Oxygen is one of the five basic elements of all life (oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and sulphur) and is colorless, tasteless and odorless. None of these five basic elements, or any other element for that matter, is as abundant as oxygen. In addition, only oxygen is capable of combining with almost every other element and is essential in combustion. The earth's crust is estimated to be 49.2% oxygen by weight; almost 20% of our atmosphere is oxygen and the rest is nitrogen; oxygen constitutes almost 85% of sea water, 47% of dry soil, 42% of all vegetation, 46% of igneous rocks and over 65% of the human body. The two men credited with the discovery of oxygen in 1773 are the Swedish chemist Karl Wilhelm Scheele and Englishman Joseph Priestley. But it wasn't until 1777 that the French scientist Antoine Laurent Lavosier demonstrated that oxygen was a pure substance and a component of air.
OXYGEN - THE BASIS FOR ALL LIFE
No other element is as important as atomic oxygen (with its eight electrons per atom.) Oxygen is absolutely critical to the life processes of all living creatures. Oxygen is brought to the lungs by respiration where it diffuses from the air into the blood stream through over 140 square meters of internal lung surface area called the "gastric mucosa". The average individual takes in approximately 6 liters of air per minute, (about 14 breaths per minute of about 500 ml,) during what is called a "resting state". Under heavy exertion or stress, this rate can increase to more than 125 liters per minute. Oxygen from the lungs rapidly diffuses into the blood plasma where it is then taken up by the hemoglobin in the red blood cells. The hemoglobin becomes over 95% saturated with the available oxygen where it is then carried and eventually transferred to every one of the billions of cells in our bodies. The oxygen, once in these "recipient" cells is consumed as sugars are converted to energy and heat. The more energy or warmth our body needs, the more oxygen that is consumed. This process is called "oxidation" and carbohydrates (sugars) are what are oxidized (or "burned") for the body's fuel. Therefore the cells, to remain healthy and to continue to perform their function of providing energy for the body, must have an adequate and continuous supply of oxygen. Do we get enough oxygen into our blood stream? And if we don't, what happens to our cells and vital organs when they are denied an adequate supply of oxygen? These are vital questions that scientists and researchers have debated for many years. Let's look at some of their conclusions.
THE BLOOD STREAM: THE RIVER OF LIFE
Human blood has three main components: plasma, white blood cells and red blood cells. Our blood will settle into three distinct layers if left in a test tube. The red blood cells, the most numerous in the bloodstream, will settle on the bottom. White blood cells, including lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, basophils, neutrophils, and platelets, will form a thin white line in the middle. A deep, yellowish, watery plasma will float to the top. Plasma is the actual "river" in which all the working constituents of our blood are carried in our remarkable circulatory system. Among the many constituents in this river is dissolved oxygen - up to 5% can be dissolved in this fluid. Unlike fish that can exist on this dissolved oxygen in the plasma stream, the human body requires more oxygen than the plasma can provide. Hence, the great importance of red blood cells which can carry tremendous amounts of oxygen to the tissues in our body. But these red blood cells get their oxygen from the plasma. The body, in its own remarkable way, does not allow all of the red blood cells' oxygen to be consumed as it courses through our bodies. Under normal conditions, 70% to 75% of the oxygen that started the journey in the red cells completes the return trip to the lungs. Thus, from 25% to 30% of the oxygen is consumed by normal cellular metabolism. If, however, the body undergoes exertion, stress, or any other prolonged physical activity, this "reserve" can drop to 20% to 25%. Thus, if you can raise the amount of oxygen dissolved in the plasma, you will increase the amount of oxygen that gets to the cells and that can become a part of the oxygen "reserve". The red blood cells, as carriers, gather oxygen from the plasma and transport this oxygen to the capillaries where it is released again into the plasma for the cells to use for metabolism.
