Altitude Training for Health & Wellness
For decades, doctors and epidemiologists have recognized the undeniable fact that permanent residents of high altitudes have decreased occurrences of many very common chronic diseases. Most of the longest living civilizations in the world live at elevations of greater than 10,000ft/3050m. This relationship between altitude and health is not a coincidence, and researchers have begun to uncover the science behind the mystery.
Hypoxia for Heart Disease
Altitude Training and Weight Loss
A 2013 study found that Americans who live at sea-level are 4 to 5 time more likely to be obese as those who live in high-altitude communities. These results remained constant, even after controlling for other factors like exercise level, socioeconomic status, and family history. In addition, Colorado is “the leanest state” in America and the only state with obesity rates below 20%. These statistics are not a coincidence but are instead a result of the increased energy expenditure required to adapt to the thin air environment.
More energy expenditure = Faster metabolic rate and more calories burned!
Hypoxia for Asthma Patients
Bronchial Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease for which the cause is largely unknown. Scientists believe that the tendency for development of asthma is hereditary and those asthmatic episodes are strongly linked to the immune system’s response to certain allergens. As there is not a consensus on the cause of Asthma, there is no cure. There are, however, treatments and ways to control symptoms of this chronic disease.
Scientists understand that chronic bronchial inflammation in asthma patients is a result of hyperventilation and lower than normal blood CO2 levels. Therefore, the key to a successful treatment is the reduction of hyperventilation and improved oxygen utilization.
The idea of using hypoxic therapy for treatment of Bronchial Asthma has been studied in Russia for years and has recently made its way to the western hemisphere. Studies have shown that a proper IHT program can successfully minimize the symptoms of asthma and the occurrence of severe asthmatic episodes. Through its enhancement of mitochondrial (and thus cellular) tolerance to oxidative stress via increased antioxidative enzymes, hypoxic therapy can alleviate asthmatic stress, which is largely a result of the compromised antioxidative defense.
In addition, through improvement of cardiovascular/respiratory fitness, hypoxic therapy serves to reduce hyperventilation and hypocapnia (low CO2 levels in the blood). In turn, the desired balance of CO2 andO2 in the blood is maintained, and the severity of asthmatic episodes and chronic bronchial inflammation is reduced.
This complementary treatment for asthma provides significant benefits over conventional symptomatic treatments. Patients can avoid negative side effects of Corticosteroids (inhalers) such as increased blood pressure, osteoporosis, and weight gain. Also, by preventing asthmatic episodes before they occur, patients can minimize chronic lung damage. Through a proper IHT program, bronchial asthma patients can expect the following benefits:
Hypoxia for Spinal Cord Injury
Hypoxico continues to work with Dr. Randy Trumbower and his team at Emory University to develop new and progressive interventions to address incomplete spinal cord injuries. The results of various studies have been very promising, showing significantly improved walking speed and endurance in patients.
“What was really dramatic in the exercise protocol was that just a single week of breathing with intermittent hypoxia and walking had an effect size that was comparable to, if not in many cases greater than, that shown in previous studies of locomotor training for 4 to 6 weeks.” – Dr. Randy Trumbower, Emory University
Hypoxico is honored to support people like Dr. Trumbower in their research. We are convinced the medical and rehabilitative application of hypoxia is only just beginning.