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Important Ions in the Body

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Important Ions in the Body

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  • December 7, 2009
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Important Ions in the Body and the Roles They Play

Everyday Functions of the Human Body
The human body uses many forms of energy to conduct daily activities. These activities can be ones that we are doing physically or they can be as basic as the breakdown of enzymes within our body or the digestion of food. Chemical energy, electrical energy, mechanical energy, and electromagnetic energy are a few but important forms of the type of energy utilized by the human body. Ions play an important role in creating the electrical energy that is used by everyone on a daily basis. Some types of these ions will be explained throughout the essay.

Electricity is a fundamental component of nature consisting of negative and positive particles exhibiting attractions and repulsions. These attractions and repulsions create charged particles that then become electrical current. This is an important form of energy that is critical to the functioning of the human body.

The phenomenon of Ions
An ion is an atom or a group of atoms that have an electrical charge by either gaining or losing electrons in its outer shell, also known as valence electrons. Valence electrons are those electrons in the outer ring of electrons orbiting the nucleus of the atom. Ions may exist in solid, liquid, or gaseous environments, although those in liquid are more common and familiar. Ions that are charged with positive electricity are known as cations and travel towards a negative pole known as a cathode. Ions that are charged with negative electricity are known as anions and travel towards a positive pole known as an anode. The phrase “opposites attract” is a good depiction of this reaction. Electrolytes; how ions keep us going.

Ions existing in a liquid state are electrolytes. An electrolyte is any compound that, in solution, conducts electricity and is decomposed or electrolyzed by the electricity. Electrolytes play an essential role in the function of the human body. As ions...