Oxygen supports almost all life on Earth but for the first time, a study from the researchers at Harvard University’s Mootha Lab, and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) suggests that oxygen deficiency (hypoxia) can increase the lifespan of mammals.

“It has been known for about 20 years that chronic continuous hypoxia extends the time to senescence in cultured cells and extends the lifespan in yeast, worms, and fruit flies. Our study is the first to test oxygen restriction in a mammalian model of aging in the laboratory,” Robert Rogers, lead researcher and a physician at MGH, told Interesting Engineering (IE).   

The study authors tested a mouse model in oxygen-deficient conditions similar to those found at Mount Everest base camp (at an altitude of 5,000 meters). They noticed that hypoxia increased the lifespan of the animal by a whopping 50 percent. 

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