Intermittent hyper-hypo-oxia training in environmental medicine

Mitochondria are the energy powerhouses of the cell and produce most of the energy needed for vital processes in our bodies.

Damage to mitochondria is an essential and central aspect of the more widespread chronic diseases of civilization. Regular exercise and spending time at higher altitudes can help regenerate our mitochondria. The reduced oxygen content in the air at higher altitudes has a positive effect on the formation and performance of these cell organelles.

One method that takes advantage of this finding is called interval hypoxia-hyperoxia therapy (IHHT). This involves simulated altitude training without physical exercise, in which the oxygen content of the breathing air is gradually reduced until it corresponds to a level of up to 9000 meters. For 45 minutes, short intervals are alternated between lower-oxygen (hypoxia) and higher-oxygen (hyperoxia) air. This alternation creates a stressful condition for the mitochondria, allowing obsolete or damaged mitochondria to be broken down and replaced with healthy ones.

Diseases associated with damaged mitochondria are also called mitochondriopathies. Damage to mitochondria is an essential and central aspect of the more widespread chronic diseases of civilization such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. With IHHT we activate the new formation of mitochondria, which leads to improved energy production and increased cell health. It improves oxygenation of the body and promotes health at the cellular level.

The therapy also has positive effects on the immune system and the general performance of the body. We positively influence numerous regulatory mechanisms at the biochemical and physiological levels. These include, for example, the activation of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory factors, the stabilization of blood pressure, and the improvement of blood circulation and metabolism. All of these processes contribute to significantly improving and maintaining patients' quality of life in the long term.

The intermittent hyper hypo-oxia training is suitable for prevention as well as for the therapy of already existing diseases. Individual adaptation of the training to the patient's needs and state of health is possible, resulting in an optimal effect.

Overall, IHHT is a promising, scientifically based therapy option that has the potential to sustainably improve the treatment of chronic diseases of civilization and to improve the quality of life.