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Safety & Health Benefits of Hydrogen Water – Nobel Prize Nominee, Dr. GARTH NICOLSON


Safety & Health Benefits of Hydrogen Water – Nobel Prize Nominee, Dr. GARTH NICOLSON

Molecular Hydrogen CANCER treatment

Gas signaling molecules (GSMs), composed of oxygen, carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, hydrogen sulfide, etc., play critical roles in regulating signal transduction and cellular homeostasis. Interestingly, through various administrations, these molecules also exhibit potential in cancer treatment. Recently, hydrogen gas (formula: H2) emerges as another GSM which possesses multiple bioactivities, including anti-inflammation, anti-reactive oxygen species, and anti-cancer. Growing evidence has shown that hydrogen gas can either alleviate the side effects caused by conventional chemotherapeutics, or suppress the growth of cancer cells and xenograft tumor, suggesting its broad potent application in clinical therapy. In the current review, we summarize these studies and discuss the underlying mechanisms. The application of hydrogen gas in cancer treatment is still in its nascent stage, further mechanistic study and the development of portable instruments are warranted.

Introduction

Gaseous signaling molecules (GSMs) refer to a group of gaseous molecules, such as oxygen (1), nitric oxide (2), carbon monoxide (3), hydrogen sulfide (4), sulfur dioxide (56), ethylene (78), etc. These gaseous molecules possess multiple critical functions in regulating cell biology in vivo via signal transduction (9). More importantly, certain GSMs could serve as therapeutic agents in primary cancer, as well as in multidrug-resistant cancer treatment when used by directly or certain pharmaceutical formulations (913). In addition, some of these GSMs can be generated in body via different bacteria or enzymes, such as nitric oxide, hydrogen sulfide, indicating that they are more compatible molecules that may exhibit less adverse effects compared with conventional chemotherapeutics (91415). Recently, hydrogen gas has been recognized as another important GSM in biology, exhibiting appealing potential in health care for its role in preventing cell injury from various attacking (1619).

With the formula of H2, hydrogen gas is the lightest molecule in the nature which only accounts for about 0.5 parts per million (ppm) of all the gas. Naturally, hydrogen gas is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, highly combustible gas which may form explosive mixtures with air in concentrations from 4 to 74% that can be triggered by spark, heat, or sunlight. Hydrogen gas can be generated in small amount by hydrogenase of certain members of the human gastrointestinal tract microbiota from unabsorbed carbohydrates in the intestine through degradation and metabolism (2021), which then is partially diffused into blood flow and released and detected in exhaled breath (20), indicating its potential to serve as a biomarker.

As the lightest molecule in natural, hydrogen gas exhibits appealing penetration property, as it can rapidly diffuse through cell membranes (2223). Study in animal model showed that, after orally administration of hydrogen super-rich water (HSRW) and intra-peritoneal administration of hydrogen super-rich saline (HSRS), the hydrogen concentration reached the peak at 5 min; while it took 1 min by intravenous administration of HSRS (23). Another in vivo study tested the distribution of hydrogen in brain, liver, kidney, mesentery fat, and thigh muscle in rat upon inhalation of 3% hydrogen gas (24). The concentration order of hydrogen gas, when reached saturated status, was liver, brain, mesentery, muscle, kidney, indicating various distributions among organs in rats. Except the thigh muscle required a longer time to saturate, the other organs need 5–10 min to reach Cmax (maximum hydrogen concentration). Meanwhile, the liver had the highest Cmax (24). The information may direct the future clinical application of hydrogen gas.

Although hydrogen gas was studied as a therapy in a skin squamous carcinoma mouse model back in 1975 (25), its potential in medical application has not been vastly explored until 2007, when Oshawa et al. reported that hydrogen could ameliorate cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury by selectively reducing cytotoxic reactive oxygen species (ROS), including hydroxyl radical (•OH) and peroxynitrite (ONOO-) (26), which then provoked a worldwide attention. Upon various administrative formulations, hydrogen gas has been served as a therapeutic agent for a variety of illnesses, such as Parkinson’s disease (2728), rheumatoid arthritis (29), brain injury (30), ischemic reperfusion injury (3132), and diabetes (3334), etc.

More importantly, hydrogen has been shown to improve clinical end-points and surrogate markers, from metabolic diseases to chronic systemic inflammatory disorders to cancer (17). A clinical study in 2016 showed that inhalation of hydrogen gas was safe in patients with post-cardiac arrest syndrome (35), its further therapeutic application in other diseases became even more appealing.

In the current review, we take a spot on its application in cancer treatment. Typically, hydrogen gas may exert its bio-functions via regulating ROS, inflammation and apoptosis events.

Hydrogen Gas Selectively Scavenges Hydroxyl Radical and Peroxynitrite, and Regulates Certain Antioxidant Enzymes

By far, many studies have indicated that hydrogen gas doesn’t target specific proteins, but regulate several key players in cancer, including ROS, and certain antioxidant enzymes (36).

ROS refers to a series of unstable molecules that contain oxygen, including singlet oxygen (O2•), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), hydroxyl radical (•OH), superoxide (O2•O2-), nitric oxide (NO•), and peroxynitrite (ONOO), etc. (3738). Once generated in vivo, due to their high reactivity, ROS may attack proteins, DNA/RNA and lipids in cells, eliciting distinct damage that may lead to apoptosis. The presence of ROS can produce cellular stress and damage that may produce cell death, via a mechanism known as oxidative stress (3940). Normally, under physical condition, cells including cancer cells maintain a balance between generation and elimination of ROS, which is of paramount importance for their survival (4142). The over-produced ROS, resulted from imbalance regulatory system or outer chemical attack (including chemotherapy/radiotherapy), may initiate inner apoptosis cascade, causing severely toxic effects (4345).

Hydrogen gas may act as a ROS modulator. First, as shown in Ohsawa et al.’s study, hydrogen gas could selectively scavenge the most cytotoxic ROS, •OH, as tested in an acute rat model of cerebral ischemia and reperfusion (26). Another study also confirmed that hydrogen gas might reduce the oxygen toxicity resulted from hyperbaric oxygen via effectively reducing •OH (46).

Second, hydrogen may induce the expression of some antioxidant enzymes that can eliminate ROS, and it plays key roles in regulating redox homeostasis of cancer cells (4247). Studies have indicated that upon hydrogen gas treatment, the expression of superoxide dismutase (SOD) (48), heme oxyganase-1 (HO-1) (49), as well as nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) (50), increased significantly, strengthening its potential in eliminating ROS.

By regulating ROS, hydrogen gas may act as an adjuvant regimen to reduce the adverse effects in cancer treatment while at the same time doesn’t abrogate the cytotoxicity of other therapy, such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy (4851). Interestingly, due the over-produced ROS in cancer cells (38), the administration of hydrogen gas may lower the ROS level at the beginning, but it provokes much more ROS production as a result of compensation effect, leading to the killing of cancer cells (52).

Hydrogen Gas Suppresses Inflammatory Cytokines

Inflammatory cytokines are a series of signal molecules that mediate the innate immune response, whose dys-regulation may contribute in many diseases, including cancer (5355). Typical inflammatory cytokines include interleukins (ILs) excreted by white blood cells, tumor necrosis factors (TNFs) excreted by macrophages, both of which have shown close linkage to cancer initiation and progression (5659), and both of ILs and TNFs can be suppressed by hydrogen gas (6061).

Inflammation induced by chemotherapy in cancer patients not only causes severely adverse effects (6263), but also leads to cancer metastasis, and treatment failure (6465). By regulating inflammation, hydrogen gas can prevent tumor formation, progression, as well as reduce the side effects caused by chemotherapy/radiotherapy (66).

Hydrogen Gas Inhibits/Induces Apoptosis

Apoptosis, also termed as programed cell death, can be triggered by extrinsic or intrinsic signals and executed by different molecular pathways, which serve as one efficient strategy for cancer treatment (6768). Generally, apoptosis can be induced by (1) provoking the death receptors of cell surface (such as Fas, TNF receptors, or TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand), (2) suppressing the survival signaling (such as epidermal growth factor receptor, mitogen-activated protein kinase, or phosphoinositide 3-kinases), and (3) activating the pro-apoptotic B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) family proteins, or down-regulating anti-apoptosis proteins (such as X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein, surviving, and the inhibitor of apoptosis) (6970).

Hydrogen gas can regulate intracellular apoptosis by impacting the expression of apoptosis-related enzymes. At certain concentration, it can either serve as apoptosis-inhibiting agent via inhibiting the pro-apoptotic B-cell lymphoma-2-associated X protein (Bax), caspase-3, 8, 12, and enhancing the anti-apoptotic B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) (71), or as apoptosis-inducing agent via the contrast mechanisms (72), suggesting its potential in protecting normal cells from anti-cancer drugs or in suppressing cancer cells.

Hydrogen Gas Exhibits Potential in Cancer Treatment

Hydrogen Gas Relieves the Adverse Effects Related to Chemotherapy/Radiotherapy

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy remain the leading strategies to treat cancer (7374). However, cancer patients receiving these treatments often experience fatigue and impaired quality of life (7577). The skyrocketed generation of ROS during the treatment is believed to contribute in the adverse effects, resulting in remarkable oxidative stress, and inflammation (414278). Therefore, benefited from its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory and other cell protective properties, hydrogen gas can be adopted as an adjuvant therapeutic regimen to suppress these adverse effects.

Under treatment of epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor gefitinib, patients with non-small cell lung cancer often suffer with severe acute interstitial pneumonia (79). In a mice model treated with oral administration of gefitinib and intraperitoneal injection of naphthalene which induced severely lung injury due to oxidative stress, hydrogen-rich water treatment significantly reduced the inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-6 and TNFα in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, leading to a relieve of lung inflammation. More importantly, hydrogen-rich water didn’t impair the overall anti-tumor effects of gefitinib both in vitro and in vivo, while in contrast, it antagonized the weight loss induced by gefitinib and naphthalene, and enhanced the overall survival rate, suggesting hydrogen gas to be a promising adjuvant agent that has potential to be applied in clinical practice to improve quality of life of cancer patients (80).

