balance in the body

BENEFITS OF HIGH (ADEQUATE) POTASSIUM:

• Decreases risk of dying from all causes (20%)

• Reduces risk of stroke

• Lowers blood pressure

• Protects against loss of muscle mass

• Preserves bone mineral density

• Reduces formation of kidney stones

POTASSIUM – NEEDED MORE THAN EVER?

Beyond the benefits you may take for granted that are provided by the mineral you don’t get enough of…there are many reasons why potassium is more important than ever.

One major reason potassium is needed more than ever: sodium.

Sodium is the essential macromineral no one seems to be lacking. Just the opposite! When people talk about sodium, it is usually about how to avoid it. Sodium is blamed for hypertension and adverse cardiovascular health. What is the connection between sodium and potassium?

It all starts at the level of the cell with the “sodium-potassium pump” (or N+/K+ pump). The sodium-potassium pump is responsible for keeping sodium out of cells and keeping potassium in. But it also a carrier for nutrients going into cells, and it is involved in the energy production.

The typical modern diet —low in potassium and high in sodium (and sugar)—is a major problem for cells because it compromises the function of the sodium-potassium pump. Optimal function of the sodium-potassium pump requires not only increasing potassium intake, but also reducing sodium intake.

Potassium Sodium Pump cell

The sodium-potassium pump expels 3 sodium ions and brings in 2 potassium ions per cycle

SODIUM – POTASSIUM RELATIONSHIP:

• Humans once consumed high levels of potassium (12 g or higher) and low levels of sodium (<2 g) daily. That 6:1 ratio in favor of potassium has radically shifted to a 2:1 or even 4:1 ratio in favor of sodium. Salt is everywhere in the food supply. The potassium to sodium ratio (K/Na ratio) is called the “K Factor.”

• High “K Factor”: During evolutionary history, humans consumed 5–10+ times more potassium than sodium. Because the prehistoric diet contained little sodium, the body developed means for conserving it through resorption. Conversely, our potassium supplies were higher, and therefore the body developed no system for conserving it—it is absorbed, filtered by the kidneys, and eliminated.

• Cellular imbalance between potassium and sodium can cause strokes and other damage without increasing blood pressure (K Factor xxix). An exclusive focus on decreasing blood pressure (whether through diet or drugs) that fails to take potassium into consideration may not produce desired results.

• The sodium-potassium (Na+/K+) pump is an important pump that exists in cells. Its job is to keep sodium levels low in cells (pump out sodium and wastes) and pump in potassium, glucose, and other nutrients. Sufficient potassium is critical for this all-important pump that keeps us healthy.

• When sodium (salt) levels are high and potassium levels are low, the pump does not function efficiently. Cells cannot prevent sodium from entering, causing them to swell from osmotic pressure, and causing metabolic blockage.

• The sodium-potassium pump uses sodium as a “carrier” to bring in potassium, glucose, and other nutrients. For every glucose molecule, two sodium molecules are pumped into a cell. With high sodium intakes, cells become overloaded with sodium, and the pump works far less efficiently.

• Low potassium creates greater imbalance preventing the pump from excreting sodium, and also preventing nutrients from entering cells. The cell produces less energy and enters a type of metabolic stasis.

• Studies show the greatest decreases in blood pressure occur not only when sodium intake decreases, but when potassium intake simultaneously increases.

The role of potassium in the sodium-potassium pump has implications for nearly every function in the human body. And potassium does a lot more.

MANY HEALTH BENEFITS

Potassium provides many benefits. These include known benefits for reducing hypertension, stroke, osteoporosis, and kidney stones, as well as supporting cardiovascular health, and stabilizing blood glucose. Many of potassium’s benefits relate to its role in the sodium-potassium pump. Other benefits relate to different aspects of potassium.

POTASSIUM ALKALINIZES YOUR BODY

Among the most significant features of potassium is its ability to alkalinize the body. Potassium neutralizes acids by itself and especially when combined with minerals such as bicarbonates.

I have recently posted several articles that discuss potassium’s role in keeping the body alkaline. Specifically, how consuming more potassium-rich fruits and vegetables remains the most important means for maintaining alkaline conditions in the body.

Potassium contributes mightily to acid-alkaline balance essential for health by boosting alkalinity. pH levels in the range of 7.35–7.45 provide many benefits. Because modern diets and lifestyles tend to produce acidic conditions (acidosis) in the body, it is important to recognize potassium’s role as “ultimate alkalinizer.”

Known benefits of ideal pH levels (slightly alkaline) include:

• Optimal function of enzymes
• Proper mineral retention, including electrolyte reserves
• Better tissue oxygenation
• Beneficial effects on microbiome

fruits vegetables potassium alkalinization

Consuming more potassium-rich fruits and vegetables can help maintain proper pH in the body.

