These past couple of years, hydrogen water has gained much popularity for its health and beauty effects, especially among young women. In a typical drinking water, having a certain amount of hydrogen is academically referred to as “Hydrogen Rich Water”. However, only until recently, hydrogen water did not have a specific definition, creating more than a few skeptical opinions on its role in helping with one’s health. With this reason, a definition was provided at the molecular hydrogen medicine symposium that water with 0.08ppm or more of its hydrogen content would be considered as hydrogen water.
Let’s break down what exactly is hydrogen water, and what kind of effects does it actually have.
- 1 Defining Hydrogen Water
- 2 Effects of Hydrogen
- 3 The Miracle Water: Tlacote Water
Defining Hydrogen Water
As hydrogen water started out as not having any specific definition. As of the recent trend, a hydrogen water boom has come, with many producers that have introduced hydrogen water products one after the other. With all these new products, needless to say, there are also a few that are marketed as hydrogen, but do not suffice the branding having very little amount of hydrogen content which may also be due to the fact that hydrogen easily dispurses in air.
As a result, many have criticized hydrogen water products as “not having any health or beauty effects” or “as a scam”, and there have been products that have received cease and desist orders by the Fair Trade Commission through the act against unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Presentations due to its exaggerated advertising.
Manufacturers took this matter seriously, and hurried to build a standard on hydrogen water products which lead to the definition at the molecular hydrogen medicine symposium that hydrogen water was “Water that included 0.08ppm or more hydrogen”. However, since consumers do not have proper methods to check the content of products, in an attempt to join the bandwagon, there have still been endless products being sold that do not meet the set standard. As the current stand of hydrogen water related products, there are still many that doubt their effects on health and wellness.
Intensified competition: large producers are starting to sell
Simply put, hydrogen water is “Water that includes a lot of hydrogen”, but more strictly, hydrogen water can be divided into “active hydrogen water” that includes hydrogen radical and hydride ion and “hydrogen molecule” that includes a lot of molecular hydrogen.
Active hydrogen water can also be called mineral regenerated water, but there are very poor scientific proof that hydrogen radical and hydride ion exist in water, and with its history of mineral regenerate water’s brush with the law through its exaggerated advertising, hydrogen water has been commonly associated with hydrogen molecule.
As you can see, hydrogen water has been treated distinctly different from mineral water, it only started as a niche product among some health and beauty enthusiasts, but this drastically changed overnight in 2015 when the producer Ito En released the product “Highly Concentrated Hydrogen Water”. Though the same company had already released a similar product named “Reducing Hydrogen Water” prior to 2015, the new product had gained attention by being newly released with a higher concentration level.
The process on the bottle indicates hydrogen as being generated through pressure injection of hydrogen molecule, but it did not indicate anything about the efficacy of the product, which in return flared up arguments on its legitimacy.
While this product had promoted its injection method of hydrogen, other producers had also started to compete on the method of generation, methods such as “Hydrogen gas filling system”, “Metal magnesium reaction method”, “Hydrogen generating agent method”, “Supplement method”, and “Electrolysis method”. By using the keyword “High concentration”, it created a trend, a perception that the concentration level of hydrogen was an essential aspect in choosing a product, which ultimately created a competition on who could get a higher hydrogen concentration level on its product.
However, it was not clear whether the difference in generating method or hydrogen concentration efficacy and side effects were properly inspected, lacking scientific and medical proof.
But many manufacturers had still created a variety of ways to market these lines of products.
Effects of Hydrogen
So far we’ve covered that hydrogen water had more hydrogen content than the typical water, but what kinds of effects does hydrogen water actually have? First, we need to look into how hydrogen molecules inside these hydrogen water work.
One of the causes of aging and various diseases come from active oxygen. On one hand, active oxygen is something that the human body needs, but on the other hand, there are also active oxygen that harm cells and DNA. It is said that hydrogen molecules select only these bad active oxygen and eliminates them.
Apart from its great potential discovered by the medical field for its wide range of uses, there are also many who see potential on its beauty and health effects, gaining great coverage by the media.
Though there have been many interpretations made by the media on the effects of hydrogen water, as of now, there are not many cases where the effects are academically proven.
