Why do we need oxygen? “Breathing does not only occur in the lungs, the brain also breathes.”
Muscles for thinking, moving or working require energy obtained during the breathing process. This process is more than just the “movement” of the chest, which should be maintained in the correct proportions. – By maintaining balance, we ensure that all the oxygen is used correctly, which turns on the entire biochemical mechanism that converts the energy contained in the substances consumed – points out the professor. Agnieszka Czasinska, molecular biologist.
“Inhalation”, “exhalation” – this is how we often imagine what we call breathing. However, every living organism – including humans – breathes at the single-cell level. how? – From a biochemical perspective, respiration is a whole series of complex reactions. They begin in the cytosol – the watery part of the cell. Later, these reactions occur in a cellular compartment called mitochondria, which can be described as the “power stations” of the cell – says the professor. Agnieszka Czasinska, molecular biologist, Director of the International Institute of Molecular Mechanisms and Machinery of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IMol). The researcher is also a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization, the European Academy and the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina.
Therefore, the lifespan of a cell depends on it getting the right amount of oxygen. In the case of the brain, which consumes 20 percent. The oxygen it supplies to the body, the appropriate amount is of great importance. Therefore, the proper breathing of other organs and their individual elements largely depends on the condition of the lungs.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus is classified as a “respiratory virus” – meaning it primarily infects the respiratory system. It is already known that it can reach other organs, including the brain. The fact that it can disrupt the functioning of the respiratory system may pose a risk to the proper breathing of the entire body.
Thomas Marcin Frona: Hardly anyone thinks about breathing on a daily basis. Is gas exchange different in the brain than in other organs?
Professor Agnieszka Czasinska: Let me start by saying that we feel inhaled and exhaled all the time. During this process, we supply the body with oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. However, the biochemical processes underlying the conversion of oxygen to carbon dioxide are very complex.
Our whole body breathes, every cell of it. From a biochemical perspective, breathing occurs not only in the lungs, but in every cell. So the brain breathes too.
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