See how hydrogen and hydrogen power play a convenient,
effective and sustainable role in the anti-aging,
health and beauty process. By Fifi Kao
Japanese medical and beauty experts who specialize in hydrogen studies call 2015 the “Hydrogen Year” because it marked the start of the extensive application of hydrogen in the medical and beauty world, which had only previously been applied in the environmental energy field.
The following year, on November 30, 2016, Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (Japan’s major department in charge of the national medical system, public health and social insurance) approved the listing of 2%-concentration hydrogen inhalation into Japan’s “Class-B Advanced Medical Treatment” system. Its first application in the medical treatment is to cure cardiac arrest: patients who have cardiac resuscitation are asked to inhale hydrogen in order to enhance brain functions and speed up the recovery process. Hydrogen inhalation is awarded as a revolutionary naturopathy.
Japan’s “Advanced Medical Treatment” is an evaluation criteria of medical care that is strictly examined and approved by the “Advanced Medical Technology Investigation Bureau” in terms of the treatment’s effectiveness, safety and necessity. The examination and approval of Class-B Advanced Medical Treatment is stricter than that of the Class-A Advanced Medical Treatment. Not only the treatment’s safety and effectiveness are examined, but also the department which carries out the treatment, the environment where the treatment is applied and the technical effect are all under assessment. Advanced Medical Treatment is included into Japan’s National Health Insurance.
Since then, hydrogen therapy has won more and more fans in Japan’s medical and beauty world. It is fit for various types of people. The main application methods include: inhalation, drinking, bathing and soaking. The major effects of hydrogen treatment are: anti-oxidation and anti-aging, curing chronical disease and cancer, as well as improving appearance and health.
Application Mechanism of Hydrogen
To understand the working mechanism of hydrogen, we should first know what mitochondrion is. Mitochondrion is the structure in the cells that produces energy and a place where cells have aerobic respiration. Therefore, it is called a “power house”. In addition to supplying energy to the cells, mitochondrion also participates other courses such as cell differentiation, cell information transfer and cell apoptosis. It is able to regulate cell growth and cell cycle.
The human body is like a big chemical factory. The nutrients from food act with the oxygen inhaled through breathing to produce the energy that sustains life. It is the mitochondrion that supplies the energy we need. The amount of mitochondrion will automatically change according to the demand of energy. For example, people who don’t exercise may find the amount of their mitochondrion decrease over a period of time, which means the energy supplied to the body also decreases. If the energy level is too low, the body will become unable to resist the attack of diseases or become weaker over time.
Over 90% of the oxygen that is inhaled into the body will be consumed by mitochondrion to produce energy continually. However, as every coin has two sides, oxygen also has its merits and weak points. On one hand, oxygen is used to produce energy; on the other hand, during the process of oxygen consumption, a very active midbody is generated. That is a reactive oxygen radical, also known as toxic oxygen radical, which hurts the body and causes oxygen toxicity. We call this process “oxidation”. Then, the human body needs to combat against the oxygen toxicity. In fact, oxygen toxicity is the initial cause of human aging. While producing energy with oxygen, the mitochondrion also suffers the attack of oxygen toxicity. When this damage reaches a certain point, the cell will die.
External factors such as sun rays, air pollution, smoking, and pesticides will cause the human body to generate more reactive oxygen radicals and trigger DNA mutation, which is the root of aging and disease. Of course, the reactive oxygen radicals do play some positive roles such as facilitating the immunity and signal transduction. But an excess of reactive oxygen radicals will bring negative influences including damaging normal cells and structure and cause many diseases such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and cancer.
Furthermore, when people are over 25 years old, the activity of antioxidant enzyme (which restrains reactive oxygen radicals) gradually declines – the natural antioxidant substance of the body such as GSH-PX and SOD will show a slower synthesis speed. GSH-PX and SOD are major substances that enhance immunity and prevent diseases. In the process of the body’s natural aging, the content of GSH and SOD decrease, which influences the normal function of internal organs. For instance, the GSH content in old persons’ lens structure in the eyes are much lower than that of younger persons.
So if we want to take an effective anti-aging approach, we must focus on both aspects: one, to guarantee the activity of mitochondrion so that they can supply sufficient energy to the body; and second, find effective ways to restrain reactive oxygen radicals.
