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Hydrogen Water and Insulin Sensitivity?

Contributor Bio

Alex Tarnava is the CEO of Drink HRW, and the primary inventor of the open-cup hydrogen tablets. Alex runs the clinical outreach program for our company, working with over a dozen universities coordinating research. Alex has also published research of his own. You can find it on his ResearchGate. Additionally, he has been interviewed for many prominent publications, such as Entrepreneur and Forbes, and on many popular Podcasts. You can find all of his interviews and articles on his media page.

Hydrogen Water and Insulin Sensitivity?

As alluded to in my conversation with Prof. Ostojic here, an important secondary analysis was done on the study group used for our 3rd publication on NAFLD and it found something very important; hydrogen water, specifically the ultra high dose from our tablets, increased insulin sensitivity by 11% in the small study in just 28 days. The results can be viewed as an abstract on page 3, here. I want to make it very clear that we are not saying that our hydrogen tablets will increase insulin sensitivity for everyone, especially those desperately in need of it, like diabetics, and this is in no way an endorsement to replace prescribed insulin for hydrogen water.  I cannot state this clearly enough.

If you are a concerned consumer looking for alternatives, please follow the advice of your healthcare provider. If you are an integrative or natural doctor reading this, please consider the small sample size and lack of replication before advising patients to avoid traditional therapies for hydrogen water. We do not know enough to risk lives, and while the results are promising, they are very preliminary. I would rather never sell another bottle of tablets than sit by and tacitly endorse my invention to be used recklessly and haphazardly. 

Putting that caveat aside, the conclusion that hydrogen water can improve insulin sensitivity, if continuously replicated and demonstrated to be true, is incredibly profound. It potentially adds a further piece of understanding to our knowledge of how and why hydrogen water works and comes with potential applications for a significant portion of the population. It could be an important missing key for future studies, and is definitely being included in the talks we are having with several teams regarding replication, adding a further understanding to the body composition trial results and on metabolic syndrome.

What is Insulin?

Insulin is an important hormone excreted by our pancreas that regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, fat and proteins by driving the absorption of carbohydrates, particularly glucose, into fat, liver and skeletal muscle cells to manage blood glucose levels. To steal an analogy from Dr. Jason Fung, if you think of these cells like a suit case, insulin is a wife ordering a husband (GLUT-4 transporter), telling him to fold the clothes (glucose) and place them carefully into the suitcase. 

What is Insulin Sensitivity?

Insulin sensitivity is simply how sensitive the body is to the effects of insulin. If a person is sensitive to insulin, they will require less insulin to lower blood glucose, or just a friendly request to “fold the clothes away into the suitcase”, than someone with low sensitivity (insulin resistance), where more insulin is needed, like multiple people ordering someone to do something, or in a more aggressive way. Sensitivity can rely on many factors, part of which is clearance. For the purpose of this article we are discussing from the context of those with otherwise normal function before deteriorating health, and not touching on those that have Type 1 Diabetes, an autoimmune disease.

If circulating levels of glucose are constantly high, and cells are already jam packed with glucose, like a suit case so full it cannot close without force, it requires more and more insulin for GLUT-4 to drive circulating glucose into cells. Our body doesn’t have the option to split the clothing into two suitcases, so if a person continues to throw “more shirts on top of the pile”, or consume more sugar and calories than the body can clear, the body responds by creating more and more insulin to order GLUT-4 to jam it in with force, to “make it fit”.

As insulin resistance increases it can lead to multiple health problems. The higher the circulating insulin, the greater the damage done to blood vessels, the higher it drives blood pressure, with higher circulating sugar creating obesity and leading to increased risk of heart disease, heart failure and even cancer.

This is why diet and exercise are so important as a first line of defense. Once a person develops type 2 diabetes, it can be fatal without the use of insulin as a medication, typically prescribed as a last line of defense. So many people are unwilling to change their lifestyle, even once it is critical. So many will not even make an effort when faced with losing a limb, or death. Often natural doctors and natural proponents deride big pharma as “making people sick and treating the symptoms”, when truthfully, in cases like this many pharmaceuticals simply save or extend the lives of those who have done damage to themselves, helping those unwilling to change live longer and in more comfort (and in other cases pharmaceuticals cure or treat diseases that diet and exercise cannot). I will always advocate for healthier living and utilizing a proper diet rich in nutrient rich foods and proper exercise as a first line of defense, that said I cannot criticize something that saves lives.

Limitations, but Strengths

While the evidence of hydrogen water improving insulin sensitivity is very limited, coming from a single study on only 12 participants, there are some strengths to it. First off, there are multiple studies in humans showing benefits in metabolic syndrome, improving body composition, diabetes, and NAFLD. These are all things insulin sensitivity would play a critical role in. Further, while the study was small, it was well controlled. It was a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled crossover design. This means that all 12 participants took either the placebo or the hydrogen water, went through a wash out period, and then took what they hadn’t previously, and results were tested against each other. This is a much stronger design than many other studies utilize and significantly limits errors. The protocol to test for insulin sensitivity was HOMA2, which is the gold standard.


While we are very excited about the results obtained by our hydrogen tablets, we understand the limitations. We have already shared the secondary abstract with two separate teams looking to replicate the NAFLD trial and the finished metabolic syndrome trials, and plan to assist in fund donations to increase our understanding on this topic. We want to conclude by cautioning again that these results are very preliminary and hydrogen water, or our hydrogen tablets, should not be used to treat or cure any disease.

This publication, on top of the body of evidence existing on hydrogen water, hydrogen therapy, and our hydrogen tablets, just goes to show that there continues to be great potential, and we want to get the word out to encourage more research, and more use. For those that are already loyal customers, we thank you for your support. For those wanting to give hydrogen water a try, we remind you that first purchases always come with a no questions asked money back guarantee if you do not enjoy it for any reason. If you have an issue that you’re hoping hydrogen water can help with, please remember we cannot give out medical advice. Please contact your healthcare provider who can better discuss your exact situation.


  • Alex Tarnava

    Hi Marlin,

    A carbohydrate has to be used during the tabletting process. Sugar alcohols complex with the magnesium and complex carbs cause foaming and throw off the reaction. Only simple sugars can be utilized.

    That said, we do not need to list the amount as it is a very, very small amount that is less than a calorie. The dextrose is not used as a sweetener, nor is it a significant source of sugar, calories, carbs etc.

  • Marlin Clark

    If you are considering this to be potentially helpful to diabetics, why do you include dextrose in the formulation? And having just noted that in fine print why can’t I find anywhere how much there is in each tablet?

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