Why ATP is called the currency of energy or the currency of life.
Understanding how the body works is an important aspect of holistic and sustainable health. To truly take charge of our health, it is crucial to know how our body processes the food we consume and how it translates to vital functions and output. In a new video, integrative oncology and metabolic medicine expert Dr. Thomas Lodi talks about adenosine triphosphate or ATP aka the “currency of energy.”
“An ATP is everything from bacteria to lizards to oak trees to elephants,” he said. “Adenosine triphosphate is three phosphates. Phosphate is just a molecule. The last molecule is connected to the second one by high energy. So, what happens is whatever needs that energy will grab an ATP and pull off that phosphate, and it releases all this energy in the form of electrons.”
When energy is released from the ATP molecule, it becomes adenosine diphosphate (ADP) because one of the phosphate-oxygen group is removed. The ADP is then ‘recycled’ in the mitochondria, also known as the power generators of the cell, and comes out again as ATP.
Dr. Lodi adds that, for a cell to function, it needs approximately one billion ATP at any given second. He added, “We have approximately 100 trillion cells in our body, and they all need one billion ATP. The reason they do is that in our bodies, every second, that need is a number so very large, it’s a 1 with 21 zeroes behind it. That is the number of chemical reactions that are going on inside of our body every second.”
ATP is the Currency of Life
A chemical reaction is what happens when “chemical bonds between atoms are formed or broken.” Reactants are the substances that go into a chemical reaction while the substances created as a result of the reaction are called products.
According to Dr. Lodi, all chemical reactions are “enzyme-mediated.” He explained, “In every aspect of biology is enzymes. Even oxygen leaving a red blood cell to go into the tissues where it’s needed, you need an enzyme called 2,3-DPG. If you don’t have that, the oxygen is not going to leave.”
What are enzymes?
Enzymes are proteins which are also sometimes called catalysts because of their role in starting or speeding up a reaction. Interestingly, enzymes themselves are unchanged by the chemical reaction. Without enzymes, cells will be unable to access the energy stored in molecules because enzymes lower the amount of energy required for a chemical reaction, thus enabling the cells to function properly.
“Our bodies are incredible and more often than not, we are unaware of it, and we take it for granted,” Dr. Lodi noted. “We have the ability to heal naturally and to nurture our bodies towards true health and wellness. Learning how our body works is a crucial first step to maximizing our bodies’ full potential.”