ADDICTED TO OXYGEN
"EVERYONE is "addicted" to oxygen. We are dead without it for more
then a few minutes. The word addiction in this regard is mostly
stemming from miss-understanding or as a scare word.
In the spirit of truth and helping yourselves, friends and
loved ones gain and maintain optimal health let's try and address
this more intelligently. "
"We currently breathe roughly 21% oxygen and we know that breathing
less than that is a cause of symptoms and problems with hypoxia or
the body's various tissues not getting enough oxygen to function
properly. The body gets this oxygen through the lungs which take in
the oxygen from the air and release the carbon dioxide from the
body's metabolic processes. The body has a certain ability to adapt
to more or less of what it needs to function and does so but often
not optimally. It can do so much more easily with small changes than
with large changes so we can gradually reduce the amount of oxygen
in your air and your body can gradually adapt as it does with
changing altitude or when chronic problems affect how well your
lungs function but eventually it will no longer
be able to function normally with lower and lower amounts.
Same holds true for when we intervene with adding more oxygen or
many other substances, the body gradually adapts and shifts its
system function to having more.
Exercise (physical, breathing exercises, activity level, work of
breathing are all included here) vs. rest (rest when healthy, rest
when lungs are sick also will have
large variations in how well oxygen is absorbed by the body) with
and without extra oxygen also affect various aspects of how well the
lungs absorb oxygen, how much
ventilation is occurring and how much perfusion of blood is
occurring all of which need to be in place for maximal oxygen uptake
by the lungs.
After uptake by the lungs and onto the hemoglobin, the tissues need
to be able to absorb it into the cells and into the mitochondria of
the cells all of which are affected by thousands of different
Unlike oxygen in the hemoglobin which can be measured by a pulse
oximetry device, the oxygen actually in the tissues is not easily
measured and much is unknown about various problems keeping adequate
oxygen from getting into the tissues and cell mitochondria. Many who
study oxygen extensively talk a lot about this obsorption/perfusion.
Most of the time extra oxygen is done for patients who have a
serious lung problem. The extra oxygen helps the body overcome some
of its limitations from illness and get enough oxygen to function
and heal. Clinically this results in the patient feeling better
because there is less stress of breathing and improved cellular
opxygenation.. As the patient improves
the oxygen is weaned to allow the body a chance to gradually
get used to providing the same functions with less help just like
you don't walk on a broken leg without a cast and then you don't run
a marathon right after the cast
is removed. You allow your body to gradually regain better function
in slower paces. We know that just keeping the body on continual
oxygen over and above
what it is capable of adapting to will result in permanent damage to
the lungs called pulmonary oxygen toxicity which is why continuous
oxygen is not recommended unless your life is in jeopardy without
So there is a range of oxygen that is helpful for the body where too
little or too much causes problems.
This is called the therapeutic window as it is with other
substances. This can differ between patients or even in the same
patient over time and over course of illness
depending on the patient, time in the patient's life, genetics,
metabolism, exercise, etc.
Intermittent exposure to higher oxygen with many hours of "normoxic"
breathing between the higher exposures has not resulted in pulmonary
oxygen toxicity. Many have reported improved function with
intermittent oxygen especially when done with exercise. So, as with
any food, supplement, or medication, oxygen needs to be taken
carefully, in moderation and with consideration of all the variables
affecting your personal health.
One key factor may be antioxidants.
Oxygen is not only necessary for every cellular action in your body
but it also creates free radicals as a byproduct of O2 combustion.
Kind of like what smoke is to fire. Antioxidants aid in cellular
metabolism as well as offset this "smoke". Strictly speaking the
more O2 we uptake the more antioxidants we should have. We rarely
hear of an oxygen prescribing MD recommending antioxidants to anyone
on oxygen. That may or may not stem from a traditional medical model
often states/believes nutrition doesn't have much or anything to do
We suggest that if you want to optimize your O2 utilization you
increase your antioxidants such as A, B, C, D, E, Coenzyme Q10,
germanium, super oxide dismutase (SOD) and organic sulphur.
Certain kinds of green foods can aid in
transporting extra oxygen. Ask your favorite health professional for
a good antioxidant and green food oxygen transport formula.
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