Research Highlights: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy May Help Increase Cell Life and Remove Senescent Immune Cells in Older Adults

Original Article:

  • As we age, physiological activities in our body decrease.
  • Shortening of the telomere length and cellular senescence are associated with the aging process.
  • Telomeres are repetitive DNA sequences at the end of chromosomes which serves as protection.
  • Each cell division, the telomeres become shorter.
  • Cells can no longer divide when the telomeres become too short.
  • Cellular senescence refers to the inability of a cell to divide.
  • Study shows that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can induce regenerative effects which normally occur during hypoxia.
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized environment.
  • Hypoxia is a condition of the body in which the tissues are starved of oxygen.
  • Researchers investigate whether hyperbaric oxygen therapy affects telomere length and cell deterioration mechanism in a normal, non-pathological, aging adult population.
  • Telomere lengths and senescence of peripheral blood cells were assessed.
  • Telomere lengths of T helper, T cytotoxic, natural killer and B cells increased significantly by over 20 percent after hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
  • Significant change was noticed in B cells which increased at the 30th session by about 25 percent and post hyperbaric oxygen therapy by almost 38 percent.
  • The number of senescent T helper cells decreased by about 37 percent after hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
  • The percentage of senescent cytotoxic T cells also decreased significantly after hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
  • The result suggests that hyperbaric oxygen therapy may increase telomere length and help clear senescent cells in older populations.


Hachmo Y, Hadanny A, Abu Hamed R, Daniel-Kotovsky M, Catalogna M, Fishlev G, Lang E, Polak N, Doenyas K, Friedman M, Zemel Y, Bechor Y, Efrati S. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases telomere length and decreases immunosenescence in isolated blood cells : a prospective trial. Aging (Albany NY). 2020.

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