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How the Body Uses Oxygen

Written by Dr. Group, DC Founder
Picture of a woman taking a deep breath to fill her lungs with oxygen. Oxygen is a gas that is essential for life.

Oxygen is a colorless, odorless gas that is essential for life.[1] Life as we know it literally could not exist without oxygen.

Billions of years ago there was very little oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere. Complex animal life did not, and could not, exist. The story of how the earth changed from a dead, oxygen-poor rock into the oxygen-rich, life-sustaining world we know now is a matter of considerable debate. However it happened, eventually, simple one-celled organisms came to exist and created their own energy by taking in sunlight, water, and the existing gases in the atmosphere. What they released as a waste gas was oxygen.

Over eons, this waste gas built up to such plentiful levels that other life forms evolved to take advantage. All animal life, including humans, descend from these simple oxygen-breathing creatures.[2]

How Respiration Works

The human body requires oxygen to function. It takes in oxygen and releases waste gas in the form of carbon dioxide. This two-part process is called respiration. There are two types of respiration: anaerobic and aerobic. Anaerobic respiration doesn’t use oxygen and is mainly a function of simple, one-celled organisms. Aerobic respiration is what humans and animals use. In aerobic respiration, oxygen is used within the cell to help create energy.

When you breathe, air enters microscopic air sacs in your lungs called alveoli. Oxygen passes through the walls of the alveoli and into the bloodstream.[3] The blood carries oxygen to cells throughout the body, where it helps convert nutrients into usable energy. Fun fact: oxygen is what makes your blood red. Blood without oxygen appears blue.

What We Actually Breathe

The air you breathe is not solely composed of oxygen. In fact, only about 21% of the air in the atmosphere is oxygen. Nitrogen makes up a whopping 78%.[4] The remaining 1% consists of argon, carbon dioxide, and other trace gases. Unfortunately, an ever-growing proportion of the air we breathe is made up of pollutants like carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and ground-level ozone.[5] Pollutants in the atmosphere affect indoor air quality and contribute to health risks.[6][6] Conversely, breathing fresh, clean air supports good health.

How Cleaner Air Can Strengthen the Body

Respiration is a metabolic process. The body does not store oxygen; its supply is constantly replenished through respiration. The more active brody processes are, the more oxygen they require.[8] A higher oxygen content enables the body’s cells and processes to perform at a higher rate. This means that the body’s capabilities increase when more oxygen is available.

Oxygen and the Importance of Cleansing

Breathing clean air is key to reaching your full health potential but it’s not the only factor. Nutrition is very important. Unfortunately, there are conditions that can prevent a person from properly processing certain sugars, fats, proteins, or vitamins.[9] This is often caused by an obstruction or blockage in the digestive tract. Cleansing is an effective way to overcome this trouble. Cleansing helps to remove toxins that can be picked up from impurities in the air, water, environment, or food. And guess what? Oxygen can actually help your body cleanse itself.

The human body has natural, built-in self-healing mechanisms and oxygen can help boost those processes. Oxygen has natural cleansing and health-supporting abilities. When harnessed, it helps remove impurities and blockages.

If you’re considering a cleanse or looking for a way to improve your wellness, remember the importance of oxygen. Whether you’re new to cleansing or have performed many, I recommend Oxy-Powder®. Oxy-Powder gently cleanses and detoxifies your colon with the soothing power of oxygen.

References (9)
  1. Stamati, Katerina, Vivek Mudera, and Umber Cheema. Evolution of Oxygen Utilization in Multicellular Organisms and Implications for Cell Signalling in Tissue Engineering. Journal of Tissue Engineering 2.1 (2011): 2041731411432365. PMC. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.
  2. Lindahl, Sten G. E. "Oxygen and Life on Earth." Anesthesiology 109.1 (2008): 7-13. Web.
  3. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. What Happens When You Breathe? U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 17 July 2012. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.
  4. Air Resources Laboratory. How Much Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide Is There in the Air We Breath? NOAA, 23 Sept. 2008. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.
  5. AirNow. Air Quality Index (AQI) Basics. AirNow.gov, 28 Jan. 2016. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.
  6. Environmental Protection Agency. Factors Affecting Indoor Air Quality. (n.d.): 5-12. EPA.gov. Environmental Protection Agency, Aug. 2014. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.
  7. Environmental Protection Agency Reducing Toxic Air Pollutants. EPA.gov. United States Environmental Protection Agency, 23 Feb. 2016. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.
  8. LaValle, James B. Chapter 15, Key Nine: Understanding the Two Sides of Oxygen. Cracking the Metabolic Code: The Nine Keys to Peak Health and Longevity. North Bergen, NJ: Basic Health, 2003. 373. Print.
  9. Lehrer, Jennifer K., MD, et al. Malabsorption: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Medicine Plus. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 11 Aug. 2014. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.


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