Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is US FDA approved for a short list of 14 severe, life-threatening conditions. These FDA approved conditions range from osteomyelitis, osteonecrosis and gangrene to non-healing wounds, diabetic neuropathy, crush injuries, radiation burns and more. When applied in acute and severe conditions, this therapy is noninvasive, safe, and effective in promoting patient recovery, improved healing times, and increased tissue regeneration. Alternatively, chronic inflammatory illnesses affect a larger population, cost our medical system billions of dollars every year, impair our quality of life, and reduce our ability to contribute to society. Some of these conditions include autoimmunity, neurodegenerative and musculoskeletal degenerative diseases, cardiovascular disease, cancer and many others. Common denominators for many of these illnesses include chronic inflammation, metabolic and mitochondrial dysfunction and immune dysregulation. The majority of studies for HBOT point to about 10 very specific mechanisms of action when used for the more conventionally treated conditions. There is mounting evidence that the mechanisms of action for these “on label” acute and severe cases are similar or even identical to those required for treating other chronic illnesses to improve their outcomes and recovery times. Hyperbaric oxygen can be delivered a number of ways, from mild pressure to high pressure and from 21% oxygen through 100% oxygen. Current research also shows that intermittent and relative hyperoxia-hypoxia is a strong stimulator of many cell signaling and epigenetic signaling cascades used for the promotion of and adaptation to improved cellular healing and regenerative responses. The research on these concepts is currently in its infancy but recent studies have shown that HBOT, through its influences on hypoxia-inducible factor 1α, reactive oxygen species signaling and sirtuin stimulation can help to promote hormonal balance, nervous system balance, improve mitochondrial performance, reduce inflammation and stimulate cell and tissue repair and regeneration for many different health concerns. Another study published in 2019 also showed us that using hyperbaric oxygen can also stimulate telomere growth and reduce cellular senescence, putting HBOT within the category of optimal modalities to be considered for a well-rounded antiaging and regenerative medicine approach to improved health and quality of life.
Integrative and Complementary Therapies.Aug 2022.166-171.http://doi.org/10.1089/ict.2022.29033.jso