Respiration Is The Process Of Taking Oxygen In Humans


Respiration is the process of exchanging gases between living things. To be able to stay alive, every living thing that needs oxygen must do respiration, including plants.

Gas exchange in respiration aims to obtain oxygen to be used in metabolic processes and converted into energy.

For those of you who are curious, let’s learn more about respiration, from understanding to the process.



What is Respiration?

According to Saktiyono’s e-book entitled IPA Biology 2, respiration is the process of inhaling free air containing oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) and moisture from the body.

Oxygen is the main substance needed in the process of respiration. Oxygen is used in the process of oxidation (combustion) of food substances, namely glucose.

Glucose is oxidized in order to produce energy. Thus, the main purpose of the respiration process is to take the energy contained in food.

Respiration is carried out by all living things, from humans, animals to plants. Plants also need oxygen to produce food through the process of photosynthesis.

Respiratory Function

According to the e-book entitled Respiratory System Medical Surgical Nursing by Saktya Yudha Ardhi Utama and from the Cleveland Clinic website, the function of respiration is as follows.

  1. Taking oxygen from the outside to be carried by the blood to all the cells in the body. In those cells, there will be combustion.
  2. Removing carbon dioxide produced from the rest of the combustion. Carbon dioxide is carried by the blood from the cells to the lungs for disposal.
  3. Warms and humidifies the air.
  4. Protects the respiratory tract from harmful substances.
  5. Help talk and smell.

Human Respiratory System

The human respiratory system consists of several organs that work together in an integrated manner. This is the respiratory system in humans.

1. Nasal Cavity (Nasal Cavity)

The nasal cavity is the very first respiratory tract.

Reporting from the e-book Basic Science Concepts Module by Arief Rahman Hakim, M. Pd., Farida Nur Kumala, S. Si, M. Pd., et al, the nasal cavity consists of:

  • Mucous membranes that function to catch foreign objects that enter the respiratory tract.
  • Short and thick hair to filter dirt that enters with the air.
  • Konka to warm the incoming air.

2. Faring

From the nasal cavity, air will enter the pharynx. In the pharynx, there is a branching into 2 channels, namely:

  • Airway in front of the pharynx.
  • Digestive tract at the back of the pharynx.

3. Larynx

The next human respiratory system is the larynx. The larynx is the link between the pharynx and the trachea. In the larynx, there is a place where the vocal cords are used to produce sound.

The larynx serves as a passageway for air to enter the lungs. In addition, the larynx is also responsible for preventing food and drink from entering the respiratory tract.

4. Throat

The throat is part of the human respiratory system which is shaped like a long pipe with a size of 10 cm. The throat is located in the neck and chest.

In the throat, there are cartilage and cross-legged rings which function to filter foreign objects that enter the respiratory tract.

5. Bronchus

From the throat, air will enter the bronchi. The throat will branch into 2, namely the right and left bronchi.

The bronchi then again branch into bronchioles. The right bronchus divides into 3 bronchioles and the left bronchus divides into 2 bronchioles.

6. Alveolus

Alveoli are small sacs that are almost like a honeycomb.

This section is located at the end of the bronchial tubes. It is in the alveoli that respiration takes place, namely the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

The alveoli function to absorb oxygen from the air carried by the bronchioles and flow it into the blood. The walls of the alveoli contain blood capillaries which function to carry oxygen.

7. Paru-paru

The lungs are respiratory organs located in the upper chest cavity. The lungs consist of 2 parts, namely:

  • The right lung (pulmodekster) which consists of 3 lobes.
  • Left lung (pulmo sinister) which consists of 2 lobes.

The lungs have a protective covering in the form of 2 membranes known as the pleura. Between the pleura, there is a fluid-filled cavity that acts as a lubricant for the lungs.

Types of Respiration in Humans

Reporting from an e-book entitled Biology Textbook by Nur Hidayah and Mucharommah Sartika Ami, respiration can be divided into 2 types.

Based on where gas exchange occurs, the types of respiration are as follows.

