The significance and benefits of carbon dioxide to human health, plant growth and the environment are largely misunderstood by people and by society as a whole.
When I bring up the healing effects of carbon dioxide in conversation people tend to look at me confused and in disbelief. This is undoubtedly because politicians and the media have brainwashed the public into believing that carbon dioxide is a toxic waste gas that threatens the existence of life on earth. However, like many things we’re told by politicians and the media, the reality is far different.
When you look at the biological role of carbon dioxide in the human body, you realize it is one of the most critical nutrients for overall health that exists. Carbon dioxide is a powerful antioxidant, a blood vessel dilator and it drives oxygen into cells (the Bohr effect). Russian scientist Dr. Konstantin Buteyko discovered after a lifetime of research using the most sophisticated health disgnostic equipment available that to the extent someone is unhealthy they will have insufficient levels of carbon dioxide in their body.
One of the best ways to learn about carbon dioxide is to examine what happens to various life forms when they are exposed to increased concentrations of it. The following research is from my book Cancer Cured. I hope you learn something new and valuable from the following information.
The Naked Mole Rat
Found naturally in the hot, arid regions of eastern Africa, the naked mole rat is a type of rodent that lives strictly underground in large colonies. Remarkably, naked mole rats reproduce for their entire lifespans,12 they don’t feel pain after being burnt with acid,11 their brains can withstand over 30 minutes without oxygen without damage137 and in their natural habitats, they are immune to cancer.13 And while the average lifespan for most rats is less than two years,14,15 the naked mole rat can live an astounding 30 years,16,17 making it the longest-lived rodent known.18
The exceptional longevity and disease resistance of the naked mole rat have researchers calling it “a true ‘supermodel’ for aging research and resistance to chronic age-associated diseases.”19 Yet despite decades of research, scientists still haven’t been able to determine the reasons behind the mole rat’s longevity, even in the most recent studies.20-22 Perhaps it’s because they’re searching for a genetic explanation rather than simply examining the naked mole rat’s natural environment.
“They live in burrows that are kept closed, so the percentage of oxygen is lower than in the outside air, and the percentage of carbon dioxide ranges from 0.2% to 5%,” explains Dr. Raymond Peat.23 A 2005 study by Israeli scientists investigated the oxygen and carbon dioxide content in burrows of three species of subterranean mole rats and found that maximal CO2 levels were 6.1% and minimal O2 levels were 7.2%.24
|Air on Earth||0.04%||20.95%|
|Mole Rat Burrow||6.1%||7.2%|
Researchers at the College of Staten Island in New York re-created these environmental conditions in their laboratory and examined its effects on a colony of naked mole rats in 2010. Although they hypothesized the environment would have a negative impact on the activity, memory and social interaction of the rats, what they found was the complete opposite. When the rats were put into an environment of decreased oxygen (hypoxic) and increased carbon dioxide (hypercapnic) they became more social, had significantly improved brain function and their overall movements increased by 76.8%.25
The Queen Bee
In honey bee hives, worker bees carefully regulate the concentration of carbon dioxide, which can be as high at 6%.26 Remarkably, the lifespan of a queen bee is more than 40-times that of a worker bee.27 So while the queen is in the hive, protected by high concentrations of carbon dioxide, the worker bees are out breathing regular atmospheric air and consuming pollen, which is high in unsaturated fat and produces large amounts of free radicals in the absence of carbon dioxide.
The Long-Lived Siberian Bat
Bats are physiologically the same as mice and as such are destined to live similar lifespans. However, the oldest-surviving bat ever documented is a tiny bat from Siberia that lived more than 41 years in the wild.28 Researchers measuring the air quality in caves where bats roost have discovered that carbon dioxide concentrations are significantly higher than in the outside air. For example, in Drum Cave, Bungonia, New South Wales, Australia, “the CO2 concentration rises to over 6% in summer when a nursery colony, which contains more than 1000 unidentified bats, is present…”29
Humans at High-Altitudes
People living at high altitudes have shown a similar resiliency to the long-lived creatures above, including reduced rates of heart disease30-34 and cancer35-39 compared to people living at sea level.
