EDIT : This thread is NOT about smoking.
I just read through http://gutsense.org and came across this :
Does smoking cause constipation?
No, not really... Actually, smoking stimulates moving the bowels because the continuous swallowing of the nicotine-laced saliva stimulates the gastrocolic reflex ??? an involuntary condition that initiates bowel movements.
Also, the smoke itself increases the level of CO2 in the blood. The ensuing vasodilation (widening) of the blood vessels helps intestinal peristalsis and amplifies the urge to move the bowels.
For the same reason smoking reduces the risks of constipation, smoking cessation is commonly associated with the onset of chronic constipation ??? the reduced stimulation diminishes the frequency and urgency of bowel movements, enlarges stools, and precipitates costivity, irregularity, straining, and fiber dependence ??? all of the hallmarks of latent and organic constipation.
If you are quitting smoking, you should pay particular attention to the risk of constipation, and it's prevention, but without getting hooked on fiber and/or laxatives. Study the rest of this site to proactively identify the type and stage of your constipation in order to select the best treatment and preventative approach.
Ray Peat talks about the benefits of CO2 too :
The low carbon dioxide production of hypothyroidism (e.g., Lee and Levine, 1999), and the respiratory alkalosis of estrogen excess, are often overlooked. An adequate supply of calcium, and sometimes supplementation of salt and baking soda, can increase the tissue content of CO2.
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To be clear smoking causes an acute episode of reduced BF resistance in certain areas of the body, however with increased BP and increased HR and over-all decreased blood flow. It's not clear as to the cause but the idea is that increased O2 consumption is implicated. Also certain areas of the body are specifically innervated for vasoconstriction and vasodilation with specific function to favor one or the other, and the data points to periods of dilation followed by a periods of constriction. But overall, the data shows systemic blood velocity and blood flow REDUCTION (constriction/dilation independant). Some studies say it's due to peripheral vascular resistance. I guess the point is, perfusion is the end data we are concerned with, and it appears there are more factors at play than JUST vasoconstriction and dilation.
But is it healthful? I don't know that I'm ready to call it healthy...especially if you're talking about blood levels of CO2 in the light of free radical-producing, aveoli-destroying smoke.
Cigarette Smoking Decreases Tissue Oxygen J. Arthur Jensen, MD; William H. Goodson, MD; Harriet Williams Hopf, MD; Thomas K. Hunt, MD Arch Surg. 1991;126(9):1131-1134.
Wennmalm, ??. (1982), Effect of cigarette smoking on basal and carbon dioxide stimulated cerebral blood flow in man. Clinical Physiology, 2: 529???535. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-097X.1982.tb00059.x
JAMA. 1974;229(10):1327-1328. doi: 10.1001/jama.1974.03230480043027
I find the concept rather interesting. I try to pick sparkly mineral water over regular bottled water now. I haven't figured out what else to do, but when he started talking about high altitude I couldn't help thinking about Kruse and those Sherpas. Fill up the hot tub with cold, bubbly water and wait for the superpowers to appear.
we require CO2 to live don't we? so i would say yes, CO2 it is good for us....in the right amount.
there needs to be the appropriate balance of CO2 & oxygen in our lungs & blood. it's not much CO2, can't recall the exact % ranges for blood & lungs.
i do remember reading somewhere that without any CO2 we lose the urge (reflex?) to breathe. here's a quote from wiki "In medicine, up to 5% carbon dioxide (130 times atmospheric concentration) is added to oxygen for stimulation of breathing after apnea and to stabilize the O2/CO2 balance in blood."
A deficiency of CO2 in the blood is know as Hypocapnia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypocapnia
some of the theory behind the Buteyko Breathing Technique is to increase carbon dioxide levels in the blood. Buteyko people also speculate that the atmosphere contained a higher % of CO2 as we evolved than it does today, so the human body may be adapted to work better with a slightly higher CO2 % than the current conventional medical wisdom might say is normal/optimum.
" The presence of polonium in tobacco smoke has been known since the early 1960s. Some of the world's biggest tobacco firms researched ways to remove the substance—to no avail—over a 40-year period but never published the results.
Radioactive polonium-210 contained in phosphate fertilizers is absorbed by the roots of plants (such as tobacco) and stored in its tissues. Tobacco plants fertilized by rock phosphates contain polonium-210, which emits alpha radiation estimated to cause about 11,700 lung cancer deaths annually worldwide. "
" the isotopes 214Po and 218Po are thought to cause the majority of the estimated 15,000-22,000 lung cancer deaths in the US every year that have been attributed to indoor radon. Tobacco smoking causes additional exposure to polonium. "
"In the light of free radical-producing, aveoli-destroying smoke"
This is a myth, one that has persisted for decades with the help of anti-smoking propaganda. Not only is this assertion unsupported by hard science (like say, animal experiments), it is not consistent with my own experience as a smoker.
The truth is, folks, the tobacco leaf is an ancient medicinal plant, enjoyed for thousands of years, by billions of people. Smoking is good for you. In fact, I'd say it's very good for you. Smoking reduces the MAO B enzyyme, increases telomerase, lowers Parkinson's risk by a factor of 2 to 3, reduces the rate of Alzheimer's ten-fold, doubles gluthione, doubles catalase, raises youth hormones (DHEA, testosterone, pregnenolone, etc), keeps the skin looking fresh (CoQ10 comes from the tobacco leaf), raises circulation (via carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, etc), upregulates the 'genius gene' nr2b activity by 83% doubles the endogenous antioxidant SOD... on and on. These are mostly hard-science findings from antismoking scientists with Big Tobacco Control/Big Pharma, all despite their attempts to put a negative spin on their findings.
- Tobacco Smoke May Contain a Psychoactive Ingredient Other Than Nicotine" (NIDA News, Volume 13, Number 3, July, 1998)
- Irreversible inhibition of monoamine oxidase by some components of cigarette smoke, Life Science (1987 Aug 10;41(6):675-82), "Inhibitory activity towards monoamine oxidase has been found in a solution of cigarette smoke. The inhibition was irreversible."
- Smoking is associated with increased telomerase activity in short-term cultures of human bronchial epithelial cells, Cancer Letters 2007 Feb 8;246(1-2):24-33. Epub 2006 Mar 6--from the Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.
- From the abstract: "Compared with nonsmokers, cigarette smokers had 80% higher levels of ELF total glutathione, 98% of which was in the reduced form." Normal alveolar epithelial lining fluid contains high levels of glutathione in the Journal of Applied Physiology (Vol. 63, Issue 1, p. 152-157).
- Relation of age and smoking to serum levels of total testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate in aged men in Geriatrics & Gerontology International (Volume 6 Issue 1 Page 49-52, March 2006)