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17 Feb, 2020

The Lowdown on Detoxification - The Lungs


Every day you take about 20,000 breaths, likely without even thinking about it (unless you’re exercising, in which case you’re likely thinking about it a lot), processing around 12,500 litres of air. A mind boggling fact for you from Bill Bryson: within a day, you will inhale at least one molecule from the breaths of every person that has ever lived.

The lungs absorb oxygen from the air you breathe in and transfer it into your bloodstream so that it can get around the body. A pretty important task really, given that every cell in your body needs oxygen in order to survive. As the cells in your body go about their business, they produce a waste gas called carbon dioxide, that is released into the bloodstream. Your lungs remove this waste gas from the body when you breathe out. This vital process is called gas exchange.

Ever stopped to think about what actually causes you to cough? Your bronchial tubes are lined with cilia (think very small hairs) that move like waves. This motion carries mucus upward and out into your throat, where it is either coughed up or swallowed. This is the process for eliminating any dust, germs, or other unwanted matter that has found its way into your lungs.

In order to keep your lungs healthy you should exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet. You should also try to limit exposure to indoor and outdoor pollution, as well as to avoid inhaling first or secondhand tobacco smoke.