Nobel Prize Awarded for Response to Oxygen Changes in The Body
Hypoxic Adaptation in the Body
Exciting news today where three scientists have shared this year’s Nobel prize in physiology or medicine for discovering how the body responds to changes in oxygen levels, one of the most essential processes for life.
“Oxygen is the vital ingredient for the survival of every cell in our bodies. Too little or too much can spell disaster.”
– Venki Ramakrishnan, the president of the Royal Society
William Kaelin Jr at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard University in Massachusetts, Sir Peter Ratcliffe at Oxford University and the Francis Crick Institute in London, and Gregg Semenza at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, worked out how cells sense falling oxygen levels and respond by making new blood cells and vessels.
Beyond describing a fundamental physiological process that enables animals to thrive in some of the highest-altitude regions on Earth, the mechanism has given researchers new routes to treatments for anaemia, cancer, heart disease and other conditions.
The scientists showed that when oxygen is in short supply, a protein complex that Semenza called hypoxia-inducible factor, or HIF, builds up in nearly all the cells in the body. The rise in HIF has a number of effects but most notably ramps up the activity of a gene used to produce erythropoietin (EPO), a hormone that in turn boosts the creation of oxygen-carrying red blood cells.
Today’s announcement reinforces the healing properties of Breath Control’s hypoxic / hypercapnic training programs and the potential as an effective non-pharmacological therapy for numerous conditions and disorders including:
- heart disease
The research also shows how Breath Control’s breathing exercises and breathwork training can improve peak performance for professional athletes, tactical serviceman and first responders and even business professionals by stimulating the production of erythropoietin (EPO), in turn increasing the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood to the muscles and the brain. These cellular adaptations improve focus, strength, endurance and psychological regulation.