The alkaline-forming minerals include potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium. They work together to keep you alkaline—all are important. Yet, in terms of what in your diet most drives alkalinity, potassium is the king. In fact, certain measures of pH indicate that alkalinity is a function of potassium intake. This means potassium intake most effectively creates alkaline conditions.

High dietary intake of potassium-rich, alkaline-forming fruits and vegetables (especially leafy green vegetables) and vegetable juices is the best way of supporting proper pH. This is a proven means for balancing the effects of acid-forming foods like meats, and most grains and starches (simple carbohydrates).

Known factors producing overly acidic conditions in the body include consuming meats, sugar, processed foods, and simple carbohydrates like wheat, corn, rice, and most pastas and breads.

IT’S REALLY ABOUT DIET?

TOO LITTLE POTASSIUM…TOO MUCH SODIUM

The human story behind potassium begins with dietary intake. Once upon a time, we “got plenty” of potassium in our diets. Now, not so much.

Indeed, humans have a long history of high potassium intake from foods. Our paleolithic ancestors ate a lot of vegetables, fruits, and nuts—all of which are high in potassium. This helped balance their intake of nutrients from animal foods, which are typically lower in potassium.

During the rise of agriculture (20,000–30,000 years ago) and settled communities, grains became a significant portion of our diet. Yet, grains contain relatively low levels of potassium.

In addition, salt was added to foods in larger quantities as a preservative and taste enhancer. A long, slow slide toward decreasing potassium levels— and simultaneously increasing sodium levels—was set in motion.

Sodium is an essential mineral for health—it is one of the alkalinizing minerals. But historically, humans obtained 5–10+ times as much potassium as sodium. We have now “successfully” reversed potassium preponderance by consuming 2–4 times as much sodium as potassium. This causes lots of problems, and is one of the major elements creating dysfunction in sodium-potassium pumps in cells (see above).

In our modern age, and especially since the later decades of the the 20th century, intake of fresh vegetables and fruits has fallen dramatically. And so has the dietary intake of potassium.

The 20th century witnessed an unprecedented and dramatic rise in consumption of processed, packaged, and “fast” foods — most of which are low in potassium and high in sodium.

Beyond the rise of processed foods, there are declines in nutrients (including potassium) in foods due to steadily poorer soil quality on farmland. And adverse impacts on nutrients in food crops relating to the rise of industrial agriculture—with its dependency on chemicals—and failure to replenish soils.

DIET REMAINS BEST TO INCREASE POTASSIUM INTAKE

Potassium remains high in vegetables and fruits, including dried fruits. And vegetable broths. The best solution to low intake of potassium in the diet is simply consuming higher levels of vegetables and fruits, especially those that are fresh and organic.

spinach leafy greens potassium alkalinity

Got spinach? It provides 800 mg potassium per cup!

Leafy greens (raw or cooked) are among the very best sources. Beet greens contain 1,300 mg of potassium per cup and spinach about 800 mg per cup.

Fresh carrot juice is my favorite providing nearly 700 mg per cup. Even comfort foods like baked potatoes (or sweet potatoes) provide high levels (1,000 mg) with skin. Avocado lovers rejoice, as there are 400–500 mg per avocado.

Beans and nuts are good sources, too. Fruits like bananas (400 mg), cantaloupe (350 mg), and even fruit juices like orange juice (650 mg) are significant sources. Among animal foods, fish, chicken, and pork are highest in potassium.

Nutritionists frequently suggest a 80–20 rule: simply consume 80% alkaline-forming foods to 20% acid-forming foods.

With this simple 80–20 formula, nearly everyone can achieve high—or at least adequate—potassium intake through their dietary choices.

The question is: Will people CHOOSE high-potassium foods? Do you?

SOLUTIONS FOR INCREASING POTASSIUM AND REDUCING SODIUM

You can point a person to high-potassium foods, but you can’t make them eat them. Despite exhortations from all sides for greater consumption of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other high-potassium foods, “potassium sufficiency” isn’t the reality for most people. Potassium intake has been steady for decades.

Regarding sodium, it is just as easy (and important) for most people to decrease sodium in the diet as it is to increase potassium intake. Reduce use of salt. Choose low-sodium options when possible. Sodium is now on the radar as a mineral that promotes hypertension, so low-sodium options are increasingly available.

But like eating more fruits and vegetables, getting more exercise—and other things we know we “should” do—reducing sodium requires a conscious effort. The first part is awareness on the part of the individual. That leads to greater responsibility.

sodium salt shaker potassium

Too much sodium and insufficient potassium in the diet describes modern life.

