|MadSci Network: Biochemistry|
Jim, I do not know of any benefits to be gained by consuming oxygen or other gases. Air is swallowed unintentionally along with food and beverages, but it escapes either through the throat or the anus, and is not digested. Gases in the digestive tract do have at least one benefit, though. In the intestine, they help to move fecal material along in cooperation with a process called peristalsis (the movement of food material by the squeezing of the intestinal muscles). As far as I know, however, these gases are produced primarily by the fermenation of foods by bacteria in the intestine. I hope that this helps. Gabriel
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