A course of hyperbaric oxygen treatment was found to increase by eight-fold the number of stem cells circulating in a patient’s body according to a study to be published in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulation Physiology.

“This is the safest way clinically to increase stem cell circulation, far safer than any of the pharmaceutical options,” said Stephen Thom, MD, Ph.D., Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and lead author of the study. “This study provides information on the fundamental mechanisms for hyperbaric oxygen and offers a new theoretical therapeutic option for mobilizing stem cells.”

“We reproduced the observations from humans in animals in order to identify the mechanism for the hyperbaric oxygen effect,” added Thom. “We found that hyperbaric oxygen mobilizes stem/progenitor cells because it increases synthesis of a molecule called nitric oxide in the bone marrow. This synthesis is thought to trigger enzymes that mediate stem/progenitor cell release.”

via ScienceDaily [www.sciencedaily.com]