Scientists Claim to Have Reached the ‘Holy Grail’ in Ground-Breaking Study And Reversed Ageing.
Who Wants to Live Forever?
In a first of a kind study, researchers from Tel Aviv University and the Shamir Medical Center used a form of oxygen therapy to reverse two key indicators of biological ageing: Telomere length and senescent cells accumulation. Scientists claim to have successfully reversed the biological ageing process in a group of elderly adults. If so, they have potentially opened up a multi-pound business- after all, who doesn’t want to be younger?
The Science Explained
As the human body gets older, it experiences the shortening of telomeres – the protective caps found at the end of chromosomes – and an increase in old, malfunctioning senescent cells. A clinical trial involving 35 adults over the age of 64 sought to understand whether a method called Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy could prevent the deterioration of these two hallmarks of the ageing process. The subjects were placed in a pressurised chamber and given pure oxygen for 90 minutes a day, five days a week over a period of three months.
At the end of the trial, the scientists reported that the participants’ telomeres had increased in length by an average of 20 per cent, while their senescent cells had been reduced by up to 37 per cent. This is the equivalent to how their bodies were at a cellular level 25 years earlier, the researchers reported.
“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,” said Shai Efrati, a professor at the Faculty of Medicine and Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University, and co-author of the study.
“The significant improvement of telomere length shown during and after these unique HBOT 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.” It is the latest in a series of radical anti-ageing treatments, which seek to increase life expectancy and even make people look and feel younger.
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