10 functions of blood – Significances of blood in our body

Functions of blood

The blood in the human body is a specialized connective tissue that is made up of plasma and formed elements. The specific gravity of whole blood varies from 1.055 to 1.060. Newly shed blood is thick, opaque, and red in color. 

In our daily life, we generally concentrate on improving our diet, immunity, and various other things to maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle. But generally, we tend to forget the importance of blood for living a healthy life.

So, today in this article we will be looking at the various functions of blood in our body and also will be looking at the composition of blood. Let’s begin.

Composition of blood

Human Blood is a complex fluid and is basically composed of two parts

  1. The liquid part, also known as plasma.
  2. The different cells, also known as blood corpuscles that remain suspended in the plasma.

The plasma contributes to 55% of the blood whereas the cells contribute to 45% of the human blood. The detailed composition of blood is as follows.

The human blood consists of 

  1. The plasma
  2. The blood corpuscles or cells

The cells are of three types

  1. Red blood corpuscles (RBC) also known as erythrocytes
  2. White Blood Corpuscles (WBC) also known as leucocytes
  3. Platelets, also known as thrombocytes

Plasma is made up of the following parts

  1. Water ( almost 92%)
  2. Solids ( almost 8%)

These solids can be further divided into 

  1. Inorganic constituents ( Sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper)
  2. Organic constituents ( proteins, fats, carbohydrates)

A detailed chart on the various components of blood are given below

Components of Blood

10 functions of blood that you must know

1. Transports respiratory gases

Blood acts as a carrier in your body’s system. Human blood is responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the tissues and carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs. 

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2. Nutrition transportation

Blood is also responsible for carrying digested food materials from one part of the body to another. The digested food materials are carried by the blood from the intestine to the tissue cells for proper utilization of the food. It is also responsible for carrying the nutritive materials, hormones, vitamins, and other essential chemicals from one part of the body to another. 

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3. Helps in the excretion of waste products

Blood again acts as a carrier and helps in eliminating toxic waste products from the body. It carries the waste products formed by cellular activity to the various organs of excretion (kidneys, lungs, intestine, skin)

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4. Maintains water balance 

Blood is responsible for maintaining the water balance in our body. It maintains a constant exchange of water between the circulating blood and tissue fluid.

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5. Maintenance of acid-base equilibrium

Blood has an inbuilt buffering power which helps in maintaining the acid-base equilibrium. (Plasma proteins, reduced and oxidized hemoglobin). Blood needs the help of the kidney, skin, and lungs to maintain a constant reaction of the body.

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6. Maintains ion balance of the body

The blood also plays a major role in maintaining an ion balance between the cells and the surrounding fluid. 

7. Body temperature regulation

The water content of the blood helps in regulating the body temperature. The qualities that make the water content suitable for this purpose are as follows

  • It prevents sudden change in body temperature because of its high specific heat. Because of this feature, it can absorb a large amount of heat and prevents sudden changes in body temperature. 
  • The water content has high conductivity power. We all know the thermal conductivity of water is higher compared to any other liquid. This helps in the quick distribution of heat.
  • The latent heat of the evaporation of water is very high. The water is constantly evaporating from the lungs and skin, thus helping in the loss of excess heat from the body.

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8. Acts as a defensive shield

Though blood is not directly related to increasing your immunity, it acts as a defensive shield. 

  • The WBC present in blood possesses phagocytic properties. They are responsible for engulfing bacteria and other foreign particles. 
  • It can also develop antibodies that help in fighting against toxic agents. 

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9. Blood pressure regulation

The blood maintains and regulates blood pressure by changing the volume and viscosity of blood (hematocrit value). The proteins present in plasma helps in maintaining the viscosity of blood which is the main factor in maintaining blood pressure, ultimately maintaining healthy heart action.

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10. Presence of plasma proteins

Plasma proteins present in the blood have various functions. 

  • Plays a major role in the clotting of blood
  • Maintains the proper distribution of fluid between blood and tissues
  • Concerned with Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)
  • They act as great buffers
  • They also act as a great protein reserve
  • Helps in carrying carbon dioxide by forming carbamino proteins
  • They help in the formation of trephones, which are necessary for the nourishment of tissue cells.

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