Capillaries Circulatory System Heart Health Vitamin c

Purpose of Circulation

The circulatory system is the most important system of the body. If it fails, then just about every cell of the body is affected. The circulatory system, however, is only as healthy as its capillaries. The major purpose of the circulatory system is to deliver oxygen and nutrients to all the tissues of the body and to remove wastes from cells.


Diffusion is the moving of molecules. Diffusion is accomplished when oxygen and nutrients inside the blood leave the blood and travel across a capillary membrane to enter the cells of tissue. Capillary diffusion is diffusion that happens in both directions at once. Waste products, such as carbon dioxide and urea, diffuse directly across the thin walls of capillaries, and enter the blood stream to be removed.

The capillaries are the only blood vessels in the circulatory system with walls thin enough to allow diffusion directly across the vessel wall. Blood flow slows down, as it flows through the capillaries, so that diffusion has time to occur.


When the slowing blood reaches the tiny capillaries, the diameter of the blood vessel is so small that only one red blood cell can pass through the capillary at a time. It is like a little assembly line with one tiny factory worker at a time picking up his diffused load. To get an idea of just how far of a distance the circulatory system runs, the total length of the capillaries themselves would circle the earth with about one thousand miles to spare!

Taking vitamin C will keep capillaries healthy because vitamin C is needed for the body to manufacture collagen. It is essential that the body have vitamin C because without it collagen cannot be manufactured. Collagen is the connective tissue that bones and teeth are made of, but it also helps form the capillaries. So vitamin C indirectly helps every tissue of the body! For this reason it is very important to get enough vitamin C. Swollen and bleeding gums are the signs of gingivitis, but if you practice good oral hygiene and problems still persist, then it may be a warning sign of Vitamin C deficiency.


The circulatory system is able to accomplish its primary purpose because of the capillaries. The main purpose of the circulatory system is feeding the cells. The capillaries are the microscopic blood vessels twisting and turning to penetrate most every tissue. The hungry cells of the tissues rely on these thin-walled vessels to deliver needed oxygen and nutrients, and to carry away unwanted waste.