Air Pollution, Declined Oxygen Proportion, and Health Issues

The generation and maintenance of all our life processes are supported by four basic components: carbohydrates, water, proteins and energy. Most scientists agree that oxygen is actually the over-riding key ingredient in all four of these life components.

Scientists now also agree that oxygen plays a powerful and primary role in our overall health and well-being. A growing number of researchers have confirmed that the best way to improve health may be related to the optimum oxygenation of every cell. All metabolic processes in the body are regulated by oxygen. Our brains process billions of bits of information each second. Our metabolic processes work to rid our bodies of waste and toxins. Even our abilities to think, feel and act require oxygen-related energy production.

Diminishing amounts of atmospheric oxygen

Today, cutting edge researchers believe that even relatively healthy people may have trouble extracting all of the oxygen that they need from the air. In fact, the air itself is becoming more and more polluted, making oxygen extraction more difficult. Physiologists understand that breathing polluted air, or breathing air that contains less oxygen, puts tremendous stress on the human body. Surprisingly, paleontologists have analyzed the oxygen in air bubbles trapped in fossilized amber from the Jurassic Era. Their research revealed that the oxygen levels were significantly higher then than they are today. In fact, many scientists now believe that the dinosaurs became extinct because of a rapid drop in oxygen and the inability of their respiratory systems to adapt to this oxygen reduction. If the dinosaurs became extinct because they could not obtain enough oxygen, is it any wonder that our bodies can suffer as well as our oxygen supplies become more polluted?

As fossil fuels burn, they generate carbon dioxide, using up oxygen in the process," explained scientists on Atmospheric Research. "About half of the carbon dioxide from fossil fuels remains in the atmosphere," they say.

The diet’s role in oxygen shortages

Eating junk food on a regular basis forces the body to use up more of its oxygen reserves than usual in order to metabolize the preservatives and what few nutrients may actually be in the “food”. Complex carbohydrates and raw fruits and vegetables are high in oxygen with as much as 50% of the weight of these foods made up of oxygen. The percentage of oxygen in fats is less than 15% while the percentage of oxygen in protein is between 20% and 40%, depending on the protein’s amino acid profile. Dense food compounds, such as fats and proteins, are not only low in oxygen content, but also require extra oxygen from the body to convert them into energy which further depletes the body's oxygen reserves. Other oxygen-robbing foods include processed sugar, white flour, alcohol and caffeinated drinks. The body has to divert needed oxygen from primary metabolic functions, such as heartbeat, blood flow, brain function and immune response, just to oxidize and metabolize these foods.

Stress and oxygen

Any excessive stress, including a heavy workload, traumatic or intense events in your life, prolonged depression and anxiety, can rob the body of huge amounts of its much-needed oxygen. Emotional stress produces adrenaline and adrenaline-related hormones, requiring the body to draw on its oxygen reserves for their production and eventual oxidation. Infection also depletes the body's oxygen, which is used to combat bacteria.

Acidity and oxygen reserves

Individuals with chronically acidic systems also use up oxygen reserves. This can lead to a cycle of toxin accumulation and oxygen depletion. One way in which the body combats excess acidity is by trying to neutralize it with oxygen. To do so, it must continually divert oxygen away from its primary metabolic functions and direct it toward the acidic cells and tissues.

Oxygen shortages and infection

When body oxygen falls to extremely low levels for prolonged periods of time, the body may become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and other infectious agents. Most of these are anaerobic, meaning they cannot live in an oxygen-rich environment. Some research indicates that when the oxygen content of the body is within a normal level, infectious microorganisms have a more difficult time breeding and multiplying. The partial pressure of oxygen in normal blood should be approximately 97%. Within each red blood cell are iron-rich hemoglobin molecules. Approximately 97% of the oxygen carried to the cells is attached to these hemoglobin molecules with 3% of the oxygen supply dissolved in the blood plasma. When your blood oxygen levels remain low for extended periods of time, the cells cannot get an adequate and consistent supply of oxygen and they may have difficulty resisting the invasion of microorganisms.

Lack of exercise

The body responds to exercise by increasing oxygen intake by breathing hard and deeper. This increase in blood oxygen levels helps the body perform two very important functions. First, the additional oxygen permits the creation and release of more energy for the exercise. Second, the increased supply of oxygen is utilized by the body to remove by-product wastes that are the result of a higher metabolic rate. A sedentary lifestyle can inhibit the removal of toxic wastes from the body.


All chronic pain, suffering and diseases are caused from a lack of oxygen at the cell level. After decades of controversy in the scientific community, research has confirmed that oxygen levels have been declining, and continue to decline. Pollution is a major factor that has affected the quality, and quantity, of oxygen available for respiration and metabolism. Scientists have analyzed oxygen specimen trapped in amber and have determined that oxygen levels at one time were in excess of 35% to as much as 50%! Prior to the advent of the gasoline combustion engine at the turn of the last century, oxygen levels in the air were at about 23%. By the mid 1900s, levels had dropped in major cities to about 19%. By the end of the 20th century, major cities across the globe have reported levels at 15%, and several cities have reported alarmingly low levels, combined with industrial pollution at 10%. This level, if maintained for a prolonged period of time will choke out life.

Major Sources of Oxygen Production Are Affected

One of the major sources of oxygen on our plant is the waste product of plant respiration (photosynthesis). Plants require carbon dioxide (CO2) to synthesize the energy they need to grow and reproduce. A waste product of their metabolic cycle is Oxygen (O2). Thus, plants and mankind have a wonderful symbiotic relationship. Tropical rainforests produce 40% of Earth's oxygen. The Amazon Rainforest has been described as the "Lungs of our Planet" because it continuously recycles carbon dioxide into oxygen.

Human Activities

However, man has been rapidly destroying one of the major sources of oxygen production on the plant: the rain forests. It is the new plant growth, not mature plants that produce the highest levels of oxygen. Sadly, we are losing Earth's greatest biological treasures just as we are beginning to appreciate their true value. Rainforests once covered 15% of the earth's land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years. In 1950, about 15 percent of the Earth's land surface was covered by rainforest. Today, more than half has already gone up in smoke. In fewer than fifty years, more than half of the world's tropical rainforests have fallen victim to fire and the chain saw, and the rate of destruction is still accelerating. Unbelievably, more than 200,000 acres of rainforest are burned every day. That is more than 150 acres lost every minute of every day, and 78 million acres lost every year! More than 20 percent of the Amazon rainforest is already gone, and much more is severely threatened as the destruction continues. It is estimated that the Amazon alone is vanishing at a rate of 20,000 square miles a year.

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