Oxygenation: Definition, Function, Medical Importance, and Ways to Increase Oxygen Levels in the Body

Oxygen saturation is the fraction of oxygen saturated hemoglobin relative to total hemoglobin (unsaturated + saturated) in the blood.

The human body requires and regulates an exact and specific oxygen balance in the blood.

Normal blood oxygen levels in humans are considered between 95 and 100 percent. It is deemed low if the group is below 90 percent, resulting in hypoxemia.

Blood oxygen levels below 80 percent can compromise organ function, such as the brain and heart, and must be addressed promptly. Low oxygen levels can cause respiratory or cardiac arrest.

Oxygen therapy may be used to help raise oxygen levels in the blood. Oxygenation occurs when oxygen (O2) molecules enter the body’s tissues.

For example, blood is oxygenated in the lungs, where oxygen molecules travel from the air into the blood. Oxygenation is commonly used to refer to medical oxygen saturation.

In medicine, oxygen saturation (SO2), commonly known as “sats,” measures the percentage of hemoglobin-binding sites in the bloodstream occupied by oxygen.


At low oxygen partial pressures, most of the hemoglobin is deoxygenated.

About 90% (the value varies depending on the clinical context) oxygen saturation increases according to an oxygen-hemoglobin dissociation curve and approaches 100% at oxygen partial pressures of> 10 kPa.

A pulse oximeter relies on the light absorption characteristics of saturated hemoglobin to indicate oxygen saturation.


The body maintains a stable level of oxygen saturation for the most part by the chemical processes of aerobic metabolism associated with respiration.

Using the respiratory system, red blood cells, specifically hemoglobin, pick up oxygen in the lungs and distribute it to the rest of the body.

The body’s blood oxygen needs can fluctuate during exercise, when more oxygen is needed, or when living higher.

A blood cell is “saturated” when it carries average oxygen. Both levels that are too high and too low can have adverse effects on the body.

How oxygen is used in the body (function)

The use of oxygen is a very complex process in the body, but the simplest version goes something like this: when we inhale, the oxygen in the air we breathe diffuses through the membranes and reaches the red blood cells.

The oxygen-rich blood then circulates throughout the body and finds tissues that need oxygen.

Enzymes in the body combine with oxygen molecules and initiate many metabolic (that is, oxidative) processes.

One of the waste products of oxidation is carbon dioxide, which is then released from cells into the blood. It combines with hemoglobin and bicarbonates and is transported back to the lungs, where the process begins again.


An arterial oxygen saturation value, SaO2 (as determined by an arterial blood gas test) below 60%, causes hypoxemia (which can also be caused by anemia).

Hypoxemia due to low SaO2 is indicated by cyanosis. Oxygen saturation can be measured in different tissues:

Venous oxygen saturation (SvO2) is measured to see how much oxygen the body consumes. Under clinical treatment, SvO2 below 90% indicates that the body lacks oxygen and ischemic diseases occur.

This measurement is often used under treatment with a heart-lung (extracorporeal circulation) machine. It can give the perfusionist an idea of ​​how much flow the patient needs to stay healthy.

Tissue oxygen saturation (StO2) can be measured by near-infrared spectroscopy. Although measurements are still widely discussed, they provide insight into tissue oxygenation under various conditions.

Peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2) estimates the oxygen saturation level generally measured with a pulse oximeter device. It can be calculated with pulse oximetry according to the following formula:


SpO2 = ——————

HbO2 + Hb

Where HbO2 is oxygenated hemoglobin and Hb is deoxygenated hemoglobin.

Pulse oximetry

Pulse oximetry is used to estimate the percentage of oxygen bound to hemoglobin in the blood. This approximation to SaO2 is called SpO2 (peripheral oxygen saturation).

The pulse oximeter consists of a small device attached to the body (typically a finger, earlobe, or an infant’s foot). It transfers its readings to a wired or wireless reading meter.

The device uses light-emitting diodes in conjunction with a light-sensitive sensor to measure the absorption of red and infrared light at the limb. The difference in absorption between oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin makes the calculation possible.

Medical significance

Healthy individuals at sea level generally show oxygen saturation values ​​between 96% and 99% and should be above 94%. At an altitude of 1,600 meters (about a mile high), the oxygen saturation should be more excellent than 92%.

A SaO2 (arterial oxygen saturation) value below 90% causes hypoxia (which can also be caused by anemia). Hypoxia due to low SaO2 is indicated by cyanosis, but oxygen saturation does not directly reflect tissue oxygenation.

