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How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) Boosts the Immune System

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) boosts the immune system by helping disable the action of harmful bacteria that eventually cause diseases. The microorganisms’ efforts are thwarted right before they take plan. In certain instances, it incapacitates certain toxins in the bacteria therefore totally crippling their action. Anaerobic bacteria survive in low-oxygen settings therefore increasing concentration makes it unbearable for them. The oxygen becomes toxic for them therefore eliminating them. HBOT also aids in alleviating toxins from the bloodstream. More dissolved oxygen in the blood helps the liver and kidneys to function optimally thus resulting in wiping out of the toxins.

Immunity is also boosted when the oxygen supply to the tissues is increased. The cells making up the tissues become ‘stronger’ and better equipped to fight off infections that come their way. Immune responses are optimal when cell metabolism and production of energy are at their best. This can only take place when the oxygenation of cells is optimal as well. Oxygen supply to cells, and hence immunity is reduced for different reasons: injury or permanent damage, infection, and exposure to unfavorable conditions such as extremely high or low altitude, among others.

White blood cells are also enabled by increasing their count so that they can find and fend off undesired invaders more easily. Prolonged exposure to HBOT results in the production of a special set of immune cells referred to as T-lymphocytes. The latter are responsible for immune responses to specific antigens. Efficiency in detecting infections reduces severity which takes a toll on the immune system and the whole body at large. Some of the most lethal bacteria are those that get to the nervous system, brain, or even bones. They could lead to impairment of different systems within the body or death in some cases.

Improved recovery and healing of injured tissues as a result of HBOT also improves immunity. This is because it closes down paths used to introduce disease-causing micro-organisms in the body. Also, the healing of wounds and other injuries leaves the body’s defense system in a good place. It becomes more alert and responds promptly to other forms of undesired stimuli. HBOT also has the effect of complementing other forms of treatment. It especially increases the efficacy of antibiotics since the increased oxygenation enables efficient transportation of the latter to the desired destination. The antibiotics become more powerful in their course.

HBOT also improves the body’s immune system by lowering inflammation. In as much as inflammation is necessary for immune responses, it should not get to certain levels. Increased inflammation has the effect of testing and hence suppressing the body's immune system. This has the effect of making it susceptible to pathogens and other disease-causing organisms. The anti-inflammatory effects associated with HBOT help reduce inflammation and as a result boost the immune system. It is kept at a good place to fight off infections from bacteria and toxin predisposition.


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Memar, M. Y., Yekani, M., Alizadeh, N., & Baghi, H. B. (2019). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy: Antimicrobial mechanisms and clinical application for infections. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 109(4), 440–447.

Ortega, M. A., Fraile-Martinez, O., García-Montero, C., Callejón-Peláez, E., Sáez, M. A., Álvarez-Mon, M. A., García-Honduvilla, N., Monserrat, J., Álvarez-Mon, M., Bujan, J., & Canals, M. L. (2021). A general overview on the hyperbaric oxygen therapy: Applications, mechanisms and translational opportunities. Medicina, 57(9), 84–93.



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