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


Hydrogen Makes “the Big Time”!
Journal of the American Heart Association
Publishes New Hydrogen Therapy Paper

Hydrogen Gas Improves Functional Outcome Following Cardiac Arrest to an Extent Comparable to That of Therapeutic Hypothermia in Rats

The potential benefits of hydrogen therapy are beginning to appear in major journals. A 2012 paper1 reports that hydrogen gas treatment (via inhalation) was as effective as therapeutic cooling (hypothermia) in mitigating mortality and functional outcome following cardiac arrest in a rat model. The paper starts by introducing hypothermia for cardiac arrest as being “widely accepted as the gold standard method to improve survival and limit neurological outcomes in patients who achieve return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) after CA [cardiac arrest]. Despite that, it is still underutilized.” The authors suggest that the treatment of cardiac arrest is an unmet medical need. They hypothesized that hydrogen gas inhalation, having been shown to be effective in ameliorating the damage caused by ischemia/reperfusion in heart and brain of different animal models, might be an effective therapy for CA. They also cite some papers providing preliminary human clinical data on hydrogen in various medical conditions.

In this study, rats were subject to cardiac arrest and treated with isotonic saline, hydrogen gas, therapeutic hypothermia, or hydrogen gas + therapeutic hypothermia. The researchers found the survival rate after ROSC was 43% (6/13) in the control group, 92% (12/13) in the hydrogen group, 77% (10/13) in the TH (therapeutic hypothermia) group and 100% (13/13) in the hydrogen + TH group, whereas 72 hour survival rates were 31% (4/13), 69% (9/13), 69% (9/13), and 77% (10/13) respectively.

The oxygen tanks carried in ambulances already contain a small amount of carbon dioxide to help stimulate respiration. It would be simple and inexpensive to include 1% hydrogen (which is below the minimum flammability threshold) in the oxygen; this might save a lot of lives and prevent much disability. Simple and inexpensive? Oh, sorry, we forgot about FDA regulations on medical oxygen … Unfortunately for heart attack victims, the FDA has declared that the oxygen they receive is a drug, which means that addition of 1% hydrogen would make it an unapproved new drug. Since this addition is unpatentable, no one is going to spend a billion dollars or more to obtain FDA approval. The Federal Death Agency strikes again!

Reference

  1. Hayashida et al. H2 gas improves functional outcome after cardiac arrest to an extent comparable to therapeutic hypothermia in a rat model. J Am Heart Assoc. 1:e003459 (2012) doi: 10.1161/JAHA.112.003459.

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