Israeli scientists claim to have managed to reverse the ageing process
Posted on December 29, 2020
A team of researchers from Tel Aviv University and Shamir Medical Center, in Israel, claim to have found an effective way to stop cellular ageing. In an article that has appeared in the journal Ageing, scientists say that pure oxygen treatments inside hyperbaric chambers (HBO) can stop, in healthy adults, the ageing of their blood cells, and even reverse the ageing process. So the cells get younger and younger as the treatment is applied.
In particular, the researchers found that a single three-month treatment protocol with oxygen inside a pressure chamber is able to completely stop two of the main processes associated with ageing and its diseases: the shortening of telomeres, located at the ends of chromosomes; and the accumulation in the body of old cells or cells that have stopped fulfilling their function.
Telomeres, which protect the structural integrity of chromosomes, are located at their ends like the hard tips of a shoelace. Over the years, they get shorter and shorter until they disappear, causing the chromosomes to "unravel.".
It has been proven that modifying lifestyle or exercising has some inhibitory effect on telomere shortening. Researchers around the world are trying to develop pharmacological and environmental interventions that cause telomeres to lengthen.
For this experiment, they focused on immune cells obtained from the patients' blood, and found that after treatment, telomeres had not only failed to shrink, but had lengthened by as much as 38%, while senescent cells had decreased by as much as a 37%.
The researchers exposed 35 healthy people aged 64 years or older to a series of 60 hyperbaric sessions over a 90-day period. Each participant provided blood samples before, during and at the end of each session, plus another sample some time after completing the full treatment. The researchers analysed various immune cells in the patients' blood and then compared the results.
What they found is that the treatments had actually managed to reverse the ageing process in two of its main aspects: the telomeres at the ends of the chromosomes became longer instead of being shortened, between 20% and 38% depending on the type cell; and the percentage of senescent cells was reduced in the total cell population between 11% and 37%, also depending on the cell type.
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