The Human Body-An Insider’s Guide to What Goes On Inside


Well, think about it. You possess a body. So, it might be a good idea to find out a bit more about how the thing works. That is what this is about-giving you some idea about what is going on that you can’t actually see-an insider’s guide to what goes on inside.

When you understand more about how the body works inside you may be able to run yours better, and sort out some confusion about what you should be eating to help the body have more energy and last longer.

The body is pretty busy and there is a lot going on. Let’s start with some facts. 

Did You Know? 

The adult human body has about 372 trillion cells.

Cells are the basic building blocks of all living things. They provide structure for the body, take in nutrients from food, convert those nutrients into energy, and carry out specialized functions. Cells also contain the body’s hereditary material and can make copies of themselves. (U.S. National Library of Medicine)

Cells are little factories that take in food and convert that food to energy to perform cell function, and then release waste products.

222-242 billion new cells are produced every day.

300 million cells die every minute.

Adults take 15-20 breaths per minute equaling 20,000 breaths a day.

Cells need oxygen to function, and they get oxygen from air taken in by the lungs, and then cells release carbon dioxide, and that is carried through the blood back to the lungs to be breathed out. So, lungs have an intake and outtake function for getting oxygen to every cell in the body.

Blood vessels are tubular structures that carry blood. There are three types. Arteries carry blood away from the heart. If you cut an artery the blood will spurt out due to the pumping action of the heart. Veins carry blood back to the heart. Capillaries are the tiniest vessels. They carry oxygen and nutrients to the individual cells and receive the carbon dioxide and cellular waste products away from the cells.

There are 60,000 miles of blood vessels in a child and 100,000 miles in an adult. The circumference of the earth is 25,000 miles. So that means that the blood vessels in the adult body could wrap around the earth 2.5 times.

These vessels carry one million barrels of blood in a lifetime.

The average heart is about the size of a fist. The heart beats approximately 115,000 beats per day and pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood per day.

The heart weighs less than a pound. A man’s heart weighs about 2 oz. more than a woman’s but a woman’s heartbeat is slightly faster.

There are four chambers in the heart, and four valves. The sound of the heartbeat is caused by the valves opening and closing.

The average adult resting heartbeat is 75 beats per minute, the same as a sheep. Baaaaa.

For more comparison, the Blue Whales heart is the size of a compact car and only beats five times per minute. A shrew’s heart beats 1,000 times per minute. (Shrews, as one of the smallest mammals, may only be 4 inches long and weigh under a pound. They have grey fur and eat insects.)

The heart has its own electrical system and can beat disconnected from a body.

Blood passes through the lungs and gathers oxygen. That oxygen-rich blood then goes to the heart to get pumped out to the body through the larger veins called arteries. Veins carry blood with carbon dioxide from cell waste back to the lungs for elimination.

The largest artery called the aorta is larger in diameter than a garden hose. The smallest vessels are called capillaries and the tiniest of those are 10 times smaller than human hair. Their function is to carry the oxygen and nutrients to every cell in the body from the head to the toes.

Blood takes about 20 seconds to circulate around the entire body.

One drop of blood contains over 5 million red blood cells. Blood cells have a red hue because of a mix of iron-rich hemoglobin with oxygen.

More to come in the next installment!