Unlocking Healthy Longevity: Researchers Find Oxygen Restriction Extends Lifespan

Mountains FTW :slight_smile:


Not just any mountains, it sounds like you need to move to Nepal or someplace where you can find 5000 m (16,400 ft) mountains.

Or you could get an altitude tent


There is cheap real estate in El Alto, Bolivia :smiley:

And lots of smaller towns at high elevation:

The Highest Settlement in the World.

Besides the prospectors, the town also attracts researchers interested in studying the short-term and long-term effects of oxygen-poor conditions on humans. The thin air—each breath draws in half the amount of oxygen as at sea level—can lead to a syndrome called chronic mountain sickness (CMS). Symptoms of CMS include dizziness, headaches, ringing ears, palpitations, and even heart failure and death. Researchers estimate one in four people in La Rinconada suffer from CMS.


This research above got me wondering about the research that has been done on humans at this higher altitude…


A key point is stimulating hif 1 alpha which drives many regenerative pathways is a reduction in partial pressure of oxygen rather than low oxygen per se.


You need lower dosages of pharmaceutical interventions for humans, as compared to mice. The agreed conversion rate is mouse dosage divided by 12.5 for human dosage.

Might that be the same for humans? I do not mean the divisor (5,000 m divided by 12.5), but the principle that you need a lower dosage for humans. Would a lower dose of hypoxia work? Some evidence seems to answer yes. You do not need to live in Mount Everest.

Results of a four-year study by researchers at the University of Colorado suggest that living at altitudes around 5,000 feet (Denver is 5,280 feet above see level) or higher might increase lifespan. The study, recently published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, collated data from around the U.S. and found that, of the top 20 longest-living counties in the country, 11 for men and five for women were located in Colorado and Utah. Men lived on average 1.2 to 3.6 years longer and women 0.5 to 2.5 years more. When results were adjusted for other factors, including smoking and increased solar radiation, there was no significant difference between lowlanders and mountain folk. And among those with existing pulmonary disease, mortality increased. Still, the results suggest that hypoxic (lower oxygen) environments may bestow some health benefits for otherwise healthy people, and researchers want to find out more.

Doesn’t work for people with COPD, however. Note, that is 5,000 feet, not meters. The effect seems modest - 1.2 to 3.6 years.

Is it dose dependent? The higher the altitude, the greater the longevity? Seems to be the case.

RESULTS: As the altitude increases, the longevity increases. Santa Cruz at 416m and La Paz at 3800m (average), both with around 2.7 million inhabitants each, have 6 versus 48 centenarians respectively.

That is an eight-fold increase in nonagenarians.

My own question is, will the effect hold, if the dose is intermittent, like other interventions (rapamycin, fasting, caloric restriction)? Can you move to Santa Fe [7,199 ft (2,194 m)]New Mexico a few weeks twice a year, and get a proportionate longevity increase?


Long distance runners believe some altitude training bestows performance benefits on them.

Altitude training is a component of virtually all elite running programs – 95 percent of all medalists at the world championships and the Olympic Games since 1968 have either lived or trained at altitude. Indeed, the world’s fastest distance runners will do everything they can to gain a fraction of improvement to become the best.

“Immediately upon arrival at altitude, the kidneys react to send erythropoietin (EPO) to the bone marrow, which produces new red blood cells to carry more oxygen,” says Greg McMillan, an exercise scientist who offers adult running camps in Flagstaff, Ariz., a mountain town that sits at 7,000 feet. “This process is helpful for the distance runner, but requires no training at all – you just need to go to altitude.”

Might the intermittent stay at altitude bestow a similar benefit for longevity? How about breathing into a paper bag instead? Would it work?

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I wonder what is the mechanism behind life extension of living in hypoxic environment. Maybe body becomes more efficient? Or is it oxygen toxicity? Both? Some other ideas?

I lived for a while in Bogota, 2640 m above sea level and must say that you adjust quite easily to that altitude, but remember when traveling to the coast I felt like a super human, you get this rush of energy and strength, which is also short lived unfortunately.


I’m going to disagree with your n of 1. I found moving to altitude when I was 55 years old, to be noticeable and uncomfortable. I became winded with minor exertion. My wife was the same. Patients I took care of had worsening of their lung problems and lower blood oxygen. My opinion is that if you want to live at altitude, move there when you’re young.

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Meanwhile, people sleep in oxygen chambers allegedly for health and life span reasons. So which direction is right?

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Like this one for example: https://scitechdaily.com/breathing-new-life-oxygen-therapy-improves-heart-function-in-long-covid-patients/

The gist seems to be that 100% O2 at 2 atmospheres improves heart health for some long covid cases.

Go figure …

Its the variation in partial pressure that kicks off HIF.

For what it’s worth, I do runs once per week which start with me completely expelling all air from my lungs. I then hold my breath for as long as possible during my subsequent 30 second interval. Don’t know if it’s doing anything for longevity, but I feel good.

It raises an interesting question. It is however the reduction in serum o2 partial pressure that starts HIF 1 alpha.

That can be normoxia to hypoxic or hyperoxia to normoxic.

The effect of altitude depends on individual physiology.

Just returned from Bolivia. Was at 12,000 ft. and felt light-headed, tired and zombie-like. My partner is 69 y.o., has climbed Everest 3 times, and was bopping around like a kid, as usual. The late climber Ueli Steck, the ’Swiss Machine’ had such super-human lung capacity he was studied by researchers.

Bolivia and Peru: desperately poor and becoming increasingly politically unstable. You’re probably kidding but you don’t want to move there. Chile (14,000 ft in the Altiplano) on the other hand is pretty amazing. Except for Santiago. Terrible air pollution.

I’d move to Rapa Nui, an oxygen-rich, sea-level environment in which I feel my best. I recently stared into the crater where they discovered the origins of Rapamycin. It brought me to this site. Still considering dosing. Apologies for the long post.


You can buy a machine to simulate this, many athletes sleep with this machine giving airflow at same preassure to get this effect. Prices go from around 2k and up :sweat_smile:


true… for example


Cool. This must be an old idea. It’s a feature of the Sagan book Contact.

I guess I should be sleeping in a hypoxic tent to simulate altitude.