Anti Aging and Hyperbaric Oxygen
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a treatment that involves providing 100% oxygen to individuals in a pressurized chamber above atmospheric pressure levels. This increases the amount of oxygen dissolved in human tissues. Professor Shai Efrati, an expert in hyperbaric medicine, has used this therapy for years to improve brain function damage caused by age, stroke, or traumatic brain injury.
In a new study, Efrati and his team evaluated the physiological effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on healthy elderly people for the first time. The aim was to determine if this therapy could slow down, stop, or even reverse the normal aging process.
The study involved 35 participants aged 64 and above, who received a total of 60 hyperbaric oxygen treatments, 5 times a week, and breathed 100% oxygen through a mask each time for 90 minutes. There were no lifestyle, diet, or medication adjustments.
The researchers repeatedly passed blood tests to examine the immune cells of these elderly people before, during, just after the treatment, and after a period of time after the end of the treatment. They focused on two key signs of aging: cell telomere length and senescent cells accumulation.
Telomeres are like “protective caps” located at the ends of each chromosome. They maintain genome stability, but they shrink year by year and become shorter due to diseases, obesity, stress, and other factors. Senescent cells are old cells that have malfunctioned and no longer function, but never die. Their numbers increase with age. Telomere shortening and senescent cells accumulation are closely related to aging and weakness in the elderly.
After receiving repeated and intermittent hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the physiological age of the elderly participants showed a significant reversal. The telomere length of various immune cells increased by more than 20%, with B cells showing the most significant change, exceeding 30%. This means that trial participants now have telomeres as long as they did 25 years ago.
The proportion of senescent cells was also significantly reduced to varying degrees, with a reduction rate of up to 37%. This means that there is room for regeneration of new healthy cells. Removing senescent cells can extend the remaining lifespan by more than one-third, according to some animal studies.
Increasing telomere length and removing senescent cells are the focus of anti-aging research. The study’s lead author, Dr. Amir Hadanny, emphasized that “only three months of treatment has achieved such significant telomere lengthening, which is far more effective than any currently available intervention or lifestyle change approach.”
The researchers hope that this pioneering work will open doors to further explore the effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on cells and its potential in reversing the aging process.
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