The Importance of Ions to Human's Health
Ions are electrically charged particles that form from a gain or loss of one or more electrons. Ions with negative charge are called anion and those with positive charge are called cation. Ions are very important to the human health through their assistance in maintaining homeostasis in the human body. The equation would not balance, if we talk about living things without ions . Therefore, without ions, living things such as human would find it difficult to maintain his body functions. The following are some of the usefulness of ions to human's health.
Ions facilitate digestion of food in the human digestive system. The
food that humans eat is of no use if it cannot be broken down to release the proper
nutrients that the body need for proper functioning. For catabolism of protein to take place in the stomach, pepsin an enzyme that breaks down protein in the stomach, needs a PH level of 2.0 (highly acidic) to carry out this process. The pepsin enzyme is able to break down protein in the stomach with the help of hydrogen ion that is release to the stomach content. Without the release of this ion, there won't be digestion and homeostasis in the human body will be jeopardized.
Furthermore, ions work as cofactors in order for enzymes to function effectively. A cofactor is an ion or a molecule that must bind to an enzyme before substrates can also bind. With the assistance of cofactors, such as calcium and magnesium ion, an enzyme can bind to substrates to catalyze a specific reaction at the enzyme active site. An enzyme is a catalyst that facilitates chemical reactions without being affected. If the above mentioned cofactors are not present, it will be impossible for enzymes to break down substrates and release the proper nutrients that the body needs to maintain equilibrium homeostasis. The production of hydroxide ion by Magnesium bicarbonate helps to prevent and treat degenerative diseases. Magnesium