The affinity of hemoglobin for oxygen can damage or enhance the delivery of oxygen at the tissue level.

Oxygen is more easily released to tissues (that is, hemoglobin has a lower affinity for oxygen) when:

Lowers pH, raises body temperature, increases the arterial partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PaCO2), and levels of 2,3-DPG (a by-product of glucose metabolism also found in stored blood products) are increased.

When hemoglobin has a higher affinity for oxygen, less is available to the tissues.

Conditions such as increased pH, decreased temperature, decreased PaCO2, and decreased 2,3-DPG will increase the binding of oxygen to hemoglobin and limit its tissue release.

The oxygen cancer connection

In 1931, Dr. Otto Warburg won his first Nobel Prize for showing that a lack of oxygen in cells causes cancer.

In an article titled The Prime Cause and Prevention of Cancer, he said that “the cause of cancer is no longer a mystery; we know that it occurs every time a cell is denied 60% of its oxygen requirements.”

Cancer, above all other diseases, has innumerable secondary causes. But even for cancer, there is only one primary cause.

“In short, the main cause of cancer is the replacement of oxygen respiration in the body’s normal cells by a fermentation of sugar.”

“All normal cells in the body meet their energy needs by breathing oxygen, while cancer cells meet their energy needs largely by fermentation.”

“All normal cells in the body are obligate aerobes, while all cancer cells are partial anaerobic.”

The accumulation of red blood cells slows down the bloodstream and restricts the flow to the capillaries. This also causes poor oxygenation. Even the lack of the proper building blocks for cell walls, Omega 3 essential fatty acids, restricts oxygen exchange.

The key is to get more oxygen into the cells, but this is not easy. Most of the approaches don’t work well. Oxygen in respiration is still limited by the amount of available hemoglobin and pH levels.

Dr. Whittaker points out in his newsletter, with good reason, that liquid oxygen supplements that release oxygen into the blood, which most of them do, cannot get oxygen into cells.

There are several ways to significantly increase the oxygen levels in your cells to improve overall health. The most effective way is to take an oxygen supplement that will produce much more oxygen in your cells.

It can also increase the efficiency of your mitochondria, allowing you to use oxygen to create energy aerobically.

Mitochondria that are damaged from lack of oxygen cannot produce energy using oxygen, leading to the development of unwanted cells and poor health.

Finally, you can improve circulation, so more oxygen and vital nutrients get to your cells.

By increasing the oxygen in your cells and its utilization, you will go a long way toward improving your health.

How Oxygen Supports Body Detoxification

Health in the human body largely depends on how efficiently nutrients can be absorbed and used at the cellular level and how effectively toxins and waste can be removed.

Cellular waste is removed from the body in various ways. Part of the waste dissolves in water and is transported to the kidneys and liver for filtration. It is then eliminated through the urine and intestines. Toxins are also excreted from the body through sweat.

However, some of the most toxic poisons in the body can only be “burned” and neutralized through oxidation. This is the job of oxygen-rich red blood cells that circulate from the lungs to the deeper organs and glands of the body.

Minimizing your exposure to environmental toxins (for example, using air and water filters, eating organic food, and using toxin-free personal care products) while restoring oxygen balance in the body is a common-sense plan for cellular rejuvenation and disease prevention.

Ways to increase oxygen levels

Using supplemental oxygen will increase your oxygen levels. Still, other tips can help you improve your oxygen levels, circulation, and body’s ability to absorb the additional oxygen and use it more efficiently.

Take a look at these ideas; coupled with your home oxygen therapy, a small change could significantly increase oxygen levels and quality of life. The following are just a few simple ways to improve oxygenation in your body:

Daily exercise

Do breathing exercises to help oxygenate your body. Proper breathing from the abdomen, at appropriate rates, while sitting, and inhaling and exhaling correctly through the nostrils and mouth can help to:

Calm the nervous system, overcome insomnia, aerate the lungs, purify and enrich the bloodstream, develop the chest and diaphragm, strengthen the lungs, stimulate the liver, and improve digestion, all beneficial for cancer patients.

In addition to focused breathing exercises that stretch for about 10 minutes several times a day, be mindful of the quality of the air you breathe.

Research shows that pollutants inside the home can be higher than outside. The air inside your home may contain:

  • Dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, dust mites, bacteria, viruses, mold, formaldehyde (a carcinogen), dioxins, and radon (a radioactive natural gas).

