Blood vessels are tubular structures that transport blood throughout the body.
There are three main types of blood vessels: arteries, veins, and capillaries. Arteries carry oxygenated blood away from the heart, while veins carry deoxygenated blood back to the heart. Capillaries are the smallest blood vessels and are responsible for the exchange of nutrients, including oxygen, and waste products between the blood and tissues.
Why is the Number of Blood Vessels Important?
The number of blood vessels in the body is crucial for maintaining the health of organs and tissues. Blood vessels are responsible for delivering oxygen and nutrients to the body's organs and tissues, including the brain, heart, and muscles. Blood vessels also help to remove waste products from the body, such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid. In addition, blood vessels play a role in regulating blood pressure and temperature.
As we age the number blood vessels we have diminishes in all locations, including the brain. And when we loose brain blood vessels, we start losing brain tissue the function that goes along with this. The less metabolically healthier we are and the the more inflammation in the body, the faster this process occurs.
But all is not lost! Enter HBOT which can reverse this process.
How Does HBOT Increase the Number of Blood Vessels?
HBOT has been found to increase the number of blood vessels in the body through a process known as angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels from existing ones. During HBOT, the body is exposed to a high concentration of oxygen, which stimulates the production of growth factors that promote angiogenesis.
One of the main growth factors produced during HBOT is vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). VEGF is a protein that plays a critical role in the formation of new blood vessels. During HBOT, the production of VEGF is increased, which promotes the growth of new blood vessels.
In addition to promoting angiogenesis, HBOT has been found to increase the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a molecule that helps to dilate blood vessels, which improves blood flow and oxygen delivery to the tissues. This dilation also promotes angiogenesis by providing more oxygen and nutrients to the tissues.
Why is an Increase in the Number of Blood Vessels Important?
The growth of new blood vessels can help to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to organs and tissues, which will improve their function. It can also help to remove waste products more efficiently, which is essential for detoxification and overall health.
An increase in the number of blood vessels can also be beneficial for people with certain medical conditions or injuries. For example, people with peripheral artery disease (PAD) have narrowed blood vessels, which can cause pain and other symptoms. HBOT has been found to improve blood flow and increase the number of blood vessels in people with PAD, which can improve their symptoms.
PAD is just one example. HBOT can also grow new blood vessels in the brain, enhancing brain function, in the heart, enhancing heart function (including V02 max), in the genitals, enhancing erectile function, and practically any other place where new blood vessels are needed.
In order to maintain and/or rejuvenate tissue as we age (or get injured) we need to grow new blood vessels. HBOT is a powerful way to enhance blood vessel growth via angiogenesis and accelerate healing. Treatment protocols vary. For acute injuries, HBOT can help accelerate the healing process in just a few treatments. For chronic issues (including reverse aging), more HBOT sessions are needed to create new blood vessels and renew/ sustain tissue over the long term.
- Thom SR. Hyperbaric oxygen: its mechanisms and efficacy. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2011;127 Suppl 1:131S-141S. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e31820086b3.
- Jain KK. Textbook of Hyperbaric Medicine. 6th ed. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2017.
- Luks AM, Swenson ER. Hyperbaric oxygen for patients with chronic vascular wounds: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Undersea Hyperb Med. 2013;40(4):307-330. PMID: 23971399.