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More Oxygen Hype: The Millennium Cooler
Stephen Barrett, M.D.
Are you getting all the oxygen you need for good health?
According to an ad for the "Millennium Oxygen Cooler":
If you're like most of us, you're probably not. Yet studies
reveal that oxygen in your bloodstream can enhance your ability
to fight infectious bacteria, microbes, and viruses. How? Oxygen
in the bloodstream acts as a cleaner, helping to rid your body
of the toxins that build up due to pollution. Our revolutionary,
high-tech oxygen water cooler contains water with a 600% higher
concentration of dissolved oxygen (as compared, say, to a mountain
stream) which may help maintain your health, concentration, skin
tone, and overall well being. It's far better than bottled water
which allows oxygen to evaporate. And because our cooler doesn't
use any flammable materials, it's perfectly safe.
This statement appears in the January 2001 catalog of InteliHealth
Healthy Home, the mail-order service of the highly respected
InteliHealth Web site. The product, which sells for $1,590 plus
$19.95 for shipping, is a modern-looking cylindrical device about
five feet high and a foot in diameter. It is not listed in Intelihealth's
The cooler is manufactured by Oxygen
Technologies, which claims:
- "We are being more and more deprived of precious oxygen
in the modern environment, and it is causing serious health problems
as numerous studies and researches on Oxygen Deficiency have
- Today's oxygen level in the air is far less than in ancient
times (oxygen content was 38% 10,000 years ago, compared to the
21% it is now) and getting worse due to pollution and industrialization."
- The oxygen cooler " provides more oxygen to the blood
cells to enhance the body's ability to fight infectious bacteria,
microbes, and viruses. Oxygen also acts as a cleaner, it cleans
excreta and those toxins left in the body."
Other companies are making similar claims for pills and liquids
that supposedly contain "stabilized" or "aerobic"
oxygen. Some sellers claim that "oxygen deficiency"
or "oxygen starvation" is an underlying cause of disease
and has been increasing because the oxygen content of the earth's
atmosphere has been decreasing.
The above claims are about as silly as anything I have seen.
Here are the facts:
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This article was posted on March 17,
- Oxygen from the air enters the lungs and is captured by the
heme (iron) portion of the blood. The body adapts to get what
it needs by changing its breathing rate. Blood returning to the
lungs contains surplus oxygen.
- Taking oxygen into the stomach through a liquid, pill, or
food would not significantly raise the body's blood level of
oxygen. The recommended dosage of "stabilized oxygen"
products would provide less oxygen than people get in a single
- Even if it could, it would have no effect on infectious disease
or on "ridding the body of toxins."
- "Oxygen deficiency" is not an underlying cause
- The oxygen content of the earth's atmosphere has not changed
significantly during the past 10,000 years.
- If enough oxygen is available to sustain life, the body will
extract what it needs from the air and deliver what is needed
to the cells. In mountainous regions where the air pressure is
lowest, humans readily adapt to reasonable levels.
- It is possible for a device to add a tiny amount of oxygen
to water in a sealed tank, but soon after the water is exposed
to room air, most of it will quickly bubble out.
- To extract significant amounts of oxygen from water, a human
would need gills.