Increase aerobic exercises, such as walking, walking, or biking. Aerobic exercise will help your body use oxygen and eliminate waste through the lymphatic system.

While the circulatory system has the heart to pump blood throughout the body, the lymphatic system has no pump. The lymph is circulated and reddened mainly through movement.

Therefore, from the point of view of the health and oxygenation of the body, it would be better to walk for 15 minutes a day instead of spending an hour or more in the gym 2-3 times a week.

The most effective exercise for flushing out lymph is the mini-trampoline (rebounder). Two minutes of bouncing can clear all the lymph and triple the production of white blood cells, a super immune booster.

Adequate breathing

Dr. KP Buteyko is a physiologist and clinician who dedicated 50 years of his life to the study of respiration.

According to Buteyko, sick people breathe using their upper chest and inhale more air, causing reduced oxygen levels in the body’s cells. Chest breathing causes us to inhale too much air and constrict blood vessels.

Open your windows

The fresh air will bring extra oxygen into your home. Even if you are constantly breathing oxygen through a cannula, fresh air containing higher oxygen levels can be drawn into your body each time you speak or open your mouth.

Adequate hydration

Drink adequate amounts of filtered water. Water that has been filtered through an effective filtration system helps the body to use oxygen effectively.

Drinking filtered water is necessary to reap the full benefits of oxygenation. Restructured or ionized water is micro-grouped (creating smaller groups of water molecules) and will thus provide higher hydration and oxygenation levels at the cellular level.

Eat raw green foods.

They are rich in antioxidants that fight the harmful effects of free radicals and thus protect oxygen-carrying blood cells.

Foods rich in oxygen can naturally increase your blood oxygen levels.

For maximum benefit, it is recommended to eat approximately 75% to 80% of raw fruits and vegetables, including several different colors of vegetables at each meal, and to make sure they are as fresh as possible (not something that has been stored for a long time). Weeks and therefore depleted of nutrients).

Try eating more green vegetables like kale, broccoli, and celery to boost your oxygen levels and hopefully breathe easier.

When fresh produce is not available, she advises that frozen certified organic fruits and vegetables offer better nutrition than canned ones.

Garlic is another antioxidant well known to remove dangerous free radicals from the blood effectively. Use it generously, either raw or cooked, and take supplements made with certified organic garlic.

Eating more fresh, raw green juices is beneficial as they are packed with vitamins and minerals that your body uses to aid in oxygen absorption.

Supplement with antioxidants

Vitamin A, Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids, and Complete Vitamin E are potent antioxidants. Our medical maverick put his patients on high doses of:

Vitamin A: from plant sources (except vitamin A for brain cancer patients because it increases cranial pressure).

While many medical professionals are reluctant to put patients on high doses of vitamin A for fear of toxicity, our medical maverick argued that the toxicity did not come from plant-based vitamin A. Discuss this with your healthcare provider.

B vitamins: to help with the proper synthesis of an oxygen-carrying protein in the blood, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), the active form of vitamin B6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate), and the active form of vitamin B12 ( methylcobalamin) for best results with B12.

Patients should take isolated B5, B6, and B12 with a good vitamin B complex as with any isolated B vitamin.

Vitamin C: with bioflavonoids (in a time-release formula).

High doses of vitamin C from certified organic sources can help relieve cancer pain, and the survival rates of cancer patients increase in direct proportion to the amount of vitamin C ingested.

However, it is noted that vitamin C must be broad-spectrum; from certified organic plants, bioflavonoids and other essential plant nutrients are ingested along with the ascorbic acid that many of us know as vitamin C.

Vitamin D3: helps the absorption of oxygen in the blood.

Vitamin E: complete and natural with selenium, vitamin E supplements that contain four forms of tocopherols and four forms of tocotrienols (the whole natural complex) and natural selenium.

It is essential for cancer patients, but many products sold in pharmacies and even health food stores are too low in this vital trace mineral.

Also, the body does not have receptors for synthetic selenium (Na Selenite) or synthetic Vitamin E (dl-alpha-tocopherol). These forms are not suitable for cancer patients or anyone else.

Of course, it is always essential to check with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise or diet regimen.

Your doctor will be able to advise you on exercise and can connect you with the appropriate exercise professionals who specialize in cancer recovery. Be sure to ask.

As you can see, each of these recommendations relates to the topic of detoxification. Yes, while taking steps to oxygenate the body, the detoxification process, thus providing a double whammy to disease through oxygenation and detoxification.