Doxorubicin, an anthracycline antibiotic, is an effective anticancer agent in the treatment of various cancers, but its application is limited for the fatal dilated cardiomyopathy and hepatotoxicity (8182). One in vivo study showed that intraperitoneal injection of hydrogen-rich saline ameliorated the mortality, and cardiac dysfunction caused by doxorubicin. This treatment also attenuated histopathological changes in serum of rats, such as the serum brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), albumin and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels. Mechanistically, hydrogen-rich saline significantly lowered the ROS level, as well as inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 in cardiac and hepatic tissue. Hydrogen-rich saline also induced less expression of apoptotic Bax, cleaved caspase-3, and higher anti-apoptotic Bcl-2, resulting in less apoptosis in both tissues (71). This study suggested that hydrogen-rich saline treatment exerted its protective effects via inhibiting the inflammatory TNF-α/IL-6 pathway, increasing the cleaved C8 expression and Bcl-2/Bax ratio, and attenuating cell apoptosis in both heart and liver tissue (71).

Hydrogen-rich water also showed renal protective effect against cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity in rats. In the studies, blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) contrast magnetic resonance images (MRI) acquired in different treated group showed that the creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels, two parameters that related to nephrotoxicity, were significantly higher in cisplatin treated group than those in the control group. Hydrogen-rich water treatment could significantly reverse the toxic effects, and it showed much higher transverse relaxation rate by eliminating oxygen radicals (8384).

Another study showed that both inhaling hydrogen gas (1% hydrogen in air) and drinking hydrogen-rich water (0.8 mM hydrogen in water) could reverse the mortality, and body-weight loss caused by cisplatin via its anti-oxidant property. Both treatments improved the metamorphosis, accompanied with decreased apoptosis in the kidney, and nephrotoxicity as assessed by serum creatinine and BUN levels. More importantly, hydrogen didn’t impair the anti-tumor activity of cisplatin against cancer cell lines in vitro and in tumor-bearing mice (85). Similar results were also observed in Meng et al.’s study, as they showed that hydrogen-rich saline could attenuate the follicle-stimulating hormone release, elevate the level of estrogen, improve the development of follicles, and reduce the damage to the ovarian cortex induced by cisplatin. In the study, cisplatin treatment induced higher level of oxidation products, suppressed the antioxidant enzyme activity. The hydrogen-rich saline administration could reverse these toxic effects by reducing MDA and restoring the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), two important anti-oxidant enzymes. Furthermore, hydrogen-rich saline stimulated the Nrf2 pathway in rats with ovarian damage (86).

The mFOLFOX6 regimen, composed with folinic acid, 5-fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin, is used as first-line treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer, but it also confers toxic effects to liver, leading to bad quality of life of patient (8788). A clinical study was conducted in China by investing the protective effect of hydrogen-rich water on hepatic function of colorectal cancer patients (144 patients were enrolled and 136 of them were include in the final analysis) treated with mFOLFOX6 chemotherapy. The results showed that the placebo group exhibited damaging effects caused by mFOLFOX6 chemotherapy as measured by the elevated levels of ALT, AST and indirect bilirubin (IBIL), while the hydrogen-rich water combinational treatment group exhibited no differences in liver function during the treatment, probably due to its antioxidant activity, indicating it a promising protective agent to alleviate the mFOLFOX6-related liver injury (51).

Most of the ionizing radiation-induced adverse effects to normal cells are induced by hydroxyl radicals. The combination of radiotherapy with certain forms of hydrogen gas may be beneficial to alleviate these side effects (89). Indeed, several studies found that hydrogen could protect cells and mice from radiation (4890).

As tested in a rat model of skin damage established by using a 44 Gy electronic beam, the treated group by hydrogen-rich water exhibited higher lever of SOD activity and lower MDA and IL-6 in the wounded tissues than the control group and the distilled water group. Furthermore, hydrogen-rich water shortened the healing time and increased the healing rate of skin injury (48).

Gastrointestinal toxicity is a common side effect induced by radiotherapy, which impairs the life quality of cancer patients (91). As shown in Xiao et al.’s study in mice model, hydrogen-water administration via oral gavage increased the survival rate and body weight of mice which were exposed to total abdominal irradiation, accompanied with an improvement in gastrointestinal tract function and the epithelial integrity of the small intestine. Further microarray analysis revealed that hydrogen-water treatment up-regulated miR-1968-5p, which then up-regulated its target myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88, a mediator in immunopathology, and gut microbiota dynamics of certain intestinal diseases involving toll-like receptors 9) expression in the small intestine after total abdominal irradiation (92).

Another study conducted in clinical patients with malignant liver tumors showed that the consumption of hydrogen-rich water for 6 weeks reduced the level of reactive oxygen metabolite, hydroperoxide, and maintained the biologic antioxidant activity in the blood. Importantly, scores of quality of life during radiotherapy were significantly improved in hydrogen-rich water group compared to the placebo water group. Both groups exhibited similar tumor response to radiotherapy, indicating that the consumption of hydrogen-rich water reduced the radiation-induced oxidative stress while at the same time didn’t compromise anti-tumor effect of radiotherapy (93).

Hydrogen Gas Acts Synergistically With Thermal Therapy

Recently, one study found that hydrogen might enhance the effect of photothermal therapy. Zhao et al. designed the hydrogenated Pd nanocrystals (named as PdH0.2) as multifunctional hydrogen carrier to allow the tumor-targeted delivery (due to 30 nm cubic Pd nanocrystal) and controlled release of bio-reductive hydrogen (due to the hydrogen incorporated into the lattice of Pd). As shown in this study, hydrogen release could be adjusted by the power and duration of near-infrared (NIR) irradiation. Treatment of PdH0.2 nanocrystals plus NIR irradiation lead to higher initial ROS loss in cancer cells, and the subsequent ROS rebound was also much higher than that in normal cells, resulting in more apoptosis, and severely mitochondrial metabolism inhibition in cancer cells but not in normal cells. The combination of PdH0.2 nanocrystals with NIR irradiation significantly enhanced the anticancer efficacies of thermal therapy, achieving a synergetic anticancer effect. In vivo safety evaluation showed that the injection dose of 10 mg kg−1 PdH0.2 nanocrystals caused no death, no changes of several blood indicators, and no affected functions of liver and kidney. In 4T1 murine breast cancer tumor model and B16-F10 melanoma tumor model, the combined PdH0.2 nanocrystals and NIR irradiation therapy exhibited a synergetic anticancer effect, leading to remarkable tumor inhibition when compared with thermal therapy. Meanwhile, the combination group showed no visible damage to heart, liver, spleen, lung, and kidney, indicating suitable tissue safety and compatibility (52).

Hydrogen Gas Suppresses Tumor Formation

Li et al. reported that the consumption of hydrogen-rich water alleviated renal injury caused by Ferric nitrilotriacetate (Fe-NTA) in rats, evidenced by decreased levels of serum creatinine and BUN. Hydrogen-rich water suppressed the Fe-NTA-induced oxidative stress by lowering lipid peroxidation, ONOO, and inhibiting the activities of NADPH oxidase and xanthine oxidase, as well as by up-regulating antioxidant catalase, and restoring mitochondrial function in kidneys. Consequently, Fe-NTA-induced inflammatory cytokines, such as NF-κB, IL-6, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 were significantly alleviated by hydrogen treatment. More importantly, hydrogen-rich water consumption inhibited several cancer-related proteins expression, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) phosphorylation, and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) in rats, resulting in lower incidence of renal cell carcinoma and the suppression of tumor growth. This work suggested that hydrogen-rich water was a promising regimen to attenuate Fe-NTA-induced renal injury and suppress early tumor events (66).

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) due to oxidative stress induced by various stimuli, is one of the reasons that cause hepatocarcinogenesis (9495). In a mouse model, hydrogen-rich water administration lowered the hepatic cholesterol, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α (PPARα) expression, and increased the anti-oxidative effects in the liver when compared with control and pioglitazone treated group (96). Hydrogen-rich water exhibited strong inhibitory effects to inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-6, oxidative stress and apoptosis biomarker. As shown in NASH-related hepatocarcinogenesis model, in the group of hydrogen-rich water treatment, tumor incidence was lower and the tumor volumes were smaller than control and pioglitazone treated group. The above findings indicated that hydrogen-rich water had potential in liver protection and liver cancer treatment (96).

Hydrogen Gas Suppresses Tumor Growth

Not only working as an adjuvant therapy, hydrogen gas can also suppress tumor and tumor cells growth.

As shown in Wang et al.’s study, on lung cancer cell lines A549 and H1975 cells, hydrogen gas inhibited the cell proliferation, migration, and invasion, and induced remarkable apoptosis as tested by CCK-8, wound healing, transwell assays and flow cytometry. Hydrogen gas arrested the cell cycle at G2/M stage on both cell lines via inhibiting the expression of several cell cycle regulating proteins, including Cyclin D1, CDK4, and CDK6. Chromosomes 3 (SMC3), a complex required for chromosome cohesion during the cell cycle (97), was suppressed by hydrogen gas via ubiquitinating effects. Importantly, in vivo study showed that under hydrogen gas treatment, tumor growth was significantly inhibited, as well as the expression of Ki-67, VEGF and SMC3. These data suggested that hydrogen gas could serve as a new method for the treatment of lung cancer (98).

Due to its physicochemical characteristics, the use of hydrogen gas has been strictly limited in hospital and medical facilities and laboratories. Li et al. designed a solidified hydrogen-occluding-silica (H2-silica) that could stably release molecular hydrogen into cell culture medium. H2-silica could concentration-dependently inhibit the cell viability of human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (KYSE-70) cells, while it need higher dose to suppress normal human esophageal epithelial cells (HEEpiCs), indicating its selective profile. This effect was further confirmed by apoptosis and cell migration assay in these two cell lines. Mechanistic study revealed that H2-silica exerted its anticancer via inducing H2O2 accumulation, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis induction mediated by mitochondrial apoptotic pathways (72).

