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Hypoxia to Enhance Mitochondrial Function

You may be aware that I sleep in a hypoxic chamber with an oxygen concentration of 13.3%. Here is a chart explaining how the oxygen percentage correlates with altitude.

If you are rich and famous or a high-level professional athlete, you can go to a "hypoxia" hotel.

I previously published a blog on altitude vs cold therapy.

More recently, Dr. Mercola published an article and video on this very topic.


  • Hypoxic training is successfully being used in the treatment of diseases such as asthma, high blood pressure, chronic inflammation and chronic infections, all of which are rooted in mitochondrial dysfunction

  • The scientific application of intermittent hypoxic treatment started in Russia in the late 1970s. Early research showed it was radioprotective. When you reduce the partial pressure of oxygen in tissues that are being irradiated, there’s a significant protective effect on healthy tissues. Tumors are not protected, however, because they're already hypoxic (hypoxic radioprotection)

  • Intermittent hypoxia takes place during embryonic development. Scientists now hypothesize that this is a powerful mechanism that may control the quality of mitochondria

  • One of the mechanisms that helps explain the benefits of hypoxia is that it raises your endogenous production of carbon dioxide (CO2) which, in turn, increases the efficiency of oxygen transport and metabolism

  • One simple way to stimulate your mitochondrial function through intermittent hypoxia is to hold your breath intermittently. In clinical practice, oxygen-depleted air is intermittently administered using a hypoxic generator. The latest models include computerized biofeedback, and allow for all sorts of protocols to be administered

The interview from the link above features Dr. Arkadi Prokopov, a Russian integrative medicine physician specializing in hypoxic training and mitochondrial medicine. Optimizing your mitochondrial function is, of course, one of the most important strategies to optimize your cellular energy, so it’s at the core of almost everything you do to improve your health.

Prokopov graduated from Moscow Medical University in 1980. Most of his work has revolved around biomedical research, specifically research with professional divers. He did his postgraduate dissertation on the improvement of stress resistance in deep-sea divers.

After a decade of doing these kinds of studies, Russia started cutting research funding, so he returned to medical practice, where he began to apply his knowledge of diving physiology and controlled intermittent hypoxia (low oxygen) to the treatment of diseases such as asthma, high blood pressure, chronic inflammation and chronic infections.

“I was always interested, what is the best application of oxygen treatment to stimulate nonspecific, nonspecific [general] stress resistance?” he says. “And from many, many studies, it became clear, paradoxically, that the most efficient intervention is intermittent hypoxic treatment.”


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