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Is CO2 good for us?

by (8953)
Updated September 16, 2014 at 7:39 PM
Created February 19, 2012 at 2:36 PM

EDIT : This thread is NOT about smoking.

I just read through http://gutsense.org and came across this :

Does smoking cause constipation?

No, not really... Actually, smoking stimulates moving the bowels because the continuous swallowing of the nicotine-laced saliva stimulates the gastrocolic reflex ??? an involuntary condition that initiates bowel movements.

Also, the smoke itself increases the level of CO2 in the blood. The ensuing vasodilation (widening) of the blood vessels helps intestinal peristalsis and amplifies the urge to move the bowels.

For the same reason smoking reduces the risks of constipation, smoking cessation is commonly associated with the onset of chronic constipation ??? the reduced stimulation diminishes the frequency and urgency of bowel movements, enlarges stools, and precipitates costivity, irregularity, straining, and fiber dependence ??? all of the hallmarks of latent and organic constipation.

If you are quitting smoking, you should pay particular attention to the risk of constipation, and it's prevention, but without getting hooked on fiber and/or laxatives. Study the rest of this site to proactively identify the type and stage of your constipation in order to select the best treatment and preventative approach.

Source : http://www.gutsense.org/constipation/main.html#25

Ray Peat talks about the benefits of CO2 too :

The low carbon dioxide production of hypothyroidism (e.g., Lee and Levine, 1999), and the respiratory alkalosis of estrogen excess, are often overlooked. An adequate supply of calcium, and sometimes supplementation of salt and baking soda, can increase the tissue content of CO2.

Anyone?

E8c2167284f0cdd16a12bea2741975b4
476 · July 14, 2012 at 12:14 AM

Carbon monoxide has been shown to attenuate pulmonary hypertension in a few studies

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f
8953 · June 15, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Ha! Thought about the Sherpas too when I heard about high altitude. You can use baking soda too, or breath in a paper bag.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f
8953 · June 15, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Mscott, at least Solo had sources... But again : I'm asking about CO2, not about smoking at all...

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f
8953 · June 15, 2012 at 2:42 PM

The only reason why I quoted that is because it mentions *"Also, the smoke itself increases the level of CO2 in the blood. The ensuing vasodilation (widening) of the blood vessels helps intestinal peristalsis and amplifies the urge to move the bowels."* If you want to point out 'the dangers of smoking' you should make a new thread :S... I wondered why Solo talked about smoking too... http://paleohacks.com/questions/1054/could-smoking-tobacco-have-a-benefit-if-so-what-is-the-mechanism#axzz1xnH6Y8GO

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3
12642 · June 15, 2012 at 5:50 AM

Busting out nifty sounding snippets about glutathione, monoamine oxidase, CoQ10, and testosterone is a nice way of ignoring the fact that smoking stills increases risk of death and disease.

4ecfaf48bde1f86c8045a54ab3950108
35 · June 15, 2012 at 1:03 AM

"Does smoking cause constipation?" The real dangers of smoking should be pointed out, many smokers (and those breathing second-hand smoke) may find this information useful. It complements the information posted by Solo above.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f
8953 · June 14, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Why do you bring smoking into this? That's not the question at all...

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f
8953 · June 14, 2012 at 7:26 PM

I never said that our atmoshpere is deficient in CO2, I was just trying to point out a quick fix can be handy. Not the point of the question though. Buteyko breathing does look quite well-researched to me, and I think it might be interesting to look more into it. @Jenny that wasn't free3337's point, he was just trying to point out it might be interesting to look into it. You guys seem to have the urge to disregard this whole vasodilation theory based on instinct.

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6087 · June 14, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Matt, you are a

07243c7700483a67386049f7b67d90a4
321 · June 14, 2012 at 5:47 PM

We're experiencing the highest C02 levels in millions of years, apparently, and all I wonder if this could be physiologically beneficial.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680
8574 · June 14, 2012 at 4:17 PM

And polony is generally made from CAFO meat.

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11557 · June 14, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Well, if you think about the fact that plants use CO2 in photosynthesis that makes sense- animals do not do that. I think that you can't related the two @free3337.

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3850 · June 14, 2012 at 3:51 PM

I would not describe the skin of any long-time smoker I know as looking "fresh".

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f
8953 · April 19, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Come on, you can't be serious that carbon monoxide is good.