Recently, hydrogen gas was found to inhibit cancer stem cells (CSCs). Hydrogen gas reduced the colony formation and sphere formation of human ovarian cancer cell lines Hs38.T and PA-1 cells via inhibiting the proliferation marker Ki67, stem cell markers CD34, and angiogenesis. Hydrogen gas treatment significantly inhibited the proliferation, invasion, migration of both Hs38.T and PA-1 cells. More important, inhalation of hydrogen gas inhibited the tumor volume significantly as shown in the Hs38.T xenografted BALB/c nude mice model (99).

Another recent study also confirmed the effects of hydrogen gas in suppressing glioblastoma (GBM), the most common malignant brain tumor. In vitro study indicated that hydrogen gas inhibited several markers involved in stemness, resulting in the suppression of sphere formation, cell migration, invasion, and colony formation of glioma cells. By inhaling hydrogen gas (67%) 1 h, 2 times per day, the GBM growth was significantly inhibited, and the survival rate was improved in a rat orthotopic glioma model, suggesting that hydrogen might be a promising agent in the treatment of GBM (100).

Discussion

Hydrogen gas has been recognized as one medical gas that has potential in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, inflammatory disease, neurodegenerative disorders, and cancer (1760). As a hydroxyl radical and peroxynitrite scavenger, and due to its anti-inflammatory effects, hydrogen gas may work to prevent/relieve the adverse effects caused by chemotherapy and radiotherapy without compromise their anti-cancer potential (as summarized in Table 1 and Figure 1). Hydrogen gas may also work alone or synergistically with other therapy to suppress tumor growth via inducing apoptosis, inhibiting CSCs-related and cell cycle-related factors, etc. (summarized in Table 1).

TABLE 1

www.frontiersin.orgTable 1. The Summary of various formulation, application, mechanisms of H2 in cancer treatment.

FIGURE 1

www.frontiersin.orgFigure 1. Hydrogen in cancer treatment.

More importantly, in most of the research, hydrogen gas has demonstrated safety profile and certain selectivity property to cancer cells over normal cells, which is quite pivotal to clinical trials. One clinical trials (NCT03818347) is now undergoing to study the hydrogen gas in cancer rehabilitation in China.

By far, several delivery methods have proved to be available and convenient, including inhalation, drinking hydrogen-dissolved water, injection with hydrogen-saturated saline and taking a hydrogen bath (101). Hydrogen-rich water is non-toxic, inexpensive, easily administered, and can readily diffuse into tissues and cells (102), cross the blood-brain barrier (103), suggesting its potential in the treatment of brain tumor. Further portable devices that are well-designed and safe enough will be needed.

However, regarding its medicinal properties, such as dosage and administration, or possible adverse reactions and use in specific populations, less information is available. Its mechanism, target, indications are also not clear, further study are warranted.

NOTE:

Molecular hydrogen-rich water generally shows a more prominent effect than molecular hydrogen gas, although the amount of hydrogen taken up by hydrogen water is ~100 times less than that given by hydrogen gas [11].

We have showed that drinking molecular hydrogen water, but not continuous molecular hydrogen gas exposure, prevented development of 6-hydorxydopamine-induced Parkinson’s disease in rats [11].

https://water-ionizers.info/en/2017/09/05/modalities-of-molecular-hydrogen-administrationin-water-gas-or-saline-to-animals-humans-and-plants/

 

SEE ALL WATER IONIZERS – MOLECULAR HYDROGEN GENERATORS

REVIEW ARTICLE

Front. Oncol., 06 August 2019 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2019.00696

Hydrogen Gas in Cancer Treatment
Sai Li1Rongrong Liao2Xiaoyan Sheng2Xiaojun Luo3Xin Zhang1Xiaomin Wen3Jin Zhou2* and Kang Peng1,3*
  • 1Department of Pharmacy, Integrated Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China
  • 2Nursing Department, Integrated Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China
  • 3The Centre of Preventive Treatment of Disease, Integrated Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China

Author Contributions

SL, XW, JZ, and KP: conceptualization. SL, RL, XS, XL, XZ, JZ, and KP: writing. SL, RL, and XS: revising.

Funding

This work was supported in part by grants from the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province (2018A030313987) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Bureau of Guangdong Province (20164015 and 20183009) and Science and Technology Planning Project of Guangdong Province (2016ZC0059).

Conflict of Interest Statement

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

Acknowledgments

We thank Miss Ryma Iftikhar, Dhiviya Samuel, Mahnoor Shamsi (St. John’s University), and Mr. Muaz Sadeia for editing and revising the manuscript.

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Citation: Li S, Liao R, Sheng X, Luo X, Zhang X, Wen X, Zhou J and Peng K (2019) Hydrogen Gas in Cancer Treatment. Front. Oncol. 9:696. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2019.00696

Received: 02 May 2019; Accepted: 15 July 2019;
Published: 06 August 2019.

Edited by:

Nelson Shu-Sang Yee, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, United States

Reviewed by:

Leo E. Otterbein, Beth Israelv Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, United States
Paolo Armando Gagliardi, University of Bern, Switzerland

Copyright © 2019 Li, Liao, Sheng, Luo, Zhang, Wen, Zhou and Peng. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Jin Zhou, zhou-jin-2008@163.com; Kang Peng, kds978@163.com

These authors share co-first authorship

AlkaViva EmcoTech/Jupiter alkaline ionized water as cancer treatment -clinical case , integrative oncology

AlkaViva EmcoTech/Jupiter alkaline ionized water as cancer treatment -clinical case , integrative oncology

Abstract

The present article describes the ongoing (partial) remission of a female patient (41 years old) from estrogen receptor (ER)-positive/progesterone receptor (PR)-negative metastatic breast cancer in response to a combination treatment directed towards the revitalization of the mitochondrial respiratory chain (oxidative phosphorylation), the suppression of NF-kappaB as a factor triggering the inflammatory response, and chemotherapy with capecitabine. The reduction of tumor mass was evidenced by a continuing decline of CA15-3 and CEA tumor marker serum levels and 18FDG-PET-CT plus magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. It is concluded that such combination treatment might be a useful option for treating already formed metastases and for providing protection against the formation of metastases in ER positive breast cancer. The findings need to be corroborated by clinical trials. Whether similar results can be expected for other malignant tumor phenotypes relying on glycolysis as the main energy source remains to be elucidated.

1. Introduction

Since Richard Nixon declared war on cancer about 30 years ago, much efforts have been made in order to overcome this dreadful disease. Enormous financial resources have been invested in cancer research in the last three decades, yet most metastasized solid malignant tumors are still considered incurable. Chemotherapy has been shown to be a potent (long lasting) treatment option against only a few solid cancers including testis cancer. The overall contribution of curative and adjuvant cytotoxic chemotherapy was assessed to be 2.3% in Australia and 2.1% in the United States of America with a five-year survival in adults based on data for 1998 []. Under chemotherapy, cancer cells can gradually develop drug resistance that is acquired, for instance, by overexpression of transporter proteins (e.g., those belonging to the ATP-binding cassette type) [,] and fractionation of the cancerous stem cells [] (which are less sensitive to exposure to cytostatics than more differentiated cancer cells), plus AKT [,] and NF-kappaB [,] overexpression as a compensatory response to administered cytotoxic drugs. Likewise, induced hypoxia may act as protective shield against tumor eradication by chemotherapeutics and radiation due to alterations of gene expression profiles related to hypoxia, which result in the inhibition of apoptosis [].

On the other hand, a plethora of “alternative” cancer therapies have been developed and applied in the past. Here, we report on a combination treatment, including chemotherapy, bisphosphonates, and complementary measures, aiming at the normalization of the cellular metabolism, vascular angiogenesis, cell life cycle, and cell proliferation activity.

2. Experimental

2.1. Chemicals/Dietary Supplements

Super Ubiquinol CoQ10, Life Extension, article nr. 01426, USA: www.lefeurope.com

Vitamin B2, tablets, 10 mg, Jenapharm®, Mibe GmbH, Germany

Vitamin B3, capsules, 54 mg, Allpharm, Germany, PZN 6605862

5-Loxin®capsules, 75 mg, (std. for acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA), minimum 30% on dry basis), Life Extension, article nr. 00939, USA, www.lefeurope.com

Linseed oil, Linosan Leinöl, Heirler Cenovis GmbH, D-78303 Radolfzell, Germany

Bio-Kefir, Andechser Natur, 1,5% fat, containing L(+) dextrorotatory lactic acid, Andechser Molkerei Scheitz GmbH, D-82346 Andechs, Germany, www.andechser-molkerei.de

Bio-Yoghurt, Andechser Natur, 0,1% fat, containing L. acidophilus and B. bifidus, Andechser Molkerei Scheitz GmbH, D-82346 Andechs, Germany, www.andechser-molkerei.de

Flaxseed, freshly ground

EPA/DHA: Mega EPA/DHA, capsules, Life Extension, article nr. 00625

Sodium selenite, Selenase®200 XXL, 200 μg selenium, biosyn Arzneimittel GmbH, D-70734 Fellbach, Germany

L-Carnitine: Multinorm® L-Carnitin aktiv, 250 mg L-carnitin plus 3 μg Vitamin B12, Sankt Pirmin® Naturprodukte GmbH, D-55218 Ingelheim, Germany

L-Carnitine, 300 mg capsules: Altapharma, Germany

Zinc, Unizink® 50, 50 mg zinc-bis(hydrogen-DL-aspartat), Kohler Pharma GmbH, D-64665 Alsbach-Hähnlein, Germany, PZN-3441621

Ibandronat Bondronat®, 6 mg/6 mL concentrate, Roche Pharma AG, D-79639 Grenzach-Wyhlen, Germany

Capecitabine, Xeloda®, Roche Pharma AG, D-79639 Grenzach-Wyhlen, Germany

Drinking water ion exchanger and filter, pHresh, EMCO TECH Co. Ltd., Korea

Vitamin D and vitamin A were sporadically taken.

2.2. Procedure

The mentioned chemicals/dietary supplements have been taken as follows:

Alkalized drinking water was prepared ad lib by using water ion exchanger and filter. The filtered water was boiled prior to use.

