Molecular Hydrogen and Aging

  • 14 min read

Developments in anti-aging science and research have shown us the benefits of Molecular Hydrogen. This post talks in great detail about:

  ○ The Free Radical Theory of Aging

  ○ The therapeutic potential of hydrogen supported by recent findings

  ○ Sirtuins, NAD, mTOR, and their effects on aging

Let's dive right in...

Although we didn’t realize it at the time, 2007 was an extremely important year in the progression of anti-aging science and research.

It was in 2007 that a seminal article published in Nature introduced the world to the therapeutic applications of molecular hydrogen. This landmark study shared the researchers’ discovery that molecular hydrogen had therapeutic applications as a potent antioxidant, by selectively scavenging cytotoxic free radicals.

In the 12 years since this discovery, hundreds of studies have been conducted exploring the various utilities and mechanisms of molecular hydrogen. Researchers have demonstrated that hydrogen has powerful therapeutic potential for over 170 disease processes, including cardiovascular disease, strokes, autoimmune disease, metabolic disease, organ transplantation and much more.

These findings are all tremendously exciting. Combating disease and improving our quality of life is (and should be!) one of the fundamental goals of modern medical research.

There is however, one “disease” process, experienced by all living organisms, that is progressive, degenerative, and inescapable.

I am referring of course, to aging. It happens to the best of us. No one gets out alive, as they say.

Society has been obsessed with combating the aging process since time immemorial. The storied fountain of youth has been mankind’s ultimate obsession.

Fountain of Youth


Advances in science and a greater understanding of human physiology have allowed us to achieve a better understanding of the cellular process of aging. These advances have allowed us to develop novel interventions to, if not halt, then at least slow the process.

Given the wide range of molecular hydrogen’s applications in so many disease processes, the question is begged...could Vital Reaction molecular hydrogen tablets play a role in anti-aging?

Let’s look at the current state of aging research.

The Free Radical Theory of Aging

Since the 1950’s the prevailing model of the aging paradigm has been the Free Radical Theory of Aging. The theory is centered (as the name would suggest) on the formation and activity of free radicals. A free radical is a molecule that has a single unpaired electron in its outer shell.

The reason free radicals are bad news is that electrons don’t like being unpaired. In fact they don’t like it so much that free radicals will react with other molecules to steal their electrons, creating a new free radical, and a chain reaction that can cause a substantial amount of damage to cellular organelles like mitochondria, and even to DNA.

Free radicals


Free radicals can be formed by damage, as from oxidative stress, UV exposure from the sun or car exhaust inhaled during your commute. They are also formed on a continuous basis by normal metabolic activity, as a waste product.

How are free radicals formed?


The Free Radical Theory of aging holds that over time, organisms are increasingly exposed to a higher number of free radicals, and the cumulative damage that these molecules inflict results in the gradual cellular breakdown that we recognize as the aging process.

There are some empirical observations that support this theory. We do accumulate damage from reactive oxygen species over time, and aging does appear to be proportional to metabolic activity (i.e. organisms with a very high metabolic rate age more quickly than organisms with lower metabolic rates). Fasting also seems to have a positive impact on longevity.

So if the Free Radical Theory of Aging is correct, there’s good news...molecular hydrogen is a powerful antioxidant.

Molecular Hydrogen as an Antioxidant

Molecular hydrogen as an antioxidant


Multiple studies over the past decade have repeatedly supported the utility of molecular hydrogen as an antioxidant. Hydrogen is an interesting antioxidant for a few reasons.

First, it’s very small and has a neutral charge. This allows H2 molecules to freely diffuse to places few other molecules can get to so easily. This means that H2 can easily and quickly travel throughout the body, crossing otherwise impermeable membranes, like cell membranes and the blood-brain barrier. Importantly for our aging discussion, hydrogen can even get into a cell’s mitochondria and nucleus.

Second, it’s not very strong. I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but hydrogen is a relativelyweak antioxidant, which is actually a good thing. Remember that we had discussed that free radicals are a normal byproduct of metabolism. Nearly all biological processes work from a foundational premise of homeostasis- our bodies are always trying to maintain the delicate chemical balance that supports life as we know it.

