Hydrogen is the most abundant chemical element in the universe, and has been used as an inert gas for a long time. More recent studies have shown that molecular hydrogen as a kind of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptosis, gene expression and signal modulation molecule, can be used for the treatment of many diseases.
It is becoming clearer that hydrogen has not only acute antioxidant effect but also a chronic regulating effect of gene expression and signal transduction. The most common injection methods of hydrogen included inhaling hydrogen gas, intravenous or intraperitoneal injecting hydrogen solution, and drinking hydrogen rich water.
Hydrogen-enriched irrigation solution could be a novel and promising therapy for angiogenesis in cornea and prevent blindness caused by alkali burn, which was triggered by excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Inhalation of hydrogen gas significantly increased the numbers of remaining auditory hair cells and reduced the level of •OH induced by cisplatin without compromising the anti-tumor effect. Because of the ability of HRS to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB), hydrogen has therapeutic potentials in neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
It is well known that oxidative stress is the main cause of many common diseases, and hydrogen may have several potential advantages over other free radicals scavenging agents: (i) hydrogen is permeable to cell membrane and can target organelles including mitochondria and nuclei, which is the primary site of ROS generation; (ii) hydrogen specially exclusively quenches detrimental ROS, such as •OH and peroxynitrite (ONOO•), while maintaining the metabolic oxidation-reduction reaction and other less potent ROS, such as oxygen (O2), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and nitric oxide (NO)
This is an excerpt from Hydrogen therapeutic gas article