Molecular hydrogen (H2) is a biologically active gas that is widely used in the healthcare sector. In recent years, on-site H2 gas generators, which produce high-purity H2 by water electrolysis, have begun to be introduced in hospitals, clinics, beauty salons, and fitness clubs because of their ease of use. In general, these generators produce H2 at a low-flow rate, so physicians are concerned that an effective blood concentration of H2 may not be ensured when the gas is delivered through a nasal cannula. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate blood concentrations of H2 delivered from an H2 gas generator via a nasal cannula. We administered 100% H2, produced by an H2 gas generator, at a low-flow rate of 250 mL/min via a nasal cannula to three spontaneously breathing micro miniature pigs. An oxygen mask was placed over the nasal cannula to administer oxygen while minimizing H2 leakage, and a catheter was inserted into the carotid artery to monitor the arterial blood H2 concentration. During the first hour of H2 inhalation, the mean (standard error (SE)) H2 concentrations and saturations in the arterial blood of the three pigs were 1,560 (413) nL/mL and 8.85% (2.34%); 1,190 (102) nL/mL and 6.74% (0.58%); and 1,740 (181) nL/mL and 9.88% (1.03%), respectively. These values are comparable to the concentration one would expect if 100% of the H2 released from the H2 gas generator is taken up by the body. Inhalation of 100% H2 produced by an H2 gas generator, even at low-flow rates, can increase blood H2 concentrations to levels that previous non-clinical and clinical studies demonstrated to be therapeutically effective. The combination of a nasal cannula and an oxygen mask is a convenient way to reduce H2 leakage while maintaining oxygenation.
Sano M, Shirakawa K, Katsumata Y et al. Low-Flow Nasal Cannula Hydrogen Therapy. J Clin Med Res. 2020 Oct;12(10):674-680.