What is so important about Oxygen? Why do we need it?

What is Oxygen?

Oxygen is the eighth element on the periodic table, an odorless and colorless gas, which takes up 22% of our air. This means Oxygen has 8 protons, 8 electrons, and 8 neutrons. Oxygen has an atomic number of 8 and an atomic mass of 15.9994 amu.

Uses of Oxygen

Why do we need oxygen to survive?

Our bodies live off of oxygen. Without the ability to take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide, our bodies could not live. Through the process of cellular respiration, especially aerobic respiration, our cells are able to get the supply of oxygen they need to carry out their functions. ATP is also created by the process of oxidative phosphorylation which also requires oxygen.

Our daily allowance of oxygen is pretty simple. If we get too much oxygen pumped into our lungs, we can have trouble breathing but the same goes for too little oxygen. But, whether we are iron deficient or not is important, since iron helps oxygen transport oxygen through out the body. On average, we need about 8 mg to 12 mg of iron each day depending on age.

If our body is to be bombarded with too much oxygen or not enough oxygen, oxygen intoxication can occur. This is when our bodies are exposed to high elevations or low elevations which can cause disorientation, sight problems, damage to the cell membrane, collapse the aveoli in the lungs, and seizures. Either way can cause our cells to die.

Pharmacy techniques

If our bodies don't have enough oxygen, the pharmacies do not carry oxygen pills. But, you can be put on an oxygen tank or you can be prescribed iron pills to help the flow of oxygen to pick up.

The average amount of pills in a bottle for iron is 60 capsules but you only take one, sometimes two pills a day. With an oxygen tank or oxygen concentrator, a set amount of oxygen is provided and will need a fill once used up. But, the oxygen tank with its mask will keep your breathing together and help steady it out. There isn't a set amount of oxygen needed per day, it's the pace and amount of oxygen your body needs and uses.

Oxygen in food

For the most part, food is aerobic which means "with oxygen" instead of anaerobic which you can guess means "without oxygen". Foods that are aerobic are green vegetables, nuts, and fruits.