A LACK OF ADEQUATE OXYGEN IS THE CAUSE
An amazing statement was included in the research by Dr. Arthur C. Guyton,
M.D. in his medical text The Textbook of Medical Physiology. He wrote: "...all chronic pain, suffering and diseases are caused from a lack of
oxygen at the cell level." (1) In his research, Dr. Guyton discovered that in order for our cells to get their oxygen from the blood stream, the cells
must be in what he described as a "dry state". In this condition there will be "...no excess fluid around the cells. There is only enough fluid to fill
the crevices around the cells." Dr. Guyton believed, as well as most of the medical profession, that as long as the fluid around the cells was at the
proper water level, contained the right mineral balance, and was free of toxic wastes, the cells would continue to live, function and grow in a
healthy manner. Dr. Guyton's research revealed that blood proteins in our blood stream, (which is 91% water,) make sure that the water is kept in our
blood stream so that no excess fluids seep around the cellular walls. If our blood proteins escape out of our blood stream and find their way into the
spaces between the cells, then our lymphatic system must immediately remove these proteins from these spaces. The proteins' present in this altered
condition will pull both sodium and water out of the blood stream.
FREE RADICALS: ENEMIES OR ALLIES?
Over the last 30 years, over 6,000 scientific studies have revealed that free radical activity represents a major cause of all degenerative diseases. These same studies also indicate, quite clearly, that there is an effective way to control and in most cases eliminate free radical damage. Unfortunately, free radical science is totally misunderstood by the general public and misinformation on this subject is often provided by both the media and by manufacturers of nutrients and supplements designed to solve the free radical dilemma. What is the truth? What is a free radical? How are they created? Are all free radicals harmful to the body? Is there an effective way to deactivate free radicals? Is oxygen the real villain in free radical production? The simplest definition of a free radical was written by Dr. Kurt Donsbach in his book Oxygen-Oxygen-Oxygen: "It is an element or compound which has an unpaired or unmatched electron. This lack of balance causes the substance to have a very reactive character. However, it must be noted that these free radicals are very short-lived, usually in the one ten-thousandth of a second range. But during this short time, these free radicals can cause damage by joining with other body chemicals and changing their character, sometimes even producing a chain reaction by creating new free radicals that carry on." (4)
Dr. Peter Rothschild, in his work Free Radicals, Stress and Antioxidant Enzymes wrote: "Due to their over-reactive nature, free radicals can be extremely toxic and are a direct consequence of the primary stress factors that adversely affect the immune system and threaten our health. However, this is not to imply that free radicals are always harmful or dangerous. Minute amounts of free radicals are essential for many important functions of the immune system and other vital cellular activities. For example, the immune system will actually generate free radicals to use in the process of removing a virus or bacteria. Only when high concentrations of free radicals are present, or when the levels of free radicals overwhelm the body's ability to remove them, does a threat to our health occur. Maintaining the balance between free radical activity and antioxidant enzyme supply is one of the important functions of the body." (5)
Free radicals are missing electrons, and in this quantum atomic state, they will do whatever they can in stealing an electron from another source. Around every atom orbit electrons in what are called shells. These shells (or sub-orbits) vary in distance from the center of the atom's nucleus. Each sub-orbit can accommodate two electrons, each "spinning" or generating what quantum physicists call "wave forms" or "wave packets" in a different directions. If one of these electron's is missing in the outer orbit it will seek out its matching electron. It will not stop looking for this match until it finds one. Such an unstable and reactive atom is called a free radical. Free radicals can be of various sizes, from single atoms to more complex molecules. They can be one, two, three and four atom molecules based on oxygen, or formed from more complex atoms. They can be beneficial and they can be destructive. But best of all, they can be controlled by molecules produced in the body, like the enzymes superoxide dimutase (SOD) and gluthathione peroxidase, and naturally occurring vitamins and nutrients we can daily obtain like E, C, beta-carotine and bioflavonoids.
