Hydrogen water may be able to alleviate symptoms from rheumatoid arthritis, according to a clinical study.
Researchers from Haradoi Hospital, the Department of Rheumatology and Orthopedic Surgery, recently conducted an experiment published in the journal Medical Gas Research, to determine if H2 can reduce RA disease activity.
“Over 40 million people suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and while the exact mechanism of joint and cartilage destruction is not yet known, we have reason to believe H2 can improve the condition,” says Dr. Ishibashi, surgeon and leader of the study.
Dr. Ishibashi explained that their “current understanding of H2 and rheumatoid arthritis is based on its ability to scavenge the hydroxyl radical, which is linked to cellular damage and inflammation in RA.”
“We therefore hypothesize that H2 will not only relieve symptoms, but also mitigate the disease on a cellular level,” says Ishibashi.
Compared to the patients drinking placebo water, the patients drinking hydrogen water showed major improvements in RA.
The research project, which launched in 2012, used a double-blind placebo experiment, in which participants swelled 2.24 cups of either hydrogen rich water or placebo water. They did this for a period of 12 weeks. “Our goal was to determine if the effects of H2 were long lasting and that patients would not build up some sort of tolerance to the protocol,” says Dr. Ishibashi.
Patients’ disease activity was assessed at 4 different periods, at baseline, at week 4, week 8 and again at week 12. “We also wanted to include a washout period (weeks 5-8), to see if improvements last while patients were not on the H2 water,” says Ishibashi. During this time period, patients stopped drinking H2 water, and their disease activity was measured.
Researchers looked at disease activity according to the DAS28, a universally accepted disease activity score for arthritis, taking into account disease activity (cellular damage, inflammation and oxidative stress) and symptoms (swelling, pain, tenderness, etc. in the elbows, hands, wrists and other related joints).
And they found that H2 was able to halt the progression of and even apparently reverse the disease. By week 4, all 18 patients showed a decrease in DAS score of over .6 points,, with a mean decrease of .8 points. “This is striking improvement” says Ishibashi. To put this into perspective; mothotextrate (a potent immunosuppressive (chemotherapy) drug used only for the most severe cases of RA – because of its severe side effects like liver damage, mouth sores, and even blood in urine) creduce DAS by 1.5 after one year of use.
This is like finding a solution that may possibly be able todo for arthritis in 4 weeks what takes chemotherapy 1 year to accomplish, without any side effects.
“What’s even more amazing is the improvements beset by hydrogen water lasted into the 4 week washout period. In fact by week 8, DAS dropped another .19 points down to 2.83. “Our results show hydrogen had some lasting effects.” And when patients picked up the H2 drinking protocol again (weeks 9-12), they dropped their DAS from a mean of 2.83 down to 2.26.
“That a molecule as simple as hydrogen can rival the therapeutic effects of even the most potent chemotherapy treatments is staggering,” says Dr. Sircus who is not associated with the study.
“Hydrogen Medicine will be a true turning point for patients and the practice of medicine. What will be established will stand the test of time, a pillar of truth centered on the three essential gases. It is an exciting moment for me and for the world of medicine that will benefit tremendously from hydrogen. In a thousand years we will still see hydrogen running the sun as well as it being established as the primordial gas of medicine,” says Sircus.
The study reports, that overall; all 18 patients who completed the protocol achieved remission, no longer clinically having rheumatoid arthritis according to DAS28. 4 of the patients reported having no swollen, painful joints or any other symptoms whatsoever.
Click here to learn more about hydrogen and rheumatoid arthritis.
Ishibashi, T., Sato, B., Rikitake, M., Seo, T., Kurokawa, R., Hara, Y., . . . Nagao, T. (2012). Consumption of water containing a high concentration of molecular hydrogen reduces oxidative stress and disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: An open-label pilot study. Medical Gas Research, 2(27), 1-8. doi: 10.1186/2045-9912-2-27
Ishibashi, T., Sato, B., Shibata, S., Sakai, T., Hara, Y., Naritomi, Y., . . . Nagao, T. (2014). Therapeutic efficacy of infused molecular hydrogen in saline on rheumatoid arthritis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study. International Immunopharmacology, 21(2), 468-473. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2014.06.001