Anti-aging and Anti-oxidation
In the SPA and wellness industry, we have tried many ways to realize “anti-oxidation” and “cell rejuvenation”. There are nutrients such as resveratrol, tomatin, astaxanthin, and tea polyphenol. And there are also medical level regeneration approaches such as immunization therapy, stem cells, sheep placenta extract and more.
Now we will talk about an easy-to-apply, effective and sustainably way of anti-aging – Hydrogen and Hydrogen Power.
As the smallest molecule in Nature, hydrogen has super anti-oxidant powers, with good permeability and diffusivity. Through blood circulation, it can enter into every cell that normal elements fail to. It can quickly enters into mitochondrion and removes the reactive hydrogen radicals which cause cell aging.
Hydrogen will only target the reactive (toxic) hydrogen radicals for reductive action. It will not act with good free radicals which have physiological functions. That means it will selectively remove toxic hydrogen radicals and play an excellent anti-oxidant role.
The most important thing is that hydrogen is very safe, without any toxic side-effects. The reaction product of the hydrogen and toxic oxygen radicals is harmless water. Moreover, when all reactive oxygen radicals have been removed, the hydrogen will be expelled from the body in 10 minutes.
The strong anti-aging effects of hydrogen molecules lie in two aspects. Firstly, as we mentioned before, it can selectively remove the toxic hydrogen radicals which are harmful to the body without working on the free radicals that the body needs. In this way, it alleviates the oxidative damage to the cells and plays anti-oxidant and anti-aging functions. When the inner part is purified, the appearance will also be rejuvenated. Beauty then naturally flows from inside out.
Secondly, it stimulates the endogenous antioxidant system of the body and activates a crucial key to health called NRF2, nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2, which mediates and activates over 500 important genes in the body so as to combat inflammation, resist oxidation, detoxify and protect the body against radiation. In particular, NRF2 can activate various antioxidase such as glutathione peroxidase so as to remove the surplus reactive oxygen radicals, in addition to many other significant functions. While activating NRF2, the hydrogen activates the defensive power of the cells, regulates the activity of the endogenous antioxidant system, and increases the cells’ ability to recover from damage. Healthy cells result in a healthy body and a healthy body results in a young appearance. Health and beauty find a harmonious way of coexistence.
Hydrogen in SPA
In Japan, hydrogen has been widely applied in the SPA and beauty business.
As labor costs keep increasing, there is a rise in semi-self-service “Hydrogen Bar” in Japan. Guests enjoy 60 minutes of tranquility without being served/disturbed. They inhale safe and high-concentration hydrogen, which helps their tired bodies fall into deep relaxation, quickens the blood circulation of the whole body including the peripheral capillaries, increases oxygen content and removes reactive oxygen radicals. The guests experience multiple benefits from stress reduction, purification to cell rejuvenation. During the session, drinks containing hydrogen are also offered. The effects will last for 3-6 days after one session. The most obvious changes include better sleep, brighter eyes, more radiant skin and better make-up effect.
Hydrogen bathing has a good curative effect on the skin’s allergic symptoms such as eczema and rashes. It is also applied in the sebum membrane repair after medical beauty treatments. Hydrogen is the smallest molecule in Nature. After being absorbed through the skin, it quickly penetrates into and repairs the cells in the skin structure. The effect is direct and great. More importantly, it is safe. Even small infants can try hydrogen bathing for the cure of infantile eczema.
The applications of hydrogen in SPA are diverse. For example, it can be combined with aromatherapy so that a dual effect can be played. We can also directly use hydrogen water in cleansing facials. Its great penetration power not only better cleanses the skin but also improves the self-repair ability of the cells. Afterwards, we can use hydrogen water in the making of mud or paste masks.
In addition, hydrogen inhalation can be combined in various treatments on the scalp, eyes, shoulder and neck, legs and feet, and face. For guests, a 30-minute inhalation will improve the effects and comfort of the normal treatments. For operators, the biggest advantage is that they can increase revenue without extra labor cost.
Drinking hydrogen water also brings a lot of benefits. Hydrogen water machine are also sold at SPAs and salons. The chicken soup, tonic cuisine or TCM decoction boiled with hydrogen water will better decompose the nutrients and improves the body’s absorption of the ingredients.