Breath Balance: Understanding It Is Easy


The basic processes of cell metabolism developed during geological periods when there were present much higher levels of atmospheric CO2. Cell evolution occurred during these geological periods when CO2 levels were in the tens of percent range, as contrasted with current levels which measure only .03 percent or less. The problem faced by the evolving cells and larger more complex organisms was how to adapt to decreased levels of CO2 and how to maintain metabolic vitality that depended upon high levels of CO2.

It is interesting to note that human evolution has dealt with this dilemma by creating an internal air environment with the alveolar spaces in the lungs. These alveoli spaces contain around 6.5% of CO2, quite a contrast to levels in the ambient atmosphere. Further, it is worth mentioning that the gaseous mixture in the womb of a developing human embryo maintains a level of 7% to 8% CO2, approximately the same mixture as that found in the lungs. These are just a couple of examples that reflect the critical role that CO2 plays in the body.

What it comes down to is the body must maintain adequate levels of CO2 to drive a robust metabolism. It can be said that healthy people have high blood levels of CO2 and that chronically ill people have low blood levels of CO2. Medical evidence suggests that sick people are heavy breathers. The normal rate of breathing when we are young and healthy is about 2 to 4 liters per minute. Stress, illness and aging in general have a profound effect on the rate and depth of breathing, a critical affect that goes completely undetected year after year as we struggle to cope with declining health. The net result of this is the breath intensity will increase from 2 to 4 liters/minute to 8 to 12 liters/minute, an increase of 2 to 3 times the optimal rate!

So let’s take a look at some of the more pernicious effects of chronic over breathing that begins the downward spiral of chronic illness.

  • ┬áRespiratory alkalosis develops and is characterized by a decrease in CO2 and an increase in PH.
  • Metabolic acidosis develops due to the incomplete oxidation of nutrients in the mitochondria.
  • Loss of efficiency of Krebs Cycle and corresponding production of ATP.
  • Inhibition of metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
  • Formation of lactic acid.
  • Accumulation of unoxidized metabolites in the cells.





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