Dr. Nicholas Perricone, who sells what he calls a natural antioxidant “energy recovery drink” called Dr. Perricone Hydrogen Water for about $3 a can, admits that it’s not yet known exactly how added hydrogen in water potentially works on the body. Animal studies and the few human studies that have been conducted, mostly in Japan, suggest that it may work as an antioxidant and to reduce inflammation. Oxidative stress from the sun, normal body processes and exposure to pollutants can damage cells and lead to premature aging and diseases like cancer. Inflammation also contributes to many chronic conditions, from type 2 diabetes to heart problems and brain disorders. Hydrogen appears to reduce both. That means, at least in theory, that hydrogen water could help to reduce everything from diabetes to hardening of the heart vessels to Alzheimer’s and cancer. The studies to prove whether that’s the case, however, haven’t been conducted.
Even without that confirmation, hydrogen water is the next big thing in wellness in Japan. The Ministry of Health recently approved hydrogen-infused saline IVs to help people recovering from infections and other conditions, and bathing in hydrogen water is becoming a popular spa treatment for fighting wrinkles and skin damage.
In the U.S., the hydrogen craze is mostly limited to water, and the claims are all over the map. Perricone focuses his on hydrogen’s effect on energy, which is based on his own small study of 20 people. He measured energy changes in skin cells after people drank 16 ounces of Dr. Perricone Hydrogen Water and found that people who drank it seemed to have increased activity in the enzymes responsible for producing energy in the cells.
That was enough to convince him to study hydrogen water for its ability to improve energy, which he says may affect not only muscle but the brain as well. “I don’t see any downside to drinking hydrogen water,” he says. “It’s nontoxic, it’s not expensive.” He also views it as an alternative to energy drinks.
Source: TIME Health.