Molecular Hydrogen has a number of properties that lends itself to First Aid use. There are a number of papers that demonstrate it's protective capacity for a number of organs in the face of ischaemic reperfusion injury. The quicker it can be adminstered in these situations the better. In a heart attack, the speed by which the heart can be supported and protected will help determine to what degree heart ischaemia develops into an infarction as the diagram below shows. Molecular H2 not only limits heart infarction but has neuro-protective and other benefits in other organs that can arise from poor tissue perfusion to them.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
CTE deserves a special mention within the First Aid usage. Full contact combat sports such as Boxing, MMA and other Martial Arts are obvious contenders where routine drinking of saturated Hydrogen water before, during and after bouts would help limit brain inflammation and nerve damage as a result of repetitive concussive impact to the head.
CTE that has manifested later in life has been identified at significant levels in individuals years after retirement from competitive contact sports including Rugby and American Football. World Rugby - the governing body for Rugby Union world wide, has recognised the dangers of CTE and has introduced measures and procedures for Medical staff to perform Head Injury Assessments during matches and to withdraw players from playing during a match if necessary. There is a statutory period of rest after a confirmed concussion within which players are prevented from playing in order to allow sufficient time for recovery.
Less obvious sports that are not regarded as full contact can nevertheless result in concussion and brain trauma as a result of accidents and are not infrequent. Accidents that happen at speed are far more likely to result in concussion, (eg cycling, Motorsport) as well as sports where there is close competition for the ball (eg football, hockey, lacrosse etc). Although steps have been taken to reduce the chronic impact of heading the ball in football by making the ball lighter, there are increased speeds of impact with the ball as players can kick the ball faster and harder. Head clashes have an inherent risk of concussion of course too.
In all cases, including hydrogen-water as routine and as additional precautionary treatment as standard in all matches and cases of suspected head injury would help minimise the risk of acute and chronic brain damage with the additional bonus of enhanced athletic performance.
There are many areas where research suggests that Hydrogen Therapy has a role to play in treating many different conditions, some of which are highlighted below .....
The Central Nervous System is notoriously difficult to treat due to the difficulty in getting medicines to pass through the Blood Brain Barrier. Chronic degenerative conditions such as Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's and Dementia are most commonly seen in senior citizens but can start much earlier in life too. There have been encouraging results using Hydrogen Therapy on similar disease models that have been experimentally induced in test animals that warrant further investigation into use on people. With the extremely high safety margin for Hydrogen Therapy, given that high levels of H2 gas (45%) are used in gaseous mixes to treat and prevent Decompression Sickness (aka "The Bends") in divers, there is no reason why Hydrogen Therapy shouldn't be utilised more widely already. With an ageing population and also an increasing life-expectancy, estimates have been increasing regarding the predicted incidence of neuro-degenerative conditions. The increased cost not only to personal dignity but also the burden of the costs of care warrant a much closer look at encouraging the use of Hydrogen Therapy - not only for treatment, but as prevention too. There are few, if any, more cost-effective options currently available and the benefits of encouraging preventative action sooner rather than later far outweigh other considerations in delaying for further research.
Neuro-degeneration is not restricted to the old. There has been encouraging research regarding the benefits of Hydrogen Therapy in neonates with mild-moderate problems during difficult births which is backed up by other research that shows the neuroprotective effect and benefits for other organs by administering H2 in ischaemic situations.
Levels of Autism in children are increasing with predictions suggesting that up to 1 in 2 children in the USA will be considered Autistic to some degree by 2025. There have been encouraging research results and anecdotal reports of using Hydrogen Therapy with Autism where there have been improvements in function and reduced seizures in some cases too.
Diabetes is another lifestyle-related disease that is becoming increasingly common where Hydrogen Therapy has been shown to help. It helps the body to regulate blood glucose by encouraging glucose uptake by muscles, whilst at the same time having anti-obesity effects which counter the main cause behind Type 2 Diabetes mellitus. The anti-inflammatory effects and protective benefits from tissue ischaemia which is a common side-effect of diabetes could have significant positive effects in this area, both to the health of the individual and in terms of treatment costs. Other metabolic syndromes have also been shown to benefit from Hydrogen Therapy.
Reducing Side-effects from other Treatments
Foreign substances in the body can cause unwanted side-effects, some of which may be attributable to increasing the generation of free-radicals and oxidative stress. Other influences such as radiation therapy are known to increase free radical production. In these cases, scavenging free radicals with Hydrogen Therapy will have theoretical benefits in ameliorating unwanted effects resulting from free radical damage. With cancer predicted to affect 1 in 2 people at some stage of their life a significant number of the population will be exposed to such ionising radiations including other imaging techniques such as X-rays, MRI, bone scintigraphy etc. Hydrogen Therapy has shown encouraging benefits in helping protect healthy tissues from Radiotherapy but without interfering in its action. Any cancer resulting from free radical damage may well benefit from the Hydrogen Therapy in its own right as suggested by some research already. Further investigation into this field is being carried out.
Hydrogen Therapy Options
Whilst Hydrogen Therapy as a modality has been shown to be effective in many areas of health, some ways of delivering it are expensive (eg. hydrogen hyperbaric chambers) and are limited in how accessible it would be to the general public given the prevalence of some of the conditions where it is showing significant levels of promise.
With the advent of Super-saturated Hydrogen-rich water that can be easily and cheaply generated simply by adding a tablet of Active H2 Ultra to a bottle of water ready for drinking, Hydrogen Therapy is now accessible to everybody - at home, at work, at pitch-side, in an Ambulance or wherever the benefits are required.