Capecitabine was taken orally at 3.65 g Xeloda®/70 kg body weight per day. Two weeks of treatment were followed by one week of therapy pause per cycle.

“Budwig diet”: the following items were mixed for preparing a full batch using a blender: 1 kg Bio-Yoghurt, 0.1% fat, 0.25 kg Bio-Kefir, 1.5% fat, 6 table spoons of linseed oil, 4 table spoons of linseed, to be freshly milled: A part of this full batch may be prepared daily (the daily dose per person was about 250 grams).

Taken together around noon: 400 mg of Ubiquinol CoQ10 (4 capsules à 100 mg), 10 mg vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), 50 mg vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Taken three times daily: 2 softgels of MEGA EPA/DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid/docosahexaenoic acid), including 720 mg of EPA and 480 mg of DHA per 2 capsules.

One capsule of 5-Loxin®, one dose of Multinorm® L-Carnitin aktiv (taken only during chemotherapy pause; during the chemotherapy 300 mg pure L-carnitine not containing vitamin B12 was ingested), one tablet of Unizink® 50, and one tablet of Selenase®200 XXL were taken daily. EPA/DHA are COX-2 inhibitors. Therefore, the heart and vascular functions should be checked by a physician on a regular basis (it has been found that members of synthetic COX-2 inhibitors have been found to increase thrombosis, stroke, and heart attack risk under certain conditions). Moreover, Q10/B2/B3 were not taken in combination with radiation (the antioxidant Q10 potentially quenches the oxidative damage caused by radiation). EPA and DHA have potentially blood thinning effect.

3. Results

3.1. Applied Methodology and Methods

It has been hypothesized by the author that a multi-factorial approach towards breast cancer treatment would result in a synergetic response and reduced likelihood of development of resistance to treatment. Accordingly, it was sought to combine complementary, non-antagonistic treatments, which have the theoretical potential to suppress tumorigenesis and proliferation, with a “conventional” treatment. The envisaged therapy modules were Budwig diet and normalization of the fatty acid dietary balance, alkaline therapy, suppression of the inflammatory signaling chain, revitalization of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, bone protection against osteoclast-effected resorption by bisphosphonates and AKBA, and finally chemotherapy in the form of the prodrug capecitabine as 5-fluorouracil precursor []. The latter has been the recommended treatment by the medical tumor board in charge.

The described efforts have concretely been undertaken for suppressing refractory breast cancer stage IV in a female patient (body mass index 24–26, 41 years old), having developed a ductal carcinoma in situ in 2007. After biopsy revealed an estrogen receptor positive and progesterone receptor negative breast cancer, followed by surgical resection of the invaded sentinel lymph nodes, a neoadjuvant chemotherapy (four cycles Epirubicin/Cyclophosphamide, followed by four cycles of Taxotere®) was applied. However, the tumor showed little response (the tumor regression grade according to Sinn was only 1). Thus, the first and second axillary lymph node levels were resected in the following, and the affected breast was ablated. No suspicious tumor marker levels have been observed after ablation. The resection area was furthermore treated with radiation (gamma rays). The post-operational therapy included firstly tamoxifen, clodronate (a bisphosphonate), and a GNRH analogue (Enantone-Gyn®).

However, in September 2008, the patient – alerted by pain in the spinal cord – underwent MRI imaging, which revealed multiple bone metastases, including in the spinal cord.

As a consequence, the medication was altered as follows by the medical board in charge: Letrozol (aromatase inhibitor, 2.5 mg/d) and Ibandronat (6 mg intravenous infusion per month) as bisphosphonate. However, the disease progressed and a staging (18FDG-PET-CT and MRI) in March 2009 revealed the formation of various liver metastases. Therefore, the medication was changed to capecitabine chemotherapy instead of anti-hormonal therapy, accompanied by continuation of administration of Ibandronat.

Together with this therapy change, the author recommended the complimentary ingestion of the following substances: “Budwig diet” (linseed oil, flaxseed, and yoghurt), EPA/DHA concentrate in the form of distilled fish oil, ubiquinol (Q10 in reduced form), and vitamins B2 and B3, later on also 5-Loxin®(AKBA). See above for further dosage and substance specifications.

3.2. Results

After about three months (June 2009) of continued intake of the above mentioned substances (besides 5-Loxin®), PET-CT showed no metabolic activity of the liver metastases any longer and reduced activity of the bone metastases under 18F-deoxyglucose as tracer in the PET. Concurrently, a decline of the tumor markers’ (CA 15-3 and CEA) serum concentration was observed.

At this time, as a further element, 5-Loxin® (AKBA) was introduced into the supplementation scheme for the reasons mentioned.

Nine months later, the MRI showed that three out of six initial liver metastases could no longer be imaged, and that the largest lesion had decreased from about 15 mm to about 7 mm. A further small liver metastasis remained unchanged in size. This situation is depicted in Figure 1. Again, no metabolic activity in 18FDG-PET-CT was detected for any of the liver metastases.

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Diffusion-weighted MRI of the liver showing two metastases in the right lobe in (a) June 2009, and (b) February 2010. One metastasis (arrow) decreased from 15 mm in diameter to 7 mm, while the other remained unchanged (courtesy of Prof. Dr. E. Rummeny, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Technische Universität München, Technical University of Munich, Germany).

Moreover, the PET-CT (18F-deoxyglucose as PET tracer) showed, in addition, a reduction of the size and metabolic activity of bone metastases, accompanied by re-calcification of the lesions. The response to treatment correlated with markedly decreased tumor marker serum levels, with CEA concentration being close to the significance threshold of 4 ng/mL. The development of the tumor marker levels over time is displayed in Table 1 below. The decline of tumor marker concentrations has been found to correlate with cancer remission in clinical studies on breast cancer patients [,]. In addition, the initial concentration of CEA has been associated with the clinical disease outcome in breast cancer patients.

Table 1.

Development of the CEA and CA 15-3 serum concentrations over time; cut-off values were 4 ng/mL for CEA and 27 U/mL for CA15-3.

Date/Months after Therapy Start CA 15-3 (U/mL) Excess over Cut-off Value [%] CEA (ng/mL) Excess over Cut-off Value [%]
29 June 2009/3 49.3 82.6 31.4 684
13 September 2009/7 46.2 71.1 8.4 110
11 January 2010/10 37 37.0 4.1 2.5
19 April 2010/13 38.3 41.9 3.6 -10.8
12 July 2010/16 35.7 32.3 4.1 1.5

The latest 18FDG-PET-CT of August 2010 showed ongoing sclerosis of at least some of the bone lesions and stable disease.

4. Discussion and Conclusions

A plethora of complementary cancer treatments have been reported. Firstly, the intake of polysaccharides and proteoglucans, such as mushroom and yeast glucans [  ,  ], mistletoe lectins [,] and nerium oleander extracts, the latter also in combination with sutherlandia frutescens extracts [,], have been described. The activation of the immune system against cancer cells has been ascribed to all of these compounds.

Another approach employed against the proliferation of cancer is alkaline therapy, which addresses the cellular acid-base balance. It has been found that extracellular/interstitial cancer tissue is more acidic than healthy tissue due to excessive production of lactic acid stemming from the glycolysis of glucose []. Otto Warburg already suggested in the last century that (as a consequence of hypoxia often encountered in tumor tissues) cancer cells undergo excessive glycolysis instead of relying on the energetically by far more effective oxidative phosphorylation [,], a fact which could recently also be verified by biopsy analysis in breast cancer patients, revealing a marked decrease in β-F1-ATPase/HSP60 expression ratio during disease progression []. Lately, it has been suggested that the initiation of glycolysis could be triggered by AKT activation during tumor development [] and that the resulting acidification of the extra-cellular cancer tissue brings about survival advantages for cancer cells [,]. It has been found recently that T-cell development is markedly suppressed in acidified cancer tissue []. Alternative alkaline therapies applied for cancer treatment included the intake of sodium bicarbonate [], cesium chloride [], or alkaline diet, which is based on fruit and vegetables having high potassium content. A further approach was the ingestion of alkaline drinking water obtained from ion exchangers.

Another avenue towards cancer suppression has been established by the supplementation of (essential) polyunsaturated fatty acids, aiming at re-establishing cellular membrane functionality [] and fluidity []. In addition, the polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DHA) have been found to have a direct bearing on gene expression level by e.g., deactivation of NF-kappaB and AKT by EPA and DHA in a mouse model []. Polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties, for instance. by suppression of NF-KappaB and cyclooxygenases [], or caused by the reduction of prostaglandin E2 biosynthesis via arachidonic acid due to a shift in the omega-6 fatty acid/omega-3 FA level towards omega-3 species (omega-6 fatty acids form the pool for the endogenous biosynthesis of E2 prostaglandin) [,].

In addition, a direct positive correlation between cytotoxic drug efficacy and DHA level in breast adipose tissue of patients has been observed [  ]. Also, recent clinical studies suggested that EPA/DHA supplementation may suppress cancer-related cachexia []. Whereas severe side effects have been reported for the prolonged administration of some synthetic COX-II inhibitors, including increased thrombosis, stroke, and heart attack risk, to our best knowledge no comparably grave effects have been reported for the prolonged intake of EPA/DHA (e.g. in the form of fish oil) in clinical studies. The side effects of fish oil therapy, including blood thinning, have recently been discussed, e.g., by Farooqui et al.[].

Likewise, Johanna Budwig established a cancer diet (the so-called “Budwig diet”), which includes inter alia the daily intake of linseed oil as a potent source of alpha-linolenic acid as essential omega-3 fatty acid []. Anecdotal cases of complete cancer remissions after continued Budwig diet have been reported []. To our best knowledge, no randomized clinical trials exploring the efficacy of the Budwig diet have been launched to date. The consequence of a continued Budwig diet is said to be an optimization of the dietary balance of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids and reconstitution of physiologically intact cellular membrane composition by enhanced administration of polyunsaturated fatty acids as a substitute for peroxidized and saturated fatty acids in cellular membranes, thus increasing membrane fluidity. Furthermore, it has been hypothesized that polyunsaturated fatty acids may act as oxygen carriers []. The present-day Western diet results in an adverse ratio of about 15:1 of omega-6/omega-3 fatty acids, whereas a ratio of about 1:1 has been reported as paleolithic reference value for humans []. As a consequence, the endogenous high level of omega-6 fatty acids in humans fosters the increased biosynthesis of pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid from e.g., linoleic acid. Moreover, it has been hypothesized that cottage cheese, quark or yoghurt as second constituent of the Budwig diet refills the pool of sulfhydryl amino acids (which are essential for glutathione biosynthesis).

