The Blood Oxygen Phenomena! The Perilous Dangers of Low Level (O)

I have to admit that when all is said and done, healing may simply come down to knowing the most basic needs of the body in order for a sickened organ to begin the 180-degree turn, and head in the direction to heal a long-standing nonresponsive illness that despite all your efforts has plagued you for years! Anyone out there with a chronic condition and has been troubling you for years?

As this blog post title indicates, we’ll be talking about the basic need for healthy blood oxygen levels. For starters, I’d like to make a brief statement about my own first hand experience with low blood oxygen levels and the near miraculous turn-around from a serious condition that I’ve had for well over 22 years regardless that I’ve tried just about of every type of treatment, superior supplementation and many other efforts but it simply would not go away. (Sigh.)

Like millions of others, I finally succumbed to my fate and never went anywhere anytime without my most hated companion: an albuterol inhaler and at times even a Dulera inhaler, which is an inhaled steroid! … Yes, my insidious condition is called chronic bronchial asthma, which, in my case, has been accompanied with frequent, serious bouts of bronchitis (especially during the winter months) and at times requires an intake of antibiotics—despite the dangers we know are inherent in them. The adverse effects of antibiotics can be read here.

 My good fortune began when I recently visited a wonderful chiropractor (Dr. Joe Givan DC) here in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Dr. Givan has been successfully working to eliminate another long-standing back problem I have as the result of a disk injury in my late thirties.

During one of those treatments, he noted how seriously congested and labored my breathing was. Obviously, I was in the midst of one of my more serious bronchitis attacks. He immediately began treating me with two Standard Process supplements of five each Andrographis Complex and two each Thymex twice a day, and it included the antibiotics I was already on and which he felt were necessary. Within two days, the congestion began to fade, and his testing indicated that I had what he called a deep-seated viral or bacterial infection that he diagnosed I’d had since I was 11 years old! The asthma/bronchitis he determined was the result of that child hood experience. To say the least, I stood there stunned. Who could believe that maybe, just maybe, I was about to start to 180-degree turn in the direction of a healing!

 He informed that not all viral or bacterial infections completely leave the body just because the more serious symptoms disappear. In my case, according to Dr. Givan, they were hiding in my lymph glands, which are, of course, closely related to the lungs, and therefore chronic asthma/bronchitis.

Yes, I’d been carrying this infection since I was 11 years old! Your chiropractor may be able to do the same for you. A well-educated chiropractor/kinesiologist has the ability to test for and determine timelines of a disorder’s origin. If you have an ongoing unresolved issue, you may want to have a good kinesiologist test you. To my knowledge, I know of no other type of holistic practitioners that have the unique ability to test for the timeline, which may then be helpful in choosing the proper treatment.

Once I had returned to my more labored, but somewhat normal, breathing, he started me with daily (no excuses) deep diaphragmatic breathing exercises and a 40-minute brisk walk every single morning and in the early morning. I am now in the second month of that process, and my blood oxygen levels have increased dramatically. The use of the inhalers is now down to a few times a week, and then only when I become stressed. My walking has now increased to 45 minutes with no fatigue, and those 3:00 p.m. slumps and lack of energy are a thing of the past!

Indeed much credit goes to the Standard Process and MediHerb whole food supplements and of course my high-level traditional diet advocated by Sally Fallon Morrell. Otherwise, it would no doubt have been much worse. I also now realize that a major issue in keeping me sick for 22 years was that my blood oxygen levels were persistently low because I was not breathing properly or consistently exercising, which itself raises our blood oxygen levels.

Bottom line: It is now my opinion that it takes high blood oxygen levels to completely eradicate any infection/inflammation, and must be given serious consideration when it comes to healing any other sickened organs, muscles, joints, and bones! It was easy to finally realize that we can effectively be eating a nutrient dense diet and even taking good whole food supplements and still remain ill for years on end! I now believe that part of the magic is in adding techniques that raise and maintain those critical blood oxygen levels.

 I shiver when I think of those with cancer, arthritis, rapid aging, and or other chronic disorders that are missing this critical part of their therapy!

What Exactly Does Oxygen Do?

 One critical role that oxygen plays in the body is that it is used to oxidize our food in the process of cellular respiration, thus releasing energy, which is eventually stored in ATP in the electron transport chain in mitochondria, and in glycolysis in the cytoplasm.

Carbohydrates and fatty acids are gradually broken down to simpler carbohydrates and then oxidized in our cells … producing energy, carbon dioxide, and water.

It’s a highly controlled process of burning our food that gives us the energy we need to live.

Another critical purpose oxygen plays is that it is part of the water molecule: cells are about 70–90 percent water by mass—and without water and its ability to form hydrogen bonds, life would likely not be possible at all.

Because of the very high water content, the human body is mostly oxygen by mass. You can be assured that it plays many, many important roles in the body, not just one. Excerpt from Quora.

Four Natural Ways of Increasing Your Blood Oxygen Levels

  1. Breathing
  2. Walking
  3. Herbs
  4. Foods

Simple Pursed Breathing Technique

While sitting down or taking a leisurely walk, breathe in through your nose as deeply as you can. Purse your lips and try to exhale longer than you inhaled. This will help ensure that you are bringing in enough oxygen while expelling the carbon dioxide trapped in your lungs. You should also do pursed lip breathing while you are relaxing, two or three times a day, or when you feel winded.