Maharishi Ayur-Ved wrote in his book Freedom from Disease: How to Control Free Radicals: "They are an inescapable feature of all oxygen based life. As part of the life-giving processes that create energy in every cell, free radicals are created as toxic waste. When the immune system sends special forces to fight infection, free radicals as used as a weapon...If the body takes in pesticides, industrial chemicals, processed foods, cigarette smoke, or alcohol, free radicals are the most common result. And when the mind and body come under stress, free radicals are mass produced." (6)
PAIN IS CAUSED BY A LACK OF OXYGEN
Dr. C. Samuel West, a specialist in the science of lymphology and a distinguished member of the International Society of Lymphology, has proven that food present in cells without enough oxygen will turn into toxic waste and fat. The less oxygen present in the cells, the more pain we experience. Dr. West is a strong advocate of exercise since a lack of exercise reduces circulation and thus the transfer of oxygen to the cells. This leads to high blood pressure and fluid retention (2). As mentioned previously, it is the lack of A.T.P. (Addenison Tri-Phosphate) that causes the glucose in the cells to ferment creating an anaerobic (without oxygen) condition. This upsets the metabolic processes of the cell. These cells, lacking sufficient oxygen, start manufacturing improper chemicals and soon these cells and their surrounding cells become weak and unhealthy. If prolonged, the entire immune system may start breaking down.
A lack of cellular A.T.P. drastically alters the body's sodium-potassium balance in the individual cells, in the bloodstream, and in the fluid that surrounds the cells. The chemical change also alters and reduces the "electrical fields" in the cells and the bloodstream. Once this electrical change occurs, minerals begin to "fall out" of the fluids surrounding the cells and the bloodstream and start sticking together in what is called "mineral deposits". If these minerals settle in the joints, arthritis occurs; in the eyes, cataracts occur. When they settle in the arteries, we describe the process as "hardening of the arteries." Our muscles also respond to electrical charges sent by the brain. These messages tell the muscles to contract and release. Anything that upsets this delicate and intricate electrical transfer of energy, as does a lack of adequate A.T.P., will cause the muscles spasm and work or respond poorly.
We live in the world of fast-foods and instant-gratification. In addition, no modern society consumes more red meats and dairy products than does America. Research currently estimates that over 45% of the American diet is fat. Unfortunately, animal and dairy products contain high concentrates of cholesterol. While the body needs some "good" cholesterol to run efficiently, the cholesterol from meats and dairy products passes directly into the bloodstream and begin to "trap" blood proteins which are so important for stabilizing and regulating the flow of oxygen to the cells. Excessive consumption of cholesterol/fat-ridden food robs oxygen from the bloodstream. Fats easily combine with oxygen and form "free radicals". These free radicals use more oxygen to form peroxides that damage and destroy the cells. As far back as 1977, it was reported in the Scientific American (February Issue) that "...cholesterol epoxide (peroxide) and other substances formed from cholesterol will cause cells to mutate and which will cause cancer." This is how fatty foods, which are consumed so much by Americans, cause an oxygen deficiency that helps promote cancer.
Thus, cells that lose their ability to utilize oxygen can and do become cancerous. These cells have been oxygen-starved so long that they have undergone a metabolic "shift" and revert to a metabolism without oxygen (called anaerobic metabolism). This is, of course, the ultimate and last stage of degeneration caused by a low oxygen lifestyle. It is also interesting that research shows that people who consume very high quantities of fat have a far greater incidence of cancer as well as other degenerative diseases. Thus, cholesterol rich foods, (those lacking the life giving oxygen found in raw vegetables, etc. which are easily converted into energy,) are converted into toxic waste and fat in the cells. This toxic waste and fat in the cells impedes the nutrient supply to the cells from the bloodstream. In addition, all the current nutritional research clearly indicates that foods high in sugars, salts, fats and cholesterol are directly responsible for problems like kidney and heart diseases, liver damage, high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries, obesity, and strokes. Dr. Levine has described the consequences of cellular oxygen deficiencies this way: it is "An acidic condition, caused by the accumulation of acidic byproducts, occurs in poorly oxygenated cells. Soft drinks, caffeine, alcohol, and red meats are among the substances that cause systemic (whole body) acidity where there is an excess of positively charges hydrogen ions (H+)." When excessive numbers of hydrogen ions are in the tissue environment they will combine with (and thus utilize) oxygen resulting in an oxygen deficiency state. "When cells are deprived of oxygen, lactic acid accumulates and the cellular environment becomes acidic. This reduces available oxygen for the primary function of metabolism because more oxygen is needed to neutralize the acid."
