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Author Topic: Is it true that if you hold your breath it destroys your brain cells?  (Read 23769 times)

paul.fr

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Jimbob is holding his breath as we speak, so an answer sometime this week will do :P


 

another_someone

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If you stop breathing for an extended period of time (several minutes), then your brain can become starved of oxygen, and brain cells will die.

In normal circumstances (assuming you do not already have some brain damage) it would be impossible for you to voluntarily hold your breath for that long as you cause harm to your brain.

The problem is that if you hyperventilate, you can fool the brain into letting you hold your breath longer.  Freedivers will often hyperventilate before diving, and then can hold their breath to the point that they actually do starve their brain of oxygen before realising they should be breathing again.

When I was a teenager, and I used to enjoy swimming underwater, I would hyperventilate first, and it would allow me to stay under water for about 4 minutes (free divers can easily exceed this, but they can also kill themselves doing it).  When I mentioned this (that I would hyperventilate before going under water) to an acquaintance of mine some years ago, she was saying I was lucky to be alive (how much of my brain died then I cannot say).
 

Offline that mad man

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I the the record time for holding in breath has just been broken by David Blaine I think?
Somewhere around 17 minutes...
 

Offline jmcm

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I wonder how many brain cells he lost with that trick!
 

Offline neilep

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I the the record time for holding in breath has just been broken by David Blaine I think?
Somewhere around 17 minutes...


..what ?...and he survived ?.....tch !............. :)
 

Offline Carolyn

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I the the record time for holding in breath has just been broken by David Blaine I think?
Somewhere around 17 minutes...


..what ?...and he survived ?.....tch !............. :)

Yep, he's alive and well.

I watched this on Oprah on Thursday.  He held his breath for 17 minutes and 4 seconds and broke the world record!

Here's an article that explains how he did it.

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1736834,00.html?imw=Y
 

another_someone

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Given David Blaine's previous stunts, from 63 hours encased in ice, 44 days without nutrition, and much else; if he ever had a functioning brain before then, I suspect he lost it long before the 17 minutes without air.
 

Offline jmcm

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Interesting article.  Sceptic that I am, I had assumed it was all an "illusion" and still suspect it was.  "Lung packing"?  If the process involves "swallowing" air, then it is going into the GI tract...hmmm..
 

Offline JimBob

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Jimbob is holding his breath as we speak, so an answer sometime this week will do :P

You DARE insult the Master? - Begone to Taklamakan Desert and subsist as you can, knave.

YOU must hold your breath all the time.
 

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