Absorption of Nutrients to the Lymphatic System

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  • 0:02 Lymphatic System
  • 2:02 Functions of the System
  • 2:57 Nutrient Absorption
  • 3:47 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Donna Ricketts

Donna Ricketts is a health educator with 15 years of professional experience designing health and wellness programs for adults and children.

In the lesson, we will explore the lymphatic system and how it functions. You will learn about the parts of your body that make up your lymphatic system and what nutrients are absorbed there.

Lymphatic System

When talking about the lymphatic system, it helps to think of it as your body's drainage system. It is a network running throughout your body, consisting of fluid called lymph, tubes, or vessels that transport the lymph, and other organs that contain lymphatic tissue. Lymph is a transparent fluid that contains water, cells, proteins, and other substances. It is made up of whatever needs to be drained or moved from one place to another. Lymphatic vessels are structures of the lymphatic system that only carry fluid away from the tissues. The smallest lymphatic vessels are called lymph capillaries.

Organs that contain lymphatic tissue are lymph nodes, tonsils, spleen, and the thymus. Lymph nodes are oval-shaped organs, which carry lymph fluid, nutrients, and waste material between your body tissues and bloodstream. Most lymph nodes are found in the neck, armpit, and groin areas of your body.

Tonsils, which are located on both sides of the back of your throat, consist of groups of lymphoid tissue that trap bacteria and viruses entering through the throat and produce antibodies. The spleen, the largest lymphatic organ in your body, purifies your blood and helps your immune system to recognize and attack foreign objects and disease. The thymus, a lymphoid gland comprised of two identically sized lobes, located behind your sternum and in front of your heart, helps your body make a type of white blood cell, which helps protect you from infections.

Functions of the Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system has three main functions. The first function: it returns excess tissue fluid from your tissues to the blood. The second function of the lymphatic system is the absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins from the digestive system, followed by transport of these fats to your blood circulation. The third function, and the most well-known function of the lymphatic system, is defense against disease.

The lymphatic system is part of your immune system, which is your defense against infection. This is a very important function of the lymphatic system. Lymph nodes and other lymphatic organs filter the lymph to remove attacking microorganisms.

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