We already talked about Oxygen and its importance in cells. Nitrogen on the other hand has a bad name in the diving industry, however Nitrogen is equally important. Nitrogen is found in the amino acids. These acids make proteins that we need in our body. Nitrogen also plays a role in the nucleic acids that make up our DNA. For example in plants, if nitrogen is deficient it means the plant is unable to make enough chlorophyll and therefore is unable to survive.
Breathing air contains approximately 21% Oxygen and 79% Nitrogen. That’s if you dismiss the others like Argon, Carbon Dioxide, Neon Helium and Methane which are in general unimportant to us while diving and breathing clean air. We will discuss just one more gas a little later and its effects which is Carbon Dioxide.