Our life is supported by various vital elements that we cannot live without. The primary elements we need to survive here on earth are nitrogen, sulfur, hydrogen, carbon and oxygen. From the stated elements, what is highly regarded the most is the oxygen.
Oxygen is the most abundant element we have on earth and cessation of this would lead to our immediate death. Knowing fun facts about oxygen and its importance to our health makes us appreciate this element and gas even more.
Oxygen was discovered in 1771 by Carl Wilhelm Scheele and later on uncovered further by Joseph Priestley in 1774. Their discoveries with this gas had paved way for further studies about the importance of oxygen as well as digging information about its physical properties.
Oxygen is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that comes in pale blue color when in solid and liquid state. This belongs to the non-metal group and has the ability to support combustion.
Do we know that our body alone makes use of oxygen to the highest level? Yes, our body utilizes this gas for various important functions. Our body is made up of 65% of oxygen and provides us 90% of nutritional energy usable for our everyday life. Food and water may nourish us but these come incomparable with the importance of oxygen. We can survive for a few days in the absence of food and water but we cannot survive when we run out of oxygen for more than 5 minutes.
Oxygen serves a vital role in our nutritional aspect. Abundant amount of oxygen in our system makes us live a healthier life. It aids in flushing out toxins brought by internal and external factors. The more oxygen we have, the lesser for our body to endure with wear and tear, thus making us live a longer and healthier life.
Oxygen also serves as an anti-aging substance and helps us fight degenerative diseases. This gas also strengthens our immune system and improves brain function. When there is more oxygen being delivered to and from the brain, like in the case after exercising, we are able to function better. When our system has insufficient amount of circulating oxygen, we are prone to various disease conditions as pathogens can take over our cells when the levels of this gas drop below 60%.
Because we need oxygen to support life, it is said that we, humans, take up about 6 billion tons of this gas annually. Aside from human needs, oxygen also supports life of plants and animals as it needs this gas for respiration.
It is important to note that what we have here on earth is comprised with oxygen and its absence would mean cessation of life that is why we need to keep our atmosphere as clean as possible to make us breathe sufficient amount of oxygen.