THE CHAIN REACTION
As meat and dairy foods, which are high in cholesterol, break down (dissolve) in our stomach and intestine, poisonous by-products are manufactured. These by-products dilate (widen or expand) the capillaries making the distance that the water has to travel to and from the cells much greater. The greater the distance that the fluids must travel, in the same amount of time, the less the transfer of nutrients, oxygen and minerals. Also the less toxins, waste products, poisons, etc. are transferred back out of the cells and into the bloodstream. The waste products, toxins, etc. start to accumulate in the cells. The stretched capillary walls allow the blood proteins to escape and lodge themselves between the cells. The trapped proteins permit the accumulation of excess fluids around the cells. This prevents the cells from getting the oxygen they need and so the glucose begins to ferment resulting in electrical changes as the mineral and salt balances change.
The oxygen rich red blood cells carry a negative electrical charge. They travel through the capillaries single file. As the capillaries dilate and the electrical balance of our body changes because of a lack of oxygen, these blood cells are now dispersed over a greater volume in the capillaries, and are unable to travel the now greater distances to the cells. To further complicate matters, the red blood cells, because of the electrical change, begin to clump together to cause a microscopic traffic jam in the capillaries. This further dilates the capillary pores and allows more blood proteins to escape and lodge in the spaces around the cells. This produces more fluid around the cells and the process repeats itself until the cells begin to die because of a lack of oxygen.
EFFECTIVE PREVENTATIVE ALTERNATIVES
Most individuals when they are "sick" turn to conventional medicines to correct the problem. Researchers have learned, however, that many "effective" cures for illnesses have side-effects. Antibiotics, for example, are effective for removing pathogenic bacteria from the body. Many thousands of lives have been saved from bacterial infections by using penicillin as well as other antibiotics. Yet, many studies indicate the possibility that the recent drastic increase of candida albicans yeast infections is primarily due to the widespread use of antibiotics as prescriptions for humans. Statistics indicate that the majority of antibiotics produced and used today in the U.S. are purchased by the poultry, dairy and beef industry to prevent animal diseases. These antibiotics are eventually stored in the tissues of these "food" animals. When they are slaughtered and prepared for market, these "stored" antibiotics are eventually consumed by each of us and added to those that are already in our bodies. The problem is that antibiotics may remove beneficial as well as pathogenic bacteria. This situation could create an imbalance which could lead to an overgrowth of candida as well as many other problems. Therefore, when we use antibiotics, we make a trade-off. We often sacrifice our beneficial bacteria to rid ourselves of the pathogenic bacteria. While antibiotics have importance in life-threatening situations, to use them routinely for every ill is considered by many practitioners to be inappropriate and could even be dangerous to our health.
When the body encounters pathogens, (like viruses, fungi and bacteria,) in the bloodstream or in tissues, the immune system cells will surround or "engulf" these invaders. They then bombard these pathogens with self-generated free-radicals called "superoxides" which scientists call O2. These "superoxides" are manufactured in the cells during normal cell metabolism using the oxygen they get from the red blood cells in the capillaries. If the immune system is working properly, as described earlier, it will generate more anti-oxidant enzymes to remove the free-radicals to protect the surrounding tissues. The importance of this anti-oxidant defense system cannot be overstated. Without it, the immune system actually works against the body by generating too many free radicals which will go about doing damage to the surrounding tissue and our bodies. Although there are other factors, this breakdown in the immune system in many people has helped create an epidemic of auto-immune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
OXYGEN: THE KILLER?
