The discovery of it for me, in this role, happened very recently, although I was pointed in the direction since 1998. At that time, I had worked for a while with Water Electrolysis Machines, or water ionizers, as they were then commonly known. In 1997 there had been a scientific publication that pointed to the fact that Electrolyzed Reduced Water (ERW) had anti-oxidant properties, which would explain the apparent health benefits people experienced from the water.
The 1997 research by Prof. Sanetaka Shirahata, did look in the wrong direction however. He thought there was stabilized atomic hydrogen in the water, which seemed improbable.
More recently it has been established that the antioxidant properties of ERW are due to H2, and moreover, the typical water ionizer is not the most efficient way to make that. So new generations of machines are now hitting the market, and even more simply, there is one company that markets a tablet to create your own H2 Rich Water (HRW), and it is quite powerful, the company is called Drink HRW. This may be the simplest solution yet.
Besides the tablets, there are a plethora of machines on the market, and you can find a whole section on Amazon on Hydrogen Rich Water with loads of different machines.
The Science of H2 and HealthAs to the science of H2, we now have the Molecular Hydrogen Foundation, whose founder, biochemist Tyler LeBaron, has pursued his studies of the topic with a stint at Nagoya University in Japan, which is a center of H2 research. There is copious material on the site, and it can only be highly recommended, since a lot of the commercially available documentation is often still tainted by the nonsense of "alkaline water," which has refused to die out, even though that particular mythological explanation of the health benefits of HRW was seriously undermined starting by the 1997 research paper of Prof. Sanetaka Shirahata, published at the time in BBRC. Prof. Shirahata remained allied with Nihon-Trim a manufacturer of water electrolysis equipment. His line of inquiry, which led him to postulate atomic H as the operative factor in the anti-oxidant properties of ERW, became obsolete when the role of H2 became clear and moreover when it became evident that the existing water electrolysis equipment was inefficient in producing it, leading to the development of dedicated HIMs (Hydrogen Induction Machines).
H2 reduces oxidative stress as a selective antioxidant and by maintaining homeostatic levels of glutathione, superoxide dismutase, catalase, etc. (from the home page of the Molecular Hydrogen Foundation)
Nano-particles of Platinum in ERWIt appears that Shirahata et al. are still pursuing deeper ERW research, and in fact they are starting to legitimize what has been suspected for a long time, namely that nano-particles of platinum from the electrodes in ERW machines are partially responsible for the observed antioxidant effectiveness.
However, this is largely a non-issue, and may even be dubious. Tyler LeBaron made the following comment on the Facebook group on Hydrogen Water:
The study was done by Nihon-Trim who owns about 60% of the market share of ionized water in Japan, followed closely by Panasonic. They are, however, transitioning away from "alkaline" idea and now focus on the H2. They don't talk about microclustering nonsense....and in an additional clarification, Tyler wrote the following to me:
Anyways, the study is very predictable. It is well known that platinum nano particles (PtNps) can be eluted by force-detachment upon electrode degradation. And these platinum nano particles have antioxidant activity all by themselves. This is clearly stated in the article.
It's like adding vitamin C to hydrogen water, and then comparing it directly to hydrogen water only. Of course the one with the hydrogen and the vitamin C will have more antioxidant activity than hydrogen only.
Also the study was only in cell cultures not in animals or humans. There is doubt that when ERW is orally consumed that: 1) we would absorb the platinum, and 2) that the concentration would be high enough , and 3) there is some early human data out of Japan that suggests that drinking water containing platinum nano particles may be toxic to the liver (which is one reason why the Japanese gov. states the water should not exceed pH 10, as the higher pH correlates with greater electrode degradation resulting in more platinum particles).
They also state in the study that the concentration would not likely be high enough for direct antioxidant activity in the body. Anyways, it is a fine study, and as mentioned, very predictable because they are basically adding another ingredient to the water.
(Tyler LeBaron, private correspondence, based on posting in Facebook group on Hydrogen Water)
One comment is Shirahata mainly believed in stabilized atomic hydrogen, which he called active hydrogen, not so much hydride. It was a convoluted confusion between his stuff and Patrick Flanagans false info that merged the concepts of the two meaning the same thing. But Shirahata believed it was atomic hydrogen stable in the water and minerals in the water. See: http://www.molecularhydrogenfo
undation.org/core-information/ alkaline-ionized-water- characteristics-benefits-and- future/
In short, it is best to leave behind all the confusion about alkaline water and active hydrogen, and focus on the massive body of research about the role of molecular hydrogen as the real actor which explains the healing properties of certain waters that are naturally rich in Molecular Hydrogen (H2), such as Zamzam from Mecca, or the waters from Nordenau (Germany), Lourdes (France), Tiacote (Mexico), or Nadana (India), and now also Taean (South Korea). Now that the real issue has been identified, HRW can now be made either with tablets that are dissolved in water, or with the growing range of HIMs of all sizes and shapes.
To a lesser degree, HRW can also be derived with the various mineral sticks, starting from Dr. Hayashi's mineral stick, which is absurdly expensive. Dr. Hayashi was one of the early proponents of ERW, but switched to HRW and he developed probably the first mineral stick. His stick is over priced. Why pay $70 for something you can get for $5? The problem with all the mineral sticks is not knowing for sure for how long, or even if they produce therapeutic levels of H2 in the water. You want to watch out for the ones that promote alkalinity, there is no known benefit in highly alkaline water - stories galore, but there is no solid research that ever proved it.
There is a continuous process machine, called H2FX, you can hook up to your faucet, and there are an endless variety of batch machines with pitchers. I am using the "Lourdes" machine, and the same company offers quite a variety of machines. There is a growing collection of HIMs available on Amazon too.
Clearly this area is exploding, and who knows what other solutions we might see coming along.
H2 is the only selective antioxidantWhat makes H2 so desirable is that it is the only selective antioxidant, that targets only cytotoxic processes, and leaves healthy oxidative processes alone. No other antioxidant can do that, and therefore you can always overdose with regular antioxidant supplements. H2 does not have that effect at all, but it is the quickest way to help your immune system get back up to speed and stay healthy as long as you have regular intake, and for that, drinking water is about the easiest solution.
All in all, we should note that a WFPB (Whole Foods Plant-Based) diet makes most supplements superfluous, since you'll get loads of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins the natural way, and usually only some B12 is recommended and depending on circumstances possibly some vitamin D. HRW will easily round out the picture and remove all doubt, so you can leave most of your supplements behind. What we have here is a paradigm shift in the making.