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1689 · February 21, 2012 at 3:40 AM

Not necessarily 'deficient', just 'non-optimal'. I learned recently that plants can grow something like 25% more/faster when in higher-than-typical CO2 grow areas. Could animals be similar? Animals like naked mole rats have extremely long lifespans and live in high co2 environments (controlled underground dens). Just how helpful could increased CO2 be?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41312 · February 20, 2012 at 10:45 PM

Woah woah woah, where did you get the idea that our atmosphere is deficient in CO2? It makes no sense to tie smoking and increased CO2 in the blood to bowel emptying and overall health! Or is all a joke I'm missing?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f
8953 · February 20, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Most of us are magnesium-deficient because of soil depletion. So, if I'd listen to you, I'd have to fill the soil with magnesium instead of supplementing. Needless to say, that'd be hard. A quick fix can always be handy Matt, especially if it's so easy to do : you just need a plastic bag.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41312 · February 20, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Or just recognise that high/low CO2 is caused by aberrant health. It's not that we need more/less, it's that we need to fix what's wrong with us.

6869a1f2294b3a717a53645589a91d18
1689 · February 20, 2012 at 12:41 AM

@matt: Bag breathing; Increase the co2 content of an environment with canisters or maybe candles; drink carbonated water; consume baking soda; prefer migrating to higher elevation locations.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46
41312 · February 20, 2012 at 12:14 AM

Yes, CO2 has important and essential roles in biology, but what are you realistically going to make of this information? Breathe less?

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69a2a5deb24d5b8d3aae3d9652fac564
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1020 · February 19, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Interesting post.

To be clear smoking causes an acute episode of reduced BF resistance in certain areas of the body, however with increased BP and increased HR and over-all decreased blood flow. It's not clear as to the cause but the idea is that increased O2 consumption is implicated. Also certain areas of the body are specifically innervated for vasoconstriction and vasodilation with specific function to favor one or the other, and the data points to periods of dilation followed by a periods of constriction. But overall, the data shows systemic blood velocity and blood flow REDUCTION (constriction/dilation independant). Some studies say it's due to peripheral vascular resistance. I guess the point is, perfusion is the end data we are concerned with, and it appears there are more factors at play than JUST vasoconstriction and dilation.

But is it healthful? I don't know that I'm ready to call it healthy...especially if you're talking about blood levels of CO2 in the light of free radical-producing, aveoli-destroying smoke.


Cigarette Smoking Decreases Tissue Oxygen J. Arthur Jensen, MD; William H. Goodson, MD; Harriet Williams Hopf, MD; Thomas K. Hunt, MD Arch Surg. 1991;126(9):1131-1134.

Wennmalm, ??. (1982), Effect of cigarette smoking on basal and carbon dioxide stimulated cerebral blood flow in man. Clinical Physiology, 2: 529???535. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-097X.1982.tb00059.x

JAMA. 1974;229(10):1327-1328. doi: 10.1001/jama.1974.03230480043027

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11254 · June 15, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Ray Peat on CO2

I find the concept rather interesting. I try to pick sparkly mineral water over regular bottled water now. I haven't figured out what else to do, but when he started talking about high altitude I couldn't help thinking about Kruse and those Sherpas. Fill up the hot tub with cold, bubbly water and wait for the superpowers to appear.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f
8953 · June 15, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Ha! Thought about the Sherpas too when I heard about high altitude. You can use baking soda too, or breath in a paper bag.

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4373 · February 20, 2012 at 12:08 AM

we require CO2 to live don't we? so i would say yes, CO2 it is good for us....in the right amount.

there needs to be the appropriate balance of CO2 & oxygen in our lungs & blood. it's not much CO2, can't recall the exact % ranges for blood & lungs.

i do remember reading somewhere that without any CO2 we lose the urge (reflex?) to breathe. here's a quote from wiki "In medicine, up to 5% carbon dioxide (130 times atmospheric concentration) is added to oxygen for stimulation of breathing after apnea and to stabilize the O2/CO2 balance in blood."

A deficiency of CO2 in the blood is know as Hypocapnia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypocapnia

some of the theory behind the Buteyko Breathing Technique is to increase carbon dioxide levels in the blood. Buteyko people also speculate that the atmosphere contained a higher % of CO2 as we evolved than it does today, so the human body may be adapted to work better with a slightly higher CO2 % than the current conventional medical wisdom might say is normal/optimum.