I also believe manufacturers, restaurants, and the food industry in general should voluntarily limit the amount of sodium they put in foods. That would go a long way toward making it easier to reduce salt.

Coming back to potassium, an interesting fact is that based on US research, Finland in the 1990s replaced their salt shakers with potassium shakers. It’s true. And among other benefits, the incidence of strokes and heart attacks decreased by 60%.

Much can be done by individuals to improve their lives by increasing their potassium intake. Unless and until people eat enough high-potassium foods (and/or the US replaces its salt shakers with potassium shakers—which actually would help solve two problems), another viable option is potassium supplements.

POTASSIUM SUPPLEMENTS

For individuals who do not (or will not) consume sufficient potassium in their diets—this includes the vast majority of people—potassium supplementation can be beneficial.

Even for those who often consume adequate potassium, but sometimes fall short, supplementation is a useful option because it allows for increased potassium intake during times when they need more of it. And who doesn’t?

There are various potassium supplements, typically either capsules or alternate “salts” comprised partly or wholly of potassium bicarbonate. This form of potassium found naturally in fruits and vegetables (versus potassium chloride), and therefore is considered safe. Even when taken in amounts beyond normal recommended daily values, excesses will typically be excreted.

A few caveats. Most nutritional supplements only provide small amounts (100 mg) due to government rules created to avert “hyperalkemia,” defined as too much potassium in the blood. Hyperalkemia can be caused by acute or chronic kidney failure, so if you suffer from kidney failure, please leave potassium supplements alone.

Hyperalkemia can also be caused by medications, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (taken for lowering high blood pressure, ironically), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), and blood thinners like heparin. It may also relate to alcoholism, diabetes (type 1), or excessive use of potassium supplements.

The “normal” range of potassium in blood is 3.6–4.8 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L).

On the reverse side: while most people get less than ideal amounts of potassium in their diets, deficiencies that would qualify as too little potassium (“hypoalkemia”) are not common. (Symptoms of hypoalkemia can include irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, cramping, mood changes, nausea, and vomiting. Severe deficiencies may lead to muscle paralysis and abnormal heart rhythms.)

Given that most people do not obtain sufficient potassium, eating more fruits and vegetables and perhaps taking a high-quality potassium supplement will help the average person. That is, most people benefit from more potassium—not less—which they can get from diet and/or supplements.

pH ADJUST & POTASSIUM

HPDI recently launched pH Adjust, which is probably the world’s most sophisticated alkalinizing formula. pH Adjust is not a potassium supplement, per se. Yet, it provides easily assimilated potassium as part of a synergistic formula (including other important macrominerals) that is exceptionally well designed for increasing pH levels in the body.

pH Adjust potassium bicarbonate magnesium carbonate

pH ADJUST provides potassium and sodium bicarbonates and magnesium carbonate for alkalinity.

pH Adjust is already popular because many people are overly acidic due to dietary and lifestyle choices, including—but not limited to—not consuming enough vegetables and fruits and over-consuming meats, grains, and other acid-forming foods.

pH Adjust is an excellent formula for those interested in safely and rapidly increasing their pH to overcome acidosis, and creating alkaline conditions in the body.

One gram (1/4 teaspoon) of pH Adjust provides 141.7 mg of potassium from potassium bicarbonate and potassium glycinate. This means that one teaspoon — which is the amount I take daily — gives me 567 mg (.567 g) of potassium. That is not a huge amount of potassium, perhaps as much as you would obtain from mid-sized banana. However, if you consider that pH Adjust is a dietary supplement, which in conjunction with improved diet (i.e., consuming more potassium-rich foods) can make a difference in your potassium intake.

And for the many individuals whose potassium intake is less than 2.6 g — recall that 2.6 g is the AVERAGE intake — a 1/2 gram increase in potassium can make a big difference (a 20% boost!) in terms of improving total intake.

Then consider the “healthy” person whose potassium intake may hover around 4 g, which is above average, but less than the suggested 4.7 g intake level. One teaspoon of pH Adjust will move them into the range where they will meet— or get much closer to—the recommended daily intake.

pH ADJUST: MINERALS FOR ALKALINITY

Taking one teaspoon of pH Adjust daily not only helps boost potassium intake, but represents a HUGE move toward being alkaline, which is a major benefit for health, as I wrote in my last blog article.

Equally important in terms of alkalinizing the body, the bicarbonate form of potassium in pH Adjust is hugely alkaline-forming. That is, while potassium itself neutralizes acids in the body, potassium bicarbonate is substantially more alkalizing because of the tremendous alkaline-forming power of bicarbonate.

That is why HPDI created pH Adjust—to rapidly and effectively create alkaline conditions in the body.

