As cells divide and reproduce they deteriorate over time and our physical and mental condition declines.
But scientists may have found a way to not only slow that cellular decline but reverse it, based on research released Wednesday in the Journal of Aging.
Israel scientists showed they could reverse the human aging process in two fundamental areas believed to be in charge of weakness and ill-health that comes with ageing. The technique could potentially help prevent age-linked sickness like dementia, diabetes or cancer.
Tel Aviv University and the Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research at Shamir Medical Center said two basic distinctive features of aging - telomere length shortening and accumulation of senescent cells - can be reversed.
The prospective clinical test utilizes Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) protocols to demonstrate cellular level improvement in healthy aging adults, in a scientifically validated approach, highlighting a significant breakthrough in the study of aging,
The clinical trial is spearheaded by professor Shai Efrati from the Faculty of Medicine and Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University and Amir Hadanny, chief medical research officer of Sagol Center.
The scientists demonstrated that giving pure oxygen to older people while subjected in a hyperbaric chamber increased the length of their telomeres by 20%.
The therapy cut senescent cells by up to 37%, allowing new healthy cells to reproduce. Animal studies have shown that getting rid of senescent cells prolongs remaining life by more than a third.
HBOT has previously been employed as a treatment for health issues including carbon monoxide poisoning and decompression sickness.
It is not yet clear how extending telomeres may have an effect on aging, sickness, and longer life span since the therapy has never been done before. But the study does show people have the capability to measure, and perhaps control, this crucial hallmark of aging.