Throughout human history, people have looked for ways to slow or even reverse the signs of aging. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been used for decades to treat hypoxic deep sea divers with decompression syndrome, and to accelerate healing in burn victims, but its use was restricted to clinical settings.
Now, thanks to advancements in technology, everyday people are able to tap into the benefits of a hyperbaric chamber for anti-aging therapy that hacks the body’s own rejuvenating mechanisms to turn back the hands of time.
Learn about the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy to combat aging and promote health and longevity.
History of HBOT
The use of pressurized oxygen as a therapeutic treatment is not new. In fact, it dates back as far as 1662, before oxygen was even discovered, when a British doctor designed an airtight chamber where pressure could be manipulated with billows and valves.
Two centuries later, in 1882, a scientist named Paul Bert documented the physiological effects of high-pressure oxygen on the human body. Not long after, multiple experiments were launched to observe the effects of HBOT on a broad range of conditions.
In the 20th Century, the United States Naval Academy conducted extensive research on the efficacy of high pressure oxygen to treat hypoxia in deep sea divers suffering from decompression sickness.
Since then, HBOT has been used in clinical settings for a broad spectrum of use cases, including:
- Cosmetic procedures
- Wound healing
- Smoke inhalation
- Decompression sickness
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Gas embolisms
- Radiation damage
- Compartment syndrome
- Burns and frostbite
- Life-threatening emergencies
- Post-surgery recovery
Today, upgrades in technology and broad availability have made hyperbaric oxygen therapy accessible to anyone seeking advanced treatment for health, beauty and aging.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Mechanisms of Action
According to NASA, the air in Earth’s atmosphere is made up of approximately 78 percent nitrogen and only 21 percent oxygen. When you take a breath, you are inhaling a mixture of different gasses, as well as aerosols like dust and pollen, and pollutants like heavy metals.
During hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you are enclosed in a hyperbaric chamber where the atmospheric pressure is intensified to provide 95 -100% pure oxygen. Not only does hyperbaric oxygen saturate your lungs, but it also permeates your blood plasma, lymphatic fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, tissues and organs.
The intense infusion of hyperbaric oxygen triggers a number of physiological responses, including:
- Release of growth factors that trigger cellular repair
- Enhancement of immune function
- Reduction of systemic inflammation
- Improvement in cognitive function
- Enhancement of cellular respiration
- Enhancement of mitochondrial function
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Anti-Aging
The past few decades have seen a significant uptick in research about the mechanisms of aging, providing new insight into the many factors that accelerate the aging process, and exploring solutions to slow and reverse aging.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been shown to slow or reverse aging in multiple ways:
Improves mitochondrial function
Every cell in your body needs oxygen to survive. Most of the oxygen you inhale is used up by the mitochondria, tiny organelles inside each cell that use oxygen to make ATP, the energy molecule. Energy is required for cells to grow, function and reproduce. In muscle cells, energy from ATP is used for muscle contraction to produce movement. One important marker of aging is a progressive decline in mitochondrial activity.
In a recent double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of 37 middle aged aerobic athletes, the treatment group was exposed to 40 HBOT sessions, while the control group was given 40 sham treatments with normal oxygen concentration. Results showed a significant increase in performance metrics in the treatment group, including VO2max, power and VO2AT. The changes were attributed to improvements in mitochondrial respiration and increased mitochondrial mass
Increases telomere length
One important marker of aging is reduced telomere length. Telomeres are the protective caps at the ends of chromosome strands that are linked to aging and disease. In young people, telomeres are about 8,000-10,000 nucleotides long, but they shorten with each cell division. When telomeres shorten to a critical length, the cell stops dividing and dies. HBOT has been shown to increase telomere length while clearing away senescent (defunct) cells in older adults.
Promotes collagen production and healthy skin cells
Sagging skin that has lost its elasticity is a common sign of aging. HBOT has been shown to be an effective anti-aging skin treatment. High pressure oxygen promotes the production of collagen in the skin matrix, enhancing skin elasticity while clearing away senescent skin cells to improve skin tone and texture.
Stimulates stem cell proliferation
HBOT increases the number of circulating stem cells and changes stem cell properties by promoting their proliferation and differentiation. Stem cells inhibit the effects of aging.
HBOT enhances angiogenesis – the formation of new blood vessels. Blood vessels become stiff with age, inhibiting their ability to direct blood and oxygen to cells that need them most. In addition, capillary walls thicken, slowing the rate of exchange of nutrients and oxygen with cellular waste products like CO2. HBOT rejuvenates blood vessels with new cells that restore their elasticity and function.
Alleviates systemic inflammation
HBOT reduces inflammation by regulating the number and activity of inflammatory cell types. HBOT inhibits proinflammatory factors while promoting anti- inflammatory factors.
Suppresses cellular senescence
HBOT inhibits cellular senescence – aka cell death – by interfering with cell cycle re-entry and preventing telomere shortening.
HBOT is Not for Everyone
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been approved by the FDA as a safe and effective treatment for a variety of conditions. However, HBOT is contraindicated for some individuals.
You should avoid HBOT if you:
- Have a lung condition like pneumothorax, where your lung could collapse
- Have an inner ear injury or infection
- Have had recent thoracic surgery
- Have an upper respiratory tract infection
- Are pregnant
- Have hypothermia
- Are claustrophobic
Get Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Anti-Aging in Manhattan NYC
InVita Wellness has recently added HBOT to our growing array of services for health and beauty. To optimize the anti-aging effects of HBOT, consider NAD IV therapy as a complementary treatment. Together, HBOT and NAD team up to combat aging at the cellular level, for better health and enhanced quality of life. Contact Advanced Cryo NYC today to book your appointment for HBOT, to fight aging and feel amazing!
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Fu, Qiaoyu, et al. “Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for healthy aging: From mechanisms to therapeutics.” Redox Biology (2022): 102352.
Hachmo, Yafit, et al. “Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases telomere length and decreases immunosenescence in isolated blood cells: a prospective trial.” Aging (Albany NY) 12.22 (2020): 22445.
Hadanny, Amir, et al. “Effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on mitochondrial respiration and physical performance in middle-aged athletes: a blinded, randomized controlled trial.” Sports Medicine-Open 8.1 (2022): 22
Scheetz, Arden M. “New Developments in Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.” (2021).