Getting Oxygen into Cells, How Does It Work?

Posted on 9/14/2015 by

One of the basic misunderstandings of the 20th and 21 century is the transport of oxygen into cells. It has always been assumed that cell membranes were easily penetrable by oxygen without the need of a specific transport mechanism. Like all assumptions, this turns out not to be the case

Oxygen has to be facilitated across the membrane, just like all other nutrients and it is the fatty acids in the cell membrane that are the facilitators. Having free oxygen running around the cell oxidizing things would be a disaster!

There was a paper published in 1976 by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which says something very interesting and mostly missed by the science intelligentsia.

Impaired oxygen supply and deteriorating health, in cystic fibrosis patients, correlates with abnormal changes in the fatty acid composition of blood lipids. As the proportion of oleates increases and that of linoleates decreases, erythrocyte membrane interference with the formation of intracellular oxyhemoglobin increases and arterial oxygen pressure decreases. The physical-chemical basis for these changes seems to be that oleic and linoleic acid differ in their ability to undergo reversible oxygenation in response to changes in oxygen pressure. The oxygen complex of linoleic acid dissociates at relatively high pressures, whereas that of oleic dissociates only at low pressures. Accordingly, excessive substitution of oleic for linoleic acid in membrane lipids would be expected to decrease the intracellular oxygen pressure to a level where hemoglobin oxygenation and any other oxygen-requiring processes would be impaired.

The the last section is deliberately bolded; basically it says that the more oleic acid (Omega-9 found in Olive Oil) in a cell membrane, the LESS efficient the oxygen transportation across membranes is, and the more linoleic acid (Omega-6), the MORE efficient the transportation of oxygen is. Also of significance, it discloses in the body of the paper that the oxygen dissociation curve of Linoleic Acid is similar to hemoglobin, which is what you would need in order to have a cell membrane be able to pull oxygen away from the haem molecule that brought it there.

This elegantly ties together the results seen when supplementing with proper, unadulterated (not processed) Omega-6 Linoleic Acid, with better energy levels, higher endurance and lessened recovery time. It is hoped the significance of what I am trying to say here is not lost as I believe this information to be extremely important for health.

REFERENCED ARTICLE: American Academy of Pediatrics


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Dr. Jeff Matheson, MDCM

Dr. Jeff Matheson obtained an HBSc (Biochem) degree from University of Western Ontario, followed by a his MDCM Degree (doctor of medicine, teacher of surgery) from McGill University in 1991. He was a full-time Emergency Room physician for 15 years, Medical Director of Med-Emerg Inc from 1998-2013, Founder of CPM Medical Clinics (pain management) which became the largest provider of pain management in Canada 2005 to present, setting standards to which all clinics must be certified by the College of Physicians and Surgeons Ontario. He has trained over 70 physicians in the practice of pain management, established the Headache, Migraine and Pain Treatment Centre in Ajax Oct 2013- a new, non-narcotic approach to pain management using neuroplasticity principles. Jeff is one of the founders of Pure Life Science Corp.