Learn why oxygen is important for the smooth and healthy functioning of the body
The human body is a complex machine. Multiple systems are interconnected, interdependent, and work in coordination to keep the body functioning properly. To perform their work optimally, all the systems require a continuous supply of energy. The body derives its energy when oxygen acts to break down carbohydrates and other reserves of fat and converts them into energy and carbon dioxide. Oxygen is delivered to all organs, tissues, and cells through blood vessels. The importance of oxygen for the smooth and healthy functioning of the body cannot be overemphasized. In this article, let us explore the major roles oxygen plays in our bodies.
Converts Food Into Energy
- The food we consume is full of important nutrients and energy. However, food has a complex chemical structure and needs to be broken down into simple components for it to be assimilated into the body. Oxygen is the primary component that decomposes food through a process known as cellular respiration.
This process comprises a number of metabolic reactions that convert the chemical energy of the food nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is an energy-carrying molecule that releases energy quickly whenever needed by the body. ATP is an easily usable source of fuel. Hence, we cannot extract the full benefits of the food we eat.
It is Essential for Brain Health and Functioning
- The average human brain is about 3 pounds but it is the most active and highest performing organ of the body. All the actions we perform are regulated by the brain. Our power of comprehension and intelligence is also determined by how active and fast our brain is. Hence it makes sense that an organ that consumes only 2% of the total body weight requires 20% of the body’s net oxygen consumption.
The reason being that the brain requires a lot of energy to perform optimally. The brain is always buzzing with electrical activity and on average, it needs 0.1 calories per minute to function. For more mentally laborious tasks, the energy requirement goes up to 1.5 calories per minute. Hence, to meet this elevated energy requirement, increased cellular respiration takes place in the brain for which high doses of oxygen are needed.
It Strengthens The Immune System
- The immune system is another important system of the body that protects the body from disease-causing bacteria and viruses. Oxygen is needed for the effective reproduction and functioning of white blood cells. Breathing in purified or sanitized oxygen makes it easier for the immune system to use the oxygen as it does not have to work hard to rid of the germs first. When the oxygen levels drop in the blood, some parts of the immune system are suppressed.
Persistently Low Levels of Oxygen Can Be Fatal
- Hypoxemia is a condition that is characterized by low levels of blood oxygen. It causes mild problems such as headaches and shortness of breath. If hypoxemia is not treated, it worsens and turns into hypoxia which is the more advanced stage of hypoxemia. The early signs of hypoxia are confusion, restlessness, rapid breathing, skin color becoming blue, and elevated heart rate. Prolonged hypoxia can lead to the shutting down of organs and can result in a gradual death.
Healthy lifestyle and getting some physical activity are crucial in maintaining optimal levels of oxygen in the body. Along with that, undergoing oxygen therapy can elevate the oxygen levels in the blood and help you lead a healthy life. For more information, contact Ucryo & Recovery. We are located in Bartonville, Texas. Call us at 940-218-4016.