It seems counterintuitive that higher carbon dioxide levels will increase oxygenation in the body. Yet it’s true.
In fact, the Danish professor of physiology Christian Bohr sussed out how this works in 1904, and the Bohr effect has been named in his honour.
In the Buteyko breathing exercises, air is inhaled into the lungs, causing oxygen to cross over the alveolar membrane. Oxygen travels around by ‘sticking’ to haemoglobin molecules, themselves attached to red blood cells. An increase in carbon dioxide ‘tells’ haemoglobin to let go of the oxygen molecules, encouraging the precious oxygen cargo to be delivered to the organs and tissues where it is most needed. The Bohr effect proves that a slight increase in carbon dioxide levels increases oxygenation throughout the body, oxygen needed for muscles to work, energy to be produced, and the brain to function at optimum efficiency.
Increasing oxygenation of tissues will improve conditions including poor concentration and memory, poor circulation and low energy.