Warburg considered the glycolytic switch as being a final event in cancer formation, accompanied by irreversible genetic changes and the inactivation of the mitochondrial respiratory chain in cells, giving rise to their dedifferentiation []. However, recent studies suggest that this may not be the case: Dichloroacetate has been shown to be a potent inhibitor of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase, thereby suppressing, as other agents, the glycolytic switch and thus fostering oxidative phosphorylation [,,]. As a consequence of such an apparent normalization of the cellular energy production, cancer remissions in animal trials and anecdotal reports of healing of malignant tumors in human patients have been reported lately [].

Moreover, investigations involving the administration of coenzyme Q10 directed towards the revitalization of the mitochondrial respiratory chain suggest that, indeed, the inhibition of the respiratory chain (Q10 is present in various complexes thereof) can be reversed or at least be halted: Folkers et al. reported that breast cancer patients taking 90 mg per day Q10 stayed in a state of constant disease, and did not develop new metastases. No patient in the group died, although about 20% (6/32) deaths were statistically expected in the observation period. When the dose of Q10 was augmented to 390 mg daily, five patients who already showed remission under 90 mg of Q10 per day went into apparently complete remission, including the eradication of liver metastases [,]. Cases of complete remission in response to high doses of Q10 for other cancer types, such as small cell bronchogenic carcinoma, have also been published by Folkers et al.[].

Likewise, Sachdanandam et al. recently reported on tumor control and remission caused by a combination treatment by coenzyme Q10, vitamins B2 and B3 (all of which are essential for the cellular energy generation) and tamoxifen in animal trials []. As a result, markedly lower levels of lipid peroxidation and cachexia over the tumor-induced non-treated control group was observed. Orienting clinical trials of Premkumar et al., involving 84 breast cancer patients, affirmed the anti-tumor action of said agent combination []. Inter alia, a decrease of the plasma concentration of urokinase plasminogen activator (UPA) by about 50% was observed, and the level of adhesion factors such as E-selectin and pro-angiogenic proteinase MMP-9 were found to be drastically decreased after only 90 days of treatment. Moreover, significantly reduced tumor marker levels (CA-15-3 and CEA) have been measured after 90 days of coenzyme Q10, vitamins B2 and B3 plus tamoxifen combination treatment []. UPA expression level was determined as correlating with the clinical outcome of breast cancer, and UPA inhibition has therefore been made the target of extensive research [].

Another approach addressing the stabilization of the course of breast cancer is the administration of bisphosphonates [] such as ibandronate, which stabilize the bone matrix and thus impede osteoclast-mediated bone lysis. In addition, certain bisphosphonates, such as the latter compound, have been shown to possess direct anti-tumor action in vitro and in vivo [,].

Finally, a further route towards the suppression of cancers is the suppression of nuclear factor kappa B (a gene transcription promoter involved in the inflammatory chain and in a tumor’s capability to invade, metastasize and evade apoptosis) []. NF-kappaB stimulates the expression of various pro-inflammatory genes [,], also in breast cancer []. Consequently, a number of approaches have been divulged lately which are concerned with inhibition of this factor. The different compounds, which hinder the activation of NF-kappaB, are e.g., EPA (see above), and 11-keto-17-hydroxy boswellic acid (AKBA) [], a compound which has been shown to abrogate the osteoclastogenesis by inhibition of NF-kappaB activation in vitro. AKBA was also shown to hinder the enzyme 5-lipoxygenase [], which plays a pivotal role in the biosynthesis of pro-inflammatory leucotrienes. Remarkably, it has been shown that NF-kappaB inhibitors effectively inhibited MCF-7 breast cancer stem-like cells [].

In the present case, refractory breast cancer, which had not or has poorly responded to initial chemo- and anti-hormonal therapy, showed drastic and ongoing response to a combination treatment including capecitabine and complementary treatment components; the latter include NF-kappaB blockers, and other inhibitors of the inflammatory chain, respiratory chain stimulants, plus alkaline therapy. The rationale for employing these agents has been explained in the preceding paragraphs. No resistance to the therapy was observed after 17 months, and the decrease of tumor marker levels correlated with imaging results. The obtained results are significant in view of the initial heavy disease progress and lack of relevant response to all preceding therapies.

The incremental contributions of each individual treatment element remain unclear. However, it is hypothesized that a synergetic action of the measures takes place. These have been selected by theoretical considerations in order to avoid potential antagonistic interferences, which could annihilate action. It should also be noted that concerns about the simultaneous intake of chemotherapeutics and antioxidants have been raised in the literature, especially in the context of cytostatics that have free radical formation as their believed primary mechanism of action. To our best knowledge, the primary mechanism of action of capecitabine, however, is not via free radicals but DNA synthesis and thymidylate synthase inhibition []. No antagonistic interaction with the remaining measures “base therapy” (addressing the immune suppression observed in the acidic tumor environment due to the purported suppression of T-cell development in the acidic tissue adjacent to tumors) and bone stabilization by bisphosphonates has been expected. On the contrary, the reported suppression of NF-kappaB expression by e.g. AKBA should reduce the RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis, which is triggered by the transcription factor NF-kappaB [].

Whether all measures contribute to the observed results remains speculative. The progression-free interval of 17 months observed so far is encouraging in view of a median time to progression from 3–9 months reported for the first line treatment of metastatic breast cancer by capecitabine []. Randomized clinical trials appear to be indicated in view of the promising orienting results.

Note that ER positive/PR negative breast cancer constitutes a rather limited high risk subset within the broader patient collective suffering from luminal breast cancer. Lately, it has been hypothesized in the literature that the expression of progesterone receptor (genes) in breast cancer has a positive bearing on the disease malignity and outcome, correlating with a less aggressive phenotype, and that the expression of progesterone receptor genes may be hindered by AP-1 [,,]. AP-1 and NF-kappaB have been shown to bind to UPA promoter sequence and to cooperatively foster UPA expression. Consequently, it has been directly or indirectly suggested to therapeutically inhibit NF-kappaB in order to improve efficacy of antiestrogen treatment of patients associated to high risk hormone-dependent breast cancer [,].

Moreover, the reduced UPA expression mediated by Q10 described in the literature could also be a sign of a reduced activity of the transcription factor AP-1. At the same time, reduction of AP-1 activity could lead to a reversal of the blockage of the progesterone receptor expression caused by the inhibitory action of AP-1 and a consequent sensitization of ER-positive/PR-negative breast cancers to anti-estrogenic treatment by tamoxifen (compare to references [,]).

It is further hypothesized that the obtained orienting results hint (as already observed for DCA) at a revitalization of the mitochondrial respiratory chain at the expense of a pathologic increase of glycolysis. The reduction of glucose metabolism of the metastases was corroborated by reduced signal intensity in 18FDG-PET-CT scans during the treatment. Hence, the results are interpreted as a pointer towards the (at least partial) reversibility of the glycolytic switch and the associated changes in gene profile expression.

 

SEE ALL WATER IONIZERS – MOLECULAR HYDROGEN GENERATORS

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Link to Publisher's site
. 2011 Mar; 3(1): 1454–1466.
Published online 2011 Mar 17. doi: 10.3390/cancers3011454
PMCID: PMC3756422
PMID: 24212668

Clinical Response of Metastatic Breast Cancer to Multi-targeted Therapeutic Approach: A Single Case Report

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

Acknowledgements

Thanks are due to E. Rummeny and J. Gaa, both Department of Radiology, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Technische Universitat Munchen, for kindly providing the MRI images and the image analysis.

Disclaimer

The author does not suggest that breast cancer can be healed by applying the described measures. Moreover, the author disclaims all responsibilities and liabilities as consequence of a potential application of the described treatment steps, either taken separately or in any combination by patients, third parties, institutions, or other persons, and for the correctness of the provided information. Questions concerning the disclosed treatment will be answered to physicians and clinical academia in general, only.

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Articles from Cancers are provided here courtesy of Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)

 

Effects of drinking molecular hydrogen water on the quality of life QOL of cancer patients treated with RADIATION therapy

Effects of drinking molecular hydrogen water on the quality of life of cancer patients treated with radiation therapy

This is the first report demonstrating the benefits of drinking molecular hydrogen water in liver cancer patients receiving radiation therapy for malignant tumors.
– Molecular hydrogen dissolved in water improved the QOL of (liver) cancer patients reciving radiotherapy
– Molecular hydrogen water mitigated oxidative stress marker during radiotherapy
– Molecular hydrogen water did NOT compromise the radiation cancer treatment efficacies
-Molecular hydrogen water treatment did NOT alter liver function or blood composition during radiotherapy

This study examined whether molecular hydrogen (dissolved in water ) treatment, improved QOL in patients receiving radiotherapy.

Cancer patients receiving radiotherapy often experience fatigue and impaired quality of life (QOL).

Most radiation-induced symptoms are believed to be associated with increased oxidative stress and inflammation, due to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during radiotherapy, and may significantly affect the patient’s quality of life (QOL) [].

Molecular hydrogen (dissolve in water) can be administered as a therapeutic medical gas, has selective ANTIoxidant( molecular hydrogen ( water ) neutralizes only bad free radicals while supporting the beneficial ones)  & ANTIinflammatory (molecular hydrogen( water )reduces inflammation in tisues) properties.

Drinking liquids(i.e. : water) with dissolved molecular hydrogen represents a novel method of molecular hydrogen gas delivery that is easily translatable into clinical practice, with beneficial effects for several medical conditions, including atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cognitive impairment during aging and in Parkinson’s disease [].

Methods

A randomized, placebo-controlled study was performed to evaluate the effects of drinking molecular hydrogen-rich water on 49 patients receiving radiotherapy for malignant liver tumors.