So, sometimes these reactive oxygen species serve important roles as cell signalling molecules. Hydrogen is a weak enough antioxidant that it does not affect these modulatory molecules. If you sprayed your yard with an herbicide that killed everything it touched, that wouldn’t be so great. But if you had a compound that only targeted the weeds...that would be ideal.

This has led researchers to identify hydrogen as aselectiveantioxidant. It selectively targets the really nasty reactive oxygen species, the peroxynitrite and hydroxyl radicals, which are particularly damaging, and not very well targeted by our bodies’ endogenous antioxidant defense systems. AND, because hydrogen diffuses so easily, it has this effect on every cell in the body, AND in otherwise hard to reach places within each cell.

Finally, molecular hydrogen is so much more than just a lone antioxidant. In addition to being a front line defender, H2 also marshals the rest of the troops, and brings them to the fight. Because H2 is able to penetrate the nucleus, it has effects at the level of gene transcription, through activation of the NRF2 pathway (more on this in a bit). This upregulates your body’s production of endogenous antioxidants, like glutathione, catalase and superoxide dismutase. This combination packs an extremely powerful antioxidant punch.

This is important to combat the general damage that reactive oxygen species (ROS) can cause, and has particular implications for longevity. Scientists now believe that a major player in the longevity equation are the tips of your chromosomes, called telomeres. Telomeres are like the plastic caps on the ends of your shoelaces.

They protect the ends of DNA strands, and shorten as we age. Once the telomeres of a particular chromosome are gone, the cell’s lifespan is basically over. When we are younger, we have an abundant amount of an enzyme called telomerase, which keeps our telomeres from shortening. This enzyme is particularly susceptible to oxidative stress, and as we age, damage from reactive oxygen species contributes to a loss of telomerase, and the aging and inevitable death of our cells.



This makes hydrogen an invaluable addition to an anti-aging regimen, as a powerful, selective, and safe antioxidant.

But there’s more to the story...

The Latest Anti Aging Science

A lot of our understanding has changed since the 1950s, and the Free Radical Theory of Aging has come into question. Some studies in recent years have introduced findings that seem to conflict with the theory. While this has led some researchers to abandon the theory altogether, the truth seems to be that while oxidative damage is part of the aging process, it’s not the whole story.

This has led to exciting new areas of anti-aging research, where (spoiler alert) hydrogen also has enormous therapeutic potential.

The current frontiers of anti-aging research are focused on a few specific molecules and pathways, namely sirtuins, NAD and the mTOR pathway.

Sirtuins, NAD and mTOR, Oh My!

Sirtuins are a group of intracellular proteins. There are 7 of them that we’ve been able to identify, and they are so integral to the aging process that they’ve been dubbed the “longevity proteins.”

They play different roles, some in the nucleus, some in the cytoplasm and some in the mitochondria. Their primary function is as an enzyme called deacetylases. This means that they remove an acetyl group from other molecules, which affects those molecules’ functions. They impact everything from DNA replication and gene transcription to mitochondrial function and metabolism, and have been tied to a host of processes that impact longevity.



These sirtuins require a cofactor called NAD to work. NAD is short for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. NAD is a fascinating molecule that basically plays two main roles in our bodies.

The first is the process by which we transform food into energy, and the second is as a regulator for the function of other molecules (like sirtuins). NAD is present in every cell in our body, and is critical to life.



Unfortunately, as we age, NAD levels decrease, which has made figuring out how to boost NAD levels a key area of longevity research. One of the main ways in which NAD is depleted is through its role as a cofactor with PARP (poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase), which is an enzyme responsible for repairing DNA after oxidative damage.

So...imagine if there were some kind of master antioxidant that could mitigate DNA damage, thereby preserving NAD levels as we age? (Hint: it rhymes with molecular hydrogen...)

Also- remember NRF2?

