We weren’t meant to look like apples or pears – body shapes, medical science tells us, are symptomatic of metabolic syndrome, a cluster disease linked to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle.
Most of the disorders associated with metabolic syndrome have no symptoms, although a large waist circumference is a visible sign. But according to the Mayo Clinic, having metabolic syndrome can increase your risk of developing both cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The syndrome is associated with a twofold increase for the risk of cardiovascular disease and a fivefold increase for the risk of type-2 diabetes mellitus.
Technically, metabolic syndrome is defined as having three of these risk factors:
- Low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol
- High triglycerides
- Abdominal obesity
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar and/or insulin resistance
However, any of these conditions increase your risk of serious disease. Having more than one of these might increase your risk even more.
“The term ‘metabolic’ refers to the biochemical processes involved in the body’s normal functioning,” says Dr. Josh Axe, certified doctor of natural medicine and clinical nutritionist. “When you have metabolic syndrome, your body is in a state of serious malfunction.”
About 40 percent of people over 60 suffer from metabolic syndrome, according to Axe. And metabolic syndrome, along with obesity, is on the rise.
Particularly disturbing is that metabolic syndrome, once regarded as a middle to late-adulthood disorder, is now emerging in adolescence with close to 10 percent of all 12–19 year-olds being affected. Its prevalence has tripled during the last 30 years in this age group.
Taking Aim At Metabolic Syndrome With H2
There are dozens of important studies on the health benefits of molecular hydrogen (H2), a small but powerful antioxidant, which in its natural state is a tasteless, odorless gas. Much of molecular hydrogen’s benefits come from its anti-inflammatory properties that help bring cells and organs back to homeostasis.
So it shouldn’t be all that surprising that research also links molecular hydrogen with helping to fight metabolic syndrome.
–A 2017 study showed how H2 taken orally was a “beneficial agent” in the management of body composition and insulin resistance in obesity.
–A Chinese study earlier this year proved that a subcutaneous injection of H2 “significantly improves” type 2 diabetes mellitus and diabetic nephropathy-related outcomes in mouse models, supporting further consideration of subcutaneous injection as a novel and effective route of clinical H2 administration.
—Another study shows how Hydrogen-rich water decreases serum LDL-cholesterol levels and improves HDL function in patients with potential metabolic syndrome.
“Molecular hydrogen’s cell modulating properties in biological systems is what affords it with various anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, and anti-obesity effects,” says Tyler LeBaron, founder and executive director of the Molecular Hydrogen Institute.
LeBaron refers to H2 as “a unique and superior molecule” because it can also activate the Nrf2 pathway and increase the endogenous levels of glutathione and other antioxidants if they are lower than they should be.
Nrf2 is a powerful healing protein that is latent within each cell in the body. Molecular hydrogen has the ability to activate Nrf2 proteins through something known at the Nrf2 pathway. Once released, Nrf2 proteins migrate into the cell nucleus and bond to the DNA at the location of the Antioxidant Response Element (ARE) — also called hARE (Human Antioxidant Response Element) — which is the master regulator of the total antioxidant system that is available in all human cells.
A publication in Scientific Reports suggests that one of the possible mechanisms through which hydrogen accomplishes the various cell-modulating effects is by modifying lipid peroxidation in the cell membrane. In cultured cells, at biologically relevant concentrations, hydrogen suppressed the free radical chain reaction-dependent peroxidation.
The end result is that molecular hydrogen can interrupt the oxidation of lipids, which has been implicated in chronic diseases.
LeBaron refers to a study published in the National Institutes of Health that reports how drinking molecular hydrogen “improves obesity and metabolic parameters” at the molecular level.
“It shows that drinking hydrogen water was similar to a 20 percent caloric deficit,” says LeBaron.
In this now famous study, a team of Japanese researchers led by Naomi Kamimura of the Nippon Medical School’s Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, divided mice into two groups — one that received hydrogen-rich water, and one group that didn’t. The mice were allowed to eat and drink as much food and water as they wanted. The group that drank the molecular hydrogen controlled fat and body weights, and also alleviated fatty liver.
