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Common Breathing Myths

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

By Sussanna Czeranko, ND



1. Oxygen is good and carbon dioxide is bad.

Not borne out by data. Carbon dioxide is as essential for our existence as oxygen.

Carbon dioxide levels in our arterial blood determine oxygen delivery to every one of our

cells.










2. The more we breathe, the more oxygen we have for metabolism.

Breathing large volumes of air do not determine oxygen available by our cells. In fact,

the more we breathe, the more we skew oxygen and carbon dioxides levels causing us

to feel breathless because low carbon dioxide levels cause the delivery of oxygen to be

hampered.


3. Deep breathing is a healthy breathing pattern.

In fact, one deep breath can lower carbon dioxide levels as much as 20% causing

cerebral vasoconstriction that leads to many systemic symptoms. Our lungs are not

storage vessels for air. The air that we breathe equals air out. Therefore, if we inhale a

deep breath, we must exhale a lot of air.


4. When exercising, we must breathe in with our nose and exhale with our mouth

to eliminate the waste gases accumulated during exercise.

The evidence is to the contrary. Exercise is indeed vital for health; however, when we

exhale through the mouth, we exhale too much carbon dioxide rich air that upsets the

homeostasis in the body. We have more stamina and perseverance if we only breathe

with our nose.


5. We must eat an alkaline diet to maintain healthy and normal pH.

Clinical observation and documentation verify repeatedly that this is not the case. Our

breathing determines pH of our blood with every breath. The respiratory centers of our

brain monitor very tightly pH levels in arterial blood to establish the rate and depth of

breathing.


6. According to the medical literature, the healthy breathing rate is between 15 to

25 breaths per minute.

The data demonstrate that when we are at rest, our breathing rate, regulated by the

brain is between 8 to 12 breaths per minute. The brain sends signals for the inhale

which lasts approximately 2 seconds and the exhale is a 3 seconds with a short pause

between breaths.


7. Mouth breathing is ok and allows us to get more air.

Not so. Habitual mouth breathing affects facial development, teeth and health. Mouth

breathers have more dental cavities, more crooked teeth, and often present with a

receding lower jaw. As well, mouth breathers consistently exhibit symptoms of bad

breath, post-nasal drip, sinusitis, nasal congestion, poor sleep, and increased nighttime

urination. Mouth breathing is associated with sleep apnea and causes snoring. The data

reveal that heart attack victims have a strong correlation to mouth breathing.

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