If there is one thing we have always heard, it is that there is a solution for everything but death. Effectively, there is no way to reverse the natural aging process of the body that is not out of a fictional film.
However, apparently, a group of scientists says they have partially reversed the cell aging process in humans.
Secret of the result of the study is in the telomeres
To know, 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 seems like a lie, but a group of scientists announced that, in the first phase of a study with 26 patients, it was able to reverse the cell aging process. Furthermore, it was able to extend the length of the telomeres.
Hyperbaric oxygen chamber prolonged telomeres
For the study, participants sat in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber for five 90-minute sessions. This process, carried out once a week, for three months, caused the telomeres of those involved to extend 20 percent.
As we know, it has been tried several times in the past to reverse cell aging. However, despite being a very small sample of individuals, it is a source 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 the Faculty of Medicine and Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University, the team realized that changes in the external environment can affect central cell changes that occur throughout aging.
Thus, telomeres copy themselves, along with the rest of the chromosomes, whenever a cell divides. However, with each replication, small pieces of code at the end of the sequence cannot make part of the new copy, making the chromosome shorter than the previous one.
So, shorter telomeres make chromosomes more vulnerable and, consequently, at greater risk of dangerous mutations. In fact, this is where age-related conditions arise, such as cancer, for example.
Although aging is not closely associated with the shrinkage of telomeres, researchers confirm their link to human health.
Longer telomeres correlate with better cell performance.
Saint Grail of Aging Biology
Despite several previous attempts, this appears to have resulted from 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 Saint Graal of the biology of aging".
Indeed, as interesting as the result of the study by the Efrati team may have been, further studies and much more will be needed. This, in order to obtain a reasonably coherent opinion.