Int J Biol Sci 2013; 9(9):887-894. doi:10.7150/ijbs.7220 This issue


Hydrogen as a New Class of Radioprotective Agent

Liren Qian1✉, Jianliang Shen1✉, Yunhai Chuai3, Jianming Cai2

1. Department of Haematology, Navy General Hospital, Fucheng Road, Beijing, PR China
2. Department of Radiation Medicine, Faculty of Naval Medicine, 2nd Military Medical University, Shanghai, PR China
3. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Navy General Hospital, Fucheng Road, Beijing, PR China.

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Qian L, Shen J, Chuai Y, Cai J. Hydrogen as a New Class of Radioprotective Agent. Int J Biol Sci 2013; 9(9):887-894. doi:10.7150/ijbs.7220. Available from

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It is well known that most of the ionizing radiation-induced damage is caused by hydroxyl radicals (·OH) follows radiolysis of H2O. Molecular hydrogen (H2) has antioxidant activities by selectively reducing ·OH and peroxynitrite(ONOO-). We firstly hypothesized and demonstrated the radioprotective effect of H2 in vitro and in vivo, which was also repeated on different experimental animal models by different departments. A randomized, placebo-controlled study showed that consumption of hydrogen-rich water reduces the biological reaction to radiation-induced oxidative stress without compromising anti-tumor effects. These encouraging results suggested that H2 represents a potentially novel preventative strategy for radiation-induced oxidative injuries. H2 is explosive. Therefore, administration of hydrogen-rich solution (physiological saline/pure water/other solutions saturated with H2) may be more practical in daily life and more suitable for daily consumption. This review focuses on major scientific and clinical advances of hydrogen-rich solution/H2 as a new class of radioprotective agent.

Keywords: Hydrogen, free radical, radiation, radioprotection.