Other significant facts: pH Adjust contains magnesium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate. Magnesium carbonate helps neutralizes stomach acids (hydrochloric acid) and then after it is absorbed (as magnesium ions) it continues to neutralize acids throughout the body. The sodium bicarbonate similarly splits: sodium neutralizes acids and bicarbonates alkalinize the body.

Moreover, it is known that without sufficient magnesium, cells cannot retain potassium. pH Adjust provides a significant amount (105 mg) of magnesium (from carbonate) per 1/4 teaspoon. Think about it—pH Adjust supplies more than 400 mg of easily assimilated magnesium in a single teaspoon! (This means you can reduce or drop your other magnesium supplements.)

pH Adjust provides a 3:1 ratio of potassium to sodium. This ratio is known to be ideal for optimal uptake of potassium.

supplement facts pH Adjust potassium magnesium sodium

pH Adjust provides 141.7 mg potassium and 105 mg magnesium per 1/4 teaspoon serving.

FINAL WORDS

Potassium powers sodium-potassium pumps in your cells and keeps you alkaline. It supports proper blood pressure and cardiovascular function. It balances the effects of sodium and works synergistically with other macrominerals keeping you healthy.

Potassium loves you. Yet, you hardly know potassium—or how deficient you are.

Love potassium like it loves you. Eat more potassium-rich fruits, vegetables, and fresh juices. Take a potassium-containing formula like pH Adjust. Not only will it supply you with easily assimilated potassium, but also powerfully boost your alkalinity.

Eat less salt. For God’s sake, eat less salt. Do all these things. Then it’s likely your poor sodium-potassium pumps will revive themselves. I promise, you will feel it!

 

RESOURCES

BLOG ARTICLES

Alkalinize Rapidly Using pH Adjust

pH Adjust Alkalinizing Formula – New Product!

BOOKS & SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES

The High Blood Pressure Solution by Richard D. Moore, MD, PhD

The K Factor: Reversing and Preventing High Blood Pressure without Drugs by Richard D. Moore, MD, PhD

The XXL Syndrome by Max Rombi, MD

Acid & Alkaline by Herman Aihara

Acid-alkaline balance: role in chronic disease and detoxification
(Altern Ther Health Med, 13(4):62-5)

Potassium Intake of the US Population (PDF)
(NHANES Food Surveys Research Group, USDA)

LIST OF HIGH-POTASSIUM FOODS

Potassium: Health Benefits, Recommended Intake

 

This article is dedicated to the memory of our friend Dr. Victor A. Galunic, who provided HPDI with information, resources, and technical assistance.

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WONDERS OF MOLECULAR HYDROGEN

Fred Liers PhD molecular hydrogen H2I drink hydrogen-infused water. You should, too. Why? Because the age of hydrogen is here. Molecular hydrogen, that is. We now know that molecular hydrogen has therapeutic potential for nearly every organ in the human body, as well as for 150 different human disease models! And it’s extremely safe.

MOLECULAR HYDROGEN: BACKGROUND

Molecular hydrogen, also known as “diatomic hydrogen,” is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless gas.

Elemental hydrogen (H) is the most abundant element in the universe constituting 75% of its mass. Yet, it is absent on earth in its monoatomic form, being present in water, and inorganic and organic compounds. Molecular hydrogen is found in the earth’s atmosphere at less than one part per million.

molecular hydrogen H2 water

Hydrogen-infused water is a simple means to consume molecular hydrogen.

The science regarding benefits to health of molecular hydrogen (H2) has advanced rapidly in recent years thanks to the pioneering efforts of research scientists around the globe.

Now hydrogen science is moving quickly beyond theory to practical applications. Moreover, new products exist allowing medical professionals and consumers to leverage the health benefits of hydrogen.

For decades, diatomic molecular hydrogen was generally considered an “inert” gas. That is perhaps the primary reason that molecular hydrogen has been recognized as a therapeutic molecule only recently.

Indeed, science has known about the health benefits of molecular hydrogen as early as 1798. Yet, as noted, for most of modern history the belief persisted that hydrogen was inert in the body. It was only in the late 20th century (ca. 1975) that it gained the attention of medical researchers, and only in the past 10 years has evidence for the health effects of molecular hydrogen gained critical mass in the scientific literature.

There are now more than 500 peer-reviewed articles demonstrating the therapeutic potential of hydrogen for nearly every organ in the human body, as well as in 150 different human disease models, according to the Molecular Hydrogen Foundation.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF MOLECULAR HYDROGEN (H2)

• Molecular hydrogen reduces oxidative stress as a selective antioxidant and by maintaining homeostatic levels of glutathione, superoxide dismutase, catalase,  and other free-radical scavenging nutrients.

