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CO2 og karbondioksid i medisin og velværeindustrien

Uno Vita AS |

CO2 and Carbondioxide in Medicine and the Wellness industry
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an intriguing molecule with a wide array of roles in human physiology and medicine. This article explores the multifaceted role of CO2 in medicine, including its potential for therapeutic use, the mechanisms underlying its effects, and the latest research findings related to CO2 therapy. Carbon dioxide (CO2) therapy is a type of alternative medicine that involves inhaling a mixture of CO2 and oxygen (O2) or exposing the body to pure CO2 gas in a sealed suit. CO2 therapy is a treatment that improve various health conditions by enhancing blood circulation, oxygen delivery, nitric oxide production, and cellular metabolism.

Benefits of CO2 therapy include:

  • Reducing inflammation and pain in the muscles, joints, nerves, and airways
  • Improving lung function and respiratory health, especially in conditions such as asthma, COPD, and COVID-19
  • Improving brain function and protecting against neurodegeneration, especially in conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease
  • Modulating the immune system and slowing the growth of cancer cells and CO2 is thought to slow the growth of cancer cells and to enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy.
  • Improving skin health and appearance by increasing collagen and elastin synthesis, reducing wrinkles and scars, and healing wounds
  • Detoxifying the body by increasing the metabolic rate and fat burning
  • Boosting energy levels and mood by activating the parasympathetic nervous system and reducing stress hormones
  • Cardiovascular functional improvement. CO2 is thought to improve blood flow and circulation, and to reduce blood pressure.
  • Autoimmune diseases improvement: CO2 is thought to reduce inflammation and to modulate the immune system.

One of the methods to administer CO2 therapy is using a BodyStream suite, which is a system that allows the entire body (except the head) to be exposed to a high concentration of CO2 gas in a sealed suit. The BodyStream suite first vacuums out the air inside the suit and then fills it with pure CO2 gas. The CO2 gas is absorbed through the skin and reaches the blood vessels, where it triggers the release of more oxygen and nitric oxide. The BodyStream suite can be used for various purposes, such as pain relief, weight loss, skin rejuvenation, and wound healing.

CO2 inhalations therapy
Another method to administer CO2 therapy is using a carbon inhaler, which is a device that delivers a mixture of CO2 and O2 to the lungs through a mouthpiece or a mask. The carbon inhaler can be used to treat respiratory conditions, such as asthma, COPD, and COVID-19, by improving lung function, reducing inflammation, and enhancing oxygenation. The carbon inhaler has been shown to lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, and reduce anxiety and depression.

Carbon dioxide and beauty treatments
Carbon dioxide (CO2) treatments, emerging as a popular modality in cosmetic dermatology, offer a range of skin rejuvenation benefits. The two primary methods of CO2 application, subcutaneous injections and carbon dioxide gel treatments, differ in approach but aim to enhance skin appearance and health.

Subcutaneous CO2 injections, increasingly used in aesthetic medicine, promote oxygenation of skin tissues through improved microcirculation. This process leads to increased collagen production, aiding in dermal regeneration. These injections are effective in reducing fine lines, scars, and hyperpigmentation but are limited to localized treatment areas due to certain risks and discomfort.

In contrast, carbon dioxide gel, also known as carboxy gel, is a non-invasive alternative suitable for full-face application. This treatment creates CO2 bubbles on the skin's surface, triggering the Bohr effect, which enhances skin oxygenation with minimal discomfort. The gel is easily applicable at home, making it a convenient option for regular use.

The benefits of CO2 gel treatments include:

  • Skin Rejuvenation: Stimulates collagen production, improves skin elasticity, and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, particularly on the face, neck, and hands.
  • Improved Blood Circulation: Enhances blood flow, thereby increasing oxygen and nutrient delivery to skin cells.
  • Skin Brightening: Helps in toning and reducing hyperpigmentation for a more radiant complexion.
  • Tightening and Firming: Addresses issues of sagging or loose skin.
  • Reducing Pore Size: Useful in minimizing enlarged pores.
  • Cellulite Reduction: Carboxytherapy can target cellulite by improving circulation and breaking down fat cells.
  • Stretch Marks: CO2 injections may lessen the visibility of stretch marks by fostering collagen in the affected areas.
  • Dark Circles and Puffiness: Aids in reducing under-eye circles and puffiness by improving circulation and skin oxygenation.
  • Hair Restoration: In some cases, these treatments can stimulate hair growth and improve scalp health.

Studies have suggested that combining CO2 therapy with other therapies, such as hydrogen (H2) and infrared (IR), may have synergistic effects and enhance the benefits of each therapy. Hydrogen therapy involves inhaling or drinking hydrogen-rich water, which has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic properties. Hydrogen therapy can protect the cells from oxidative stress, modulate gene expression, and improve various diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, neurodegeneration, and aging. Infrared therapy involves exposing the body to low levels of red or near-infrared light, which can stimulate cell regeneration, increase blood flow, and reduce pain and inflammation. Infrared therapy can also help with detoxification, weight loss, immune system, wound healing, and sleep quality.

CO2 can absorb and re-emit infrared radiation, which is a type of heat energy. When CO2 molecules absorb infrared photons, they vibrate and store the energy. Later, they can release the energy by emitting another infrared photon or transfer the energy to another molecule through collisions. This process increases the temperature of the gas and the surrounding environment.

