Under clinical conditions, low oxygen and low carbon dioxide generally occur together. Therapeutic increase of carbon dioxide, by inhalation of this gas diluted in air, is often an effective means of improving the oxygenation of the blood and tissues.
Carbon dioxide is one of the most important gases for life. It is healthy and extremely necessary to our biological existence. CO2 is good and without enough of it we get sick. CO2, the waste product of cell metabolism, is not waste at all. Plants thrive on it and our lives depend on it.
Dr. Buteyko said, “CO2 is the main source of nutrition for any living matter on Earth. Plants obtain CO2 from the air and provide the main source of nourishment for animals, while both plants and animals are nourishment for us. The great resource of CO2 in the air was formed in pre-historical times when the amount was about 10%.”
Everything is toxic when there is too much, and that is true even for water and oxygen. In the air that we breathe current levels of CO2 are not even close to dangerous. Medically speaking, the real problem is when there is not enough CO2—when we do not exercise enough or when we breathe too fast we tend to drive down CO2 levels in the blood.
Improper fast breathing (which is the norm today) causes oxygen deficiency because we are ventilating too much CO2, which contracts the blood vessels and changes the oxygen disassociation curve in a way that slowly suffocates our cells. Hypocapnia (lowered CO2) leads to reduced oxygenation of all vital organs and tissues due to vasoconstriction, and the suppressed Bohr effect.
CO2 and bicarbonate, carbon dioxide’s twin sister, are the vital players in the pH balance in both cells, blood and other bodily fluids meaning CO2 holds the keys to oxygen delivery. If the level of carbon dioxide in the blood is lower than normal, then this leads to difficulties in releasing oxygen from haemoglobin.
Poor oxygenation or hypoxia appears to be a favorable environment
for cancer development whereas good oxygenation favors healthy
tissue growth. Increasing Co2 levels, through the use of sodium
bicarbonate, is good in cancer treatment because bicarbonate drives
up CO2 levels in the blood, which increases oxygenation to the cells
Most doctors ignore CO2, even though lowered carbon dioxide levels in the blood leads to reduced oxygenation of the cells, which leads to toxic accumulation and increased acidity. This condition has cancer written all over it. In the presence of a large amount of carbon dioxide, the hemoglobin molecule changes its shape slightly in a way that favors the release of oxygen.If a carbon dioxide deficiency continues for a long time, then it can be responsible for diseases and accelerated ageing. As physiological studies have found, hypocapnia constricts blood vessels and leads to decreased perfusion of all vital organs. In emergency situations, when these conditions are extreme, the organs and tissues of the body are not receiving an adequate flow of blood.
 Henderson, Y. Carbon Dioxide. Article in Encyclopedia of Medicine. 1940
“Hypoxia and immunity are highly interdependent. Hypoxia affects molecular and cellular inflammatory processes. Hypoxia activates distinct hypoxia-signaling pathways, including a group of transcription factors known as hypoxia-inducible factors and adenosine signaling. In vitro and animal studies have shown that these pathways are involved in modulation of inflammatory responses. Inflammatory conditions are frequently characterized by tissue hypoxia due to enhanced metabolic demand as well as decreased metabolic substrates resulting from edema, microthrombi, and atelectasis, in turn causing “inflammatory hypoxia.”
 Immunologic Consequences of Hypoxia during Critical Illness. Harmke D. Kiers, M.D.; Gert-Jan Scheffer, M.D., Ph.D.; Johannes G. van der Hoeven, M.D., Ph.D.; Holger K. Eltzschig, M.D., Ph.D.; Peter Pickkers, M.D., Ph.D.
Hypoxia interferes with effective radiation and chemotherapy. Hypoxia incapacitates several different types of immune effector cells, enhances the activity of immunosuppressive cells and provides new avenues which help “blind” immune cells to the presence of tumor cells. Hypoxia is the enemy of anti-tumor immune response. Oxygenation, on the other hand, would reduce tumors escape from immune surveillance and response.
Several doctors report, “Rapidly growing tumors with poorly formed vasculature have low oxygen levels, and limited oxygen availability results in a hypoxic microenvironment. Patients with high levels of tumor hypoxia have a significantly worse prognosis than patients with low levels. Thus, targeting tumor hypoxia in the treatment of prostate cancer has the potential to improve patient response to treatment and overall survival.”
