Kiwi start-ups hop­ing to get a rise out of oxy­gen bot­tles

Sunday News - - NEWS - NI­COLE LAWTON

TWO Auck­land-based start-ups have taken a deep breath and started sell­ing recre­ational oxy­gen.

De­spite there be­ing no med­i­cal ev­i­dence that huff­ing a high con­cen­tra­tion of oxy­gen has any ben­e­fits, the global mar­ket is ex­pected to be worth $3 bil­lion by 2023.

En­tre­pre­neur Les­lie Craw­ford de­cided to bring recre­ational oxy­gen to New Zealand at the be­gin­ning of the year after dis­cov­er­ing it at a US ski re­sort.

The mother-of-five started sell­ing bot­tles un­der the name Oxy­gen Please, and com­peti­tors Boost Oxy­gen have fol­lowed her into the mar­ket.

But Kyle Per­rin, a res­pi­ra­tory physi­cian at Wellington hos­pi­tal, said oxy­gen pro­vides a tem­po­rary hit or a placebo ef­fect at best.

Per­rin, who did his PhD on the ef­fects of high con­cen­tra­tions of oxy­gen in res­pi­ra­tory dis­ease, said that at most, users may get a tem­po­rary hit or have a placebo ef­fect of feel­ing bet­ter.

He likened the mar­ket to bot­tled wa­ter.

‘‘Even bot­tled wa­ter is no bet­ter from a health per­spec­tive than tap wa­ter – and I think ev­ery­one knows that – but it doesn’t stop them from buy­ing a well-pack­aged bot­tle of wa­ter.’’

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