Most Potent Bronchodilators to Treat Asthma and COPD Naturally
natural bronchodilator is a substance that relaxes smooth muscles or airways and
causes dilation of bronchi and bronchioles. Bronchodilators reduce
resistance in the respiratory tract and improve airflow to the alveoli of
the lungs. Bronchodilators are divided as either endogenous
or natural bronchodilators
(originating naturally within the human body), or they may be medical drugs
that are used for treatment of breathing problems in people with COPD,
asthma, cystic fibrosis and other respiratory conditions. In order to find
the most effective bronchodilators, consider the cause of bronchospasm in these people.
Hypocapnia: the chief cause of bronchoconstriction
Ventilation rates (chronic diseases)
| All references or
click below for abstracts
|| Medical textbooks
|| Results of 14 studies
||13 (+-2) L/min
|| Chalupa et al, 2004
|| Johnson et al, 1995
||14 (+-6) L/min
|| Bowler et al, 1998
||13 (+-4) L/min
|| Kassabian et al, 1982
|| McFadden, Lyons, 1968
||14 (+-2) L/min
|| Palange et al, 2001
||12 (+-2) L/min
|| Sinderby et al, 2001
|| Stulbarg et al, 2001
Fauroux et al, 2006
Browning et al, 1990
Ward et al, 1999
|CF and diabetes*
Ward et al, 1999
Dodd et al, 2006
McKone et al, 2005
||13 (+-2) L/min
|| Bell et al, 1996
|| Tepper et al, 1983
Sick people suffer from bronchoconstriction due to heavy
breathing 24/7. Why? This is because they have too low levels of
CO2 in airways.
Carbon dioxide is probably the most powerful among all bronchodilators
since it is the most potent relaxant of smooth muscles and vasodilator (see
links to studies below). Normal breathing parameters include
40 mm Hg CO2 pressure in the alveoli of the lungs to keep these
air passages open wide (see on the left) due to natural bronchodilation, while
hypocapnia (CO2 deficiency) in airways leads to bronchoconstriction or
"Agents that tend to dilate airways include increased
CO2 (hypoventilation or inspired CO2)..." Normal C. Straub, Sr.,
Professor Emeritus, University of California at San Francisco School of
Medicine; Textbook on physiology: Straub NC, Section V, The
Respiratory System, in Physiology, eds. RM Berne & MN Levy,
4-th edition, Mosby, St. Louis, 1998.
Carbon dioxide is listed in this medical textbook as the Number 1 bronchodilator. When the CO2 level in the lungs is low, the bronchi constrict
(the right picture below: bronchoconstriction), causing wheezing, feelings of
breathlessness, and difficulty breathing. These effects are
particularly known to asthmatics and patients with bronchitis and
emphysema (COPD conditions).
Hence, bronchodilation is another carbon dioxide effect that is crucial for
Research about CO2 and asthma
In 1968, in his research article The
mechanism of bronchoconstriction due to hypocapnia in man
(“hypocapnia” means abnormally low CO2 concentrations) Sterling explained
that carbon dioxide deficiency leads to an excited state of the cholinergic
nerve (Sterling, 1968). Since this nerve is responsible for the tone or relaxation of the smooth
muscles in bronchi, its excited state prevents bronchodilation.
Dr. Herxheimer was probably the first scientist who proposed
that CO2 is a natural
bronchodilator, while low CO2 is the cause of bronchial asthma. His articles Hyperventilation
asthma and The late bronchial reaction in induced
asthma were published in 1946 and 1952 (see references below).
Soviet Doctor K Buteyko independently proposed this link in
the 1950’s (his first publication was in 1964) when he discovered that CO2
is among potent natural bronchodilators and overbreathing in the development
and degree of COPD and asthma (Buteyko, 1964).
He and his colleagues also found that asthma patients got immediate relief
from their asthma attack symptoms, if they practiced reduced breathing exercise
which is the main exercise of the Buteyko breathing therapy. Indeed, as soon as
a person with bronchoconstriction starts to breathe less, their carbon dioxide
level in alveoli rises, and this leads to bronchodilation.
Correction of causes of hyperventilation is also
necessary in order to permanently normalize one's breathing and alveolar
carbon dioxide levels to ensure effects of this natural bronchodilator. This is the most logical and natural treatment and
relief from asthma.
Hence, hypocapnic bronchoconstriction or bronchospasmnatural bronchodilatorhysiology, while CO2 is a most powerful natural bronchodilator.
The video on the right side ("Hyperventilation
and Natural Bronchodilators") features Dr. Artour Rakhimov. He explains the
most important natural bronchodilators.
Nasal nitric oxide is another natural bronchodilator if you are a nose breather
Nitric oxide is also a bronchodilator (see the study done in the Harvard
Bronchodilator Action of Inhaled Nitric Oxide in Guinea Pigs). NO
(nitric oxide) is another substance that is produced in different parts of
the human body including sinus passages. Mouth breathing prevents absorption
of nasal nitric oxide and causes additional problems due to spread of
pathogens since nitric oxide has powerful antiviral and anti-bacterial
properties. Therefore, CO2 and NO are most effective
Buteyko KP, An Instruction for VBN Therapy for Bronchial
Asthma, Angina Pectoris, High Blood Pressure and Obliterating
Endarteritis: Preprint. - Novosibirsk, 1964.
Herxheimer H, Hyperventilation asthma, Lancet 1946, 6385: p.
Herxheimer H, The late bronchial reaction in induced asthma, Int Arch
Allergy Appl Immunol 1952; 3: p. 323-328.
Sterling GM, The
mechanism of bronchoconstriction due to hypocapnia in man, Clin Sci 1968
Apr; 34(2): 277-285.
Straub NC, Section V, The Respiratory System, in Physiology,
eds. RM Berne & MN Levy, 4-th edition, Mosby, St. Louis, 1998.
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* Illustrations by Victor Lunn-Rockliffe