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Pure oxygen may be the key to reversing the ageing process, scientists say.
A groundbreaking study has found that putting subjects into a pressurised oxygen chamber had numerous benefits, one of which includes the reversal of ageing.
Don't be cancelling that Botox appointment just yet though, lads - it occurs on a cellular level. Let me explain.
One of the first things it did was enable the regrowth of telomeres - the protective caps on chromosomes - by more than 20 percent.
To put it simply, without these, which are similar to the plastic coating on the end of your shoelaces, DNA strands become damaged. Telomeres get shorter as we get older.
The researchers found the participants' telomeres were now as long as they had been when they were 25 years younger.
Stick with me.
The study also showed the cells that stop regeneration by building up in the body were cut by up to 37 percent.
These cells are sometimes called 'zombie cells' (posh term - senescent cells).
Studies have suggested that removing them can extend our healthy lifespan.
Professor Shai Efrati of the Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University said: "Since telomere shortening is considered the 'Holy Grail' of the biology of ageing, many pharmacological and environmental interventions are being extensively explored in the hopes of enabling telomere elongation.
"The significant improvement of telomere length shown during and after these unique protocols provides the scientific community with a new foundation of understanding that ageing can indeed be targeted and reversed at the basic cellular-biological level."
The study saw 35 healthy adults who were all aged 64 years or older breathe in 100 percent oxygen through a mask.
They were sitting in pressurised chambers and carried out the session for 90 minutes a go. They did this five days a week for three months.
The chamber was pressurised and mimicked a state of 'hypoxia' - aka oxygen shortage. This enables tissue to dissolve more oxygen, further helping regenerative effects.
Other trials have revealed healthy eating and doing high-intensity exercise can also help to preserve the length of telomeres (those fellas that protect your chromosomes and stop you from ageing).
But, the experiment found that oxygen far outdid any of the other natural interventions.
Study researcher Dr Amir Hadanny, of Tel Aviv's Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research, said: "Until now, interventions such as lifestyle modifications and intense exercise were shown to have some inhibition effect on the expected telomere length shortening.
"However, what is remarkable to note in our study is that, in just three months of therapy, we were able to achieve such significant telomere elongation - at rates far beyond any of the current available interventions or lifestyle modifications."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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