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Med Gas Res. 2014 Nov 29;4(1):19. doi: 10.1186/s13618-014-0019-6. eCollection 2014.

Review and prospect of the biomedical effects of hydrogen.

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Graduate Management Unit, Changhai hospital affiliated to the Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, PR China.
Department of Orthopedics, Changhai hospital affiliated to the Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, PR China.
Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Institute of Development and Aging Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, Nippon Medical School, 1-396 Kosugi-machi, Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki-city, Kanagawa-ken 211-8533 Japan.
Department of Navy Aeromedicine, Second Military Medical University, 168 Changhai, Shanghai, China.


Hydrogen, the simplest gas in nature, was recently reported as a therapeutic antioxidant through selectively reducing cytotoxic oxygen radicals. Though hundreds of studies on curative effects of hydrogen were published and justified, the mechanism remains unclear. We proposed several promising directions in this area by relatively in-depth analysis. Firstly, the physiological function of hydrogen was regarded neutralizing free radicals at a low dose; however, physiological effects of an excessive dose of hydrogen were necessary for the comprehensive understanding. Secondly, the therapeutic effects and mechanisms were explained by anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and apoptosis ways, while the limitation was obvious and needed update. Thirdly, further studies might be focused on the possible networks including effecters and receptors of hydrogen, and the evolutionary perspective was a good point of view. In conclusion, this review might be a reference and guidance for relative scholars.


Antioxidant; Apoptosis; Hydrogen; Inflammatory; Necrosis; Physiological effect; Reactive oxygen species

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