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Functions of the Cardiovascular System

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Manoj Gurung Functions of the Cardiovascular System The cardiovascular system has three major functions: transportation of materials, protection from pathogens, and regulation of the body?s homeostasis. 1. Transportation: The cardiovascular system transports blood to almost all of the body?s tissues. The blood delivers essential nutrients and oxygen and removes wastes and carbon dioxide to be processed or removed from the body. Hormones are transported throughout the body via the blood?s liquid plasma. 2. Protection: The cardiovascular system protects the body through its white blood cells. White blood cells clean up cellular debris and fight pathogens that have entered the body. Platelets and red blood cells form scabs to seal wounds and prevent pathogens from entering the body and liquids from leaking out. Blood also carries antibodies that provide specific immunity to pathogens that the body has previously been exposed to or has been vaccinated against. 3. Regulation: The cardiovascular system is instrumental in the body?s ability to maintain homeostatic control of several internal conditions. Blood vessels help maintain a stable body temperature by controlling the blood flow to the surface of the skin. Blood vessels near the skin?s surface open during times of overheating to allow hot blood to dump its heat into the body?s surroundings. In the case of hypothermia, these blood vessels constrict to keep blood flowing only to vital organs in the body?s core. Blood also helps balance the body?s pH due to the presence of bicarbonate ions, which act as a buffer solution. Finally, the albumins in blood plasma help to balance the osmotic concentration of the body?s cells by maintaining an isotonic environment. ...read more.


Bile produced by the liver is also used to mechanically break fats into smaller globules. While food is being mechanically digested it is also being chemically digested as larger and more complex molecules are being broken down into smaller molecules that are easier to absorb. Chemical digestion begins in the mouth with salivary amylase in saliva splitting complex carbohydrates into simple carbohydrates. The enzymes and acid in the stomach continue chemical digestion, but the bulk of chemical digestion takes place in the small intestine thanks to the action of the pancreas. The pancreas secretes an incredibly strong digestive cocktail known as pancreatic juice, which is capable of digesting lipids, carbohydrates, proteins and nucleic acids. By the time food has left the duodenum, it has been reduced to its chemical building blocks ? fatty acids, amino acids, monosaccharides, and nucleotides. Absorption once food has been reduced to its building blocks, it is ready for the body to absorb. Absorption begins in the stomach with simple molecules like water and alcohol being absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Most absorption takes place in the walls of the small intestine, which are densely folded to maximize the surface area in contact with digested food. Small blood and lymphatic vessels in the intestinal wall pick up the molecules and carry them to the rest of the body. The large intestine is also involved in the absorption of water and vitamins B and K before faeces leave the body. Excretion The final function of the digestive system is the excretion of waste in a process known as defecation. ...read more.


The bones of the axial skeleton act as a hard shell to protect the internal organs?such as the brain and the heart from damage caused by external forces. The bones of the appendicular skeleton provide support and flexibility at the joints and anchor the muscles that move the limbs. Movement The bones of the skeletal system act as attachment points for the skeletal muscles of the body. Almost every skeletal muscle works by pulling two or more bones either closer together or further apart. Joints act as pivot points for the movement of the bones. The regions of each bone where muscles attach to the bone grow larger and stronger to support the additional force of the muscle. In addition, the overall mass and thickness of a bone increase when it is under a lot of stress from lifting weights or supporting body weight. Immune system The immune system is a complex system of biological structures and processes within the human body which protects a person from disease by locating, identifying and destroying infectious agents (called pathogens) and tumour cells. The immune system can identify a number of different disease agents: everything from viruses and bacteria to parasitic worms. It efficiently differentiates between these invaders and the body?s own healthy tissues and cells. This process of detection is quite complicated due to the rapid evolution of most pathogens; they quickly adapt so they can avoid the body's immune system and continue to infect their hosts. The immune system includes the body's white blood cells, antibodies, T cells and other cells which identify and attack pathogens and tumour cells. Health and Social Care level 3 Unit 5 P3 ...read more.

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