Home Germany News Blood cells rejuvenated: Researchers reverse the aging process

Blood cells rejuvenated: Researchers reverse the aging process

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Rejuvenated blood cells
Researchers are reversing the aging process

Everyone wants to grow old, but nobody wants to be old. In return, humans take on a lot of hardship and sacrifice. Israeli scientists are now using relatively simple means to achieve what was previously laboriously hoped for through a healthy lifestyle.

It almost sounds too simple to be true. A study by Tel Aviv University and Shamir Medical Center in Israel shows that hyperbaric oxygen therapy in pressure chambers (HBO) can not only stop the aging of the blood cells in healthy, aging adults, it can even reverse the aging process. The blood cells of adults rejuvenate as the treatment progresses, according to researchers led by Professor Shai Efrati from the Sackler School of Medicine. The results were published in the US science publication “Aging” released.

The researchers exposed 35 healthy individuals aged 64 years or older to a series of 60 hyperbaric oxygen therapy sessions over a period of 90 days. Each participant provided blood samples before, during and at the end of the treatments and some time after the end of the series of treatments. The researchers then analyzed various immune cells in the blood and compared the results.

Telomere Lengthening the Key?

The scientists discovered that high-pressure oxygen treatments can reverse two main processes associated with aging and its diseases: the shortening of the telomeres, a kind of protective region located at either end of each chromosome, and the accumulation of old and bad functioning cells in the body. The study focused on immune cells from the blood of the study participants. They made up to 38 percent elongation of the telomeres and a decrease of up to 37 percent in senescent cells. Senescent cells are cells that have lost the ability to renew themselves through division.

The technical director of hyperbaric oxygen therapy at the University Clinic in Düsseldorf, Karsten Krispin, sits in a pressure chamber here.

(Photo: picture alliance / dpa)

“Our team has been involved in hyperbaric research and therapeutic treatments for many years,” explains Professor Efrati in the publication. “Today telomere shortening is considered the ‘holy grail’ of the biology of aging,” he explains. “Researchers around the world are trying to develop pharmacological and environmental interventions that enable telomere elongation. We did this with our HBOT protocol, which proves that aging can indeed be reversed at the cellular-molecular level.”

Cellular Effects of HBO

“So far, interventions such as lifestyle changes and intense exercise have been shown to inhibit telomere shortening,” added participating researcher Dr. Hadanny added. “But in our study, only three months of HBO were able to extend telomeres at rates well beyond any currently available interventions or lifestyle modifications. With this groundbreaking study, we have a door for further research into the cellular effects of HBO and it Potential to reverse the aging process opened. ”

During HBO treatment, patients breathe in medical oxygen through a tube mask system or a head tent under a (hyperbaric) ambient pressure that is 2.4 to 3 times normal pressure. The treatment is carried out in pressure chambers. As a result, more oxygen is dissolved in the liquid components of the blood.

According to the Association of German Pressure Chamber Centers, the method has been used since the 1960s to treat diseases caused by a lack of oxygen in the cell tissue. Accordingly, hyperbaric oxygen can be used, among other things, for chronic wounds such as diabetic foot syndrome, acute hearing disorders or for the effects of radiation after cancer therapy.

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