What are the Human Body Systems?

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  • 0:04 Cardiovascular & Endocrine
  • 1:21 Integumentary &…
  • 2:17 Lymphatic & Nervous
  • 3:30 Digestive & Urinary
  • 4:48 Respiratory & Reproductive
  • 6:05 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Betsy Chesnutt

Betsy teaches college physics, biology, and engineering and has a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering

There are ten organ systems in your body that each have different functions, and they all must work together to keep you alive and healthy. In this lesson, you'll learn about each of these body systems, both what they do and which organs they contain.

Cardiovascular & Endocrine

Your body is an amazing machine, with many systems and organs that must all work together to keep you healthy. Let's look at the body systems in detail, examine their functions, and learn which organs are in each.

The cardiovascular system is responsible for circulating blood throughout your body. The most important organ in the cardiovascular system is the heart. Your heart contracts about once a second for your entire life, and you can't live more than a few minutes if it stops working properly. In addition to the heart, the cardiovascular system contains blood vessels like arteries, capillaries, and veins. Arteries carry blood away from your heart to the tissues of your body. They connect to tiny capillaries where oxygen and other gases are exchanged with the surrounding tissues. Then, the blood travels back to your heart through veins.

The endocrine system produces hormones that regulate everything from growth to blood pressure. There are many glands in the endocrine system, but some of the most important are the pituitary gland, pineal gland, pancreas, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal glands, hypothalamus, and the sex hormone glands (testes in males and ovaries in females). Each of these secretes different hormones that affect how your body functions.

Integumentary & Musculoskeletal

The integumentary system contains the largest organ in your whole body, which makes up about 15% of your body weight. It covers and protects all your other organs and tissues, plays a critical role in regulating your temperature, produces vitamin D, and allows you to feel heat, cold, pressure, and pain. What are we talking about? Your skin! Your skin, hair, and nails are all part of the integumentary system.

The musculoskeletal system is made up of two major types of tissue: muscle and bone. Together, they provide support and structure to the other body tissues and organs and give you the ability to move. Muscles are attached to bones by bands of connective tissue called tendons, and bones are attached to other bones by similar tissues called ligaments. Tendons and ligaments, along with the cartilage that is found in joints, are also part of the musculoskeletal system.

Lymphatic & Nervous

The lymphatic system contains many small vessels that circulate a clear fluid called lymph around your body. It's important in carrying water out of your tissues to prevent swelling and also plays a vital role in your immune system. Attached to the lymphatic vessels are many lymph nodes that are full of white blood cells that fight infections. If an infection is detected by the lymph nodes, they immediately begin to activate lots of white blood cells that produce antibodies to fight infections. This is why your lymph nodes tend to swell when you're sick. This is a normal and important part of fighting off infection.

The nervous system uses electrical impulses to receive sensory information and control movement. The largest organ of the nervous system is the brain. Your brain is the control center for your whole body. You use it to make decisions, store memories, and coordinate sensory and motor impulses that allow you to experience the world and control your movements. The spinal cord is attached to the brain. Together, the brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system.

There are many nerves attached to the spinal cord and brain that go to and from every part of your body. All of these together are called the peripheral nervous system.

Digestive & Urinary

The digestive system is responsible for taking in and processing food. It starts with your mouth, where your tongue, teeth, and salivary glands begin to break down food. Then, as you swallow, the food moves through your esophagus and into your stomach where it's mixed with acids that break it down even more. Next, it moves into your small intestine, where nutrients are absorbed. Did you know that your small intestine is about 20 feet long? That's more than three people standing on top of each other!

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