A team of scientists from institutions across the United States and Japan set out to find out whether mammals could breath through their butts. The study revealed that humans may actually be able to do so. Intestines can deliver chemical components to the body and because of this scientists wanted to test the theory that the intestines could also deliver oxygen into the blood stream.
Scientists used pigs and mice to perform the tests. A group of the animals were deprived of oxygen through their lungs and were ventilated through their intestines. Some of them had their intestines scrubbed to thin the mucosal lining in the intestines. The purpose of that was to reduce the barrier to the bloodstream.
Here’s what the researches found
The findings of their tests were published in Clinical and Translational Resource and Technology Insights. The study found that it was possible for mammals to breathe with their butts.
Here’s what the researches found. Animals deprived of oxygen and without receiving oxygen through the rectum died after about 11 minutes. Animals that were deprived of oxygen, but received oxygen through the rectum, without intestinal scrubbing, died after about 18 minutes. This seemed to indicate that there was an increase in oxygen consumption.
75% of the animals who were deprived of oxygen, but received oxygen through the rectum, and had their intestines scrubbed, survived for an hour which was the length of the experiment. This results seem to prove that pigs and mice were capable of breathing through their butts. This means other mammals, like humans, might also be able to do so.
The tests revealed that the animals had an increase in blood oxygen levels
The process of scrubbing the intestines isn’t safe and researchers decided to work on another process that could achieve the same results. They discovered oxygen-rich liquids known as perfluorocarbons. They repeated the experiment with pigs and mice and used the perfluorocarbons in the rectum instead of oxygen.
The tests revealed that the animals had an increase in blood oxygen levels which measured at normal levels. The methods of breathing through the intestines has not yet been tested on humans. It could one day be used when conventional methods like mechanical ventilation can’t be used.