Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells that is responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Most of the oxygen that our body needs binds to hemoglobin and is carried in this manner.
In general, hemoglobin is made up of four units, with each unit containing iron. Oxygen binds to these units, meaning that each hemoglobin can carry four oxygen molecules. The ability of hemoglobin to carry and transport the oxygen is affected by factors such as body temperature, carbon dioxide (CO2), and blood pH.
- When there is excess carbon dioxide in the blood, more Hydrogen ions are produced. This causes the pH to decrease. This increase in CO2 and decrease in pH affects the amount of oxygen that can bind to hemoglobin.
- When body temperature increases, the ability of oxygen to be bound to the hemoglobin again decreases.