Dr. Jay Stevens, MD, Medical Director for Extivita-RTP speaks to HBOT News Network about our upcoming Longevity Challenge. 

HBOT News Network welcomes Dr. James “Jay” Stevens, M.D.

Dr. Stevens is the Medical Director for a local HBOT clinic that we speak of frequently, located here in the Research Triangle Park area of Raleigh, NC.  Extivita-RTP is running a Longevity Challenge from January 8-20, 2023; and Dr. Stevens is here to tell us about the different types of fasting, and overall what participants can expect to happen to their body when they combine fasting & Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

Water Fasting:

Dr. Stevens explains that water fasting is the most extreme form of fasting. The Longevity Challenge does offer the option to water fast or intermittent fast, but doing an extended water fast and combining that with Hyperbaric Oxygen is really what the challenge is all about.

When you water fast, you begin to see what the body was, in an evolutionary sense, prepared to do for for many years with cellular trend. Water fasting, which is basically starvation, sets the stage for altering genetics and cellular mechanics to help you when you break the fast.

Intermittent Fasting:

Dr. Stevens enlightens us that there are two kinds of intermittent fasting – the fasting mimicking diet, FMD, and intermittent fasting or time restricted feeding.

Intermittent fasting is usually calorie-restricted and includes typically eating only between set hours of the day (like 12pm-7pm). This has been developed as a way to help induce the changes of cellular changes of repair, lowering inflammation, and genetic stimulation.

Fasting mimicking diet takes it all one step further and you’re never fully calorie restricted but you are limited to about 700 to 800 calories per day. This diet provides the principles of how to feed the body reduced calories, while also inducing the same cellular changes for repair, lowering inflammation, improving cardiovascular risk, etc.

Fasting + Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy:

Dr. Stevens dives into a deep discussion on the benefits of combining fasting and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT).

Fasting induces a cellular state called, ketosis. Ketosis is an anti-inflammatory state, with the response to that being cellular repair. It turns on certain genetic aspects. Some people will experience the “keto flu”, which is flu-like symptoms that could last a few days during the initial stages of detox as you enter ketosis. While that might be a rough few days, be sure to stick with it because the keto-flu means that you are detoxing quickly; but you have something very exciting to look forward to next. What happens next is phenomenal – mental clarity improves, anxiety is reduced and miraculous things start happening on a cellular level.

Dr. Stevens explains that glucose is a requisite in the mitochondria, which is the organelle inside of every cell that creates energy; and life is defined by the ability to create energy.  Therefore, life is defined by the creation of ATP, which is the actual molecule of energy. In essence, without glucose you cannot create energy.  However, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) provides your body with the glucose it needs when we are in ketosis, or a ketotic state. Those molecules needed to create energy are driven by the oxygen under pressure in the form of HBOT.  Also, it’s intriguing is to know that a glucose molecule, which is the predominant part of our diet in carbohydrates, produces a certain amount of ATP or energy. But, a ketone in the brain and a neuron is six times more. So, as you get into fat burning and ketosis, you’re actually fueling your brain with a molecule that’s six times more energy than what is produced from glucose. The brain fog is gone, and your mental clarity is likely the highest that you’ve ever experienced.

Dr. Stevens educates viewers on the cell cycle, and why it’s important to understand. In a global sense, every cell in our body has the capability to know “where am I in that cycle?”. And there’s a natural cycle for all cells. In our current, toxic lifestyles, we get into what would be called senescence.  A senescent cell is a cell that cannot die but it’s secreting toxic inflammatory cytokines. But, when we fast and we change our lifestyle, we start to go into the opposite direction from senescence. We don’t want to continually feed a cell and never let it do its natural decision making; instead we want to “clean” house, and induce autophagy.

The analogy “spring cleaning for a house” is used when explaining autophagy. When you do a deep cleaning of your home, you start to see how much extra “junk” and “garbage” you have collected, and you decide to get rid of it. That’s autophagy, that’s what happens in your body.  The mitochondria in our cells, which generate energy, can go through the same process if a cell decides in that process that it’s no longer capable of sustaining apoptosis (which is essentially the death of cells for “garbage collection”). It literally expires itself and you get a new cell born, with it’s components being reused and regenerated. So, when you’re in a prolonged water fast, like the Longevity Challenge, the unfolding of proteins (the application within the genetics of a cell), and the command of what a gene has within that cell is returned to its correct state.  This is important, because when cells are in the “misfolded state” you start to experience immunosenescence, meaning your immune system is getting old and starting to dysfunction.  Our lifespan is ultimately predicted by immunosenescence more than anything else, so we NEED our immune system to function properly as we get older so infections don’t become more severe and more common.

Overall, we want to avoid senescence. And we can absolutely do that with a water fast, while accelerating the benefits of it with HBOT (oxygen under pressure). It’s a one-two punch, and a beautiful combination.

Taking Minerals During a Water Fast:

Dr. Steven explains that almost all of us today are magnesium deficient, and many are also potassium deficient. Our diets are deficient in the food sources that are also deficient in those micronutrients. Magnesium is required for 300 processes in every cell, so if someone starts the Longevity Challenge and goes into a strict water fast, it’s a high possibility they are already deficient in the minerals they need. Dr. Stevens stresses that they do not want to restrict them more or completely of the minerals our bodies needs.  He recommends that every participant include electrolytes or minerals into the water fast to maintain as much cellular integrity as possible during such an extreme restricted calorie state.  These necessary minerals are mixed with water and included in the Longevity Challenge package price and provided to every participant.


For those who complete the Longevity Challenge, Dr. Stevens says the participants learn that they actually don’t need food. They WANT food, but they don’t NEED food. It’s a remarkable, and many times even spiritual experience to do a 12-day water fast combined with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.  It allows you to reset your thinking that you don’t need breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You don’t need to always be thinking about your next meal, and you certainly don’t NEED all those calories you’re consuming.

*Pease consult your doctor to see if fasting is right for you.

Cited from HBOT News