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  • #16
    Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
    It was always explained to me that the fact that they have to carry oxygen is the reason they have to survive on anaerobic metabolism, or otherwise the oxygen would never make it to any of the other tissues that the RBC's are supposed to be trucking it around to. But my understanding is not sufficiently deep to know whether that's logical or whether your sense of irony is justified.
    The logic is there, (like the riddle of crossing the river with the fox, chicken & bag of wheat), whether this is the actual reason no one knows, the mechanism is that they lack mitochondria which is required for the aerobic processes. It may also simply be to maximise oxygen carrying capacity by shedding excess weight (mitochondria) and the blood has a continuous supply of glucose at all times, so no fuel shortages and the heart and brain and muscles can continuously & prefer to burn the lactate that is produced by the red blood cells, this may be more than just coincidence, lactate function is still poorly understood.

    I'm more inclined to think that it is an optimisation adaptation rather than a mechanism to stop red blood cells from stealing all the oxygen.The irony comment was just that there seem to be many contradictory circumstances like this in the body, but as you get deeper they all have more logic than we are capable of understanding, and there is always another layer of the onion below your most recent revelation.
    Last edited by Omni; 02-22-2013, 04:25 PM.
    "There are no short cuts to enlightenment, the journey is the destination, you have to walk this path alone"