How Hypoxia Affects Important Organs


Many human organs have a structure where large arteries supply the tissue and the blood permeates into the tissue to be collected by veins at the other side (termed “perfusion”). The organs have very tight cell structure with the cells communicating via ion channels. As the cells are closely packed, there is no room for blood vessels and blood (and oxygen) must passively pass into the cells. Organs with this structure include the pancreas, the thyroid, the brain, the adrenal grands and others. All of these tissues are very sensitive to changes in the level of  dissolved oxygen in the blood. If the oxygen drops, even small amounts, the cells in the deep parts of these tissues becomes hypoxic or starved of oxygen. This results in non-oxygen respiration or anaerobic respiration, which can only be sustained for a short period of time before waste products build up and start to kill theses cells. In the pancreas, cell death = type 2 diabetes. In the thyroid, cell death = hypothyroid diseases. In the brain, this can lead to the formation of plaques of sticky waste proteins that are characteristic of Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia (Amyloid beta, Tau protein).


Pancreas Cells


Thyroid Tissue


Cardiac (Heart) Muscle


Neural (Brain) Tissue

The tight packing of cells in all of these organs is seen clearly in these microscopic images.

Even intermittent oxygen deprivation can have these small but profound effects on sensitive tissues and organs. This is the hallmark of obstructive sleep apnea and upper airway resistance syndrome. We have treated (successfully) patients with SAO2 (saturated oxygen levels) of 78% or even lower. We know that if  SAO2 levels fall below 80% that the patient can suffer a myocardial infarction (heart attack). The exact oxygen drop for damage to the thyroid gland and pancreas is not currently known, but it is likely higher than 80%. Oral appliance therapy, such as with the Luco Hybrid OSA Appliance, can raise the SAO2 back to safe levels for all of these tissues.

Improvement Seen with SAO2 Levels with the Luco Hybrid OSA Appliance

Click on Table to Enlarge

As can be seen in this table, the blue bars indicate the patients presented had extremely low saturated oxygen levels that improved into the normal range when they were treated with a Luco Hybrid OSA Appliance.