1. External Breathing

External respiration is a respiratory process in which gas exchange occurs between the air in the alveoli and the blood in the capillaries.

This exchange occurs between oxygen from the alveoli and carbon dioxide from the blood.

2. Deep (Internal) Breathing

Internal respiration occurs in the process of gas exchange in the blood with body cells.

The body’s cells will deliver carbon dioxide from the combustion process into the blood. Instead, the blood will give up oxygen to start the combustion process.

Respiration Process in Humans

The process of respiration in humans is divided into 2 parts, namely the process of inspiration and expiration. Check out the following explanation.

1. The Process of Inspiration in Humans

The process of inspiration is the process of entering air into the lungs. There are 2 types of inspiration processes, namely inspiration in chest and abdominal breathing.

According to the thesis by Niera Putri Kurniasih quoted from the Airlangga University repository, the process of inspiration in chest breathing is as follows.

  • The rib muscles contract and lift. This causes the volume of the chest cavity to increase.
  • The pressure inside the chest cavity becomes less than the air pressure outside.
  • Air can flow into the lungs.

Reporting from a paper entitled The Respiratory System by Gregory James Fernandez, the process of inspiration in abdominal breathing is as follows.

  • The diaphragm muscle in the abdomen contracts and lifts. This keeps the diaphragm flat.
  • The volume of the thoracic cavity increases.
  • The pressure inside the chest cavity becomes less than the air pressure outside.
  • Air can flow into the lungs.

2. Expiratory Process in Humans

The process of exhalation is the process of expelling air from the lungs. Just like the inspiration process, there are 2 types of expiration processes, namely expiration on chest and abdominal breathing.

The process of expiration in chest breathing is as follows.

  • The rib muscles experience a return to their original position and experience relaxation. This makes the volume of the chest cavity smaller.
  • The pressure inside the chest cavity becomes greater than the air pressure outside.
  • The pressure pushes the walls of the lungs so that the lung cavity enlarges.
  • Air is pushed out of the lungs.

The process of expiration in abdominal breathing is as follows.

  • The diaphragm muscle in the abdomen relaxes and returns to its original position.
  • The volume of the thoracic cavity becomes smaller.
  • The pressure inside the chest cavity becomes greater than the air pressure outside.
  • Air is pushed out of the lungs.

3. The Chemical Process of Respiration in the Human Body

During the process of respiration, there is an exchange between oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Although it sounds simple, there are chemical reactions that take place in it. The chemical process of respiration is as follows.

  • In the process of removing CO2 from the lungs: H + HCO3 –> H2CO3 –> H2 + CO2
  • In the process of binding oxygen by hemoglobin (red blood cells): Hb + O2 –> HbO2
  • In the process of separating oxygen from hemoglobin into cell fluids: HbO2 –> Hb + O2
  • In the process of transporting carbon dioxide from the cell: CO2 + H2O –> H2 + CO2

Respiration Process in Plants

Not only humans and animals, plants also carry out the respiration process. The process of respiration occurs in all living cells, especially in mitochondria.

According to the e-paper entitled Respiration in Plants by Drs. Suyitno Al. MS, respiration is basically the process of breaking down food substances which are a source of energy to obtain chemical energy ATP.

For more details, in plants, the process of respiration is as follows.

  1. Plants absorb oxygen from the free air.
  2. Oxygen enters plant cells through the process of diffusion. Diffusion is the movement of substances from a higher concentration to a lower concentration.
  3. Carbon dioxide is also removed from plants through the process of diffusion.
  4. In plant cells, food substances will be hydrolytically disassembled first. This demolition aims to convert food substances into glucose. The disassembly process requires the help of enzymes:
    • Phosphorilase
    • Amylase
    • Transglucosidase
    • Maltese
    • Sugar chain branching enzymes
  5. Furthermore, glucose will be dismantled by utilizing incoming oxygen and converted into energy in the form of ATP.

Those are some things about respiration, starting from the understanding, the system, to the mechanism.

Respiration is an important process for the body to be able to keep getting energy and function properly.

How, you are no longer confused with this one term, right?

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