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Hydrogen water, overhyped myth: experts
  • By Lee Hye-seon
  • Published 2019.03.28 11:32
  • Updated 2019.03.28 11:32
  • comments 0

Advertisements of hydrogen water often promote that it helps remove fine dust from the human body and treat diseases. However, it does not offer any antioxidative or disease-treating effect, government and private experts said.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said Wednesday it examined the ads of hydrogen-containing drinks and confirmed that hydrogen water, or pure water with hydrogen gas added to it, did not work to inhibit oxidation or treat a disease.

Various hydrogen water products sold in Korea

Hydrogen water products contained up to 90 percent less hydrogen than indicated on the labels.

Hydrogen water is made by artificially adding hydrogen, a food additive, to pure water. It contains 99.99 percent of water and 0.00015 percent of hydrogen.

Recently, online shopping sites have been selling hydrogen water based on ads that it helps cleans fine particles, removes reactive oxygen species, and treat atopic dermatitis.

However, experts analyzed hydrogen water commercials and concluded that they lacked clinical or academic evidence to claim the products’ health benefits.

Myung Seung-kwon, a professor of family medicine Department at National Cancer Center’s Graduate School of Cancer Science and Policy, said he reviewed 25 studies on hydrogen water published in international journals listed in the Science Citation Index.

“After reviewing them, I found that the results of the studies did not have enough clinical data to claim that humans could prevent or treat a disease simply by drinking hydrogen water. I do not recommend it,” Myung said.

The Korean Academy of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease also said, “There is no scientific evidence that hydrogen water can help treat atopic dermatitis or asthma.”

The food and drug safety ministry said it has caught 24 sellers falsely advertising 13 products as if the drinks were health functional foods to treat a disease.

Eighty-four percent of the ads promoted unverified efficacy such as removal of harmful reactive oxygen species, fine dust, and wastes, 11 percent, misleading consumers as if the products were functional foods for antioxidative effect or weight control effect, and 5 percent, as if the products could prevent or treat allergies and atopic dermatitis.


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