Is it Really Possible to Reverse Aging?
If there is indeed a ‘Holy Grail’ to life as we know it, then it must be discovering how to be young again.
Those of us who are reaching our golden years would give just about anything to hit the reset button and have a ‘do-over.’ But of course, we wish to do so on the condition of retaining all the wisdom and knowledge that we have accumulated up to now.
A new fountain of youth?
It just so turns out that scientists from Israel have conducted a study that could be revolutionary in our quest to ratchet down the hands of time. Research teams have been using hyperbaric chambers for oxygen treatments to prevent blood cells from aging — and actually make them younger¹.
The research team designed a study that uses high-pressure oxygen in a pressure chamber to reverse two major processes that result from the aging of our bodies. They successfully reduced the shortening of telomeres, which are protective regions at the ends of all chromosomes, and the body’s accumulation of old and poorly-functioning cells.
Controlling our telomeres are the key
As our bodies age, our cells keep dividing, and our telomeres² continue to shorten. They will eventually reach the point of becoming too short. Then our cells quit replicating and start dying. These dying cells are referred to as ‘senescent’ cells. The result of this overall process is genetic aging.
When the study’s participants' immune cells were analyzed, researchers observed a lengthening in 38% of the telomeres, while the number of senescent cells was decreased by 37%. This means that their bodies achieved the same cellular state as when they were 25 years younger!
How the study was conducted
There were 35 healthy people, all of whom were over 64 years old, who participated in this study. Each of them participated in 60 hyperbaric sessions over a period of 3 months. The chamber was charged with double the air pressure than normal so that the subjects were breathing pure oxygen. Thus, their body, blood, and tissues were saturated with oxygen.
This research team was led and directed by two brilliant scientists, Professor Shai Efrati and Dr. Amir Hadanny. Efrati is a professor at Tel Aviv University and the Director and Founder of the Sagol Center of Hyperbaric Medicine at the Shamir Medical Center. Dr. Amir Hadanny is the Sagol Center’s Chief Medical Research Officer.
During a press release, Professor Efrati pointed out that the research team has been conducting hyperbaric research for several years. They have been seeking out various treatments based on subjecting patients to different concentrations of high-pressure oxygen. One of their significant achievements was improving the brain functions of the elderly. This latest study's objective was to slow down aging at a cellular level within the bodies of healthy adults.
“Today telomere shortening is considered the ‘Holy Grail’ of the biology of aging,” Professor Efrati pointed out. “Researchers around the world are trying to develop pharmacological and environmental interventions that enable telomere elongation. Our HBOT protocol was able to achieve this, proving that the aging process can in fact be reversed at the basic cellular-molecular level.”
The team leaders also stressed that lifestyle changes and exercise would definitely impact the shortening of telomeres. However, after just three months of HBOT, they observed a lengthening telomeres rate beyond what lifestyle modifications or any other activity could achieve.
: Yafit Hachmo, Amir Hadanny, Ramzia Abu Hamed, Malka Daniel-Kotovsky, Merav Catalogna, Gregory Fishlev, Erez Lang, Nir Polak, Keren Doenyas, Mony Friedman, Yonatan Zemel, Yair Bechor, Shai Efrati. (November 18, 2020). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases telomere length and decreases immunosenescence in isolated blood cells : a prospective trial. https://www.aging-us.com/article/202188/text.
: T.A. Sciences. What is a Telomere? https://www.tasciences.com/what-is-a-telomere.html.