Hydrogen water is expected to be a new and effective preventive intervention treatment for major depressive disorder May 31,2022.

Depression has become one of the major diseases affecting human health, and major depression ranks 11th in the global burden of disease.  Major depression is a serious mental illness that affects about 350 million people worldwide.  The most popular idea about how depression happens is that a neurotransmitter, serotonin, is deficient.  At present, the clinical treatment of depression drugs, almost all of the development of serotonin deficiency.  Despite the success of these drugs, a significant proportion of MDD patients do not currently have an effective treatment, or the drugs start to work but do not last.  Classic antidepressants are effective in less than half of patients and often have a wide range of side effects.  This has led to more in-depth research on the basic pathogenesis of the disease and several hypotheses on the pathophysiology of treatment-resistant MAJOR depression.  Inflammatory response is one of these hypotheses, and one that is becoming more widely accepted.  Many studies have found that people with depression often show inflammation, characterized by increased expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor.  Proinflammatory cytokines can cause pathological behavior and induce depressive-like changes in neuroendocrine and central neurotransmitters, exacerbated by stressors.  Animal studies have also found that many anti-inflammatory drugs work against depression.  The research group led by Professor Jiang Chunlei, department of Psychology, Second Military Medical University of the People's Liberation Army, has long been engaged in stress medical research, and has also carried out a series of studies on the relationship between depression and inflammatory response.  His team recently published a study showing that hydrogen can help treat depression in animals through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

 Previous studies have found that hydrogen can selectively reduce cytotoxic oxygen free radicals, and hydrogen-rich saline can inhibit the production of some pro-inflammatory mediators.  Prof. Jiang Chunlei's research group studied the effect and key mechanism of drinking hydrogen water in depressed mice.  Studies have shown that hydrogen water can prevent depressive behaviors triggered by chronic, mild, and unpredictable stress.

 In the study, eight-week-old male mice were subjected to a 12-hour light-dark cycle at around 22 degrees Celsius in a free-feeding animal chamber, by experiments.  The researchers divided the mice into groups for mild unpredictability stress, sugar water preference and tail suspension.

 The results showed that hydrogen water could significantly weaken the depression-like behavior, prevent the occurrence and development of depression-like behavior, and prevent the occurrence of major depression.

 Hydrogen is a non-toxic gas in the human body, selectively reduces oxygen free radicals, fights inflammation, easily penetrates the blood-brain barrier and cell membranes, and has reliable biosafety.  Drinking hydrogen-rich liquids is an easy way to replenish hydrogen and is very convenient for use in clinical practice.

 If this study is further verified in future clinical studies on patients with depression, hydrogen water is expected to be used as a new and effective preventive intervention therapy for major depression.

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