What is the lymphatic system?
The lymphatic system helps us fight infection and disease as it is part of our immune system.
It’s a network of tissues, vessels, and organs that work together to eliminate chemicals, waste, and other unwanted substances. These products are colourless and take the form of lymph fluid, a watery liquid.
Every day, approximately 20 litres of plasma pass into the body’s arteries, smaller arteriole blood vessels, and capillaries. Around 17 litres are returned to the circulatory system through veins after supplying nutrients to the body’s cells and tissues and receiving their waste products. The remaining three litres seep into your body’s tissues through capillaries. The lymphatic system absorbs this excess fluid from tissues in the body and transports it to your bloodstream.
The key functions of the lymphatic system:
- Maintains fluid levels in your body
- Lymph transfers fats and proteins back to the bloodstream after absorbing fats and proteins from the digestive tract.
- The lymphatic system defends the body from foreign invaders. produces and releases white blood cells called lymphocytes that detect and then kill harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi that enter the body.
- Transports and removes waste products and abnormal cells from the lymph.
The lymphatic system is composed of:
The bone marrow and the thymus are two of the primary lymphoid organs. They contain lymphocytes, which are unique immune cells.
The lymph nodes, spleen, tonsils, and some tissue in different mucous membrane layers in the body are examples of secondary lymphoid organs. These organs are where the immune system’s cells do their real work of battling germs and foreign substances.« Back to Glossary Index