why do we need oxygen to breathe

We all know that we cannot live without oxygen and that it enables life for almost all living organisms on our planet. But do we really understand why is so important to us and which body functions it supports? Let s begin at the beginning. We are breathing oxygen from the air, which contains approximately 78 percent nitrogen and 21 percent oxygen. In average, human inhales and exhales around 16-times a minute in order to get enough oxygen to stay alive. Incredibly, the most prevalent element in our body is oxygen oxygen makes up 65 percent of human body and is responsible for 90 percent of the bodys energy. People can live about a month without food, a week without water and just few minutes without oxygen.


When we inhale oxygen enters body through our mouth and nose and then travels all the way to the lungs. When it gets to the smallest parts of the lungs (alveoli), those inflate like a balloon. Here oxygen enters capillary network and is bind to hemoglobin the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen from thePlungsPto all body s cells and then as a transport for waste gas, carbon dioxide, back to the lungs. The average adults lungs contain about 600 million alveoli. to utilize oxygen to produce ATP molecules, which are essential for many body processes,
to eliminate toxins and waste through oxidation. P Just like a car, humans also need fuel. We get it from the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins that were ingested through food or from storage body fat.


With a help of oxygen, cells convert these into energy, so our body can function and create heat. We can say that more oxygen we inhale, more energy our cells can produce this makes our body stronger and well-prepared for daily challenges. Because our body is not capable of storing oxygen, it is vital that we pay attention to our oxygen levels and take care of sufficient oxygen supply. Asked by: Jane Hawke, Bournemouth Our blood has evolved to capture the oxygen we breathe in and bind it safely to the transport molecule called haemoglobin. If you breathe air with a much higher than normal O2 concentration, the oxygen in the lungs overwhelms the blood's ability to carry it away.


The result is that free oxygen binds to the surface proteins of the lungs, interferes with the operation of the central nervous system and also attacks the retina. Contrary to popular myth, hyperventilating air at ordinary pressures never causes oxygen toxicity (the dizziness is due to CO2 levels dropping too low), but breathing oxygen at pressures of 0. 5 bar or more (roughly two and a half times normal) for more than 16 hours can lead to irreversible lung damage and, eventually, death. Subscribe to for fascinating new Q As every month and follow on Twitter for your daily dose of fun facts.

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