When the total blood hemoglobin concentration falls below normal in anemia, each red blood cell produces increased amounts of 2,3-DPG. A normal hemoglobin concentration of 15 g per 100 ml unloads about 4.5 ml O2 per 100 ml at rest, as previously described. If the hemoglobin concentration were reduced by half, you might expect that the tissues would receive only half the normal amount of oxygen (2.25 ml O2 per 100 ml). It has been shown, however, that an amount as great as 3.3 ml O2 per 100 ml is unloaded to the tissues under these conditions. This occurs as a result of a rise in 2,3-DPG production that causes a decrease in the affinity of hemoglobin for oxygen.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.