Friday, June 08, 2012

My life needs H2O

My life needs H2O. Every living thing needs water. Water is an essential component of protoplasm. In mammals, about 70% of the body weight is water. Hence, water is extremely important to life. In fact, in most conditions, human can survive longer without food than without water. A person can survive only three to five days without water, in some cases people have survived for an average of one week.

What are the functions of water?
Water is a solvent for many substances. This property helps water to serve the following functions in the body:

Water is the medium or substance in which chemical reactions occur in an organism.
Water helps to transport dissolved substances around the body, such as:
  • Digested products from the small intestine to other parts of the body.
  • Excretory products or waste products from the tissue cells to the excretory organs for removal from the body.
  • Hormones from the glands to parts of the body which require them.

Water is a key component of:
  • Protoplasm.
  • Lubricants found in joints (lubricants reduce friction between the joints during movement).
  • The digestive juices.
  • Blood.
  • Tissue fluid.

In addition, water has these functions in animals:

  • It is needed for certain reactions, such as hydrolysis in digestion.
  • It helps to control the body temperature. Water is a component of sweat. When sweat evaporates from the skin surface, latent heat of vaporisation is removed. The body is cooled down.

In flowering plants, water is:
  • essential for photosynthesis.
  • needed to keep plant cells turgid or firm and the plant itself upright.
  • needed to transport mineral salts up the xylem from the roots to the leaves.
  • needed to transport food substances from the leaves to other parts of the plants.

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