Lymphatic system is among the most important systems in the human body. It forms a vast network of lymphatic vessels that connect the lymph nodes. Lymphatic vessels carry the lymph fluid, which is clear and watery and which is mainly made of the white blood cells or lymphocytes. Therefore, the main role of the lymphatic system in the human body is the defense against all the possible infections. The lymph nodes are scattered throughout the body. They can be found in the neck, behind the ears, in the armpits, as well as in the groin area.
Functions of lymphatic system
The human body is susceptible to many infections and diseases. Without the immune system, which is the body’s natural defense system, the human body would not be able to fight all the diseases and infections. The lymphatic system is the part of the immune system since the lymph fluid contains the antibodies and the white blood cells that fight against various foreign bodies that enter the body. The production of the white blood cells is triggered once the foreign body enters the body.
Lymphatic system has also a role in maintaining the fluid and protein balance in the body. When the interstitial fluid, which is rich in vital nutrients and proteins, accumulates in the tissues of the body, the lymphatic system prevents the loss of this fluid by collecting it in the lymphatic vessels and then returns it to the circulatory system.
Furthermore, lymphatic system helps the digestive system as well. The lymphatic vessels in the gastrointestinal lining absorb the fats from the foods. Therefore, the lymphatic system prevents from obesity that occurs when the bad fat builds up in the body. If the lymphatic system does not function properly, malnutrition or obesity may occur. Lymphatic system has also the role to remove dead blood cells, excess fluid, waste and debris from the body.
Along with circulatory system, lymphatic system delivers oxygen, hormones and other vital nutrients through the blood to the body cells and tissues. It is considered that the most important role of the lymphatic system is the balancing of fluid. The excess fluid from the body is drained by the lymphatic vessels, which are more permeable than the blood vessels. The excess fluid from the body is filtered by the lymphatic system and again returned to the blood.