The subjects were randomly assigned to groups to either drink molecular hydrogen-rich water for 6 weeks (n = 25) or drink water containing a placebo (n = 24).

Subjects were provided with four 500 mL bottles of drinking molecular hydrogen water per day .

Molecular hydrogen rich water had final molecular hydrogen concentration; 0.55~0.65 mM.

The subjects were expected to consume 100-300 mL of molecular hydrogen-rich water more than 10 times per day for a total minimum consumption of 1500 mL (1.5 L) and a maximum consumption of 2000 mL (2.0 L).

Oral intake of molecular hydrogen water or placebo water started on the first day of radiotherapy and continued for 6 weeks.

All participants received 5040-6500 cGy of radiotherapy for 7-8 weeks using a 6 MV system (Cyber Knife, Fanuc, Yamanashi, Japan).

Table 1

Patient Characteristics

All the liver cancer patients survived through the 6 week follow-up period when the QOL questionnaire was administered.

The Korean version of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer’s QLQ-C30 instrument was used to evaluate global health status and QOL. The concentration of derivatives of reactive oxidative metabolites and biological antioxidant power in the peripheral blood were assessed.

Results & Conclusions

The consumption of molecular hydrogen-rich water for 6 weeks reduced reactive oxygen metabolites in the blood and maintained blood oxidation potential. QOL scores during radiotherapy were SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVED in patients treated with molecular hydrogen-rich water compared to patients receiving placebo water.

There was no difference in tumor response to radiotherapy between the two groups( meaning drinking molecular hydrogen water did not interfere with the desired antitumor effects of radiation therapy ).

Daily consumption of molecular hydrogen-rich water is a potentially novel, therapeutic strategy for improving QOL after radiation exposure.

Consumption of hydrogen-rich water reduces the biological reaction to radiation-induced oxidative stress without compromising anti-tumor effects.

Molecular hydrogen dissolved in water improved the QOL of (liver) cancer patients receiving radiotherapy

The QOL of the liver cancer patients who were given placebo water deteriorated significantly within the first month of radiotherapy (Figure1A)

Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are one of the most common complaints of patients undergoing radiotherapy and are considered to have a high impact on the patient’s QOL after 6 weeks of radiotherapy.

The patients consuming molecular hydrogen water experienced significantly less appetite loss and fewer tasting disorders compared to the patients consuming placebo water.

Liver cancer patients experience GI symptoms and decreased QOL during radiotherapy. These symptoms usually occur as a result of the body repairing damage to healthy cells, are particularly common towards the end of a course of radiation treatment, and can last for some time. The symptoms and their impact on QOL can be worsened by having to travel to the hospital each day.

Drinking molecular hydrogen-rich water improved the QOL of the liver cancer patients receiving radiotherapy and did not require additional hospital visits.

There were no differences between the groups in the QOL subscales for fatigue, depression, or sleep. No significant difference was seen in the mean scores for vomiting or diarrhea (Figure1B).

Figure 1

Placebo water and molecular hydrogen water improved the QOL of patients receiving radiotherapy. A. Weekly assessment of the patients’ QOL. B. Scoring system of GI symptoms after 6 weeks of radiotherapy with or without molecular hydrogen water.

Molecular hydrogen water mitigated oxidative stress marker during radiotherapy

Before treatment, there were no differences in total hydroperoxide levels, representative of total dROM levels, between the treatment groups.

Radiotherapy markedly increased total hydroperoxide levels in the patients consuming placebo water.

However, drinking molecular hydrogen water prevented this increase in total serum hydroperoxide, as determined by the dROM test (Figure2A), indicating DECREASED OXIDATIVE STRESS during radiotherapy in the liver cancer patients who consumed molecular hydrogen water.

Similarly, endogenous serum antioxidant activity significantly deteriorated during radiotherapy in the patients consuming placebo water, and biologic antioxidant activity was MAINTAINED in liver cancer patients who consumed molecular hydrogen-rich water, even after 6 weeks of radiotherapy (Figure2B).

Figure 2

Molecular hydrogen water mitigated oxidative stress marker during radiotherapy. Antioxidative effects in patients with placebo water (n = 24) and molecular hydrogen rich water (n = 25). The dROM level (A) represents the total level of peroxide metabolities, and BAP (B) reflects ...
Previous experimental studies have linked daily consumption of molecular hydrogen-rich water with improvement of a number of conditions in rodent models, including reducing atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E knockout mice [], alleviating cisplatin(chemotherapy)-induced nephrotoxicity [], reducing vitamin C deficiency-induced brain injury [], preventing chronic allograft nephropathy after renal transplantation [], and ameliorating cognitive defects in senescence-accelerated mice [] and a Parkinson’s disease model []. In human studies, consumption of molecular hydrogen-rich water prevented adult-onset diabetes and insulin resistance [], as well as oxidative stress in potential metabolic syndrome [].

Radiotherapy is associated with an increase in ROS, followed by damage to DNA, lipids, and proteins, and activation of transcription factors and signal transduction pathways. It has been estimated that 60-70% of the ionizing radiation-induced cellular damage is caused by hydroxyl radicals [].

Therefore, a number of trials with the goal of reducing adverse effects due to excess ROS production have been performed with antioxidants delivered during the course of radiotherapy. Supplementation with α-tocopherol improves the salivary flow rate and maintains salivary parameters []. Treatment with the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase prevented radiotherapy-induced cystitis and rectitis in bladder cancer patients receiving radiotherapy []. In addition, the combined use of pentoxifylline and vitamin E reduced radiation-induced lung fibrosis in patients with lung cancer receiving radiotherapy [].

Thus, in general, supplementation with antioxidants is likely to offer overall benefits in the treatment of adverse effects of radiotherapy.

However, not all antioxidants can afford radioprotection [].

Furthermore, of significant concern is the finding that high doses of antioxidants administered as adjuvant therapy might compromise the efficacy of radiation treatment and increase of the risk of local recurrence of cancer [,].

Hence, the relatively lower toxicity associated with the use of these antioxidant agents is appealing, but not at the cost of poor tumor control.

In contrast, in this study, drinking molecular hydrogen-rich water did NOT affect radiotherapy’s anti-tumor effects.

Molecular hydrogen water did NOT compromise the radiation cancer treatment efficacies

Tumor response to radiotherapy was similar between the cancer treatment groups, and 12 of 24 (50.0%)  liver cancer patients in the placebo group and 12 of 25 (48%) patients in molecular hydrogen water group exhibited either a completed response (CR) or a partial response (PR). There were no patients in either group with progressive disease (PD) during the follow-up period (3 months). Thus, drinking molecular hydrogen water did  NOT compromise the anti-tumor effects of radiotherapy.

Our results may suggest that hydrogen water functions not only as an antioxidant, but also plays a protective role by inducing radioprotective hormones or enzymes. 

Molecular hydrogen water treatment did NOT alter liver function or blood composition during radiotherapy

There were no significant differences in aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (γ-GTP) and total cholesterol levels at week 0 and week 6, regardless of the type of water consumed(Table2), indicating that molecular hydrogen water consumption did NOT alter liver function.

Similarly, there were no significant differences in red blood cell count, white blood cell count, or platelet count between patients consuming molecular hydrogen water and patients consuming placebo water (Table3).

Table 2

Changes in liver function tests

Table 3

Peripheral blood cell counts

 

This finding may provide the foundation for a clinically applicable, effective, and safe strategy for the delivery of molecular hydrogen gas (dissolved in water) to mitigate radiation-induced cellular injury.

Oral intake of daily molecular hydrogen-supplemented water might be a prophylactic strategy to improve QOL of the (liver cancer ) patients receiving radiotherapy.

Although the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of molecular hydrogen-rich water during radiotherapy have not been clearly elucidated, drinking molecular hydrogen dissolved in water reduced dROM levels and maintained BAP levels in the serum, suggesting molecular hydrogen-rich water exhibits potent systemic antioxidant activity.

The safety of molecular hydrogen-rich water has also been determined as well as the optimal concentration of molecular hydrogen dissolved in water;

Daily intake of molecular hydrogen-rich water may be a promising approach for counteracting radiation-induced impairments to QOL.

This therapeutic use of molecular hydrogen is also supported by the work of Qian et al., who demonstrated that treating human lymphocyte AHH-1 cells with molecular hydrogen (saline) before irradiation significantly inhibited ionizing irradiation-induced apoptosis and increased cell viability in vitro.

They also showed that injection of molecular hydrogen-rich saline could protect the gastrointestinal endothelia from radiation-induced injury, decrease plasma malondialdehyde and intestinal 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine levels, and increase plasma endogenous antioxidants in vivo [].

Conclusions

In conclusion, our study demonstrated that drinking molecular hydrogen-rich water improved QOL and reduced oxidative markers in patients receiving radiotherapy for liver tumors.

This novel approach of oral intake of molecular hydrogen-rich water may be applicable to a wide range of radiation-related adverse symptoms.

Drinking solubilized molecular hydrogen (dissolved in water) on a daily basis is beneficial and would be quite easy to administer without complicating or changing a patient’s lifestyle

Background

Radiotherapy is one of the major treatment options for malignant neoplasms. Nearly half of all newly diagnosed cancer patients will receive radiotherapy at some point during treatment and up to 25% may receive radiotherapy a second time []. Radiotherapy adversely affects the surrounding normal cells []. Acute radiation-associated side effects include fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, loss of appetite, hair loss, sore skin, and depression. Radiation increases the long-term risk of cancer, central nervous system disorders, cardiovascular disease, and cataracts. The likelihood of radiation-induced complications is related to the volume of the irradiated organ, the radiation dose delivered, the fractionation of the delivered dose, the delivery of radiation modifiers, and individual radiosensitivity []. Most radiation-induced symptoms are believed to be associated with increased oxidative stress and inflammation, due to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during radiotherapy, and may significantly affect the patient’s quality of life (QOL) [].

original article:
 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3231938/

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hydrogen-rich water protects LIVER function of colorectal CANCER patients during CHEMOTHERAPY

The study published in 2017  was conducted to investigate the protective effect of hydrogen-rich water on the liver function of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients treated with mFOLFOX6 chemotherapy.

