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Why Mouth Breathing Lowers Oxygen Levels in Body Cells

Mouth breathing decreases amounts of CO2 and nitric oxide in the arterial blood. These substances are most potent vasodilators. As a result, mouth breathing decreases oxygen supply to body cells.

It is easy to notice in old movies that mouth breathing was very uncommon some 50-70 years ago. People rarely had problems with a stuffy nose and habitual mouth breathing was even unacceptable. Medical research studies show that normal people used to breathe slower and easier in the past.

Their breathing frequency was about 8-10 breaths per minute (now about 15-18 breaths per min) and minute ventilation was only about 4-5 liters of air per min at rest, while modern people have about 11-13 l/min. Mouth breathing appears naturally when people breathe about 2-3 times more air than the medical norm.

What are the effects of mouth breathing on health? Since virtually all chronic diseases are based on low levels of oxygen in body cells, we need to analyze the effects of mouth breathing on oxygen delivery to body cells.

Superficially, it appears that there are no major differences between oral and nasal breathing. We still obtain vital oxygen into our lungs and bloodstream, and we can expel toxic CO2. Medical science, nonetheless, has the opposite opinion.

While modern day adults believe in a myth that heavy (fast and/or deep) breathing (or hyperventilation) should boost up oxygen amounts in cells, several hundreds of medical research papers have confirmed that over-breathing decreases oxygenation of body tissues. Hypoxia (or low oxygen content in cells) is caused due to hypocapnic (low carbon dioxide) vasoconstriction or spasm of blood vessels (leading to insufficient blood supply of key vital organs) and the decreased Bohr effect (less oxygen is left by hemoglobin cells in capillaries).

Any person can easily confirm and experience how hyperventilation lessens brain oxygen content. Start voluntary or forceful over-breathing (fast and deep mouth breathing). In about 2-3 minutes most people can pass out or faint. Why is it so? This happens due to reduction of blood (i.e., glucose and oxygen) supply for the nerve cells in the brain. Both oxygen and glucose are crucial for the brain function. Thus, the slower and less a person breathes, the more oxygen his and her organs and tissues get. (Note that I discuss here effects of basal respiration patterns.)

Furthermore, apart from tissue oxygenation regulation, carbon dioxide regulates innumerable jobs in the human organism. Some of them are: normal immunity, free radical suppression, control of viscosity of blood, mucus and other body fluids, control of inflammation, calcium metabolism, mucus production, control of blood glucose, regulation of blood pH, repair of lungs alveoli, sleep control, weight monitoring, blood pressure maintenance, dilation of airways, lactate regulation, relaxation of muscles and some other processes.

Further Resources
For mouth breathing treatment options visit web pages of NormalBreathing.com
How to Get Rid of a Stuffy Nose – An easy breathing exercise
Bronchoconstriction – Its Definition, Cause and Treatment
Easy Breathing Exercise To Relieve Congested Nose in 1-2 Minutes – Ezinearticle by Dr. Artour Rakhimov.

NormalBreathing.com has hundreds of medical quotes and references, graphs and charts, tables, analysis of numerous respiratory techniques, results of clinical trials and free breathing exercises, lifestyle modules, manuals with techniques, and other resources to boost brain and body oxygen levels and improve health.

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