So, what kind of hydrogen water should be taken to expect positive effects? Let’s take a look at some pointers in choosing the right hydrogen water.
Hydrogen Concentration Must be Specified
When you compare different products, you may notice the hydrogen concentration level on each one. Indicating the included amount of hydrogen is required by law, but indicating the concentration level of the hydrogen water is not required. There are also products that do not include hydrogen concentration levels, but as much as possible, try to pick ones that do indicate them.
Standard of Hydrogen Concentration is 1.57ppm
The most common way of producing hydrogen water is by putting high levels of pressure to the water and injecting the hydrogen. But after some time, the pressure will soon come down, and highly concentrated hydrogen water is no exception. Once the bottle cap is opened, hydrogen will quickly disperse in the air. So, after opening the lid of a highly concentrated hydrogen water, it must be drunk immediately, or else the effects will disappear in the air along with the hydrogen. The higher the concentration level is, the easier the hydrogen disperses in the air, so it is ideal to pick a product that has the vapor pressure limit of 1.57ppm.
The Japanese Master of Hydrogen: Professor Shigeo Ohta
While hydrogen water was being produced by major industry players, and gaining much of the spotlight by its effects on beauty and diet, there are still more than a few negative comments on hydrogen water that have dubbed it as “pseudoscience” or as part part of the gimmick of the water business.
There is a person that has head-on refutes these criticisms. That is Shigeo Ohta, also called as the master of hydrogen in Japan, who is also a university professor at the Nippon Medical College.
Many of the definition of hydrogen water that are common now are from academic papers by the authority of the Hydrogen Research that include professor Ohta. Professor Ohta is known for the academic paper “The founding, development, and potential of hydrogen medicine: moving toward clinical application of prevention and treatment of molecular hydrogen against a wide range of diseases”, which also become the basis in defining hydrogen water and its methods of manufacturing.
Professor Ohta was also the one to discover through an experiment that hydrogen gas was able to eliminate bad active oxygen inside the cell, as announced in Nature Medicine in 2007, it was discovered that once the hydrogen gas is inhaled, it relieved brain disorders.
After this, the research was continued, and 321 papers were published between 2007 to 2015 that covers effects and mechanisms of hydrogen gas.
In addition, on the similarity and comparisons hydrogen water and alkaline ion water have, Professor Ohta states that the difference is that alkaline ion water cannot inject small amounts of hydrogen molecule through electrolysis, but with hydrogen water, on top of fusing electrolysis, it also uses pressure to inject the hydrogen. As you can see, alkaline water and hydrogen water may seem very similar but are different types of water.
On the other hand, many experiments have been made through lab rats, but there are very few clinical trials through the human body, receiving opinions that effects on the human body is still unknown. One of the difficulties in experimenting with flavorless water is, once the subject knows that it is hydrogen water, it may create a placebo effect, or researching effects and functions through blind studies may take time. Currently, there are no clear effects that have been proven on hydrogen water, but the studies are ongoing, and experiments and researches are continue efforts being made.
The Miracle Water: Tlacote Water
Tlacote is a small village about 300 km from Mexico city. After villagers started to drink water from a well dug about 20 years ago, there have been reports that pain in their body and diseases they had had cured.
This spread not only within Mexico, but it immediately around the world, drawing thousands of visitors a day to the village to find this miracle water.
Improving a Variety of Diseases
Consuming this water well is said to improve different kinds of diseases such as diabetes, asthma, allergies, and backaches. Amonth these, there are also clinical data on improvements in diseases that are difficult to treat such as HIV and Aids. It is also said that these patients had not received special medication, but had simply consumed 2 to 3 liters of Tlacote water a day.
Difference with Other Water
What exactly makes Tlacote water different from other well water? After research made by university professors around the world, there were no microbes such as special chemicals or bacterias detected from the water, but it was said to be the same as any common well water. One thing that was different from other water was it had 10 times more hydrogen in the Tlacote water. It has yet to be scientifically proven, but this is a rare case that specific hydrogen effects were seen.
As we’ve seen, hydrogen water still has many mysteries to it that have yet to see the light. More specifically, its effects have not been officially proven. However, there are also a few cases where specific effects have been proven such as the example of the Tlacote waters, leaving some room to look forward to some great scientific progress in the future.