Carbon dioxide is the most essential chemical regulator of breathing in a healthy person. The exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the air and a person’s blood is known as respiration. When brain receptors detect an excessive amount of carbon dioxide in the blood, the body responds by increasing breathing.
The amount of carbon dioxide in the blood is inversely proportional to the pH of the blood. Increased carbon dioxide causes a drop in blood pH, forcing the person to increase his rate of breathing.
Oxygen is another major chemical regulator of respiration. When the body’s oxygen levels decline, carotid and aortic chemoreceptors increase breathing.
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