According to an article in US News & World Report, researchers are exploring the use of hydrogen to develop a potential therapy for patients with COPD.

A 2017 study in the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease examined the role of hydrogen in smoking-induced cases of COPD in rats. “It is still uncertain whether hydrogen has effects on COPD,” the authors write, “or whether different concentrations of hydrogen could have different effects on COPD.”

They set out to test these concepts and found a connection between the administration of hydrogen and the progression of smoking-induced COPD in rats. They noted that rats administered hydrogen lost less weight than rats with COPD who hadn’t been given the therapy.

The hydrogen-administered rats also experienced improved lung function, a reduction in inflammation in the lungs, a restoration of balance in enzymes that support cellular health and positive changes to the structure of lung and heart tissue. The study also suggested that the higher the dose of hydrogen administered, the better the results.

Though the results seem promising, it’s important to keep in mind that this study was not conducted in humans, and that it’s a single study.