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CO2, Carbon Dioxide Therapy for Cellulite

Carbon dioxide (CO2) therapy has been shown to be a very effective treatment for the reduction of cellulite. Normally it takes between 10 to 15 sessions to see significant improvement. 

In a study published in August 2016 they found significant reductions in cellulite. The study below used injections of carbon dioxide but carbon dioxide bathes have shown that CO2 can be absorbed through the skin transdermally like in the BodyStream bath.


Comparison of gluteal region before and after treatments.
A and C are before the carboxytherapy treatment and B and D are 7 days after the last treatment.

Results: After the treatment, there was a significant reduction (P=0.0025) of the cellulite from degree III to degree II, and this improvement had correlation with the improvement in the organization of the fibrous lines and the disposal of adipose tissue lines of the treated regions observed through the panoramic ultrasound images diagnosis.

Conclusion: Carboxytherapy is an effective technique of treatment of cellulite in the
buttocks region and posterior thighs of healthy women.


A total of 101 women underwent abdominal therapy (Table 1). A significant reduction in upper, mid, and lower abdomen circumference occurred in all three age groups: respectively, 1.8 ± 0.5, 1.6 ± 0.4, and 2.1 ± 0.3 cm in the 20- to 29-year-old group, 1.6 ± 0.4, 2.3 ± 0.3, and 2.1 ± 0.3 cm in the 30- to 39-year-old group, and 2.0 ± 0.4, 2.5 ± 0.4, and 2.6 ± 0.4 cm in the 40- to 50-year-old group. For the 10 men who underwent the same therapy, the fall in abdominal circumference was not significant. For the 57 women who underwent thigh therapy (27 in the 20- to 29-year-old group, 18 in the 30- to 39-year-old group, and 12 in the 40- to 50-year-old group), thigh circumference was significantly reduced respectively in the right versus left thigh 1.6 ± 0.3 versus 1.5 ± 0.2 cm, 1.1 ± 0.3 versus 1.1 ± 0.3 cm, and 1.6 ± 0.3 versus 1.5 ± 0.4 cm.

Weight loss was significant (Table 2) for the older women who underwent abdominal therapy: 1.3 ± 0.2 kg in the 30- to 39-year-old group (n = 43) and 1.3 ± 0.2 kg in the 40- to 50-year-old group (n = 29). Older women who underwent thigh therapy also recorded significant weight reduction: 0.9 ± 0.4 kg in the 30- to 39-year-old group (n = 18) and 1.6 ± 0.3 kg in the 40- to 50-year-old group (n = 12). Figure 2 shows the typical ultrasound evidence of decreased subepidermal thickness after five sessions of carboxytherapy.

Ultrasound examination of the abdomen showing measurement of subcutaneous fat befor and after carbon dioxide therapy. The subepidermal thickness is reduced.


1. The Bohr Effect allows more oxygen to get to the tissues. The Bohr Effect states that the oxygen loses its affinity for hemoglobin due to the presence of carbon dioxide allowing the nearby cells to utilize oxygen more efficiently. More oxygen utilization in turn also produces more carbon dioxide.

2. How CO2 is stored in the bones. Submarine studies show that over several months they would store up to 10 pounds of CO2 in the bones. Additionally there is something called Marble Bone Disease or Osteopetrosis. It is a condition where there is a deficiency of carbonic anhydrase causing CO2 in the body to build up to higher than normal levels.

3. The body can store 120 liters of CO2, but this is mostly as bicarbonate. 120 liters is only about .48 lbs.

4. CO2 being stored in the body in carbamino groups changing the function of amino and protein groups. Carbaminos also protect cells from glycation like in diabetes, as well as from oxidative damage.


