We all know about Vitamin C. You know, the good stuff from oranges. Vitamin C is a well known antioxidant. We thought you might be interested to see how H2 stacks up against Vitamin C and other antioxidants found in food.
The following article was written by Tyler LeBaron (the founder and executive director of the science-based nonprofit Molecular Hydrogen Foundation) and can be found at: http://www.molecularhydrogenfoundation.org/2014/01/24/what-are-the-differences-between-plant-based-antioxidants-and-molecular-hydrogen/
Read and enjoy!
Many people wonder what the differences are between molecular hydrogen and antioxidants found in foods. This is a somewhat difficult question to answer because you really can’t compare them directly to each other, as it is a little more complicated than that. You can’t eliminate molecular hydrogen and expect to get all the same benefits from the antioxidants in foods, nor can you simply ingest molecular hydrogen and obtain the benefits of the antioxidants present in foods.
Some of the antioxidants in foods are essential nutrients,1 like vitamin C.2 This antioxidant does more than just neutralize free radicals3, but also plays an important role in areas like collagen synthesis.4 We must not fall into the trap of thinking that consuming X amount of molecular hydrogen is equivalent to consuming X amount of antioxidant-rich foods.
What gets rid of more free radicals: Vitamin C or molecular hydrogen?
Based on stoichiometry, one molecule of vitamin C can theoretically neutralize two free radicals, which is the same for molecular hydrogen.5 Drinking one liter of hydrogen-rich water at a concentration of 1.4 ppm, would provide you about the same number of “antioxidant molecules” (hydrogen gas), as ingesting 100 mg of “antioxidant molecules” (vitamin C). However, some of the used vitamin C molecules can be rejuvenated by the body and can be used again6, which is not the case with molecular hydrogen. On the other hand, molecular hydrogen can upregulate powerful antioxidant enzymes in the body,7 thus providing further protection,8 which vitamin C cannot do. Interestingly, vitamin C intake at high levels may actually prevent this upregulation from occurring.9
How are plant based antioxidants found in foods similar to molecular hydrogen?
- They are both natural to the body.10
- They are both neither artificial nor synthetic.
- They are both potential keys to longevity.11
- They both promote health and wellness.
How is molecular hydrogen different from antioxidants in foods?
- Molecular hydrogen only scavenges the bad free radicals.12
- Molecular hydrogen leaves no waste product after neutralizing a free radical.
- Molecular hydrogen also increases our body’s own antioxidant systems.7
- Molecular hydrogen also acts as a signaling molecule, thus having many other benefits.13
- Molecular hydrogen is the smallest molecule, and can easily enter the cells.14 (Note: H2 only weighs 2 g/mole vs. vitamin C at 176.2 g/mole).5
- Molecular hydrogen has no known toxic effects, even at high intakes.15
- Molecular hydrogen is easily consumed with no additional calories.
With these similarities and differences in mind, we can see that molecular hydrogen doesn’t replace antioxidants contained in foods, but truly works in conjunction with them as well as offers additional benefits.
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15. OHNO, K., ITO, M. & ICHIHARA, M. (2012). Molecular hydrogen as an emerging therapeutic medical gas for neurodegenerative and other diseases. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity 2012, 353152.