Oxygen is both a life-giver as well as a "killer." It is one of the body's primary guardians and protectors against unfriendly bacteria and other disease organisms. In fact, one of oxygen's major functions is "disintegration". Brian Goulet, a Certified Herb-ologist and a Nutritional Consultant, wrote in his article "The Magic of Aerobic Oxygen" (7): "Rubble, garbage, toxins, refuse, debris, and anything useless are destroyed by oxygen and carried out of the system. Just as a clean house holds little interest to passing flies, likewise an oxygen rich body is a difficult fortress to assail." Harmful anaerobic bacteria and viruses cannot survive in the presence of oxygen. But oxygen is also naturally selective in what it kills. Unlike drugs and antibiotics which may and usually kill all bacteria in the body, oxygen kills only harmful bacteria while allowing beneficial bacteria to thrive thus insuring good health. Oxygen molecules, like those found in stabilized oxygen supplements, are missing electrons in each of the molecules' outer shells. Because of this, the oxygen molecules will pull electrons from anything that will give them up. Anaerobic bacteria and anaerobic viruses, (as do all living things) possess an electrical charge. These anaerobic organisms cannot prevent the oxygen molecule from stealing electrons from them. As soon as this process occurs, the organisms die. Aerobic beneficial bacteria will not give up their electrons to the oxygen molecules. Neither will beneficial bacteria which live under both anaerobic and aerobic conditions, like in the intestines, be adversely affected by oxygen. In fact, these organisms are actually stimulated in the presence of oxygen.
OXYGEN CLASSIFIED AS A VITAMIN
In view of all the scientific evidence available today, an excellent oxygen ratio in the bloodstream is a prime requirement for good health. Stabilized oxygen supplements are packed with nutrient oxygen. This oxygen certainly fits the definition of a vitamin which is a substance found in foods, (or the environment) and is necessary for life, but not necessarily manufactured by the body. Dr. Levine calls oxygen the "very spark of life!"
Our bodies are now experiencing oxygen starvation on a daily basis. The following factors rob oxygen from our bodies:
Toxic Stress ... Whether derived from the water we drink, the air we breathe or the food we eat, we are now subject to over 70,000 different toxic contaminates, many that did not exist a decade ago. Oxygen is required for the body to even attempt to metabolize and eliminate these lethal chemicals from the body.
Emotional Stress... Adrenaline and adrenaline-related hormones are created by the body during emotionally stressful times (like every day for many of us). The body must use its available oxygen to metabolize these chemicals back out of the body to reestablish metabolic balance.
Physical Trauma & Infections ... Bacteria and viruses can put tremendous stress on the body's immune system. When this occurs, the immune system is robbed of the oxygen that is necessary for the body's normal metabolic functions.
Reduction in available atmospheric oxygen ... Studies reveal that increased environmental pollution and "green plant" destruction has reduced the amount of oxygen (by as much 50%!) in our atmosphere over the last 200 years.
Improper Diets ... Saturated fats can reduce oxygen in the blood stream. Foods with high fat contents and low nutrient values, (i.e. junk and highly-processed foods,) have less than half of the oxygen content than do foods containing complex carbohydrates.)
Lack of Exercise... Exercising increases the body's metabolic rate as well as the intake of oxygen to help cleanse the body of built-up toxins. A sedentary lifestyle reduces the body's ability to process out toxic contaminates and to perform normal metabolic functions.
For years, alternative health care professionals have developed and provided natural therapies for healing and well-being. Oxygen alternative approaches to health have been used effectively by these professionals, as reported in over 5,000 published articles, for over 100 years!
Oxygen is a nutritional alternative approach to better health in the form of a remarkable activated oxygen supplement.. Oxygen is primarily absorbed into the blood stream through the stomach and the intestinal lining. Once in the blood stream, the oxygen will make its normal journey to the cells in the body.
WHO SHOULD USE NUTRAOXYGEN?
The answer is quite simple. Any individual who is interested in a holistic approach to health and wellness will benefit from using Oxygen. Our bodies require a consistent supply of oxygen to function properly.