Hypocapnia (CO2 deficiency) in the lungs and, in most cases, arterial blood is a normal finding in chronic diseases due to prevalence of chronic hyperventilation among the sick. An understanding of the pathogenesis of disease, in which hypocapnia is a constitutive element, is necessary to understand cancer. Hypocapnia is a universal constant behind disease.
The Warburg effect (WE), or aerobic glycolysis, triggered by hypoxia, is commonly recognized as a hallmark of cancer and has been extensively studied for potential anti-cancer therapeutics development.
 Int J Hyperthermia. 2010; 26(3): 232–246. Hypoxia-Driven Immunosuppression: A new reason to use thermal therapy in the treatment of cancer?
Scientists in Germany have shown that the microenvironment of inflamed and injured tissues are typically characterized by low levels of oxygen and glucose and high levels of inflammatory cytokines, reactive oxygen, and nitrogen species and metabolites. Medical research suggests that there is a strong link between cell hypoxia (oxygen deficiency in cells) and chronic inflammatory processes.
Inflammation is the most common causes of tissue hypoxia and/or decreased in circulation. Both inflamed tissues as well as the areas surrounding malignant tumors are characterized by hypoxia and low concentrations of glucose. Inflammation can lead to sepsis, circulatory collapse and ultimately multi-system organ failure.
Tissue hypoxia is manifested in increased levels of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF-1) (this factor and cell hypoxia are key factors in the progress of cancer). Elevated HIF-1 triggers a cascade of events with involvement of pro-inflammatory transcription factors such as nuclear factor kappa B (or NF-kappaB) and activator protein AP-1.
Researchers have found that low levels of magnesium suppresses reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced HIF-1. When oxygen levels fall things get dangerous on a cell level because at low levels gene expression changes. HIF-1a regulates the expression of at least 30 genes when oxygen levels are low. Magnesium deficiency depresses HIF-1a activity.
This is all-important because it is often an excessive inflammatory immune response (sepsis) that contributes to a patient’s death. On intensive care units, sepsis is the most common cause of death. Patients with a severely compromised immune system face attack from Candida fungal infections, which become life threatening because of the high risk of sepsis.
“Radiation and chemotherapy do kill most solid tumor cells, but in the cells that survive, the therapies drive an increase in HIF-1, which cells use to get the oxygen they need by increasing blood vessel growth into the tumor. Solid tumors generally have low supplies of oxygen and HIF-1 helps them get the oxygen they need,” explains Dr. Mark W. Dewhirst, professor of radiation oncology at Duke University Medical Center.
Dr. Holger K. Eltzschig, a professor of anesthesiology, medicine, cell biology and immunology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, says, “Understanding how hypoxia is linked to inflammation may help save lives. By focusing on the molecular pathways the body uses to battle hypoxia, we may be able help patients who undergo organ transplants, who suffer from infections or who have cancer.”
Researchers found that an increase of 1.2 metabolic units
(oxygen consumption) was related to a decreased risk of
cancer death, especially in lung and gastrointestinal cancers.
In order for cancer to “establish” a foothold in the body it has to be deprived of oxygen and become acidic. If these two conditions can be reversed cancer not only can be slowed down, can be reversed.
Drs. D. F. Treacher and R. M. Leach write, “Prevention, early identification, and correction of tissue hypoxia are essential skills. If oxygen supply fails, even for a few minutes, tissue hypoxaemia may develop resulting in anaerobic metabolism and production of lactate.”
 BMJ. 1998 November 7; 317(7168): 1302–1306
In 1904, Danish scientist Christian Bohr noticed that hemoglobin binds oxygen more tightly at high pH than it does at low pH. The Bohr effect explains oxygen release in capillaries, why red blood cells unload oxygen in tissues. Bohr stated that at lower pH (more acidic environment, e.g., in tissues), hemoglobin will bind to oxygen with less affinity. The Bohr effect has to do with hemoglobin's ability to pick up or donate hydrogen ions. As pH rises, hemoglobin loses hydrogen ions from specific amino acids at key sites in its structure, and this causes a subtle change in its structure that enhances its ability to bind oxygen.
When pH falls in the blood, when it becomes slightly more acidic, the reverse happens: hemoglobin picks up hydrogen ions and its affinity for oxygen decreases. The pH of your blood is very tightly buffered thanks to the bicarbonate it contains and to hemoglobin, which can pick up or lose hydrogen ions to counteract changes in pH. Hemoglobin affinity for oxygen is how readily hemoglobin acquires and releases oxygen molecules into the fluid that surrounds it.
Hemoglobin will drop off more oxygen as the concentration of carbon dioxide increases dramatically, like when we exercise, when tissue respiration is happening rapidly, and oxygen is in greater need. The opposite is true under low CO2 levels, hemoglobin will drop off less oxygen.
Increasing CO2 concentration drives a decrease in pH, which helps force hemoglobin to dump the oxygen it's carried from the lungs, so your cells can use it to break down sugars for energy.
Decreasing CO2, through faster than normal breathing when at rest, has the opposite affect of putting the breaks on oxygen delivery. The pH-mediated change in affinity for oxygen helps hemoglobin act like a shuttle that picks up oxygen in the lungs and deposits it in the tissues where it will be needed.
The dissociation of oxygen is also helped by magnesium because it provides an oxygen adsorption isotherm which is hyperbolic. It also ensures that the oxygen dissociation curves are sigmoidal which maximizes oxygen saturation with the gaseous pressure of oxygen (Murray et al pp. 65-67).
Oxygen dissociation with increased delivery to the tissues is increased by magnesium through elevation of 2,3-bisphosphoglycerate/DPG (Darley, 1979) Magnesium stabilizes the ability of the phorphyrin ring to fluoresce. Free-radical attack of haemoglobin yields ferryl haemoglobin [HbFe4+] (D’Agnillo and Alayash, 2001), which is inhibited by magnesium (Rock et al, 1995).
Cell hypoxia is one of the main causes of free radical generation and oxidative stress leading to inflammation, especially in the capillaries. Capillaries are critical determinants of oxygen and nutrient delivery and utilization so inflammation there is telling.
Just so happens that normal arterial levels of CO2 have antioxidant properties. A group of Russian microbiologists discovered that "CO2 at a tension close to that observed in the blood (37.0 mm Hg) and high tensions (60 or 146 mm Hg) is a potent inhibitor of generation of the active oxygen forms (free radicals) by the cells and mitochondria of the human and tissues."
Dr. L.O. Simpson asserts that Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome (CFIDS), results from “insufficient oxygen availability due to impaired capillary blood flow.” Tissue oxygenation is severely disturbed during pathological conditions such as cancer, diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, etc., which are associated with decrease in pO2, i.e. ‘hypoxia’. Oxygen delivery is dependent on the metabolic requirements and functional status of each organ. Consequently, in a physiological condition, organ and tissue are characterized by their own unique ‘tissue normoxia’ or ‘physioxia’ status.
Biologist Dr. Ray Peat tells us that, “Breathing pure oxygen lowers the oxygen content of tissues; breathing rarefied air, or air with carbon dioxide, oxygenates and energizes the tissues; if this seems upside down, it’s because medical physiology has been taught upside down. Respiratory physiology holds the key to the special functions of all the organs, and too many of their basic pathological changes.”
Every cell in our body can recognize and respond to changes in the availability of oxygen. The best example of this is when we climb to high altitudes where the air contains less oxygen. The cells recognize the decrease in oxygen via the bloodstream and are able to react, using the ‘hypoxic response,’ to produce a protein called EPO (erythropoietin). This protein in turn stimulates the body to produce more red blood cells to absorb as much of the reduced levels of oxygen as possible.
 Izv Akad Nauk Ser Biol. 1997 Mar-Apr;(2):204-17. Carbon dioxide–a universal inhibitor of the generation of active oxygen forms by cells (deciphering one enigma of evolution). Article in Russian
 J Cell Mol Med. 2011 Jun; 15(6): 1239–1253. Why is the partial oxygen pressure of human tissues a crucial parameter? Small molecules and hypoxia
Carbon dioxide like air, water and oxygen is essential for life, health and specifically, it holds the key to resolving asthma, cancer and many other chronic diseases. Carbon dioxide is an essential constituent of tissue fluids and as such should be maintained at an optimum level in the blood. The gas therefore is needed to supplement various anaesthetic and oxygenation mixtures for use under special conditions such as cardio-pulmonary by-pass surgery and the management of renal dialysis.
Summarizing, low cell oxygen levels due to 2 effects, constriction of arteries and arterioles (since CO2 is a most potent vasodilator) and the suppressed Bohr effect. There are actually many reasons for low oxygen, and even red blood cells have been reported to shrink and become stiffer under hypoxic conditions. Red blood cells also lose their optimal shapes under magnesium deficiency.
 Int J Hyperthermia. 2010; 26(3): 232–246. Hypoxia-Driven Immunosuppression: A new reason to use thermal therapy in the treatment of cancer?