Effects of Intestinal Bacterial Hydrogen Gas Production on Muscle Recovery following Intense Exercise in Adult Men: A Pilot Study

Nobuhiko Eda, Saki Tsuno, Nobuhiro Nakamura, Ryota Sone, Takao Akama, Mitsuharu Matsumoto*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study aimed to examine the effects of hydrogen gas (H2) produced by intestinal microbiota on participant conditioning to prevent intense exercise-induced damage. In this double-blind, randomized, crossover study, participants ingested H2-producing milk that induced intestinal bacterial H2 production or a placebo on the trial day, 4 h before performing an intense exercise at 75% maximal oxygen uptake for 60 min. Blood marker levels and respiratory variables were measured before, during, and after exercise. Visual analog scale scores of general and lower limb muscle soreness evaluated were 3.8- and 2.3-fold higher, respectively, on the morning after treatment than that before treatment during the placebo trial, but not during the test beverage consumption. Urinary 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) concentrations and production rates significantly increased with placebo consumption; no changes were observed with test beverage consumption. After exercise, relative blood lactate levels with H2-producing milk consumption were lower than those with placebo consumption. A negative correlation was observed between the variation of 8-OHdG and the area under the curve (AUC) of breath H2 concentrations. Lipid oxidation AUC was 1.3-fold higher significantly with H2-producing milk than with placebo consumption. Conclusively, activating intestinal bacterial H2 production by consuming a specific beverage may be a new strategy for promoting recovery and conditioning in athletes frequently performing intense exercises.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4875
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov


  • beverage
  • high-intensity exercise
  • hydrogen gas
  • overreaching
  • placebo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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