If there is one thing we have always heard, it is that there is a solution for everything but death. In fact, there is no way to reverse the body’s natural aging process that isn’t straight out of a fictional movie.
However, a group of scientists apparently claims to have partially reversed the cellular aging process in humans.
The secret of the study result is in the telomeres
Knowing, every time a cell replicates within our body, a younger one dies. This is because telomere shortening occurs. According to Priberam, telomeres are structures with repeated DNA sequences, "present at the free ends of chromosomes, which guarantee their replication and stability".
It sounds like a lie, but a group of scientists announced that, in the first phase of a study with 26 patients, they were able to reverse the cellular aging process. In addition, he was able to extend the length of the telomeres.
The hyperbaric oxygen chamber prolongs the telomeres
For the study, participants sat in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber for five 90-minute sessions. This process, performed once a week for three months, caused the telomeres of the people involved to extend by 20%.
As we know, it has been tried several times in the past to reverse cellular aging. However, despite being a very small sample of individuals, it is a matter of pride. This is because the fact that hyperbaric oxygen therapy has lengthened telomeres encourages a desire to investigate the matter further.
According to principal investigator Shair Efrati, of Tel Aviv University's Faculty of Medicine and Sagol School of Neuroscience, the team realized that changes in the external environment can affect changes in central cells that occur during aging. .
Therefore, telomeres copy themselves, along with the rest of the chromosomes, every time a cell divides. However, with each replicate, small pieces of code at the end of the sequence cannot be part of the new copy, making the chromosome shorter than the previous one.
Hence, shorter telomeres leave chromosomes more vulnerable and, consequently, at greater risk for dangerous mutations. In fact, this is where age-related conditions arise, such as cancer, for example.
Although aging is not strictly associated with telomere shrinkage, researchers confirm their link to human health.
Longer telomeres are correlated with better cellular performance.
Saint Grail of the biology of aging
Despite several previous attempts, this appears to be the result of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This process consists of absorbing pure oxygen while sitting in a pressure chamber for long periods.
In a press release, Efrati said that understanding telomere shortening is "considered the Holy Grail of the biology of aging."
Indeed, as interesting as the result of the Efrati team's study may have been, further studies and much more will be needed. This is in order to obtain a reasonably consistent opinion.