OXYGEN AND THE BODY
THE HUMAN BODY is largely composed of oxygen. Scientists are now discovering how low levels of oxygen can disrupt the body’s ability to function correctly. Scientists also agree that oxygen plays a powerful and primary role in our overall health and well-being. A growing number of researchers agree that the best way to improve health may be related to the optimum oxygenation of every cell.
Today, cutting edge researchers believe that even relatively healthy people may have trouble extracting all of the oxygen they need from the air. In fact, the air itself is becoming more and more polluted, making oxygen extraction more difficult. Physiologists understand that breathing polluted air or breathing air that contains less oxygen puts tremendous stress on the human body.
What benefits does oxygen provide?
Oxygen is essential for healthy cell maintenance, for cellular healing, repair and cellular reproduction. It also plays a vital role in proper metabolic functions, blood circulation and the assimilation of nutrients, digestion, and the elimination of cellular and metabolic wastes. Oxygen allows the body to cleanse, detoxify, energize, revitalize, regenerate, metabolize, and boost the immune system without side effects
Does oxygen regulate metabolic processes?
All metabolic processes in the body are regulated by oxygen. Our brains process billions of bits of information each second. Our metabolic processes work to rid our bodies of waste and toxins. Even our abilities to think, feel and act require oxygen-related energy production.
What factors affect oxygen supplies?
Factors that may affect our body’s precious oxygen supply are: diminishing amounts of atmospheric oxygen; an unhealthy diet resulting in oxygen shortages; excessive stress; individuals with chronically acidic systems; oxygen shortages due to infection; and lack of exercise.
HOW CAN DIET & STRESS CAUSE OXYGEN DEFICIENCY?
Diet - Eating junk food on a regular basis forces the body to use up more of its oxygen reserves than usual in order to metabolize the preservatives and what few nutrients may actually be in the “food”. Complex carbohydrates and raw fruits and vegetables are high in oxygen with as much as 50% of the weight of these foods made up of oxygen. Dense food compounds such as fats and proteins, and oxygen-robbing foods like processed sugar, white flour, alcohol, and caffeinated drinks are not only low in oxygen content, but also require extra oxygen from the body to convert them into energy which further depletes the body's oxygen reserves. The body has to divert needed oxygen from primary metabolic functions such as heartbeat, blood flow, brain function and immune response just to oxidize and metabolize these foods.
Stress - Any excessive stress - including a heavy workload, traumatic or intense events in your life, prolonged depression and anxiety - can rob the body of huge amounts of its much-needed oxygen. Emotional stress produces adrenaline and adrenaline-related hormones, requiring the body to draw on its oxygen reserves for their production and eventual oxidation. Infection also depletes the body's oxygen, which is used to combat bacteria.
Will exercise increase oxygen intake?
The body responds to exercise by increasing oxygen intake by breathing hard and deeper. This increase in blood oxygen levels helps the body perform two very important functions. First, the additional oxygen permits the creation and release of more energy for the exercise. Second, the increased supply of oxygen is utilized by the body to remove by-product wastes that are the result of a higher metabolic rate. A sedentary lifestyle can inhibit the removal of toxic wastes from the body.
Can low levels of oxygen contribute to infection in the body?
When body oxygen falls to extremely low levels for prolonged periods of time, the body may become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and other infectious agents. Some research indicates that when the oxygen content of the body is within a normal level, infectious microorganisms have a more difficult time breeding and multiplying. The partial pressure of oxygen in normal blood should be approximately 97%. Within each red blood cell are iron-rich hemoglobin molecules. Approximately 97% of the oxygen carried to the cells is attached to these hemoglobin molecules with 3% of the oxygen supply dissolved in the blood plasma. When your blood oxygen levels remain low for extended periods of time, the cells cannot get an adequate and consistent supply of oxygen and they may have difficulty resisting the invasion of microorganisms. Sufficient oxygen helps the body in its ability to rebuild itself and maintain a strong and healthy immune system.
Can Oxygen help the skin promote a healthy body?
