Why Does Your Body Need Hydrogen?

Hydrogen is an essential element in the human body.
Hydrogen is an essential element in the human body. (Image: DNA image by Allyson Ricketts from Fotolia.com)

Hydrogen, the most prevalent element in our universe, plays an essential role in the human body. Not only does hydrogen contribute to the basic "building blocks" from which our cells, muscles, bones and blood are built, but it also plays a multifaceted role in how our body functions.


Water, well known as a necessity for life, consists partially of hydrogen. At least 60 percent of the human body is made of water; even bones contain small amounts. The body requires water for functions such as toxin and waste elimination, eating and digestion, lubrication of tissue and organs and conduction of electrical impulses. Without water, the body ceases its functioning within days.


Adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, is a nucleotide produced in the mitochondria of cells. Providing our bodies with energy at the cellular level, it is partially composed of hydrogen. Every action in the human body, from metabolism to DNA replication to simply standing upright, derives its "fuel" from ATP. Each cell contains more than a million ATP molecules, a number that demonstrates its importance in the body.


The concentration of hydrogen ions, or pH, in the body is a reflection of the alkaline and acid in the fluids of the body. Ideally, these should be balanced within each system of the body; little room for fluctuation exists. However, each system has its own range. Proper pH assists in physiologic tasks such as cellular function, disease inhibition, mineral balance, respiration and kidney function.

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