As we discussed earlier, one of molecular hydrogen’s actions is activation of the NRF2 protein, which causes the transcription of a variety of proteins related to a cell’s antioxidant defense system. Interestingly, the NRF2 products appear to work together with PARP for DNA repair and cellular protection. So molecular hydrogen has the potential to both improve the protective DNA capabilities of NAD, AND preserve NAD levels in our body as we age.
NRF2 Pathway


In fact, one in vitro study of human endothelial tissue showed that molecular hydrogen promoted sirtuin activity AND preserved NAD levels after exposure to a toxin.

Finally, there’s that pesky mTOR pathway.

mTOR stands for mechanical target of rapamycin. mTOR has been widely studied in anti-aging circles for some time now. This kinase seems to be the master modulator for a variety of cellular processes involving growth, development, and metabolism.

It’s generally turned on by environmental and hormonal signals promoting cell growth.

Different models have shown that inhibition of the mTOR pathway is longevity promoting. As such, it’s a popular target of potential anti-aging pharmaceuticals. Rapamycin, the antifungal for which this kinase is named, does exactly that. The problem is that while knocking out mTOR appears to help with some aspects of aging, it appears to exacerbate others.

That brings us back to NRF2. It turns out that NRF2 regulates (among other things)...the mTOR pathway! It appears to function to modulate healthy mTOR activity.

But wait- it gets even better.

Other studies have shown that activation of the NRF2 pathway has the same beneficial effects as inhibition of the mTOR pathway! The means that molecular hydrogen, through its activation of NRF2, may have similar anti-aging benefits as pharmaceutical drugs designed to inhibit mTOR, without any of the side effects.

In fact, what makes hydrogen even cooler is that it is a selective promoter of NRF2.

Why does this matter?

Well, there’s no such thing as a biological free lunch. Having a pathway turned on all the time can be bad too. We know this because the NRF2 pathway is a popular target of drugs aimed at combating neurodegenerative disease. What early studies have shown is that while turning on NRF2 can help to treat these diseases, having the pathway on all the time causes other problems. Hydrogen is a selective activator, which means that it only activates the NRF2 pathway in times of cellular stress.

So you get the benefits of NRF2 activation when you need it, and none of the side effects that come from prolonged activation when you don’t.

So whether it’s through the direct mitigation of oxidative damage as we age, the preservation of NAD, the promotion of DNA repair and sirtuin action, or selective activation of the NRF2 pathway, it is clear that molecular hydrogen is going to be a heavy hitter in the anti-aging field, and should be an exciting area of research for decades to come.

If you're curious to try Vital Reaction® Molecular Hydrogen Tablets, click this link!

What are your thoughts on the current state of anti-aging science?

What do you think of the role of molecular hydrogen in the aging process?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Get a 10% Discount With This Promo Code: TAKE10

Our Molecular Hydrogen tablets are specially formulated to produce 8-10 ppm of molecular hydrogen in a single glass of water.

(That’s nearly 100 million times more hydrogen than a normal glass of water.)

  • They can be dissolved in almost anything
  • 5 proprietary ingredientsincluding elemental magnesium, malic acid, tartaric acid, and adipic acid.
  • Sodium Stearyl Fumarate - Maximizes the production of molecular hydrogen by helping each tablet dissolve at just the right speed
  • 60 capsules per bottle
  • Free Shipping
  • 365-day money back guarantee
  • Made in the USA

Free radicals and oxidative stress can accelerate aging. Try our molecular hydgrogen tablets to lower oxidative stress, enjoy caffeine-like energy, and support tired cells.

Your price:

Sold out

Save 10%: Use code TAKE10
365-day Money Back Guarantee

Free Shipping On All US Orders


… Gives me an energy boost!

“This product always gives me an energy boost after downing 2 dissolved tablets. A bottle a month @ $60 is worth every penny.” - Xinia W.

Talk about a KICKSTART to my day...

Wow, Vital Reaction molecular hydrogen tablets have changed my morning routine! Talk about a kick start to my day....hydrogen water gives me a nice lunch in the morning and seems to clear my brain and prep me for the day! Vital reaction is unlike some of the other hydrogen tablets, it dissolves quickly without the need for a closed container. Ordering was easy and shipping was fast! I will be ordering more to share with my friends and family! Thank you Vital Reaction for a great product! - Anita M Gray

Energy levels similar to drinking coffee...

