There are many uses for large devices known as hyperbaric oxygen chambers in the medical field. They can be used to treat wounds and can place a human under enough pressure that oxygen can be forced directly into the tissue without the need for blood flow. A group of researchers say they have reversed the aging process in elderly people using the hyperbaric oxygen chamber.
The first of its kind study was conducted by researchers at Tel Aviv University and targeted specific cells and DNA that are linked to shorter lifespans. During the study, the researchers investigated if oxygen therapy in a pressurized environment would reverse the effects of aging in 35 people over the age of 64.
The elderly participants were placed in the chamber for 90 minutes a day, five days a week for three months. The team studied the impact on senescent cells, which are associated with tissue and organ deterioration. Researchers also measure the length of each participant’s telomere, which is a molecule linked to premature cellular aging.
Researchers found that the telomeres had enlarged by an average length of 20 percent while the senescent cells decreased by up to 37 percent by the end of the trial. According to the team of scientists, that’s the equivalent of being 25 years younger. Participants in the trial weren’t required to change their lifestyle, diet, or medications, all things that have been proven in the past to impact a person’s biological age.
Researchers, including doctors from the Shamir Medical Center, believed that the pressurized chamber triggered brief oxygen shortages, causing cell regeneration. The team says it’s remarkable that they achieved such significant telomere elongation in only three months of therapy.