Author: Olen R. Brown

Oxygen, the Breath of Life: Boon and Bane in Human Health, Disease, and Therapy

eBook: US $49 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $161
Printed Copy: US $137
Library License: US $196
ISBN: 978-1-68108-426-8 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-68108-425-1 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2017
DOI: 10.2174/97816810842511170101


Oxygen is historically entwined from its discovery with radical applications as a panacea by charlatans and by daring men constructing bridges using underwater caissons. Oxygen has made possible the exploration of the depths of the oceans beginning with hard-hat diving suits and extending to scuba gear, underwater habitats and submarines as well as space exploration. Molecular oxygen is critically involved in health and disease in more ways than any other element. It is essential for metabolism of food to nourish our bodies. Understanding its biological and chemical nature helps us to understand the effects of exercise, vitamins and supplements, and drugs used for cancer therapies.

Oxygen, the Breath of Life is a comprehensive reference on the historical, biological, chemical and medical aspects of oxygen. Readers, both laymen and experts, will gain knowledge of the basics of oxygen chemistry, how it functions in the human body, the role of oxidants in the development of various diseases. Chapters contain historical notes which highlight the discoveries of pioneering researchers.


We are constantly barraged with scientific publications and news media regarding issues pertaining to our health in regard to prevention and cures, product defects, food benefits and dangers, renewable energy, fossil fuels, global warming, climate change, and other concerns. The contradictions and reversals in opinions on many of these subjects make us question where the truth lies. This book is an unbiased overview and synopsis of the benefits and detriments of oxygen culminating from more than 56 years of theoretical and laboratory research by the author.

As delineated in the title of this book, the effects of oxygen in its multiple forms and compounds can be a benefit or detriment to our way of life especially to our health and to the world as we know it. These are important but very complex topics. In fact, even though the oxygen element was isolated and discovered in or around 1774 it will be obvious after reading this book that our understanding of the influence of this element has made great strides but in reality, we have only uncovered the tip of the iceberg for what lies before us in the future.

Mastering a subject or concept throughout decades of one’s professional career is one thing but taking the time and then having the patience and ability to assimilate and record the obtained wisdom and experience in a clear and concise document that contains details that can be read and understood by an outsider to the particular field is a totally different matter. This book provides such readily understandable sections for readers who are looking for information to initiate research on a particular issue that may be related to or affected by oxygen. But, just as important, the book also contains historical facts, theoretical and experimental scientific data, and detailed explanations with illustrations for a reader more experienced with chemistry, physics and/or biology who is seeking an in depth understanding in order to formulate his or her own opinions and conclusions regarding the benefits, detriments, and/or dangers associated with oxygen as related to a specific topic of interest.

For myself as one with a limited background in chemistry and biology obtained from college level freshman courses, it was refreshing to read an unbiased informative comprehensive treatise on what the scientific and medical communities have learned about oxygen up to this time in history. I believe anyone seeking knowledge on any of the many topics associated with oxygen will agree that this is a very comprehensive and well written book. So, read, enjoy, and become informed.

David A. Hullender
The University of Texas at Arlington
United States