Oxygen Deficiency or Hypoxia

Miki Ryosuke says that breathing can keep you skinny. In an article published in the Daily Mail, The former Japanese actor claims to have lost nearly thirty pounds in 7 weeks by practicing what he calls the “Long Breath Diet” a system whereby practioners inhale slowly for three seconds and exhale vigorously for seven seconds. Mr. Ryosuke claims that by practicing his Long Breath technique for two to five minutes a day, overweight and obese patients will notice rapid weight loss benefits. Even if Ryosuke claims are exaggerated, what is not exaggerated is the fact that there is an important relationship between fat cells and oxygen that may play a role in the development of obesity, and the difficulty of weight loss.

Oxygen Deficiency or Hypoxia

By LadyofHats, via Wikimedia Commons

Of all the substances that are required for the functioning of the human body, none is more critical than oxygen. While not typically regarded as one of the “Mighty 90” nutrients, no vitamin, mineral, fatty or amino acid can come close to the importance of the 8th element, a simple little atom that comprises about one-fifth of the air we breathe. Without essential nutrition we can live for months, without water can probably survive for 3 or 4 days, but without oxygen inspiration our expiration is inevitable within mere minutes.

The condition called hypoxia, tech-talk for oxygen-deprived blood is the single most important cause of disease in the body. Under hypoxic conditions, blood pressure will rise as the body attempts to deliver more oxygen to the tissues and breathing rates will increase as the lungs reach out, grasping for more air from which to extract the essential element. The brain, which utilizes 20 to 25 percent of the body’s oxygen, is likely to begin to operate sluggishly. Stress hormone (cortisol) secretion will increase as the body attempts to cope with oxygen depletion. This can ultimately result in immune system suppression and an increase in the formation of tumors and cancers. And, over time, genetic changes will take place that will inhibit protein synthesis and slow down key process like detoxification and repair.

One of the most interesting responses to oxygen deprivation involves fat cells. Known as adipocytes, these cells initiate various coping strategies to deal with an inability to obtain oxygen. One of these strategies involves fat cells becoming impervious to the signals of insulin. This phenomenon known as insulin resistance, can in turn lead to an increase in the secretion of insulin from the pancreas, ultimately increasing fat storage, manifesting as weight gain. In other words, less oxygen means more fat. Additionally, increases in insulin secretion following insulin resistance can lead to fatty tissue fibroids and fatty tumors called lipomas

If you just can’t seem to lose weight no matter how many calories you’ve cut, supplements you’ve swallowed, miles or time you’ve spent on the treadmill, it’s possible that you’re dealing with oxygen deficiency. Try practicing slow deep breathing on a regular basis. Always breathe through the nose and make sure that the breath gets down into the lower part of your belly. You can get apps for your smartphone that can help you learn to deep breathe. I like one called “My Calm Beat”. Buy a bag of balloons and practice blowing them up with as few long, strong breaths as possible. If possible, working out at high elevation can be a great way to increase lung capacity and improve oxygenation. And, because plants produce oxygen as a byproduct of their natural chemistry, making sure you’ve got lots of greenery in the house can be helpful.

Paying attention to your breathing may give you some significant weight loss benefits,but even if you don’t lose weight immediately you’re gonna have more energy, think more clearly, improve heart health, and reduce stress hormone levels. Breathing may not make you skinny right away, but it will definitely help you feel better, and in the long term you’re probably going to lose some pounds too.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Health

Warfarin Toxicity

By Ben Fuchs | Pharmacist Ben

Of all the deadly health destroying poisonous drugs in the pharmacy, it would be difficult to come up with one that has more toxicity than warfarin. Traditionally used as rat poison, warfarin (brand name Coumadin), which claims 4 million patient/victims in the United States, (over 1 percent of the American public!) is used by physicians to keep the blood in a fluid state.

Blood clotting is serious business and according to the National Blood Clot Alliance as many as 2 million of them occur every year, with up to 300,000 of them fatal. Thus the rational for the use of powerful blood thinning gents like warfarin would seem to be sound. After all, what’s wrong with a little rat poison if it keeps the blood in a fluid state and reduces the risk of a potentially life-threatening clot? The problem is, the clotting mechanisms of the blood are intricate and sophisticated. Coagulation is a tightly regulated biochemical function and to override these mechanisms requires some serious chemical poison. Warfarin ToxicityThrowing a pharmaceutical monkey wrench into this highly controlled system is a dangerous proposition and indeed the line between desired blood thinning effects and adverse reactions, toxicities and even death is razor thin.

Not to worry though, for now our friends in the world of pharmaceuticals have come to the rescue. Yesterday the FDA announced their latest drug approval for “Kcentra” a new pharmaceutical marketed by CSL Behring, specifically mandated to stop severe bleeding associated with the use of warfarin. Great, now we have another drug to take care of the side effects of an original drug. Although no mention in the FDA press release is made of the side effects of Kcentra, you can bet they will occur and they will be significant. According to CSL Behring, some potential problems associated with the use of their new drug include stroke, pulmonary embolism, and deep vein thrombosis, in addition to more mundane side effects like headache, nausea/vomiting, joint pain and low blood pressure.

Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients and its facile movement through the body is an absolute requirement for good health. If the body has initiated blood clotting chemistry inappropriately something is seriously amiss. Thus clotting usually involves a response to some kind of emergency condition such as a surgery, wounding, lack of nutrition, hypoxia (low oxygen) or the entrance of toxicity (e.g. from food, cigarette smoke or drugs) into the sacred sanctum of the blood.

That means the best way to keep blood in its optimum fluid state is to make sure you’re doing everything you can do to stay healthy. First of all it’s imperative, as always, that a priority is placed on digestive wellness. Nothing will cause the blood to clot faster than the entrance of food particles through a leaky gut. Make sure you’re staying away from problem foods, using probiotics, glutamine powder and apple cider vinegar. Digestive enzymes can provide a one-two anti-clotting punch. When taken with food they can improve digestion and reduce the likelihood of undigested food particles getting into the blood. And when taken on an empty stomach they can actually help dissolve clots and thin the blood. Vitamin E and Omega-3 fatty acids have blood thinning properties, and timed-release niacin, while not directly thinning the blood, can have a blood vessel opening effect that may improve circulation. And perhaps the most important strategy for maintaining blood fluidity involves oxygen. A couple of minutes of deep breathing is always a good idea, even if you don’t have blood clotting problems. And, if your blood is tending to get sticky it can be a life-saver. If you have a smart phone, you may want to invest in a deep breathing app like “Breathing Zone” or “My Calm Beat”. Even something as simple as a daily two or three minute bounce on a mini-trampoline can be a helpful drug and doctor free strategy for keeping blood circulating and flowing efficiently.

Posted by Ben Fuchs in Toxic