Why do others take in so much air when Paula doesn’t?

Paula exchanges only 1950 ml of air per minute awake at rest. And Paula is fine. The textbooks say that most people exchange 6000 ml of air awake at rest.   Is Paula a new model of human? No one has EVER studied this before. No one can see that Paula exchanges only 1950ml of air. Paula does not know that she exchanges only 1950ml of air. She looks like you and me. This is why no one has studied this phenomena. No one knows about what the person themselves doesn’t know. It is invisible and can only be unmasked by measuring minute volume, something no one wants to do, even though it is easy peasy [a childhood saying].

Does exchanging less air mean that one accumulates more acid in one’s blood stream?

My respiratory/physiology consultant answered me this way:

 According to basic respiration physiology, if Paula is breathing at 1950 ml per minute, she may t be accumulating more acid.


Minute ventilation = Tidal Volume x  Breathing Frequency


Tidal Volume= Alveolar Volume + Dead Space Volume (150 ml).  


Arterial partial pressure of carbon dioxide (regulates acid level in the blood) is determined by  the ratio of the rate of carbon dioxide production per minute  to Alveolar Ventilation (Alveolar Volume x breathing frequency). 


If we assume that Paula is breathing with relatively small avleolar volume, then arterial partial pressure of carbon dioxide should go up and acidity of the blood will increase.  This is true unless the rate of carbon dioxide production per minute is lower than normal and therefore he blood acidity could be normal.  


Without measurements of these variables (blood acidity or pH, rate of CO2 production, Alveolar Volume), one can not be sure what is happening with Paula. 

My guess is that Paula’s body adapted to lower breathing rate than normal by reducing the rate of CO2 production per minute so that to maintain her blood acidity in the normal range. 

I hope that these equations are not confusing for you but you are right that no one has studied or bothered to study someone like Paula.  from my friend the McGill University Professor

If Paula exchanges only 1950 ml of air per minute awake at rest, [ we tested this many many many times over the years.] why is Paula so youthful at the age of 65? She is a slight, somewhat short lady with lots of energy and a curious mind.Where does she get the energy. She has no aches or pains. She can still sprint faster than many twenty year old people. Her breathing rate can go from 3-5 breaths per minute to 30+ when she sprints. [afterwards she is out of breath like everyone else]….

Why do other people need so much more air than Paula or have we been mistaken in our understanding of breathing?

How is the brain regulating her cellular metabolism under such constraints?

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