Hydrogen for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseasesScientific Research

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A New Approach for the Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disorders. Molecular Hydrogen Significantly Reduces the Effects of Oxidative Stress


Morris Karmazyn, Academic Editor


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Redox dysregulation and inflammatory dysregulation occur and lead to cellular abnormalities and pathological conditions leading to cardiovascular disease. Despite years of intensive research, there is still no safe and effective way to prevent and treat it. Molecular hydrogen has recently been studied in preclinical and clinical studies in various diseases associated with oxidative and inflammatory stress, such as primarily administered by inhalation, drinking hydrogen-rich water, or injecting hydrogen-rich saline. It favorably regulates signal transduction and gene expression, thereby inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokines, excess ROS production, and activation of the antioxidant transcription factor Nrf2. Although H2 appears to be an important biomolecule with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects, its exact mechanism of action remains elusive. There are no reports of clinical toxicity; however, some data suggest that H2 has mild stimulant effects that may mediate some of its benefits. Mechanistic data combined with preclinical and clinical studies suggest that H2 may be useful for ROS/inflammation-induced cardiotoxicity and other diseases.


Excessive free radical production is a mediator of many cardiovascular diseases, such as ischemia/reperfusion injury, including those associated with graft storage during heart transplantation, and radiation-induced heart disease. To prevent or at least mitigate the development of oxidative stress, new approaches must be developed to effectively and safely reduce the pathological consequences of excess ROS levels.

Studies have shown that H2 can treat many diseases associated with oxidative stress, including cardiovascular disease. Currently, the main mechanisms of H2 action are considered to be its regulation of signal transduction, alterations in gene expression, and its selective •OH scavenging, although controversial and requiring further analysis of its biological significance. However, the main target of molecular hydrogen remains elusive, but may involve excitation principles. The main advantages of using H2 are its ease of penetration of all biological membranes, a wide range of routes of administration, and few or no significant side effects reported. Therefore, H2 may represent a new therapeutic strategy to alleviate oxidative stress and its pathological consequences.

However, more research is needed to determine the optimal method of administration, dosage and frequency, as well as the actual clinical implications of using H2 and the potential risks/pitfalls associated with its administration.


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