The Functions of the Lympathic System
- The lymphatic system replenishes fluid and proteins in the blood.
- It is also responsible for the absorption and transport of vitamins and fats from the digestive system.
- The lymphatic system is additionally involved in immunity by defending the body against invading substances.
- It also produces many of the blood components that are supplied to the circulatory system.
The Lymphatic System Organs
- The Spleen is a structure that supplies the blood with lymphocytes. In addition, the spleen filters blood to remove old red blood cells.
- The Thymus is a gland that receives lymphocytes and turns them into T-lymphocytes, which are an important component of the immune system.
- A major component of the lymphatic system are the lymph nodes, which serve as filters for spaces between cells that detect and attack any foreign substances that may be in the body. Lymph nodes can form structures such as the tonsils.
The Composition of the Lymph
Much like blood circulates through the cardiovascular system, lymph is the fluid of the lymphatic system. This substance is often compared to that of plasma. It contains a high concentration of white blood cells, particularly lymphocytes. This composition can sometimes vary depending on where in the body the lymph is located; for example the lymph of the digestive system is richer in fatty triglycerides. Lymph is responsible for helping nutrients reach cells because the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrient- rich blood do not actually come into direct contact with cells. Instead, lymph is used as a way to transport oxygen and nutrients from the blood to all of the cells in the body.