How to Measure and Increase Whole Body and Brain Oxygen
Total brain oxygen content
If we look at this Graph showing
levels in one cross section, we can notice that oxygen
distribution is very inhomogeneous. The most oxygenated area is around the
hypothalamus, which is also the most ancient or primitive brain present even in
the simplest creatures like worms. The hypothalamus is responsible for
primitive reflexes and bodily reactions, and it is generally the most active
area of the whole brain. Since nerve activity requires more O2, nature
provided the hypothalamus with a rich network of arteries to provide more blood
Depending on the situation and state of the human body, certain areas of the
brain, similar to hypothalamus, can be more or less active requiring different
oxygen supplies, and that explains why this graph shows inhomogeneous oxygen
distribution for normal breathing and hyperventilation, which is present in over
90% of modern people.
In addition, on a cell level, oxygen distribution among neighboring cells can
also vary widely. Those cells that are adjacent to capillaries can have
high O2 pressure (up to 4-5% or around 30-38 mm Hg). But more distant
cells (cells can be located as far away as 3-4 cells away from the nearest blood
vessel) can have only 1% or about 7.6 mm Hg for O2 partial pressure.
Therefore, it is very difficult to measure the total
brain oxygen content
using direct methods. Even if we make thousands of similar PET scans, and then define average
oxygenation for each cross section and then the average content for the whole brain,
there is a large factor related to this cellular oxygen distribution effect.
Total oxygen content in the body
The situation with total one's body-oxygen content is even more complex.
Blood flow to different organs is greatly influenced by the autoregulation
effect that can change the perfusion of certain organs up to 3-4 times. Autoregulation takes place due to various bodily processes, such as digestion,
sleep, exercise, adaptation to temperature changes, emotions, local and global
infections, local inflammation, and many others. Therefore, the total picture is
very complex and, from the purely technical viewpoint, one's total body-oxygen content
is exceptionally difficult and expensive to measure.
A simple DIY test to measure whole body and total brain oxygen content
In the 1960's, Dr.
Buteyko had devices to measure body-oxygen levels and test people for low brain oxygen. He knew about the effects
described above when he worked as the Manager of the Laboratory of the
Functional Diagnostic in Novosibirsk (see the photo of his Laboratory from the
1960’s on the right) for first Soviet Spaceship Missions. He was also
interested in finding total body-O2 content. After years of
research, he stated,
"Oxygen content in the organism can be found using a simple method: after
exhalation, observe, how long the person can pause their breath without
stress" Dr. K. P.Buteyko, "Dr. Buteyko lecture in the
Moscow State University on 9 December 1969"
This observation makes sense since, in spite of autoregulation and
inhomogeneous O2 distribution, CO2 is the main factor that controls oxygen
delivery and blood flow in a dose-dependent manner. For example, numerous
studies proved that blood flow to various organs is linearly proportional to the
arterial CO2 level. Furthermore, the clinical observations of over 180 Soviet and
Russian physicians suggests that this test is simple and exceptionally valuable
in order to define the current physiological state of the person, their symptoms
and requirements in medication. For only a small portion of people (about 1% or less
in ordinary people and slightly more in the sick), this simple body-oxygen test
is not an accurate measure for their health.
How to increase brain oxygen?
This website explains how to increase one's
content by breathing normalization (or learning how to breathe in accordance
with medical norms). One needs to address numerous lifestyle factors related to
sleep, exercise, diet, stress and much more. See the Learning Section of this
site for all details or start with the educational YouTube video list.
For more information about normal numbers, numbers in sick people, and
the exact details of this test to measure brain and body and brain O2 content,
visit the page "DIY body-oxygen test".
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