What are the four basic needs of all living things? We are all aware that water, light, air, and fire are essential to life on earth. In this article, we will try to analyze them more closely.
1. Water and Life
When we are asking ourselves, “What are the four basic needs of all living things?” water must not be forgotten because water is the basis of life. On earth, to my knowledge, there is no living organism that does not use water to keep itself alive. The sea, oceans, lakes, rivers, and rivers are home to the life of the aquatic world and allow a whole earthly life to develop. The man does not escape this rule and from the beginning of his life, he will be in contact with an aquatic environment in the maternal breast thanks to the amniotic fluid of the placenta. Throughout his life, he will also use water to wash, take baths, showers but also to drink during or outside meals. From the beginning to the end of his life, the body will use this water to maintain good health. The water is conveyed inside the body mainly by the blood and the lymph and comes in this way in contact with all the cells. Part of this water will be rejected by urine, sweat through the skin, and finally the lungs by water vapor.
This is why the body must be given a balanced amount of water to replace the lost one.
In case of intense physical activity, sports, or in case of high outdoor temperature, it will be necessary to bring a larger amount of water. The water of the body will represent 80% of its weight at the beginning and gradually decrease to about 55% at the end of life. The quality of the water is understood to be essential to the maintenance of health. This is true both for external and internal use of water. When we look at the composition of the water we see in addition to the liquid element:
– gases such as nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide
– common minerals: sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfates, carbonates, silica …
– elements harmful to health: chlorine, nitrates, phosphates, mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, pesticides, fertilizers, phytosanitary products …
The causes of water pollution can be multiple such as suspended particles, elements of a chemical, bacterial or viral nature.
The filters in the treatment plants will remove the particles. The use of chlorine or ozone is intended to remove bacteria and viruses from the water to make it drinkable. Techniques to make drinking water from springs or rivers are complex. Given this complexity and the fragility of the systems in place, we are not always sure to have tap water beneficial for health. From a general health point of view, it is preferable to use unpolluted and slightly mineralized water. The minerals that are contained in the water are weakly usable by the body. This one prefers the minerals that are used and synthesized by the plants and the number of minerals in a diet rich in vegetables and fruits is generally sufficient. This means that if the water contains a large quantity of calcium (calcium carbonate) for example, it will be less well used than the calcium contained in the plants or in the milk. As we can see, water is the vehicle par excellence of multiple substances and these will work or not bring us health. It is therefore particularly important to be concerned about the quality of the water that is drunk or used for washing.
Light is a vital element in our existence mainly because it is essential to plants and our sense of sight. It will also provide us with multiple services to allow us to maintain our health and vitality. Light is an electromagnetic wave that appears to us either directly as sunlight or fire or by reflection on the objects it touches. It is characterized by:
– an intensity (from dark to great clarity),
– a frequency or combination of frequencies that are related to color (from red to purple)
– a direction.
There are electromagnetic waves close to the light that are invisible.
These include infrared (frequencies lower than red light) and ultra-violet (frequencies directly above purple). These two types of waves are particularly important for our life:
Infrared generates heat and is directed to a part of the body and can help relieve pain such as joint pain. They are also used to relax the muscles, cause vasodilatation, fight against cellulite…
The ultraviolet in contact with the skin will allow the body to generate vitamin D essential for the formation of bone and skeleton and vitamin A through the presence of carotene in the skin. This last vitamin is essential for the health of the skin and the retina of the eye. Ultraviolet is also useful for killing viruses and microbes and therefore helps our body in its immune defense. Our body reacts to the ultra-violet by protecting itself by the tanning linked to the presence of more or less strong melanin in the skin.
Note: Attention ultraviolet and infrared can be dangerous when there is a strong exposure. This is why it is necessary to properly “dose” the intensity and the exposure time.
Daylight is needed to properly regulate the sleep and wake-up time of a 24-hour day.
