Through physical activities, facial treatments, products such as moisturizers, serums and face oils, people hope to prolong their youth. However, with the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, Israeli scientists have potentially found a way to do so. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a form of treatment where patients sit in a pressurized environment for varying durations and inhale pure oxygen. It is commonly used to nurse decompression sickness, in which nitrogen is dissolved within a person’s blood and tissue as a result of high pressures from varying altitudes. Decompression sickness is a common disorder among deep-sea divers. With multiple appointments, the high oxygen levels will encourage one’s tissue to maintain a normal oxygen level. A wide diversity of medical conditions and disorders such as carbon monoxide poisoning, severe anemia, brain injuries, inadequate blood flow in the arteries and sudden deafness utilize also this type of treatment.
According to a 2020 ScienceAlert article, scientists have found a way to reduce the shortening of telomeres using hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Telomeres are repeating segments of DNA that have caps protecting them from mutations or general complications. Hazardous mutations are commonly found in conjunction with age-related conditions. Shai Efrati, director of the Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research, points out the relationship between youth and telomere shortening: “Longer telomeres correlate with better cellular performance.” However, upon every replication, the telomeres are shortened due to the addition of the protective cap. In an ongoing study from Aging, 26 people were treated with hyperbaric oxygen for three months, five times a week with 90-minute sessions. The report demonstrated that out of 30 participants, 26 had regained one-fifth of their lost telomeres in white blood cells. Efrati believes that the further study of telomerase, the enzyme that prevents telomeres from “dying,” will enhance understanding of cancers, as well as the potential health benefits of Hyperbaric oxygen therapy.