Hydrogen is used in the production of synthetic ammonia and methanol, in petroleum refining. It is added to fats and oils, such as peanut oil, through a process called hydrogenation.
Hydrogen is the most abundant element and is present in Earth’s atmosphere at about 0.5 ppm (parts per million). It is produced naturally by gut bacterial degradation of oligosaccharides and is present in human breath. Humans produce hydrogen at about 50 mg/day. Hydrogen is found in aircraft and space-shuttle air at about 100 ppm.
Since its introduction as a diagnostic test in 1969 by Levitt and Calloway, the breath hydrogen test has gained in popularity for the diagnosis of intestinal disaccharidase deficiency (intolerance to lactose, fructose, or sucrose), being more sensitive than blood glucose based tests In selected conditions like celiac disease, it may be preferable to enzyme analysis of biopsy because it measures the response of the entire intestinal tract not just a small area which may not demonstrate enzyme deficiency in these cases. It is especially useful in blind loop syndrome (BLS), commonly referred to in the literature as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or bacterial overgrowth syndrome (BOS). Diagnosis can be made if there is rise of more than 10 or 20 ppm after ingesting a certain substance.
Hydrogen could constitute from 0.000005 to 50% of human gas.
The paper, published in 1969, found that: 'Flatus gases varied widely within dietary groups but much more gas was generated with diet S (Gemini-type: shrimp cocktail, chicken and vegetables, butterscotch pudding, apple sauce, etc) than with F (a bland formula).
'In the first 12-hour collection, subjects fed S passed 3 to 209 ml of rectal H2 and 24 to 156 ml from the lungs.