Who Wins Oxyphile-Oxyphobe Conflicts


Majid Ali, M.D.

In Mass Extinctions of Oxy-Oxy Conflicts, Oxyphobes Nearly Always Win 


In 1994, I coined the term oxyphile-oxyphobe conflicts for host-pathogen dynamics in which the host cells fighting pathogens are oxyphiles (oxygen-living) while the invading pathogens are oxyphobic (oxygen-shunning).1 My purpose in introducing the term was to underscore the crucial importance of the prevailing oxygen conditions in determining the outcome of the oxyphile host and oxyphobe conflicts. When the “oxygen-field” is not level, so to speak, one side has an unfair advantage. Specifically, oxyphobes win under oxygen-depletion conditions, and the opposite happens when the amount and functionalities of oxygen are optimal.


Who Wins In the Mass Fatalities of Oxy-Oxy Conflict?

In the various articles in the oxyphile-oxyphobe series2-4 (posted at www.alihealing.org), I documented how oxyphobic fermenting species (fungi and yeasts) won in every conflict against oxyphile species, including disappearing butterflies, beetles, bees, bats, insects,  frogs and fire salamanders. Many other factors –  agricultural expansion,  habitat constriction, pesiticides, industrial chemicals, and others  –were blamed for mass mortalities but were later proven not to be the culprits.

Now to the matter of the ‘end-game’ concerning the Oxy-Oxy-Conflicts.  Below I reproduce abstracts of two major articles on the loss of species, one from the journal Science in 20105 and the second from Science Advances. to give a sense of the enormity of the challenge. Both articles document rising extinction rates among all oxyphillic species engaged in oxyphile-oxyphobe conflicts except the human species. So far, the humans have largely protected themselves from oxyphobic species. The world population continues to grow at disconcerting rate for other reasons. To highlight just one aspect of this problem, India produces more babies every year than the combined population of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Latvia. Human oxygen-loving cells have generally done well when they are invaded by oxyphobic fungal cells. However, fungal infections are claiming human victims with increasing numbers. Human immunity is weakening worldwide. Virulence of oxyphobic species is increasing. So what will be the end-game in these conflicts? will oxyphobic fungi (yeasts) be victorious or will oxyphillic human cells prevail in these conflicts?

I leave that to the readers’ imagination after they have read the two abstracts reproduced below, as well as other articles in this series.

Abstract  #15

Using data for 25,780 species categorized on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, we present an assessment of the status of the world’s vertebrates. One-fifth of species are classified as Threatened, and we show that this figure is increasing: On average, 52 species of mammals, birds, and amphibians move one category closer to extinction each year. However, this overall pattern conceals the impact of conservation successes, and we show that the rate of deterioration would have been at least one-fifth again as much in the absence of these. Nonetheless, current conservation efforts remain insufficient to offset the main drivers of biodiversity loss in these groups: agricultural expansion, logging, overexploitation, and invasive alien species (Science. 2010;330:1503-1509).


Abstract # 26

The oft-repeated claim that Earth’s biota is entering a sixth “mass extinction” depends on clearly demonstrating that current extinction rates are far above the “background” rates prevailing between the five previous mass extinctions. Earlier estimates of extinction rates have been criticized for using assumptions that might overestimate the severity of the extinction crisis. We assess, using extremely conservative assumptions, whether human activities are causing a mass extinction. First, we use a recent estimate of a background rate of 2 mammal extinctions per 10,000 species per 100 years (that is, 2 E/MSY), which is twice as high as widely used previous estimates. We then compare this rate with the current rate of mammal and vertebrate extinctions. The latter is conservatively low because listing a species as extinct requires meeting stringent criteria. Even under our assumptions, which would tend to minimize evidence of an incipient mass extinction, the average rate of vertebrate species loss over the last century is up to 100 times higher than the background rate. Under the 2 E/MSY background rate, the number of species that have gone extinct in the last century would have taken, depending on the vertebrate taxon, between 800 and 10,000 years to disappear. These estimates reveal an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity over the last few centuries, indicating that a sixth mass extinction is already under way. Averting a dramatic decay of biodiversity and the subsequent loss of ecosystem services is still possible through intensified conservation efforts, but that window of opportunity is rapidly closing. (Science Advances. 2015;1: e1400253.) 

For additional information about the subject, the readers are referred to  several articles in my oxyphile-oxyphobe series.2-4


  1. RDA:Rats, Drugs, and Assumptions. Denville, New Jersey, Life Span Books 1995.
  2. Ali M.   Oxyphile-Oxyphobe Conflicts. In: Ali M: Oxidative regression to primordial cellular ecology. J Integrative Medicine 1998; 2:4-55.
  3. Ali M, Ali O: AA oxidopathy: the core pathogenic mechanism of ischemic heart disease. J Integrative   Medicine 1997;1:6-112.
  4. Ali M.  Fungal Infections and Oxyphile-Oxyphobe Conflicta. E-Comments In: Nature. 2017;544:353-356.  
  5. Hoffman M, Hilton-Taylor C, Angulo A, et al. The Impact of conservation on the status of the world’s vertebrates. Science. 2010;330:1503-1509.
  6. Ceballos G, Ehrlich PR, Barnosky AD, et al. Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction. Science Advances. 2015;1: e1400253.


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