What is the Importance of Hydrogen in Living Beings?

The importance of hydrogen in living things is such that without this element life in the world as it is known would not be possible. 90% of the existing atoms are composed of this element; therefore it is considered the most abundant in the universe.

Hydrogen is part of all living matter. It is considered the first and simplest element and presents regularly in the gaseous state. It is characterized by being very light, tasteless, colorless, odorless and highly flammable.

Hydrogen is found in the terrestrial atmosphere in a free way, in small concentrations and in abundance, combined with other elements.

The 5 most important functions of hydrogen

In general, hydrogen fulfills a function of a substantial type in the formation of all matter that composes the world. Its most important functions are:

1- It is fundamental for environmental stability

Hydrogen forms 0.15% of the Earth's crust, in addition to being the main element in the conformation of the water molecule (H2O).

It constitutes 14% of the weight of biomass, which implies that it is fundamental to the environmental stability necessary for life on the planet.

2- It is the fuel of life

According to biochemist Albert Szent-Györgyi, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine (1937), hydrogen is the fuel of life.

The hydrogen that is consumed in food enters the bloodstream and is burned by oxygen, releasing energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

This element is present in the 3 groups of macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and fats) and more in acid (citrus) foods.

Likewise, the Sun uses this element to produce energy reactions; this energy is taken up by plants for their development and growth.

3- Moisturises the body

Humans have 60% water in their chemical composition. Due to the presence of hydrogen in the body, both the cells and the joints remain hydrated.

4- Contribute to the pH balance of the organism

As with electrolyte balance, a balanced pH is beneficial for cellular performance.

Thus, hydrogen favors nutrients to be transported properly in the body, wastes removed and the immune system activated against infections by viruses and bacteria.

5- Properties against aging

Szent-Györgyi's research also showed that the human body stores hydrogen in many of its organs, mainly in the liver.

Today, the theory that hydrogen is an important combative agent of aging is being studied. The basis of this thesis is that hydrogen tends to accumulate in the form of deposits in the cells, preventing free radicals from damaging them.

As the body ages, the deposits of the element are drying. The cells are exposed and the visible signs of aging are generated.

Currently, the effect of hydrogen on the protection and repair of radiation damage is also being studied. In the same way, its incidence as an antioxidant in the protection of the brain against cerebrovascular accidents (CVA) is being tested.

Hydrogen is considered an essential element for the existence and subsistence of living beings because it is part of the composition of all organisms, the substances that derive from them and most of the energy resources that exist.

References

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  5. Sherwood C. (June 13, 2017). How is it used in the body? In: livestrong.com