Is oxygen toxic/poisonous?


I read somewhere that oxygen is, in fact, poisonous, and it “oxidises” your cells, burning you slowly, which is why anti-oxidants are important.

Is there any truth to this?


p.s. not a debate or anything, just want info on the negative/positive effects of oxygen on organic matter and properties of oxygen

p.p.s will this go in chemistry or biology???

In: Chemistry

5 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

We need oxygen to live, but oxygen being very reactive has the side effect that it also sometimes oxidizes things it isn’t supposed to. This is where anti-oxidants come in: Your body has a few different mechanisms to prevent oxygen/reactive oxygen species from doing (too much) damage but in simple terms it creates chemicals that ‘sacrifice’ themselves reacting with the oxygen.

Eating more food that is rich in’anti-oxidants’ is not proven to be effective in improving health compared to a normal healthy balanced diet, and certainly no amount of anti-oxidants can protect us from the serious effects of oxygen at high pressures which is the only situation where oxygen really becomes toxic to us and ‘burns you slowly from the inside’.

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