At high pH and in the presence of dissolved CO2, the N-terminus and ε-amino groups of amino acids, peptides, and proteins can form adducts with CO2, known variously as carbamino groups, carbamino acids, carbamates, carbamides, or carbo amino groups [1] C. Stadie, H.J. O’Brien
The Equilibrium of Amino Acids, Carbon Dioxide, and Carbamates in Aqueous Solution: with a Note on the Ferguson-Roughton Carbamate Method J. Biol. Chem., 112 (1936), pp. 723-758

The formation of carbamino groups alters the electrostatic properties of peptides and proteins and can have many different effects. For example,
carbamino groups can change peptide conformation [1], influence peptide degradation and receptor binding [2], and increase the neurotoxicity of amino acids [3]. Carbamino groups increase the stability of insulin dimers [4] and are required for metal binding at the active sites of ribulose-1,5-biphosphate carboxylase oxygenase (RUBISCO) [5] and urease [6]. Carbamino group formation at the N-termini changes the oxygen binding properties of hemoglobin [8, 9, 10, 11, 12] and allows hemoglobin to transport carbon dioxide [13, 14, 15]. Nearly any peptide or protein that does not have the N-terminus blocked is subject to the formation of carbamino groups

5. It’s our number one anti-inflammatory.

The results testify to the fact that CO2 is a powerful inhibitor of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation by cells (blood phagocytes and alveolar macrophages of 96 people and cells of inner organs and tissue phagocytes (of liver, brain, myocardium, lungs, kidneys, stomach, and skeleton muscles), as well as by mitochondria of the liver of 186 white mice and human tissues.

6. CO2 directly increases the NAD+/NADH

Effect of carbonic acid concentration in blood on content of keto-acids and redox state of nicotinamide coenzymes in rabbit tissues

A rise in the level of carbonic acid in animal blood at practically unchanged pH causes an increase in the value of free [NAD+]/[NADH] and [NADP+]/[NADPH] ratios in the liver cells cytoplasm. The increase in the oxidizing power of the liver cells cytoplasm is observed against a background of a rise in both the total level of keto-acids in blood and concentration of pyruvate oxaloacetate and alpha-ketoglutarate in the liver and kidneys of animals.

Evidence points to the ability of CO2 to favor the oxidized state of the cell, directly increasing the ratio of NAD+ to NADH.

NAD+ levels decline when you age. When you are 50 years old, you have half the levels of NAD+ as you do when you are 20.

7. CO2 acting as a Lewis Acid – An unhealthy cell or cancer cell is in an overly reduced state having an excess of electrons and being more alkaline. In the presence of carbon dioxide, it acts like a Lewis Acid, withdrawing electrons from excited protons and facilitating oxygen delivery and restoring a healthy oxidative metabolism.

8. CO2 streaming sodium and calcium out of the cell in the form of sodium bicarbonate and calcium bicarbonate.

9. CO2 has an effect on removing water from the cell and contributing to the structured jellylike state of the cell. When CO2 is formed in the cell it forms carbonic acid which is the combination of water and carbon dioxide. As it is formed, it is streamed out of the cell. Too much water in the cell causes the water in the cell to be less structured.


Carbon dioxide has a direct effect on increasing your resiliency to handling stress and producing energy. Meduna in 1950 observed the following changes to nerve cells in the presence of higher co2.

1. Increase in the member potential.
2. Increase in the threshold of stimulation.
3. Increase in ability to release energy.
4. Decrease in fatigability

A more general description of the effect of CO2 upon the functional ability of the nerve is given by Lorente de No:

1. The ability of the nerve fibers to release energy which is required to maintain the flow of the demarcation current or what amounts to the same thing to withstand without failure the effect of an applied cathodal current is increased markedly by the presence of 5% CO2 in the atmosphere of the nerve.

2. CO2 increases the ability of the nerve to conduct trains of impulses because the presence of 5% CO2 in the atmosphere of the nerve noticeably delays the appearance of the signs of failure, namely, increase of threshold, decrease of speed of conduction, decrease of the height of the spike.

Thus, it can be said that the presence of 5% CO2 increases the ability of the nerve to perform work, undoubtedly because the enzymatic mechanisms of the nerve utilize stores of metabolic energy more readily or more effectively in the presence than in the absence of a certain concentration.

The presence of CO2 in the atmosphere of the nerve not only increases the value of the membrane potential of the resting nerve, but also prevents the progressive depolarization of the nerve during tetanic stimulation.