“Super easy to use, just plop the tablets into a little water and wait about a minute. Dissolved only 1 tablet to make the hydrogen water the first couple of times and had no adverse reaction whatsoever. Increased to 2 tablets at once in the mornings. Immediate observations are increased energy levels, quite similar to drinking coffee, but without the caffeine “buzz”. It is a lovely feeling. I feel that my quality of sleep is better – I feel more rested in the mornings, and brighter. Tried them one Saturday morning after drinking perhaps a bit too much wine the previous evening at a concert; no headache, no feeling of hangover. Vital Reaction, I’ll have to say you have an amazing product here. The website is thorough and very educational. I can tell you that I already can tell a difference in my pathetic little exercise sessions from the hydrogen. Though not a “cheap” health supplement, I think the price is more than worth it. I anticipate replacing 2 or 3 of the supplements I currently take with the hydrogen water, so it more than pays for itself in my book.” - Marie B.

“Gives you so much energy. Gets me through my work out.” - Sylvia

WOW!... I Was So Impressed

I take many supplements and do extensive research to locate reputable, effective, affordable products. Vital Reaction was a game changer for me as I seek to upgrade my energy levels on a regular basis. I did not notice much improvement at first because I was taking the tablets with so many other supplements. Hence, it was difficult to determine who was the culprit in the energy boost department. Well, one day I had very limited time to take all my vitamins, etc. and decided to give the VR tabs a solo go. WoW! I was so impressed with how much better I felt I thought it was a coincidence. Tried it again the next day and had the same reaction, vitality! Wonder where they got the name eh? Well, this product is now an absolute must for dealing with a demanding day and I am so pleased there are no side effects like other energy supplements. Highly recommended for that 3PM pick me up or just to begin your day with a spring in your step. It is most noticeable with only 2 tabs. Make sure you drink it fast tho, the effervescence aids delivery and bioavailability. - Domenique Coe

Hello Hydration

“I take one tablet in my water every morning along with some other trace minerals. It dissolves quickly and is tasteless, at least to my palette. The results are immediate and long-lasting. You can feel the hydration. My skin is plump and happy as well. I had a body scan done not too long ago and she checked my antioxidant levels and told me they were the highest she has ever seen in her practice. I owe it all to Vital Reaction! I have purchased many bolts and try to never run out.” - Bella Miller

“Will be ordering each month.”

“Me (mamma bear), kids and hubby all sleep so much better. My stressors at work seem to be easier to manage, too. Will be ordering one each month.” - Anna Collins

… Felt more focused!

“I love how easy this product is. You just drop the pill in the water and in a few seconds, your hydrogen is ready. I definitely felt more focused when taking it in the morning.” - Rodrigo

… Vital Reaction is the best!

“I’ve purchased my Molecular Hydrogen from 5 othe companies and Vital Reaction is the best. I have purchased directly from Vital Reaction since Amazon has not previously carried this product until now. Highly recommended. - BB

I ALWAYS take them with me...

“I use the 7% Inhaler or the MINI Portable everyday unless I’m traveling by air, and then I also supplement the Inhaler with the H2 Tablets daily, too, and I always take them with me any time I’m away from home or my office. I wouldn't be without my H2 MINI and 7% Inhalers that I use every day.” - Susan Smith Jones, PhD.


First, it destroys the free radicals called Hydroxyl and Peroxynitrite (These cause the most damage even in small quantities)...

So oxidative stress goes way down.

Next, it leaves healthy free radicals untouched which flips on the body’s antioxidant system (NRF-2).2728

In fact, consistently drinking hydrogen water has been shown to slow aging by...

