CO2 and Oxygen in Evolution of Air on Earth and Health
Video: Evolution of Air Causes Chronic Diseases and Low Cells Oxygen due to Low Carbon Dioxide. How is it possible that a human being, one of the smartest species on Earth, can kill itself, and over 90% people die this way, by overbreathing? Is it nature so silly to create this way? In order to answer these questions we need to consider changes in air composition on Earth and CO2 and O2 evolution. When there were no life on Earth, air has no oxygen (since oxygen is a very reactive substance), while CO2 was a part of the volcanic gases that formed air during those times. Geological studies suggest that CO2 concentration was up to 10-12% or even more.
Thus, when the first organic substances and life forms appeared on Earth (from about 5 billion to 1 billion years ago), our atmosphere did not have any measurable amounts of O2, according to Professor Maina (Maina, 1998), who wrote the book The gas exchangers: structure, function, and evolution of the respiratory processes about development of respiration and breathing in various creatures living on Earth in the past and now. He is one of the leading modern authorities on respiration of different life forms.
Fig. Carbon dioxide and oxygen: Evolution of air on Earth and body cell O2 and CO2 parameters.
Appearance of the first vertebrates (about 550 millions years ago) and the development of prototypes of human lungs took place when air was made up of only about 1% O2, while having much higher percentage of CO2 (Maina, 1998), likely over 7%. Normal air today has many times more O2 (about 20%) and only a fraction of the CO2 (0.03%). However, our cells now still live in the air that existed hundred millions years ago: “But the cells of animals and humans need about 7 % CO2 and only 2% O2 in the surrounding environment. This is the way how our cells live: cells of the heart, brain, and kidneys” (Buteyko, 1977).
Hence, most of the time our lungs were developing and evolving in conditions when the CO2 content was high (up to 7-12% during the first stages of development), with gradual decline, and low O2 values (about 1% or less during the first stages of O2 evolution). During these stages the process of control of breathing by the nervous system was also developed. Since this primitive air had very little O2, our evolutionary predecessors could get more oxygen in tissues by breathing more. Since any stressful situation, digestion, search for food, mating, playing, and any other activity required more oxygen, hyperventilation became the fundamental reflex or instinct. Only totally peaceful stress-free rest had low metabolic rate where heavy breathing would not give any advantage for survival.
On the other hand, however heavy was breathing of these primitive creatures in the past, they would still get the main nutrient, CO2, from air. The CO2 content in tissues had to be even higher than in air and these creatures would never develop spasms of coronary vessels, bronchi, other smooth muscles, or abnormal excitability of the nerve cells, or muscular tension or any other above-mentioned negative effects. Hence, nature did provided primitive creatures with ability to function without all above-discussed physiological flaws.
However, the main parameter of our environment, our air, had dramatic change during later stages of our evolution due to advance of green life that transforms CO2 into O2 during photosynthesis.
We can see that air had dramatic change during evolution. It now has too much oxygen and almost no CO2. Hence, the chief parameter of our environment (we can survive for days or weeks with no water or food, but only for minutes with no air) became abnormal in its composition. It is only existence of our lungs that protected us from extinction. Nature could not anticipate this cardinal change in air, but it did provide us with the means for survival.
For the list of the quoted references click here
Reference pages: Breathing norms and medical facts:
- Breathing norms: Parameters, graph, and description of the normal breathing pattern
- 6 breathing myths: Myths and superstitions about breathing and body oxygenation (prevalence: over 90%)
- Hyperventilation: Definitions of hyperventilation: their advantages and weak points
- Hyperventilation syndrome: Western scientific evidence about prevalence of chronic hyperventilation in patients with chronic conditions (37 medical studies)
- Normal minute ventilation: Small and slow breathing at rest is enjoyed by healthy subjects (14 studies)
- Hyperventilation prevalence: Present in over 90% of normal people (24 medical studies)
- HV and hypoxia: How and why deep breathing reduces oxygenation of cells and tissues of all vital organs
- Body-oxygen test (CP test) : How to measure your own breathing and body oxygenation (two in one) using a simple DIY test
- Body oxygen in healthy: Results for the body-oxygen test for healthy people (27 medical studies)
- Body oxygen in sick : Results for the body-oxygen test for sick people (14 medical studies)
- Buteyko Table of Health Zones: Clinical description and ranges for breathing zones: from the critically ill (severely sick) up to super healthy people with maximum possible body oxygenation
- Morning hyperventilation: Why people feel worse and critically ill people are most likely to die during early morning hours
References: pages about CO2 effect:
- Vasodilation: CO2 expands arteries and arterioles facilitating perfusion (or blood supply) to all vital organs
- The Bohr effect: How and why oxygen is released by red blood cells in tissues
- Cell oxygen levels: How alveolar CO2 influences oxygen transport
- Oxygen transport: O2 transport is controlled by vasoconstriction-vasodilation and the Bohr effects, both of which rely on CO2
- Free radical generation: Reactive oxygen species are produced within cells due to anaerobic cell respiration caused by cell hypoxia
- Inflammatory response: Chronic inflammation in fueled by the hypoxia-inducible factor 1, while normal breathing reduces and eliminates inflammation
- Nerve stabilization: People remain calm due to calmative or sedative effects of carbon dioxide in neurons or nerve cells
- Muscle relaxation: Relaxation of muscle cells is normal at high CO2, while hypocapnia causes muscular tension, poor posture and, sometimes, aggression and violence
- Bronchodilation: Dilation of airways (bronchi and bronchioles) is caused by carbon dioxide, and their constriction by hypocapnia (low CO2)
- Blood pH: Regulation of blood pH due to breathing and regulation of other bodily fluids
- CO2: lung damage: Elevated carbon dioxide prevents lung injury and promotes healing of lung tissues
- CO2: Topical carbon dioxide can heal skin and tissues
- Synthesis of glutamine in the brain, CO2 fixation, and other chemical reactions
- Deep breathing myth: Ignorant and naive people promote the idea that deep breathing and breathing more air at rest is beneficial for health
- Breathing control: How is our breathing regulated? Why hypocapnia makes breathing uneven, irregular and erratic.
If you click the above Facebook like button and "like" this page, I will be nearly "forced" to asnwer your question. You can also tweet this page. Mention this in your comment, and you can ask even more. Thanks.
Go back to Hyperventilation Causes
|Disclaimer||Copyright 2013 Artour Rakhimov||Contact details||About Artour Rakhimov (Google profile)|