Oxygen Shift May Be Key To Curing Jet Lag, Scientists Say

First Posted: Oct 24, 2016 05:30 AM EDT

Travel is a luxury that many strive for, but along with long plane rides come jet lags - and they are not nearly as fun. However, it seems that jet lags may be a thing of the past, as a new study suggested that there could be a cure for the condition: oxygen deprivation.

In a report from the journal Cell Metabolism, it was shown that when mice breathed air with one-quarter or one-third less oxygen than usual, they can adapt to a six-hour time change more rapidly than the mice that breathed regular air.

The team of researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and the University of Bristol in England thinks that oxygen might be useful for keeping our circadian rhythms in check as well. Our "body clocks" ensure that all of the cells are in tune with our master internal clock, and while the daily cycle of eating and fasting helps this, there are also other factors such as body temperatures that help with the syncing. Researchers realized that both eating and temperature regulation can also be linked to oxygen consumption, leading them to believe that oxygen deprivation could help cure jet lag.

The Los Angeles Times noted that in the experiment, the team decreased the oxygen for their mice from 21% to a mere 16% for two hours and found that the "short pulse" of oxygen deprivation can help mice get over their "jet lag" quickly.

However, the study was conducted in animals, so scientists are not yet sure if the same results can be applicable to humans, especially for those who fly across continents. Oxygen levels in planes, which are usually lower than on the ground, can make people airsick. While more oxygen in planes could help passengers while they are on air, if the findings are correct, the aviation industry's desire to investigate the possibility of increasing oxygen levels on planes may actually cause a more negative impact on travelers.

The authors wrote, "The aviation industry is investing substantial funds and efforts to improve and increase the cabin oxygen levels to 21% O2. This should be reconsidered in view of the beneficial effect of reduced oxygen levels in jet lag recovery that are reported here."

See Now: NASA's Juno Spacecraft's Rendezvous With Jupiter's Mammoth Cyclone

©2017 ScienceWorldReport.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission. The window to the world of science news.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics