The chemistry sounds very straightforward. Human body fat is a combination of three elements - hydrogen, carbon and oxygen molecules (plus other substances that are stored within the fat cells).
Add extra oxygen to the body fat, and in theory it should break down into two well known substances:
- Hydrogen & oxygen molecules (H2O - water, which enters the blood stream, goes through the kidneys and is then excreted via urination); &
- Carbon & oxygen molecules (CO2 - carbon dioxide, which is excreted via respiration).
Oxygen or Ozone Therapies are used by a number of alternative medicine practitioners around the world. It is more popular in Europe than in the USA. Practitioners are also found in Canada and Mexico.
Despite being banned in some countries and certainly debunked by large sections of the "conventional" medical profession, there is plenty of evidence that oxygen therapy produces health benefits for many conditions far cheaper, much faster and without the side effects of patent drugs.
Oxygen therapy is usually administered in one of two ways:
- A facial mask attached to an oxygen tank, so that the patient breaths in oxygen for many hours of the day; or
- Daily sessions of diluted hydrogen peroxide administered via an intravenous drip.
Given the straightforward chemical composition of body fat discussed above, does Oxygen Therapy actually work for weight loss? I decided to contact a number of practitioners in various parts of the world and ask them if, when treating patients for other ailments using oxygen therapies, weight loss was ever seen as a side-effect of their treatment.
All the doctors who replied responded that no such weight loss factor has ever been observed that they could credit to the oxygen therapy itself, and not the condition they were treating.
It seems that empirical evidence to support the theory that oxygen therapy could reduce body fat into the easily excreted H2O and CO2 is lacking.
Still, not everyone is convinced. The chemistry appears fine on paper, so something is missing in the implementation. Finding that missing factor could be crucial in the battle of the bulge, the quest for weight loss, and conquering obesity.
Books have been written promoting special breathing techniques for weight loss. Although there are sceptics, there are also many people around the world who swear by the success they have achieved in losing weight via these breathing techniques.
The theory behind these breathing techniques is not merely due to the intake of the oxygen, but that the human body's metabolic process expels waste matter, including carbon dioxide, when we breath out. Our air intake is higher in oxygen than what we expire, and we breath out more carbon dioxide than we breath in.
The breathing technique therefore seeks to encourage and maximize the expulsion of carbon dioxide from our bodies - carbon dioxide that is the waste matter created when the oxygen dissolves body fat.
Personally, I must admit to being impressed though not thoroughly convinced. It is quite reasonable to assume that the people who are disciplined enough to follow this breathing technique diligently for several weeks or months are probably motivated enough to also be doing other things (dietary, psychologically, etc.) that will be causing the weight loss.
Still, it fits the basic (unproven) theory that adding oxygen to body fat should result in weight loss. Furthermore, it is harmless, so long as adequate dietary intake of antioxidant vitamins and minerals are being consumed. Whether the actual results are from the technique itself or of a more psychosomatic nature is immaterial if it works, is free and available to all, and has no adverse side effects.
By all means, add these deep breathing exercises to your overall toolbox of synergistic weight loss treatments.
Still, there is one more form of oxygen therapy (not usually recognized as such) that even the sceptics would have trouble disputing.
It is more commonly called exercise. More accurately, aerobic exercise. (Aerobic simply means "air breathing".) It is exercise that makes you huff and puff, deepening your breathing. It is and always has been one of the most fundamental parts of any successful weight loss program.