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And Now Oxygen Bar

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And Now Oxygen Bar

SCIENCE REPORTER, April 2009
2
RAJESH KUMAR
IT has already proven to be the treatment of choice by a
vast range of celebrities. Michael Jackson, Jeff Goldblum,
Ben Stiller, Kirstie Alley and Woody Harrelson are being
counted among the oxygen snorting celebrities today.
No wonder, Oxygen Bars are gaining fancy the world over
as an innovative concept providing refreshing oxygen. But
there may be grave health risks too of sniffing concentrated
oxygen.
The reducing oxygen content in the atmospheric
air, especially in metro cities, is of great concern. Deficiency
of oxygen is creating medical health problems, particularly
in young children.
Oxygen is vital to good health and it is our primary
source of energy-90% of our energy comes from oxygen and
the other 10% from food and water. With Oxygen Enriched
Air (OEA), the body will metabolize food more efficiently,
generate more energy and create a healthier body. The
conversion process of food into energy is known as oxidation
and what is oxidized (or burned) for the body's energy are
carbohydrates, sugars, fats and proteins.
However, oxygen is the "fuel" required to oxidize
all or any of these foods. Oxygen is the main raw material
for the factory known as the human body. The benefits being
highlighted from using concentrated oxygen include various
functions of the human body like memory improvement
and retention, improving the immune system, taking care of
sleep disorders, depression, headaches and hangovers, better
blood circulation and improved burning of food for release
of calories.
Delivering Oxygen
There are various sources of concentrated oxygen delivery
such as Cylinders, Tanks and Concentrators. An oxygen
concentrator, also called an oxygen generator, provides
oxygen to a person at substantially higher concentrations
than those of ambient air, and is used as an alternative to
tanks of compressed oxygen.
Portable oxygen concentrators are much easier to
set up than oxygen cylinders. You simply plug the unit into
a standard electrical outlet and set the flow meter to your
physician's prescribed flow rate. You can easily move from
room to room with lightweight portable oxygen
concentrators.
Studies were conducted in United Kingdom using
fourteen concentrators for one year on patients with
hypoxaemic chronic obstructive airways disease. The
mechanical reliability, patient compliance with a regimen
of 15 hours' use a day, smoking habits, and variation in
arterial gas tensions were studied. Though many patients
failed to achieve either the desired daily use or the
recommended arterial oxygen tension, problems were
generally minor and could probably be overcome by careful
supervision and planning. Overall the concentrator appeared
to be the most economical means of providing oxygen
treatment at home and was much preferred by patients who
had previously used oxygen cylinders.
Oxygen is generated through chemical reaction by
the process of the photolysis of water during oxygenic
photosynthesis, electrolysis of water into oxygen and
hydrogen, and electro catalytic oxygen evolution from oxides
and oxoacids.
X-ray crystallography studies have recently
provided detailed models of the structure of the oxygen-
evolving complex and its manganese cluster. Based on
structural and spectroscopic experiments, oxygen evolution
involves a core three-plus-one cluster of three manganese
ions and one calcium ion with one additional manganese,
which are oxidized via intermediate states called S-states.
Oxygen is produced industrially by fractional distillation of
liquefied air, chemical means using zeolite, concentration of
oxygen in air, electrolysis of water and other means.
The concentrated oxygen is harmful
for individuals with respiratory
diseases such as asthma and
emphysema. The coloring and
flavoring are yet to receive the
approval from legal authorities.
SCIENCE REPORTER, April 2009 3
The simplest oxygen concentrator is capable of
continuous delivery of oxygen and has internal functions
based around two cylinders, filled with a zeolite material,
which selectively adsorbs the nitrogen in the air. In each
cycle, air is flowed through one cylinder at a pressure of
around 20 lbf/in2 (138 kPa, or 1.36 atmospheres) where the
nitrogen molecules are captured by the zeolite, while the
other cylinder is vented off to ambient atmospheric pressure
allowing the captured nitrogen to dissipate. Typical units
have cycles of around 20 seconds, and allow for a continuous
supply of oxygen at a flow rate of up to approximately five
liters per minute (LPM) at concentrations anywhere from 50
to 95%. This process is called pressure swing adsorption
(PSA).
Another process, called Vacuum Swing Adsorption
(VSA), uses a single low pressure blower and a valve which
reverses the flow through the blower so that the regeneration
phase occurs under a vacuum. Generators using this process
are being marketed to the aquaculture industry.
Oxygen Bars -Innovative Concept
The Oxygen Bar concept started in Japan in early 1990 and
has now spread to United States, Europe and other countries.
Flagged as "a revolutionary anti-fatigue, anti-stress and anti-
depression concept", the maiden Oxygen Bar in Paris opened
recently. It is housed in an up-market beauty institute. The
concept is lowly pervading the Indian market too with a few
Oxygen Bars having being opened in New Delhi, Hyderabad
and Mumbai.
The Oxygen Bars are now a proven business model
concept for health and hygiene. The globally available
Oxygen Bars are beautifully designed. Individual flavored
scents (aromas) add to the experience. The possible
installation destinations for Oxygen Bars are salons, health
clubs and resorts, restaurants, coffee houses, bars, and
airports. In some countries caterers are providing Oxygen
Bars to farmhouses for recreation and entertainment. Yoga
studios, chiropractors, acupuncturists, medical spas, and
massage therapists are now looking at adding Oxygen Bar to
benefit their clients.
These Oxygen Bars offer sniffers an increased
percentage (up to 95%) of oxygen compared to the normal
atmospheric content of 21% as the percentage in Metro cities
is lower because of severe pollution.
Challenges for
Oxygen Bars
Health authorities have been questioning the merits or
otherwise of sniffing oxygen in Oxygen Bars. Some scientists
claim the use of concentrated oxygen is not practically
proven and studies still continue. However, some claim that
oxygen therapy is not only safe, but enhances health and
well-being, including strengthening the immune system, and
enhancing concentration. It has been said to alleviate
hangovers and help with migraines, but no formal studies
have yet confirmed any of these claims.
According to medical professionals the concentrated
oxygen is harmful for individuals with respiratory diseases
such as asthma and emphysema. The coloring and flavoring
are yet to receive the approval from legal authorities. Also,
concentrated oxygen is a flame accelerant which should be
kept away from cigarettes and other sources of ignition.
J.P. Dilworth and his team recently studied the
lifestyle of 30 patients using oxygen concentrators at the
Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, United Kingdom. Marked
improvements in general well-being (83% of respondents),
breathing (82%), mobility (62%) and sleep pattern (52%) were
reported.
However, scpeticism regarding the effectiveness of
oxygen shoots runs high in medical circles. The atmospheric
air contains 21% of oxygen which is enough for a healthy
human body which absorbs only 5% of the inhaled oxygen.
Thus, it is unclear whether increasing the oxygen
concentration during inhalation will result in any more
oxygen being absorbed than is normally absorbed.
Dr Rajesh Kumar is a Scientist, Ministry of Science & Technology,
Department of Scientific & Industrial Research, Technology Bhawan, New
Mehrauli Road, New Delhi-110016
Oxygen is vital to good health and
it is our primary source of energy-
90% of our energy comes from
oxygen and the other 10% from
food and water.
The benefits include various functions
of the human body like memory
improvement and retention, improving
the immune system, taking care of
sleep disorders, depression, headaches
and hangovers, better blood circulation
and improved burning of food for
release of calories.
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