Cellular Respiration (Oxygen)

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There is no end to the importance of oxygen in the human body. Human lives depend on oxygen for life, more than they depend on water or food for sustenance. Our body’s energy is created by oxygen, and without a constant flow of oxygen in our bodies it only takes mere moments of oxygen deprivation for our bodies to begin to shut down. Many understand that oxygen is a vital part of sustaining life, but many do not fully understand that oxygen affects our brain function, nervous system, and even mental clarity. An aviation website that I came across states that the human body must have oxygen to convert fuel (the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in our diet) into heat, energy, and life. (Mountain High, 2012) This means that our metabolism is based off of our oxygen intake, so without appropriate oxygen, our bodies will be unable to break down the elements that create our energy. One thing I found interesting during my research was learning that the oxygen levels have drastically decreased over time. Oxygen Miracle writes, “due to combustion, respiration, deforestation, and other natural and man-made processes oxygen levels in standard air are now less than 21%. According to experts, the oxygen levels of our atmosphere have dropped by as much as 50% over the past 500 years.” (Oxygen Miracle, 2003) Various organs will become impaired from oxygen deficiency when the body is deprived of a sufficient oxygen supply, even if it is only for a short period of time. Because of this, our brain and other organs will only function for up to 3 minutes when having oxygen withheld from them. Any longer than that and the organs and cells in our body will begin to die. Hypoxia is the main concern that mountain climbers and the like must consider when facing high elevations. Hypoxia occurs when there is an inadequate supply of oxygen in the bloodstream, and depending on how quickly

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