• The antioxidant capacities of molecular hydrogen are such that it is beneficial for persistent and acute oxidative stress.

• Acute oxidative stress arises from a multitude of causes, including inflammation, cardiac or cerebral infarction, organ transplantation, heavy exercise, cessation of operative bleeding, and many other causes.

• Persistent oxidative stress relates to reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated in the body throughout life. For example, during exercise, exposure to pollutants and toxins or UV light, as well as physical and psychological stresses, and the aging process itself. As aerobic organisms, we generate ROS when breathing consumes oxygen.

• Molecular hydrogen is effective against hydroxyl radicals (OH). The hydroxyl radical is the radical species that causes much of the oxidative damage in the body. While vitamin C, glutathione, and certain plant-based antioxidants are somewhat effective against this radical, there is no Nrf2-induced enzyme that effectively quenches the hydroxl radical.

• This positions molecular hydrogen as a uniquely effective antioxidant against the hydroxyl radical. Notably, when molecular hydrogen quenches the hydroxyl radical, it produces water, which is non-toxic in the body.

• Beyond this, molecular hydrogen, like other gaseous signaling molecules such as NO, CO, H2S, appears to exhibit cell signal-modulating activity that confers it with anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, anti-allergy, and many other benefits.

MOLECULAR HYDROGEN MEDICINE

The scientific literature discusses the use of molecular hydrogen for many clinical applications, including the following:

• METABOLIC SYNDROME including diabetes, hyperlipidemia, arteriosclerosis, hypertension, and obesity

• ISCHEMIA / REPERFUSION injuries including cerebral and myocardial infarctions, organ transplants, post-cardiac arrest

• NEUROPROTECTION including applications for dementia, Parkinson’s disease, depression, and anesthesia

• INFLAMMATION including applications for polymicrobial sepsis, rheumatoid arthritis, wound healing, and bowel diseases

• MITOCHONDRIAL DISEASES

• HEMODIALYSIS / VENTILATION

• AGING including cognitive decline

• EXERCISE including applications for fatigue, lactic acid, recovery, and oxidative stress related to heavy exercise

SIDE EFFECTS OF CANCER THERAPIES including radiotherapy and chemotherapy

• MANY OTHER BENEFITS

athlete molecular hydrogen performance race

Athletes benefit from molecular hydrogen. You can, too.

HOW MOLECULAR HYDROGEN WORKS

According to the Molecular Hydrogen Foundation, there are three ways molecular hydrogen exerts positive health effects.

1.  Molecular hydrogen easily diffuses into subcellular compartments where it scavenges cytotoxic oxygen radicals, thereby protecting DNA, RNA, and proteins against oxidative stress.

2.  Molecular hydrogen triggers activation or upregulation of additional antioxidant enzymes (e.g., glutathione, superoxide dismutase, catalase, and others) and/or cytoprotective proteins of the body.

3.  Molecular hydrogen may be a novel signaling molecule that alters cell signaling, cell metabolism, and gene expression. This may explain its apparent anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, and anti-apoptotic (or anti-cell death) effects.

MOLECULAR HYDROGEN IS SAFE

Molecular hydrogen exhibits great safety, and it is regarded as safe for use in the body. It is shown no toxicity even in high concentrations.

Safety standards are already established for high concentrations of molecular hydrogen for inhalation because high-pressure H2 gas is used in deep-water diving gas mixtures to prevent decompression sickness.

Notably, H2 gas combusts only at temperatures higher than 527 °C, and it explodes by chain reaction with oxygen (O2) only in the range of Hconcentration (4–75%, vol/vol).

Molecular hydrogen can be used for medical applications safely by several ingestion methods including inhalation of 1–4% hydrogen gas, which exhibits great effectiveness.

All these factors mean that molecular hydrogen is safe, easy-to-use, and effective for therapeutic purposes.

molecular hydrogen H2 water

Hydrogen-infused water is safe, easy-to-consume, and cost effective.

USING MOLECULAR HYDROGEN

Methods for consuming molecular hydrogen include inhalation, oral ingestion of hydrogen-infused water, injection of hydrogen saline, and direct diffusion (eye drops, baths, cosmetics, etc.).

An advantage of inhaled H2 gas is that is acts rapidly. In this respect, may be suitable for defense against acute oxidative stress.

It has been shown that inhalation of 3–4% hydrogen (H2) gas reaches a plateau at approximately 10–20 μM in the arterial and venous blood in about 20 minutes. This is shown not to affect any physiological parameters (e.g., blood pressure), suggesting no adverse effects.

According to the Molecular Hydrogen Foundation, the consensus is that drinking H2-rich water is the easiest, and often the most effective, method for obtaining molecular hydrogen although it does not provide as many hydrogen molecules to the body as other methods.

