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Episodes

Episode 1

Humans use oxygen to burn fuels and release the energy which powers every function in every cell. This first programme will find out how this happens, even at the top of the world.

Episode 2

What fuels does the body need? How do we get them from the dinner plate to the cell? And what other things are there in the food apart from fuel?

Episode 3

Humans live in extraordinary places - from the middle of the Sahara desert to the frozen wastes of Alaska. So how can humans survive such extremes? And could you?

Episode 4

When the shark is honing in, you must swim for your life. When the soldier faces enemy guns, he must run to survive. Or sometimes, stand and fight. How does the body increase that energy delivery?

Episode 5

Are we all the same? Faced with the same perils, would we all cope just as well? And if not, is it down to luck? Or is there such a thing as the will to live?

Lecture 2 - Completely Stuffed?

In programme one, we discussed how humans take up oxygen and deliver it to cells, where it is used to burn fuels- fuels that come in our food. But what are these fuels? How do we get them from the dinner plate to the cell? And what other things are there in the food apart from fuel?

In this programme, we’ll explore these issues.

We’ll also find out what happens to the fuel and oxygen in a cell- and how food is converted into an ‘energy currency’ to be spent in different ways around the body. 

We’ll find out what happens when we eat or drink more than we need.

But we’ll also find out what happens when we are starved of food, or deprived of water.

What happens when we become dehydrated? Does it matter? Can the kidneys cope? How long can someone survive without any fluids?

And what happens if we miss some key bits of food out of our diet? What is the body’s response if we are starved of food altogether? How long can it cope?

Finally, we’ll consider castaways, and talk to some real-life survivors, finding out how they survived the lack of food and water.

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