ANSWER: We breathe every day, every day, but what makes it so important? My brief answer is that oxygen is essential for power production. However, stop dig right into the science.

You are watching: What role does oxygen play in cellular respiration?

When we breathe, atmospheric oxygen is required to our lungs. Native there, it diffuses v tiny ballooned structures referred to as alveoli into tiny capillaries within the lungs that bring blood throughout the body. Oxygen is transported in ~ a blood protein dubbed hemoglobin and is taken to cells to start a process called cellular respiration. Similarly, carbon dioxide exit by organization from metabolism of food is also carried in the blood and is required to the lungs because that excretion (that’s why us breathe out CO2).

Once oxygen gets right into the cell, it further diffuses into the mitochondria, i beg your pardon is the powerhouse the the cell. Oxygen plays a vital role in power production via a system dubbed electron transport chain (ETC), i m sorry is vital component of to move respiration. The electron transport chain produces adenosine triphosphate, the main cellular energy. Oxygen acts as a final electron acceptor the helps move electrons under a chain that results in adenosine tree phosphate production.


To summarize this process, the food us eat is metabolized in a method to relax electrons and also hydrogen ions offered by the mitochondria to produce adenosine triphosphate. However, this procedure requires energy. The electrons released have a high potential energy that can be supplied to fuel adenosine tree phosphate synthesis. Therefore, unique electron transporters exist in the mitochondria that assist with the release of this high energy. Oxygen acts as a final electron acceptor in the chain and completes the process.


Now that i have defined the science, the main reason us breathe oxygen and also not something rather is because oxygen is electronegative. This means that the is really an excellent at attracting electrons, therefore energy can be produced.

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As you breath throughout the day, whether you’re sitting on the couch or play outside, psychic how essential it is to your body!

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MEET THE STUDENT questioning THE QUESTION

Name: Justin Smallze

Age: 8

Grade: 3

School: Johnson City primary School, Johnson City main School District

Teacher: Jill Swartz

Hobbies: Football, baseball, basketball, karate

Career interest(s): Football player, dentist, doctor, architect

MEET THE SCIENTIST

Answered by: Lina Begdache

Title: research study Assistant Professor, Binghamton University

Department: Health and Wellness Studies

Research area: Obesity, GERD, nutrigenomics

Interests/hobbies: Running, reading


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