Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT, is a type of treatment that uses two to three times higher than normal air pressure to speed up the healing process of things like stubborn wounds, infections in which tissues are starved for oxygen, and even carbon monoxide poisoning.
Now, it looks as though researchers could potentially have found a new use for HBOT: to reverse the aging process in elderly people. A new study conducted by researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel, looks at the potential of using oxygen therapy in a pressurized environment to reverse the effects of aging in 35 people over the age of 64.
During the study, elderly patients aged 64 or older were placed in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber for approximately 90 minutes a day, five days a week, over a three month period. The goal of the study was to document the impact a hyperbaric oxygen chamber could have on the senescent cells, which are usually associated with organ and tissue deterioration.
They also measured the length of each participant telomere, a special molecule that has been linked to premature cellular aging. As people age, their telomeres get too short to do their job, causing our cells to age and stop functioning properly, meaning telomeres essentially act as the aging clock in every cell.
As the study drew to a close, researchers found that the patients’ telomeres had enlarged by as much as 20%, while the senescent cells had decreased by a massive 37%. According to the team of researchers that conducted the study, these results are equivalent to being 25 years younger. What makes these findings even more impressive is the fact that the participants were not asked to change or alter their medication, diet, or lifestyle during the study, all factors that have been proven to affect an individual’s biological age.
Researchers believe the results of the study were caused by the pressurized chamber triggering a temporary oxygen shortage in the participants’ bodies, leading to cell regeneration.
‘The idea is that ageing is a disease that can be cured just like any other’.
In a first of a kind study, researchers from Tel Aviv University and the Shamir Medical Center used a form of oxygen therapy to reverse two key indicators of biological aging.https://t.co/51CDG95Tva
— Always Day 1 ❁ (@AlwaysDay1) November 23, 2020
“Until now, interventions such as lifestyle modifications and intense exercise were shown to have some inhibiting effect on telomere shortening,” said Dr. Hadanny,Chief Medical Research Officer of the Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research at the Shamir Medical Center.
“But in our study, only three months of HBOT were able to elongate telomeres at rates far beyond any currently available interventions or lifestyle modifications. With this pioneering study, we have opened a door for further research on the cellular impact of HBOT and its potential for reversing the aging process,” he added.
Click here to read a full breakdown of the Tel Aviv University study