Oxidative stress is an imbalance in the body where harmful uncharged oxygen atoms (free radicals) are not being efficiently neutralised by antioxidants. This is known to contribute to cancer development. Hydrogen is a powerful antioxidant and can counteract free radicals and therefore help in the fight against cancer. Although hydrogen can be administered by inhalation, it is much simpler and more convenient to take into the body orally through hydrogen-rich water.
Scientific research was carried out to investigate the effects of hydrogen water in combination with a conventional cancer treatment drug for colon cancer. The experiment included in vivo (live animals) and in vitro (cell line) testing on colon 26 cells. For the in vivo testing, mice with colon cancer were separated into five groups, those treated with:
- 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), a chemotherapeutic cancer treatment drug
- High-content hydrogen water (HHW)
- Natural hydrogen water (NHW)
- 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and high-content hydrogen water (HHW)
- 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and natural hydrogen water (NHW)
The mice were kept at room temperature and fed food and water ad libitum. Those treated with hydrogen water were all fed 0.6ml of this and all the mice had the hydrogen levels in their blood measured at regular, pre-determined intervals over an 8 hour period. Once tumour induction was confirmed, hydrogen water was administered to the mice orally every 8 hours and/or 5-FU was injected weekly. After ten days of their induction, the size and weight of the tumours were measured.
For the in vitro testing, the same five groups of treatments that were tested on the mice were used for 24 hours on the colon 26 cells, which had been cultured and incubated at 37 °C. The cell viability of the cultures was then examined.
The results showed that hydrogen water increased the survival rate of mice with colon 26 cancer. HHW had a greater effect than NHW and the best results were attained when 5-FU and HHW were used together. HHW caused higher hydrogen concentrations than NHW in the blood of the mice and as a result, it had greater antioxidant effects. It was also found that both NHW and HHW enhanced the apoptotic effect of 5-FU, meaning that it increased the death of cancerous cells. HHW had a greater impact than NHW. HHW + 5-FU was the best at reducing the viability of cancerous colon 26 cells. Hydrogen waters alone increased protein expression, which was improved by the addition of 5-FU.
Overall, the combination of H2 water and 5-FU showed great effectiveness against colon cancer in vivo and in vitro. The use of HHW resulted in strong anti-oxidative effects, increased cell apoptosis and increased the effectiveness of 5-FU, significantly more so than NHW. From these findings, it is clear that high-content hydrogen water can be very effective alongside conventional cancer treatment to help combat colon cancer.