New research reveals that our skin gets its oxygen from the atmosphere, not the bloodstream! The oxygen reserves from air provide the highest percentage (from 0.25-0.4mm) to the skin, with more than 70% of oxygen! This area includes the outer layer of living cells and the inner layer of the dermis, which contains sweat glands and fine roots. There are three layers of skin: the epidermis (outer layer), the dermis (middle layer), and fat (the deepest layer). Our skin is the largest organ in the human body and it has several functions. It prevents the body from losing water and other fluids, stores fat, cools the body when sweat evaporates, and produces vitamin D.
It also protects the body from infections, harmful UV (sun) rays, foreign substances, chemicals and bacteria, wounds, and helps to maintain the temperature and other homeostatic functions. The protection is easily affected by exposure to elements such as dry air, cold or heat. These conditions dry the skin and create microscopic cracks on the surface.
OXYGEN AND THE BRAIN
THE HUMAN BRAIN is an energy-demanding organ. While it makes up only 2 percent of the body's weight, it consumes more than 20 percent of the body's energy. Un-fortunately. the brain is incapable of storing significant amounts of glucose, which, when combined with oxygen, creates energy. As mental stress increases, so too does the brain's demand for energy in the form of oxygen and glucose.
Food and oxygen are carried to the brain by many blood vessels. These vessels are found on the surface of the brain and deep within the brain. The blood vessels (and nerves) enter the brain through holes in the skull called foramina. Although the brain is only about 2% of our total body weight, it consumes 20% of our body's blood supply. Because brain cells will die if the supply of blood that carries oxygen is stopped, the brain has “top priority” for the blood. Even if other organs need blood, the body attempts to supply the brain with a constant flow of blood.
Increasing the flow of oxygen to your brain will accomplish two things. First, it will activate areas of our brain that are usually idle from lack of blood. Second, it will slow down the constant death and deterioration of our brain cells. Inside the skull, our carotid arteries branch into smaller and more numerous arteries, fanning out in a fantastically intricate network of lacy capillaries.
This dense network is designed to reach into every crease and corner of our brain in order to feed “oxygen” to as many neurons as possible. Yet, inevitably, some cells will be less well supplied than others. These tend to be the cells we use the least and are also the first to die off. After the age of thirty, the brain's circulatory system becomes less and less efficient. At least 35,000 brain cells will die every day, 200 in the time it took to read this far.
Over the next week, almost a million more will likely die. A one-year old baby has about 100 billion neurons. No new neurons will be formed after that age. So, since we have at least 100 billion brain cells, this rate of loss is hardly noticeable in a single day. But the loss does add up as the years go by. By the time we reach 60 years old, a healthy adult will have lost more than 766,500,000 neurons. Neurons are nerve cells that transmit signals to and from the brain at up to 200 mph. The neuron consists of a cell body (or soma) with branching dendrites (signal receivers) and a projection called an axon, that conducts the nerve signal. At the other end of the axon, the axon terminals transmit the electro-chemical signal across a synapse (the gap between the axon terminal and the receiving cell). The word "neuron", by the way, was created by the German scientist Heinrich Wilhelm Gottfried von Waldeyer-Hartz in 1891. (He also created the term "chromosome"). A typical neuron has about 1,000 to 10,000 synapses. That is, each neuron communicates with from 100,010,000 other neurons, muscle cells, glands, etc. You can see how important every single neuron is to our brain.
Here are some additional fascinating facts about the brain:
If every person on the planet simultaneously made 200,000 phone calls, there would be the same total number of connections as take place in a single human brain in every day. The gray cells occupy only 5% of our brains – 95% is taken up by the communication network that runs between the grey cells!
In right-handed individuals (91% of all people,) the right side of the brain controls musical talent, fantasy, imagination, dreams, drawing, and painting. The left side of the brain controls mathematical ability, ability to solve logic problems, controls language skills, remembers names, dates, and facts. The grey part of the brain is folded to fit inside the skull and, if flattened, it would cover the surface of an office desk.
On the average, the male brain (1,4kg) is slightly bigger than the female brain (1.26kg). You can retain about seven facts at any one time in short term memory, but over the long term, your brain has to forget things to make room for new memories.
Your brain is full of nerve cells, but it has no pain receptors. Doctors can operate on your brain while you're awake and you won't feel a thing. Your brain generates 25 watts of power while you're awake---enough to illuminate a light bulb.