Why is oxygen so important?

Why is oxygen so important?


Oxygen is all around us in the air that we breathe, and that is a good thing because we could not live without it. Oxygen is so important that it will lead to death if we are deprived of it for only a short time.


Why Your Body Needs Oxygen

Oxygen fuels our cells and helps provide the basic building blocks that our bodies need to survive. Our cells combine oxygen with nitrogen and hydrogen to produce various proteins that build new cells. When oxygen is combined with carbon and hydrogen, you get carbohydrates that provide energy to our bodies that is necessary for us to do what we live. Oxygen is also necessary for constructing replacement cells for our bodies. Every day, about seven hundred billion cells in our bodies wear out and must be replaced. Without oxygen, our bodies cannot build these new cells.


Oxygen is also a particularly important part of our immune system. It is used to help kill bacteria, and it fuels the cells that make up our body’s defenses against viruses and other invaders. Air that has passed through (UV air sanitizers) is particularly good for our body’s immune system, as it has been cleansed of bacteria and other agents before it enters our respiratory systems. This makes it easier for the body to access the oxygen and keeps it from receiving a fresh influx of germs and particulate matter that comes in the body through contaminated air that has not been sanitized.


Finally, it is important to note that the human eye is in particular need of oxygen to function well. However, the eye receives oxygen in a manner that is unique from the rest of the body. Few blood vessels travel to the eye, so our eyes absorb much of the oxygen they need directly through the cornea. The cornea is built in such a way to diffuse oxygen directly into the body from the air. If the air has traveled through (air purifiers) first, it can enter the eye without causing irritation.


It is through the human body’s respiratory system that the cells of the human body receive the oxygen that they need to properly function. The entry “gates” of the respiratory system are the mouth and nose. This is where air comes into the human body, and this air is then directed toward and down the trachea into the lungs. The diaphragm is a muscle located across the bottom of the chest that makes the body draw in air through the nose and mouth and then exhale air through the same orifices.


As air enters the nose and mouth, it is cleansed from impurities such as dust. Tiny hairs in the nose known as cilia act almost like a brush to catch dust particles and other such things before the air can get into the lungs. Anything that gets past the cilia is trapped in the mucus that lines the trachea and the bronchial tubes that take air from the trachea into the lungs. The human body is well-equipped to trap these particles, but the body works best when air is relatively pure before it is inhaled. That is why many people use (air purifiers) at work and home. These purifiers remove particulate matter such as dust and smoke from the air, making it easier for the respiratory system to do its job. (Room ionizers) work in a similar fashion to remove this matter from the air. Essentially, they attract the stuff we do should not inhale, pulling it out of the air and attaching it to a filter that can later be cleaned.


Once air enters the lungs through the trachea and bronchial tubes, it is directed to tiny sacs called alveoli. There are more than six hundred million alveoli in an adult’s lung, and in these alveoli, oxygen passes from the air into the bloodstream. Tiny capillaries surround each sac, and the air passes over a membrane between the capillaries and the sac. In the process of respiration, carbon dioxide passes from the bloodstream into the alveoli, and it is eventually directed out of the human body through the bronchial tubes to the trachea to the nose and mouth where this air is exhaled. The human circulatory system then takes the oxygen throughout the body and brings carbon dioxide back to the lungs. The entire process is repeated with every breath that human beings take.


Air purification tools such as (room ionizers) help clean the air we breathe before it enters our bodies. But whether or not this air is scrubbed clean by ionizers or (UV air sanitizers), we still need the oxygen from the air to survive. It performs many vital functions in our bodies, so it is important that we get a lot of fresh air every day.


Source – https://www.vitalitymedical.com/guides/respiratory-therapy/to-air-is-human-why-your-body-needs-oxygen



About 21% of Earth’s atmosphere is oxygen. This hasn’t always been the case, though. Early in our planet’s history, the atmosphere had almost no oxygen. Microbes that produce their food via photosynthesis generate oxygen as a by-product. Oxygen from photosynthetic microbes eventually built up in the atmosphere, drastically changing our planet’s environment and the history of life in the process.


Oxygen plays a critical role in respiration, the energy-producing chemistry that drives the metabolisms of most living things. We humans, along with many other creatures, need oxygen in the air we breathe to stay alive. Oxygen is generated during photosynthesis by plants and many types of microbes. Plants both use oxygen (during respiration) and produce it (via photosynthesis).


Source – https://scied.ucar.edu/learning-zone/air-quality/oxygen#:~:text=Oxygen%20plays%20a%20critical%20role,and%20many%20types%20of%20microbes.


Oxygen cycle, along with the carbon cycle and nitrogen cycle plays an essential role in the existence of life on the earth. The oxygen cycle is a biological process which helps in maintaining the oxygen level by moving through three main spheres of the earth which are:



This biogeochemical cycle explains the movement of oxygen gas within the atmosphere, the ecosystem, biosphere and the lithosphere. The oxygen cycle is interconnected with the carbon cycle.


The atmosphere is the layer of gases presents above the earth’s surface. The sum of Earth’s ecosystems makes a biosphere. Lithosphere is the solid outer section along with the earth’s crust and it is the largest reservoir of oxygen.


Stages of the Oxygen Cycle

The steps involved in the oxygen cycle are:

Stage-1: All green plants during the process of photosynthesis, release oxygen back into the atmosphere as a by-product.

Stage-2: All aerobic organisms use free oxygen for respiration.

Stage-3: Animals exhale Carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere which is again used by the plants during photosynthesis. Now oxygen is balanced within the atmosphere.


The four main processes that use atmospheric oxygen are:


Breathing:  It is the physical process, through which all living organisms, including plants, animals and humans inhale oxygen from the outside environment into the cells of an organism and exhale carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere.

Decomposition: It is one of the natural and most important processes in the oxygen cycle and occurs when an organism dies. The dead animal or plants decay into the ground, and the organic matter along with the carbon, oxygen, water and other components are returned into the soil and air. This process is carried out by the invertebrates, including fungi, bacteria and some insects which are collectively called as the decomposers. The entire process requires oxygen and releases carbon dioxide.

Combustion: It is also one of the most important processes which occur when any of the organic materials, including fossil fuels, plastics and wood, are burned in the presence of oxygen and releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Rusting: This process also requires oxygen. It is the formation of oxides which is also called oxidation. In this process, metals like iron or alloy rust when they are exposed to moisture and oxygen for an extended period of time and new compounds of oxides are formed by the combination of oxygen with the metal.


Source – https://byjus.com/biology/oxygen-cycle-environment/



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