Deuterium depletion

New target for the medication development

According to a forecast by WHO, the number of newly diagnosed tumor patients in a year will rise from 18.1 millions in 2018 to 29.4 millions by 2020, and cancer mortality, from 9.6 millions will nearly double. Governments all over the world emphasize the importance of prevention, but the actual situation shows clearly that no significant development has taken place in the last decades either in the field of prevention or in treatment. The antitumor research and development activity, initiated by HYD LLC for Cancer Research and Drug Development in 1993, offers a solution in both fields by utilizing a novel drug development strategy based on deuterium depletion.

Albert Szent-Györgyi emphasized the physiological importance of subatomic particles already in the ‘40s, and deduced cancer development to disturbances in the movement of electrons. From the ‘60s, the Nobel Laureate turned his attention fully to quantum mechanics, and dedicated the last period of his career to submolecular biology.


HYD LLC for Cancer Research and Drug Development, celebrating 25 years of existence in 2018, carried on with the spiritual heritage of Albert Szent-Györgyi by putting the isotope pair, hydrogen–deuterium, that is, proton and its heavier counterpart, deuteron, in the focus of its research. Results of research on deuterium depletion verify that the positively charged hydrogen ion, and its heavy variation, deuteron, have a central role in the submolecular regulatory system that profoundly determines cellular metabolism. The aim of the studies is to reveal the general effect of deuterium depletion on health preservation and disease prevention, and to understand the role of deuterium in development of chronic diseases and in attaining physical well-being more in detail. The results proved that during oxidation of nutrients a substantial fractioning (lowering) of deuterium takes place in the human organism, and the extent of that is related to health state and bodily performance.


Deuterium is the stable and non-radioactive isotope of hydrogen, the simplest chemical element. The nucleus of deuterium contains one proton, like that of hydrogen (it is the same chemical element) but also one neutron that is as heavy as a proton. Hence the atomic mass of deuterium is twice higher than that of hydrogen, leading to substantial differences in the physical and chemical behavior of the two isotopes. This is the so-called isotope effect.

In our climatic zone, deuterium content of natural waters is 140-150 ppm, meaning that there are 140 to 150 deuterium atoms in one million hydrogen atoms, or 140 to 150 heavy water (D2O) molecules in one million water (H2O) molecules. In molar units, this is more that 8 mmol/L concentration. But, as under natural conditions deuterium is found in DHO, not D2O, form, one can calculate with over 12-14 mmol/L D-containing water molecules in living organisms. Deuterium is thus present in 5 to 10 times higher concentration in our body than other elements of known physiological importance.

World-first Research

In the studies initiating drug development, the role of deuterium in the regulation of physiological processes was sought after. Investigations of the last 25 years have multiply shown that deuterium depletion exerts its effect on numerous cell physiological processes. The results present the isotope pair hydrogen-deuterium as an important element of a submolecular regulatory system with crucial role in life functions, offering a novel target for drug development. The importance of the submolecular regulatory system in cancer therapy is explained by experimental results showing that by deuterium depletion one can influence the metabolism of tumor cells, resulting in inhibition of cancer cell division and reduction of tumor size.

Strategic exchange of deuterium found in water and organic molecules to hydrogen opens up new ways in prevention and curation of not only tumorous but also metabolic diseases. Beyond that, independent research in foreign countries found connection between deuterium content of drinking water and disposition to depression, proved the positive effect of deuterium depletion on long-term memory; and beyond that, advantageous sports physiological and anti-aging effects of deuterium depletion have also been published.

Within the strategy of HYD LLC, and its mother company HYD Pharma, an especial plan is to verify the therapeutic efficiency of deuterium depletion in new clinical studies. In veterinary medicine, the plan is to achieve for the injection formula of the antitumor preparation Vetera-DDW-25, registered since 1999, registration at EU level with the EMA.

Scientific results

The molecular biologist Dr. Gábor Somlyai was the first in the world to start those scientific studies in the early ‘90s which were aimed at the physiological importance of deuterium (D) and the biological, first of all anti-tumor, effects of deuterium depletion. He proved in in vitro cultures of breast, colon, prostate, lung, melanoma, pancreas and cervix tumor cell lines that cell division depends on the deuterium content of the medium. In in vivo experiments, deuterium depleted water (DDW) slowed, stopped or reversed tumor growth in mice transplanted with human breast or prostate tumors, and in dogs and cats with spontaneous tumors.

Deuterium depletion has an effect on the activity of genes involved in cancer development. Molecular biological studies verified the inhibitory effect D-depletion on the COX-2 gene in the HT-29 colon tumor cell line. The extent of COX-2 inhibition was correlated to D level of water, resulting in stronger inhibition at lower D levels. In animal experiments it was investigated whether DDW had an influence on the expression of the genes c-myc, Ha-ras and p53 in carcinogen-treated mice. In the group consuming DDW, expression of all three genes was significantly reduced in different organs (spleen, lungs, thymus, kidney, liver and lymph nodes) in 48 hours after the carcinogenic treatment.
According to these results it is possible to influence the activity of genes involved in carcinogenesis by altering deuterium concentration.

In animal studies on dogs and cats with spontaneous tumors (mammary and rectal cancer, lymphoid leucosis, epithelioma, sarcomatoid tumors, melanoma) the tumors reacted positively on DDW-treatment in spite of histological heterogeneity. The registered veterinary antitumor preparation Vetera-DDW-25® proved to be efficient when applied alone or in combination with surgery. Of dogs with mammary tumor, 70% reacted well on the treatment, in 50% complete healing could be achieved. In case of rectal tumors, efficiency was similarly excellent. Application of DDW before surgery improved the operability of the tumors, and in after-treatment, halved the relapse rate of the disease.

Research results doubtlessly proved the existence of a submolecular regulatory system maintaining D/H homeostasis in the cells. By influencing this, one can alter the activity of genes and enzymes; by altering D/H proportions, cellular functions and regulation of physiological processes can be influenced. The dissimilar adaptability of healthy and diseased cells to altered D/H proportions offers a new target for drug development. The novel approach of HYD, altering deuterium level in water and other molecules, provides wide possibilities to increase the effect of existing therapies. Thanks to developmental work, novel drugs and consumers’ products can become available for treatment and prevention of cancers and other chronic diseases.

Areas of indication

Preclinical and clinical studies have, up to now, verified the advantageous effect of deuterium depletion in two areas of indication, i. e., in tumorous and metabolic diseases. In the latter study, deuterium depletion, beyond the positive therapeutic effect seen, increased the level of HDL (“good” cholesterol) by 30%, and this beneficial effect of DDW on blood lipids has been confirmed in independent studies performed abroad. Newer results show that disposition to depression can also be positively influenced by lowering deuterium level, and in animal experiments DDW showed positive effect on long-term memory. Deuterium depletion can improve the general state of the organism, its beneficial physiological effects were observed also in sports medical investigations. Our own studies and foreign publications proved the anti-aging effect of deuterium depletion, and results on the immunostimulatory and radioprotective effect of deuterium depleted water have been published also.

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