The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 16 No. 8 • September 2013


Hydrogen-Rich Water Decreases LDL Cholesterol and Improves HDL Function in Human Trial

Papers on hydrogen therapy are now appearing more frequently and in leading journals. A paper published this year1 in the Journal of Lipid Research reports on the results of a small trial of human volunteers (12 men, 8 women equal to or older than 43 years), all of whom had one or more of the following conditions associated with metabolic syndrome: prehypertension (diastolic 80–89 mm Hg and systolic 139 mm Hg or lower; fasting serum glucose from 5.2 to 6.9 mmol/l (prediabetic), total cholesterol greater than 5.18 mmol/l and/or LDL cholesterol greater than 2.59 mmol/l; body mass index between 25.0 and 34.9 kg/m(squared); or waist circumference greater than or equal to 100 cm for men and greater than or equal to 88 cm for women. The subjects were considered to potentially have metabolic syndrome.

After 10 weeks of treatment with hydrogen-rich water, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels were significantly decreased in 18, while 1 patient had increased total and LDL cholesterol and one other patient had no significant effects to either parameter. Interestingly, while 10 of the 20 patients were smokers and 10 were nonsmokers, treatment decreased serum total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in both smokers (said to be occasional smokers) and nonsmokers.

We were particularly interested in the finding that the oxidative state and some functional properties of the HDL molecule were improved in the subjects treated with hydrogen-rich water. This is especially important because HDL can, especially under conditions of oxidative stress, lose its protective properties and actually become pro-atherogenic. One of the results, for instance, was that the ability of the isolated HDL particles to elicit efflux from cholesterol-loaded macrophages was dramatically higher after hydrogen treatment compared with the HDL particles isolated from the serum before hydrogen treatment. In addition, hydrogen was found to reduce the oxidation of LDL and LDL-mediated inflammation. Hydrogen also decreased apoB100, considered to be an antiatherogenic effect, while there was no change in ApoAI.

Although the criteria for having potential metabolic syndrome were relatively mild (only one of the above listed conditions needed to be present), this actually underlines the meaningful nature of these protective effects of hydrogen on HDL and LDL since it ought to be more difficult to demonstrate improvements in a less abnormal condition.


  1. Song et al. Hydrogen-rich water decreases serum LDL-cholesterol levels and improves HDL function in patients with potential metabolic syndrome. J Lipid Res. 54:1884-93 (2013).

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