Why Do Living Things Need Nitrogen?
If oxygen seemed to be the most important thing for human’s survival, nitrogen is as equally important to living things. Let us find out as we get to know how nitrogen works? And why do living things like us need it?
Nitrogen is a chemical element that is odorless, colorless and tasteless. It appears in great amounts in the atmosphere and considered as a vital element necessary for various living things on Earth’s survival. It is also an essential component of life. First Nitrogen is present in proteins. Our cells in the body are made up of proteins and without it the cells would lack the capacity to repair and nourish the tissues in the body. An easy way to remember is that nitrogen atom composes the amino acids and these amino acids are the building blocks of protein.
Next, nitric oxide this also found in our body is composed of nitrogen. Without the nitric acid, our cells would have difficulty in communicating with each other. Communication among cells is important so that the body can function normally. Another is urea which also contains nitrogen which helps the body excrete or removed used proteins in the body for without the excretion of urea; toxins will build up in the blood levels that would be detrimental to the body’s function.
In metabolism of food, nitrogen is as well needed because in the process of metabolism, enzymes are needed to do the process and these enzymes are partly made by nitrogen. And as for plants, nitrogen atoms are parts of the process of photosynthesis as they are parts of the ADP and ATP needed in the transfer of energy to do this cycle. In the absence of nitrogen, it would disrupt the flow of the food chain and existence of living things on Earth would be quite impossible without it.