Chemical reactions are all around and within us. Why are chemical reactions so important? If our bodies stopped all the chemical reactions occurring within us, what would happen?  

Chemical reactions are vital to keeping the human body’s systems functioning. For example, respiration is a chemical reaction that allows us to breathe, and digestion is a chemical reaction that allows us to eat. If our bodies stopped all chemical reactions occurring within us, we would not survive.

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Chemical reactions are an absolutely essential part of why the human body functions. In simple terms, they take place when energy is supplied and involve the interaction between at least two substances. These reactions result in chemical changes.

Our bodies are dynamic machines that are constantly working to keep us alive. To do this requires lots of chemical reactions. In fact, there are billions of chemical reactions happening in each human body every second! They are so important to keeping all of the body’s organ systems functioning that they occur at an alarming rate. The chemical reactions in the human body are actually some of the fastest known chemical reactions.

For example, the process of respiration is a chemical reaction. Respiration is an exchange of gas in which a human breathes in oxygen to produce energy and breathes out carbon dioxide. Without this important chemical reaction, human beings would not be able to breathe. If our bodies even stopped just this one chemical reaction, we would not live very long. If our bodies stopped all chemical reactions occurring within us, we would definitely not be able to survive.

Other important chemical reactions include the ones that allow metabolism to function and the ones in the digestive system.

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To tackle these questions concerning chemical reactions, first define what chemical reactions are. Then examine how and why the human body needs chemical reactions to function.

First, chemical reactions occur when substances called reactants, which have a specific set of physical and chemical properties, change to form substances called products, which have a different set of physical and chemical properties. Chemical reactions can be exothermic, releasing heat, or endothermic, absorbing heat. When thinking about the importance of chemical reactions, consider what processes in the natural world need chemical reactions to function. Without chemical reactions, would plants be able to grow? Would fires be able to burn?

Second, there are a multitude of chemical reactions that take place in the human body. The human body's metabolism is comprised of chemical reactions. Via metabolism, the human body is able to turn food into energy and eliminate metabolic waste like carbon dioxide. If all chemical reactions in the human body ceased, what would the human body be no longer able to do? Would humans be able to eat? Would humans be able to excrete waste? Would humans be able to build biomolecules like carbohydrates, amino acids, nucleic acids, or lipids? Take all of this into consideration when addressing what would happen to the human body if all of its chemical reactions ceased.

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