Oxygen Tension in the Gut

Michael D Levitt

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

16 Scopus citations


A recent article1 re-examines a long-standing controversy in helminthology — does the ascaris lead an aerobic or an anaerobic existance in the human intestine. According to traditional teaching, there is insufficient oxygen in the bowel to maintain oxidative metabolism for an organism as large as Ascaris lumbricoides. However, Smith1 has marshaled evidence that the ascaris is an aerobic animal specially adapted to live at a low oxygen tension (Po2). Unfortunately, since there are practically no data concerning the oxygen tension of the human bowel, Smith was forced to rely upon measurements of Po2 in the small intestine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1039-1040
Number of pages2
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number18
StatePublished - Apr 30 1970


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