Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Food Oxidation
Name: Catherine Barber
Status: Student
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 

How do you explain the oxidation process when combining energy, carbohydrates, protein, and fats? How is oxidation also related to breathing?

Any oxidation process involves the loss of electrons from atoms - and usually the combination of other atoms with oxygen in the process. Oxidation is the chemical process by which cells "get" their energy from the foods that we consume. After oxidation, the foods are left with less available chemical energy, and we pass those leftovers out of the body as wastes.

Breathing gives us the oxygen needed for the oxidation that constantly occurs in all of our cells to provide the energy that keeps us alive. Let me know if you'd like more details.

Ellen Mayo

Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory