Molecular hydrogen (dihydrogen, H(2)) acts as a therapeutic antioxidant by selectively reducing hydroxyl radicals (•OH) and peroxynitrite (ONOO-). It has been well-known that ionising radiation (IR) causes oxidative damage and consequent apoptosis mainly due to the production of •OH that follows radiolysis of H(2)O. Authors reported the protective effect of H(2) in irradiated cells and mice for the first time, and this effect is well repeated in other laboratories in different experimental animal models. A randomised, placebo-controlled investigation also showed consumption of H(2) can improve the quality of life of patients treated with radiotherapy for liver tumours. These encouraging results suggested that H(2) has a potential as a radioprotective agent with efficacy and non-toxicity.
Chuai Y, Qian L, Sun X, Cai J. Molecular hydrogen and radiation protection. Free Radic Res. 2012 Sep;46(9):1061-7.