Energy production and the importance of oxygen

Energy production and the importance of oxygen in cellular respiration

Science has identified for a very long time how our cells produce energy. The role of oxygen in energy production, and therefore the importance of breathing well, is well documented. Cells energy production mechanism is called: “cellular respiration”. We have selected a series of links to articles that explain this metabolic reaction.

Enjoy the reading.

 

An easy-to-read summary from ehow.com : Why is Oxygen Important in Cellular Respiration?

“Cellular respiration is the process cells use to retrieve energy stored in carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Glucose and other molecules are broken down, and the energy released is used to make another molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the “energy currency” of the cell. While our cells can use fermentation to make ATP without using oxygen, cellular respiration is far more efficient — so much so that humans and most other animals quickly die if deprived of oxygen.”

 

For the scientific minds:

Bristol University on Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP):

“All living things, plants and animals, require a continual supply of energy in order to function. The energy is used for all the processes which keep the organism alive… Animals obtain their energy by oxidation of foods; plants do so by trapping the sunlight using chlorophyll. However, before the energy can be used, it is first transformed into a form which the organism can handle easily. This special carrier of energy is the molecule adenosine triphosphate, or ATP”

On Vikipedia: Adenosine Triphosphate:

“The energy used by human cells requires the hydrolysis of 100 to 150 moles of ATP daily, which is around 50 to 75 kg. A human will typically use up his or her body weight of ATP over the course of the day…. ATP cannot be stored; hence its consumption closely follows its synthesis.”

suite101.com : Cellular respiration and ATP Production:

“Cellular respiration facilitates ATP production to fuel cell processes… Cellular respiration encompasses the metabolic pathways that break down molecules: catabolism. It is a component of metabolism that releases energy from organic molecules to fuel other important cell processes, such as allowing muscles to contract and relax.”

Wikipedia on Cellular Respiration:

“Cellular respiration is the set of the metabolic reactions and processes that take place in the cells of organisms to convert biochemical energy from nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and then release waste products… Respiration is one of the key ways a cell gains useful energy to fuel cellular changes.

Organisms that use oxygen as a final electron acceptor in respiration are described as aerobic, while those that do not are referred to as anaerobic.

Aerobic respiration requires oxygen in order to generate energy (ATP). Although carbohydrates, fats, and proteins can all be processed and consumed as reactant, it is the preferred method of pyruvate breakdown in glycolysis and requires that
pyruvate enter the mitochondrion in order to be fully oxidized by the Krebs cycle. The product of this process is energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), by substrate-level phosphorylation, NADH and FADH”