What’s the link between living at altitude and carbon dioxide? The decrease in oxygen pressure that occurs at elevation means there is less oxygen pressure pushing carbon dioxide out of cells, allowing the body to retain more carbon dioxide – a phenomenon known as the Haldane effect.40,211
In 2009, a Swiss study involving 1.64 million people found that the benefits of altitude begin at an elevation of about 900m and that for every 1000m increase in elevation, mortality from heart disease decreases by 22% and mortality from stroke decreases by 12%.34 San Francisco and Philadelphia researchers reported a 12.7% drop in the incidence of lung cancer for every 1000m increase in elevation.35
The Plant Kingdom vs Carbon Dioxide
For over 100 years, carbon dioxide has been used to increase the productivity of greenhouse crops.41 In 1978, scientists from the University of British Columbia, Canada, found that tomato plants grown in greenhouses with enhanced CO2 concentrations, “flowered earlier and produced more marketable fruit than those grown in normal air.”42 Peanuts,43 rice,44 ginger,45 and lettuce46 have also displayed elevated growth performance when cultivated in environments enriched with CO2, and these growth-enhancing benefits also extend to grasses,48 trees,49-51 tobacco,52 hemp,53 roses,54 algae55,56 and indeed all plant life on earth. Reviews of plant science literature indicate that boosting greenhouse carbon dioxide levels by just 300 parts per million (ppm) will increase plant growth by 30%.47
Even better, elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide can increase the nutrient value of food for humans,46,57-59 while decreasing its nutrient value for insects. By significantly lowering the radio of nitrogen to carbon in plants, nutrient availability for predatory insects is significantly limited. Furthermore, under increased concentrations of CO2, the production of natural defensive compounds by plants is increased and the growth and survival of pests are adversely affected.60,61
Better still, carbon dioxide enrichment reduces the water requirements of plants by enabling them to use water more efficiently;62 it makes them better able to survive extreme growing conditions like draught,63 high temperatures,64 and excess salinity;65 it makes them more resistant to bacterial and fungal infections;66 it suppresses invasive plant species;48 it increases the number of seeds a plant produces;67 and it also increases the annual life cycle of plants, extending the growing season.68
Once food crops have fully-ripened, packaging them in containers with added carbon dioxide can reduce their decay and significantly prolong shelf-life.69-71
The extraordinary disease resistance, longevity and myriad of other benefits imparted to animals, humans and plants inhabiting carbon dioxide-enriched environments have shown us the importance of carbon dioxide. And since organisms that don’t require oxygen still need carbon dioxide to survive, we can conclude that carbon dioxide is more fundamental to life than oxygen.72
A Closer Look…
- An experiment from 1980 incubated anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that don’t use oxygen) into jars containing a range of carbon dioxide concentrations. The study revealed that contrary to established teaching, “Small supplements of CO2 (0.25%) allowed good growth of the majority of anaerobes studied.” Furthermore, some anaerobes had a minimum requirement of at least 1% CO2 for survival and an anaerobe called B. melaninogenicus “needed an atmospheric content of 10–40% CO2 for optimal growth.”72
Many living creatures, from mole rats to bats to bees, even amphibians like frogs, which burrow in the mud to accumulate a surplus of carbon dioxide, inherently understand the essentiality of CO2 and as such have found ways to intensify their exposures to it. Humans, on the other hand, believe that carbon dioxide is an environmental waste gas and have actually altered their behavior to reduce the amount of it in their environment. (Who is smarter – man or frog?)
There’s one more thing that must be addressed in order to eliminate the phobia surrounding carbon dioxide.
Is CO2 leading humanity towards climate catastrophe?
It is the duty of every human being alive to question everything we are told by those who claim authority over us, especially when the solutions they advance involve us giving them $226 million more in taxes every year,74 or when we see the media calling us ‘genocidal mass murderers’ simply for doing so.73
Anytime the subject of climate change is discussed in the media, we are presented with the extreme view that elevated CO2 is moving humanity towards catastrophe and that all scientists agree on this “fact.”209,210 However, when we read the climate science ourselves, we find that not only is there no consensus among scientists, but there is little to no evidence suggesting any reason to be alarmed at all. An extensive review of 539 climate change studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals between 2004 and 2007 concluded, “Only one paper refers to ‘catastrophic’ climate change, but without offering evidence.”89
So while politicians and the media push their unscientific, alarmist perspectives about climate change onto the public in support of their own political and economic interests, scientists, who base their views on empirical evidence, take into account the large and growing body of research showing that carbon dioxide has little or nothing to do with the earth’s surface temperature.75-87 The surge of peer-reviewed studies, analysis and data error discoveries published in recent years have prompted Dr. Ian Wilson and many others to declare that the fear surrounding man-made global warming “bites the dust.”88
Rather than catastrophe, the rising levels of natural and man-made carbon dioxide in our environment208 are sparking a revolution of intensified plant growth and abundance that greens the earth and delivers everything needed by humans and all living creatures to thrive with unprecedented levels of health, intelligence, compassion and longevity.
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