This unique work from acclaimed author Dr. Paul Marino (Marino’s The ICU Book, The Little ICU Book
) challenges the traditional notion that the human body thrives on oxygen, and that promoting tissue oxygenation is necessary for promoting life. This concept fails to recognize that oxygen is a destructive molecule that also damages the human body. Instead of welcoming oxygen, the human body limits exposure of the tissues to oxygen, and employs an army of chemical antioxidants to combat the damaging effects of oxygen. This “oxygen protective” human design represents a new paradigm for the relationship between oxygen and human survival, and it has important implications for the excessive and unregulated use of oxygen in clinical practice. Dr. Marino’s book includes the following relevant features:
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- Describes how oxygen and its reactive derivatives can damage vital cell components, and how oxygen plays a pivotal role in the damaging effects of inflammation, radiation, and aging.
- Challenges the traditional notion that oxygen delivery is the principal function of the cardiorespiratory system, and that oxygen transport is the principal function of red blood cells and hemoglobin.
- Demonstrates how the tissues normally operate in an oxygen-poor environment (which limits the risk of oxidative damage), and how the body counteracts attempts to increase tissue oxygenation.
- Describes the body’s use of protective antioxidants, and shows how failure to maintain this antioxidant protection makes oxygen inhalation an unrecognized source of harm.
- Reveals the lack of evidence that cellular hypoxia is a final common pathway for cell death, and proposes that oxygen itself is responsible for the death of aerobic organisms.
- Proposes a new management strategy that is “oxygen-protective” rather than “oxygen-promoting.”
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