Longevity is like oxygen – Aviv puts hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the spotlight to enhance healthspan.
Aviv Clinics, with locations in Florida and Dubai, is spearheading an interesting approach to longevity and healthspan – oxygen. It’s more than just the air that we breathe, however. Using specially designed chambers, pure oxygen is delivered in a pressurized environment, meaning the amount of oxygen dissolved in the body’s tissues in enhanced. This non-invasive treatment can enhance the body’s natural healing mechanisms and promote the regeneration of damaged cells, proving an effective therapy for a wide range of medical conditions, including chronic wounds, neurological disorders and sports injuries.
Various research and clinical trials have shown that HBOT can positively impact the aging process at a cellular level. By delivering oxygen at higher concentrations and pressures, HBOT stimulates the production of new blood vessels, reduces inflammation and activates vital cellular repair mechanisms . These effects have the potential to slow down the aging process, improve cognitive function, enhance physical performance and increase overall vitality.
Longevity.Technology: At Aviv Clinics, individuals undergo personalized HBOT treatments in state-of-the-art facilities designed to optimize the therapeutic experience. The clinics offer a comprehensive program that includes diagnostic assessments, customized treatment plans and ongoing monitoring to ensure the best possible outcomes for each patient. With a focus on evidence-based medicine and cutting-edge technology, Aviv is committed to providing the highest standard of care and pioneering advancements in longevity and healthspan.
Shai Efrati MD is Chair of Aviv’s Medical Advisory Board. He has a raft of experience in novel aspects of hyperbaric medicine and brain rehabilitation, and is Founder and Director of the world-leading Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research at Shamir Medical Center, where he also serves as Director of Research and Development and Head of Nephrology. The Aviv Medical Program is designed for individuals experiencing cognitive and physical decline because of a variety of conditions, including stroke, post-COVID and age-related cognitive decline. Many of Aviv’s clients are healthy aging adults who wish to improve their cognitive and physical performance and increase their healthspan.
We caught up with Dr Efrati to find out more about Aviv’s hyperbaric oxygen therapy and the innovative treatment that harnesses the power of oxygen to optimize health and wellbeing.
The Aviv Medical Program takes a researched-backed, comprehensive and a multidisciplinary approach to HBOT. Efrati explains Aviv’s approach is unique – while HBOT sits at the center of Aviv’s program, patients go through a full assessment that includes advanced brain scans, blood tests, physical performance tests and more, in order to ensure Aviv’s medical team obtain full understanding of a person’s overall health.
“Clients often see seven or more doctors and specialists, such as physicians, dietitians, neuropsychologists and physiotherapists, all in one place to manage their conditions,” explains Efrati. “These professionals all work together to identify clients’ specific needs and develop a personalized treatment plan.”
Although hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is not a new technology, the Aviv program uses a protocol that is unique to Aviv, as Efrati explains.
“The method of oxygen delivery through Aviv’s treatment program replicates the scientifically proven hyperoxic-hypoxic paradox to trigger the body’s natural regenerative processes,” he tells us.
“This HBOT protocol regenerates brain and body function by creating hyperoxic conditions and simulating hypoxic conditions under hyperbaric pressure. Our team can identify where the damaged non-necrotic tissue is in the brain and focus on treating that exact wound or area,” says Efrati, explaining that once the brain goes through trauma, oxygen is no longer effectively delivered to these wounded areas due to the damage caused by occlusion or hemorrhage, leading to physical and cognitive impairment.
“The influx of 100% pure oxygen to the brain triggers neuroplasticity, creates stem cells and increases blood flow to the damaged areas of the brain, which has been made possible for the first time due to Aviv’s research and medical program,” Efrati adds.
Studies have shown that combining HBOT with maintaining a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise can improve this damaged tissue by creating new blood vessels and neuronal stem cells and increasing blood flow to the brain.
“Because our program is comprehensive and looks at all aspects of the body and brain, we are able to provide answers – and more importantly, functional, cognitive and physical improvement – for patients where other conventional treatment methods have failed them,” says Efrati, explaining that often patients are left with gaps in their healthcare journey, struggling to find solutions to alleviate symptoms affecting their quality of life.