A controlled, randomized, single-blind clinical trial was designed.

A total of 152 patients with colorectal cancer were recruited by the Department of Oncology of Taishan Hospital (Taian, China) between June 2010 and February 2016, among whom 146 met the inclusion criteria. Subsequently, 144 patients were randomized into the treatment with hydrogen water(n=80) and placebo (n=64) groups. At the end of the study, 76 patients in the hydrogen water treatment group and 60 patients in the placebo group were included in the final analysis.

The 80 patients group started drinking hydrogen-rich water 1 day prior to chemotherapy until the end of the cycle, for a total of 4 days, with a total intake of 1,000 ml hydrogen-rich water per day in 4 doses (250 ml hydrogen-rich water each). Hydrogen-rich water was consumed 0.5 h after a meal and before bedtime.

The patients did not discontinue consuming hydrogen-rich water during the entire course of chemotherapy.

The other 64 placebo patients consumed distilled water, with a daily intake of 1,000 ml in 4 doses (250 ml each).

The changes in liver function after the chemotherapy, such as altered levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), alkaline phosphatase, indirect bilirubin (IBIL) and direct bilirubin, were observed. The damaging effects of the mFOLFOX6 chemotherapy on liver function were mainly represented by increased ALT, AST and IBIL levels. The hydrogen-rich water group exhibited no significant differences in liver function before and after treatment, whereas the placebo group exhibited significantly elevated levels of ALT, AST and IBIL. Thus, hydrogen-rich water appeared to alleviate the mFOLFOX6-related liver injury

 

 

PMID:29142752
PMCID:PMC5666661
DOI:10.3892/mco.2017.1409
 2017 Nov;7(5):891-896. doi: 10.3892/mco.2017.1409. Epub 2017 Sep 1.
Protective effect of hydrogen-rich water on liver function of colorectal cancer patients treated with mFOLFOX6 chemotherapy.
Yang Q1Ji G1Pan R1Zhao Y2Yan P3.

Author information

1
Department of Oncology, Shandong Provincial Taishan Hospital, Taian, Shandong 271000, P.R. China.
2
Department of Pathology, Taishan Medical University, Taian, Shandong 271000, P.R. China.
3
Department of Oncology, Jinan Central Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong 250013, P.R. China.

Molecular hydrogen (water) in the treatment of acute and chronic neurological conditions(Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s,etc): mechanisms of protection and routes of administration

Molecular hydrogen (water) in the treatment of acute and chronic neurological conditions(i.e Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc. ): mechanisms of protection and routes of administration

 
 
We review the effects of molecular hydrogen water therapy in acute neuronal conditions and neurodegenerative diseases.
Molecular hydrogen water therapy /drinking water with dissolved molecular hydrogen may be useful for the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases and for reducing the symptoms of acute neuronal conditions.
 
Recently, the neuroprotective effects of treatment with molecular hydrogen (water) have been reported in both basic and clinical settings-as you will see below, we have examined the effects of molecular hydrogen H2  (water) treatment on acute central nervous system diseases and on chronic neurodegenerative diseases. We have also examined the various mechanism by which molecular hydrogen H2 exerts its neuroprotective effects .
Molecular hydrogen  H2 acts as a scavenger for OH and ONOO, affects neuroinflammation, preserves mitochondrial energy production, and possesses neuroprotective properties.
 
Unlike more conventional drugs, molecular hydrogen  H2 treatment, particularly the consumption of  molecular hydrogen  H2-rich water, has no known serious side effects and is effective for preventing the onset of neurodegenerative disease and aggravation of acute neuronal conditions – i.e.:
 

Molecular hydrogen water & Parkinson’s disease (PD)

Parkinson’s disease PD is a disorder that presents with extrapyramidal symptoms caused by the degeneration and loss of dopamine-producing cells in substantia nigra. Oxidative stress is known to be involved in the clinical condition of PD.() Moreover, the involvement of mitochondrial dysfunction in PD has been reported.()

The effects of molecular hydrogen  H2 on Parkinson’s disease PD have been reported in animal models of PD as well as in clinical studies.()

In 2009, Fujita et al.() and Fu et al.() reported that consuming  molecular hydrogen H2-rich water inhibits oxidative stress on the nigrostriatal pathway and prevents the loss of dopamine cells in a PD animal model. With the consumption of molecular hydrogen H2-rich-water-drinking, oxidative stress in the nigrostriatal pathway was inhibited and loss of dopamine cells was decreased. These results suggest that consuming molecular hydrogen H2-rich water could affect the onset of Parkinson’s Disease PD.

In recent years, the results of a clinical trial on the effects of consuming molecular hydrogen H2-rich water for Parkinson’s Disease PD have been reported.() A randomized double-blind study showed that consuming molecular hydrogen H2-rich water (1,000 ml/day) for 48 weeks significantly improved the total Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) score of Parkinson’s disease PD patients treated with levodopa. A double-blind multi-center trial of molecular hydrogen H2 water is currently underway (Table 1).()

 

Molecular hydrogen water &  Alzheimer’s disease (AD)

Alzheimer Disease AD, an age-related neurodegenerative disease, is the most common cause of dementia.(,) Pathologically, it is characterized by the deposition of Aβ protein outside nerve cells and the accumulation of phosphorylated tau protein inside nerve cells. There is also a marked loss of nervous cells in the cerebral cortex.() In recent years, oxidative stress and neuroinflammation have been reported to be involved in Alzheimer’s disease AD.(,) To date, reports have centered on the involvement of oxidative stress in brain parenchyma.(,,)The accumulation of Aβ protein is strongly associated with the failure of Aβ clearance that is closely related to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease AD.() It is known that low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) is involved in Aβ protein elimination. LRP dysfunction caused by oxidative stress and neuroinflammation is involved in the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease AD.() The regulation of oxidative stress and neuroinflammation may prevent the onset or progression of Alzheimer’s Disease AD. A number of reports have investigated the effects of molecular hydrogen H2 for the prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease AD onset.(,)

In a rat Alzheimer’s Disease AD model, it has been reported that the administration of molecular H2-rich saline (5 ml/kg, i.p., daily) inhibited oxidative stress, cytokine production, and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) production in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex, and improved impaired memory.(,)

It has  been reported that consuming molecular hydrogen H2-rich water inhibits age-related brain alterations and spatial memory decline.()

 

The therapeutic effect of molecular hydrogen H2-rich water following Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and in posttraumatic onset of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) was investigated by Dohi et al. in 2014,() who investigated whether the consumption of molecular hydrogen  H2-rich water 24 h prior to trauma can inhibit neuronal damage in a controlled cortical injury model using mice. The authors found that the expression of the phosphorylated tau proteins AT8 and Alz50 in the hippocampus and cortex was blocked in mice that consumed molecular hydrogen  H2-rich water. Moreover, the activity of astrocytes and microglia were inhibited in mice Traumatic Brain Injury model consuming molecular hydrogen H2-rich water. The expression of genes induced by Traumatic Brain Injury, particularly those that are involved in oxidation/carbohydrate metabolism, cytokine release, leukocyte or cell migration, cytokine transport, and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and nucleotide binding, was inhibited by consuming molecular hydrogen  H2-rich water.

Dohi et al.() specifically reviewed the role of molecular hydrogen H2-rich water in neuroinflammation following brain trauma. The consumption of molecular hydrogen H2-rich water influenced the production of cytokines and chemokines in the damaged brain and inhibited the production of hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), MMP-9, and cyclophilin A. However,molecular hydrogen  H2-rich water did not affect the production of amyloid precursor protein (APP), Aβ-40, or Aβ-42. They also investigated the relationship between molecular hydrogen H2 and ATP production and reported that molecular hydrogen H2 increased basal respiration, reserve capacity, and nonmitochondrial respiration but did not increase aerobic ATP production. It has thus been demonstrated that the inhibitory effects of molecular hydrogen H2 on nerve damage are not solely due to its simple function as a free radical scavenger (Fig. 1 and and22).

 
Molecular hydrogen is well characterized as a selective scavenger of hydroxyl radicals and peroxynitrite.

Oxidative stress caused by reactive oxygen species is considered a major mediator of tissue and cell injuries in various neuronal conditions, including neurological emergencies and neurodegenerative diseases.

 

Oxidative stress caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) is a major mediator of tissue and cellular injuries in various neuronal conditions, including neurological emergencies and neurodegenerative diseases.()

Control of oxidative stress is a major therapeutic strategy for various neuronal conditions.(,,) There are many methods for controlling oxidative stress with the use of free radical scavengers being the most common approach.(,) Evidence from animal experiments support the notion that free radical scavengers and antioxidants dramatically reduce cerebral damage.() Edaravone (MCI-186), a novel free radical scavenger, was developed to prevent lipid peroxidation in pathological neurological conditions.(,)Edaravone is currently the only antioxidant drug approved for treating cerebral infarction that improves the functional outcome of ischemic stroke.() Brain hypothermia therapy (targeted temperature management) can also effectively control oxidative stress. Brain hypothermia therapy is effective in patients with various acute neuronal diseases.(,,)

In 2007, Ohsawa et al.() reported that molecular hydrogen (H2) can act as an antioxidant to prevent and treat middle cerebral artery occlusion–reperfusion injury in rats. This effect has been supported by additional reports. Recently, the beneficial effect of molecular H2 has been reported in many other organs, including the brain.() The first major therapeutic effect of molecular hydrogen H2 was that of an antioxidant, combining with hydroxyl ions to produce water.() Recently, other biological mechanisms of molecular hydrogen H2 (anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptosis, anti-cytokine, DNA expression, and energy metabolism) have been proposed (Fig. 1 and and22).()Therefore, the biology of molecular hydrogen H2 is not simple. In this review, we discuss the role of molecular H2 in various neuronal conditions.

Fig. 1

Beneficial effects of molecular hydrogen in pathophysiology of various acute neuronal conditions. ATP, adenosine triphosphate; miR-200, microRNA-200; ROS, reactive oxygen species.

