Mind Body Restoration

Is HBOT the “Holy Grail” for Age Reduction?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) has been used to successfully treat decompression sickness, skin wounds, infection, and even carbon monoxide poisoning. With those results, imagine the ability to grow more collagen to repair old and damaged skin, or growing fresh blood vessels to pump more oxygen throughout your entire body, or even decreasing inflammation to improve pain and promote rapid healing. Now imagine you could rejuvenate your brain cells to ensure cognitive health and mental clarity. This is the focus of some of the newest research in Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) treatments and its anti-aging capabilities. Many HBOT providers believe these to be some of the many benefits to help patients experience feelings of vitality. However, the science still begs the question: Is hyperbaric oxygen therapy actually responsible for age reduction? New research suggests YES! Anti Aging


What does “aging” mean?



Although we might be inclined to say aging means “getting old”, what does aging mean scientifically speaking? What is it on a cellular level that makes someone’s body deteriorate or experience the effects of getting older?

Aging is often associated with biological weakening. This may include decreased physiological integrity, increased risk of disease and disability, and loss of personal power, which has the greatest consequences, both psychologically and socially (Colloca et al., 2020). All this also puts individuals at a higher risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and other neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s.

Most scientists agree there are also several major cellular processes associated with aging and related illnesses: genomic instability, telomere shortening, cellular senescence, mitochondrial dysfunction, decreased autophagy and proteostasis, stem cell collapse, decontrolled nutrient-sensing, and changed intercellular communication (López-Otín et al., 2013).

The shortening of telomeres is one way experts can identify aging on a cellular level, but also evidence of HBOT’s positive effect on aging bodies. Telomeres are protective areas at the end of chromosomes which many professionals compare to the hard ends of shoelaces. Just like these ends keep the laces from fraying, telomeres keep chromosomes from deteriorating too quickly. Over time, telomeres naturally decrease and shorten, but serious illnesses also impact their length. We will discuss the relationship between HBOT and telomeres in a moment.

Another process often associated with aging is the accumulation of senescent cells. Senescent cells prohibit other cells from growing. More senescent cells typically indicate more age-associated conditions and symptoms because the body cannot keep up with the demands of repair and new growth to maintain optimal health. The increase of senescent cells, along with the decrease in telomeres, greatly contributes to the negative effects of aging. But with the help of HBOT, all that can change!



How can HBOT reduce (or even reverse) the effects of aging?



A new groundbreaking study from Tel Aviv University (TAU) and the Shamir Medical Center in Israel has revealed astounding results. Led by Professor Shai Efrati and Dr. Amir Hadanny, this research demonstrated HBOT’s ability to stop the aging of blood cells and effectively reverse the aging process in healthy aging adults. Biologically speaking, the patients’ blood cells actually started to grow younger as the treatments progressed, proving the possibility of targeting and reversing aging processes at the cellular-biological level!

Researchers found that two specific age-associated processes were reversed during HBOT treatments: the shortening of telomeres and the overflow of old and malfunctioning cells in the body. After exposing a group of 35 healthy 64+ year-olds to a series of 60 hyperbaric sessions, participants provided blood samples at various points, and the researchers analyzed the results. The results indicated that telomeres grew longer and the rate of senescent cells reduced significantly. Additionally, further work from this research team has revealed HBOT can improve brain function in some stroke, fibromyalgia, and Alzheimer’s patients. The ultimate conclusion of this study is that hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment improves aging outcomes at a rate far greater than any other currently available intervention or lifestyle change.

There are many suggested therapeutic interventions for skin aging: hormone replacement therapy, diet, anti-inflammatory drugs, and even reactive oxygen species scavengers. However, there is little evidence to suggest these methods are successful. However, researchers have found indications that HBOT can significantly modify the pathophysiology of the aging skin through angiogenesis and senescent cell clearance. These are only a few of the ways HBOT has been used to pioneer aging research and anti-aging medicine.


Conclusion



Most healthcare professionals do not necessarily claim HBOT to be an anti-aging therapy. Where they do agree is that it can improve brain function and other bodily functions damaged in the normal aging process. This form of treatment can set back the biological clock, but it will start ticking again. Although it is not the final “holy grail” solution to immortality, it still opens the door to the potential of HBOT on a cellular level to reverse the aging process.


References:



Colloca, G., Di Capua, B., Bellieni, A. et al. Biological and Functional Biomarkers of Aging: Definition, Characteristics, and How They Can Impact Everyday Cancer Treatment. Curr Oncol Rep 22, 115 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11912-020-00977-w


Fu, Q., Duan, R., Sun, Y., & Li, Q. (2022). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for healthy aging: From mechanisms to therapeutics. Redox Biology, 53, 102352. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.redox.2022.102352


Hachmo, Y., Hadanny, A., Mendelovic, S., Hillman, P., Shapira, E., Landau, G., Gattegno, H., Zrachya, A., Daniel-Kotovsky, M., Catalogna, M., Fishlev, G., Lang, E., Polak, N., Doenyas, K., Friedman, M., Zemel, Y., Bechor, Y., & Efrati, S. (2021). The effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on the pathophysiology of skin aging: a prospective clinical trial. Aging, 13(22), 24500–24510. https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.203701


López-Otín, C., Blasco, M. A., Partridge, L., Serrano, M., & Kroemer, G. (2013). The hallmarks of aging. Cell, 153(6), 1194–1217. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2013.05.039


Tessema, B., Sack, U., Serebrovska, Z., König, B., & Egorov, E. (2022). Effects of hyperoxia on aging biomarkers: A systematic review. Frontiers in Aging, 2. https://doi.org/10.3389/fragi.2021.783144

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