Categories: Health & Fitness

According to a recent study, living in a low-oxygen environment helped preserve neurological function in some mice.

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If oxygen is obviously the key to life, it could also help prolong it. According to a study conducted on mice, oxygen restriction would increase the lifespan. Indeed, Harvard Medical School researchers found that mice born with abnormally short lifespans lived 50% longer than expected when placed in a low-oxygen environment roughly equivalent to a camp. base of Mount Everest. These findings were published May 23 in the journal PLOS Biology.

Several epidemiological observations have shown that those who lived at high altitudes lived longer. The researchers therefore wanted reproduce this phenomenon on animals to try to understand the mechanism. “Epidemiological studies have suggested that populations who live at higher altitudes tend to live longer and stay healthier as they age. We wanted to test whether, in a more controlled setting, oxygen restriction seems to do the same thing in our mouse model of aging,” said lead study author Vamsi Mootha, professor of systems biology. at Harvard Medical School’s Blavatnik Institute and cited by the study’s release.

To confirm these findings, the team worked with mice that age prematurely. They were placed in a hypoxic chamber with an oxygen concentration of only 11% equivalent to the oxygen levels at the foot of Mount Everest. “The median lifespan of these mice living in 21% normal oxygen was just under 16 weeks. However, the animals housed in the hypoxic chamber lived about 24 weeks, on average, or about 50% longer than expected,” the statement details.

A preserved neurological function

“The maximum lifespan of these animals also increased under low oxygen conditions – by about 30%, or about 31 weeks, compared to the 26-week lifespan of their peers living in normal concentrations. oxygen,” the researchers report. In addition to an extended lifespan, these mice retained longer neurological function.

Other studies should make it possible to understand whether the same phenomenon would work in all mice. Currently, studies have confirmed that hypoxia would allow athletes to improve their performance.

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