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Oxygen Intake Boost

I live at sea level, and am backpacking in Yosemite for 10 days. I've heard there are supplements that boost your oxygen intake, if you take them a week or so in advance. Is the hype true, and is it worth the money?

Question:

I live at sea level, and am backpacking in Yosemite for 10 days. I’ve heard there are supplements that boost your oxygen intake, if you take them a week or so in advance. Is the hype true, and is it worth the money? The ones I have seen are not cheap!

Submitted by - Casey, Phoenix, AZ

Answer:

I wrote Peter Hackett, MD, the guru of high-altitude medicine, and he replied that no supplements have ever been proven to increase oxygen uptake, although some claim to. He suggested that ginkgo biloba might help with altitude adjustment (preliminary studies suggest the herb might prevent or lessen symptoms of acute mountain sickness). He further suggested that panting (breathing hard and fast) is a proven way to increase oxygen uptake.

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