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Oxygen shots: healthy or harmful?

January 21, 2020 | Farah Jassawalla

Ever wondered why oxygen shots are in the limelight these days? If you are curious about the hype, you are certainly not the only one! Oxygen shots, readily available in casinos, nightclubs, and oxygen bars, contain purified oxygen infused with different scents.

Recent years have witnessed an exponentially rising trend in establishing oxygen bars worldwide. This is especially true for countries such as Canada and Japan that have experienced a "craze" of oxygen shots.

Oxygen shots are served in glass cylinders that have a plastic tube through which the oxygen has to be inhaled. The normal oxygen level in the air is 21%, considerably lower than the 95% level in oxygen shots; this is where the "high" comes in.

Proponents of these shots claim they help relieve stress, boost energy, and cure headaches. Ultra-high levels of pure oxygen in shots can significantly uplift mood, improve athletic performance, and enhance concentration and alertness. However, it's important to note that these claims are not fully supported by robust scientific evidence. 

Despite these propositions, the long-term effects of oxygen shots on the human body are still ambiguous.  As per the American Lung Association, there is minimal chance of oxygen shots having any beneficial impact on a person's physiological well-being. However, there is no substantial evidence to prove that these shots are detrimental to health.

While supplemental oxygen benefits certain medical conditions, very high amounts can harm health. A study published in The Lancet 2018 revealed that oxygen therapy could lead to death if given liberally to patients with acute illnesses. Health professionals think that the average 21% of the oxygen humans breathe is enough to make their blood saturated. Therefore, any additional amounts of oxygen inhaled will not be absorbed into our bloodstream and will only cause harm rather than any benefit.

Furthermore, the scents in oxygen shots are infused by bubbling oxygen through aromatic oils or other oil-based scented liquids. Inhaling oxygen infused with artificial fragrances can be hazardous to the health of people and can lead to headaches or dizziness. In addition, the equipment provided in bars to inhale the oxygen might need to be properly sterilized. If you already suffer from any pulmonary disease, you are at a higher risk of getting infected because of the unclean equipment. Your existing health conditions can also exacerbate because of the lack of standardization and cleanliness of the equipment.

It is not only people with cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases that should avoid getting oxygen shots but also individuals who have received chemotherapy who need to refrain from these shots. If you have received chemotherapy in the past, then very high oxygen levels can be hazardous for you. Even if you are healthy, you are exposing your lungs to potential harm by frequently taking oxygen shots.

If you are a fan of oxygen shots and do not wish to give up, we suggest you reduce the frequency of consuming them. The oxygen experience that ranges from euphoria, energy boosts, and reduced stress is temporary but can cause lifelong lung damage. It's important to prioritize your long-term health and be cautious about the potential risks associated with frequent consumption of oxygen shots. Your health is very important, and no amount of recreation should come in the way of you and your health. So stay safe, and while a little party didn't kill anybody, a lot of party might be a bit of a problem.


Our clinical experts continually monitor the health and medical content posted on CURA4U, and we update our blogs and articles when new information becomes available. Last reviewed by the clinical team on June 12th, 2023.



Oxygen bar effectiveness: a randomized quantitative study - PubMed (nih.gov)- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22754923/

Excess oxygen in acute illness: adding fuel to the fire - The Lancet- https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)30546-4/fulltext

Oxygen Therapy | American Lung Association- https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-procedures-and-tests/oxygen-therapy

Oxygen Therapy | American Lung Association (webmd.com)- https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/rise-of-oxygen-bars

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