“We are able to connect the dots from symptom to relief for patients and give them their lives back.”
HBOT brings physiological changes at a cellular level. Aviv’s HBOT protocol encourages stem cell proliferation in several types of stem cells including neuronal, hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells, and the proliferation is measured by taking blood and counting those stem cells before and after the treatment.
The HBOT protocol also supports neurogenesis, the generation of new neurons and angiogenesis – the generation of new blood vessels.
“High resolution MRIs enable us to look at the brain and identify damaged brain tissue from injuries such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), an ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke, as well as brain tissue that has been damaged from the natural decline we experience in our bodies as we age,” explains Efrati. “After the treatment, we’re able to take another high resolution MRI and visibly see the difference in the improved brain tissue.”
Aviv’s HBOT protocol also targets the mitochondria – the energy generator in cells – encouraging the generation of new mitochondria and stimulating their activity. This increases the capacity of the cells to produce significantly more energy, which is, explains Efrati, reflected in improved regenerative capacity, physical activity and general function. The Aviv team measures the protocol’s effects on the mitochondria by biopsying muscle tissue, counting the mitochondria and observing the amount of energy they are generating.
Senescence and the dangers of senescent cells is a hot topic, and in the aging science and research community, there has been significant effort put towards figuring out how to eliminate senescent cells. These aging cells accumulate, resulting in mutations and cancer cells, and don’t function properly, causing inflammation and affecting the surrounding tissue.
“Senolytic drugs have been designed to clear senescent cells, but they haven’t been proven to be effective in human clinical studies,” says Efrati. “The only therapy proven to be effective in a clinical setting is the hyperoxic-hypoxic paradox HBOT protocol.
“After the HBOT protocol, we are able to see a significant decline in senescent cells in blood samples, as well as skin biopsies. For the first time in humans, we were able to reduce the number of senescent cells, in both blood and tissue.”
Efrati explains that in addition, the Aviv team has seen that the HBOT protocol can elongate telomeres, a region of repetitive DNA sequences that protects the ends of chromosomes.
Over time, as cells divide, the telomeres become slightly shorter, and these shortening telomeres is one of the reasons cells may become senescent cells.
“We are not just halting the shortening of telomeres; we are empirically measuring an increase in telomere length,” says Efrati. “This intervention is taking biology back in time at the cellular level to reverse biological aging.”
HBOT supports angiogenesis and blood-brain-barrier integrity restoration – two facts that are incredibly important when it comes to stabilizing and reversing neurological decline.
“Angiogenesis is crucial,” Efrati explains. “The bottleneck that prevents tissue from repairing itself is related to the blood vessels. As we age, our blood vessels experience atherosclerosis and begin to narrow. Other conditions and factors like diabetes, smoking, TBI and stroke can cause the blood vessels to narrow more quickly, cause injury to the blood vessels or completely occlude the blood vessels.”
When blood vessels narrow, there’s not a sufficient oxygen supply to the tissue and it cannot repair itself without sufficient oxygen.
“With the unique Aviv HBOT protocol, we see the creation of new blood vessels that bypass the narrowed and occluded vessels enabling stem cell migration to the damaged area, as well as tissue perfusion to help the tissue perform well,” explains Efrati.
“Additionally, we’ve been able to confirm that HBOT does not cause the abnormal angiogenesis we see in cancer cells. In fact, our HBOT protocol has helped cancer patients with post-radiation injury. After radiation therapy, some cancer patients may have damaged tissue as a result of the therapy, and we’ve been able to help repair that tissue. HBOT results in angiogenesis in normal tissue that is deprived of perfusion and oxygen supply.”
While the Aviv Medical Program delivers therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy can also be deployed as a preventative measure. In fact, more than a preventative measure, as he explains.
“HBOT results in measurable improvement. We are able to measure the decrease in senescent cells, lengthening of telomeres, and the number of new neurons, stem cells and blood vessels, and see improvement in cognitive and physical function.
“Our goal is to increase healthspan, the amount of time someone is healthy and functioning well, not just lifespan. Our bodies naturally decline, and we are seeing that our unique HBOT protocol is a way to repair the body and reduce the amount of time we are dependent on medical assistance.”