The mitochondria are the main source of oxidative stress, since the respiratory chain is continuously releasing free radicals. Preliminary tests have shown that drinking hydrogen rich water improves the condition of mitochondrial diseases.
Ito et al. carried out an open study to assess the effect of hydrogen water (1 litre a day) for 12 weeks with 14 patients suffering from muscular diseases, including muscular dystrophies, polymyositis / dermatomyositis and mitochondrial myopathies. Significant improvements in markers of mitochondrial function were observed, especially in the lactate:pyruvate relationship, which is a more sensitive biomarker. It was reduced by 28 % in mitochondrial myopathies. The MMP3, representing inflammatory activity, was reduced by 27 % in dermatomyositis.
Then, a randomized, crossover, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted. Hydrogen water or placebo (ordinary water) (0.5 litres a day ) was administered for 8 weeks to 22 patients suffering from dermatomyositis and mitochondrial myopathies. A statistically significant difference was observed only in serum lactate levels in mitochondrial myopathies due to hydrogen water consumption, although the lactate:pyruvate relationship in mitochondrial myopathies and in dermatomyositis MMP3 also tended to decrease with hydrogen water consumption.