Scientific background introduction to CO2 in Human Physiology

CO2, a byproduct of metabolism, plays a critical role in the human body. Its importance extends beyond respiration and blood pH regulation, as it is also involved in various other physiological processes.

Role in Metabolism and Respiration

During cellular respiration, glucose and oxygen are converted into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the primary energy source for cells, with CO2 produced as a byproduct. The generated CO2 is subsequently transported in the bloodstream to the lungs, where it is expelled via exhalation.

Role in Blood pH Regulation
CO2 is a crucial regulator of blood pH. It is carried in different forms in the blood: about 80% to 90% is dissolved in water, and the remaining is either dissolved in the plasma or bound to hemoglobin. The dissolved CO2 in blood is neutralized by the bicarbonate-carbon dioxide buffer system, forming a weak acid, carbonic acid (H2CO3), which can dissociate into a hydrogen ion and bicarbonate ion, helping maintain physiological pH.

The Bohr Effect and CO2
The Bohr effect refers to the phenomenon where an increase in the level of CO2 in the blood leads to a decrease in the affinity of hemoglobin for oxygen. This effect is crucial for the efficient delivery of oxygen to tissues that need it most, particularly during periods of increased metabolic demand such as during exercise.

CO2 and Oxygen Affinity

The Bohr effect is characterized by a rightward shift of the oxygen-hemoglobin dissociation curve, signifying a reduced affinity of hemoglobin for oxygen at higher CO2 concentrations. This shift facilitates the unloading of oxygen from hemoglobin in tissues with high CO2 levels, thus ensuring adequate oxygen supply to metabolically active tissues.

Therapeutic Applications of CO2
CO2 therapy refers to the therapeutic administration of CO2 for various health conditions. This can be achieved through different methods, including carbonated water baths, transdermal application of CO2, and inhalation of CO2. Potential applications of CO2 in medicine:

Accelerated Wound and Fracture Healing
Studies have shown that therapeutic CO2 application can enhance wound and fracture healing. Transcutaneous application of CO2 has been found to significantly increase the survival of skin flaps due to increased blood flow and greater capillary density. Additionally, CO2 therapy has been shown to accelerate fracture union by promoting blood vessel invasion and transformation of the avascular cartilaginous matrix into vascularized osseous tissue.

Increased Blood Flow to Ischemic Limbs
Therapeutic CO2 application has been shown to improve blood flow to ischemic limbs, which can be particularly beneficial for patients with peripheral vascular disease. This effect is believed to be partly due to the CO2-induced production of nitric oxide by the endothelium, leading to vasodilation and increased blood flow.

Greater Blood Flow and Vascularization in Diabetes

CO2 therapy has also been shown to enhance blood flow and vascularization in individuals with diabetes. This can lead to improvements in wound healing and fracture repair, which are often impaired in individuals with diabetes due to inadequate blood flow and oxygen supply.

Reduced Inflammation
CO2 has potent anti-inflammatory effects, which can be particularly beneficial in conditions characterized by chronic inflammation. Studies have shown that CO2 therapy can reduce inflammation in various conditions, including sepsis and lung disease.

Decreased Tumor Growth and Metastasis
Recent research suggests that CO2 therapy may also have anti-cancer effects. Studies have shown that CO2 therapy can reduce tumor growth and metastasis, potentially through its effects on blood flow, oxygenation, and inflammation.

Mechanisms of Action of CO2 Therapy

Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the therapeutic effects of CO2. These include vasodilation, increased blood flow, the Bohr effect, modulation of cellular signaling pathways, and anti-inflammatory effects.

Vasodilation and Increased Blood Flow
One of the key mechanisms through which CO2 exerts its therapeutic effects is through vasodilation, or the widening of blood vessels. This results in increased blood flow to tissues, which can enhance oxygen and nutrient delivery, facilitate waste removal, and promote healing.

The Bohr Effect

As mentioned earlier, the Bohr effect refers to the phenomenon where an increase in the level of CO2 in the blood leads to a decrease in the affinity of hemoglobin for oxygen. This facilitates the delivery of oxygen to tissues with high metabolic demand, which can be beneficial in various health conditions.

Modulation of Cellular Signaling
CO2 can also modulate various cellular signaling pathways, which can have wide-ranging effects on cellular function and health. For instance, CO2 has been shown to activate angiogenesis pathways, stimulate the production of anti-inflammatory molecules, and enhance mitochondrial biogenesis and function.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

CO2 has potent anti-inflammatory effects, which can be particularly beneficial in conditions characterized by chronic inflammation. It is believed to exert these effects through multiple mechanisms, including the inhibition of pro-inflammatory signaling pathways and the stimulation of anti-inflammatory molecule production.

In conclusion, CO2 plays a critical role in human physiology and holds significant potential as a therapeutic agent in medicine. Its effects on blood flow, oxygen delivery, inflammation, and cellular signaling make it a promising candidate for the treatment of a wide range of health conditions. As we continue to explore the multifaceted role of CO2 in medicine, we can look forward to unlocking new therapeutic possibilities and improving patient outcomes.

All rights reserved for Klinikk for integrert medisin and Uno Vita AS
Authored by Jan F. Poleszynski (head of Clinic for Integrated Medicine)

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