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Are You Chemically Dependent?

We humans are dependent on chemicals like water, air, sugars, starches, fats, proteins, as well as on small amounts of vitamins and minerals.

chemicals

Photo: j_anet (Flickr)

What are you dependent on?

The answer to the question of whether or not you are chemically dependent is yes. We humans are dependent on chemicals like water, air, sugars, starches, fats, proteins, as well as on small amounts of vitamins and minerals.

We need water, which has the chemical formula H2O, to maintain our bodies in a fluid state. Water even gets involved in chemical reactions that occur in our stomachs which break down foods containing sugars, starches, and proteins.

What Is ATP?

Air contains oxygen which has the chemical formula O2. Our cells use oxygen to convert sugars to carbon dioxide and water, generating energy in the process. We store this energy in the form of a chemical called adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. Every day our bodies make more than 50 pounds of ATP, which is used to carry out the chemical reactions necessary for life.

Vitamins are important chemicals which assist ATP in doing its job. For instance, vitamin B6 assists in the conversion of one chemical to another to produce muscle tissue. Vitamin K helps blood to clot when it’s exposed to air, thus helping to repair wounds. Other chemicals are necessary to send messages between organs in the body. These compounds, are called hormones.

So, because of the negative connotations in current jargon, it might sound odd to say we are “chemically dependent”, but we are just that, and many of the chemicals are manufactured in our own bodies.

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