There was also an improvement in the levels of blood sugar, insulin and triglycerides — three of the risk factors when it comes to the development of metabolic syndrome.
This study also found that H2 accumulates in liver glycogen and there was an increase in the levels of FGF21, a liver hormone that ameliorates the use of fatty acids and glucose.
It’s believed the way this translates into human benefits is that as you drink H2 on a regular daily basis, it can diffuse into all parts of your body and organs and neutralize free radicals, a process that removes toxins on a cellular level. In other words, your body is being cleansed of junk stored in cells. This includes fat cells which is an easy way for your body to move these toxins away from your vital organs. H2 not only neutralizes hydroxyl radicals but has the added health benefit of turning them into water, hydrating the body while it’s being cleansed.
Nanu Nanu — Weight Loss And H2
This connection is believed to involve enzymatic nanomotors, molecules that convert energy into movement. At the end of the mitochondrial chain, nanomotors only accept “light hydrogen” as a raw material for the eventual production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), organic compound biologists refer to as the energy currency of life. Respiration is the process by which cells obtain energy in the form of ATP.
While light hydrogen like H2 is beneficial to this essential metabolic process, “heavy hydrogen” (deuterium) — the kind you find in fats and processed foods, doesn’t work well with the nanomotor in the mitochondria because it has a larger molecular surface and atomic weight.
“Heavy hydrogen causes the gears of this nanomotor to strain, buckle and break,” says Mentore.
This breakdown causes free radical damage, excessive proton waste and localized inflammation. If enough of these deleterious effects proliferate over time and go from localized to systemic there are system-wide ramifications such as the dysregulation of metabolism, insulin resistance, oxidative stress, and complications in the cardiovascular system.
Banana Annas And Carrot Carls
Obviously, molecular hydrogen alone won’t reverse metabolic syndrome. But in combination with other healthful practices, H2 can help you lessen life-ending risk factors while sculpting a banana-shape from a pear.
For jumping back on the fast track to health you might try something like this:
- Eat Better — Eliminate all sugar, processed foods, and gluten products from your diet completely. Eat a diet rich in essential fats and oils, nutrients, high quality protein, and also very low in starchy carbs. The specific carbohydrate diet, paleo, or ketogenic diet are ways to follow this.
- Sleep Better –– Sleeping well is one of the cornerstones of optimal health, and if you ignore your poor sleeping habits, you will, in time, pay a price. Your circadian rhythm (or sleep-wake cycle) “drives” the rhythms of biological activity at the cellular level. Disruptions tend to cascade outward throughout your entire body increasing you risk to chronic disease and even mental illness.
- Exercise Better – You don’t need to be training like a triathlete to benefit from exercise. Even 15 to 30 minutes a day of walking is a good start. The key is to do SOMETHING. There are a lot of different opinions on the best modalities for exercise, but most experts recommend some combination of regular aerobic (biking, running, brisk walking, swimming) exercise with resistance training (weights).
- Hydrogenated Water –– There are several ways to get molecular hydrogen into your system including drinking hydrogen infused water, inhalation, taking an H2 bath, or putting H2-saline into the eyes. But for most people, the easiest and probably most efficient method is by simply dropping an H2 tablet in water and then drinking it.
There are quite a few molecular hydrogen supplements available. We like the new Hydra Plus with its higher H2 concentration, better taste, easy to use and dissolves in just 90 seconds.
It’s impossible to take too many molecular hydrogen tablets, however, depending on your needs, it’s generally recommended to take one to three tablets per day.
Thomas Ropp Longtime journalist Thomas Ropp is an environmental advocate and proponent of living healthier. After spending most of his life in Arizona, he relocated to a Costa Rican rainforest 11 years ago and helped with reforestation projects to expand the habitat of the endangered mono titi monkey. He has dual residency in the United States and Costa Rica.
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