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How Oxygen Supports Human Life

(Sample Lesson)

Basic Process

Oxygen (O2) is required by the body’s cells to transfer energy from nutrient molecules to ATP (adenosine triphosphate) in a process called aerobic respiration. The energy stored in ATP is then used to drive other chemical reactions inside cells.

After O2 molecules leave the blood capillaries in the tissues, they enter the mitochondria of nearby tissue cells. The breakdown products of nutrient molecules also enter the mitochondria. The O2 and nutrient breakdown products then participate in a complex series of chemical reactions that produce ATP. During the process, water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are released as by-products.

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OpenStax College, Anatomy and Physiology

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Reference: “Requirements for Human Life

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Reference: “Cellular Respiration