Indeed when our eyes are exposed to light, the pineal gland in the brain greatly reduces its melatonin production. When daylight goes down this gland will work again and inject into the blood a large amount of melatonin causing the need to sleep. We need a big difference between day and night light levels to make it work well and our sleep and wakefulness are of good quality. If this difference is little accentuated as in winter or in the countries of northern Europe then there is a risk of depression or depression. In this case, we could use artificial light of high intensity to compensate for this lack. The laser that produces a coherent light has already found applications on the eye to reduce the detachment of the retina or change the shape of the cornea for people with myopia, astigmatism, or hyperopia; there are also laser applications for treating the skin in different ways. One of the areas of ongoing research is the use of light colors to heal people. This is chromotherapy. Greenlight can be used to calm and red light to activate the body or certain parts of the body. It has been noticed for example that red light can accelerate the healing of the skin, the blue light diminish the acne. We are at the beginning of research on the applications of chromotherapy and it is a new way of therapy that will develop in the coming years. It will be necessary to collect all the information from the experiments that will be done on this subject to have a good idea of the extent of care that is possible or not.
All living beings breathe, and the air is as necessary to them as water, food, a certain heat. This is a commonplace notion, moreover, and there would be little point in stopping there, if, by a more exact analysis of phenomena, modern research had revealed many curious facts. and show how varied is the relation by which the living organism is united with the environment it inhabits. But before studying these multiple relationships, a few words about the air itself. It surrounds our globe on all sides, and forms a layer whose thickness is hardly known, it is true; but, practically, the atmosphere no longer interests us at altitudes above 10,000 or 15,000 meters, because at this height, it is probably unsuitable for the maintenance of life, and as in our seas life hardly exceeds At a depth of 8,000 or 10,000 meters, we can say that the medium enclosing living beings forms a layer whose thickness does not exceed 20 or 25 kilometers. It is in this thin layer, where life reaches its maximum density at the central part, represented by the level of the seas, that all the organisms are contained. It is little compared with the dimensions of the earth and the immensity of celestial spaces, but the variety of forms that have evolved and the development achieved by some of them come out more admirable in our eyes.
This atmosphere weighs on each organism, and the subject of average size bears on this head weight of a few thousand kilograms. It contains water vapor, it holds dust in suspension, it is agitated by numerous movements, and each of these elements plays a role in life.
From the chemical point of view, the air is composed of various elements.
It is not a simple body, as it was believed until the end of the last century; it is a mixture of gaseous bodies, capable of being isolated and analyzed. A mixture and not a combination, because the union of elements is without electrical or thermal phenomena; a mixture in which the proportions of the parts can be considered as substantially constant. Among these elements, there are three which are preponderant in quantity or in physiological importance: I have named oxygen, nitrogen, and carbonic acid. Like food, the air gives us energy. We breathe all the time, automatically, without thinking about it. The volume of breathed air is very important. It varies according to age and activity. When we inhale, it penetrates to the pulmonary alveoli whose walls are lined with blood capillaries. There, the oxygen passes in the blood which irrigates all the cells of the body. Conversely, the blood releases into the lungs the carbon dioxide with which it is charged.
It is necessary for life.
Note: The proportions of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the air remain stable because during the day the plants consume carbon dioxide and produce oxygen.
This phenomenon called photosynthesis leads to a balanced and maintains stable proportions of dioxygen and carbon dioxide. Oxygen was discovered by Priestley and Scheele in 1774. Oxygen is one of the constituents of air, and the latter is a compound body, a mixture of gases. Oxygen is a gas heavier than all the air, eminently favorable to combustion and respiration that is to say to oxidation. In 1,000 liters of air, there are 208 liters of oxygen and 792 liters of nitrogen. And now, where does this oxygen from the air come from? What are the sources? This is a question that can be asked in the presence of these two facts: the permanence of the proportion where this gas is in the air, and the enormous consumption made of it by living beings and combustion. We know that the air contains more than 1 million billion kilograms that it constitutes nearly half the weight of the minerals of the globe; that water contains 8 / 9th of its weight, and that it abounds in the tissues of all living beings. At present, however, we know only one source of oxygen, discovered by Priestley, explained by Perceval and Senebier: I mean plants. It is well known that vegetables have the property, thanks to their chlorophyll, of decomposing carbonic acid into its elements, into carbon which is fixed in the tissues, and into oxygen which, become free, is diffused into the atmosphere.
