MadSci Network: Biochemistry

Re: Are there benefits to ingesting oxygen or other gases?

Date: Sat Aug 26 12:05:56 2000
Posted By: Gabriel Harris, Grad student, Food Science and Technology, The Ohio State University
Area of science: Biochemistry
ID: 964459024.Bc


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 

I hope that this helps.


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