Fig. 2

Effect of consumption of molecular hydrogen-rich water as functional water in pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases. ATP, adenosine triphosphate; miR-200, microRNA-200; ROS, reactive oxygen species.

Method and Route of Administration in Molecular hydrogen H2 Therapy

As a small (2 Da), uncharged molecule of hydrogen H2, would be expected to readily distribute throughout the body, including being able to easily penetrate cell membranes, However we are unable to determine the distribution of moleclar hydrogen H2 among organs and its concentrations in each organ and serum based on the administration methods and dosage. This problem was investigated in 2014.() A comparative review was conducted on the consumption of molecular hydrogen H2-rich water, i.p. or intravenous administration of molecular hydrogen  H2-rich saline, and inhalation of molecular hydrogen H2 gas. The results showed that the highest concentrations are reached 1 min after intravenous administration and 5 min after oral administration. The highest concentration was reached 30 min after the inhalation of molecular hydrogen H2 gas and was maintained for some time. Although molecular hydrogen H2 concentrations in the brain tend to be high after either intravenous administration or inhalation, no significant differences have been observed in comparison with the concentrations after the consumption of molecular hydrogen  H2-rich water and i.p. administration of molecular hydrogen H2-rich saline. Thus, although there have been variations based on the administration method, all methods have been found to result in the presence of molecular hydrogen H2 in the serum and brain tissue. Liu et al.() measured molecular hydrogen  H2 levels in the arteries, veins, and brain tissues after the inhalation of 2% molecular hydrogen H2 gas. They found that arterial molecular hydrogen H2 peaked at 30 min after administration, whereas venous and brain tissue molecular hydrogen H2 peaked at 45 min after administration. They reported that molecular hydrogen  H2 levels were similar in arteries and brain tissues.

This demonstrated that molecular hydrogen  H2 migrates to the brain tissue regardless of the method of administration(Thus, the studies below might as well have been performed using molecular hydrogen water instead of molecular hydrogen gas or molecular hydrogen saline).

These results suggest that the consumption of molecular hydrogen  H2-rich water prevents neurodegenerative disease and that molecular hydrogen H2-rich drinking water could be used to treat acute brain disorders (Fig. 1 and and22).

 
 
 
 

Molecular Hydrogen & Neurological Diseases

Molecular hydrogen & Ischemic brain injury

It has been reported that molecular hydrogen H2 prevents ischemic brain damage in animal experiments.(,) Ohsawa et al.() reported that inhalation of 2% molecular hydrogen H2 gas strongly suppressed infarct volume after middle cerebral artery ischemia–reperfusion in rats. In an electron spin resonance (ESR) study, they showed that molecular hydrogen  H2 had hydroxyl radical scavenging activity. Hydroxynonenal (HNE) and 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) immunoreactivity was suppressed in the damaged brain after treatment with 2% molecular hydrogen H2. molecular hydrogen H2 inhalation reduced ischemic damage and hemorrhagic volume after transient middle crebral artery occlusion (MCAO) ischemia.() Free radical generation after ischemia induces matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression.(,) MMP-9 promotes hemorrhagic infarction by disrupting cerebral vessels.() molecular hydrogen H2 inhalation has been found to reduce MMP-9 expression in an MCAO rat model. molecular hydrogen H2 also has a neuroprotective effect against global ischemia. Ji et al.() reported that molecular hydrogen H2-rich saline injection [5 ml/kg intra-peritoneal (i.p.) administration] after global ischemia reduced neuronal cell death in hippocampal Cornet d’Ammon 1 (CA1) lesions in rats. Cerebral hypoxia–ischemia and neonatal asphyxia are major causes of brain damage in neonates. molecular hydrogen H2 gas inhalation and molecular hydrogen H2-rich saline injection provide early neuroprotection from neonatal neurological damage.() Nagatani et al.() reported that that an molecular hydrogen H2-enriched intravenous solution is safe for patients with acute cerebral infarction, including patients treated with tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) therapy.

Metabolic syndrome is a strong risk factor of stroke. It has been reported that molecular hydrogen H2 therapy can improve metabolic syndrome in basic and clinical settings.() molecular hydrogen H2 therapy may reduce stroke in patients with metabolic syndrome involving diabetes mellitus.

Molecular hydrogen & Hemorrhagic stroke

Hemorrhagic stroke involving intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a critical neuronal condition, and the mortality rate of hemorrhagic stroke is still high.() Manaenko et al.() reported a neuroprotective effect of molecular hydrogen H2 gas inhalation using an experimental ICH animal model.molecular hydrogen H2 gas inhalation suppresses redox stress and blood brain barrier (BBB) disruption by reducing mast cell activation and degranulation. Brain edema and neurological deficits were also suppressed. In SAH, there are several studies demonstrating the neuroprotective effect of molecular hydrogen  H2 treatment.() A clinical trial has started in patients with SAH (Table 1).()

Table 1

Clinical trials of molecular hydrogen in central nervous system (CNS) diseases

Molecular hydrogen & Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

The efficacy of molecular hydrogen H2 for treating TBI has been investigated in several studies.(,,) Ji et al.() reported that in a rat TBI model,molecular hydrogen H2 gas inhalation has been found to protect BBB permeability and regulate posttraumatic brain edema, thereby inhibiting brain damage. molecular hydrogen H2 gas inhalation also inhibits the decrease in superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and catalase (CAT) activity. These are antioxidant enzymes in posttraumatic brains that inhibit the production of malondialdehyde (MDA) and 8-iso-prostaglandin F2α (8-iso-PGF2α). Eckermann et al.() reported that in a surgical trauma mouse model involving right frontal lobectomy, molecular hydrogen H2 gas inhalation has been found to inhibit postoperative brain edema and improve the postoperative neurobehavioral score. The same report also showed that lipid peroxidation and the production of oxidative stress substances were not inhibited by molecular hydrogen  H2 gas inhalation.() 

Molecular Hydrogen & Spinal cord injury

Chen et al.() reviewed the effects of molecular hydrogen H2-rich saline administration (i.p.) in a rat traumatic spinal cord injury model. They found that posttraumatic neurological symptoms were improved by molecular hydrogen H2-rich saline treatment. Furthermore, molecular hydrogen H2-rich saline treatment has been found to reduce inflammatory cell infiltration, TdT-mediated dUTP nick and labeling (TUNEL)-positive cells, and hemorrhage. In addition, oxidative stress was inhibited and the expression of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was increased.

The effects of molecular hydrogen H2 administration on spinal cord ischemia have also been reported.(,) Huang et al.()investigated the effects of molecular hydrogen H2 gas inhalation in a rabbit spinal cord ischemia–reperfusion model. They reviewed the effects of molecular hydrogen H2 inhalation with different concentrations (1, 2, and 4%) and reported that molecular hydrogen H2 gas inhalation at concentrations of 2% and 4% inhibited neuronal death. However, they did not observe significant differences between the two groups in terms of effects with 2% and 4% being equally effective.() It has been reported that the inhalation of 2% molecular hydrogen H2 gas inhibits apoptosis following spinal cord injury caused by ischemia–reperfusion. In addition, molecular hydrogen H2 gas inhalation regulates caspase-3 activity, the production of inflammatory cytokines, oxidative stress, and the decrease in endogenous antioxidant substances. Zhou et al.() also reported that molecular hydrogen H2-rich saline administration (i.p.) has beneficial effects on spinal cord ischemia–reperfusion injury in rabbits.

Other acute neurological conditions

In recent years, research has shown that there is a high incidence of comorbid central nervous system symptoms in sepsis cases.() Using a mice cecal ligation and puncture (CLP) model, Liu et al.() reported that molecular hydrogen H2 gas inhalation improves septic encephalopathy. They reported that 2%molecular hydrogen H2 gas inhalation inhibited post-CLP apoptosis, brain edema, BBB permeability, cytokine production, and oxidative stress in the CA1 hippocampus region as well as improves cognitive function. Nakano et al.() reported that maternal administration of  molecular hydrogen H2 has a suppressive effect on fetal brain injury caused by intrauterine inflammation with maternal intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS).

The treatment of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning encephalopathy, which is a common gas poisoning, is yet to be established.(,) Sun et al.() and Shen et al.() investigated the effects of molecular hydrogen H2-rich saline. They reported that in a CO poisoning model, the administration of molecular hydrogen H2-rich saline decreased glial activation, cytokine production, oxidative stress, and caspase 3 and 9 production as well as inhibited nerve cell death.

It is known that oxidative stress causes nerve cell impairments.() The consumption of molecular hydrogen H2-rich water inhibits oxidative stress and thereby inhibits the onset of stress-induced brain damage.()

Hypoxic brain injury caused by asphyxiation, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, neonatal asphyxia, and other similar hypoxia-mediated event is a common clinical condition in medical emergencies. Molecular hydrogen H2 treatment has been found to inhibit cell death in an in vitro hypoxia/reoxygenation model using immortalized mouse hippocampal (HT-22) cells. Molecular hydrogen  H2 treatment increased phosphorylated Akt (p-Akt) and B-cell leukemia/lymphoma-2 (BCL-2), while it decreased Bax and cleaved caspase-3.() In recent years, it has been found that the microRNA-200 (miR-200) family regulates oxidative stress.() The inhibition of miR-200 suppresses H/R-induced cell death, reducing ROS production and MMP. Molecular hydrogen  H2 treatment suppressed H/R-induced expression of miR-200. In Japan, a double blind randomized controlled trial for post cardiac arrest syndrome has started from 2017 (Table 1).

 

abbreviations

AD Alzheimer’s disease
APP amyloid precursor protein
ATP adenosine triphosphate
BBB blood brain barrier
CA1 Cornet d’Armon 1
CLP cecal ligation and puncture
CO carbon monoxide
ICH intracerebral hemorrhage
LRP lipoprotein receptor-related protein
MCAO middle cerebral artery occlusion
miR-200 microRNA-200
MMP matrix metalloproteinase
PD Parkinson’s disease
ROS reactive oxygen species
SAH subarachnoid hemorrhage
TBI traumatic brain injury
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5525017/

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