Getting Started with Diaphragmatic Breathing

Lie on your back with your head supported by a pillow and your knees bent. Put one hand on your upper chest and the other right below your rib cage so you can feel your diaphragm moving to make sure you are doing this correctly. Breathe in slowly through your nose, and make sure only your hand under your rib cage is moving. The one on your upper chest can move slightly, but should not move not nearly as much as the other. When you’re ready to exhale, purse your lips and tighten your stomach muscles while you breathe out through your nose. This strengthens your diaphragm and trains it to help you breathe deeper. Practice this for three times a day, 5 to 10 minutes each time.”
—Excerpt from the Oxygen Concentrator Store.


“An early morning walk is one of the best exercises for a healthy life. It gives us a sense of happiness, calms our agitated nerves, and relaxes the mind, body, and soul. The fresh oxygen that we often miss in the concrete jungles of our cities may be easily obtained in the early morning hours. The freshness and mist you feel in the early morning are certainly a luxury too. Did you know that a 30-minute walk early in the morning is equivalent to 2-hour hardcore exercise in the gym? Now it makes sense why doctors often suggest older adults to go for a stroll in the morning, because it REALLY does a lot to our body with minimum effort and, most importantly, minimum risk. Remember that the best time for a morning walk is between 5:00 and 7:00 a.m.”
—Excerpt from Health n Body Tips (emphasis mine).

Also, please see this fantastic dissertation about walking by Dr. Michael Dority, DC: Solved by Walking: Simple Steps to Health.

Herbs That Help Increase Blood Oxygen Levels
In researching for this blog post, I found key herbs that actually have the ability to increase your blood oxygen levels. Since I am an herbal buff, this was especially comforting to me. They will most certainly be added to my daily routine.

The main herbs noted at Livestrong are (1) ginkgo biloba, (2) cayenne, (3) ginger, and (4) motherwort. Ironically, all these herbs are circulatory, high energy, and anti-inflammatory. I highly recommend the Ginkgo Forte from MediHerb, a superior whole food supplement.

Foods That Help Increase Blood Oxygen Levels
In that same research, the best source of foods was Livestrong. The foods included are (1) meat and fish, (2) plant sources that contain iron, (3) foods high in B12, (4) foods containing vitamin A.

My favorite recommendation, of course, is liver from grass-fed beef; it supplies an abundance of superior vitamin A, iron, and numerous other nutrients named above. The most compelling reasons to add liver to your diet are these great points found at the Weston A. Price Foundation detailed below.

This excerpt from Weston A. Price outlines the many benefits of liver: “So what makes liver so wonderful? Quite simply, it contains more nutrients, gram for gram, than any other food. In summary, liver provides:

  • An excellent source of high-quality protein
  • Nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A
  • All the B vitamins in abundance, particularly vitamin B12
  • One of our best sources of folic acid
  • A highly usable form of iron
  • Trace elements such as copper, zinc, and chromium; liver is our best source of copper
  • An unidentified anti-fatigue factor
  • CoQ10, a nutrient that is especially important for cardiovascular function
  • A good source of purines, nitrogen-containing compounds that serve as precursors for DNA and RNA”

Supplements That Increase Blood Oxygen

Standard Process Cataplex C contains the P Factor, which increases blood’s oxygen-carrying capacity.

Standard Process Ferrofood contains both iron and C complex. Iron is essential for the synthesis of hemoglobin and helps deliver oxygen to red blood cells, while C complex helps with the absorption of iron.

Standard Process Cataplex E2 helps regulate the release of oxygen into tissue.

One Sure-Fire Recipe to Raise Your Blood Oxygen Levels

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE: Liver with Sour Cream
A delicious liver recipe from Russia found on and posted on the Weston A. Price Foundation website.

Serves 4

2½ pounds liver (calf, pork, or beef), sliced
Sea salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
4 tablespoons butter
2 onions, chopped
2 cups beef stock
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

Wash, pat dry, and sprinkle each piece of liver with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour, fry on each side in butter until crispy, and remove from the pan. Sauté the onions until golden brown and then layer both the liver and onions in a deep pot. Deglaze the pan with beef stock and stir well. Add the sour cream, stir, then add to the liver and onions. Mix well and cover. Cook slowly over low heat for 20 minutes. Uncover, stir well, re-cover, and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove liver from pot, arrange on individual plates, and pour sauce over the slices. Sprinkle with dill. This is very good when served with boiled or fried potatoes or rice.

 After Thoughts from the Traditional Cook
I think today it is time for
me to take the time to breath.
Lately, I’ve been bogged down
by so much negativity.

But before I take the inhale–
before I make this plunge;
I gotta learn to let go.
I gotta learn to exhale.

Let the miasma dissolve–
be carried with the winds.
It no longer afflicts me.
I’m learning how to breathe.

Take away these wires–
I can stand on my own.
New life, within, surging.
A much needed purging.

I don’t need depression
I have found my own rock
and now I am stronger
confused, I am no longer.

Today, I feel much better
I’ve some oxygen in me
My brain can finally function
now that I’ve learned to breath.
Frank Ruland August 2014

Note from Maria: I am a Certified Natural Health Professional, CNHP, not a medical doctor. I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat, or claim to prevent, mitigate, or cure any human diseases. Please see your medical doctor prior to following any recommendations I make in my blogs or on my website.

Images from iStock/Halfpoint (main image), sudok1 (oxygen sensor), Halfpoint (couple walking). 

Maria Atwood, CNHP

Maria Atwood is a semiretired Certified Natural Health Professional and Weston A. Price Chapter Leader in Colorado Springs, CO. Visit her website at Also check out Maria’s Cook Your Way to Wellness DVD (also available as an e-learning course) and be sure to follow her Tips from the Traditional Cook blog.
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