Aging is the natural and gradual process of becoming older. During our life, the body will accumulate various physical, psychological, behavioral changes and consequential damage which in time will cause the biological systems and internal processes to fail. This slow or accelerated decline of functions will increase the risk and frequency of illness and disease, will cause various disabilities and eventually it will bring the body system to a cease of functions.
You and everyone you know will become older as the years pass.
Don’t worry too much, this process is part of the natural life cycle, everyone will go through it. Aging can be slowed down, its effects prevented, managed and minimized using the natural and non-invasive hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
The best we can do is to live a healthy life in order to enjoy a long life. There are multiple theories that explain the aging process which come to the same conclusion – we can slow down the rate of aging to reduce the burden of eventual disease and disabilities, and spend our life in good health.
Aging is a slow process, yet very insidious, we will be old before we know it.
The likelihood of developing one or more health problems will increase as years pass and our chronologic age will signal the transition from childhood to maturity advancing to old age. Biologic age will start affecting the body from middle age (35 years old) up to 65 years old and beyond. Bad health (including bad habits, poor maintenance, bad diet, a sedentary lifestyle) during our teenage years and maturity will eventually be the reason for functional loss during old age.
Biologic age will affect the body as a system.
If we consider aging a type of disease that affects the body and which will bring a noticeable decline in the quality of life, we may manage this disease by addressing the root causes. Going down to cellular level, research shows that two key indicators of the aging process include the shortening of telomere length (TL) and cellular senescence.
What are telomeres?
[box] Telomeres are specific DNA-protein structures found at both ends of each chromosome, like the plastic caps at the end of shoelaces. Their function is to protect the genome and preserve the DNA information. Without telomeres, DNA strands become damaged and the cells cannot function properly. In a recent study published in Aging magazine, Prof. Shai Efrati and the research team at Shamir Medical Center’s Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research in Israel — one of the biggest hyperbaric medicine clinics in the world – have exposed 35 healthy adults aged 64 and above to a series of 60 two-hour hyperbaric sessions, five days a week over a 90-day period. The results indicated that telomeres were lengthened up to 38% and senescent cells reduced up to 37%. This result essentially “turns back the clock” for the aging process, yet the age-reversal effects may significant but they’re not permanent, they’re still subject to damage caused by unhealthy lifestyles. [/box]
Types of aging
- Cellular aging is a process in which cells age given the number of times they have been through replication and the shortening of telomeres. The more damage done to cells by free radicals and other factors, the more cells need to replicate, the more advanced their aging will progress.
- Free radicals are a secondary product of normal cell function. When cells create energy, they also produce unstable oxygen molecules – free radicals, which feature a free electron that makes the molecules highly unstable. Free radicals bond to molecules in the body, causing proteins and other essential molecules to malfunction. When free radicals come into contact with cells in the body or the DNA within those cells, the reaction can cause cell death or DNA mutation.
- The free radical theory of aging explains that many of the biological changes within our bodies as we age are caused by free radicals. Diet, stress, smoking, alcohol, drugs, exposure to UV rays or pollution can also be the causes for the formation of free radicals.
- Accumulated external damage can lead to tissue damage and the body slowly loses the ability to maintain and repair cells, tissues, and organs. Over time, this damage accumulates and causes us to experience the displeasures of aging.
- Hormones are also linked as a factor in the process of aging. Hormone levels fluctuate through life, starting during childhood growth and adolescent maturity, up to maturity and old age. As the years pass and we get older, hormonal changes lead to hormonal imbalance, dry skin, menopause (women) and decrease in testosterone levels. Even when hormone levels do not decrease, the endocrine function generally slows down with age because hormone receptors become less sensitive.
When we try to understand the aging process, there’s the need to understand its several mechanisms of action:
- Hypoxia – Lack of oxygen in body tissues – As the body grows older, one chronic inflammatory response is the narrowing of blood vessels which leads to decreased blood supply and consequently, lack of oxygen inside the tissues (hypoxia).
- Dysfunction in mitochondrias – Growing older, the number of mitochondria (located in each blood cells, responsible for generating energy), begins to decrease, including their function – producing energy. When this decline of function happens, degenerative conditions start to occur at cellular level.
