CO2 (Carbon Dioxide): Health Effects, Uses and Benefits
By Dr. Artour Rakhimov, Alternative Health Educator and Author
- Medically Reviewed by Naziliya Rakhimova, MD
- Last updated on August 9, 2018
Contrary to what might be expected from environmental concerns related to global warming, CO2
(carbon dioxide) health effects and benefits for the human body are innumerable.
Life originated and had existed on Earth for millennia under conditions of a very high CO2 content of the surrounding air.
According to published studies, CO2 content was up to about 7-12% in the air when the
first creatures with lungs were evolving. Therefore, these creatures could
experience all CO2 health benefits that are
Note that very large CO2 concentrations (20% and more) produce adverse effects
in humans and pure CO2 is a toxic gas. This web page is focused on typical or
physiological CO2 levels in the lungs which range from about 20 to 50 mm Hg or from
about 2.7 to 7.5%.
Having a normal level of CO2 in the lungs and arterial blood (40 mm Hg
or about 5.3% at sea level) is imperative for normal health. Do modern people
have normal CO2 levels? ? When reading the table below note that levels of CO2
in the lungs are inversely proportional to minute ventilation rates, in other
words, the more air one breaths the lower the level of alveolar CO2.
Hypocapnia (CO2 deficiency) in
the lungs and, in most cases, arterial blood is a normal finding
for chronic diseases due to the prevalence of chronic hyperventilation among the
Furthermore, as we discovered before, over 90% of modern people (so-called
are also hyperventilators (see the link below to the Hyperventilation Table with over
20 medical research studies related to normal subjects). Hence, chronic hypocapnia is very common for the modern man.
Main CO2 health effects and uses in the human body
Follow the links for dozens of research references
(expansion of arteries and arterioles). As physiological studies found,
hypocapnia (low CO2 concentration in the arterial blood) constricts
blood vessels and leads to decreased perfusion of all vital organs
- The Bohr effect was
first described in 1904 by the Danish physiologist Christian Bohr
(father of physicist Niels Bohr). This law can be found in modern
medical textbooks on physiology. The Bohr effect states that arterial
hypocapnia will cause reduced oxygen release in tissue capillaries.
- Cell Oxygen Levels are
controlled by alveolar CO2 and breathing. Hyperventilation, regardless
of the arterial CO2 changes, causes alveolar hypocapnia (CO2 deficiency), which
leads to cell hypoxia (low cell-oxygen concentrations).
- Oxygen Transport, therefore,
depends on breathing and these 2 effects (Vasoconstriction-Vasodilation
and the Bohr effect) explain the influence of hypocapnia (low CO2 content in
the blood and cells) on circulation and reduced O2 delivery.
- Free Radicals
Generation takes place due to anaerobic cell respiration caused by
cell hypoxia. Hence, antioxidant defenses of the human body are also
regulated by CO2 and breathing, as these medical studies have found.
- Inflammatory Response, as well
as chronic inflammation, are also regulated by breathing
since hypoxia leads to or intensifies inflammation. Therefore,
hyperventilation naturally promotes inflammatory health problems and
CO2 and Earthing (electrical grounding the human body) are the key anti-inflammatory agents.
- Nerve Stabilization is due to
calmative or sedative effects of carbon dioxide on nerve cells. Lack
of CO2 in the brain leads to "spontaneous and asynchronous firing of
neurons" (medical quote) "inviting" virtually all mental and
psychological abnormalities ranging from panic attacks and seizures to
sleeping problems, addictions, depression, and schizophrenia.
- Muscle relaxation or relaxation
of muscle cells is normal at high CO2 levels, while hypocapnia causes muscular
tension, poor posture and, sometimes, aggression and violence.
- Bronchodilation -
dilation of airways: bronchi and bronchioles are dilated by carbon dioxide, and
their constriction occurs due to hypocapnia.
pH regulation and regulation of other bodily fluids.
- CO2: Lung Damage Healer:
Elevated carbon dioxide levels prevents injury and promotes healing of lung
- CO2: Skin and Tissue Healer.
Synthesis of Glutamine in the Brain, CO2 fixation, and other chemical
reactions: there are many other regulatory and facilitating
effects related to uses of carbon dioxide.
- Regularity and Smoothness of
Breathing are controlled by CO2. Lack of CO2 leads to "hypocapnic
central apnea", which is a popular scientific term used by many doctors
and scientists to describe the origins of sleep apnea.
- Hypercapnia (or
Hypercarbia): Is it a pathology or a sign of super health?
This myth ("CO2 is a
toxic, waste, and poisonous gas") is one of the greatest modern
superstitions. Thousands of medical studies have proven that reduced
levels in cells, tissues, organs, and fluids of the human organism
cause numerous adverse effects. What are the origins of this myth? In
the 1780s, French scientist Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier determined the
composition of air. Read
Any medical or
physiological textbook, which discusses control or regulation of
breathing in the human body, states that breathing is mainly controlled
by carbon dioxide concentrations in the brain and arterial
Obviously, should CO2 be poisonous, it would be normal to have it as
little as possible, but the situation is opposite and the "poison"
controls respiration, the fundamental function of the human body...
hyperventilating, should I experience all these bad effects? The
above CO2 deficiency effects take place in all people. However, the
degree of these problems and the symptoms (what is felt) are individual
Now we can answer the
most fundamental questions related to health and genetics.
Why and when are bad genes triggered? Why did we have such small rates
of chronic diseases only 100 years ago? Genes
and diseases: How we react to hyperventilation...
CO2: how the evolution of air (disappearance of CO2) promotes chronic disease
This YouTube video "Evolution of Air (Low CO2 Now) Causes Low Body O2
and Chronic Diseases" explains how changes in the air composition caused
CO2-related health effects; most of all a dramatic shift in consequences of
Hyperventilation was beneficial for health a long time ago
(it provided more O2 for body cells), but these days, overbreathing kills
millions of people every year.
There is one web page that explains, with all numbers and details, why overbreathing was beneficial during the first part of the evolution of breathing creatures on the Earth, but now low CO2 in the air causes many health problems. The link to this page is provided as your bonus content right below here.
Carbon Dioxide (From University of Rochester - rochester.edu)
Regulation of CO2 in the Body (From Sciencing.com)
Hypercapnia (From Wikipedia.org)
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* Illustrations by Victor Lunn-Rockliffe