2.4. Nutrition process (II). Circulatory system

Corps_arteres_full_enThe circulatory system is an organ system that permits blood and lymph circulation to transport nutrients (such as amino acids and electrolytes), oxygen, carbon dioxide, hormones, blood cells, etc. to and from cells in the body to nourish it and help to fight diseases, stabilize body temperature and pH, and to maintain homeostasis.

Two types of fluids move through the circulatory system: blood and lymph. Lymph is essentially recycled blood plasma after it has been filtered from the blood cells and returned to the lymphatic system. The blood, heart, and blood vessels form the cardiovascular (from Latin words meaning ‘heart’-‘vessel’) system. The lymph, lymph nodes, and lymph vessels form the lymphatic system. The cardiovascular system and the lymphatic system collectively make up the circulatory system.

The essential components of the human cardiovascular system are the heart, blood, and blood vessels. It includes: the pulmonary circulation, a “loop” through the lungs where blood is oxygenated; and the systemic circulation, a “loop” through the rest of the body to provide oxygenated blood. An average adult contains five to six quarts (roughly 4.7 to 5.7 liters) of blood, accounting for approximately 7% of their total body weight. Blood consists of plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Also, the digestive system works with the circulatory system to provide the nutrients the system needs to keep the heart pumping.

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