Molecular Hydrogen Glossary of Terms

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Unless you are a scientist, you will likely be encountering new words that are meaningless to you at first. Don’t get discouraged as you are not alone. These following descriptions might help.

Antioxidant: molecules that interact with free radicals terminating potentially harmful chain reactions before vital molecules are damaged. Recent studies show that molecular hydrogen is a unique and effective antioxidant that neutralizes the dangerous hydroxyl radical without interfering with other free radicals required by the human body.

Cell Signalling: part of a complex system of communication that governs basic cellular activities and coordinates cell actions. The ability of cells to perceive and correctly respond to their microenvironment is the basis of development, tissue repair, and immunity as well as normal tissue homeostasis. Errors in cellular information processing are responsible for diseases such as cancer, autoimmunity, and diabetes.

Free Radicals: atoms or groups of atoms with an odd (unpaired) number of electrons which can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. Once formed these highly reactive radicals can start a chain reaction, like dominoes. Their chief danger comes from the damage they can do when they react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane. Cells may function poorly or die if this occurs. To prevent free radical damage the body has a defense system of antioxidants.

Homeostasis: is a property of a system in which variables are regulated so that internal conditions remain stable and relatively constant despite the influences of external events. An example of a homeostatic system would be the buffering properties of body to maintain the blood pH of 7.35-7.45.

Molecular Hydrogen (H2): Molecular Hydrogen, commonly written H2, is a molecule formed by bonding two hydrogen atoms which share their electrons. Numerous scientific studies in recent years have shown that molecular hydrogen is believed to be beneficial in more than 150 human diseases.

Oxidation: Oxidation is the chemical reaction that results in the LOSS of electrons by a molecule, atom, or ion. Oxidation doesn’t have to have anything to do with oxygen. An oxidation reaction may produce free radicals, leading to chain reactions that may damage cells.

If you have trouble remembering whether oxidation or reduction are responsible for gaining or losing electrons, try this simple memory word association trick: OIL RIG

(where OIL stands for “Oxidation is Loss” and RIG stands for “Reduction is Gain”

Oxidative Stress: occurs during times of environmental stress (heat exposure for example) where ROS levels can increase dramatically which may result in significant damage to cell structure

Reduction: is the chemical reaction that results in the GAIN of electrons by a molecule, atom, or ion. Antioxidants reduce free radicals by donating an electron to the radical which then ceased to a be radical.

ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species): ROS are chemically reactive molecules containing oxygen. Examples include peroxides, superoxides, hydroxyl radicals, and singlet oxygen. They are formed as a natural byproduct of the normal metabolism of oxygen and play important roles in cell signalling and homeostasis.

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