  • Improving joint discomfort - So arms and legs flow more freely...
  • Increasing energy by reinvigorating tired mitochondria...
  • Helping rejuvenate tired-looking facial skin and balance skin tone without harsh chemical peels…
  • Rejuvenating sun-damaged skin by supporting healthy collagen function...
  • Improving the appearance of wrinkles by promoting type-I collagen synthesis...
  • Supporting ‘youthful’ brain function - So embarrassing senior moments happen less often…
  • Lowering anxiety and enhancing bad moods in as little as 4 weeks...
  • Increasing metabolism - So the body can burn more calories...
  • Even preventing accidental hangovers and improving jet lag…

One of the easiest, and most convenient ways to get a daily dose of molecular hydrogen is by drinking hydrogen water

Get a 10% Discount With This Promo Code: TAKE10

Our Molecular Hydrogen tablets are specially formulated to produce 8-10 ppm of molecular hydrogen in a single glass of water.

(That’s nearly 100 million times more hydrogen than a normal glass of water.)

  • They can be dissolved in almost anything
  • 5 proprietary ingredientsincluding elemental magnesium, malic acid, tartaric acid, and adipic acid.
  • Sodium Stearyl Fumarate - Maximizes the production of molecular hydrogen by helping each tablet dissolve at just the right speed
  • 60 capsules per bottle
  • Free Shipping
  • 365-day money back guarantee
  • Made in the USA

Free radicals and oxidative stress can accelerate aging. Try our molecular hydgrogen tablets to lower oxidative stress, enjoy caffeine-like energy, and support tired cells.

Your price:

Sold out

Save 10%: Use code TAKE10
365-day Money Back Guarantee


What makes Vital Reaction’s Hydrogen Tablets different?

The Vital Reaction hydrogen tablets give you a convenient way to produce fresh energy-rich hydrogen water any time of day.

It helps the body lower oxidative damage by eliminating only the most damaging free radicals.

This is why hydrogen water can help the body slow the aging process, increase ‘natural’ energy, increase metabolism, and feel better than it’s felt in years.

Vital Reaction hydrogen tablets are perfect for both men and women at any age.

And it’s for all these reasons that we recommend at least saying ‘maybe’ and trying a bottle of tablets for yourself.

Or claiming our best deal by ordering the 6-bottle option today.

How often should I drink hydrogen-infused water?

We recommend dissolving one tablet in a glass of water at least twice per day. Feel free to consume more hydrogen water and find what feels best for your body. It’s impossible to overdose on molecular hydrogen because even at high concentrations, no toxic effects have ever been reported.

How long does it take to feel the effects?

People typically start to notice benefits in as little as 20 minutes. Some people do not actually feel anything, which is okay. Even if you don’t feel anything, you will still receive the benefits of molecular hydrogen. Others have relayed effects such as an overall sense of wellness, more energy or focus, sharper vision, optimized sleep quality, and much more.

What if hydrogen tablets don’t work for me?

No problem. You have ONE FULL YEAR to decide if Vital Reaction’s Hydrogen Tablets are not for you. So if at any time in the next 12 months, if you’re not completely satisfied with the results of drinking fresh hydrogen daily, we’ll happily refund your entire purchase.

6 Responses

Jamie Taylor

Jamie Taylor

August 16, 2022

How many do you take a day, & how many in a bottle? Does it help with bone on bone in the hip & shoulder pain? I’m 68

Michael Kabis

Michael Kabis

August 16, 2022

Why wouldn’t you try Molecular Hydrogen. According to some, half the population of Japan is drinking or inhaling it. No side affects and tons of health benefits. It’s a no brained in my book. It’s a perfect complement to a healthy diet. For ways to improve and eat your way to better health, check out William Li, (books and video).



April 03, 2020

Very interesting article if it’s as good as this article says it is. And there’s no side effects. I’m willing to try it.



March 18, 2020

I’m very interested in telomeres and the aging of cells.

HIlda JAhnz

HIlda JAhnz

March 16, 2020

I have lived to the ripe age of 98 as of Last October 2019.Free Radicals has damaged my DNA and caused my cancer and stroke.Before that I was aging gracefully.

Greg britt

Greg britt

October 14, 2019

Maybe something to it

Leave a comment (all fields required)

Comments will be approved before showing up.