Some studies show consuming H2-infused water to be more effective than inhalation or increasing intestinal H2 production via lactulose administration.

Another advantage of drinking hydrogen infused water is that it allows gastric induction of ghrelin, which is mediated via activation of beta 1 adrenergic receptors.

Above all, drinking hydrogen-infused water is easy to do, and convenient as you can drink it at home or while traveling.

HYDROGEN-INFUSED WATER

Inhalation of molecular hydrogen gas may be impractical for continuous H2 consumption in daily life. In contrast, solubilized H2 (hydrogen-infused water) is a portable, easily administered, and safe means to ingest H2.

H2 can be dissolved in water up to 0.8 mM (1.6 mg/L) under atmospheric pressure at room temperature without changing pH.

Hwater can be made by several methods: infusing H2 gas into water under pressure, electrolyzing water to producing H2, and reacting magnesium metal or its hydride with water.

Notably, H2 penetrates glass or plastic walls of vessels in a short time, yet aluminum containers retain hydrogen gas for a long time.

Water ionizers produce hydrogen gas via electrolysis. This method produces hydrogen concentrations from less than 0.05 ppm to more than 2.5 ppm. Typically 0.1 to 0.7 ppm hydrogen is produced, yet most companies manufacturing water ionizers neither know the concentration produced nor understand the significance of hydrogen for health.

In this regard, depending upon the production method much of the water containing molecular hydrogen exhibits a negative oxygen reduction potential (ORP). Yet, ORP is only a general indication of hydrogen production and is not a measurement of its concentration.

A second method of producing hydrogen-rich water by electrolysis is by infusion. In this method, hydrogen is directly infused into filtered water within a machine.

Another convenient method to generate molecular hydrogen is to add alkali-earth metals to water. Magnesium metal in commonly used for this purpose. This method allows for the production of high concentrations of molecular hydrogen that are generally near saturation (1.6 ppm), and therefore less water needs to be consumed by individuals drinking it.

Magnesium sticks and tablets/capsules are available (some of which are placed in water and others that can be consumed directly) that rapidly produce 2–4 ppm molecular hydrogen concentration. Like electrolysis, adding metals to water also increased the pH of water because they reduce the concentration of H+ ions.

Other methods exist that can produce supersaturated concentrations of molecular hydrogen with or without alteration of water pH. Advantages of these methods include having to drink a fraction of the amount of water in order to obtain an equal amount of molecular hydrogen.

Drinking water containing molecular hydrogen is probably the easiest and most cost-effective means for most persons to obtain hydrogen.

man drinks water infused with molecular hydrogen

Hydrogen-infused water can be consumed using tablets, prepared H2 beverages, or ionized water.

MOLECULAR HYDROGEN FROM YOUR MICROBIOME

Certain types bacteria in the intestinal tract produce hydrogen gas from non-digestible fibers, which may explain how fiber-rich diets reduce inflammation, and exert cardiovascular and other health benefits.

Diets low in dietary fiber from fruits and vegetables, or a decrease in microbiome diversity could potentially reduce production of molecular hydrogen. This could exert adverse effects on health.

The presence (or absence) of a diverse and robust microbiome may be one of the most significant factors in terms of how much hydrogen can be generated in the body. Most people today do not create the levels of molecular hydrogen in their digestive tracts that humans in earlier time periods generated largely because due to modern diets and less than optimal microbiome health.

Factors that influence or reduce microbiome health and diversity include antibiotic use, imbalanced diet, lack of certain fiber-rich vegetables in the diet, and consumption of herbicides, pesticides, and GMOs (that include glyphosate) that harm microbial populations and cause “leaky gut”.

As knowledge increases regarding ways we can support a healthy microbiome, the biological significance of hydrogen historically produced in our digestive tracts will be better understood.

BENEFIT TODAY FROM MOLECULAR HYDROGEN

The clinical applications of molecular hydrogen are impressive. One of the great advantages of molecular hydrogen infused water is that  it is easy to consume it, or make it in your own home or wherever you happen to be.

HPDI now sells a tablet hydrogen product from Purative known as Active H2.

Active H2 is a unique, patent-pending combination of all-natural minerals used to generate molecular hydrogen and electron-rich potential (-ORP). This distinguishes it from existing hydrogen formulas and electrolysis (water ionizers).

Active H2 is easy to use.  Simply place one tablet of in a 1/2 liter (16 oz) container of pure water (filled to the top) and close tightly. Wait at least 5–10 minutes for it to completely disintegrate (fizz), and then drink.

