The biological aging process was reversed for the first time, with the help of a special therapy.
Israeli scientists they have shown that they can turn the clock back on the two key areas of the body that are thought to be responsible for the fragility and health that comes with aging.
What does aging mean for the body?
As humans age, the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes – called telomeres – shorten, causing DNA damage, and the cells cease to replicate. At the same time, senescent “zombie” cells accumulate in the body, preventing regeneration.
Increasing the length of telomeres and decreasing senescent cells are the key to many anti-aging studies, and drugs are already being developed to target these areas.
Now, scientists at Tel Aviv University have shown that providing pure oxygen to the elderly while in a hyperbaric chamber has increased telomere length by 20% in a medicine premiere.
The scientists said that the increase could mean that the telomeres of the study participants have now reached the same length as they were 25 years ago.
Therapy also reduced senescent cells by up to 37%, allowing new healthy cells to regenerate.
Animal studies have shown that the removal of senescent cells extends the remaining life by more than a third.
“Because telomere shortening is considered the ‘Holy Grail’ of the biology of aging, many pharmacological and environmental interventions are widely exploited in hopes of allowing telomere elongation,” said Shai Efrati, a professor at Sagol School of Medicine and School of Neuroscience. Tel Aviv University.
“The significant improvement in telomere length presented during and after these unique protocols provides the scientific community with a new basis for understanding that aging can indeed be targeted and reversed at a basic cellular-biological level.”
Many scientists believe that aging itself is responsible for major conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, arthritis, cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
It is also known that obesity, smoking, lack of physical activity, vitamin deficiency and inflammation can accelerate the shortening of telomeres, demonstrating that they have a major impact on longevity.
How did the revealing study go?
The study included 35 healthy and independent adults, aged 64 and over, who did not experience lifestyle, diet or medication changes.
Each patient was placed in a hyperbaric chamber for 90 minutes for five days a week for three months while breathing 100% oxygen through a mask.
The pressure chamber allows the dissolution of several oxygen particles in the tissues and mimics a state of “hypoxia” or lack of oxygen, which is known to have regenerating effects.
Previous studies have shown that a healthy diet can preserve the length of telomeres, while high-intensity workouts for six months have been shown to prolong telomeres by up to five percent.
The Israeli team has previously shown that oxygen therapy under pressure can alleviate cognitive decline.
“To date, interventions such as lifestyle changes and intense exercise have been shown to have some inhibitory effect on the expected shortening of telomere length,” said Dr. Amir Hadanny, chief medical research officer at the Sagol Center for Medicine and Research. hyperbaric.
“However, what is remarkable about our study is that in just three months of therapy, we were able to achieve such a significant elongation of telomeres – at rates well above any of the currently available interventions or lifestyle changes.”