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Every Breath You Take

By Cynthia Logan

Even if you don't generally frequent bars, you may find yourself seeking one out in the near future. An Oxygen Bar, that is. A trend begun in Tokyo in the late 90's, Oxygen Bars offer a 5-20 minute "hit" of medical grade oxygen that's pumped through water to the "imbiber" via a surgical tube. Other polluted cities such as Toronto and Hollywood have them too, adding to the experience by putting scented oils in the water. Patrons report relief from the effects of heavy smog, as well as increased energy, enhanced physical stamina and mental clarity. A healthy high. But sad, too. The need for such places stems from our having seriously depleted the air we breathe of oxygen.

Only two hundred years ago, the air was composed of 38% oxygen and 1% carbon dioxide. Today, the ratio is 19%:25%-an astounding change-we've created an atmosphere with only half the amount of oxygen we had for thousands of years and increased the carbon dioxide twenty five-fold!1

Your city may not be oppressively polluted, but your body still craves oxygen-an increasingly rare nutrient. Think about it: you could live for about 40 days without food and up to seven days without water, but only seconds without oxygen (unless you're a deep sea diver, then it's minutes). Of the five basic elements comprising all life on earth (hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and sulfur), oxygen is the only one that can combine with almost every other element. And it is the key player in cellular metabolism, comprising half of the ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) cycle, which creates all your energy.

How Oxygen Creates Energy
Remember physiology 101? On average, we take about 14 breaths per minute. Our lungs diffuse the oxygen we breathe into the blood plasma, where it is met by red blood cells carrying hemoglobin. These little guys grab the oxygen and transport it to our cells. Cells take that oxygen and combine it with the glucose they've stored from carbohydrates we've eaten and make ATP, an aerobic fuel. This process is called oxidation. If cells lack sufficient amounts of oxygen, the glucose begins to ferment and the cell then "feeds" off the fermentation, becoming anaerobic. Once a cell turns anaerobic and can't oxidize properly, it is unable to utilize antioxidants, minerals, amino acids and other essential nutrients efficiently. This results in cell contamination, increased free-radical production, decreased immune function and an overly acidic cellular environment. Not a pretty picture. An acidic (as opposed to alkaline) cellular environment is basically the precursor of all disease. In addition, a lack of cellular ATP adversely affects the body's sodium-potassium balance and causes chemical changes which reduce cells' "electrical fields," resulting in what we term "mineral deposits."2 According to Arthur C. Guyton, M.D. (author of "The Textbook on Medical Physiology"), "All chronic pain, suffering and diseases are caused from a lack of oxygen at the cellular level." And Dr. Stephen Levine, a molecular biologist and geneticist, states that; "It is believed, and supported by a great deal of research, that a shortage of oxygen in the blood could be the starting point for the breakdown of the immune system."

Are you breathing deeper yet? Oxygen is not only an energy producer, but functions as a "disintegrator,"3 killing pathogens on contact. Harmful anaerobic bacteria and viruses, which carry a positive electrical charge, cannot survive in the presence of oxygen. Because its molecules are missing electrons in each of its outer shells, oxygen molecules "steal" electrons from these organisms, but do not invade beneficial, aerobic bacteria, which carry a negative charge. Oxygen is selective and smart, making it the "weapon of choice" in the battle for health in an unhealthy environment.

Oxygen Supplementation
You can increase your levels of oxygen by exercising, using deep breathing techniques, eating plenty of complex carbohydrates (vegetables, whole grains, seeds and nuts), and enjoying moderate sunlight. You can also utilize various forms of oxygen supplementation, such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy (the so-called "oxygen chambers"), which must be administered by a professional medical practitioner, liquid stabilized oxygen ingestion or magnesium dioxide tablets. Or try laser technology, far-infrared light frequencies or light-emitting diode systems. Ozone therapy, though banned by the FDA in the United States, is used extensively in Germany. It is administered rectally, and releases oxygen into the bloodstream. Liquid hydrogen peroxide supplements have become popular because H2O2 naturally decomposes into water and oxygen, by-products that are clearly safe for the environment. However, many people don't realize that only one of six major grades of H2O2 is safe for human consumption and even that grade must be diluted with at least 98% water!

While some hydrogen peroxide is naturally produced by our immune systems, too much of it can produce an overabundance of single oxygen molecules, which can react with components in cells and blood, producing harmful free radicals. The FDA considers hydrogen peroxide to be non-toxic and non-carcinogenic (35% food grade hydrogen peroxide is used in food preparation, manufacturing and packing, especially for cheese, whey and egg products). Though oxygen therapies can benefit you and relieve many ailments, extreme caution should be exercised when using hydrogen, magnesium or chlorine peroxides for medical or preventive alternative therapy.

An excellent guide to peroxide therapies is Dr. Kurt Donsbach's book, "Oxygen, Oxygen, Oxygen."
The latest technology offers "stabilized" oxygen supplementation, and utilizes either a "dry" delivery system, which combines the oxygen with minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, or a liquid system, which bonds oxygen molecules with certain salts to create oxygen ions. The dry mineral-oxygen combinations release oxygen in the stomach when the molecules are separated by stomach acid. As a gas, oxygen is then easily absorbed through digestive walls into the bloodstream. The liquid based system uses sodium chlorite (also known as chlorine dioxide) and is highly alkaline. It can burn the skin or stomach if taken in concentrated form, and so must be diluted in water. Stabilized oxygen products are mostly chlorine, sodium and water, with extra oxygen stabilized in the water. The amount of chlorine in these solutions is very small and easily excreted. A newer form of liquid delivery is based on a unique oxygen molecule called QO4. This proprietary technology is pH balanced and therefore has no toxicity. Supplements utilizing this technology are absorbed very rapidly and can be taken sublingually or used topically.

So, whatever your state of vitality, enhance it with increased oxygen. At the very leastjust remember to BREATHE!

1. http://www.oxygentherapies.com
2."Oxygen, Oxygen, Oxygen," by Dr. Kurt Donsbach, D.C., Ph.D.
3. "The Textbook on Medical Physiology," by Dr. Arthur C. Guyton, M.D.
4. http://www.oxytherapy.com

1 From "Oxygen: Nature's Most Important Dietary Supplement," by Stephen R. Krauss, Ph.D.
2 ibid
3 "The Magic of Aerobic Oxygen," by Brian Goulet, Certified Herbologist.