A one pint glass mason jar works well as a container for this purpose. However, you can use up to one liter (about 32 ounces) of water in a container, so a quart mason jar also works well. Consume the hydrogen-infused water ideally at least 30 minutes before food.

Active H2 formula consists of a proprietary blend of pure magnesium, malic acid, fumaric acid, and maltose that synergistically act to generate molecular hydrogen and electron-rich potential (-ORP).

Active H2 is the only all-natural add-in tablet providing molecular hydrogen in the amount of greater than 1.8 ppm, That is, one tablet typically generates molecular hydrogen in the concentration of about 2 ppm.

There are other molecular hydrogen products, including tablets, sticks, and pre-infused bottled products like H2Bev. H2Bev provides about 1.2–1.5 ppm of molecular hydrogen and comes in a 12 oz coated aluminum container for excellent H2 retention.

MOLECULAR HYDROGEN SUMMARY

Molecular hydrogen sits in the unique position of providing significant, wide-ranging benefits for health with an unmatched ease-of-use, and at relatively low cost for what it delivers.

We highly recommend the use of molecular hydrogen for its health benefits and for therapeutic applications. This includes the consumption of hydrogen-infused water whether from prepared H2 beverages, water ionizers, or highly effective Active H2 tablets.

Below we include important scientific abstracts you may find helpful in understanding the benefits and applications of molecular hydrogen.

 

SCIENTIFIC STUDIES ON MOLECULAR HYDROGEN

Beneficial biological effects and the underlying mechanisms of molecular hydrogen – comprehensive review of 321 original articles

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26483953

Abstract
Therapeutic effects of molecular hydrogen for a wide range of disease models and human diseases have been investigated since 2007. A total of 321 original articles have been published from 2007 to June 2015. Most studies have been conducted in Japan, China, and the USA. About three-quarters of the articles show the effects in mice and rats. The number of clinical trials is increasing every year. In most diseases, the effect of hydrogen has been reported with hydrogen water or hydrogen gas, which was followed by confirmation of the effect with hydrogen-rich saline. Hydrogen water is mostly given ad libitum. Hydrogen gas of less than 4% is given by inhalation. The effects have been reported in essentially all organs covering 31 disease categories that can be subdivided into 166 disease models, human diseases, treatment-associated pathologies, and pathophysiological conditions of plants with a predominance of oxidative stress-mediated diseases and inflammatory diseases. Specific extinctions of hydroxyl radical and peroxynitrite were initially presented, but the radical-scavenging effect of hydrogen cannot be held solely accountable for its drastic effects. We and others have shown that the effects can be mediated by modulating activities and expressions of various molecules such as Lyn, ERK, p38, JNK, ASK1, Akt, GTP-Rac1, iNOS, Nox1, NF-κB p65, IκBα, STAT3, NFATc1, c-Fos, and ghrelin. Master regulator(s) that drive these modifications, however, remain to be elucidated and are currently being extensively investigated.

Molecular hydrogen as a preventive and therapeutic medical gas: initiation, development and potential of hydrogen medicine

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24769081

Abstract
Molecular hydrogen (H2) has been accepted to be an inert and nonfunctional molecule in our body. We have turned this concept by demonstrating that H2 reacts with strong oxidants such as hydroxyl radical in cells, and proposed its potential for preventive and therapeutic applications. H2 has a number of advantages exhibiting extensive effects: H2 rapidly diffuses into tissues and cells, and it is mild enough neither to disturb metabolic redox reactions nor to affect signaling reactive oxygen species; therefore, there should be no or little adverse effects of H2. There are several methods to ingest or consume H2; inhaling H2 gas, drinking H2-dissolved water (H2-water), injecting H2-dissolved saline (H2-saline), taking an H2 bath, or dropping H2-saline into the eyes. The numerous publications on its biological and medical benefits revealed that H2 reduces oxidative stress not only by direct reactions with strong oxidants, but also indirectly by regulating various gene expressions. Moreover, by regulating the gene expressions, H2 functions as an anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic, and stimulates energy metabolism. In addition to growing evidence obtained by model animal experiments, extensive clinical examinations were performed or are under investigation. Since most drugs specifically act to their targets, H2 seems to differ from conventional pharmaceutical drugs. Owing to its great efficacy and lack of adverse effects, H2 has promising potential for clinical use against many diseases.

Molecular hydrogen in drinking water protects against neurodegenerative changes induced by traumatic brain injury.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25251220

Abstract
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) in its various forms has emerged as a major problem for modern society. Acute TBI can transform into a chronic condition and be a risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, probably through induction of oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. Here, we examined the ability of the antioxidant molecular hydrogen given in drinking water (molecular hydrogen water; mHW) to alter the acute changes induced by controlled cortical impact (CCI), a commonly used experimental model of TBI. We found that mHW 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.

