During celluar respiration, glucose is either reduced or oxidated. Which one and why? Explanation needs to be understandable by the average person.
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reaction for cellular respiration:
C6H12O6 + 6O2 ------> 6CO2 + 12H2O + energy
in this reaction,
hydrogen is removed from glucose and it is converted into CO2, so we will say that glucose is getting oxidized as:
" removal of hydrogen from a compound is termed as the oxidation of that compound"
If the respiration you are referring to is aerobic respiration, than the glucose is undergoing oxidation. The energy in the chemical bonds of glucose are broken down to form ATP to be used as cellular energy and the wastes carbon dioxide and water are formed. This is called a catabolic reaction. It is considered a combustion reaction, but unlike combustion when a fire burns, releasing great amounts of energy, it occurs in small steps using enzymes to control the rate of the reaction. The oxidizing agent or electron acceptor in the reaction is molecular oxygen. Organisms that use oxygen in respiration are called aerobic organisms. The first part of respiration is glycolysis which doesn't require oxygen. One molecule of glucose is converted to two molecules of pyruvate and 2 ATP are produced. Next, the pyruvate is oxidized to acetyl-CoA and CO2, and NADH. This is the transition step, linking glycolysis and the Krebs cycle. In the Krebs cycle, the acetyl-COA inside the mitochondrial matrix of the cell, gets oxidized to CO2 and NAD is reduced to NADH. This is used by the electron transport chain to create additional ATP. One molecule of glucose is completely oxidized when two acetyl-COA are metabolized by the Krebs cycle. This results in the net gain of 36 ATP and the wastes H20 and CO2, both of which can be exhaled and excreted.
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