- Stem cells number decrease – Stem cells contribute to the regeneration of damaged tissues by generating new cells which have been damaged during biological activity. We can consider aging more than the effect of cumulative damage, but rather the deficiency of optimal cell regeneration due to the decrease in the number of stem cells.
What can we do to slow down aging?
Apart from maintaining a healthy lifestyle, one very effective strategy to age with beauty is using hyperbaric oxygen therapy to rejuvenate the body’s systems. HBOT cannot function as an “anti-aging” miracle treatment, it only works to improve the function of tissues and blood vessels damaged due to normal aging.
There is growing research on the physiological effects of HBOT on different injured tissues, including the brain, for chronic medical conditions associated with tissue hypoxia, or no oxygen supply to tissues.
⇒ HBOT increases tissue oxygenation – Considering the law of gas diffusion, when we breathe high quantities of oxygen under pressure, we increase oxygenation in tissues. The oxygen is transferred from the capillaries to the mitochondria unblocking narrowed blood vessels and helping tissue processes run smoothly. HBOT restores mitochondria function and prevents decelerates the atherosclerosis process to restore the energy and nutrients supply to the aging tissues.
⇒ Blood vessel oxygenation – Angiogenesis – One key advantage of HBOT is to stimulate stem cell growth and the vascular endothelial growth factor in order to generate new blood vessels (angiogenesis) in the areas where blood flow was jeopardized. This helps restore energy supply and nutrients to aging tissues.
⇒ Stem cells mobilization – HBOT is known to induce the mobilization of stem cells from the blood marrow to the blood stream to be released into the body tissues. HBOT will mobilize and target stem cells to various tissues that sustained damage and which need the extra cells. With the help of HBOT, the number of available stem cells is increased up to 3-8 times.
⇒ Cognitive enhancements – Old age brings about a normal cognitive decline. Studies have showed that HBOT can induce cognitive enhancements for adults subject to healthy aging with improvements that range from increased attention, increased information processing and improvements in executive functions.
⇒ Skin rejuvenation – Collagen is the protein that helps bones, skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments to function properly. During the natural process of aging, as well as exposure to sun rays and other factors, collagen levels drop and skin damage occurs. HBOT supplements oxygen levels which increases collagen production in order to help skin rejuvenate.
Using HBOT helps by activating the body’s own regenerative capabilities to repair and counteract the root causes of aging and the extra oxygen provided by HBOT may also help enhane energy levels, enable better sleep and improve overall body functioning.
[box type=”info”] Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a non-invasive practice where you breathe pure oxygen through an oxygen mask at 2.0 ATA pressure, twice the normal atmospheric pressure, inside the hyperbaric oxygen chamber.[/box]
The objective of HBOT is to fill the blood with enough oxygen to repair the tissues.
- The effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy include growing more collagen and tissue to help repair damaged skin.
- Oxygen under pressure is known improve blood flow and grow new blood vessels in order for oxygen to reach all muscles, joints, bones and nerves.
- Supplemented oxygen levels inside the circulatory system can decrease the expression of inflammatory genes, activate healthy genes and stem cells to reproduce quicker.
- The experience with HBOT enables healthy aging adults to think clearer, enhance their vitality and decrease pain, given the improved cerebral blood flow, brain tissue oxygenation and regeneration.
Various strategies can be effective when dealing with aging, starting with prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment for aging-related problems. Conversely, there are various (genetic, environmental, lifestyle-related) factors that initiate and make the aging process progress very rapidly and bring about degenerative conditions.
The interaction between these factors and our biology is what we can optimize in order to enjoy the best of life. It’s always a good idea to maintain a healthy diet, give up smoking, limit your alcohol, get plenty of exercise, avoid stress, air pollution and direct exposure to UV rays.
Integrate HBOT into your life
HBOT can be a very efficient complementary procedure to maintain your body’s health from the inside to the outside and enjoy aging beautifully.
You might also be interested in reading this article: Forever young – We can reverse aging with HBOT