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Stem Cells & Hyperbarics


Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into numerous different cell types and serve as the body's primary internal repair system. The innate ability of stem cells to differentiate into other types of cells with specialized functions (blood, brain or tissue) replenishes and regenerates the body from the effects of aging and disease. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been shown to significantly increase the concentration of circulating stem/progenitor cells within the peripheral circulation system. By increasing blood plasma oxygen levels, bone marrow derived stem cells were shown to significantly proliferate and mobilize. The proposed mechanism of action was through a nitric oxide dependent mechanism. This evidence plays a key role in regenerative medicine as the increased number of stem cells in the body have the ability to provide enhanced and accelerated physiological repair. Studies have demonstrated HBOT's therapeutic influence on stem cells with the following:

Enhance stem cell activity with HBOT documented physiological effects:

  • Activates nitric oxide synthase type 3 (NOS-3)
  • Proliferates and mobilizes bone marrow derived stem cells
  • Improves engraftment and differentiation of several progenitor cell types in organs such as the spleen, bone marrow, brain, peripheral nerve, pancreas, cartilage & heart
  • Increases colony-forming cells
  • Stimulates stromal-derived growth factor
  • Reduces high ROS levels
  • Promotes endothelial growth factor-2 for angiogenesis
  • Increases CD34 expression & pluripotent stem cells

Enhance healing from disease /injury with HBOT clinically documented and supported through research citations:

  • Accelerates growth & repair of damaged tissue
  • Improves tissue regeneration & organ functionality
  • Promotes neurogenesis
  • Stimulates osteogenesis
  • Ameliorates diabetic symptoms
  • Enhances recovery from heart attack

Enhances recovery from heart attack

HBOT/Stem Cell QR Code

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A landmark study published in 2005 involved 26 patients who were at risk for osteoradionecrosis after undergoing radiation therapy for head or neck tumors. All patients underwent 20, two-hour HBOT treatments and blood was collected and evaluated after the first, tenth and twentieth treatment. The population of CD34 cells in the peripheral circulation system doubled after the first treatment and increased eight fold by the end of the trial. Colony forming cells also significantly increased, while vascular endothelial growth factor-2 and stromal-derived growth factor increased as well. The study concluded that HBOT mobilizes bone marrow derived stem/progenitor cells by stimulating nitric oxide synthesis.


Thom, Stephen R., Veena M. Bhopale, Omaida C. Velazquez, Lee J. Goldstein, Lynne H. Thom, and Donald G. Buerk. (2005) Stem cell mobilization by hyperbaric oxygen. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 290: H1378-H1386

Copyright © 2019 International Hyperbaric Association

These statements have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. All of the statements made on this document are not anecdotal and have been taken directly from preclinical data.

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