The fountain of youth can be made of air, not water.
Scientists say they have successfully reversed the aging process of older people through “oxygen therapy” in a first-of-its-kind study.
Researchers at the University of Tel Aviv have used hyperbaric oxygen chambers to target specific cells and DNA with shorter lifespans – and have found the Holy Grail to stay young, the press release said.
During the study, researchers looked at whether therapy – which involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized environment – could reverse the effects of aging in 35 people over the age of 64, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Aging.
They placed adult participants in the chamber for 90 minutes a day, five days a week for three months, and studied its effects on aging cells, which are associated with tissue and organ deterioration. They also measure the length of each person̵
Remarkably, the researchers found that participants’ telomeres increased by an average of 20 percent, while their aging cells decreased by up to 37 percent at the end of the study – the equivalent increased by 25 years younger.
“The significant improvement in telomere length shown … provides the scientific community with a new basis for understanding that aging can indeed be targeted and reversed at the basic cellular-biological level,” said study co-author Shai Efrati. “Because telomere shortening is considered the ‘Holy Grail’ of the biology of aging.”
While undergoing the sessions, participants do not change their lifestyle, diets or medications that have been shown in the past to affect a person’s biological age.
Scientists, who include doctors at Shamir Medical Center, believe the pressure chamber caused a brief lack of oxygen, which caused the cells to regenerate.
“So far, interventions such as lifestyle modifications and intense exercise have been shown to have some inhibitory effect on the expected reduction in telomere length,” said Dr. Amir Hadani, who co-authored the study.
“What is remarkable about our study is that in just three months of therapy, we were able to achieve such a significant elongation of the telomeres – at speeds far beyond any of the currently available interventions or lifestyle changes.”
In 2016, experts found that they could stop aging in mice by giving them drugs that kill aging cells.