Life Process: Respiration

Respiration is one of the most important characteristics of all living organisms. All living organisms need a constant supply of energy for their life activities which are constantly taking place in their living cells, example metabolism, growth, movement and reproduction. This energy is made available by the respiration process.
Respiration is essentially a chemical process in which carbohydrate is broken down. As a result, the potential energy is transformed into kinetic form. Though it is katabolic or destructive process, respiration is extremely beneficial, as it releases the necessary energy for performing the life functions.
The chemical reaction may be represented thus
            C6H12O6 + 6O2 = 6CO2 + 6H2O + Energy


Following are the various aspects of respiration:

– Atmospheric oxygen is consumed during the process and carbon dioxide is given out.
– The process involves liberation of energy.
– The process results in the loss of weight.
-Water is formed as a by-product which is absorbed.

Use of Energy in Different Actions

 It should be noted that respiration is not just mechanical breathing involving simple inhalation of oxygen and exhalation of carbon dioxide, but a chemical process meant for the liberation of energy. The energy produced cannot be used directly in our bodies, but this energy is used in the form of ATP (Adenosine triphosphate). ATP is the temporary storage of energy and is released according to the requirements of the body.


 The following are way in which the energy is used in the body to regulate the different activities:

1. Mechanical action: during movement of muscles, energy is utilized for contraction and expansion of tissue.

2. Chemical action: cell of the body needs energy to conduct the movement of different chemicals in and out of the body.

3. Growth and repair: energy is used in construction of new cells and replacement of worn cells.
4. Synthetic process: Energy is necessary for synthesis of protein, enzyme and hormones.
 synthesis of protein
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