Top 10: Gasp-worthy Facts about the Respiratory System

1. Introduction

The Respiratory System
Adiponectin oligomerization state and adiponectin receptors airway expression in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet and fresh fruit intake are associated with improved asthma control. A case control study of the relation between plasma selenium and asthma in European populations: What Vitamins Help Hair Growth? An alveolar sac is a cluster of many individual alveoli that are responsible for gas exchange. Dietary antioxidants are an important dietary factor in protecting against the damaging effects of oxidative stress in the airways, a characteristic of respiratory diseases [ 50 ].

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Nutrition and the respiratory system.

When these structures are filled with air, they make lungs float. Yawning is a result of your body not taking in enough oxygen from the air, which causes a shortage of oxygen in our bodies. The brain senses this shortage of oxygen and sends a message that causes you to take a deep long breath a yawn! The surface area of an adult's lungs is roughly the same size as a tennis court! If all the alveoli in both lungs were flattened out, they would have a total area of about square feet, Your left lung is smaller than your right which leaves room for your heart!

A person at rest usually breathes between 12 to 15 times a minute. Newborns up to 6 weeks breathe between 30 to 60 times per minute! Carbon dioxide is exhaled and oxygen is inhaled through the respiratory system, which includes muscles to move air into and out of the lungs, passageways through which air moves, and microscopic gas exchange surfaces covered by capillaries. The cardiovascular system transports gases from the lungs to tissues throughout the body and vice versa.

A variety of diseases can affect the respiratory system, such as asthma, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder COPD , and lung cancer. All of these conditions affect the gas exchange process and result in labored breathing and other difficulties. The major organs of the respiratory system function primarily to provide oxygen to body tissues for cellular respiration, remove the waste product carbon dioxide, and help to maintain acid-base balance.

Portions of the respiratory system are also used for non-vital functions, such as sensing odors, producing speech, and for straining, such as during childbirth or coughing.

The major respiratory structures span the nasal cavity to the diaphragm. Functionally, the respiratory system can be divided into a conducting zone and a respiratory zone. The conducting zone of the respiratory system includes the organs and structures not directly involved in gas exchange trachea and bronchi. The gas exchange occurs in the respiratory zone. The major functions of the conducting zone are to provide a route for incoming and outgoing air, remove debris and pathogens from the incoming air, and warm and humidify the incoming air.

Several structures within the conducting zone perform other functions as well. The epithelium of the nasal passages, for example, is essential to sensing odors, and the bronchial epithelium that lines the lungs can metabolize some airborne carcinogens. The conducting zone includes the nose and its adjacent structures, the pharynx, the larynx, the trachea, and the bronchi. The trachea splits into the primary bronchi, which enter the left and right lung, and then divide into smaller airways that direct air toward the lobes of the lungs -- three lobes on the right, and two on the left.

Because your lungs aren't made of muscle, inhalation and exhalation are controlled by the diaphragm and muscles between the ribs. Energy To operate, all cells depend upon a source of energy, which comes in the form of the macronutrients -- carbohydrates, protein and fat -- explains Dr.

Lauralee Sherwood in her book, "Human Physiology. Vitamins and Minerals Cells depend upon vitamins and minerals to help them maintain normal function, and the cells of the respiratory system are no exception. For instance, the muscles of the respiratory system and the nerves that serve them require sodium and potassium to contract and transmit information. The B vitamins assist in metabolism of nutrients, which allows for production of energy, while vitamins C and E are antioxidants that help prevent damage from toxins.

Specific Requirements Unlike the eyes, for instance, which require vitamin A in particular, there are no nutritional requirements specific to the respiratory system. In an oblique sense, however, iron is critical to respiratory function.

Conducting Zone