The evolution of molecular hydrogen: a noteworthy potential therapy with clinical significance

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23680032

Abstract
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.

Molecular hydrogen as an emerging therapeutic medical gas for neurodegenerative and other diseases

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3377272/

Abstract
Effects of molecular hydrogen on various diseases have been documented for 63 disease models and human diseases in the past four and a half years. Most studies have been performed on rodents including two models of Parkinson’s disease and three models of Alzheimer’s disease. Prominent effects are observed especially in oxidative stress-mediated diseases including neonatal cerebral hypoxia; Parkinson’s disease; ischemia/reperfusion of spinal cord, heart, lung, liver, kidney, and intestine; transplantation of lung, heart, kidney, and intestine. Six human diseases have been studied to date: diabetes mellitus type 2, metabolic syndrome, hemodialysis, inflammatory and mitochondrial myopathies, brain stem infarction, and radiation-induced adverse effects. Two enigmas, however, remain to be solved. First, no dose-response effect is observed. Rodents and humans are able to take a small amount of hydrogen by drinking hydrogen-rich water, but marked effects are observed. Second, intestinal bacteria in humans and rodents produce a large amount of hydrogen, but an addition of a small amount of hydrogen exhibits marked effects. Further studies are required to elucidate molecular bases of prominent hydrogen effects and to determine the optimal frequency, amount, and method of hydrogen administration for each human disease.

Molecular hydrogen is a novel antioxidant to efficiently reduce oxidative stress with potential for the improvement of mitochondrial diseases

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21621588

Abstract

BACKGROUND:
Mitochondria are the major source of oxidative stress. Acute oxidative stress causes serious damage to tissues, and persistent oxidative stress is one of the causes of many common diseases, cancer and the aging process; however, there has been little success in developing an effective antioxidant with no side effect. We have reported that molecular hydrogen has potential as an effective antioxidant for medical applications [Ohsawa et al., Nat. Med. 13 (2007) 688-694].

SCOPE OF REVIEW:
We review the recent progress toward therapeutic and preventive applications of hydrogen. 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.

MAJOR CONCLUSIONS:
Hydrogen has biological benefits toward preventive and therapeutic applications; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying the marked effects of small amounts of hydrogen remain elusive.

GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE:
Hydrogen is a novel antioxidant with great potential for actual medical applications. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Biochemistry of Mitochondria.

Recent progress toward hydrogen medicine: potential of molecular hydrogen for preventive and therapeutic applications

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21736547

Abstract
Persistent oxidative stress is one of the major causes of most lifestyle-related diseases, cancer and the aging process. Acute oxidative stress directly causes serious damage to tissues. Despite the clinical importance of oxidative damage, antioxidants have been of limited therapeutic success. We have proposed that molecular hydrogen (H(2)) has potential as a “novel” antioxidant in preventive and therapeutic applications [Ohsawa et al., Nat Med. 2007: 13; 688-94]. H(2) has a number of advantages as a potential antioxidant: H(2) rapidly diffuses into tissues and cells, and it is mild enough neither to disturb metabolic redox reactions nor to affect reactive oxygen species (ROS) that function in cell signaling, thereby, there should be little adverse effects of consuming H(2). There are several methods to ingest or consume H(2), including inhaling hydrogen gas, drinking H(2)-dissolved water (hydrogen water), taking a hydrogen bath, injecting H(2)- dissolved saline (hydrogen saline), dropping hydrogen saline onto the eye, and increasing the production of intestinal H(2) by bacteria. Since the publication of the first H(2) paper in Nature Medicine in 2007, the biological effects of H(2) have been confirmed by the publication of more than 38 diseases, physiological states and clinical tests in leading biological/medical journals, and several groups have started clinical examinations. Moreover, H(2) shows not only effects against oxidative stress, but also various anti-inflammatory and antiallergic effects. H(2) regulates various gene expressions and protein-phosphorylations, though the molecular mechanisms underlying the marked effects of very small amounts of H(2) remain elusive.

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

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17486089

Abstract
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 (H(2)) has potential as an antioxidant in preventive and therapeutic applications. We induced acute oxidative stress in cultured cells by three independent methods. H(2) selectively reduced the hydroxyl radical, the most cytotoxic of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and effectively protected cells; however, H(2) 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 H(2) gas markedly suppressed brain injury by buffering the effects of oxidative stress. Thus H(2) 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.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

MOLECULAR HYDROGEN (H2) AT FOREFRONT OF HEALTH RESEARCH
by Hank Liers, PhD (from the HPDI blog)

ACTIVE H2 (tablet product)

Molecular Hydrogen Foundation (MHF)

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