New evidence to support the use of an incredible natural therapy, if you weren’t already convinced. Action Alert!
New studies confirm the power of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to heal. One study demonstrated the power of HBOT to treat opioid addiction. A new review confirms what we’ve known for a while: HBOT helps those with mild traumatic brain injuries recover their cognitive abilities. This is on top of other recent research suggesting that HBOT can actually reverse aging. Unfortunately, the multimillion-dollar FDA approval process stands in the way of HBOT being more widely used to help patients heal. It is particularly scandalous given the FDA’s role in creating the opioid crisis.
The new review found that, in multiple randomized controlled studies, HBOT was able to help patients with mild traumatic brain injuries that cause Persistent Postconcussion Syndrome. This syndrome occurs when concussion symptoms last beyond the expected recovery time of an injury, and currently there is no treatment for it. Symptoms include headaches, cognitive problems, depression, and anxiety.
HBOT’s effectiveness for postconcussion syndrome isn’t a surprise. In 2008, we helped secure $1.5 million from the federal government to study the effectiveness of HBOT for veterans with traumatic brain injury and PTSD—research that has culminated in the recent publication of clinical trial results demonstrating HBOT’s effectiveness for these conditions.
In the opioid addiction study, HBOT allowed patients to withstand larger dose reductions of methadone; after only one day of HBOT therapy, patients also reported half the level of withdrawal symptoms as patients in the control group who did not receive HBOT. Methadone helps opioid-addicted patients get stable and resume their normal lives but is itself an opioid. Many people try to get off methadone but relapse. The researchers conclude that HBOT “could potentially be used as a non-pharmacological tool to help people step down their methadone treatment.”
This is huge. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50. Overdoses now kill more Americans than guns and traffic accidents. That a safe, natural, non-addictive therapy can help the millions of Americans wean off these terrible drugs is great news.
The problem is that it would take many years and millions and millions of dollars to get FDA approval for HBOT to treat these and other conditions for which it is promising, like cognitive decline. In fact, the FDA has only approved HBOT to treat a narrow list of thirteen relatively uncommon injuries. Without FDA approval, it’s unlikely that HBOT will become widely used, meaning these tanks are sitting unused in hospitals. (HBOT chambers can be purchased with a medical prescription, but home HBOT chambers are not as powerful as those used in hospital settings.)
HBOT isn’t the only effective treatment that is blocked from becoming more widely used. We know vitamin D’s efficacy for the flu, for example, but because it is not FDA approved, FDA rules prevent us from learning about this cheap supplement’s ability to offer protection and treatment. The federal government in fact aggressively prevents the dissemination of even the most basic knowledge about the ability of natural medicines to heal us. This is completely unacceptable.
Action Alert! Write to Congress and urge them to support reforms that allow the free flow of information about supplements. Please send your message immediately.