Eumelanin-driven production of molecular hydrogen: A novel element of skin defense?

Med Hypotheses. 2015 Aug;85(2):237-8. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2015.04.014. Epub 2015 Apr 20.


Molecular hydrogen (H2, dihydrogen) has been recognized as a unique cell protectant. Dihydrogen protects tissues against oxidative injuries by selectively reducing reactive oxygen species (ROS). It seems that melanin, natural pigment of skin and hair, might produce endogenous hydrogen. The protective role of skin melanin (eumelanin) could be due to its capacity for molecular hydrogen production. An effective pooling of dihydrogen by eumelanin should be considered as a novel element of skin defense system against oxidative stress-related disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Free Radical Scavengers / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen / metabolism*
  • Melanins / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Skin / metabolism*


  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Melanins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • eumelanin
  • Hydrogen