Respiration takes place in the mitochondria of every cell in your body. It is the process of converting glucose and oxygen into energy.

Aerobic respiration

This is the sort of respiration that takes place where plenty of oxygen is available. It is the ideal way to convert glucose into energy.

Glucose + Oxygen -> Carbon Dioxide + Water + Energy
C6H12 + 6O2 -> 6CO2 + 6H2O + Energy

Anaerobic respiration

This is what happens when there's not much oxygen available. It's not a very good way of converting glucose to energy.

Glucose -> Energy + Lactic Acid

This type of respiration takes place when you exercise a lot and your body can no longer supply enough oxygen to your muscles. Your body has to convert the lactic acid back into harmless carbon dioxide and water after you stop exercising.

Respiration is a process whereby organic molecules such as carbohydrates act as a fuel which is broken down in a series of reactions to release energy which is used to synthesise ATP. Many cells can only use glucose as their respiratory substrate, but others break down fatty acids, glycerol and amino acids in respiration. Glucose breakdown can be divided into four stages, glycolysis, the link reaction, the Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation.

Res`pi*ra"tion (r?s`p?*r?"sh?n), n. [L. respiratio: cf. F. respiration. See Respire.]


The act of respiring or breathing again, or catching one's breath.


Relief from toil or suffering: rest.


Till the day Appear of respiration to the just And vengeance to the wicked. Milton.


Interval; intermission.


Bp. Hall.

4. Physiol.

The act of resping or breathing; the act of taking in and giving out air; the aggregate of those processes bu which oxygen is introduced into the system, and carbon dioxide, or carbonic acid, removed.

Respiration in the higher animals is divided into: (a) Internal respiration, or the interchange of oxygen and carbonic acid between the cells of the body and the bathing them, which in one sense is a process of nutrition. (b) External respiration, or the gaseous interchange taking place in the special respiratory organs, the lungs. This constitutes respiration proper. Gamgee.

In the respiration of plants oxygen is likewise absorbed and carbonic acid exhaled, but in the light this process is obscured by another process which goes on with more vigor, in which the plant inhales and absorbs carbonic acid and exhales free oxygen.


© Webster 1913.

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