Now consider nitrogen. This gas, as we have said, was discovered by Priestley, and Lavoisier showed that it enters the mixture we know as air. Lighter than this mixture, it occupies 79/100 in volume. It is neither combustive nor combustible, it does not serve the breath, it can not sustain life. It is not that it is toxic, but it is inert, indifferent, inactive from the respiratory point of view. Our knowledge of its origin is limited. We know that some hot springs, particularly sulfurous springs, emanate from them; we know that the animals also excrete, that they absorbed with the breathed air, and that’s all. Like oxygen, it appears to occur in the air everywhere in the same proportion.
The two elements, oxygen, and nitrogen constitute the greater part of the air: they are its essential parts. Those which we must now consider are found there only in a very small and variable proportion; it could almost be said that it is the accessories of the air if the analysis showed us that they play in the life of beings a role almost as considerable as the fundamental and essential elements.
The domestication of the fire has allowed humans to cook their food and thus increase the energy value of food, reduce parasitic diseases, and eliminate the toxicity of some raw plants. Thanks to the fire, men can cook. Cooking increases the energy value of foods and makes them easier to assimilate (it increases the digestibility of starch from 12 to 35%, that of protein from 45 to 78%). Cooking plays a decisive role in the growth of the brain (it ensures the increased needs of the brain mass which consumes nearly 20% of the basal metabolism whereas it represents only 2% of the weight of the human body) and the reduction of the masticatory device (teeth and maxillary) and the digestive tract made possible by an improvement in digestibility. It detoxifies certain foods, resulting in lower mortality, and promotes early weaning of infants, allowing mothers to have more children. The functions of fire go back to very ancient times. The fire provides protection against predators around ground encampments. It lights up, allowing the man to enter the caves. It prolongs the day at the expense of the night, which allows the extension of the human activity during the evening, lengthens the summer at the expense of the winter, and favors the conquest of new spaces in the cold temperate zones. Finally, it is a factor of conviviality and socialization in the evening around the home.
However, speaking of fire, one can also state the heat.
Fire produces heat and often even means heat. And speaking of heat, we do not think about the sun. The Sun is the main source of light and heat of the solar system. This solar energy is transmitted by radiation and allows certain living conditions such as the photosynthesis of plants. The sun allows life on Earth! But this source of energy is also responsible for climates and weather phenomena. The Sun plays many roles in the lives of men. Man is unable to make vitamins naturally with the exception of vitamin D. The sun allows him to get supplies of vitamin D since man needs 80 to 90% of vitamins.
Vitamin D is vital for healthy bones (and teeth).
It plays an essential role in the metabolism of calcium in the body, that is to say, it allows the assimilation of calcium and phosphorus by the body. It also helps fight against rickets (growth disorder due to VD deficiency) and osteoporosis. It has an immune function for the body especially since it fights against infections and diseases (such as influenza) and acts against cancer through the increase in the number of red and white blood cells. The rays of the Sun are a source of life that provides energy and light. Without the sun near the Earth, life would not be possible on our planet. The Sun is the source of life on planet Earth. And, for two reasons. Today, the light energy that comes from it is the prime fuel of the cycle of photosynthesis and respiration. Even our body needs to keep a certain heat temperature for our survival. As the human organism is still working, the human body maintains a certain heat temperature for the proper functioning of our organism and for our well-being as well.
So we sorted out the question of what are the four basic needs of all living things. Here you can read what the four fundamental forces of the universe are?