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learn how oxygen is passed around your body and how it oxygenates your tissue.
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Dr. Artour Rakhimov: Now we get the paradox, how it is possible that sick people who breathe very heavy, they have little oxygen inside their body whereas healthy who breath little have much more oxygen? In order to understand this paradox, let us consider oxygen transfer. When we take inhale this volume of air, it is spread over our lungs. Our lung size is incredible, it’s about half size of the tennis court and it split in very, very thin layer. So you can imagine there is very efficient oxygen exchange between guts in our lungs and blood. Our blood after this process is about 98% saturated with oxygen, almost completely. So by heavy breathing, we can’t get much more but there is one gas that we remove during breathing, the gas is CO2, carbon dioxide.
Now what people think about CO2, what is it? Do we need it? What ordinary people tell is that CO2 is toxic, very poisonous gas. I spoke with hundreds, thousands of people during class test or just ordinary conversations and they found that people believe that CO2 is not necessary for them, whereas medical people have totally opposite opinion. They know that if CO2 drops in our body, about four times below the normal, below the medical normal, we are going to die in minutes. Heavy deep breathing is good for health. Medical people when we ask, how should we breathe at rest, they give the opposite answer. They tell, we have to breathe very little.
Medical people are absolutely right because CO2 is exceptionally important for our health. Why? Consider the following experiment. What is going to happen with a person who tries to do hundred fast and big breaths in succession? Heavy breathing for about one minute. The person is going to pass out to faint, why? Because of lack of oxygen in the brain. Let us look at also this experiment. This is a typical side, there are many other sides, this is supposed to get the same result. In this we have normal breathing. This is the oxygen content in our brain. It is human head in colors. We have violet colors, blue colors, which indicate low oxygenation. On the right side, we have yellow and red in the rainbow, and these yellow and red colors indicate high oxygenation.
Now after one minute of hyperventilation, this is what is going on with our brain. In the study they found 40% reduction in oxygen level of our brain, just after one minute of hyperventilation. But if a sick person breathes, not just heavy, but let’s say, 15 or 25 liters per minute, of course he would be somewhere in between, he will be already deficient in oxygen inside the brain. Now why does it place? In order to understand it, we have to understand another thing. CO2 is exceptionally important for duration of blood vessels. Our blood vessels, arteries and capillaries, they have muscular layers around them. What happens when CO2 is normal? When we hyperventilate, they get constricted. So here we have further constrictive effect, means that lower the CO2, they call it hypocapnia, carbon dioxide deficiency. This is the main cause.
So because of the – let us write the properties of CO2. CO2 and property number one is vasodilator. So when we hyperventilate, our blood vessels constrict and blood supply to the brain is less than it should be. Now there are many scientists probably up to 50, 70 years ago have found if we have mild hyperventilation, that’s many sick people have, the reduction in oxygen availability and blood supply can be put on the line and then we have less blood supply, less illusion of the brain, and less oxygen supply.
Let us look at the quote which was given by profession Newton from California. What he said about this effect. Cerebral blood flow decreases 2% for every millimeters mercury decrease in CO2. Professor Newton, University of California Medical Center, Hyperventilation Syndrome, 2004. He made some calculations then found that it’s easy to find out how much is the blood supply for a person depends on breath-holding time. In norm according to physiological standards, we should have about 40 seconds of breath-holding time and then we have normal blood supply. But when breath-holding time is less, correspondingly blood supply is going to be less. For example a person with 20 seconds breadth-holding time would have 20% less oxygen in the brain. The person who has 10 seconds breath-holding time is going to be 30% less oxygen. Now those who have almost zero, have 40 as this is now indicates.
There is one practical test how we can find the vasodilation is really there. Imagine a situation in life, we have a small cut, what would happen to that person? The person would see own blood and would feel pain. Now these two effects will -- breath. The breathing becomes heavy, blood vessels constrict, blood losses are going to be smaller. Now the next time, you can get a small cut, you can do the opposite thing. You can hold the breath, the same as we did during breath-holding time test. What would happen? You would not, your blood clot can be too free, four times stronger, just because holding of breathe, why? Because when we hold our breath, we accumulate CO2 and CO2 in blood vessels. So blood flow, blood losses are going to be stronger.
We now can also make a connection with evolution. It’s probably very useful from evolutionary viewpoint because primitive people in the past, they had various situations they could get cut, they could get bruises so the breathing is stressed. Then of course if we have blood contractive effects, blood losses would be less and that would help us to survive in wild conditions. There are also other studies, not only on the brain, which conserve that vasodilation is faster for example for kidneys, liver, heart and other vital organs. The heavier we breathe generally, the less blood supply or diffusion of these vital organs.