Hydrogen Water for Concussion Recovery?

July 16, 2019 5 min read

It may seem as if publications on our hydrogen tablets, and hydrogen water in general, are all over the map. That’s because they are. Several of our consultants have criticized our eagerness to allow public teams to pursue a wide range of targets on our hydrogen tablets as it increases confusion in marketing said hydrogen tablets and delays our ability to make solid benefit claims. The prevailing belief is often “one molecule for one or two targets or benefits”.

As we have previously spoken about on numerous occasions, we firmly believe in public science and the advancement of knowledge. We do not believe that hydrogen water has a single target and would be hard pressed to decide on one. Further, if we were to dictate the exact targets of each study, we would likely not have been able to partner with so many teams interested in conducting research pertinent to their interests, for minimal donations. Studies would need to be fully funded by us.

We are warming to the idea of funding specific studies once the groundwork is done in order to “solidify” the evidence needed to make claims from a bureaucratic and regulatory standpoint and are currently in plans for our first fully internally funded study. However, we still believe it is important to support teams wanting to do pilot and preliminary studies on new targets for novel benefits . It allows us to further understand hydrogen water, our hydrogen tablets, and when and how they can be utilized.

Last week, one of these preliminary pieces published. When I say preliminary, I mean preliminary. It was a case study on a single professional soccer player that suffered a loss of consciousness and concussion following a head to head collision. The results look very promising and the case report can be read here. While we cannot draw any firm conclusions, this should serve as the basis for expanding to a larger randomized, placebo-controlled study. We are already in discussions with various teams on this, and with any luck can pursue this domestically without funding ourselves.

If necessary, we may opt for the latter, as the topic of study is potentially so important for so many individuals; myself included. I’ve suffered at least five mild concussions in my life, two while playing football and three while sparring in muay thai. All came with subsequent headaches for periods after, and likely long-term ramifications.

Does Hydrogen Water Make Sense for Concussions?

While this first preliminary case report is the first in humans exploring hydrogen water for mitigating the issues regarding a concussion, a rodent study was done at the University of Washington on traumatic brain injury that showed very promising potential benefits using hydrogen water.i Since this important study, several other teams have replicated success in various traumatic brain injury (TBI) models using hydrogen wateriiiiiivvvi and one team using inhalation of hydrogen gas.vii The early work has even prompted a review article on the subject.viii

Further, while different to concussion-induced trauma, suffering a stroke is a serious event causing traumatic brain injury. Hydrogen therapy, mostly saline and inhalation due to patients typically being incapacitated, has been studied extensively in humans in various stroke models,ixxxixii and post-stroke recovery is currently being studied using our hydrogen tablets in a 100 participant post-stroke recovery study in the USA.xiii

While there was a dearth of evidence pertaining specifically to concussions in humans and hydrogen water, we feel the rationale is strong in why it makes sense. Hydrogen water has established neuroprotective effects, as well as rescuing effects throughout the body, so a mild concussion seems precisely the type of occurrence we would expect hydrogen water to have a positive effect on. Of course, to know for sure we will need much more evidence, several well-structured randomized placebo-controlled studies measuring recovery as well as pertinent biological markers. For now, we know hydrogen water is safe and it may be effective for something that doesn’t have much in the way of successful clinical validated treatment protocols.

Why is Concussion Therapy an Important Topic?

Repeated concussions, even repeated blows that were non-concussive, have been linked to numerous concerning neurological issues. The risk of developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) has emerged forefront in the media, a neurological condition associated with mood and behavioural issues, as well as problems with thinking. While it is estimated that 30% of those suffering multiple head blows will develop CTE, it is unknown how widespread it is throughout the population.

Further, regardless of CTE, suffering concussions likely raises the risk of numerous serious diseases, including Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis. This could be due to several factors, including increased neuroinflammationxivxv, oxidative stressxvixvii, elevated plasma tau,xviii and an increase of plaques containing amyloid beta,xixxx all of which potentially play a role in various neurological diseases.

In the previously mentioned studies, hydrogen water has the potential to mitigate tau entanglements, regulate our redox status via the Nrf2 pathway thus reducing the damages of oxidative and nitrosative stress, and reduce neuroinflammation. From other studies, we know that hydrogen therapy is promising regarding beta-amyloidxxi. This makes hydrogen water an interesting potential candidate in not only aiding directly after the concussive event, but also limiting the potential long-term consequences.

This is a matter I personally fear for myself. As previously mentioned, I’ve suffered at least five concussions. In a philosophical conundrum, my memory of my memory from an earlier age is not in line with the current abilities of my memory. My memory of my past capabilities was that of an almost eidetic memory, at least pertaining to numbers. Others who knew me well during my late teens and early twenties corroborate this, however their memories could be false constructs; even influenced by my own potentially false narrative.

While I cannot know if it is my memory of my past abilities that are false, or if my current cognitive capacity is a shell of its former self, I cannot do anything about the former. With the latter, the best I can do is mitigate further deterioration. Our mind is who we are, it drives our passions, our interests and allows for our joys. When things go haywire, those passions and interests can evaporate and our joys as well, turning to anger, frustration, and depression.

While it is far too early to say for sure if hydrogen water can protect against this, the evidence is trending this way. Giving false hope is a serious ethical offense, and I do not intend to sway you this way. There is a real possibility hydrogen water cannot do these things, and only time and more research will bring forth a more tangible truth. While I cannot fast forward into the future where we have more evidence, I can remind all our readers that on first purchases of our Drink HRW hydrogen water products, we always offer a no questions asked money back guarantee on your first bottle, should you find it hasn’t benefited you.

x https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23799921

xii https://medicalgasresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/2045-9912-2-21


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