How The Blood Works in Your Body

From the lungs, the oxygen goes directly into the bloodstream, your body’s “assembly line.” Here’s how it works.

Your lungs contain millions of tiny air sacs, called alveoli, around which the blood flows. These sacs are like toy balloons filled with air and dangling in the liquid of your bloodstream. The air is forced into these sacs by atmospheric pressure. Then, following the Law of Gaseous Diffusion, the oxygen moves from the area of higher pressure in the alveoli to the red blood cells, where the pressure is lower (the red blood cells, remember, are now  in effect “empty bottles,” having delivered their supply of oxygen and disposed of the returning wastes).

Remember, the limiting factors here include the number of red blood cells and the amount of hemoglobin they carry. Even if your lungs could process more oxygen, your body tissue still would not receive more unless there were more “bottles” to put it in for delivery.

Image via Wikipedia

This is the role of the training effect. It produces more blood, specifically more hemoglobin, which carries the oxygen, more red blood cells that carry the hemoglobin, more blood plasma that carries the red blood cells, and consequently more total blood volume. Laboratory tests have repeatedly shown that men in good physical condition invariably have a larger blood supply than out-of-condition men of comparable size. An average-size man may increase his blood volume by nearly a quart in response to aerobic conditioning proportionately.

All of which means that there are now more “bottles” not only to deliver the oxygen, but more empties to carry away the wastes. The removal of carbon dioxide and other waste products is just as important in reducing fatigue and increasing endurance as the production of energy. It’s like your own home. You have to take out the trash and garbage regularly.

Image via Wikipedia

When the “bottles” get to the tissue level, unload the oxygen and pick up the wastes from the tissue cells, the process by which they do it is described by that old word we all had so much fun with in Biology 1 in high school – osmosis. The oxygen and food particles, now in liquid form, pass through the cell membrane, and waste products exit the cell in the opposite direction. That is the whole life cycle right there: materials for nourishment and energy going in and wastes going out.

To complete the cycle, when the carbon dioxide and other wastes are carried away in the bloodstream via the veins and reach the lungs, the Law of Gaseous Diffusion now works in reverse. The pressure of the carbon dioxide in the veins is higher than it is in the alveoli, so it passes freely into the alveoli and is exhaled with the expired air.

The efficiency of the cycle, and its capacity, is a function of the training effect. Increase its workload and it increases its efficiency. Sit around and do nothing, and it deteriorates. It’s as simple as that.



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  1. Great knowledge u have frnd

  2. gr8 share :)

  3. good knowledge

  4. Very informative.

  5. the amazing thing is they work together in harmony

  6. Very well researched once again, reminds me of my school days! Well done for sure!

  7. Sobhan Allah

  8. Well written, another good info :)

  9. Nice share thanks.

  10. Very educational information.

  11. You seem quite interested in this matter and it is very simply and excellently explained.

  12. Such a well-researched article. Love the diagrams too. Very good piece. Happy New Year. Hope 2012 is a good year for you.

  13. Happy New Year!

  14. Thank you for an excellent article very well explained.

  15. A good explanation of how our blood works.

  16. Interesting topic. Our body is really wonderful.

  17. I am looking for information about hemoglobin. This is an informative article.

  18. thanks for the information. again another great article about human body.

  19. Very good.

  20. great share

  21. This is incredible information. Thank you for telling us how the blood works in the body. I never knew any of this.

  22. Good explanation.

  23. A good share friend.

  24. A well-researched one again. Very educational post.

  25. This is a wonderful article full of beneficial information for all :)

  26. informative article about blood in our body

  27. Top share this one cheers

  28. the body is such a mystery! it always needs explaining! LOL thanks for explaining that!

  29. Wonderfully written, thank you.

  30. Very well done.

  31. Great, informative article

  32. Well written; very informative!

  33. Thanks. Its important to know these things.

  34. I like what you do with those “bottles” ^_^

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