YOUR BLOOD

You know what blood is its that red stuff that oozes out if you get a paper cut. The average person has about 1 to 11 gallons (4-6 liters) of it. But what is blood, really, and where does it come from? How Does the Body Make Blood? Its not made in a kitchen, but blood has ingredients, just like a recipe.

To make blood, your body needs to mix: * Red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body * White blood cells, which fight infections * Platelets, which are cells that help you stop bleeding if you Get a cut * Plasma, a yellowish liquid that carries nutrients, hormones, and proteins throughout the body Your body does'nt go to the store to buy those ingredients. It makes them. Bone marrow that goopy stuff inside your bones makes the red blood cells, the white blood cells, and the platelets. Plasma is mostly water, which is absorbed from the intestines from what you drink and eat, with the liver supplying important proteins. Put all these ingredients together and you have blood an essential part of the circulatory system.

Thanks to your heart (which pumps blood) and your blood vessels (which carry it), blood travels throughout your body from your head to your toes. Lets find out more about each ingredient. Red BIood Cells Red blood cells (also called erythrocytes, say: ih-rith-ruh-sytes) look like flattened basketballs. Most of the cells in the blood are red blood cells. They carry around an important chemical called hemoglobin (say: hee-muh-glow-bin) that gives blood its red colour. Blood and breathing go hand in hand. How? The hemoglobin in blood delivers oxygen, which you get from the air you breathe, to all parts of your body.

Without oxygen, your body could'nt keep working and stay alive. White BIood Cells White blood cells (also called leukocytes, say: loo-kuh-sytes) are bigger than red blood cells. There are usually not a whole lot of white blood cells floating around in your blood when youre healthy. Once you get sick, though, your body makes some more to protect you. There are a couple types of white blood cells that do different things to keep you well: Granulocytes You know how your skin gets a little red and swollen around a cut or scrape? That means the granulocytes are doing their jobs. They have a lot to do with how your body cleans things up and helps wounds heal after an injury.

Granulocytes also help prevent infection by surrounding and destroying things that aren't supposed to be in your body and by killing germs. lymphocytes There are two types of lymphocytes, B cells and T cells. B cells help make special proteins called antibodies that recognize stuff that shouldnt be in your body, like bacteria or a virus you get from a sick friend. Antibodies are very specific, and can recognize only a certain type of germ.

Once the antibody finds it, it gets rid of the germ so it cant hurt you. The really cool part is that even after you are better, B cells can become memory cells that remember how to make the special antibody so that if the same germ infects you again, it can kill the germ even faster! T cells also battle germs that invade the body, but instead of maki.ng antibodies, they work by making special chemicals that help fight the infection.

 

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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