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Why is oxygen necessary?

Updated on August 19, 2016

Sounds stupid right?? But somebody out there need to know why we make oxygen such a big deal!

Some people may ask why Oxygen is necessary, Yes oxygen is necessary find out why on this article.

If you have read about Photosynthesis you know that green plants trap light energy and manufacture organic compounds during photosynthesis. Most animals , including humans, cannot make use of energy directly from the sun because they do not have chlorophyll/green-pigment to trap the radiant energy. They obtain their energy by eating plants or other animals that in turn may have eaten plants. In this way , light energy from the sun is transferred to all living organisms.

Humans, like all animals, need to find some way of releasing the energy that is locked in the food that we have eaten and digested, since we require this energy for the various things we do such as walking , running and growth. The process by which this energy is released is called cellular respiration. For cellular respiration to take place , we require oxygen. Without oxygen we will not be able to make use of the energy that is within the food that we eat.

The main purpose of this article is to find out more about how we obtain oxygen from the atmosphere and how carbon dioxide is eliminated from our bodies through the process of breathing. In the body the oxygen has to move from the lungs into the blood and from here into the cells.. Carbon dioxide moves in the opposite direction. This occurs by the process called gas exchange.

Gas exchange ensures that the oxygen from the air in the atmosphere or the air that is drawn into the body of an organism is able to pass through to the cells that require them for cellular respiration. The process of cellular respiration makes energy available to the organism for various processes. In doing so, carbon dioxide is produced as a by-product.

Carbon dioxide cannot be allowed to accumulate in the body of an organism as it is formed, as it is toxic to the organism. If it accumulates it would combine with water to form carbonic acid which in turn reduces the pH. The reduced pH could seriously affect the action of enzymes which are sensitive to changes in pH. Gas exchange helps to bring the carbon dioxide to the surface of the organism so that it can be eliminated.


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