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35 · June 14, 2012 at 3:43 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polonium

" The presence of polonium in tobacco smoke has been known since the early 1960s.[67][68] Some of the world's biggest tobacco firms researched ways to remove the substance—to no avail—over a 40-year period but never published the results.[25]

Radioactive polonium-210 contained in phosphate fertilizers is absorbed by the roots of plants (such as tobacco) and stored in its tissues.[69][70][71] Tobacco plants fertilized by rock phosphates contain polonium-210, which emits alpha radiation estimated to cause about 11,700 lung cancer deaths annually worldwide.[25][72][73] "

" the isotopes 214Po and 218Po are thought to cause the majority[41] of the estimated 15,000-22,000 lung cancer deaths in the US every year that have been attributed to indoor radon.[42] Tobacco smoking causes additional exposure to polonium.[43] "

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f
8953 · June 15, 2012 at 2:42 PM

The only reason why I quoted that is because it mentions *"Also, the smoke itself increases the level of CO2 in the blood. The ensuing vasodilation (widening) of the blood vessels helps intestinal peristalsis and amplifies the urge to move the bowels."* If you want to point out 'the dangers of smoking' you should make a new thread :S... I wondered why Solo talked about smoking too... http://paleohacks.com/questions/1054/could-smoking-tobacco-have-a-benefit-if-so-what-is-the-mechanism#axzz1xnH6Y8GO

4ecfaf48bde1f86c8045a54ab3950108
35 · June 15, 2012 at 1:03 AM

"Does smoking cause constipation?" The real dangers of smoking should be pointed out, many smokers (and those breathing second-hand smoke) may find this information useful. It complements the information posted by Solo above.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f
8953 · June 14, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Why do you bring smoking into this? That's not the question at all...

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680
8574 · June 14, 2012 at 4:17 PM

And polony is generally made from CAFO meat.

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8 · April 19, 2012 at 4:22 PM

"In the light of free radical-producing, aveoli-destroying smoke"

This is a myth, one that has persisted for decades with the help of anti-smoking propaganda. Not only is this assertion unsupported by hard science (like say, animal experiments), it is not consistent with my own experience as a smoker.

The truth is, folks, the tobacco leaf is an ancient medicinal plant, enjoyed for thousands of years, by billions of people. Smoking is good for you. In fact, I'd say it's very good for you. Smoking reduces the MAO B enzyyme, increases telomerase, lowers Parkinson's risk by a factor of 2 to 3, reduces the rate of Alzheimer's ten-fold, doubles gluthione, doubles catalase, raises youth hormones (DHEA, testosterone, pregnenolone, etc), keeps the skin looking fresh (CoQ10 comes from the tobacco leaf), raises circulation (via carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, etc), upregulates the 'genius gene' nr2b activity by 83% doubles the endogenous antioxidant SOD... on and on. These are mostly hard-science findings from antismoking scientists with Big Tobacco Control/Big Pharma, all despite their attempts to put a negative spin on their findings.

  • Tobacco Smoke May Contain a Psychoactive Ingredient Other Than Nicotine" (NIDA News, Volume 13, Number 3, July, 1998)
  • Irreversible inhibition of monoamine oxidase by some components of cigarette smoke, Life Science (1987 Aug 10;41(6):675-82), "Inhibitory activity towards monoamine oxidase has been found in a solution of cigarette smoke. The inhibition was irreversible."
  • Smoking is associated with increased telomerase activity in short-term cultures of human bronchial epithelial cells, Cancer Letters 2007 Feb 8;246(1-2):24-33. Epub 2006 Mar 6--from the Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.
  • From the abstract: "Compared with nonsmokers, cigarette smokers had 80% higher levels of ELF total glutathione, 98% of which was in the reduced form." Normal alveolar epithelial lining fluid contains high levels of glutathione in the Journal of Applied Physiology (Vol. 63, Issue 1, p. 152-157).
  • Relation of age and smoking to serum levels of total testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate in aged men in Geriatrics & Gerontology International (Volume 6 Issue 1 Page 49-52, March 2006)

E8c2167284f0cdd16a12bea2741975b4
476 · July 14, 2012 at 12:14 AM

Carbon monoxide has been shown to attenuate pulmonary hypertension in a few studies

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f
8953 · June 15, 2012 at 2:43 PM

Mscott, at least Solo had sources... But again : I'm asking about CO2, not about smoking at all...

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3
12642 · June 15, 2012 at 5:50 AM

Busting out nifty sounding snippets about glutathione, monoamine oxidase, CoQ10, and testosterone is a nice way of ignoring the fact that smoking stills increases risk of death and disease.

F0e558010a2ecb31fa37b7c491596b8e
3850 · June 14, 2012 at 3:51 PM

I would not describe the skin of any long-time smoker I know as looking "fresh".

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f
8953 · April 19, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Come on, you can't be serious that carbon monoxide is good.

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