The Hyperoxic-Hypoxic Paradox

Hypoxia, low tissue oxygen levels, “is one of the most powerful inducers of gene expression, metabolic changes, and regenerative processes, including angiogenesis and stimulation of stem cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation”.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy causes a dramatic rise in oxygen levels during the procedure followed by a quick drop back to normal levels. As the oxygen levels drop, a temporary state of hypoxia is perceived, which causes the powerful adaptive responses towards hypoxia that was noted earlier.

It takes about 3 hours following hyperbaric therapy for the blood oxygen levels to normalize. This might be why twice daily sessions separated by 4 or more hours may be a better protocol for achieving optimal physiological benefits. In saying that, by controlling the variables of oxygen concentration and pressure, it may be possible to achieve better benefits by fluctuating the oxygen dose through air breaks and adjusting the pressure, respectively, during each hyperbaric session. <view study>