Blood is the fluid that delivers oxygen, hormones, and other essential substances to the body’s cells. Blood contains platelets, plasma, red blood cells, and white blood cells. These are some of the most basic facts, but there are some more interesting and surprising facts, like blood accounts for only approximately eight percent of your body weight. Here are five things you should know about your blood.
All Blood Is Not Red
Human blood is colored red, but other organisms have different colored blood. Blood color is determined by which type of respiratory pigment is used to take oxygen to the cells via the animal’s circulatory system.
Spiders, octopuses, crustaceans, squid, and some arthropods’ blood is colored blue. Some different types of leeches and worms have blood that is colored green, and some marine worms have violet-colored blood.
Butterflies, beetles, and other insects have blood that is either colorless or pale yellow. The reason human blood is red is because of the hemoglobin protein that is found in red blood cells.
Blood Types Vary by Ethnicity
There are different blood types: O, A, B, and AB. All four blood types can be positive or negative, varying widely through different ethnic groups. The most commonly found blood type in the United States is O positive, with 38% of the population having this type, and the last common blood type is AB negative, with less than 1% of the population having this type.
The blood type distribution through people varies by population; for example, Japan’s most common blood type is A positive.
Blood Cell Components Have Different Life Spans
While it seems like the life span of all parts of blood would be the same, this is not the case. Mature human blood cells all have life cycles that vary. The lifespan of white blood cells ranges from a few hours to multiple days, red blood cells circulate through the body for around six months, and the platelets’ lifespan is approximately nine days.
White blood cells fight infections and are an integral part of your immune system, although they make up less than 1% of your total blood.
There is Gold in Human Blood
Human blood naturally contains metal atoms, including zinc, copper, lead, iron, manganese, and chromium. It may surprise you that blood has small amounts of gold. If the amount of gold from a person weighing 70kg were refined and formed into a solid cube, the sides would measure about 0.22 millimeters.
While it may sound like you want more gold in your blood, one study showed that patients with toxic reactions had significantly higher gold concentrations in their erythrocytes than patients that didn’t have toxic reactions.
Blood Comes From Stem Cells
In the human body, all of the blood cells come from hematopoietic stem cells. Stem cells are divided into two main forms. They are embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. The main benefit of stem cells is the ability to transform into any cell type, and their ability to repair damaged tissue. About 95 percent of the blood in the body is produced in the bone marrow.
Most of the bone marrow in adults is concentrated in the pelvis, spine, and breastbone bones.
Other organs regulate blood cell production, including the lymphatic system structures like the spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, and liver. Exercise can boost stem cell production. Aerobic activities can help stem cells become bone, not fat.
Work With a Doctor Who Knows Blood
If you’re curious about the state of your blood or overall health, Dr. Leo can help assess your blood lab work. Give us a call today to schedule your first appointment. We look forward to assisting you on your health journey! We are located at 6321 Executive Blvd, Rockville, MD 20852, in the Executive office park.