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Transform oxygen into energy?

  1. Jul 28, 2012 #1
    I just started reading a pamphlet written my an M.D. about a poorly understood illness.

    On the second page he writes: "Hypoxia is a technical term meaning the inability to transform oxygen into energy." On the next page he writes: "It is due to a problem at the cellular level converting oxygen into energy."

    I didn't do very well in high school chemistry, and that was over fifty years ago, but I seem to recall that we were taught back then that the energy released by metabolism came from the carbohydrates that were being "burned," not from the oxygen.

    I mean, oxygen is an element, so it would seem that a process to "transform oxygen into energy" would require "splitting" the atom in something like a nuclear reaction, wouldn't it?

    Have I been laboring under a misconception for over half a century?

    Is oxygen actually "converted" or "transformed" into energy in our bodies at the cellular level?

    Will Anderson
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 28, 2012 #2


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    The pamphlet was poorly worded. You have an accurate understanding as to where energy comes from. Oxygen is involved but not the source of the energy.
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