Joseph Dituri, a University of South Florida professor, former U.S. navy diver, and expert in biomedical engineering, locked himself in a 592-square-foot underwater research station in the Florida Keys for more than 100 days.
His time underwater scientifically reversed his biological age clock by approximately 10 years.
While underwater, Dituri conducted research into the effects of hyperbaric pressure on the human body. He measured the length of his telomeres and his overall stem cell count and concluded that a 60% increase in deep sleep added to the reversal of his biological clock.
The experiment showed a 20% growth in the lengths of his telomeres and a 1,000% growth in his body’s natural stem cell count.
Telomeres shorten as we age, exposing the DNA to damage, and many longevity programs today focus on halting that loss.
Other beneficial effects of Dituri’s deep-sea hibernation included a 72-point drop in cholesterol and a 50% reduction in inflammatory markers.
Before going underwear, Dituri was concerned about the negative consequences of living under the sea. For instance, he anticipated that the lack of sunlight and changed gravity would reduce his exposure to vitamin D, disrupt his circadian rhythm, cause bone and muscle mass loss, and weaken his immune system.
Dituri used exercise bands at least five days a week to combat all this and swam daily.
Dituri also guessed that there would be some benefits to life underwater, similar to the benefits of a therapeutic hyperbaric oxygen chamber, like improved brain health and better cognition.
However, it’s safe to say that he was pleasantly shocked to find himself 10 years younger after his experiment.
Scientists don’t fully understand the biological effects of living under the sea, but this new research certainly suggests we may see underwater spas popping up in the near future.
This article originally appeared on Outdoors, here.