What Is ATP?
ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is a molecule that carries chemical energy from one place in your body to another. The most common form of ATP is called ADP (adenosine diphosphate).
When you eat food or drink water, some of this chemical energy is used up in the production of glucose from carbohydrates. Then, the glucose is used to make the energy needed for your body’s important activities, like moving and thinking. Glucose comes from certain types of carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables.
After it’s used for activity, the glucose is changed to ATP and stored in your body cells.
ATP is also made inside your body. The most important source of ATP is the oxidation of sugars and fats. When food is broken down in your stomach and intestines, it creates chemical energy.
This energy is used to make the chemical reactions that take place in your cells. Another source of ATP is the metabolism of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.
How Does ATP Save Your Life?
Without ATP, your body could not carry out any of its activities. Even the most basic of functions, like breathing, require energy. You also need ATP to make the chemical reactions that keep your body going.
ATP is used for two important purposes:
1. ATP is used to make the energy needed for your cells to get energy from foods.
This is called cellular respiration.
2. ATP is used to make the new genetic material that your cells need to grow and change.
This is called proliferation.
Without energy, your body could not repair cells or replace them with new ones. Without growth and change, you would become damaged and diseased and unable to carry out the functions needed for survival.
Warfare and violence would break out and nobody would survive. The earth would likely starve, as food would not be grown or gathered, and life would ultimately cease.
This is why the human body needs energy. Without energy, a human cannot live.
- Photo-induced proton gradients and ATP biosynthesis produced by vesicles encapsulated in a silica matrix (TJM Luo, R Soong, E Lan, B Dunn, C Montemagno – Nature materials, 2005 – nature.com)
- Altered expression of genes involved in ATP biosynthesis and GABAergic neurotransmission in the ventral prefrontal cortex of suicides with and without major … (TA Klempan, A Sequeira, L Canetti, A Lalovic… – Molecular …, 2009 – nature.com)
- Microcapsules containing a biomolecular motor for ATP biosynthesis (Q He, L Duan, W Qi, K Wang, Y Cui, X Yan… – Advanced …, 2008 – Wiley Online Library)