Adult people have on average a total of between 5 and 6 litters of blood in our body. The trick to finding out our exact amount is to divide our weight by 13; thus, a man or woman weighing 65 kilos will have around 5 litters of blood. It is curious if we stop to think about it, but more curious is to know that all this amount of blood is in continuous movement within us, going and coming to our heart through the veins and arteries. The latter, specifically, are responsible for transporting all the blood from the heart to the rest of the body and they do so for good reasons. In this article we explain the functions of the arteries, tiny tubes inside us that keep us alive.
What are the arteries?
As we explained above, the arteries are the vessels that carry blood from the heart to the other parts of our body, forming together with the veins and other organs, such as the heart, what is known as the circulatory system. This system is responsible for transporting oxygen and nutrients to all the cells in our body, keeping the cells of the immune system and proteins moving, and removing carbon dioxide and products that we do not need within us. In other words, it is a circuit by which we obtain what is necessary to stay alive and discard what we do not need.
The arteries arise from the ventricles of our organs and are incredibly strong and elastic. In fact, both arteries and veins have the ability to regenerate when they are pierced by a sharp object (for example, a needle) or cut. Its visual appearance would be like that of a large, extremely branched tree and each of these twigs is made up of three layers: the external or adventitious, the middle and the internal or intimate. Each of them, in turn, made up of different types of fabrics.
What are the functions of the arteries?
The functions of the arteries, like those of the veins, is how we explained to move the blood from the capillaries to the heart. This is the essential part of the circulatory system, the system in charge of keeping our body’s engine running. Any kind of system failure can therefore be fatal to our life.
Thus, the main function of the arteries is to serve as transport for the blood, helping it to travel from all parts of the body to the heart. But for what? Well, so that every inch of us (each and every one of our cells) receives the oxygen and nutrients it needs to live through the blood. A whole messenger network within us.
But not only that, as we explained earlier when talking about the circulatory system, the arteries also function as a kind of waste collection service from our body: they are responsible for removing carbon dioxide from our interior and maintaining the physiological pH in their correct levels.
The main arteries
Our body houses two major artery systems. The first of these is called the aorta artery and it is the main artery in the human body. From the aorta artery, which arises from the left ventricle of the heart, the carotid arteries, bronchial arteries, renal, lumbar, coronary and genital arteries are born. That is, it goes from the heart, down the abdomen to the fourth lumbar vertebra, bifurcates into two so-called primitive arteries that move through the pelvis until reaching the rectum.
Second, we have the arteries of the pulmonary system. This system carries blood which, instead of containing oxygen, contains carbon dioxide. Unlike the previous system, the pulmonary arteries originate from the right ventricle of the heart and divide into two branches that end in the lungs: the right and the left pulmonary artery.